Weekend Reading: Happy Canada Day Edition

For the past two years we’ve celebrated Canada Day in Waterton Lakes National Park, the crown jewel of southwestern Alberta. Entry to the park was free last year for Canada’s 150th birthday, which brought an unprecedented number of visitors to the area. Unfortunately, Waterton was hit hard by the devastating Kenow wildfire last September, a 380 square kilometre blaze that affected more than one third of park and about half its vegetation.

Parks Canada has worked hard to reopen the park and repair much of the damaged infrastructure, but the primary campgrounds and trails remain off limits to visitors. Despite many closures, the park is expected to be busy once again for Canada Day festivities. We hope to return to Waterton soon (maybe not on a long weekend) and see how the park is recovering from one of the most destructive wildfires to ever hit the area.

Waterton Lakes

We’ve opted instead for a family barbecue and then we’ll take in the local Canada Day fireworks show on Sunday night. Then we’re off to Vancouver Island later in the week for our summer vacation.

What are your plans for Canada Day?

This Week’s Recap:

On Wednesday I wrote about Vanguard’s entrance into the Canadian mutual fund market with four actively managed funds.

On Friday I shared my mid-year net worth update for 2018.

Over on Rewards Cards Canada I gave readers three credit card options to save on foreign currency conversion fees.

I also shared American Express’ long-awaited refresh to its Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card after the SPG program combined with Marriott rewards.

Finally, in my Toronto Star column I compared Orangetheory Fitness vs. 9Round Fitness in a battle of the boutique fitness studios.

Promo of the Week:

A few months back I reviewed Willful Wills, the new Canadian digital platform where you can create a legal online will in 20 minutes for as little as $99. They’ve worked with experienced estate lawyers to build the most comprehensive online estate planning service available in Canada.

At the time of launch, Willful was only available for residents of Ontario. This week, they’ve expanded service to residents of Alberta, and they hope to launch soon in British Columbia.

Create your own will online today and get 10% off your purchase when you enter the promo code: Boomer.

Weekend Reading:

Michael Drak, author of Victory Lap Retirement, says there’s more to retirement than financial planning.

How much money do you save by cooking at home? A lot, according to this in-depth Priceonomics article.

“We found on average, it is almost five times more expensive to order delivery from a restaurant  than it is to cook at home. And if you’re using a meal kit service as a shortcut to a home cooked meal, it’s a bit more affordable, but still almost three times as expensive as cooking from scratch.”

NASA can calculate the dimensions of the orbit of the moon to within a fraction of a mile. Finance, on the other hand, requires us to be comfortable with inexact calculations, relationships, and human emotions.

Here’s some terrific little money rules by Collaborative Fund’s Morgan Housel.

Some of the best investment minds today also write their own popular blogs. Prag Cap’s Cullen Roche is one of them, and he explains here how blogging changed Wall Street.

Here’s Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman on four keys to making better decisions:

“People are very loss averse and very optimistic. They work against each other,” he said. “People, because they are optimistic, they don’t realize how bad the odds are.”

Nick Maggiulli (Of Dollars and Data) explains how to fight back against your own confirmation bias.

Rob Carrick discusses where pension plans are investing money these days with Jeff Gray, Vice-president of Proteus:

Ben Felix explains why the 4 percent spending rule doesn’t apply to those seeking FIRE (Financial Independence / Retire Early).

The Blunt Bean Counter Mark Goodfield explores the taboo of asking for money within a family.

Her husband died at 34. Here’s 40 life lessons she’s learned from it:

None of the wealth accumulated is buried with you. Not the money, the house, the car, or the prestige. Your title at work does not go on your tombstone. When the nurses gave me my husband’s personal effects that night in the hospital in a white plastic bag, it really dawned on me, all of this is temporary. The only thing that counts is the positive impact we make in other people’s lives.”

Rob Carrick must be a glutton for punishment to post this: You hated the idea of starting CPP at 70. Now, how about 75?

Tim Cestnick explains how the tax exemption on your residence works.

A grade 11 math teacher in Ontario created a wonderful personal finance course for her students. Check it out here.

Bitcoin is down 70 percent from its December highs, while many other coins have gone to zero as the cryptocurrency fad starts to fade away.

Kristen Lee’s job is to stop celebrities from blowing all their money:

“I’ve had clients fight me when I say that they can’t afford something. In those cases, I will insist that they put it in writing. I will ask them to email me so that I can write back to say that I think their decision is unwise, because I’ve got to cover myself. I don’t want to end up being in the news, like, “My business manager let me spend all of my money,” when I didn’t.”

Afraid to disconnect from work while you’re home or on vacation? Here’s why you should get over it.

Finally, financial ‘predator’ Daniel P. Reeve gets the longest fraud sentence ever in Canada — 14 years. The former Waterloo Region financial adviser fleeced 41 people out of $10 million.

Have a great Canada Day long weekend, everyone!

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  1. Gin on July 2, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Re Rob Carrick video pension plan investments shifting strategies: needing to take on more risk to meet obligations. It seems to suggest that more risk somehow ‘guarantees’ a better reward, how is this explained? What if the risk doesn’t pay off? How will obligations be met in that case?

    • Robb Engen on July 2, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      I think the pension funds still do incredible due diligence but because of their purchasing power they can diversify beyond regular fixed income streams like bonds and term deposits and into physical assets that spin out income such as toll roads, malls, and hotels.

      • Gin on July 2, 2018 at 6:25 pm

        Thanks, good to hear about the due diligence 🙂

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