Friday, November 20, 2020

Short Takes: MLM Cults, CPP Timing, and more

You might have noticed I’ve written quite a few book reviews lately.  The books I had on hold at the library were taking a long time to become available (maybe because of the pandemic), so I put more books on hold.  But then they started showing up in bunches.  I’m barely staying ahead of the return dates.  You can expect more reviews in the coming weeks as several of the books I have out now are about money.

Here are my posts for the past two weeks:

Bond Quiz

Value Averaging

Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk

Napkin Finance

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Preet Banerjee
interviews Multi-Level Marketing “survivor” David Pride who needed 3 years of therapy to de-program his brain when he left.  I know there’s a cult aspect to many MLM schemes but had no idea it was this powerful.

Mark Burgess has a sensible take on when to start your CPP.  He also points out the conflict of interest financial advisors have when they advise on CPP timing.

Justin Bender explains the details of the new iShares sustainable investing ETFs in his latest video.

Boomer and Echo
says that health and dental insurance aren’t really insurance.  I agree.  Instead of capping benefits at $10,000 per year, real insurance would cover anything over $10,000. 

Big Cajun Man
got his credit card company to forgive the interest that came from accidentally paying late.


  1. Re CPP
    Has anyone done an analysis on the basis that you take CPP early and invest it in a tax free account (e.g. TFSA)? How would that change the break-even point?

    1. Hi J.K.,

      Yes that's been done. I've done it myself, but I don't have an analysis of this to point to that uses the latest CPP rules and properly takes into account rising industrial wages that affect CPP starting payments.

      People use these breakeven ages incorrectly. They see some age, like 84, and try to guess whether they're likely to live that long. What they should really be asking themselves is whether they're so sure they won't live that long that they'd be willing to run out of all their savings by age 84. Why? If you think you might live to 90, then you'd restrict spending your savings to make it last until 90. So, in this scenario, you get the counter-intuitive result that delaying taking CPP allows you to spend more today than if you take CPP early.

      For most people, any reasonably calculated breakeven age will be less than how long they _might_ live.