Friday, April 13, 2018

Short Takes: Wealth Expo, Large Insurance Payouts, and more

Here are my posts for the past two weeks:

The Power of Saving More

Informed Financial Choices

The Couple Who Made Millions Beating Lotteries

Updated Currency Exchange Method at BMO InvestorLine

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Kerry Taylor went to a wealth expo so you don’t have to. Her description and comments on the event are hilarious.

Darryl Singer says “when an insurance company receives a claim, their first reaction is to reject it. They may reject it a second and a third time, too.” He paints a picture of an industry doing battle with its customers whenever they made a substantial claim. Singer is a personal injury lawyer, so he comes at this from a certain point of view, but I’ve never hear any other point of view on this subject. I’d like to know what fraction of claims get denied and how this varies with claim size and insurance company. Without this type of information, it’s impossible to know if you’re really covered if you get sued over a car accident or if your house burns down.

Andrew Coyne shares some clear thinking on carbon taxes.

John Robertson makes an excellent point about a benefit of Vanguard Canada’s new all-in-one ETFs. He also compares them to other investment approaches based on cost and hassle-freeness.

Big Cajun Man discusses the downside of refinancing. It seems like a good idea to reduce the interest rate on your debt, but serial refinancers just run their credit cards up again.

Robb Engen at Boomer and Echo describes how he would handle his portfolio in retirement. It resembles the approach I’m taking right now. A key feature is the mechanical approach that minimizes acting on hunches about the best time to sell stocks.

The Blunt Bean Counter looks at some of the problems that can result from duplicating investments, including inadequate diversification and tax inefficiency.


  1. Refinancing is like dieting, if you don't make the lifestyle change to remedy the problem in the first place, there is little reason to do it. Thanks for the inclusion this week.

  2. I understand the position of insurance companies. The disparity between the cost of a premium and the payment for a claim is very large.

    If it was easy to make false claims, either because there was no loss or the premium was paid after the loss happened, there would be a huge incentive to quickly bankrupt the company. They need a very strong deterrent to minimize that.

    Without that we wouldn't have the insurance we need for real losses. Everyone would be forced to buy the type of policies that cost more than the worst possible loss (which are fortunately a small part of the market now).

    Like with many government policies meant to address social inequality, it's easy to see the current downsides but we could be living with something much worse if we try to carelessly address those downsides.

    1. Incidentally the ad right beside the comment is for a personal injury laywer :) This post may be a big earner for you!

  3. I attended my first real estate expo in 1985. Even Rocky couldn't get me to attend this one. Bitcoin forget it!