1. Rob Carrick wrote about the troubles that clients are having at Scotia iTrade including inability to access their accounts and errors in their investment holdings and cash balances. The trouble started when Scotia Bank started migrating old E*Trade accounts to the bank’s own system. If you have accounts with iTrade be sure to watch out for any discrepancies.
  2. For what it’s worth, in an interview with Knowledge@Wharton, Jeremy Siegel opines that 2010 will be a good year for stocks, bad for bonds and interest rates will go up.
  3. This article in Money magazine argues that the gold craze is just another asset bubble. Also check out this interesting slide show on other financial bubbles in the past five centuries.
  4. Michael James writes that mutual funds that levy a deferred sales charge (DSC) penalize regular savers.
  5. Preet finds out that ING Direct is considering launching a discount brokerage in his chat with Peter Aceto.
  6. Kathryn offered eight financial resolution ideas for the New Year.
  7. While on the topic of New Year resolutions, Thicken My Wallet blogged about why resolutions pertaining to personal finance fail.
  8. Mr. Cheap reviewed Malcolm Gladwell’s new book What the Dog Saw and found it very interesting.
  9. Larry MacDonald stumbled on to a vast aggregate of investment outlooks for 2010. Here’s my outlook: some of them are likely to come true!
  10. Gail Vaz-Oxlade asks readers if they are grasshoppers or ants.

I’m unable to highlight all the articles worth checking out in my round-up but you can check them out through my Twitter feed. Have a great weekend everyone!

This article has 17 comments

  1. Thanks for the link! Gold is definitely bubbly.

  2. From PIMCO:

    The global economic recovery underway will likely be very much de-synchronized, borne of heterogeneous initial conditions on display prior to the recession, with a full range of possible outcomes. …

    In addition to these differing initial conditions, there is still uncertainty over three major issues, which in turn creates a range of possible outcomes in our forecast.

    How’s that for covering your ass! Whatever happens in 2010, PIMCO forecast it with their “range of possible outcomes”.

    We need more economists like Dr. Sherry Cooper who in 2009 told the CBC “if you ask me where the stock market is going I’ll tell you that I don’t know but at least I know that I don’t know. There are a lot of young economists that don’t know that they don’t know.”

    Fred

  3. Canadian Capitalist

    @Fred: The funniest I’ve heard is, and I’m paraphrasing here (I’m not entirely sure of the source, it may have been Harry Dent): the stock market will go up significantly, stay the same or go down a lot.

    Really? Wow. Who’d have figured that one, eh?

  4. Thanks for the mention. That “heterogeneous initial conditions” stuff Fred quoted from PIMCO is hilarious. It sounds like the gibberish I had to listen to in management meetings a long time ago.

  5. I’m very tempted to short gold, but I have a hard time doing it for the same reason I have never bought gold. It doesn’t pay a dividend.

    I don’t understand the gold craze at all. The only way it makes a little sense is if inflation were a genuine threat. Right now, deflation continues to be the more serious threat IMO. Even if inflation is right around the corner, I would argue there are superior returns to be had in other inflation hedge investments. Who wants to hold an investment whose intrinsic value relies mostly on the fact other people want to hold it, not on its underlying utility in consumption or production?

    My own view is equity markets have separated themselves from the fundamentals, and we’re due for another pullback. If gold spikes again when that happens, I may not be able to resist speculating a small fraction of my portfolio shorting gold…

  6. I reviewed my iTrade account a few weeks ago and they had been charging me for a platform I never had used in the past 3 years. It was resolved quickly, but it was irritating to find that it had just magically appeared on my statements.

  7. The PIMCO forecast brings to mind the saying “If you can’t impress them with your intelligence, baffle them with your BS.”!

  8. Thanks for the mention.

    I have no clue where the markets will be in the short term. If I did, I’d be broadcasting the reverse forecast to everyone I didn’t know.

  9. Thanks for the link CC! Enjoy the weekend!

  10. What a Great posting it is! I am impressed with your work & I liked it. You did a very gorgeous posting. Keep up the good work. 😉
    webroyalty

  11. Questrade has also had recent problems… a buddy told me his account just skyrocketed up to over 1.5 million… and trust me, he doesn’t have anything near that invested in there!

  12. DS– I have my accounts with RBC-DI. I’ve been interested in switching my registered accounts to Questrade in order to hold US dollars in my accounts now that the loonie is on a run. I telephoned Questrade to request information– I was parked on hold and never did reach a live body. Inability to reach a live person made the account transfer a non-starter for me. Aside from the inability to hold US currency in my registered accounts, I’ve been very happy with RBC DI.

  13. Interesting that TD is implementing a $50 annual fee for registered accounts (mentioned in Rob Carrick’s article). First I heard of that, but perhaps I haven’t been paying attention, even though I am a client.

  14. I don’t see interest rates going up for some time. The governments can’t afford it and with the amount of money borrowed over the last year…it would cost them (us) way too much. Low rates for a few more years!

  15. @ Life Insurance: The Government doesn’t set interest rates (except for the very very short term). The market (ie: you and me, investors) sets interest rates. With every government on the planet running huge deficits, and with rates already at historical lows, rates must go up. Probably sooner and harder than most expect.

  16. re: my previous comment, *TD Waterhouse Discount Broker* is not administering a $50 fee as I first thought, it’s *TD Waterhouse Financial Planning* that is charging the new fee. I was thrown off by the similar names. Thanks to Canadian Capitalist for pointing out my mistake.