Weekend Reading: Retire Rich Edition

One of the best investments you can make when looking to get a handle on your finances is a subscription to MoneySense magazine. For just $25 per year you’ll get eight issues loaded with useful tips and practical advice from some of Canada’s leading financial experts and authors.

The MoneySense team is hosting a Retire Rich event on the evening of Wednesday April 8th in Oakville, Ontario that promises to “change your financial future”. The four-hour event features talented speakers Bruce Sellery, Preet Banerjee, Duncan Hood, and Dan Bortolotti.

You’ll learn the proven tactics and strategies that can help any Canadian establish a low-cost retirement plan for a rich and rewarding retirement.

Retire Rich event

We have six tickets to give away to any Boomer & Echo readers who live in the Oakville area and might be interested in attending the Retire Rich event. We’ll give them away in pairs – so the first three readers to leave a comment below can stake their claim to the tickets.

This week’s recap:

On Monday I wrote about RESPs and how parents can give their kids a financial leg up.

On Wednesday Marie weighed-in on the extreme early retirement craze.

And on Friday I shared how our new fee-only financial planning business is going.

Weekend reading:

Norm Rothery wrote an interesting rebuttal to a piece in the New York Times that suggested zero mutual funds beat the market over the long term. Rothery turns the tables on index investors, saying:

“For instance, how many Canadian equity index funds consistently outperformed, say, the Mawer New Canada fund over the last 20 years? Probably none, but let me know if you find one.”

Mark Seed from My Own Advisor asked a polarizing question: Why buy individual stocks at all?

Michael James on Money uses an interesting analogy to debunk the idea that active investors can beat the market by simply trying a bit harder and improving their skills.

Balanced funds are a simple and effective way for investors to diversify their portfolio, but many of these funds are expensive to own. Rob Carrick says investors whose advisors use balanced funds should make sure they’re getting more and better advice in exchange for those fees.

Financial Uproar suggested a few easy alternatives for investors looking to build their own low cost balanced fund solution.

Fed up with fees? Here’s an intriguing option for investors to consider – a robot.

Ben Carlson shares some sensible thoughts on balancing your career aspirations with your financial goals and family life.

Frugal Trader at Million Dollar Journey explains how his family of four lives on one government salary.

Sketch Guy Carl Richards has a new book coming out next week – The One-Page Financial Planand this excerpt from the book explains why you should add some uncertainty to your financial planning process.

My favourite TV series is set to launch its fifth season on HBO April 12th. Here are five financial lessons from Game of Thrones.

An interesting interview with economist Robert Shiller, who’s famous for correctly predicting the 2000 stock market bubble and the 2005 housing bubble.

Preet Banerjee continues his excellent video series – Drawing Conclusions – with this take on how much it really costs to move:

Cinderella got a refresh and hit the big screen again this month. Garry Marr says the chances of a real fairy tale ending are remote – there’s no prince waiting to save us – which is why financial planning is so important.

Speaking of fairy tales, this Priceonomics blog looks at our obsession with diamonds and engagement rings.

Diamonds are not actually scarce, make a terrible investment, and are purely valuable as a status symbol. Diamonds, to put it delicately, are bullshit.

Jonathan Chevreau’s latest MoneySense blog explores the family tax cut and whether it encourages one spouse to work less.

Dan Wesley is skeptical of a new way that Canadians can pay their taxes by credit card through a company called Plastiq.

Finally, this American article says title loans are growing at a fast rate and have the potential to be even more damaging than payday loans.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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  1. Cool Koshur on March 28, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    I live in Oakville. I would be interested to attend and listen to their expert opinion.

    Retiring rich is good. But what is more important is being healthy when retired. I know people who has deep pockets in retirement but they are not healthy enough to enjoy it.

    Someone rightly said… there are 3 parameters (time, money and health) in typical life and how they play out during three stages of life. In youth, you have time and health not enough money. In middle age, you have decent money and health, but not enough time. In old age, you have time and money but no health. Only lucky fews have all three.

    Cool Koshur

  2. Ivan on March 28, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    I live close to Oakville and would love to go to the Retire Rich event.

    I love your blog. Keep up the great work!

  3. Echo on March 28, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Congrats, Cool Kosher and Ivan! – I’ve emailed each of you with the registration details.

    Still one pair of tickets to give away.

