Weekend Reading – Profiles, Panama, pensions and more dividends

Welcome to some Weekend Reading where I share some of the best articles from the personal finance blogosphere.  This week, I contacted the five (5) winners of my recent giveaway and I wrote about my latest thoughts on debt – it’s a four-letter word for us here and I questioned whether you should make debt tax-deductible (or simply pay off what you owe instead).

Stay tuned for another giveaway on my site next week!  Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend folks.

Thanks to Larry MacDonald for my profile in The Globe and Mail.

Here’s a couple that seems to be living the good life in Panama.  This is something my wife and I have discussed.  We’ll see…time will tell if we do something like this in another 10 years.

Michael James on Money shared the value of a public service pension.  I don’t have a gold-plated pension but I’m very lucky and fortunate I have a pension.

Big Cajun Man discussed up selling in banking.  “The sure I’ll have fries with that” seems to be working because BMO, National Bank and CIBC all raised dividends this week thanks very much.

Tawcan feels frugality is not a fad.

Apparently Millennials and Gen-X already know they are not saving enough to fund their retirement dreams.

Congrats to John Robertson for going over 1,000 book sales with The Value of Simple.  You can read my review of John’s book here.

I also like Lorne Rubenstein, an excellent golf writer, so here was his in-depth candid interview with Tiger Woods.  Yeah, not really personal finance or investing but interesting for me and maybe interesting to you.

Robb Engen is doing very well growing his online empire.  Well done Robb, you work hard; continued success to you.

I enjoyed Kerry Taylor’s wit during her interview with Sean Cooper who recently killed his mortgage, at age 30.

17 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Profiles, Panama, pensions and more dividends"

  1. Hi Mark,

    Congratulations on your profile in The Globe and Mail!
    I love the advice “Investing requires patience to the point of boring, but boring works very well when it comes to money management.”


  2. I’m not so optimistic about owning bank shares. So far Canada’s big banks have been able to extract high fees for services that are cheap to provide by buying up low-cost upstarts. But this can’t go on forever. Eventually, Canadians will be able to move money between accounts without paying a dollar for a withdrawal or paying monthly fees. As fees decline, the big banks may find other ways to remain obscenely profitable, but I wouldn’t make a concentrated bet on this.

    1. Fair points. I pay the odd email money transfer fee each year but that’s it. That doesn’t really bother me. In the grand scheme of things, we’re talking “operational costs” of less than 0.01% of my household operating costs. It’s not worth worrying about.

      The thing is, we all own bank shares indirectly via indexing. If there’s another financial crash, everything will go down with them. That future, always very cloudy!

      Cheers Michael,

      1. Michael:
        Speaking for the Big 5 Canadian Banks, most started in the 1800’s, paid a dividend since then, have a good history increasing their dividend, survived the 1929 Crash, Great Depression, Tech Crash, and the 2008 Financial crisis. Given their history, I wonder what it would take to seriously affect their earnings & financial position?

        1. @Cannew: Throughout the history of the big banks, they have offered services that were challenging to offer. Providing banking services was expensive and they did a great job at it. The difficulty of offering these services kept competitors away. Today, technology makes it incredibly cheap to offer many of these services, and the big banks make fantastic margins. So far they’ve been able to buy upstarts like ING Direct (now Tangerine), but new players will keep coming with low-cost offerings. It’s not clear how long the big banks will be able to hold off these new players without reducing their own margins.

          1. As you say there is always challenges and those with a narrow focus or overly aggressive attitudes can get left behind. Lets hope the banks continue to recognize and address the changes before rather than later.


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