Monday marked the end of my bi-weekly column in the Toronto Star.  The most widely read newspaper in Canada has decided to scale back its personal finance section to focus more on consumer awareness and advocacy stories (okay, more Rob Ford coverage).

I want to thank The Star, and my editor Adam Mayers, for the opportunity and experience to grow as a writer.  Working with an editor has helped improve my critical thinking around personal finance and investing issues, forcing me to look at both sides to offer a balanced perspective.

I’ll continue to submit the odd freelance piece to The Star, but for now I’ll focus on this blog and our fee-only financial planning service.

This week’s recap

My last piece for The Star looked at four sales pitches that require sober second thought.

On Monday, Sean Cooper stopped by to explain why striving for mortgage freedom is worth the sacrifices.

On Wednesday, Marie wrote about one of the most difficult questions facing Canadians today – Can I afford to retire?

Over on Rewards Cards Canada I wrote about the new SimplyCash cards from American Express.  I’ll have more on how these cards stack up against other cash back cards here later this month.

Several websites offer additional cash back incentives when you sign up for credit cards.  This post explains where to find the top rewards credit cards to take advantage of those incentives.

Weekend Reading

Maclean’s writer Scott Feschuk pours cold coffee on the notion that Tim Hortons is some kind of national treasure.

Speaking of Tim Hortons, Frugal Trader answers the question on many investors minds’ – Should I sell or hold during stock mergers and acquisitions?

Hotels and airlines change pricing daily based on consumer demand.  Why don’t restaurants do the same?  The Priceonomics blog tackles a very interesting question – Why don’t restaurants charge for reservations?

Steadyhand’s Tom Bradley says the Canadian Securities Administrators have some unfinished business – it’s time to end embedded commissions and fees.

Barry Choi at Money We Have reviewed a new personal finance booked called Wealthing Like Rabbits.  The author sent me a review copy and I must say this is not your typical boring book about money.  It looks hilarious and I can’t wait to get through it and put up a review of my own.

Nelson Smith at Financial Uproar compares the dividend aristocrat strategy to a simple index strategy and declares a winner.  Sort of.

Mark Seed from My Own Advisor offered up a primer on opening your online brokerage account.

Dan at Our Big Fat Wallet explains everything you need to know about RESPs.

Ben Carlson at A Wealth of Common Sense looks at how framing affects our investment decisions and outcomes.

Finally, The Atlantic had a fascinating piece looking inside Google’s secret drone-delivery program.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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