Thursday, September 24, 2020

Short Takes: Foreign Withholding Taxes, Financial Happiness, and more

I wrote one post in the past two weeks:

Fortress Fiasco

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Justin Bender brings us his ultimate guide to foreign withholding taxes on ETFs.  Unlike other so-called “ultimate guides” I’ve seen from other financial writers, this one really is comprehensive and useful.

Morgan Housel says being happy financially requires managing your expectations as much as making more money.

Alexandra Macqueen explains what goes into calculating official inflation figures and the controversies surrounding what is and is not included.

Jason Heath
is a Certified Financial Planner who refers to his practice as “advice-only” to try to distinguish his services from those paid by commissions or percentage of assets.

The Blunt Bean Counter explains how large gifts to grandchildren can have some unpleasant tax implications if you’re not careful.


  1. I enjoyed the article on the inflation controversy. It's a difficult problem, and nothing will ever make everyone happy. While the "interactive CPI" tool described might be interesting to some, I don't think it will really be of much value. I doubt an employer would take my personally calculated CPI increase of 20% as a good argument that I should receive a 20% wage increase. Likewise, it's unlikely it would affect the BoC's decision on interest rates.

    Perhaps if its usage is monitored, insight might be gained into what Canadians consider important, and perhaps change the official CPI for the better. But I think its a losing battle. For every change you make that makes someone happy, someone else will argue it's a poor representation of true costs.

    @Michael do you have any thoughts on how to make the CPI measurement better?

    1. Hi Returns Reaper,

      I don't have any ideas for improving CPI calculations, but I do find it interesting that almost everyone who comments on it believes their personal CPI is higher. I guess the ones whose CPI is lower don't complain.

      Whenever I think about CPI, university costs come to mind because they've risen faster than CPI for so many years. I wonder why it is that it costs so much more to educate people today than it did 40 years ago.