New & Notable #2

by Chris W. Rea on

Here are a handful of posts from elsewhere that I read recently, with my comments:

Jonathan Chevreau at Wealthy Boomer finished compiling A Month’s worth of financial literacy tips that were issued by BMO Financial in November in recognition of Financial Literacy Month. If you didn’t catch the tips the first time around, check out Jon’s completed list. My favorite tip isn’t exciting but it is important: November 29th’s tip “Have an Emergency Fund Set Aside for a Rainy Day”.

Canadian Capitalist updated High Interest Savings Accounts at Discount Brokers. If you have idle cash parked in your trading account or self-directed RRSP/TFSA, consider putting it into one of the listed high-interest savings accounts. Your broker probably pays next to nothing (or exactly nothing) on cash. While the ~1.25% offered by these accounts isn’t spectacular, it beats zero. Moving money in and out of these accounts with your broker operates much like buying and selling units of a mutual fund. The accounts denominated in Canadian dollars should be CDIC insured — but do check for yourself.

Still on the subject of interest: Echo from Boomer and Echo wrote at moneyville How 7 banks fare on children’s accounts. Sadly, the big 5 Canadian banks pay so little. How can you teach children about earning interest when the interest barely registers? The account that stands out is ING’s Children’s savings account. The interest is better, but ING makes you work: A parent must already be a customer, and the account doesn’t have debit card privileges. You need to link ING’s kid account to another bank’s crappier kid account, and then you can move money between the accounts online. Suggestion to big banks: Improve your savings accounts or yours will only be vehicles used to move money elsewhere.

J.D. Roth at Get Rich Slowly shared his own list of The Best Books About Money. J.D. includes a short review for each book. There are many on the list I haven’t read, but there are some I did that I would also highly recommend: J.D.’s own Your Money: The Missing Manual, Vicki Robin & Joe Dominguez’s Your Money Or Your Life, William J. Bernstein’s The Four Pillars of Investing, Burton G. Malkiel’s The Random Walk Guide To Investing, and Gary Belsky & Thomas Gilovich’s Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes. In the future, I’ll post an expanded list of my own favorites … with some Canadian content. :-)

Green Toronto shared actual results from his home solar panel installation in MicroFIT system performance, 1 year into it. I’ve been fascinated with the idea of installing solar panels on a residential home, as both a “green” project and for financial return. Ontario’s microFIT program aims to make solar installations a more affordable proposition for homeowners by guaranteeing the price at which the OPA will buy solar-generated electricity from those in the program. Reading about Green Toronto’s experience in the program and with building a solar generation system has been enlightening.

That’s it for now.

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