I’m a die-hard football fan but even I’ll admit that it’s getting tougher to follow the game with the same religious fervor that I once had. The NFL is plagued by many issues, including domestic violence, racial division, substance abuse, and player injuries resulting from repeated head trauma (which the league ignored or denied for decades).

I played high school football and suffered two known concussions in my senior year. We had an old school disciplinarian coach who told me to, “tape an Aspirin to my helmet and get back out there.”

I didn’t know anything about brain injuries at age 17. We were taught to lead with the face-mask and strike our opponent with a strong block or tackle. Our helmets (ill fitting at times) were used more like weapons than protective gear. Playing in the trenches would easily result in 50-60 of these violent collisions per game.

All of these issues aside, I still enjoy watching the game – I’ve been a fan since I was seven years old. But I’m almost ashamed to tune in (and not just because I’m a Cleveland Browns fan) knowing that all of these tremendous athletes who put their bodies on the line week after week are nothing but replaceable cogs in a giant machine, over which they have little control.

For a deeper look into the sports industrial complex check out these excellent Freakonomics podcasts on the hidden side of sports. Eye opening, for sure.

As for Super Bowl LIII, I’ll be watching and cheering for the upstart Los Angelas Rams to knock-off the mighty New England Patriots. While I enjoy my guilty pleasure tomorrow, come Monday I’ll be happy and thankful to take my kids to their ballet and piano lessons.

This Week’s Recap:

Earlier this week I looked at how well robo-advisors are positioned to help investors during a market downturn.

Later I looked at Canadians’ RRSP contribution and withdrawal habits and noted some good and not so good behaviour.

Weekend Reading:

Investigative journalist Sam Cooper has done a tremendous job digging into the money laundering scandal at B.C. casinos. Here’s the latest on how nearly $2 billion flowed through high roller accounts.

Parts of Canada’s data history have gone missing. Others are hidden from public view by layers of bureaucracy. A look at what went wrong at Statscan.

Here’s Of Dollars and Data blogger Nick Maggiulli on the power of heuristics and reducing complexity:

If you are trying to improve your business, what one big thing distinguishes your great clients from your bad clients?

If you are trying to get healthier, what one big thing separates good health from ill health?

If you are trying to be a better parent, what one big thing differentiates an amazing childhood from a subpar one?

Grab a second cup of coffee and read this epic Morgan Housel post on the origins of greed and fear. Seriously, go read it now.

While you’ve got that second cup of Joe, watch Ben Felix explain clearly how an RRSP works:

One policy I think the federal liberals got wrong was to reverse the previous conservative government’s decision to raise the retirement age to 67. It goes against global trends and economic reality. Here’s why that’s a growing problem.

Living off dividends, investing for income, not deferring pensions. These are just a few of the common investing mistakes made by retirees.

Jason Heath explains how early RRSP withdrawals can help some retirees comes out ahead.

Here’s six insights into retirement savings for those in their 30s and 40s.

Alexandra Macqueen explains why the 17% drop-out rule is key to your CPP entitlement:

“Because your CPP retirement benefit is based on your pensionable earnings from the age of 18 to when you take your CPP pension—called your “contributory period” in CPP lingo—dropping out these no- and low-income months can increase your monthly CPP retirement benefit, as the average income on which your retirement benefit is then based goes up.”

Million Dollar Journey blogger Frugal Trader pits iShares versus Vanguard in the battle of the all-in-one ETFs.

My Own Advisor blogger Mark Seed interviews Cut The Crap Investing blogger Dale Roberts about smarter saving and investing.

Dr. Networth describes his journey into passive real estate investing.

Ben Carlson explains what he means by being “selectively cheap.” I agree 100 percent with Ben’s view on saving and spending money.

The buttons on our eight-year-old microwave have slowly stopped working over the years. I think we’re down to using the “2” and “Clear/Stop”. Why can’t appliances work forever, like they used to?

Finally, a great piece by licensed insolvency trustee Scott Terrio on why Canada’s credit score obsession is leading people to make bad financial decisions.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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