Last week I reviewed two personal finance books: Stop Over-Thinking Your Money! by Preet Banerjee, and The Moolala Guide To Rockin’ Your RRSP by Bruce Sellery.  The authors were kind enough to each provide a copy of their book to give away to a lucky Boomer & Echo reader.

We had over 80 entries to the contest and we used a random number generator to choose the winners.

  • Congratulations to Jennifer, whose comment left at 7:43 am last Friday won her a copy of Stop Over-Thinking Your Money!
  • Congratulations to AnnieA, whose comment left at 9:51 am last Friday won her a copy of The Moolala Guide To Rockin’ Your RRSP

I’ll get in touch with both winners today by email and arrange to send over the books.

Monthly Review

It has been a great start to the year so far.  We launched our fee-only financial planning service and have already taken on a few clients.  We’ve recently been added to MoneySense magazine’s directory of fee-only planners.

My advice for folks to switch out of expensive, actively managed mutual funds and into low-cost index funds and ETFs got a response from the head of the mutual fund trade association.  A special thanks to Rob Carrick, who highlighted my response in his daily personal finance round-up, and to FAIR Canada, who agreed with the simple math that cutting fees will increase returns.

Because Money

This week on the Because Money podcast we talked about the simplest way to build a low-cost, broadly diversified portfolio using TD e-series funds.  We also touched on why ETFs haven’t been able to make up much ground on mutual funds when it comes to total assets invested.

Next week we’ll be discussing the merits of the Home Buyers’ Plan and the pros and cons of using your RRSP as a down payment for your first home.

Weekend Reading:

Here are my top 10 personal finance reads from around the web this week:

Dan Bortolotti revealed an interesting way to look at diversification.  He built a periodic table that showed the returns of the seven individual asset classes in the Complete Couch Potato, as well as the returns for the whole portfolio.  The results were surprising.

The Financial Post’s Melissa Leong used a fun video to explain why RRSPs are like social media and as deserving of your attention.

MoneySense shared the five things your mortgage broker isn’t telling you, including the fact that most brokers only negotiate with a handful of lenders – the ones who, you guessed it, pay them the most commission.

Go to Disneyland, or pay bank fees?  That’s the easy choice that Jackson Middleton made as his family embarks on a 52-week money saving challenge.  By consolidating their banking into one no-fee account, the Middleton’s will save over $500 this year.

Many parents are helping their kids buy a home these days and while it’s natural to want to give financial support, Rob Carrick warns of three potential pitfalls to consider before opening your wallet.

Dan is an accountant from Calgary who recently started a new blog called, Our Big Fat Wallet.  He explains the basics of the first-time donor’s super credit, a beefed-up tax credit to encourage Canadians to give more to charity.

Mark Seed from My Own Advisor asks the million-dollar question: how much money do you need to retire well?  He says the magic number is at least a million, maybe more.

A reader asked Mike Piper, of the Oblivious Investor blog, how often he calculates his portfolio’s rate of return.  His answer: never.

A frugal lawyer explains how he reached $1M net-worth by the age of 34 in this post on the Million Dollar Journey blog.

Kyle from Young and Thrifty takes a look at ING Direct – soon to be Tangerine – to see what, if anything, has changed since the online bank was swallowed up by Scotia last year.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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