Weekend Reading: Helping Consumers Fight Back Edition

We were excited to have consumer advocate Ellen Roseman with us on the Because Money hangout last week.  We discussed how she got started in journalism and why sticking up for consumers became “her thing”.

Ellen is also involved with FAIR Canada, the Canadian Foundation for Advancement of Investor Rights, and we talked about some of the changes happening in the investing landscape today.

Next week, we’ll chat with John Robertson of Holy Potato fame, about anonymous people asking other anonymous people for financial advice online.  The pitfalls of getting advice from online communities like Reddit and forums like the Canadian Money Forum.

I also wanted to mention that “Jane” won the copy of Wealthing Like Rabbits from my review last month and author Robert Brown has already sent out the book, an autographed copy, I’m sure.

This Week’s Recap

On Monday I wrote a controversial post about how my behavioural biases have prevented me from switching to indexing.

On Wednesday, Marie wrote about downsizing in retirement and whether it’s best to buy or rent.

I finally had time to update my Earn Save Grow blog and scolded investors who allocate a portion of their portfolio to chasing penny stocks.

Finally, as many of you know, American Express is out at Costco Wholesale Clubs in Canda and getting replaced by MasterCard.  Over on Rewards Cards Canada I gave readers a sneak peak at the new Capital One Platinum MasterCard – the co-branded rewards card that will double as a Costco membership card.

Weekend Reading

Speaking of Costco, Dan at Our Big Fat Wallet revealed Costco’s “secret” price codes.  It’s all about the last two-digits of the price.

Many of us grow to value experiences over things.  Barry Choi at Money We Have shares a list of crap he can’t afford any more.

Mark from My Own Advisor shares eight things he’s learned about money – smart thinking here.

Stephen Weyman from How To Save Money explains how to get cheap cell phone and data plans for travelling to the U.S.

Bridget from Money After Graduation is running a Canadian Personal Finance Celebrity series and asking some tough questions about Gen Y.  Preet Banerjee weighs in with some good thoughts this week.

We often hear about opening and contributing to an RESP, but not much about the withdrawal phase.  Alan Whitton has been through the process and describes it in detail here – RESP from start to spend.

Rob Carrick asks an important question: Why is selling products intertwined with giving financial advice?

The Advisor.ca blog shares a story of an investor who dumped her advisor over closet indexing.

Michael James debunks a recent study proclaiming that financial advisors help boost savings rates.

The folks at Don’t Quit Your Day Job created a Graham Number calculator to help with stock screening for U.S. listed stocks.  With a little nudge from our Canadian readers we might be able to persuade them to include stocks listed on the TSX.

Finally, Dan Bortolotti and friends at the Canadian Couch Potato blog looked at after-tax returns on Canadian ETFs.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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  1. Barry Choi on October 2, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks for the shout out Robb!

    Technically I could still afford the crap on my lists but there’s just so many better things I can do with my money.

    • Echo on October 2, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Yes, I should’ve said, “a list of crap he’d rather not spend money on any more.”

  2. Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet on October 2, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks for the mention Robb. I love Costco and any information I can get that saves me money there is a win in my books. Enjoy the weekend

  3. Tawcan on October 2, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing the Graham Number calculator. Quite a useful tool.

  4. BIg Cajun Man on October 3, 2014 at 3:38 am

    Thanks for the inclusion this week, RESPs can be very helpful to parents, but shop around to find one that doesn’t lock you into high MER mutual funds!

  5. My Own Advisor on October 3, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Thanks for the mention Robb, always appreciated. I read all your stuff, but I enjoyed the behavioural biases post – well done!

    I’m happy Costco is going with M/C, we can get rid of our AMEX card now.

    All the best and good luck to your Browns, I picked them on the road this weekend in my pool!


    • Echo on October 3, 2014 at 7:05 am

      Thanks Mark! That one was hard to write after so many dividend investing posts, but it’s something I can’t ignore any longer.

      I gave up picking NFL winners a few years ago, but I enjoy fantasy football much more. I think you made the right call on the Browns this week 🙂

  6. Michael James on October 3, 2014 at 8:49 am

    I never liked “core and explore” for the main reason that you have to keep replenishing the explore part after losing the money. So, the losses are not really limited to the initial 5% or 10%. Thanks for the mention.

  7. Sean Cooper, Financial Journalist on October 3, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Great interview with Ellen Roseman! Even with Peter Silverman gone, it’s nice to see there’s still someone out there fighting for the little guys!

  8. PK on October 4, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Glad you enjoyed it!

    I left Canada out for technical reasons – it wasn’t really easy to even get American data from the SEC until this year (probably March). I’m hopelessly behind on figuring out the same on the Canadian side – Nelson sent me some sites, but I couldn’t find an API.

    On the bright side, anything listed in the US should fall through and populate data on the Yahoo! side (my fallback). That probably covers… 1% of Canadian stocks? Haha.

  9. Stephen @ HowToSaveMoney.ca on October 4, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing my article Robb. I watched part of the because money podcast this week, but didn’t have time to watch the whole thing. Love Ellen Roseman. Should be an interesting one with Holy Potato next week too!

    I also enjoyed the Costco pricing policy tips from Dan.

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