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Weekend Reading: Christmas Break Edition

With 2014 quickly winding down I wanted to publish one more edition of weekend reading before we break for Christmas.  We hope you all have a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas holiday, and we’ll be back to our regular schedule the week of December 29th.

Value of Simple

Many investors recognize that Canada has the highest investing fees in the world and that the “advice” they get from their commission-based advisor is little more than a meeting at RRSP season to discuss this year’s contribution.  But making the leap to becoming a do-it-yourself investor can be daunting.  That’s why John Robertson created The Value of Simple: A Practical Guide to Taking the Complexity Out of Investing.

The author describes the investing process in a way that’s rarely explained – taking a step-by-step approach to show investors exactly what they need to do in order to start building and maintaining a portfolio of low-cost index funds.  It looks at the entire process, from opening accounts and purchasing investments, to determining asset allocation and understanding taxation issues.

This book is for investors who are looking to take the plunge into DIY investing and want a guide to help walk them through the process from start to finish.  It would also make a great gift and useful resource for your adult children as they start their investing journey.

This week’s recap:

On Monday I wrote about why I pushed my Findependence Day back five years.

On Wednesday Marie asked, how do you define affordability?

Friday’s post argued one reason why stretching to buy a home can make financial sense (hint: when it prevents you from moving every few years).

Over on Rewards Cards Canada I explained how I cashed in on credit card rewards this year – to the tune of $1,555!

Weekend Reading

Mark Seed from My Own Advisor challenges the notion that saving 10 percent of your income is enough for retirement.

Michael James doesn’t own bonds in his investment portfolio because he says he’s after the highest total return over a long time frame.  Here he looks at several models to show the 20-year returns of an all-stock portfolio compared with more balanced portfolios.

Dan Bortolotti suggests that investors use limit orders instead of market orders when placing trades.

Sandi Martin says the secret to a successful financial plan is intentional contentment.

From travelling and dining out, to a nice suit and a decent haircut, Barry Choi looks at money well spent.

Dan Wesley offers some tips on how to budget with an unstable income.

Million Dollar Journey highlights the real-estate heavy net worth of Karl the real estate agent.

Mark Goodfield – The Blunt Bean Counter – explains the family tax cut and asks if joint filing should be next?

This MoneySense family profile shows how a couple paid off their mortgage in six years.

Adam Mayers explains who’s in and who’s out of Ontario’s Pension Plan.

Jonathan Chevreau gives some insight on boomers approaching the “decumulation” years.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

When Stretching To Buy A Home Makes Financial Sense

The real estate market in Canada has been the subject of much opinion and speculation over the last five years as prices continue to rise to new heights. Houses are over-priced, but by how much? Should prospective buyers wait for a crash before jumping into the market, or should they get in now before they’re