Aggressive Pension Return Assumptions: The Wall Street Journal’s Jason Zweig points out that many private pension plans have unrealistic expectations of double digit returns from stocks. On the other hand, Berkshire Hathaway, whose pension plan is overseen by Warren Buffett, expects stock returns to range between 8% and 9%.

Pricey Dividend Payers: This column in the New York Times points out that investors attracted to dividends should note that the sectors that a rich in dividend-payers such as utilities, REITS, health care and consumer staples are now trading at rich valuations.

Canada’s Housing Bubble: The Economist magazine weighs in on housing prices in Canada pointing out that the ratio of housing prices to income is now 30% above the historical average.

Modest Housing Returns: Larry Swedroe points out that a long view of history shows that returns from residential real estate are rather modest. In any case, he suggests that we think of housing as a consumption item rather as a pure investment.

TurboTax Online Giveaway

With T-slips and tax receipts starting to roll in, it is time for a tax preparation software giveaway. Thanks to Intuit, I’m giving away three (3) coupons that are good for any version of TurboTax Online (valued at $17.99 for Standard and $32.99 for Premium). As always, entering the giveaway is real simple. Just leave a comment in this post and don’t forget to include a valid e-mail address. If you are reading this through your favourite RSS Reader or via-email, you have to click on the headline, get through to the website and scroll down to the bottom of the page and type in your comment.

Some quick rules:
(1) No purchase necessary. A skill-testing question may be required.
(2) Deadline for entries is 8 p.m. EST on Thursday, February 9, 2012.
(3) One entry per person please.
(4) I treat your privacy very seriously. Your email will be used for the sole purpose of contacting you if you happen to win.
(5) I’ll pick three (3) entries at random and announce the winner after the deadline. Thank you for entering and good luck!

This article has 76 comments

  1. I really enjoy your site. And I could use the tax software!

  2. I’m surprised that Warren Buffett has changed his tune. As recently as his 2007 Annual Letter to Shareholders, he criticized even 8% projected pension returns as being far too rosy: http://davidgcrane.org/?page_id=702

    Realistically, given the poor returns of pension funds over the last few years, even double-digit blowout returns over the next few years are not going to generate a long-term average of 8%. It’s increasingly hard to find either experts or academics who are projecting anything over 6.5-7% for pension funds: http://www.publicceo.com/2012/01/pension-earnings-dip-amid-gloomy-forecasts/

  3. Please enter me for the turbo tax draw. Thank You.

  4. Every time I use tax software, I recall the recent years when I’d do both mine and my husband’s returns by hand… a whole day and lots of angst. Now I don’t know what I was thinking…

  5. Please enter me in the turbo tax draw.

    Thanks
    Brian

  6. Please enter me for the draw – I need to start my taxes! Thanks

  7. Please enter me for the draw, and thanks for the link to the Economist article!

  8. I was just thinking about my taxes. This would be great.

  9. Thanks for all the info you keep sharing. The tax software would be quite useful.

  10. Larry Swedroe makes a point I’ve been flogging: home ownership works well as forced savings, but as an investment barely breaks even. And now, it’s time for taxes — thanks!

  11. Here I come for the nominations.

    Thank you,

  12. Count me in for the Tuurbo Tax giveaway.

  13. I usually use Studio Tax, but anything free will do 🙂

  14. I’d love the software! Thanks!

  15. Please enter me in the draw. I enjoy your site.

  16. TurboTax, please! We use it every year…

  17. Please enter me in the turbo tax give away. Thank you

  18. free is good for the financial plan, count me in thanks

  19. Thank you for all of the handy financial tips!

  20. Please enter me in the draw! Keep up the great work.

  21. Count me in for the TurboTax giveaway.

  22. Long time reader. Thanks for all the insightful posts! I could use a TurboTax copy.

  23. please include me in the draw

  24. Count me in for the draw.

  25. There is going to be a lot of pain in the US when everyone realises those pension promises are a lie based on the 8% return assumption. Mebane Faber put out a paper on the topic:

    “What if 8% is Really 0%? Pension Funds Investing with Fingers-Crossed and Eyes Closed”
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1862355

    I’m concerned enough about the CPP’s 4.2% real return assumption being realistic. So far they have achieved only 5.9% nominal, or perhaps 3.9% real.

