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Now, this is fun. A U.S. blogger has taken a run at trashing some of the most popular ideas from personal finance writers like me. Among his targets: Emergency funds (not required by everyone), adding bonds to a portfolio for safety (he's kind of down on bonds) and robo-advisers (they charge too much).

All of personal finance is debatable. I think at least a small emergency fund is a no brainer, as much for your peace of mind as financial security. Bonds are a hedge against a stock market crash and an economic downturn. And robo-advisers provide something essential for the fees they charge – a disciplined approach to investing that too many investors can't stick to on their own.

But I'm not militant about all of this. If you have a different view based on sound reasoning, go for it. Personal finance doesn't work on a one-size-fits-all model. More like one-size-fits-most.

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This is what nervous rich people are doing
They're preparing for a breakdown of society by building bunkers and stocking up on food, ammunition and such. Some are buying "havens" in far flung areas such as New Zealand. Won't earth be a fun place when all these survivors emerge from hiding after the apocalypse?

Five critical retirement mistakes
I like this list because it explains the mistakes people make in behavioural and emotional terms, rather than with financial jargon.

So much for no-fee bank accounts
Several of the big banks waive their monthly account fees if you keep a minimum balance. Problem is, those minimums are on the rise.

How to deep clean your bathroom
Cleaning suggestions that are both economical and more environmentally friendly than using noxious chemicals.

Kick your sugar habit
There's lots of talk about how bad sugar is for your health. Here some tips for cutting back on sugar consumption that will have the additional benefit of reducing your spending on packaged food.

Presidents and the stock market
Bad stuff happened during almost every president's administration going back to 1929.

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Today's featured financial tool
StockTrades.ca picks its top online brokers in both Canada and the United States. Globe Unlimited subscribers have access to my own recent broker ranking.

Ask Rob
The question:
"At what age would you recommend buying a life insurance policy? I'm 29 and my husband is 30. We don't have kids but do plan on having them in the future. Is it too early to buy life insurance now?"

My reply: Now's a good time to get insured if you're planning to have kids in the next while. At your age, premiums will be quite affordable for term life coverage. Insurance sellers have all kinds of measures of how much coverage you need, but there's nothing wrong with buying a level of coverage that balances your needs with what you can afford. Here's something I wrote on millennials and insurance not too long ago.

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 Video
Does renting make sense with rates skyrocketing in some cities?

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