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It’s a kick to visit an all-you-can buffet once in a while if the food’s good – OK, not horrible – and there’s a huge variety.

But unless you’re a 20-something with furnace-like metabolism, you’re going to need a strategy to get value for the dollar. All-you-can-eat buffets are often pricey, which means they can be a waste of money if you don’t dig deep.

I found some great buffet tips in a post on the website Eater, including one I use myself. Go for the pricey proteins (shrimp, oysters, rare roast beef) first. Another smart move: Skip the carbs. “Mashed potatoes, rice, subpar dinner rolls, pasta and various other carbs are always present on a buffet line. That’s because the restaurant is counting on you filling up on cheap carbohydrates so you’ll eat less of the much pricier proteins.”

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Finally, don’t put more on your plate than you’re actually going to eat. One way to lose your appetite at an all-you-can eat buffet is to watch staff carrying way plates loaded with half-eaten food. What I do is make multiple trips to the buffet to try samples of what looks good. If I like it, then I load up.

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Looking Ahead: The Retirementality

That’s the name of my new podcast on retirement, which you can listen to here or download on iTunes or Spotify. There are three episodes, one aimed at millennials, one at Gen X and one at baby boomers.

Rob’s personal finance reading list…

Canadian stocks have underperformed, but…

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A rundown on why dividend stocks make sense for retirees. “Frankly, the only reason for retirees to own Canadian stocks is the tax-advantaged nature of the dividend tax credit.”

Sorry, we can’t afford it

A parent’s thoughtful look at the delicate matter of telling your kids what the family can afford, and what it can’t.

How much is a trillion dollars?

Check out this infographic for some perspective on what this huge amount of money actual amounts to.

Battle of the robo-advisers

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A look of some top players in the world of robo-advice, where online companies build and manage investment portfolios at low cost. The annual Globe and Mail robo-adviser guide will be published on Nov. 17. Here’s a link to last year’s guide.

Today’s financial tool/app

The condo buyer’s guide: How to get into a hot real estate market without getting burned (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

Ask Rob

Q: We hear that there is a “bubble” in marijuana-stock values. If an investor wants to bet that this is a bubble that will break, is there relatively low-risk way to and take advantage of a future drop in marijuana stock values?

A: There is no low-risk way to do this. If you wanted to somewhat moderate the extreme level of risk involved when investing in a speculative sector like cannabis, check out a diversified cannabis ETF.

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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.

Q: What is your opinion on annuities as a source of income for retirement?

A: Big thumbs-up. Not for all your retirement income, but for a portion of it. A little background: An annuity is a contract where you hand a lump sum of money to an insurance company in exchange for a set monthly payment for as long as you live. The payments can be indexed to inflation, or not. Interest rates have a big impact on annuity payouts, which means today’s rising-rate trend is positive for annuities.

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.

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories

  • Winnipeg single mom with no debt looks to build savings in TFSA, RRSP
  • The five home-business myths that could rob you of tax savings
  • Why Canadian equities have become a favourite for this fund manager overseeing billions (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

More Carrick and money coverage 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. Send us an e-mail to let us know what you think of my newsletter. Want to subscribe? Click here to sign up.

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