  26. I am in for the draw.

  27. ooh, pick me pick me pick me! Comeone Turbotax!

  28. lease enter me in the TurboTax draw. Thanks

  29. Excellent – please enter me into the draw.

  30. I would love to try the Intuit software. Thanks CC.

  31. Turbo tax me CC!

  32. Thanks for the opportunity to win 🙂

  33. Turbo Tax would go along way in helping me out! Thanks CC for the chance and the awesome blog!

  34. Please enter me. I’ve always used the boxed CD version in the past. I’m interested in how the online version compares.

    Thanks to you and Intuit

  35. Me too. Please enter me for the draw. I enjoy your weekly This and that email

  36. Please enter me in the draw: love the site!

  37. I would love to win this

  38. Yes, please enter my name for the draw.
    Thank-you.

  39. Great article. Please sign me up for the contest.

  40. Really enjoying your blog; thanks for all of the insight. Plead enter me in your Turbo Tax draw.

  41. I like this blog, and I like free stuff.

  42. Always enjoy the roundup and would love to try out TurboTax.

  43. Thanks for having this draw.

  44. Great Blog I found after reading The Wealthy Barber Returns.
    Free TurboTax, that sounds wonderful!

  45. Keep tabs on this site all the time. Very informative articles which make you think through all aspects of DIY investing. Keep up the good work. Have been a long time user of TurboTax – saves lots of headaches trying to figure out where things go. Thanks

  46. pick me, pick me!

  47. CPP has only done active investing for less than a decade and the 2008-2009 period crushed everyone. I am not worried yet.

  48. An informative collection of articles – I will be checking out this blog in the future. Thanks!

  49. Please enter me into the draw….thank you!

  50. Oh, yes please. Got to get those taxes filed before baby #3 shows up.

  51. It seems like homeowners also forget to factor in the interest costs they are paying on their mortgage. Their property value may have gone up by $100,000 but they’ve paid a lot of interest during the same period.

    I’ve used Turbotax for years now. Please enter me in the draw.

  52. love moneysense, my favorite magazine to find in my mailbox 🙂

  53. That time of year again. Bah Hum Bug.

  54. Expecting any more than a 9% return on stocks is unfortunate. And after the fees and taxes one might want to reconsider their investment strategy. My suggestion is always measure twice (or as many times as you need) and cut once with confidence.

  55. Thanks for the insightful articles, and looking forward to the draw!

  56. I’d certainly make good use of the tax software. Hope this online form doesn’t solicit TOO much junk e-mail. 😉

  57. Like that software, pick me

  58. Keep up the good work.
    I am in into the Draw.
    Thanx.

  59. Have heard lots about Turbotax – would be interesting to compare with what I’m currently using.

  60. Please include me in the draw, thank!

  61. Thanks for the post! I have been using TurboTax for the past few years and love it. This year I am graduating to the Investing and Business Owner edition so the coupon would definitely be helpful!

  62. I’ve never used TurboTax before. It’d be good to try it.

  63. I hope I win. Keep up the great work and keep on giving stuff away for free!

  64. Thanks for the great info and count me in on the draw!

  65. New to the blog but enjoying the archives thus far. Young 30-something female who has purchased her first modest home (by myself)… now shifting my focus to retirement savings/ aka: the future!

  66. Please add me to the draw. Thanks!

  67. Thanks for the chance!

  68. Tax time!!

  69. time to see the dollars roll in or out as the case may be.

  70. Please enter me in the contest

  71. Please add me to the draw … thanks too for all the informative blog posts.

  72. please enter me in the contest

  73. Please add me to the draw woooo!

  74. Do you use this software for your own taxes?

  75. The giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered. The winners picked out by random.org are Henria O., Chris and Andrew F. The winners have been contacted by e-mail and will receive their codes shortly.