The Trouble With Being Cheap

The Trouble With Being CheapQuite a few people have been expressing their admiration for my frugality to me, so I thought it was time to rein in the enthusiasm and talk a bit about the downsides of frugal living. 1. The most obvious downside, and what I don’t actually consider a downside, is frugality makes you question your buying decisions. We live in a society that wants to sell us stuff all the time,…

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Dividend Increase is Not a Reason to Buy a Stock

Dividend Increase is Not a Reason to Buy a StockThere are many common misconceptions about dividend investing. For example, all dividend paying stocks are stable companies. Or, a dividend from a stock will more than offset any losses you receive in share price over the long term. However, there is one that I find most persistent in both new and experienced dividend investors. It is often viewed as a reason to buy a stock, yet it should never be…

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How Much Do You Need To Retire? The 10% Rule

How Much Do You Need To Retire? The 10% RuleWhen trying to figure out how much you need to retire, there are many different rules of thumb you could follow. While I’ve previously discussed the 4% rule and the rule of 20, which both calculate your likely income at retirement, the most common calculation on how much to save up to retirement may be the 10% rule. The 10% rule simply states that you should save 10% of your…

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Financial Reboot

Financial RebootOne of the major tricks I learned when I was an I.T. dude, was how easy it was to fix problems if you told your customer, “Have you rebooted your system lately?”. I also knew this drove my customers nuts, but it worked most of the time, and they had to then go away, and I usually had a good chuckle. When I was at the Maundy Thursday service at…

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The True Cost of Rudeness

The True Cost of RudenessI’m often struck by how rude people in customer service positions are.  I understand when people say “they have a tough job and they get fed up with it just like anyone else”, but ultimately if it’s the ENTIRE point of someone’s job to interact with the public, shouldn’t they stay nice (or at the very least neutral)? Bell is AWFUL as a company, and the worst experience I had…

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A Time to Sell?

A Time to Sell?Recently in the comments section of a post from July 2008, titled 30% today vs. 50% tomorrow, a reader John asks the following question, “I noticed some of my mutual funds are showing a 70% return from one year ago (market low). Do you agree it’s a good time to sell some now and wait for a dip in the major indexes before getting back in? I’m of course talking about…

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Financial Bubble Still Here with Yet More to Unravel?

Financial Bubble Still Here with Yet More to Unravel?Is there such a thing as a secular financial bubble? Has the financial sector become bloated out of proportion to the economy over the last few decades and is there be a contraction in store, abrupt or prolonged, back to a smaller financial sector? Was the crisis of 2008 merely the start? I’m not sure of the answer but a couple of data points have stuck in my mind recently:…

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Eldercare

EldercareReader submitted question: Q – Me, my sister and my uncle are sharing the cost of keeping my father housed in a care facility because his gov’t monies & pension do not cover the monthly fee. My understanding is that we cannot claim our contributions because my father is not a dependent who resides with any of us. Is this true? Thanks! Answer provided by Intuit’s Ask A Task Expert:…

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Future Shop’s pricing error leads to reforms

Future Shop's pricing error leads to reformsCustomers often run into pricing errors when buying items online — and when they say they want the original price, they get nowhere. This happened to Tad Klupsas, who’s legally blind, so he filed a complaint to the Ontario Human Rights Commission against Future Shop. His story interested me enough to write about it earlier this month…

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Canadian Mortgage Concerns: Banks

Canadian Mortgage Concerns: BanksI’ve often heard in business that once is a coincidence, but twice is a trend. Canadian banks have performed quite well both during and after the credit crisis of 2008/2009 and despite a low interest rate environment have had robust mortgage numbers for a number of consecutive years. We’ve all heard Canadian politicians touting the health of the Canadian banking industry but I have to wonder at which point problems…

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