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Weekend Reading – Interest rates, unprofessional work and tons of great blogs

 

Before we get to the articles….

The Bank of Canada left its key interest rate at 1% this week, hinting again, higher borrowing costs are coming.  I’ve heard that tune before.  Carney’s words don’t match behaviour – borrowing costs have been left alone for a 12th consecutive meeting further extending what has become the longest pause for rate changes in decades.  I’m not too worried about low interest rates today rather I’m worried about what low rates will do long-term when we have so much government, provincial and collective personal debt to pay off.  I know around our house, we’re making some lump-sum payments to lower our 6-figure mortgage.  I really hate debt. I need to write another post on that.

While money is cheap, Bank of Montreal decided to cut its 5-year mortgage a few basis points to about 3%.  Heck, I think the 10-year mortgage at BMO is now about 4%.  Is that crazy low or what?  And folks wonder why the housing market continues to sizzle in Toronto and Vancouver!

Lastly, totally unrelated to personal finance but I need to vent about this for a bit…I discovered that our sump pumps (we have 2) had airlocks in them last night.  With the Ottawa winter thaw starting now, airlocks in sump pumps are not a good thing.  Folks who have sump pumps probably know what I’m talking about.  After my troubleshooting exercises with the pumps last night (thanks internet), I realized as per installation instructions, most plumbers create what is called a “relief hole” in the discharge pipe(s).  That’s a small 3/16” hole drilled into the PVC pipe just above the pump but below the check valve.  When I looked at our installation, those “relief holes” didn’t exist!   We paid for this installation by a professional, licensed plumber.  Why on earth was this not done?  Why should an amateur like me have to troubleshoot a professionals’ workmanship?  I was annoyed, I still am.  I don’t want to think about the consequences a faulty sump pump (never mind two of them!!!) could create in our basement this spring.  I need to write a more detailed post about this issue, what happened and how I fixed it, or at least I think I did.  Maybe with that post I can pay forward my experiences to others.  Annoying though; you pay for professional work and you get amateur results.  Has this happened to you recently?

Anyways, enough venting.  You visit my site because you enjoy personal finance and investing topics, the articles I write and the articles I share with you so let’s get on with that – for some great weekend reading.

 

Learn more about dividend stocks and how they can be one of the best investments for long term income investors.

Boomer & Echo is giving away a copy of Millionaire Teacher From B&E’s site:  “Andrew Hallam became a debt free millionaire in his 30′s. He’s not a corporate CEO, doctor or lawyer.  He works as a high school English teacher – in Singapore, no less – without the comfort of a traditional defined benefit pension plan enjoyed by teachers here in Canada.”

Canadian Capitalist clarified some TurboTax products for DIY tax filers.

Canadian Couch Potato gave us a different perspective on the last three years.

Brighter Life had an interesting post this week:  3 reasons why Putin might still be good for Russia.   

Canadian Mortgage Trends announced:  “Two years ago to the day, the Finance Department promised to “bring greater clarity to the calculation of mortgage pre-payment penalties.” Later this year, that promise will become realized.”  Check out the new mortgage “code” for financial institutions.

Dividend Monk said Brookfield Infrastructure is still an interesting investment.

Steadyhand wrote about income gone wild.  The article suggests “Many investors are looking at yield and income first, without much consideration for the underlying components that drive returns.”  That’s a good point, however, what about the argument that you can live off some of the income your stocks generate?  My dividend paying stocks provide both a stream of tax advantaged-income and some capital appreciation.  Also, with stocks, I avoid the ongoing management fees that go along with funds. For income-oriented investors, yield can be great but I agree it’s not everything.  That’s why for my portfolio, it’s a blend:  dividend-payers and broad-market ETFs.

Financial Highway gave us some great tax tips for a home-based business.

The Loonie Bin had boxing match underway over the last couple of weeks:  TFSAs vs. RRSPs.   You can read Part 1 hereYou can read Part 2 here.

