Weekend Reading – $37 billion gone, 20 Americans own more wealth than 50%, Christmas giveaways

Geez, where does the time go?  A busy week at work, a bathroom renovation going on at home (now on week #3), Christmas planning; the fun never ends.  Hopefully our renovation will be complete and we can get our Christmas décor up around the house next week.  I have no idea when we’ll get Christmas cards out this year…maybe only a few going out…

Enough about that, surely you’re busy with your lives as well – hope your holiday preparation plans are coming along with family and friends.

Earlier this week I launched yet another giveaway on my site – make sure you enter to win a book written by our current Federal Finance Minister here.  I also shared our passive income earned year to date, we’re 39% towards our retirement goal here.

Ontarians have paid $37 billion more than market price for electricity.  I knew Hydro One was a mess but this is nuts.

These 20 super rich Americans have more wealth than 50% of the U.S. population; more than 152 million other people.

How To Save Money has a huge cash giveaway on the go.

Pretty cool site stats year to date:

Weekend Reading

I disagree with this portfolio recommendation for a 30-something with hopefully decades of investing years ahead, why 30% bonds without any mention of their risk profile or other assets?  I think if the financial planner truly believed “it’s important to think about future earnings rather than short-run volatility…” then the 30-something would have more equities.

Vanguard has been accused of $35 billion in tax fraud.

Roadmap2Retire posted some healthy passive income.

This profile in the Globe was interesting.  We have Sara and Sam in their late-50s with over $2 million in assets and a home equity line of credit around $50,000.  They want to retire soon.  Unfortunately they think it’s a good idea (while working, making a good income) to be withdrawing from their RRSPs to pay down their line of credit debt instead of killing the debt outright in the first place.  This isn’t the first time I’ve read this and I often wonder how many people are doing this…

Michael James on Money decided long ago he doesn’t need incentives to shop.

Boomer & Echo told us Canadians investing in pricy mutual funds are paying for market underperformance.

I liked Million Dollar Journey’s year-end tax tips.

Credit Canada highlighted debt problems with a couple who makes $400,000.

Last but not least, in case you didn’t know, the TFSA contribution limit for 2016 has been reduced from $10,000 to $5,500 per adult.  “Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau confirmed Monday that the contribution limit on the tax-free savings account will drop back to $5,500 from $10,000 effective Jan. 1, 2016, but that the limit for 2015 will remain untouched. Mr. Morneau also announced that contributions will be indexed to inflation as of next year.”  If my wife and I are lucky enough to max out our TFSAs in 2016 any extra money will go on our mortgage.  Do you think that’s a good plan?

My name is Mark Seed - the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I'm looking to start semi-retirement soon, sooner than most. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Join the newsletter read by thousands each day, always FREE.

22 Responses to "Weekend Reading – $37 billion gone, 20 Americans own more wealth than 50%, Christmas giveaways"

  1. @HydroOne; it’s reminds me about Hydro QC here, the same kind of vultures which put yearly increase that kills people’s wallets…

    @G&M Profile; their profiles are as funny (in a financial way) as the ones on the Financial Post

    @TFSA; you know already what I think about it 🙂 But hey, business as usual with our puppets (whoever they are) @ gov

    Have a great weekend

    1. Vultures…good description 🙂

      I like the G&M profiles but the thing is, investors don’t know what they don’t know. I’m not an expert on this stuff but getting better.

      Don’t worry farcodev, at least one TFSA is going to be maxed out on Jan. 4!

  2. The Sara and Sam article is another example of people’s TOTAL lack of money knowledge and planning. Like you, I read this kind of article more than once and I am also curious to know how many people are “riches but clueless”. Even if they are doing “fine”, what they need is a complete financial makeover. Why on earth would you have non-registered investments AND debt if the former is not linked to the non-registered account??? How come their RRSPs and TFSAs are not maxed out yet, they gross close to 200k$/year? Do they know that the OAS and CCP will kick in SOON? What kind of lifestyle do you live to require 85k$ NET for 2 retired people whit no debt? They must enjoy to pay taxes!

  3. @cannew — not sure what politics (and political bias) have to do with your personal saving rate and/or investment strategies. Government has much less power over your money (and markets) than you give them.

    @Hydro One — yikes! And I thought BC Hydro was a big enough scam! (The execs performed legal accounting “fraud” for almost a decade by pushing forward losses and reporting profits all in the name of collecting bonuses, as well as the then govt forcing Hydro to sign long-term contracts with over-priced friend-of-govt companies. We owe at least $5B and rates are increasing ~6%/yr for the next five years.) Auditor Generals (of the pit bull variety) are awesome.

    @the Rich — as Picketty claims, the Natural state is rich and poor ONLY. Over the last 45 years, the “middle class” shrank 18%, the poor grew by 16%, and the rich exploded by 50% (the richest rich skyrocketed 125%!). Demographics does have a hand in this, but take note, if you want to be wealthy, best bet is to own a company.

  4. Missed the drop in TFSA. Many Canadians will look back in 15 or 20 years or whenever they retire and realize they screwed themselves by their Liberal vote in 2015. Will the country have been changed or be in better shape? I doubt it.

    1. While TFSA is important, unfortunately we can’t cherry pick what we like in each party and throw away the rest and some issues are just more important than others. At least it’s still going to be indexed to inflation.

  5. Interesting that most to the top 20 richest people have or owe their wealth by owning shares in one company. Where are financial managers, index investors and others?

  6. I made it through the bloated article on Vanguard and read some of the complaint as well. As near as I can figure, the accusation is that when Vanguard runs some sort of pension fund as a separate entity and uses the service of the “main” Vanguard funds, it is supposed to charge the pension fund market fund management rates instead of setting the charge based on Vanguard’s low costs. These market rates would be based on the bloated rates that are typical of the industry. If forced to do this, the pension fund would have to charge a high management fee to clients, and when the main Vanguard entity collects this fee, it would have to pay taxes on the “profits.” I can’t see how any of this makes much sense, but maybe I’m misunderstanding it.

    Thanks for the mention.


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