I remember three years ago reading then MoneySense Editor-in-Chief Duncan Hood’s confession that he – a lifetime renter – got caught up in a bidding war and purchased a home in downtown Toronto. I remember reading how elated he felt when his final offer secured his dream home, as if overpaying by tens of thousands, or maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars, was akin to winning the lottery.

Fast forward three years later and Mr. Hood is at the Globe and Mail writing a not-so-humble-brag about his decision to buy a home because the crash that everyone had been predicting has not yet come to fruition. Okay then. So, just because a decision made to buy an overpriced home in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world happened to work out for Mr. Hood after three years means, ‘telling people to rent instead of buy is bad advice.”? What planet is this guy on?

Survivorship bias

Clearly Mr. Hood’s short stint as Editor-in-Chief at MoneySense did not instil any money sense in him, or he wouldn’t make such bold proclamations about home ownership – which is such a highly personal decision dependent on a wide number of factors (age, location, mobility, financial readiness, etc).

It sounds to me like Mr. Hood got house horny and swept up in an emotional attempt to buy his so-called dream home, and then got extremely lucky that this frothy Toronto real estate market continued to push up house prices in the short time since he bought-in. How you can take that one personal experience and extrapolate it to say, ‘renting is bad advice’ is beyond me.

Back to reality, here’s the always sensible Rob Carrick saying that a disturbing number of people are building their retirement plans on a weak foundation – their homes. Sorry to burst your bubble, but owning a home won’t fund your retirement.

This Week’s Recap:

On Monday I revealed the new American Express Cobalt Card, which pays 5% back on ‘eats and drinks’ and 2% back on ‘travel and transit’. Definitely worth a look!

On Wednesday Marie looked at how to protect your investment portfolio from rising interest rates.

And on Friday Marie shared an informative read about the importance of having a power of attorney.

Weekend Reading:

An incredibly brave post by a mother of two who left her abusive husband and moved across province to start over.

“I’d call you a liar if you told me that in six months I’d have saved up enough money to use as a down payment on a house someday, for a brand new laptop for myself, a family trip to Cuba, as well as a trip to the dentist. I would have thrown up if you were to tell me that eight months down the road I’d be dialling the number of a divorce lawyer, and with a shaky voice saying, “I’m not sure where to start…” 

CBC Marketplace exposes ‘homegrown lies’ at farmers markets where some Ontario vendors were caught misleading consumers about the food for sale on their tables.

In another expose, Sam Cooper reveals how B.C. casinos are being used to launder millions in drug cash. Unbelievable story.

Index investing advocate Larry Swedroe once again takes aim at dividend investors, this time with the help of research from Vanguard’s own study on dividend-oriented strategies. The conclusion?

“a total-return approach is superior to one that focuses on dividend strategies.”

An interesting read on The Great Unwinding: After a historic buildup of its bond portfolio to support the U.S. economy, the central bank plans to shrink its holdings, entering uncharted territory.

Why the history of Sears predicts nearly everything Amazon is doing.

Dan Bortolotti answers a reader question about whether to buy U.S. stocks in Canadian dollars:

“When you convert your loonies into U.S. dollars isn’t the issue, it’s how you convert from one currency to another that matters.”

It seems to be common practice for seniors to add the kids to ownership of a house. MoneySense’s Jason Heath isn’t sure why.

Here’s one to send to your adult children: Everything you need to know about opening a TFSA at your bank.

Finally, a great look at the decision Million Dollar Journey blogger Frugal Trader and his wife made to take the commuted value of her defined benefit pension rather than leaving it in the plan.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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