Happy new year and welcome back to another edition of weekend reading – the first of 2018! We’ve got a lot in store for you this year as we continue to share our money stories and help you achieve your financial goals. As always, we’re happy to take your topic suggestions so leave a comment below or contact us by email and we’ll see if we can turn your question or idea into a story.

I have a number of goals that I’d like to achieve this year.

On the financial side I’m hoping to max out my RRSP contribution room by depositing $3,300 before the RRSP deadline. From there, due to the pension adjustment, I’ll only get to contribute about $3,600 per year going forward. I’ll set up automatic monthly contributions to hit that target each year.

I’ll also continue to add $1,000 per month to my TFSA to catch up on unused contribution room and build up that tax-free portfolio.

We’ll keep maxing out contributions to our kids’ RESPs, putting away $416.66 per month into TD’s e-Series funds for their education.

Finally, our mortgage will be up for renewal in September so we’ll be on the lookout for the either the best discounted 5-year variable rate or the best 1-or-2-year fixed rate. Rather than trying to predict the future, I prefer to go with the cheapest option at the time, a strategy that has proven to save money on mortgage interest nine times out of 10.

Personally, I’m going to attempt to run my first half-marathon in Calgary this spring. Running has become a big part of my life in the last 18 months and so I’m looking forward to this next challenge.

Now on with the links!

This Week(s) Recap:

I closed out 2017 with a net worth update and revealed year-over-year gains of more than $100,000!

On Monday Young & Thrifty’s Kyle Prevost stopped by to ask whether you should be a DIY online investor.

On Wednesday Marie says January is a good month to do these four things with your finances.

And on Friday Marie listed seven income splitting strategies for families.

Over on Rewards Cards Canada I revealed exactly how much I earned from credit card rewards in 2017.

Stay tuned next week for a peek inside my portfolio as I post my personal rate of return for 2017.

Weekend Reading:

Mr. Money Mustache with a well-researched rant on why Bitcoin is stupid.

A Wealth of Common Sense blogger Ben Carlson on when things don’t make any sense:

“I do think when all is said and done we’ll be adding cryptocurrencies to the list of history’s biggest speculative manias.”

Here’s why investing at the start of the year is so important. (Have you made your TFSA contribution yet?)

Jonathan Chevreau on how seniors can use TFSAs to have more in retirement.

Another gem from Morgan Housel, all about making history by doing nothing.

“When you hear rare stories about mom-and-pop investors letting their investments compound for decades, you are witnessing people making history by doing nothing.”

Ever the optimist, Warren Buffett shares the secrets to wealth in America in this essay for Time Magazine.

A cool story from Andrew Hallam about an early retirement paradise that’s way outside the box.

If you’ve won the game, stop playing: Why you should stop taking investment risks once you’ve reached financial independence.

Solid advice here from Jason Heath on what to do when you take over a parent’s finances.

Reaching your financial ‘tipping point’ is a must if you’re planning to live to 100 (aren’t we all?).

Worried parents are buying homes for their school-aged kids in Vancouver and Toronto, likely on the bad advice from guys like Brad Lamb:

“Mr. Lamb says he recently bought his five-year-old a condo. “It’s 800 square feet – I paid around $450,000,” he says. “When she’s 20 in 15 years, that will probably be worth $3-million.”

Don’t bank on it.

Speaking of bad advice, here’s how some financial advisors lay termites in your home.

Author Cass Sunstein says don’t underrate the power of the default option, which decides what happens if people do nothing at all.

Finally, Ellen Roseman explains all you need to know about the $25 Loblaw card, which opens for registration on January 8th.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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