Eddie from Finance Fox wondered why you budget.  I guess for me, it’s to ensure I keep my spending in check. 

The Passive Income Earner has a great financial education giveaway, underway!

Kevin from Invest It Wisely wondered where do you get your stuff done?

Larry MacDonald wrote about dividend investing, and how good it is to investors as payouts rise.

Sustainable Personal Finance had a guest post by Teacher Man, who said to forget the RRSP vs. TFSA vs. RESP debate.  “Just pick an acronym” and “SAVE, SAVE, SAVE” he said!

Preet Banerjee from Where Does All My Money Go had a guest post about strategies to price your home for big bucks.

Young & Thrifty revealed her net worth for March 2012, up 3%.

The Financial Blogger reported his February 2012 blog income.  VERY impressive!  He also reported he had over 400,000 page views over his network!  I’ve got some catching up to do for that level but I’m happy to report I’m at 23,000 page views per month on My Own Advisor! 

One of my favourite sites, Dividend Ninja had a great post this week:  Dividend stocks from Thailand:  Higher Yield in Emerging Markets.  I never knew about these companies, which made for a great read.

The Blunt Bean Counter questioned whether income tax planning is a fallacy for most Canadians.

Susan Brunner reviewed Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX-REF.UN).

Beating The Index informed us about investing in offshore drilling companies.

What you don’t know about the housing bubble in Canada – that will scare you by The Dividend Guy.

Tom Drake from Canadian Finance Blog asked what will you do with your tax refund?   I think we’re putting most, if not all our refund on our mortgage.  I’ll let you know.

Michael James on Money had  take on early retirement.

Big Cajun Man wondered:  bird in the hand or tax refund later?

Prairie EcoThrifter gave us some tips for stress-free mornings.

Phew…quite the list! 

Have a happy and healthy weekend!

Filed in: Weekend Reading

19 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Interest rates, unprofessional work and tons of great blogs"

  1. Thanks for the inclusion, enjoy the great melt!

  2. Thanks for including my giveaway!

  3. Thanx for the mention MOA! Have a great weekend.
    Cheers

  4. Echo says:

    Hey Mark, I wrote the same intro to my round-up for tomorrow. I’m not sure what to make of this tough talk on household debt while our key lending rate remains at 1% and long term mortgage rates are between 3-4%. But since I’m already in the housing market I guess I will continue to take advantage of these low rates and put a dent in our mortgage.

    Thanks for the mention, and have a great weekend!

    • Yeah, all the tough talk doesn’t match action. I don’t get it. We hope to continue paying down our mortgage aggressively as well. Could be a very different world in another 5 years with rates so we might as well take advantage.

  5. I’m a little concerned about inflation being just around the corner. Maybe we’ll see interest rates going up by this time next year.

  6. Thanks for the mention, have a great weekend! I am glad I can leave comments here now :)

  7. Kevin Press says:

    Great list. Thanks very much for including us.

  8. Should I switch from variable rate to a fixed rate? We’re at 2.3%, but fixing 3% for 5 years or 4% for 10 years… hmm. ;)

  9. Thanks for the mention- have a great weekend :)

  10. Thanks for the mention, Mark. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

  11. @My Own Advisor

    I thought I would always be on “stay variable and save over the long run” bandwagon, but man. Guaranteed 4% for 10 years sounds crazy. I’m still wondering if this quantative easing in the USA is going to drive up their inflation rates in 2-3 years and take us with it. Then again, I hope to have my house almost paid off in 5 years, so for me the 3% is really hard not to jump at right now.

    • I know eh? 4% for 10 years? Wow, really low.

      I guess if you have your house paid off in another 5 years, you don’t need to worry about long-term rates. A great problem to have. I wish I was wish you on that one! Hopefully, I’ll get there, and keep trying to pay down debt sooner than later.

      Thanks for your comment!

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