Weekend Reading: Findependence Edition

Jonathan Chevreau has launched an ambitious project with the unveiling of FindependenceHub.com, a portal dedicated to all things related to financial independence.  In addition to articles from Chevreau himself, you’ll also find blogs from prominent guest authors, podcasts and video content, and discussion forums for every age and stage of findependence.  Definitely worth checking out.

Robo-advisors are getting a lot of buzz lately and as usual Sandi Martin provides a sensible breakdown of how (and why) to choose between these online investment management companies.

“If you’re seriously looking at what the online advisors are offering (and you should be), I’d invite you to use the Canadian Online Investment Option Calculator as a starting point to calculate the relative cost of each service.”

This week’s recap

November is financial literacy month and one major area of concern is how to incorporate money teaching concepts in school.  I asked if banks should have a hand in promoting financial literacy.

On Monday, Stephen Weyman of How To Save Money wrote about (what else) how to save money by finding discounted gift cards.

Marie tackled a complex topic this week with a guide to converting your RRSP to a RRIF.

Are you to blame for your own financial problems or were they created by circumstances outside your control? Over on my Earn Save Grow blog I looked at who is responsible for your financial woes.

Finally on Rewards Cards Canada I explained why sometimes Aeroplan “rewards” are more expensive than booking directly on Air Canada or WestJet.

Weekend Reading:

Sheryl Smolkin wrote about her road to findependence after taking early retirement a decade ago.

New York Magazine featured Mr. Money Mustache, the personal finance blogger who wants you to spend like you’re poor.

Speaking of bloggers and major media, read this story of a 27-year-old “millionaire” blogger who duped his readers – and Yahoo Finance – about how he built his wealth.

The New York Times had a fascinating article called the folklore of finance – beliefs that contribute to investors’ failure.

After a nearly two-year study that aimed to answer the question, What does true investment success look like?, Suzanne Duncan, global head of research at State Street’s Center for Applied Research, and her team found that the way individual and professional investors made investment decisions was so skewed that achieving both high returns and long-term objectives was nearly impossible.

The State Street study on the folklore of finance came out this week and you can read the full report here or the executive summary here.

Million Dollar Journey explained how to save money with USD to CAD foreign exchange using Norbert’s Gambit.

Michael James on Money compared receiving dividends versus capital gains in retirement.

Barry Choi at Money We Have listed six bank secrets to be aware of.

Dan Wesley from Our Big Fat Wallet looked at how your daily commute affects your finances.

Mark Seed from My Own Advisor offered up some solid mortgage tips for homeowners of all ages.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. barry @moneywehave.com on November 20, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks for the shout out!

    There’s been a lot of great articles this month, perfect since it’s financial literacy month.

    I also quite enjoyed your piece about banks being involved with financial literacy. Please no.

  2. My Own Advisor on November 21, 2014 at 5:38 am

    I agree with Barry, I think the bloggers and such have been on overdrive, so many great articles this month. Impressive really.

    I always enjoy the content here.

    Jon’s project sounds cool and given his background and experience I’m sure it will gain lots of followers. I wonder if we’ll find an indexing vs. dividends debate there as found on other sites? 🙂

    Thanks for the mention Robb (and Marie) and enjoy your weekend!

    • Echo on November 21, 2014 at 8:09 am

      I think it is an ambitious project – it’s tough to start a forum and generate interesting discussion from scratch. The blogs and articles will be solid, though.

      Have a great weekend, Mark!

  3. Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet on November 21, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Thanks for the mention Robb. I actually wasn’t surprised to hear about Antonov and was a bit confused when I checked out Dreams Cash True

    • Echo on November 21, 2014 at 8:08 am

      Ha! Yeah, he used to comment here for a while and after a quick look at his site and some of his claims I had a feeling he was full of it.

  4. Bernie on November 21, 2014 at 8:31 am

    The “Canadian Online Investment Option Calculator” above should have included “Mawer” which would be my choice over any of the other options. Always practice due diligence in your investments as lowest cost doesn’t necessarily give you the best returns.

    • Echo on November 21, 2014 at 8:45 am

      Hi Bernie, I think it was meant to compare the costs of the new robo-advisor firms because their fee structure can be quite complex depending on how much you invest. If you read Sandi’s excellent post you’ll see that she believes that, if you have the time and desire, a self-directed approach is best. These new “robo” options are for those who don’t have the time or desire, but who don’t want to be fleeced by the banks and their expensive funds.

      • Bernie on November 21, 2014 at 8:59 am

        Hi Robb,

        I realize that but she included active manager “Steadyhand” to the mix for comparison. I just feel “Mawer” should also have been included. I can see the banks coming up with low cost options to compete if the Robo-advisors become successful, not to mention the “really high fee” mutual fund companies.

        • Sandi on November 25, 2014 at 9:20 am

          Hi Bernie,

          I included Steadyhand, even though they’re an active mutual fund manager, because some clients cannot bring themselves to believe that index investing is compelling enough to stick with, and because I believe that the evidence is compelling that it’s the lowest cost that is the best predictor for future performance, not the “lowest cost and also index fund”.

          I want those who are not indexers to know that there is a cross-Canada alternative to investing with banks and mutual fund/insurance shops. I didn’t include Mawer because Steadyhand has lower fees and a lower direct investing account minimum.


          • Bernie on November 25, 2014 at 10:27 am

            Thanks for your comment Sandi!

            You wrote a fine article & I agree with much of your comment but I beg to differ on your saying Steadyhand has lower fees & a lower direct investing account minimum. Actually the opposite is true.

            The minimum investment per account to invest directly is the same for both companies at $50,000. However, if purchasing individual funds through a discount broker the minimum initial investment is $10,000 for Steadyhand funds vs $5,000 for Mawer funds.

            As for fees, Steadyhand funds are typically 0.30% higher in MER than Mawer.

            Another point not mentioned is performance. It should be noted that past performance is not indicative of future performance. That said, how can one ignore than the typical outperformance of Mawer funds versus not only Steadyhand funds but index funds as well. Mawer funds is a prime example where actively managed funds do give better performances than indexed funds on an almost regular basis for the past 25 years.

  5. Stephen @ HowToSaveMoney.ca on November 21, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Really appreciate the opportunity to share an article with Boomer & Echo readers. Thanks for having me as a guest poster guys!

  6. Michael James on November 21, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Mr. Money Mustache actually made a point of saying he disagreed with the title of the article (wanting you to live like you’re poor), but otherwise liked the article. Thanks for the mention.

    • Echo on November 21, 2014 at 1:01 pm

      Yes, I saw that on Twitter. But that doesn’t mean that I disagreed with the title 🙂

  7. Elizabeth on November 21, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Thanks for the roundup! There are so many blogs out there and my time is limited — I really enjoy these curated lists.

Leave a Comment

Join More Than 10,000 Subscribers!

Sign up now and get our free e-Book- Financial Management by the Decade - plus new financial tips and money stories delivered to your inbox every week.