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Personal Finance Reader

Mutual funds: Where to find them, how much they cost and when to sell Add to ...

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.

It's a big part of a personal finance columnist's job to make people aware of costs and fees that eat into their investment returns and savings. Mutual funds are a favourite topic in this area. Fees are high, and the level of investor savvy about the cost of funds is low. That, of course, is why we have high fees in the first place.

This brings us to a cool tool for assessing how much you're paying to own mutual funds. It was created by the Investor Education Fund, a non-profit group funded through penalties levied by the Ontario Securities Commission, and it's just undergone a tune-up that makes it super easy to use. If you own funds and aren't sure of the costs, find an account statement and give this calculator a workout.

If you're up for more on investing, check out the commentary below on real-return bonds, and some stock picks from star managers. You can also get to know the economist known as Dr. Doom, find out about an intriguing new travel rewards credit card and check out the 50 worst inventions ever.

Found something on the Internet that your fellow investors might enjoy? Talk to me at rcarrick@globeandmail.com.

Note: If you're having trouble reading this e-mail, try viewing the Reader online.

From The Globe and Mail

Speaking of mutual funds, Globe Investor has just unveiled its new mutual fund lookup tool. Try it out here.

Do you know the pros and cons of selling your mutual funds?

Home Cents blogger Chaya Cooperberg has once again rounded up the best free budgeting tools the Internet has to offer.

With the Bank of Canada raising its benchmark interest rate 25 basis points on Tuesday, you may be wondering, ' What goes into a rate decision?'

Got a question about estate planning? Senior will and estate lawyer Lynne Butler joins us today at 11 a.m. (ET) to answer your questions. Read her tips on family estate-planning meetings and an excerpt from her new book, Estate Planning Through Family Meetings (without breaking up the family), before the discussion.

Must Reads From Around the Web

Investorama See how much you're paying to own mutual funds using the Investor Education Fund's new and improved fund fee calculator.

A look at the role real-return bonds can play (they offer inflation protection) in the portfolio of a retiree.

Fortune magazine offers up 25 stock picks suggested by all-star money managers.

Meet Dr. Doom Nouriel Roubini, the economist who called the global financial crisis, is the subject of a reality check in this Harvard Business Review blog post.

For more on Mr. Roubini, read this profile.

Worst Inventions Subprime mortgages (arguably the root cause of the global financial crisis) join tanning beds, spam e-mail and New Coke on Time's list of the 50 worst inventions.

Know Your Adviser The Where Does All My Money blog is developing an online tool called a Know Your Adviser form to help people select the best possible financial adviser. I wrote about the KYA in my most recent Portfolio Strategy column and invited comments and suggestions from readers to help make the form even better. Here's a summary of some comments sent along to Where Does All My Money Go. You can look at a draft version of the form here.

RESP SOS Ideas on how to avoid penalties when withdrawing money from a registered education savings plan set up for child who ends up not going to university or college.

Give Me Credit The Youngandthrifty.ca blog on the allure of the new American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card.

A review of the brand new Capital One Aspire World MasterCard on the Rewards Canada website.

I wrote about this impressive new card this week.

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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 Newsletters and Alerts and look for the Personal Finance Reader and other newsletters. Other financial newsletters include:

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