Weekend Reading – ING personal finance discussions, best financial sites for Canadians and more

After reading the respective websites of Preet Banerjee and Dan Bortolotti earlier this week, I decided it would be a good idea to listen to these panelists among other experts for a personal finance discussion hosted by ING Direct Canada yesterday.

I wasn’t disappointed.

Preet, Dan, Ellen Roseman (columnist, Moneyville.ca) and Rubina Ahmed-Haq (financial journalist) offered tons of great personal finance advice to attendees at the ING DIRECT café at 221 Yonge Street in downtown Toronto and folks like myself who watched the event via live streaming video.  Although I missed a bit of the dialogue during the event (I was also watching the Ottawa Senators vs. New York Rangers hockey game last night at the same time; unfortunately Ottawa lost), I did manage to capture some poignant comments I’d like to share:

When asked about how to survive today’s markets, Dan said:  “Have exposure to a little bit of everything.” (then you don’t have to worry so much).

When asked about some advice he could provide to everyday Canadians, Dan said:  “No one cares more about your money than you do.  Educate yourself.   Make an effort to take control over your own finances.”  (Well said Canadian Couch Potato).

When asked what Canadians could do to help their personal finance situations, Preet said:  “Spend less than you earn, pay down high-interest debt and disaster-proof your life.  It’s really that simple.”   (Awesome).

When asked about the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and should everyone have one, Dan said:  “Not everyone needs a TFSA.”  (Depends on their personal situation he went on to say.)  “I’ll be honest, I don’t have one.”

When asked what some of the barriers are to successful money management, Preet offered some comments about the human condition and said “successful investing is 90% psychology and 8% math.”

Not that Ellen and Rubina didn’t have some fine things to offer, but I really appreciated Preet and Dan’s blunt, straight-forward talk.   No preaching, just common-sense encouragement and a willingness to help Joe and Jill Canadian.  Nicely done gentlemen!

In other news yesterday, I was very pleased and honoured to find out that BankNerd rated yours truly as one of the  best financial websites for Canadians.  I realize there are tons of personal finance and investing sites across Canada, so to be rated as one of them, well, I must say it was quite a thrill!  Thanks very much for including me Sensei and Bank Guru!  🙂

The BankNerd article announcing the best financial sites for Canadians said:

“The websites listed below have been aimed to help you get the best experience out of your finances. Some websites will have methods to help you get out of debt, while others might have a great plan for you to retire on time, maybe even early.  All of the websites listed are fantastic, and deserve your time to be spent on each one of them.”

I agree!  Many of the sites listed are in my blogroll and for good reason.  These sites are an excellent resource for me, not to mention, an inspiration.  Kudos and congrats to all of you, and your great work!  Well deserved!

If you haven’t visited BankNerd yet, check them out.   These folks are dedicated to providing breaking news on the Canadian Banking Industry and informing Canadians about banking trends, bank account information, credit card deals and general information for consumers.  Their goal is to provide simple, unbiased and transparent information on the financial industry.  Amen to that!!! 🙂

Speaking of great websites, here are many articles from them from the past week or so, great reading for your great weekend.  I hope you enjoy the articles.  Until next week, where I hope to provide you with my dividend-income update for October, take care, be safe, stay healthy!



Nelson Smith wrote a good guest post on SPF about some more costly things than “the latte factor”, like alcohol.  While I agree with his post for the most part, drinking alcohol does not have to be costlier than drinking coffee.  For example, most of the beer in my fridge costs $1 per bottle.   (I splurge now and again for Steam Whistle, honest!)  I know alcohol isn’t for everyone, I respect that, but a pint here and there in moderation is eh-ok by me 😉

Boomer & Echo provided some compelling reasons to invest in dividend growth stocks.

Dividend Mantra wondered if you’re using rewards cards to your advantage.

Dividend Growth Investor offered some advice to investors for stock spin-offs, like Abbott.

Million Dollar Journey informed us about Canada’s most expesnive and lowest cost MBA programs.   He also informed us about process improvements underway at Canada Revenue Agency (CRA, offering recourse for clients who feel that they have not been treated fairly.

