Wow, another week just flew by.
In business and financial news this week, we learned the Keystone XL pipeline saga continues. The U.S. wants our oil, they don’t want oil. The U.S. wants to create jobs but this pipeline won’t create the right jobs. So very political and comical to a point. I expect the posturing will continue for months, well into the November U.S. election.
We also found out Eastman Kodak, the 130-year-old company that invented the hand-held camera, filed for bankruptcy protection. Probably not surprising this happened; surprising that it took this long for the filing to take place.
Lastly, the Bank of Canada (BoC) held interest rates this past week, another non-event, although I continue to wonder how this low-rate environment is helping us long-term. Out of one side of the BoC’s mouth, I hear “pay down debt”. The other side says the BoC is becoming “increasingly uncomfortable” with low rates, debt-fuelled spending and a hot housing market. We’re working on our debt, not too aggressively but enough to kill that line of credit in another couple of weeks!
Amidst the usual business and financial noise, I took time to read some quality articles this week. Without further ado here they are!
Canadian Dream Free at 45 said there is no such thing as a constant withdrawal rate, saying “you don’t want to retire early on the absolute lowest point of your spending, you want to in fact have a bit of fat or safety margin in your plans.”
Dividend Ninja released another post regarding his 2012 Canadian Stock Picks. Check it out!
BankNerd shared some news about a RBC and Shoppers Drug Mart nationwide program that will make it more convenient for Canadians to bank and earn rewards.
Million Dollar Journey provided readers a primer on American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).
Passive Income Earner reported his January 2012 dividend income. I think he’s now ahead of me! Dang. I need to get investing more! Well done Passive.
Dividend Monk reviewed Automatic Data Processing (ADP).
Canadian Capitalist compared currency hedged and unhedged holdings.
Canadian Couch Potato answered the question Why We Love The One We’re With, a catchy title to discuss Larry Swedroe’s new book, Investment Mistakes Even Smart Investors Make and How to Avoid Them, that includes 77 common behavioural blunders.
Financial Highway had a guest post about taming a lame boss.
Michael James on Money revisited some themes from Henry Hazlitt’s book, Economics in One Lesson and said “originally written in 1946 and then updated in 1978, the topics in this book are still very relevant today.”
Balance Junkie gave her financial outlook for 2012. She chose to go with volatility as her main theme for 2012, saying “I think investors will continue to experience chronic whiplash this year as markets adjust to headlines on an everything’s fine vs. the financial system is going to hell in a handbasket basis.” She might be right.
Boomer & Echo said stop complaining – be an owner, not a moaner. “A good way to fight off inflation is to buy shares in these companies, particularly the ones you do business with.” I absolutely agree. My wife and I follow the same recipe by owning a bunch of stocks (like Rogers, CIBC and Enbridge), we’re owners of what we consume.
Andrew Hallam was recently interviewed by CBC Radio. He was thrilled to explain (on national radio) “the excessive fees handed out to unsuspecting Canadian investors. The Big 5 banks hold the bulk of Canadian mutual fund business. They reap the rewards, while investors pay the hidden piper.” Some of Andrew’s friends have suggested, jokingly, he should watch his back. Check out his interview here.
The Daily Thinker used Twitter to get RBC Avion Visa’s attention – questionning the logic of their points redemption program. He pleaded: “All I want to do is convert my points to a dollar value with which to book a flight. I don’t understand why this shouldn’t be an option.” Guess what? Twitter worked! Check out his story here.
Jim Yih wondered What To Invest In for 2012? My response to Jim was Emerging Markets and U.S. stocks. They were down about 16% and 10% respectively in 2011. I love it when that stuff goes on sale!
DGI told us about 11 dividend kings raising dividends for 50+ years.
Big Cajun Man reviewed Quicken 2012.
Beating The Index discussed Palliser Oil & Gas - “not your typical heavy oil producer”.
The Dividend Guy released his “power rankings” for my 3 stocks picks, and all the others, as part of the Dividend Growth Index.
SPF gave us signs to spot a work from home scam.
The Blunt Bean Counter wrapped up a great initiative: Bloggers for Charity. All told, the winning bidders donated $12,575 including matching donations made by some of the bloggers. Amazing stuff!
The Financial Blogger offfered some tips on how to grow a newsletter.
Invest It Wisely told us about 5 signs you may be trapped in a dead end job. Ouch, I saw myself in his post, just a little bit.
My University Money wondered if you should pay off debt fast or build assets. We try and do a combination of both. Irregardless of our approach, I don’t think it makes much sense to pay off debt as fast as you can today when borrowing costs are next to nothing. Invest that money and get it and time working for you.
Preet Banerjee from WDAMMG had a guest post from Norm Klatt, Concentra Financial about the positive contributions credit unions provide – more than just money. ”With help from local credit unions, many communities continue to prosper, both economically, and in corporate giving thanks to the creation of the co-operative principles over 100 years ago. Those principles are still alive – and are a viable alternative for us all in 2012 and beyond.”
A nice note to enter the weekend with
Have a safe, happy and healthy weekend. See you next week!