Weekend Reading: Me and My Money Edition

Back in January I sold my portfolio of dividend stocks and bought two exchange traded funds – Vanguard’s Canada All Cap Index (VCN) and its All-World ex Canada Index (VXC). The move has drawn some interest from readers and media alike, I think in part because I had abandoned a market-beating strategy to “settle” for market returns (minus a small fee).

Larry MacDonald writes the Me and My Money column at The Globe and Mail where he featured my story this weekend – highlighting the reasons why I converted from dividend investor to full-fledged indexer. (Read the comments at your peril).

I like telling the story because there’s an important lesson for many investors about the cognitive biases that affect decision making and lead to errors in judgement. One of the errors, in my case, was overconfidence in my stock-picking ability without giving any consideration to the fact that we were in the midst of a six-year bull market. The outperformance could have easily been due to luck, and a regression to the mean was more than likely coming.

This week’s recap:

On Monday I compared two popular get-out-of-debt strategies and concluded that the debt avalanche is superior to the debt snowball.

On Wednesday Marie used the potpourri category to weigh-in on TFSA limits, household debt, and provincial income taxes.

And on Friday I gave 350 reasons to switch your banking, highlighting an incredible $350 cash promotion from ATB Financial in Alberta.

Weekend Reading:

The CRTC has been busy handing down new regulations for cable providers, including a new “skinny basic” package that will cost no more than $25 per month. Here’s how the new rules might affect your bill.

Moneyball changed the way we look at sports by using analytics rather than judgement as a way to evaluate players. I’ll have more thoughts on how this applies to personal finance and investing next week, but in the meantime I wanted to share this article on why Moneyball doesn’t work for business.

Luke Landes started a trend when he published his first personal finance article on a blog called Consumerism Commentary. Here’s how he turned that hobby into a 7-figure business.

Speaking of longevity, Alan Whitton launched Canajun Finances 10 years ago and reflects on what has changed since then.

Malcolm Gladwell describes the one character trait that makes people successfully disruptive.

Ben Carlson explains why, for 9 out of 10 people, managing your personal finances is far more important than managing your investment portfolio.

Terrific piece by John Herrman on Medium: I was an iPhone man, like you. Then Shitphone changed everything.

Guess how many mutual funds routinely route the market? According to this New York Times article, the answer is zero.

As I explained last week, investors are in for ‘sticker shock’ when the new fee-disclosure rules kick-in.

Why the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI) is a thankless – and powerless job.

The Aeroplan program gets a bad reputation for offering rewards that can’t easily be redeemed. However, Aeroplan does offer good value for long-haul business class flights. Here are some of the best Aeroplan flight redemptions.

Wealthing Like Rabbits author Robert Brown appeared on the More Money for Beer and Textbooks podcast to discuss his book and the state of personal finances in Canada. Check it out below:

Pension expert Doug Runchey explains the ins and outs of the OAS clawback.

Sheryl Smolkin shares her thoughts on how to reform retirement savings.

Michael James continues to tackle annuities with this piece on what interest rate your annuity actually pays.

Finally, Kevin Press at Brighter Life explains how employee pension plans work.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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  1. Michael James on March 21, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Reading the comments on Larry’s piece about you, I was struck by the complaints about the article being boring. It seems that few readers are as interested in good personal finance strategies as they are in being amused. I guess the best writers offer both.

    • Echo on March 22, 2015 at 7:45 am

      Many people are looking for a silver bullet solution to juice their investment returns. That’s why the “who has the biggest TFSA” stories are so popular, yet those results for the most part boil down to extreme luck.

  2. Big Cajun Man (aw) on March 23, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Many things have changed, but luckily I haven’t changed (much). Thanks for the inclusion

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