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I can see a lot of good coming from a more open conversation about how much money we all make.

Women and BIPOC employees tend to make less. More transparency about who makes what in the workplace would give them leverage to get what they deserve from employers. Young workers would have a better idea of how much to ask for when they start a job, and after they’ve put in a few years with an employer.

But I’m not sure people are ready to be more open about their paycheques. I recently asked on Twitter whether it’s rude to inquire how much money someone makes. A lot of people answered with a yes.

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Here’s a response that nicely sums up the ins and outs of asking about salary: “[It’s] very rude if the underlying objective is to judge the person based on how much money they make. But I found I was being paid less than some of my colleagues at one point so that was a good thing!”

And here’s a response that sums up the generational angle: “Many of the taboos that people my age hold, that are to our detriment in many cases, simply aren’t taboo for 20-somethings,” a financial planner said in a tweet.

“So basically Gen Z and millennials have no problems whereas boomers earning six figures and owning million-dollar houses for having done nothing in their life get their feelings hurt if you ask,” someone else added to the conversation.

In a recent episode of our Stress Test personal finance podcast for young adults, we featured a group of friends comparing notes on salary and negotiating tactics for getting a raise. Gen Z and millennials may well carry through this openness about salary through their careers, and that’s great. For boomers, it’s probably too late.


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Rob’s personal finance reading list

A rule to help control your spending

If you want to buy something that costs more than 1 per cent of your gross income, wait a day to reconsider. The idea is to eliminate impulsive spending that puts you off track, financially.

Stocks are expensive – can they keep rising?

If you invest in stocks, you have to be wondering how much longer the rally of the past 15 or so months can last. Stocks are expensive by some measures, but there could be room to run.

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So you’re travelling again – how will you buy foreign currencies?

A look at a bunch of different options for buying foreign currencies from a cost and convenience point of view.

Five top robo-advisers

A website for people in the investing industry highlights five robo-advisers, a type of investing service that will manage a portfolio of exchange-traded funds for you at a low cost. Here’s a video about another option for people who want help choosing investments: the online bank Tangerine’s core and global exchange-traded fund portfolios.


Ask Rob

Q: Where do I park $550,000 for eight months at the best rate. Low risk is needed – the money is for a new home build.

A: Here’s a website that will help you find the best rates on high-rate savings accounts and GICs. Some online banks on this list are operated by Manitoba credit unions, which have a deposit insurance plan with unlimited coverage. Other banks are part of Canada Deposit Insurance Corp., which covers eligible deposits up to $100,000 in principal and interest.

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 and clarity.


Today’s financial tool

This credit card payment calculator lets you compare three different options for dealing with your card balance.

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The money-free zone

This might be my favourite song so far in 2021 – Stand for Myself, by the U.K. soul singer Yola. The song is on an upcoming album that includes another gem, Starlight.


ICYMI


More Rob Carrick and money coverage

Subscribe to Stress Test on Apple podcasts or Spotify. For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group.

Even more coverage from Rob Carrick:

Are you reading this newsletter on the web or did someone forward the e-mail version to you? If so, you can sign up for Carrick on Money here.

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