Weekend Reading – Base Finance Ponzi schemes, Canadian Financial Summit, financial independence for the middle-class and more!
Welcome to my latest Weekend Reading edition where I share some of my favourite articles from the week that was across the personal finance and investing blogosphere.
You can find my last edition here where I discussed why stock splits don’t create any immediate value, the top considerations for millennials who are just getting started with investing, and how many DRIPs are enough to run within your portfolio.
Leading off Weekend Reading, another sad fraud story out of Canada, 70-year-old Bill Janman has felt he needed to study detailed and overly complex Canadian tax laws – as he battles the federal government to recoup tax money after losing millions in another Ponzi scheme.
“Janman and his wife lost more than $2 million after investing in Base Finance. They along with hundreds of others collectively lost about $137 million.”
Boomer & Echo highlighted a new Vanguard product designed to be a single-ticket solution to earn retirement income.
From Robb’s post:
“VRIF is a low cost, globally diversified, single ticket solution for retirees to earn a predictable and tax efficient stream of monthly income. VRIF can be held across all accounts, making it a true game changer for retirees looking for income from a simple and easy-to-manage solution.
Now, ETF investors don’t have to worry about the complexities of selling ETF units or relying on smaller, quarterly distributions to generate their retirement income needs. Simply convert your portfolio to VRIF to get a 4% annual payout target with a 5% annual return target.”
Thoughts on that product folks?
Dividend Earner highlighted some of the best Canadian bank stocks to own.
Reverse the Crush says you can become financially independent on a middle-class income.
“This means that becoming financially independent depends on two factors: how much assets you own, and the cost of your expenses.”
Well done for this millennial – All About The Dividends was able to max out his Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) contribution room and made a bigger contribution in his RRSP account.
Speaking of dividends, I got some juicy raises this week without doing a thing other than being a shareholder as part of my long-term buy and hold (boring) investing plan:
- Emera (EMA) increased their annual common share dividend to $2.55 from $2.45 per common share and reaffirmed their dividend growth rate target of four to five per cent through to 2022. (More raises to come!)
- Microsoft (MSFT) increased their dividend by 10%! Although this company only represents 1% of our portfolio it’s still nice to get a raise. (I read an article that mentioned Microsoft could likely increase their dividends by 5-10% for the coming decade and still have cash leftover to reward shareholders!)
I shared our latest dividend income update this week in this post – onwards, higher and upwards!
Curious about the commuted value of your workplace pension? Millennial Revolution has some insights.
A good reminder in this post that when interest rates are low, as in now, this is why your commuted value is typically higher. Why?
Consider a pension like an annuity – locking-in payouts
What was not in the post is considering a pension like an annuity. In the case of any commuted value, you get a lump sum payout today vs. a monthly payout for the rest of your life. Today, I suspect you wouldn’t get very excited about locking-in a lifetime GIC that pays out just 2%. That’s essentially what an annuity is – locking-in money for life. In a low-interest rate world, that’s not great. A pension commuted value is the opposite. You get the money today!
At just 2%, you would need a whopping $2.5 million invested in order to get $50,000 in income per year. With just a 5% annual return, you would need to invest $1 million in order to get that $50,000 in income. This is a very loose example but the point is, commuted values beyond years of service, and actuarial values are also dependent on interest rates. This is not to say you should rule any annuity out of your financial future. I talked to an expert on that subject here.
My point is, if you haven’t worked at a company very long AND you can invest in any lump sum payment in a way to deliver equity market-like returns in the coming decades (see Indexing) then commuting your pension might be worth a very strong look. I hope to have more on this subject when answering a reader question in a future blogpost.
Last but not least, as a heads-up in fact, I’m very happy to be part of the upcoming 4th annual Canadian Financial Summit!
I was lucky enough to join 20+ financial experts in the field of personal finance and investing, talking about general personal finance, investing, financial planning, insurance questions and MUCH more this year.
I’ll be sharing more news about how and when you can find this Summit in the coming week or so – so stay tuned!!
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