Weekend Reading – Happy Easter Edition

 

Since tomorrow is a holiday, I’ve tried to compile a long list of great reads to keep you busy and informed over your long weekend.  Enjoy Easter with family or friends or both.  I’ll be back next week after some family time and The Masters tournament is over (Go Phil Mickelson!!) with some new blogposts, including an update on my dividend income.  Until then, have a happy and relaxing Easter weekend. 🙂

A number savvy dividend investors provided an update on the Dividend Growth Index this week.  The 24 stocks in the Index have done well since it was created in September 2011, returning almost 21% since then.  My average return for the three stocks I own is just over 15%.  Not too bad considering for the same 6-month period, XIU, the iShares product that tracks the 60 largest stocks in Canada returned around 7.5% over the same period.  You can read about the other active participants in the Index by clicking on their name below:

Dividend Guy, Dividend Monk, Dividend Ninja, Passive Income Earner, Dividend Mantra, Dividend Growth Investor.

Andrew Hallam’s success of Millionaire Teacher rolls on…click here for your shot to get a free copy of this outstanding book.  Great work Andrew, I hope to visit your blog more soon.

Young & Thrifty told us about 5 easy ways to cut your monthly expenses and save.

Canadian Capitalist provided readers an update on his Sleepy Portfolio.  He’s off to a good start this year.

101 Centavos discussed building a raised garden – Part 1.  I look forward to more of Andrew’s posts, since my wife and I will be building ours in another week or so.  I’ve got lots to learn!

The Loonie Bin shared his dividend income for March.  Very well done!

Retire by 40 discussed socially responsible investing.

WDAMMG discussed the alleged RBC sham.

Retire Happy Blog told us how to deal with changes to Old Age Security (OAS).  Mine is…I’m not depending on it in another 30 years.

Canadian Couch Potato wondered:  What’s Next for iShares?

Boomer & Echo said you should avoid mortgage life insurance.

Finance Fox asked how often do you check your bank account.

Big Cajun Man highlighted the RDSP changes in our recent federal budget.

Dividend Ninja had an informative post about four key characteristics to look for in dividend paying stocks. 

Prairie EcoThrifter shared the only moneysaving gasoline tip that ever really works.

Million Dollar Journey shared his March 2012 Net Worth Update with readers.  I’m always impressed.

Financial Highway took a look at fixed income ETFs.  For the record, my favourite is XBB and you can view a list of my favourite bond ETFs here.

Michael James on Money shared some penny angst heard from Canadians and I certainly agree with him when he wrote:  “If there are some good reasons for keeping the penny, I’d like to hear them.”

Balance Junkie included me in her 20 Cents roundup.  Thanks for your support!

SPF listed some reactions to our 2012 Federal Budget.

Beating The Index shared his results from a stock picking contest.

My University Money wrote what I was thinking this week:  Cutting the GST was great politics but terrible economics.

The Blunt Bean Counter referenced my article is his recent post entitled:  Stock Pickers – The Industry Knowledge Trap. Mark rationalized why he wrote this post, which I liked:  “The first reason was to highlight the excellent articles/blogs and related research studies posted by Larry Swedroe, My Own Advisor and The Canadian Couch Potato and the subsequent debate. The second reason was reflect how personal observation and a small sample size of my client’s professionally close advantage results, could result in a misleading conclusion.”  I think most investors would agree with Bean Counter’s conclusion:  Occasional stock pickers might be best served by “sticking to their area of expertise and use index investing or professional management for the rest of their portfolio.”  This way, “if you spot a trend, you may consider allocating some of the more speculative part of your portfolio to chasing that trend.”  Not to open the entire debate again but I feel broad-sweeping investment statements are not correct, like “buying what you know” is a bad strategy. 

Invest It Wisely reflected on two months of entrepreneurship, sharing the good, the bad and the ugly.  On the good, or what I think is the great side, he has a cool app that recently surpassed 17,000 total downloads!  Go visit his site and check it out 🙂

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