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The best of the Web on money, markets and all things financial, as chosen daily by Globe and Mail personal finance columnist Rob Carrick.

Dial M for Mortgage

The Million Dollar Journey blogger explains how he paid off his mortgage in three years.

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Preferred Share Roundup

When times are uncertain on the stock markets, people flock to investments like bonds and dividend stocks that pay income. Income investments are seen as being safer, and there's the comfort of receiving cash in the form of dividends or interest payments no matter what financial markets are doing. This is the background you need to understand the debut this week of a couple of new exchange-traded funds that offer a way for investors to generate dividend income through preferred shares.

Here's a look at one of the new ETFs, an actively managed fund from AlphaPro, by one of the country's top experts on preferred shares.

A roundup of U.S.-listed preferred share ETFs. Mind the significant level of exposure these funds have to the financial sector.

Souped Up Investing

Preferred shares dividends offer reliability because they can't be touched by a troubled company until it has first cut common share dividends. But there are two disadvantages to pref shares - they offer little or no potential for capital appreciation and zero possibility of dividend growth. You get both of these things from the kind of U.S. stocks examined recently in this slideshow.

Editor's note: If you don't receive Rob Carrick's newsletter twice weekly by email, 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 Newsletters and 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; and Trade by Numbers, a monthly collection of articles exploring an investing trend or theme.

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About the Author
Personal Finance Columnist

Rob Carrick has been writing about personal finance, business and economics for close to 20 years. He joined The Globe and Mail in late 1996 as an investment reporter and has been personal finance columnist since November 1998. Rob's personal finance columns appear in The Globe on Tuesday and Thursday, and his Portfolio Strategy column for investors appears on Saturday. More

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