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Mid-Week Reading – Holiday Wrap Edition

A Very Happy Holidays Friends!

I hope you had a great Christmas.   Comes and goes SO fast doesn’t it?  All the lead up to the big day and then, poof…gone for another 12 months. 

Amazing how the time goes.  

Regardless how fast the time flies, I still feel like a kid around Christmas every year.  I hope I always do :)

I might not get to posting my usual Weekend Reading blogpost later this week, so I thought I’d offer you a list of great articles I’ve read over the last week or so.  Some articles have a holiday theme, others don’t, but I think you’ll find them enjoyable and insightful all the same.  

While I’m online today – any big plans for New Year’s anyone?

To answer my own question, my wife and I are headed to Toronto to see our closest friends, for a small gathering of food and drink for the evening.   We can’t wait.   We’re not ones for the big ballroom affair.  It doesn’t suit our style.  Good food, intimate atmosphere and great friendships are on our menu – which is our perfect plan. 

I hope whatever your plans are – you celebrate a little bit for the year that was and the year that could be.   I think that’s the thing I love about New Year’s…it just screams possibilities!

Ok, onto the posts….check them out!

Rob Carrick offered 12 ways to build wealth in 2012.  I’m going to focus on #11 and #12 myself.   By the way Rob, thanks for listing my ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas poem in the Globe and Mail.  Very much appreciated!

Kevin from Invest It Wisely is giving away a bunch of copies of Millionaire Teacher!

Nelson Smith had a good guest post over at Canadian Finance Blog – Will record debt levels lead to disaster?   Personally, I don’t think so in the short term.   If things keep going, inflation outpacing wage increases, we’ll have a problem long-term.  This is why debt paydown continues to be a top priority for My Own Advisor.

Big Cajun Man wondered why cash can’t be king for Christmas?!   

Dividend Mantra shared his thoughts on freedom, from consumption that is.  “I have learned that my time here on Earth is limited and that every minute that passes by is one less unit of life energy that I have left. I don’t want to spend 50% or more of this available time at an office trying to climb a corporate ladder to nowhere. I have learned that if you pay attention to the shadows (commercials for consumption), instead of the puppeteers (marketing companies for products) you’ll never escape those chains.”

My University Money said “Bah Humbug!  Presents Make No Economic Cents!”  Teacher Man made a case against a few things, but personally, I’m a fan of gift cards.  They work for me.   I just have to remember they don’t work for everyone else! 

Boomer & Echo reviewed Low Cost No Load Mutual Funds & ETFs by Lawrence Russell.   This book focused on one of the most important issues facing investors today: investing costs that are excessive and unwarranted.

Dividend Ninja wondered if McDonald’s is overpriced?   As MCD approaches $100 USD, I would say yes.  Check out the detailed analysis Ninja did on this stock, it was well done, and find out what he’s going to do with his MCD holdings.

Larry MacDonald offered a fine review of Dan Bortolotti’s MoneySense Guide to the Perfect Portfolio.  (I hope to get my review posted in January 2012.  Dan’s book was a fine read, I have lots of takeaways!)

Michael James told us he’s looking forward to a January 1st raise.  

Krytal Yee is leaving. Leaving Canada. For months. Many months. Going to Germany.  For real.   Her new site just might be GiveMeBackMyFiveEuros. I have to give Preet Banerjee all the credit for that one!  I wish Krystal all the best overseas and look forward to reading her articles posted in Germany every week.

Million Dollar Journey announced his giveaway contest winners and wished over 16,000 dedicated subscribers to his blog, a very Merry Christmas! (If you haven’t subscribed to his site, man, you’re missing out!)  Million Dollar Journey also informed us why he thinks cash is king. MDJ said “A growing cash war chest gave us options. We could pay down the house to save even more interest, pay down consumer debt to increase our cash flow even further, or invest the proceeds in the stock/real estate market.” Sounds like great options to me. Unlike MDJ, we have a sizeable mortgage, so I guess it’s good we grow our cash savings as well.

Andrew Hallam continued his epic series on how Canada’s banks are letting investors down.  Read Part 2 of 7 here.   In his recent post, he said:  “We’ve learned the importance of fighting for great mortgage rates, understanding that our banks don’t usually offer competitive rates unless we barter for them. And we’re starting to learn, slowly, that the same rule applies with our investments.”

