Welcome to the Globe and Mail Personal Finance Reader. I'm Rob Carrick, personal finance columnist at The Globe, and twice weekly I compile a list of articles, blog postings, videos and websites that represent the best of what the online world has to offer on money-related subjects.
Mothers, cars and dishwashers dominate this edition of the Reader. Got a mom? There's a last-minute gift idea here for Mother's Day, plus some thoughts on all the bucks we spend on greeting cards. Got a car? Then check out one financial blogger's classically bad run-in with a car salesman, a financial adviser's take on leasing and two web gems that help you keep track of speed traps and gas prices. Got a dishwasher? Topping today's menu of personal finance nuggets is an appliance repairman's account of how people waste money by using too much soap.
In the Investorama section, you'll also find something to tell you how the debt problems in Greece may affect their investments, and an argument in favour of buying U.S. stocks.
Special note: We're compiling a list of best Canadian personal finance and investing blogs and we'd love to hear your suggestions. Please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Globe and Mail
Here's how to interpret sales strategies while you're shopping for that condo
In part two of our series on secrets from inside the financial services industry, adviser Ted Rechtshaffen looks at upfront fees and why they are not in a client's best interest
There's a lot of risks out there, but it's not always easy to see what they are. Here's how to minimize the threats
Spend, save, invest or donate. What will you do?
Must Reads From Around the Web
Last-minute gift suggestion for Mother's Day (that's Sunday, btw): Set up a special bank account for her to use for personal care stuff like massages, gym membership etc.
With Mother's Day cards no doubting flooding the postal system, this blogger explains her decision to stop sending cards.
Driving Hard Bargains
The Canadian Finance blog goes car shopping and ends up disgusted with the sales tactics.
Some thoughts on car leasing by David Christianson, a Winnipeg financial adviser, blogger and columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press.
Speedtrap.org is a website that lists speed traps across the United States and Canada. Pick a state or province and find out where the heat is.
Gasbuddy is a website that provides a station-by-station survey of gasoline prices in major cities across North America.
Costco members get $1,000 off the price of certain 2010 Ford models until June 30, and you can use this deal on top of other promotions.
A quick and useful description of what the Greek credit crisis means to your investments.
This is a really smart idea. Preet Banerjee of the Where Does All My Money Go blog is asking for reader input in creating a "know your adviser" form that will help people select the best possible financial adviser.
The Canadian Couch Potato blog has been looking at an often overlooked weakness of exchange-traded funds that track foreign stock indexes. It's called tracking error and it refers to the way in which your returns can wander far from what you'd expect.
An investment adviser's argument for why you should be looking at the U.S. stock market.
Cents and Sensibility
Stop putting so much detergent in your dishwasher, and other tips for smarter appliance use.
The latest mortgage rate forecast from RateSupermarket.ca
A good everyday personal finance article on how to pick a PIN for online transactions that hackers can't guess, and that you can remember.
Some tips for saving a little money on your regular monthly expenses.
One person's experience with Kiva, a non-profit organization that allows you to lend money to low-income people around the world who are building their own businesses.
Follow me on Facebook. I'm at Rob Carrick - Personal Finance.
Editor's note: If you don't receive Rob Carrick's newsletter twice weekly by e-mail, you can sign up to get it for free at The Globe and Mail. All you need to do is register for the site, or if you've already registered, login and go to your profile at the top of the homepage. Once you're in your profile, look under Alerts and look for the Personal Finance Reader and other newsletters. Other financial newsletters include:
- Business Ticker, a summary of the day's top business stories
- Berman's Market Update, a summary of the markets at the open, noon and close
- Globe Investor Magazine, a biweekly collection of smart investment ideas and portfolio management stories