Entries by morgan

Even the Unbiased have Biases

CentsAbility’s tagline is “unbiased financial education”, but we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t carry some biases.  In the name of transparency, here’s what we believe: 1. Good enough beats perfection Will you be healthier if you exercised for three hours each day and never ate chocolate cake again?  You bet.  Is every person that […]

What Bruce Springsteen Can Teach Us About Investing

For Christmas I received Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography Born to Run.  Not because I especially like Bruce Springsteen, but I’d heard it was a great read.  It is. Right now I’m learning about the early stages of his career.  It’s what you’d typically expect: poverty, partying and hard work.  He’s tasted a bit of fame at […]

I have to save how many million for retirement?

Pat and Curt would like an above average retirement with income of $70,000 per year.  They figure they will receive $25,000 through government benefits, leaving them responsible for $45,000 per year.  The “Rule of 20” tells them to multiply this amount by 20 and presto! that’s how much they’ll need to save for retirement: $900,000. […]

No one can serve two masters

No one can serve two masters. Coming across this adage the other day made me think how true it is. While it is surprisingly easy to want one thing and do another, this behaviour will eventually bring on negative consequences. Perhaps to one’s conscience, sanity, or sense of self. And certainly to one’s finances. ‘No […]

Are RRSP Loans a Good Idea?

  RRSP Express Loan.  On-the-spot RRSP Loan.  RRSP Maximizer Loan.  These are some of the names banks are using to promote RRSP loans.  It’s a win for them because they get to both make a loan and receive the proceeds in the form of an RRSP investment. Can RRSP loans make sense?  Sure.  Are they […]

When Should You Start Talking to Your Kids About Investing?

I want my kids to be investors. In a 2015 BlackRock Inc survey, 51% of Canadians believe investing is like gambling, and only 44% believe investing is for “people like them”. Much of this sentiment comes from fear and misunderstanding of the markets. Bad news is, savings accounts and other safe products pay anywhere from basically […]

Don’t Waste Your Money on These Financial Products

Over the years, I’ve kept a list of financial products that are complicated at best, and a waste of money at worst. Here are seven of them: Extended Warranties – I never begrudge the person trying to sell me an extended warranty.  After all, it’s their job.  After politely declining, I excitedly explain to them that […]

Hello Spending, I’ve Been Expecting You

Imagine that you have a big presentation to make at work.  If public speaking isn’t your forte (and even if it is), you may feel nervous.  And you might feel disappointed in yourself for being nervous because a confident, knowledgeable person would not be.  Oh puh-leeze!  Confidence and knowledge have nothing to do with it. […]

The Secret to Undoing Your Summer Spending

First we travelled to Regina.  Then Drumheller.  Then Penticton.  Then Edmonton.  Then Cypress Hills.  Sound familiar?  Or maybe your summer spending consisted of summer camps, backyard barbeques, and hosting travellers.  Whatever it is, many of us feel tapped out after summer holidays.  But as a hand-written note on the lid of my recent to-go cup […]

Four Sticky Places to Keep Your Money

Imagine a friend of yours is diligently saving $100 per month into her emergency fund.  But your friend has a problem:  as fast as the deposits go in, they come back out again.  She finds she can’t leave the money alone. Your friend has not found a ‘sticky’ place for her money. It’s not only […]