My University Money wondered why leverage is seemingly OK when it comes to real estate.

Susan Brunner, who holds a host of dividend-paying stocks, shared some experiences and some adventures in small cap stocks.

Jim Yih told us that estate planning starts by getting organized.  How true.  Check out his post to learn more.

Dividend Guy Blog provided readers with a dividend stock analysis of Telus.

Today’s Economy Blog told us what the Occupy protesters should do next.

Preet Banerjee said there’s tons of doom and gloom in the markets still…and oh yeah, record earnings.

Balance Junkie wrote about bulls vs. bears, Q4 2011 edition.

Passive Income Earner told us the choices we often need to make between time and money.

Robb Engen wrote a guest post on Canadian Finance Blog telling us meal planning can save time and money.

Big Cajun Man said if you don’t like what you’re getting from your bank, well, Change Your Bank!

Michael James offered some positive feedback about a quality article comparing Steadyhand Funds versus indexing with ETFs.

Mich from Beating The Index told us why he sold Pinecrest Energy.

Dividend Monk provided a stellar analysis of Exxon Mobil Corporation.

Dividend Ninja had another guest post, this time, by FinanceFox with a post entitled Paying off debt is the best investment.   Depending on what your investments are earning, FinanceFox is spot on!

Canadian Mortgage Trends revisted Rob Carrick’s article in the Globe and Mail, second-guessing if variable rates are really over with.  Rob was great to point out, they could be, because “a 3.29% five-year fixed wins if rates stay flat and then start rising in 2013.*”  *Assuming 100 bps of hikes occur in 2013, OR 75 bps in 2013 followed by 50 bps more in 2014.

Teacher Man wrote a guest post on Youngandthrifty’s blog, entitled:  The Discount Brokerage Revolution.

Last but certainly not least, Canadian Capitalist provided an overview of the new Vanguard products with pricing and ticker information.  He also told us why stock ratings should be taken with a big grain of salt.  Absolutely CC, maybe a whole tablespoon 🙂

Mark Seed is the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own financial advisor, I've grown our portfolio from $100,000 to well over $500,000. Our next big goal is to own a $1 million investment portfolio for an early retirement. Come follow my saving and investing journey by subscribing to my site. Delivered by Subscribe Here to My Own Advisor

21 Responses to "Weekend Reading – ING personal finance discussions, best financial sites for Canadians and more"

  1. Yes Mark, congrats on getting mentioned in the BankNerd as one of the best financial websites for Canadians! Well deserved my friend 🙂

    Oh and thanks for the mention on the guest post! Unfortunately I was at the dentist yesterday afternoon, so missed the webcast 🙁

    The Dividend Ninja

    1. @SPF,

      Yes, I was aware, it seems socially acceptance to spend loads of cash at a bar and folks don’t think much about what they are spending. Fancy Starbucks and soon-to-be-offered Timmys coffee will be the same.

      Take care and have a great weekend. Will be around your site next week.

  2. Mark,

    Thanks for including me in your roundup!

    Sounds like some pretty sound financial advice there at the top! Spend less than you earn and pay down high-interest debt sounds like the way to go!

    Have a great weekend.

  3. Thanks for the mention(s), Mark! I missed the panel yesterday (wasn’t great timing for those of us in the West), but it sounds like it was a very interesting discussion.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  4. Hi Mark – thanks for the very kind words.

    I’m not surprised by the nod from BankNerd. I was talking about your blog with someone and we both noted how impressed we were with how much time and work you put into it. Great site.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Hey Preet,

      Thanks for the kind words, really nice of you! I hope you have a great weekend!

      Oh, btw, be sure to visit Dan’s site when you can. In recent posts, he took a few (fun) digs at you and I’m curious to read your rebuttal 🙂

      Take care, chat soon,

    1. Thanks Susan, it was very nice of them to give me a small nod, very unexpected!

      No thanks required about the roundup, I enjoy visiting your site, you have great details in your analyses but I also enjoy the straight-talk on why or why not you own these companies.


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