Amazon turned heads this week when it announced a new grocery store shopping experience with no check-outs or line-ups. The online retail giant recently opened an 1,800 square foot retail space in Seattle as a pilot project for its employees, with hopes to open Amazon Go to the public in early 2017. The company explains its vision in this teaser video:

Four years ago we asked ourselves: what if we could create a shopping experience with no lines and no checkout? Could we push the boundaries of computer vision and machine learning to create a store where customers could simply take what they want and go?

Our answer to those questions is Amazon Go and Just Walk Out Shopping.

This is a pretty revolutionary concept and one that I would certainly welcome this Christmas season.

Free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass

Part of Canada’s 150 birthday celebration next year includes free unlimited access to enjoy National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites across the country. Order your free pass online here.

This Week’s Recap:

On Monday I argued that financial advisors earning commissions while only being held to a suitability – not fiduciary – standard, is a dangerous combination for Canadian investors.

On Wednesday Marie reviewed Market Masters – Proven Investing Strategies You Can Apply, by Canadian author Robin R. Speziale.

And on Friday Marie looked at a disturbing case involving financial elder abuse of a 92-year-old man.

Finally, I was interviewed in The Globe & Mail as part of the Amex Life Moments series. Check out these practical tips on getting your financial life in order.

Weekend Reading:

A fascinating read about Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, two friends who changed how we think about how we think.

This Alumni Portrait of University of Toronto neuroscience graduate Preet Banerjee is a good reminder that your career path can ultimately take many detours after graduation:

Of course, Preet is now a full-time money expert and can be seen on CBC’s The National. He has also launched a YouTube channel with nearly 90,000 subscribers. Here’s his latest Learn About Investing video answers the question – Why invest in the first place?

Investment reporter John Heinzl answers a reader question about market-linked GICs. “It sounds seductive, but I’ll pass.”

Des Odjick from Half Banked explains how to build a holiday budget that actually works.

Ontario will be updating its curriculum careers course to have a dedicated module for financial literacy.

The idea of a universal basic income is gaining traction and this article looks at a basic income pilot project that could let Canadians chase their dreams.

An interesting read on why donating money, rather than canned goods, is a better way to support the food bank:

“Probably the worst tragedy of the inefficient food drive is holiday events and theatre performances where organizers ask for canned food donations in lieu of selling tickets.


The better option, of course, is to keep selling tickets and donate the box office take to the food bank. By not doing this, these well-meaning organizers are effectively surrendering vast amounts of critically needed grocery money in exchange for heavy cardboard boxes filled with god knows what.”

The Canadian Real Estate Association recently commissioned this Danger Report, outlining threats to the profession which include, “people selling their homes without an agent, consumers pressuring agents to reduce their commission, and the prospect of making inside information — such as past selling prices of homes — widely available.”

The dark side of Canada’s housing boom: Rock-bottom interest rates have made big mortgages look less expensive, but for many home owners, when rates start rising, it won’t end well.

This opinion piece says Canadians pay a big price for their little dollar. The solution: A monetary union between Canada and the U.S.

Air Miles cancelled its expiry policy ahead of the new Ontario law banning loyalty programs from expiring their points. Other programs, such as Starbucks and WestJet, will be also be forced to comply.

A new Questrade ad claims investors can save 30% by switching out of mutual funds and into a DIY trading platform. Financial planner John De Goey says the ad doesn’t really tell the full story.

Finally, Rob Carrick tackles what he thinks might be the most ignored aspect of retirement planning: that women live longer than men.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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