1. As we slowly limp back from the precipice of an economic disaster, the Wall Street Journal asked its columnists to write about how the rules of personal finance have changed over the last year. It seems to me that the rules haven’t changed at all — it is just that people forgot to follow them and the crisis simply exposed the perils of straying from the straight and narrow path.
  2. Questrade is trying to be innovative and responsive to the demands of the small investor. Some time back, they addressed a long-time grievance of DIY investors — why should discount brokers collect trailer fees for providing no investment advice whatsoever? Now, the fund industry is starting to fight back: Sprott Funds is blocking trailer fee rebates to Questrade clients.
  3. Globe and Mail reporter Sarah Boesveld is writing a column on sharing financial advice or information with friends and how it can help and harm. She is hoping to interview a few people on this topic. If you are interested, her contact information is available here.
  4. Million Dollar Journey shared six lessons learned from watching Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank. I have an additional one: Kevin O’Leary can often be a total jerk even though his own record as a capitalist is, to put it politely, is less than spotless.
  5. With gold crossing $1,000 (US) per ounce, Money Energy wrote a timely post on the advantages and disadvantages of investing in gold bullion, gold stocks and gold ETFs.
  6. Investors frequently confuse economic growth and stock market returns. Thicken My Wallet wonders why there is disconnect between the stock market and the economy.
  7. Do you have a question about ING Direct that you’d like to get answered? Preet is providing an opportunity to do exactly that in an interview with Peter Aceto, the big cheese at ING Direct. The most popular so far: Is ING planning to introduce a free chequing account?
  8. Michael James looks at coin collecting from an investment perspective and finds that while it provides some returns, it is nothing like conventional asset classes.
  9. Mr. Cheap outlined some beginner investment strategies to consider for various time horizons. Staying on topic, the Globe and Mail’s John Heinzl wrote a column on getting started on a couch potato portfolio.
  10. Gail is tackling the difficult topic of love and money in a series of posts. In the latest instalment, she suggests ways for one spouse to protect herself (or himself) from the money problems of the other half.

While I’m unable to highlight all the articles I run across in the weekly roundup, you can check them out through my twitter feed. Have a great weekend everyone!

This article has 14 comments

  1. Thanks for the link. You are right about the rules not changing. People forget that the stock market has been around in one form or another since the 12th century and human behavior is always the same. I am sure there was some English lord who lost all his money in the 14th century betting his estate on some sheep futures (and then got bailed out by the King). Have a good weekend.

  2. Thanks for the mention. I agree that the rules of personal finance haven’t changed. But, it seems impossible to convince some people of this. For some reason we seem to feel that the crisis of the moment is somehow unique — never experienced before. I like the expression “the more things change the more they stay the same.”

  3. You must remember that not everyone agrees on the ‘rules’ of personal finance.

    For example, some believe in passive investing and others prefer active management. It’s not a ‘rule’ that you must choose passive.

    Some depend on asset allocation to take care of risk, others use different methods. Many completely ignore risk management.

    Some have emergency reserves, most people do not.

    I think what has changed (this year) is ‘fear.’ Taking a beating in the market makes people more conservative. Losing a job makes people more aware of the need for a stash of cash. Sure they should have been aware of these things before, but good times and bull markets have a way of building overconfidence among the masses. And the truth is: most people just don’t get it. They don’t save, they don’t even know what the rules of prudent finance are.

    When times are good, they survive. When time are bad, people become afraid. Especially when unprepared.

    It’s human nature. Not everyone will, or knows how to, act in his/her own best interests.

  4. Ta CC. Enjoy your weekend.

  5. Thanks for the link – you’re right – nothing changes!

  6. Thanks for the link CC. Kevin O’Leary is a jerk, but he makes the show! 🙂 Kinda like Simon Cowell of American Idol.

  7. Enjoy the weekend – looks like a sunny, mild one here in Ontario.

  8. Thanks kindly for the mention, I’m in great company here! I’ll be the black sheep, I kind of like Kevin O’Leary – and yes, he makes the show. Don’t forget to follow him following Amanda Lang over to CBC – let me know when their show airs/is scheduled. Lang-O’Leary Exchange, I think is the name.

  9. Ha ha. Kevin O’Leary has always been entertaining. Kind of like a Canadian Donald Trump, you know close but not quite (liked mashed potatoes without the gravy). Maybe he can start his own Apprentice type show. Maybe it could be Celebrity Apprentice and have B rate Canadian celebrities like Ben Mulroney, Stompin Tom or David Suzuki who seems to have to be everywhere these days.

  10. I don’t know if his fund’s performance is really a indictment of Kevin’s business acumen; mutual funds produce great returns for the fund manager!

  11. Thanks for the link CC – enjoy your weekend!

  12. Re: Kevin O’Leary, Donald Trump may be close, but isn’t Don Cherry more spot-on? (in a good way) Did you know that Kevin used to work under Don Cherry in his early TV days? No coincidence, perhaps….:)

  13. I also find Kevin O’Leary entertaining on both the Dragon’s Den and previously on Squeezeplay. With that said, I would NEVER buy anything from him and if he’s managing a fund, that’s an even bigger reason to stay away. O’Leary himself has always said that fund managers are a bunch of bozos only out there to make themselves rich.

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