What could possibly be holding the federal government back from killing Canada Savings Bonds? Is it sentimentality over a 70-year-old program that has turned utterly irrelevant? Fear of alienating people who won't adapt to the better options now available? Whatever the reason, it's insufficient. CSBs today are a waste of time.
This rant was prompted by the latest round of speculation about the future of CSBs, which have seen assets decline to about $6-billion last year from $55-billion in 1987. An outside review has found the program costs $58-million a year to run and serves no economic purpose. Yet the government for some reason can't pull the plug. Instead, the finance minister is inviting people to comment on CSBs as part of the government's pre-budget consultations. Here's a comment: Stick a fork in CSBs. The returns they offer are low even by today's standards and equally safe options are widely available.
Here's a link to a 2004 story I wrote about the government clinging to Canada Savings Bonds. Twelve years later, it's time to let go.
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Condo confidential: Crying babies, noisy hipsters and more
Meet the squabbling neighbours living behind all that glass and steel. Essential reading for anyone considering a condo.
Buy a house with friends…
I think it's a bad idea, but buying with friends is a way to get into the housing market if you can't afford to do so on your own. Here's a look at how this trend is playing out in the high-priced UK housing scene, and here is some advice targeted at Canadians. The reason I'm against buying with friends is the potential for money-related disagreements over things like renovations and maintenance.
…or buy in the 'burbs
A blogging Toronto real estate agent heads east to see what you get for your dollar outside the city. To summarize: Bigger houses for much less money.
How to withdraw money in retirement
We usually assume we'll withdraw level amounts from our retirement savings plans, maybe with annual increases for inflation. Now for some alternative thinking – might it make sense to withdraw more money at first and then less as time goes on? Or, to withdraw gradually increasing amounts through the years?
Over-contributed to your TFSA?
It happens. Here's how to fix it.
Help for travelers from Google
Introducing Google Trips, a new trip planning tool and travel guide. The concept: Help people plan a trip, and then thelp them get around when they arrive. I am so trying this.
Today's featured financial tool
Post-secondary students looking for scholarships and bursaries should check out a website called Yconic.
The question: "I'm new to direct investing. I purchased Sun Life Financial stock, only to have it fall significantly in recent months. At what point should a person determine that it's time to sell with a loss rather than ride it out?"
My reply: What, you're ready to give up on Sun Life already? Have there been any developments that will limit profits going forward or otherwise impair the company's business? Any threats to its dividend? Any new competitors set to make it irrelevant? If not, then I can't see why you'd want to sell after owning for what seems to be a short period of time. Give it three to five years.
Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Questions and answers are edited for length.
All about the new reports investors will be receiving to show them how much they're paying in dollar terms for investment advice.
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