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Our financial system has shown a lot of resilience in the pandemic, but not nearly enough to keep a lot of people working and earning like they did in pre-COVID days.

It’s easy to lose sight of the financial victims in the pandemic when the housing market keeps generating gee whiz headlines with its price gains, when the stock market keeps rising and when the unemployment rate has been improving. But people are suffering.

Last week in this newsletter, we looked at pandemic splurging. Many people have been able to save money in the pandemic as a result of social distancing, and they’ve been treating themselves to all kinds of things – puppies, kayaks, new decks and a lot more.

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Now, let’s look at how people have been financially hurt in the pandemic, and what sacrifices and cutbacks they’ve had to make. If you’re in this group, please help us understand your predicament by taking this poll:


Subscribe to Carrick on Money

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.


Rob’s personal finance reading list

How the Aeroplan relaunch affects travel reward credit cards

Air Canada’s Aeroplan customer loyalty program has just been relaunched, and that means changes for the credit cards that offer Aeroplan points as rewards. Here’s a summary of changes both in Aeroplan and its linked credit cards.

Test your mortgage knowledge

Compare your mortgage literacy against the people who participated in a financial website’s survey (and didn’t do so great).

A comic book king’s sad demise

A story of elder abuse starring Stan Lee, a giant in comic books through the Marvel name and then an endless series of movies based on those comics. A great read, but so depressing.

Pre-paid credit cards vs. secured cards

A thorough rundown on what both of these types of cards can do for you. If you want to build or rebuild your credit score, you want a secured card. Pre-paid cards offer a way to use plastic without risk of going into debt. You can only spend the amount that has been loaded onto the card.


Ask Rob

Q: I’m trying to help my 16-year-old child get involved in investing money she has earned from her part-time job. We have looked at opening a high-interest savings account, as well as opening an account at an online brokerage. However, each one requires you to be at least 18 years old. Can you suggest something for minors to do with their extra cash instead of it sitting in a chequing account?

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A: My sense is that parents are working more with their teens on smart saving and investing because I’m getting more queries like this than ever before. Let’s crowd-source some ideas for teens younger than 18 to earn a competitive rate on savings and invest. Parents, tell me what you’re doing in an e-mail to rcarrick@globeandmail.com. Investing-wise, one option for parents is to set up an in-trust account at an online brokerage. Here are some thoughts on that.

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.


Globe subscriber investing event

Join me and my guest, Naheed Gilani, founder of Founder of Conscious Wealth, this Friday at 12 p.m. ET (9 a.m. PT) for a live webcast where we will discuss strategies, tactics, and what to be mindful of when investing in a volatile market. This is a subscriber-exclusive webcast. Subscribers can register here.


Today’s financial tool

A province-by-province comparison of the cost of power. Ontario…sigh.


The money-free zone

For my birthday last weekend, my son Will made us this Detroit-style pizza. Something so exceptional deserves a wider audience.

Behold Will Carrick's Detroit-style pizza.

Rob Carrick/Handout


ICYMI

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories
  • Can this 41-year-old leave her job and ‘retire’ without the worry of running out of money?
  • Buying or selling a cottage? Be aware of the tax implications
  • An inflection point reached? Record low five-year fixed mortgage rates suddenly in danger of rising (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

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.

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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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