If you didn’t follow any “green” Christmas protocols this year, there is always next year - Sustainable Personal Finance offered some green Christmas tree options.

Canadian Finance Blog, was joking, but the title scared me a few days ago – Christmas Is Cancelled!

Ray from Financial Highway told us about the cost of holiday overspending.

Mich at Beating The Index wrote about Parallel Energy Trust.   It has a generous yield but Mich wondered if it is sustainable?

Dan Bortolotti from Canadian Couch Potato released Part 1 in his interview with some folks from Vanguard CanadaPart 2 is also here, where Dan shared some information Vanguard Canada’s plans for the future.

Young & Thrifty provided an overview of how to rent out your basement suite.  She offered folks some good tips to get started, such as taking lots of photos to support your rental ad.  As a former landlord, I believe you cannot do enough marketing since competition in most rental markets is tight.  Ottawa always is – lots of folks on contract with the government.

Passive Income Earner had great dividend income in 2011.  Well done!   I will be posting my passive dividend income update in January.  My unofficial goal for 2012 is $6,000 for the calendar year.

Tom Bradley from Steadyhand questioned whether things will be different this time.

Jim Yih from Retire Happy Blog completed a great review of Andrew Hallam’s book Millionaire Teacher.  In his post, I like what Jim said here:  “With my financial education programs I am in front of thousands of people a year and I’ve come to believe that the root of financial success is more about controlling spending and living within your means than it is about becoming a successful investor.” 

The Financial Blogger shared how he sucked and ruled, as it relates to his blogging goals in 2011.  His words, not mine!   Personally, I think TFB is doing an outstanding job, most definitely with the online income.   If you haven’t checked out his site, watching his online income grow and how he’s doing it, well, you’re missing out folks.

Preet Banerjee gave us an informative breakdown on the real impact MERs can have in an investment portfolio.  In Preet’s example, $100,000 invested, no annual contributions, growing at 5%; a 2.69% MER fund consumed 92.53% of your original contribution over 25 years and left you with 49.42% less money due to the effect of fees.  Ouch.  Whatta kick in the a$$.  Kudos to Michael James for the cool metric:  MERQ.

Prairie EcoThrifter offered 3 vital tips to start a frugal lifestyle.

BankNerd made some great user enhancements on their site. 

 

I’ll be back in a couple of days!

Holidays Cheers! 

Mark

Filed in: Uncategorized

18 Responses to "Mid-Week Reading – Holiday Wrap Edition"

  1. Thanks for the inclusion, and enjoy the time off!

  2. Hope you’re enjoying the holidays, Mark, and thanks for the inclusion!

  3. Preet says:

    Thanks for the link Mark – cheers!

  4. MOA Thanx for the mention and all the best for the New Year! MCD sold on Friday, and I’ve parked the funds in CLF for now (for monthly distributions).

    Cheers!
    The Dividend Ninja

  5. Thanks for including us. Gift cards are better than an unwanted gifts, but still not as good as the prospect of everyone just keeping their own money and not a bunch of “stuff” they don’t really need.

    • @MUM,

      No worries, I appreciate the blog support.

      Yeah, gift cards are better than unwanted gifts and people don’t need “more stuff” unnecessarily. Speaking of gift cards, we just spent almost all of ours today. Felt good, and I needed some clothes to look sharp in the New Year :)

      A very Happy New Year to you!

  6. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog :)

    • @SRL,

      No worries. And seriously, thanks for adding me to your blogroll.

      Looking forward to reading about your DRIPping adventure and other financial tales from your site.

      I hope you had a great Christmas and wish you a Happy New Year!

      Chat again soon!

  7. Thanks for the mention Mark.

    Hope you had a great Christmas!

    For new years, I think we’re going to just stay in and PROBABLY fall asleep before 12. Ahh the life of a 20-something!

  8. Thanks for the inclusion! It’s appreciated.

    Glad to hear you had a great Christmas!!

    I hope you have an equally wonderful New Years in Toronto!

  9. Happy New Year and All the best for 2012 Mark!

    Thanks for the inclusion :)

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