    • Ivan on March 28, 2015 at 5:10 pm

      Thank you very much Robb! I have registered. Just need to find another friend to join me!

  4. Allison on March 28, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    I live in Oakville and would love to attend the Retire Rich event.

    Love your blog and the perspectives of both Boomer and Echo! My favourite financial blog.


  5. Cool Koshur on March 28, 2015 at 5:00 pm


    Thank you very much!!! I just completed registration as well.

    -Cool Koshur

  6. Angela on March 28, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    We live in Oakville and would love to attend! Moneysense is our favourite magazine and we look forward to the info and advice each time it comes in the mail. It’d be great to hear the speakers and learn more to plan for our future.

  7. Liz on March 29, 2015 at 6:37 am

    I don’t live near Oakville but really enjoy the magazine. I have been subscribing for years using my Airmiles so I consider it free advice.

  8. Randall on March 29, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Do you really need to give 5 years of savings to some realtor when your property sells in 2-5 days?

    Preet Banjeree’s fine focus on the Costs of Moving – and the costs of realtors in particular – is eye-opening, but consider that these costs are generally paid with after-tax dollars. Paying a $25,000 ( plus HST of 13% = $28,250 (5%)list & sell commission on a 500K condo ? The real questions to ask are ‘at my marginal tax rate, (a) how much do I have to earn to pay this after-tax cost, and (b) how long does it take to save that amount ( after taxes) at my normal savings rate’. Consider that for a 50% marginal rate, that $28,250 realtor fee becomes $56,500 before tax. Now consider your savings rate – if you save $5,000/year, the after tax realtor fee suddenly represents over 5 years of savings. Not cheap. There is a lot to be said for buy & hold or buy and rent strategies when you move up. Or for simply selling privately when you change housing. Especially when MLS listing can be had for a few hundred dollars when added on to a cheap listing package with services like Comfree ( no relation).

  9. Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet on March 29, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Thanks for the mention, I think credit cards are only good for collecting reward points and paying taxes with a credit card isn’t a good idea because the fees are higher than the rewards

  10. Cool Koshur on March 29, 2015 at 10:03 am


    You brought up an excellent point. This was one of the reasons, I bit the bullet and bought the home where my family doesn’t outgrow it. I took the maximum mortgage I could afford. So that I don’t have to sell every 5 years. I keep dumping lump sum payments at regular intervals.Real estate agents are just like car mechanics. There are few good ones, but vast majority doesn’t justify this bounty for very little work.

    We live in a society where common man is being bombarded by self interest groups through media to “change” car, house, furniture, phones, TVs every 3-5 years.

    When it comes to credit cards. They are necessary evil.I follow 2 rules 1) If you cant afford to pay in full at end of month then don’t use it. 2) Cash back is King when it comes to collecting rewards. I get 1% for all purchases.

    I buy all appliances/devices etc with it. I get additional year of warranty when I pay using my card.

  11. My Own Advisor on March 29, 2015 at 11:24 am

    MoneySense is a good magazine and I enjoy it.

    I like what Cool wrote above, your health and quality time are very important, in life, in that order.

    Thanks for the mention Robb and keep up the great work.


  12. Michael James on March 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    I was of two minds about Rothery’s piece. Anyone who says that active investors have to beat the market every year is being foolish. But those who say that few active investors can beat the market over the long term are correct. But what do people mean when they say “it’s almost impossible to beat the market consistently”? Some mean you can’t beat the market every year, but others mean it’s hard to beat the market over a long period of time. So, Rothery’s criticism is valid for those really mean that active investors should beat the market every year, but I don’t think many people actually mean this by what they say.

    Thanks for the mention.

  13. Andy on March 30, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Thanks for the week update! I agree, MoneySense is one of my favourite resources to use when researching anything that has to do with finances and/or investments! Not only are the articles easy to read, but extremely useful as well.

    Your article on how parents can give their kids a financial leg up. It’s one thing to encourage university, but its another to back it up with financial support. RESP are definitely something all parents should consider when planning their child’s future.

    Another thing to consider is not only their children’s future, but theirs as well. Investing in your retirement is crucial to a happy life after work. At The Financial Pipeline we have a couple articles that add insight into retirement: one of them being What Retirement Investment Choices Should I Make?: http://www.finpipe.com/retirement-investment-choices-make/

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