1. Our dollar zoomed ahead this week and is currently trading within striking distance of achieving parity with the US dollar. It is easy to forget that it was only five years back that the loonie was derided as a “Northern Peso”. Personally, with a high, unhedged exposure to foreign equities (similar to the 50% weighting of the Sleepy Portfolio), the gains in the stock market this week were offset by the rising Canadian dollar.
  2. In light of the appreciating loonie, Jon Chevreau offers his thoughts on whether you should still go global in your portfolio.
  3. Why did the US Federal Reserve have to cut interest rates by a surprising 50 basis points? This article from Wharton explains how we got into the subprime mess.
  4. Ellen Roseman reviews The Lazy Investor, a new book by Derek Foster focusing on dividend investing using DRIPs and SPPs.
  5. Money magazine is celebrating its 35th anniversary and Jazon Zweig recalls how much investing has changed over that time period and suggests three rules to follow for tilting the advantage in your favour.
  6. The system access fee ranging from $6.95 to $8.95 charged by cell phone companies has long been controversial. The Star reports that a class-action lawsuit has been launched in a Saskatchewan court over the fee. If you tend to use less than 100 minutes on average every month, you would save money by opting for a pre-paid plan instead of a monthly plan.
  7. I am thinking about replacing our trusty American Express Costco card with the one suggested by Million Dollar Journey – the American Express Gold Cash Back card.
  8. We are suckers for sweepstakes but Larry MacDonalds likes the odds of the BMO Dreamworld contest.
  9. TD Ameritrade (US discount broker partly owned by TD Bank) reported that hackers have stolen contact information of millions of clients. It is not clear if the breach affects customers of Ameritrade Canada (which was acquired by TD Waterhouse).
  10. Rob Carrick writes about the support for active investing from an unlikely source: Barclay’s, the purveyors of many fine ETF products.

This article has 5 comments

  1. Thanks for the mention CC! We’re going to apply for the Amex GOLD soon also.

  2. Thanks CC and MDJ… applied on the phone now, finally a superior card to my current 1% cash back card… compared to the rewards in the states I always thought we should get better kickbacks!

  3. Chevreau said: “If and when the loonie does achieve parity, it will be an opportunity to continue “going global” at ever more attractive prices – the loonie now buys even more foreign securities than it ever did.”

    Well said.

    Although what does he mean “when it does achieve parity.” He wrote that on Sep 18th when it already was at parity. He makes it sound like “only” when it reaches parity will we be able to pick up foreign securities at a bargain because he starts he sentence off with “If and when”. Why the heck is everyone putting so much emphasis on exact “parity.” When it’s within +/- 5% let’s call that parity. Ok?

  4. Re the Cel phone fees – I have a plan from Telus for $15/month – it gives me 45min – really just enough for emergency use (and for my five year old to practice phoning home from in the house when we’re not looking haha). They don’t seem to charge me the access fee for this plan. I don’t think Telus advertises this plan but when I was going to leave them a couple of years ago they offered it to me. I find it better than the pay-as-you-go plan because you don’t have to remember to top up. About once a year I get a ‘big’ bill – ie $40 – when I travel and use it more – but this used to be a low bill for me when I was on one of their other plans.

    By the way, thank you CC for a great website.

  5. Timmyz – all the carriers have a lot of “hidden” plans that rise from the dead when you try and cancel, it’s a part of their retention plan. Fido has one that $10 a month (no system fee) but no minutes, so basically you have a phone and pay what you use.
    Same goes for phones, it’s rarely advertised, but you can generally squeeze a new phone dirt cheap or free out of each carrier every 3 years if you’re a “good” customer.