The federal budget will be unveiled April 21st and one of the hot-button issues is whether the conservatives will follow-through on an election promise to double the TFSA contribution limits. In a confidential letter leaked to the media this week, finance minister Joe Oliver indicated the government would honour that promise and increase TFSA limits to $11,000 per year, beginning in 2016.

The biggest complaint from those opposed to the TFSA increase is that it only benefits the rich, and that the forgone tax revenue – which will grow over time – could be better spent elsewhere. Nelson Smith at Financial Uproar argues that, while the increase does indeed help the rich, it’s the middle class who stand to benefit most.

Rob Carrick explains three situations where the higher limits will have an effect: retirement saving, living in retirement, and saving for a house.

What does the increase mean for us? Not much. We planned on contributing $10,000 per year to our TFSAs starting next year, which wouldn’t even use up our current combined annual limits. Even with the contribution limit doubling next year, it’s not like we can conjure up more savings out of thin air.

This Week’s Recap:

On Monday I ranted about sleazy seminars like the one offered by Rich Dad Education. These “free” seminars serve as the bait to lure participants into signing up for more expensive courses.

On Wednesday Marie wrote about kids helping out their financially-strapped parents.

We continued our monthly Throwback Thursday series with a look at University education: then and now.

On Friday I explained how deferred sales charges on mutual funds can often hold investors back from switching to a lower cost solution.

Which personal finance books have you read and would recommend to others? My recommendations, along with several other bloggers and financial experts, are included in this article.

Weekend Reading:

An interesting topic on this Huffington Post blog about the bad advice the author gave his elderly parents about money.

A former Bank of Canada advisor says Canada’s key lending rate is headed to zero. The BoC’s next rate announcement is scheduled for April 15th.

This real estate roundtable is worth a read, even if the panel is skewed toward individuals with a vested interest in a continued housing boom. Noted housing bear Garth Turner is the lone voice of dissent on the panel.

Even the Wall Street Journal suggests that Toronto might be immune from a real estate crash.

Andrew Hallam, former stock-picking guru turned index investor, lavishes praise on Norm Rothery – calling him the best stock investor that you’ve likely never heard of.

Carl Richards explains why a diversified portfolio all but guarantees you’ll be unhappy with at least one investment each year, but to take that unhappiness as a sign that you’re doing diversification right.

Investor advocate Dan Solin uses behavioural studies to explain how poor decision-making affects your returns.

Speaking of science, here’s why you should spend your money on experiences instead of things.

“But over time, people’s satisfaction with the things they bought went down, whereas their satisfaction with experiences they spent money on went up.”

Canadian Couch Potato blogger Dan Bortolotti explains why a balanced portfolio of 60% equities and 40% bonds performed just as well as an aggressive portfolio of 90% equities and 10% bonds over the past 20 years – and why that is unlikely to continue over the next 20 years.

Michael James uses Apple as a great example to explain why business success is not the same as investor success.

The Dividend Guy looks at CRM2, the new disclosure requirements coming down the pike in July 2016, and says investors will finally know if they’re getting fooled by their advisor.

Finally, this Forbes article features a couple who retired in their 30s to travel the world.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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