Weekend Reading: May Long Edition

May long weekend is traditionally for camping, gardening, or venturing out for some of the first outdoor activities of the summer. Unfortunately the weather hasn’t been kind to those of us in southern Alberta who were looking to spend some time outside enjoying the long weekend.

May long weekend weather

So we’re staying indoors and fortunately there was plenty of great reading to catch up on in the personal finance blogosphere. Let’s get to it!

This week’s recap:

On Monday I shared my confessions as a rewards credit card addict and why I’ve scaled back to using one card.

On Wednesday Marie looked at the impact of the new sharing economy.

And on Friday I asked why my car dealer wants to buy back my car.

Over on the Lowest Rates blog I explained how to get the lowest rate on your mortgage.

Weekend reading:

What was the greatest era for innovation? The New York Times takes us on a guided tour of life in 1870, 1920, 1970, and compares those decades to life today.

The Toronto Star explores the possibility that self-driving cars will increase auto-usage and congestion when the young, old, and disabled take up the technology.

An interesting study found that the wealthy in Florence today are the same families as 600 years ago.

On the heels of the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history, the president of the Insurance Bureau of Canada says that too many cities have allowed homes and facilities to be built in areas where they could be destroyed by floods or fire.

Rob Carrick dishes on housing, Millennials, and the state of Canadian personal finance.

What’s the problem with Millennials? This Harvard Business Review article argues that they’re way too hard on themselves.

Kudos to the Alberta government for stepping in and curbing payday loan fees to the lowest rates in Canada. Global TV interviewed several Canadians who became trapped in the payday loan cycle.

What happens when online shoppers return too many items? Amazon isn’t the only retailer that bans customers who return too much.

In his latest podcast Preet Banerjee talks about socially responsible investing with ModernAdvisor CEO Navid Boostani. A couple of robo-advisors have taken up this cause and helped drive down the cost of investing in socially responsible firms.

In another podcast, fee-only planner Sandi Martin discusses how to withdraw from your RRSP and TFSA in retirement (tax efficiently).

A nice set of tips to get wealthy using examples from the classic personal finance book, The Richest Man in Babylon.

Dan Hallett says the mutual fund industry suffers from self-inflicted problems caused by years of fighting investor-friendly reforms.

An opera-singing farm boy turned personal finance blogger writes an open letter to the financial planning industry about the inequality of advice between the rich and poor.

A generation of people who did all the right things by saving and delaying consumption are wondering where they went wrong. Adam Mayers shares lessons from this low interest rate trap.

Vanguard delivers the case for index-fund investing for Canadian investors.

John Heinzl offers a history lesson in stock market returns for critical readers of his column.

Diversification vs. returns. Tom Bradley explains why it’s important to hold bonds in your portfolio.

It’s nice to see that real estate flipping seminars have triggered a warning from the Better Business Bureau. The worst offender is the Rich Dad workshops, which I’ve written about here.

Nelson Smith from Financial Uproar argues that maybe you don’t deserve a 30-year retirement.

I love reading the Me and My Money columns by Larry MacDonald. This one features Michael James (from the blog with the same name) – another stock picker turned indexer.

Switching over to his blog, Michael James shares his thoughts on which way the Canadian dollar is headed.

Dan Wesley from Our Big Fat Wallet offers some DIY vehicle maintenance tips that anyone can do. Hey, you haven’t met me yet, Dan!

Finally, this New York Times article reveals some deceptive and manipulating practices taking place online: When websites won’t take no for an answer.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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  1. Dan on May 21, 2016 at 7:37 pm

    Ha! I’m far from a mechanic and even I can do some of the basis car stuff, so I’m sure you’d have no problem either. You know it’s May long weekend when the rain/snow starts to roll in, thanks for the mention and have a good weekend

  2. Michael James on May 21, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Tough luck with the weather. We’re having better luck in Ontario. Thanks for the mention.

  3. Kornel on May 22, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Thank you for the mention Robb (regarding the interview that Sandi and I did together on withdrawing from the RRSP and TFSA in retirement).

    Have a great long weekend!


  4. Is it need or a want on May 22, 2016 at 9:06 am

    The link for the families in Florence appears to be the wrong one.

    • Echo on May 22, 2016 at 9:28 am

      Thanks for pointing that out – fixed!

  5. Richard on May 22, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    A simple way to deal with websites that have bad policies (after you’ve paid them) is to use a credit card and know how to do a chargeback. Even mentioning this to their customer service agents can turn things around in a hurry. One website that secretly charged me for something I didn’t want even refunded more than I asked for after I said I would do a chargeback. As long as you don’t end up having to do it very often it can be very effective.

  6. Eva on May 22, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    What is a chargeback?

  7. Mike Wilson on May 22, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Hi Robb, I used the link for Cornel’s podcast with Sandy which I enjoyed & I think confirmed my own retirement strategy of making withdrawals from the highest tax liability source first, namely RRSP. (I’m 59, plan on having no earned income this year & have a defined benefits pension kicking in next year).
    What I wanted to ask was for confirmation of my understanding that the only disadvantage of making a withdrawal from an RRSP versus a RIF is the tax withholding. I plan to minimize this by making the withdrawal at the end of the year & file my taxes promptly.
    My 2nd question was regarding having two RRSP accounts. If I convert one of the accounts to a RIF at the end of this year to make withdrawals next year then I should convert the other also as I assume I wouldn’t be able to make contributions to the second RRSP account in future.

    Appreciate any insight or advice on my situation.

    Thanks, great blog, Mike.

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