Weekend Reading: Summer Vacation Edition

I’m on holidays for the rest of the month and we’re heading out to Kelowna, B.C. to spend our family summer vacation water-sliding and wine-touring in the Okanagan.

For the fifth summer in a row we’ve rented a house through vacation rental site VRBO.com. We can find an entire house or condo to rent for about the price of a nice hotel room. We like having our own place with a kitchen and separate bedrooms for the kids. We cook our own meals, for the most part, and mix our own drinks instead of paying for overpriced hotel food and cocktails. It’s nice to have a home-base from which to make day trips. Then we simply tidy up before we leave and head home.

Summer Vacation in Kelowna

I can see why owning a vacation home appeals to some, but for us that’s money tied up in a place we won’t use often, not to mention the extra maintenance and care that comes with owning another property. By renting a house on VRBO (or Airbnb, if that’s your thing) we save money and have the flexibility to try new places and destinations every year.

This week’s recap:

On Monday I wrote an open letter to Air Miles urging the company to allow its collectors to make a one-time transfer from Air Miles Dream to Air Miles Cash before their miles expire.

On Wednesday Marie listed five rules of thumb that could use an update.

And on Friday the long-awaited final implementation of CRM2 came into effect and I explained what the new disclosure rules mean for Canadian investors.

Weekend reading:

Frustrated Air Miles customers are responding to media reports about their reward miles expiring but they’re having trouble connecting to the company’s website or reaching customer service reps by phone.

If you’re looking to find a better credit card, perhaps to switch from an Air Miles rewards card to something different, check out Stephen Weyman’s guide to Canada’s best credit cards.

Andrew Coyne shares an interesting take on expanding CPP by turning the program into 18 million RRSPs.

Here are five things you need to know about the new Canada Child Benefit, which should arrive in your account next week.

Wondering what to do with your Canada Child Benefit once it hits your account? Jamie Golombek offers some suggestions.

A new study points to a rise in the number of low-wage earners with graduate degrees.

Pokemon Go is all the rage right now and Des from the Half Banked blog weighs-in on people “leisure-time shaming”. I agree that every deserves their downtime and should spend it doing whatever they enjoy.

Rob Carrick says it’s time for Canadians to get over their hang-ups about paying for financial advice.

New disclosure rules in the investment industry offer big opportunities for robo-advisors. I agree.

Here are 11 signs your financial advisor is robbing you blind (and how to stop it).

Why Canada is the only major market in the world without a super-cheap airline.

One in five Canadians plan to sell property to help pay for their retirement. I’ll be honest, I expected that number to be higher.

Here’s a good primer for Millennials on tax free savings accounts:

Take a simple idea and take it seriously. Morgan Housel comments on why basic beats flashy.

Herbalife has made claims that people who participate in the company can “quit your job,” “be set for life,” “earn millions of dollars,” “make more money than they ever have imagined or thought possible,” “realize unlimited income,” or similar representations. Now the company has agreed to restructure its business model and pay $200 million to consumers who purchased large quantities of its products and lost money.

A former hedge-fund manager says Vancouver’s real estate is fuelled by ‘a money-laundering bubble’.

Michael James muses about home-buying dreams and says that Millennials could end up renting longer than his generation did due to high house prices.

The Smith Manoeuvre is way for Canadians to make their mortgage tax deductible by borrowing the equity in their home and using the funds to invest. Since investment loans are tax deductible if used for the purpose of earning income, the borrower has effectively turned his or her mortgage into a tax-deductible investment loan. Frugal Trader from Million Dollar Journey has used this strategy for many years and answers some questions about this leveraged-investing scheme.

Dan Bortolotti and Justin Bender are back with the long-awaited second edition to their popular white paper, Foreign Withholding Taxes: How to estimate the hidden tax drag on US and international equity ETFs.

A cool story from the founder of LowestRates.ca on why start-ups should focus on making money instead of raising capital.

Another video by Preet Banerjee, this is a must-watch and explains how to know if a 0% car loan is too good to be true:

Jon Chevreau offers six ways to extend the life of your retirement nest egg.

Finally, Tim Cestnick argues that life insurance isn’t taboo – it’s a tool that can be used in many creative ways to preserve wealth and save taxes.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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  1. Michael James on July 16, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    I guess another reason Millennials might end up renting longer than my generation did is higher student debt. Thanks for the mention.

  2. Stephen Weyman on July 16, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    We’re staying at a place we got on Airbnb for our summer vacation in Quebec. Really excited about it and doing it for the same reasons you are. Less than the price of a hotel. We’d actually need 2 hotel rooms for the number of people we have to be comfortable but can get away with one place this way.

    Savings on eating out should be significant.

    There was one downside though. The first place we booked months in advance was a really amazing place that looked like a castle, had a beautiful outdoor pool, an amazing interiour, etc … then the guy went and cancelled all of his reservations in the months of July and August leaving everyone hung out to dry.

    I didn’t really think about that happening and it came as a big shock. By the time we booked again prices were much higher and selection was very limited. We still ended up with a good place that was actually a bit cheaper but nowhere near as nice as what we originally booked. Having a fully cancellable backup isn’t a bad idea.

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