Being a dad rocks! I’m sure there will be a lot of trying times to come, but the past couple months have been amazing as we get to know our little guy, and he gets to know us. Now that he’s smiling and talking up a storm, there is balance to the crying.
I’ve been reading Winnie the Pooh to him, and he seems to really enjoy it. I should say he seems to enjoy the rhythm of my voice. (If there is anything I learned from 1980s movies, it came from Three Men and a Baby: “It’s not what you say, but how you say it,” or something to that effect.) I couldn’t agree more.
As I get more and more used to my new parental role, I’m also starting to find some time to read a little more online (that isn’t baby related). Here are a few interesting things I’ve come across recently:
- Andrew Hallam says we can learn from the mistakes the Baby Boom has made.
- Money Smarts Blog give a good breakdown of the RRSP Home Buyers Plan.
- Larry MacDonald says the high Canadian dollar creates a good chance to invest in the U.S. … but wonders what to buy.
- Canadian Capitalist posts some highlights from the most recent Berkshire Hathaway annual report.
- Invest It Wisely had a guest post about South Korea.
- Investing Thesis has an interesting energy interview with a portfolio manager.
- Canadian Finance Blog talks about calculating your ACB.
- The Tokyo stock exchange, in a bid to attract young investors, has a new mascot.
- Perhaps feeling like they’re missing out as they watched Goldman buy into Facebook… JP Morgan is trying to buy into Twitter.
- WSJ This Morning has a good list of jobs you should have by 30, and some lessons learned from each.
- Canadian Finance Carnival
- Canadian Personal Finance and Investing Carnival
Hope everyone has a great week!
It seems that Facebook was down for a couple of days in late September. I’m not a big Facebook user (I check it every few days, and am always met with the “300+ recent posts” icon ) so didn’t even know about the problem until recently.
A Completely Fictional Chart
In possibly related news, here’s what Canada’s GDP numbers looked like for September. Looks like productivity went through the roof around the 22nd and 23rd. Wonder why?
(The Facebook downtime to GDP chart is a creation of ISO Salt Corp. and is in not to be used as fact.)
On to some interesting things I came across this past week:
I had two national holidays last week, and yet somehow, I was busier than most weeks. As such, I think I was only at my computer for a total of maybe two hours. I didn’t get much reading done, but here is a list of what I did come across.
Canadians born abroad should take special note of the first two links.
And that’s about all I had the time to read the in the past week, if memory serves correctly. In other news, I have fixed the link in the sidebar to the S&P data on actively managed funds vs. indexes, and my interview notes from the Canadian Trade Commissioner to Japan will be uploaded this week.
The Salt Shaker is an ongoing post theme that will highlight some of the interesting articles related to personal finance, business, or economics that I come across. Until now I have published the Salt Shaker (formerly called Weekend Reading) on a bi-weekly basis, but from today onward I will be publishing it weekly. It will be the first post of each week. So without further delay, here are some goodies in no particular order:
- Andrew Hallam reports from Shanghai that the best way to invest in the Chinese market is to buy quality name brands like BMW, Rolex, Starbucks and McDonald’s, because that’s what the wealthy there buy.
- In this older post from a year ago, Canadian Finance Blog goes over the basics of the Smith Manoeuver. This tax saving/wealth building strategy is something that interests me, but it is not recommended for everyone. You need to have a good understanding of the risks involved.
- Balance Junkie asks if you have adapted to life in the “post consumerism era,” and gives some pointers on how to do so if you haven’t already. As a side note, I don’t see it here in Japan… the malls and department stores are as packed as ever, and everyone is carrying several bags of purchases.
- Canadian Capitalist outlines what he would like to see happen in the world of Canadian ETFs. My favourite of his suggestions? Being able to access a World Ex-Canada ETF.
- Canadian Personal Finance Blog points out that making use of a select group of point cards can be a good thing. Agreed. Getting a point card for every store you shop at can be a hassle, but being dedicated to a couple of places can add up quickly.
- Canadian Couch Potato has a two-part series on dollar cost averaging with ETFs. As I only put a few hundred to work each month in Canada, I’ll be sticking with mutual funds for now, but it’s something to consider for the future.
- Invest It Wisely is turning 6 months this month, and Kevin is giving away a lot of prizes to celebrate. Things to be won include several books and some gift cards.
- Frugal Zeitgeist asks how long Social Security will last. Great question. All the more reason to make sure our RRSPs, and TFSAs are ready to help us in retirement.
- I find it interesting that some people can isolate for one appliance to figure out how much it is costing them. Michael James on Money does this with his hot-tub.
- Larry MacDonald highlights one investor’s early retirement, and how she lives off her dividend income. This is where many of us would like to be in 25 or 30 years.
- Money Smarts Blog looks at how to determine the value a renovation gives to your home. There are some interesting percentages to think about, but as he points out, it’s all within reason.
- Investing Thesis says you should be mindful of inflation, and includes an interview with a North American Strategist.
As for In Search of Salt, I just got back from a fascinating interview with a Canadian Trade Commissioner to Japan. I expect to have an article based on that interview on the site within the next week to ten days. Check back or subscribe to the blog to read that.
Hope everyone has a great week.