No, I’m not talking about the Edmonton Oilers’ 11-game skid.  Oil prices have collapsed some 40 percent since the summer and oil and gas stocks have taken a beating.  Canadian Oil Sands – the same stock that prompted a reader to ask about leveraged investing – slashed its quarterly dividend from 35 cents to 20 cents per share.

Of course I’m the not-so-proud owner of 400 shares in COS, which plummeted 45 percent on the year.  It’s like the oil gods are helping reinforce the decision to abandon my portfolio of individual stocks in favour of a two-fund ETF solution.

Speaking of which, I was interviewed by an investment industry website about my two-fund solution.  Financial planner John DeGoey was not a fan, saying the portfolio was too simple for his taste.

Because Money

The Because Money show was back this week as we interviewed Jenni Bolton and Caroline Munshaw from Cent$ible Students – which provides in-class financial education workshops for students aged 5 to 13.  The video runs about 30 minutes and there’s also a full transcript and resource list.

Christmas Shopping

Last year my wife and I took advantage of a 30-day free trial and signed up for Amazon Prime.  The subscription, which costs $79 per year, gives you unlimited free two-day shipping on everything from books, movies, electronics, and more.

Your orders are shipped free anywhere within Canada, which is great for buying and sending gifts to friends and family across the country, and beats paying the outrageous prices to ship via Canada Post.

Before I shop anywhere online I always make sure to go to Great Canadian Rebates first so that I can get extra cash back on my purchases.  You’ll find hundreds of merchants listed who ship to Canada and offer cash back incentives for Great Canadian Rebates members.

This week’s recap

Last Friday, Sandi Martin told us about high value clients and why they get the royal treatment at Canada’s big banks.

On Monday I wrote about the two-fund solution and on Wednesday Marie asked if we’re ready to give up cash.

Over on my Rewards Cards Canada blog I talked about the Costco Executive Membership that paid for itself this year.  I also reviewed the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard.

Weekend Reading:

Preet Banerjee had a brilliant idea for the airlines (and its passengers).  Charge passengers for carry-ons, not checked luggage.

Million Dollar Journey looked at the best credit cards for collecting Aeroplan miles.

Adam Mayers explores some options for new graduates who may not have health or dental coverage with their first job.

Jim Yih from Retire Happy Blog shared a sobering lesson from a 63-year-old who frequently raided her RRSP in order to fund her lifestyle.

Michael Lewis wrote the hit book Flash Boys about high-frequency trading and Michael James does an excellent job explaining what HFT means with this grocery store analogy.

Ben Carlson at A Wealth of Common Sense listed seven simple things most investors don’t do that can make a big difference.

My Own Advisor shared his personal finance a-ha moments.

Our Big Fat Wallet asks if you need to use a Realtor?

Sheryl Smolkin interviewed Gail Vaz Oxlade about her My Money, My Choices financial literacy project.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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