This and That: Data Mining by Retailers, Interest rates and more…
A story in The New York Times revealed the lengths retail stores go to entice consumers to establish new shopping habits. I suppose this is one downside to using a credit or debit card to pay for your purchases.
The Bank of Canada decided this week to maintain interest rates at 1 per cent. The Prime Rate to which variable-rate mortgages and lines of credit are tied remains at 3 percent. In its accompanying statement, the Bank gave no indication of where interest rates are headed only saying that it will “continue to monitor carefully economic and financial developments in the Canadian and global economies, together with the evolution of risks, and set monetary policy consistent with achieving the 2 per cent inflation target over the medium term”.
Jason Zweig of The Wall Street Journal wrote about new research that suggests that the increase in assets invested in index funds coincided with increasing correlation among stocks. Critics point out that correlation isn’t the same as causation.
Robert Shiller reports on provocative new research from Finland that concludes that people with a high I.Q. score were more likely to also invest intelligently by diversifying their portfolios, investing heavily in stocks and favouring small-cap and value stocks.
Jon Chevreau reported that the CRA is targeting aggressive TFSA transactions with “punitive audits”. Unless you were one of those smart people who swapped assets back and forth between TFSA and taxable accounts to increase the TFSA balance, you have nothing to worry. It is completely within the rules if you had taken a flyer on a stock and cashed in after it skyrocketed in value.
Rob Carrick argues that buying a house beyond your means will wreck your retirement.
I’m a big fan of TD e-Series Funds, which allow investors to build intelligent portfolios at a rock-bottom price. However, the knock against them is that they are not very well-known and TD Bank, for obvious reasons, appears to want to keep the funds low-key. Therefore, it is nice to see TD taking some effort to explain what e-Series Funds are and why investors should invest in them.
I’m also a big fan of ETFs. Bloomberg ran a story on the twelve most important things you need to know about ETFs.