Australia's a lot like Canada in that real estate is expensive and young people are struggling to afford houses. An Australian newspaper columnist has found a solution. Millennials should stop spending money on eating out, particular on expensive brunches featuring items like smashed avocadoes on toast (kind of like guacamole – I think.) "I have seen young people order smashed avocado with crumbled feta on five-grain toasted bread at $22 (AUS) a pop and more," Bernard Salt writes. "Twenty-two dollars several times a week could go towards a deposit on a house."
Mr. Salt's been peppered with replies from millennials, so let's not pile on. But it is worth noting that by at least one accounting, young adults don't spend more than others on dining out. A notable exception is coffee.
And what if millennials do splurge on fab meals at fancy restaurants? I'm OK with it as long as they have automatic savings and investing plans going. Anyway, they should enjoy brunching on smashed avocadoes while they can. There won't be much money left for that kind of stuff after they buy a home.
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Why you should wait until you're 70 to collect CPP and OAS
Important reading for people approaching retirement. Actuary Fred Vettese makes a strong case that the larger CPP and OAS payments you get if you delay to age 70 will go a long way toward ensuring you have the money to live comfortably in retirement.
Students want to learn about money
Here's a petition calling upon the Ontario Ministry of Education to add financial literacy to the career studies course that Grade 10 students take. Super idea. Ontario already makes financial literacy part of the curriculum from grades 4 through 12, but in a scattered way that could benefit from more focus.
Just what the housing market needs – more hype
All about how agents in Toronto are using "coming soon" signs to advertise homes before they're listed on the multiple listing service (MLS).
The Harvard endowment fund gets clocked
The Ivy League school's complexly constructed endowment fund lost 2 per cent in fiscal 2016, while a comparable portfolio of index-tracking exchange-traded funds made 2.2 per cent. Yet another example of how stock-picking money managers often fail to beat the benchmark indexes you can invest in through ETFs.
Clean up that mess in your garage
Ideas on how to bring order to the stuff in your garage and protect the value of the tools you've invested in.
How presidential elections affect financial markets
Wondering how a win by Donald Trump might affect stock and bond markets? Here's data showing the impact of previous elections.
Today's featured financial tool
The B.C. Securities Commission offers this quiz to test your knowledge of investment fees. Worth taking because it touches on several misconceptions about fees.
The question: "What are the differences between holding bonds and holding bond funds (i.e.: bond ETFs)?"
My reply: Bonds and bond funds are similar in that they pay interest periodically and fluctuate in value according to what interest rates are doing. The biggest difference is that a bond repays the money you invested when it matures. Bond funds, including bond ETFs, never mature. They just keep rolling along, paying interest and rising or falling in price according to what's happening with rates. Another difference is that bond funds hold a diversified portfolio of bonds that may pay higher yields than one particular government or corporate bond. The fees on bond funds will cut into this yield, so be sure to consider costs if you go the bond fund route.
Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can't answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.
Featured Videos I discuss poverty among retirees with John Stapleton, an expert on the finances of low-income seniors.
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