Friday, September 19, 2014

Short Takes: Portfolio Simplification, Used Cars, and more

I wrote one post this week taking another look at whether the value premium exists:

Does the Value Premium Exist? Redux

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Scott Ronalds at Steadyhand has declared September 19th to be National Portfolio Simplification Day. I come out quite well on his list of questions. “Do you own a long list of investments?” Nope – four ETFs and one stock. “Do you have a Strategic Asset Mix?” Yup – I’ve chosen fixed percentages for the ETFs and use threshold rebalancing when new contributions aren’t enough to keep percentages in line. I’m not adding to the shares in the one stock. “Take a close look at your costs.” My MERs, TERs, foreign withholding taxes, commissions, and spreads add up to less than 0.2% per year.

Preet Banerjee says that the traditional gap between the prices of new and used cars has been narrowing. The games that car manufacturers play with interest rates and incentives can make comparisons difficult. The important question to me is what the price is if I walk in with a bag of 20-dollar bills. This makes it easier to compare prices of new and used cars.

Canadian Couch Potato reports that the main Canadian ETF providers are paying attention to the hidden drag of foreign withholding taxes.

The Blunt Bean Counter explains the complex new world of reporting foreign assets on a T1135 tax form. I sure hope investments in RRSPs continue to be excluded from reporting.

Potato pokes holes in some stories promoting real-estate ownership.

My Own Advisor breaks down the components of a Management Expense Ratio (MER) as well as other expenses not included in the MER. An important takeaway is that “management fee” and MER are not the same thing.

Big Cajun Man is finding that text books are chewing up huge amounts of his RESP savings.

Million Dollar Journey has begun tracking the net worths of a few new people. The latest report is on a couple who seem destined to arrive at millionaire status quickly with a total family income of $284,500.


  1. Thanks for the inclusion, it's not really my money those books eat up, it is actually Student Debt building up for my daughter, but yes, I need to start writing books for Universities.

  2. Thanks for the mention, Michael.

    I'm glad tBBC is bringing attention to the foreign reporting issue.

  3. Michael, thx for link. Hope all is well. Yup, no RRSP inclusion ---yet--

  4. Thanks for the mention Michael. I liked #4 in the Tangerine list, I wouldn't have seen things that way in my 20s, I certainly do now.