It’s rarely a good idea for a business to outsource its sales and promotional activities. Loblaws found this out the hard way when customers complained about the aggressive and sometimes shady tactics used by employees to coax them into signing up for PC Financial credit cards.

The employees actually work for SDI Marketing, a firm hired by PC Financial to get shoppers to sign up for its MasterCard products. Former SDI employees told a CBC Go Public team that they were hired after a two-minute phone interview, received zero training, and were pressured into signing up 50 customers in a six-hour shift.

This type of willful deceit gets my blood boiling and makes a nice segue into another infuriating story, this one about an Airdrie, Alberta woman who regrets buying into a group RESP.

“The mother of two said she wanted to transfer about $3,000 from an RESP she bought into through the Canadian Scholarship Trust (CST) in April 2013, and was surprised to learn it would cost around $2,000 in fees to do so.”

Unlike individual or family plans, group RESPs are inflexible and come with high fees. They’re also highly profitable for scum-of-the-earth salespeople who might go as far as to bribe hospital employees to steal patient files.

When I hear someone mention Group RESPs

This Week(s) Recap:

No weekend reading last week because our family was dealing with some sort of plague. With that behind us we have some catching up to do. First off, we need to give away a copy of How To Think About Money. I reviewed this book a couple of weeks ago and we had an amazing 91 entries in the contest. Thanks for leaving such thoughtful comments about your favourite personal finance books.

And the winner of the book is ‘HJ’ who left a comment on January 16th at 9:00am. Congratulations, and look for your copy of How To Think About Money to arrive in the mail next week.

Last Monday I reviewed How To Think About Money, by Jonathan Clements.

Last Wednesday Marie looked for some reader feedback on wanting to invest like a pro.

Last Friday I ranted that young people don’t get the Latte Factor.

On Monday I listed 5 ways to avoid monthly bank fees.

On Wednesday Marie made a case for a universal national drug program in Canada.

And on Friday we profiled a late starter who wanted to get her retirement plans back on track before it’s too late.

Finally, I’m proud to be included along with Canada’s top money bloggers with these tips to get control of your finances.

Weekend Reading:

Lots of great articles over the past two weeks so let’s get to it!

Ben Carlson on the many uncertainties involved with retirement planning.

As people age, they believe they will remain financial independent. Are you or your parents falling for this common money myth?

Why early RRSP withdrawals can have lasting consequences.

Another head scratcher from the Financial Post where this couple worth $3.3M is worried they won’t be able to make ends meet after the husband gets laid off from his six-figure job (the wife also earns six-figures). They’ll be just fine.

Graeme Falco kind of disagreed with my argument that millennials don’t get the latte factor.

A good rant by Sarah at the Couple of Sense blog about women, money, and sexism.

Frugal Trader gives us an update of his family RESP (the good kind!) portfolio, which like mine is invested in TD e-Series funds.

Stave off retirement ruin with some quick math. The right way to draw down on retirement savings.

Preet Banerjee continues his excellent “learn about investing” video series with a look at stocks and bonds:

A fascinating look behind the scenes at an index fund with Vanguard’s Gerry O’Reilly, manager of the world’s largest mutual fund.

On episode 4 of the Canadian Couch Potato podcast, Dan Bortolotti sits down with Wall Street’s wisest man Charles Ellis to discuss the index revolution.

On the other end of the podcast, Dan Bortolotti chats with Jessica Moorhouse on the Mo’ Money podcast about the simple genius of the Couch Potato method.

Here’s what happened to Jessica Moorhouse after she quit her job to freelance full-time.

How do you retire well? Experts say active is the new normal. And here’s why more Canadians are ditching retirement for new careers.

Depending on your income, applying for OAS may be a huge mistake. Here’s Jason Heath on when not to apply for OAS.

Beat the stock market with less than five minutes of work? Nelson Smith says it’s all about the small cap ETF.

RRSP or TFSA? Here’s how they contrast and compare as life circumstances change.

Why wealthy families lose their fortunes in three generations.

“Yet among the most compelling causes are younger family members who are ill-prepared or unwilling to shoulder the responsibility of wealth stewardship. They have grown up with plenty of money and are a step or two removed from the work ethic and drive of the people who made it for them.”

Finally, a report says that busy signals and inaccurate answers are all too common when calling the CRA.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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