By Rob Carrick
After years of forecasts about a housing market correction in Canada, the housing bulls are starting to get cocky. Just check out this collection of forecasts from 2008-2013 that proved wrong. No doubt, the housing bears have so far struck out. But were they wrong, or just too early with their forecasts?
There's reason to wonder when you look at the speculative stuff happening in the Vancouver market. Here's a story about a property in suburban Langley that sold for $1.8-million only one month after selling for $1.2-million. As crazy as Vancouver is, sales and pricing statistics for February suggest it's offsetting other housing markets that are either lukewarm or slipping.
As a personal finance writer, I'm keeping track of how housing affordability is declining wherever prices keep rising. Maclean's recently had some fun looking at how expensive housing would be if prices keep growing at current levels.
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Rob's top web links
The TFSA is not a toy
> An investment adviser cautions investors about the down side of using a tax-free savings account to take a flyer on stocks they think will jump in value.
Kitchen tools for the home chef on a budget
> Lots of ideas on where to buy the right tools, on the cheap.
Up close and personal with the S&P/TSX composite index
> A fun data-mining exercise on the stocks that make up Canada's benchmark stock index. Reading it is a great argument for global diversification.
Why you failed your new year's money resolutions
> Good insights here: You failed to set goals, planned big changes when small would have been more realistic…
Where do ETFs come from?
> I get a tonne of questions from readers about exchange-traded funds, a fast-growing, low-cost alternative to mutual funds. For all the newbies, here's a look at the origins of the ETF. The Toronto Stock Exchange gets its due for being in on ETFs from the beginning.
More on those expiring Air Miles
> A previous edition of this newsletter looked at how Air Miles points older than five years start expiring at the end of this year. Here's some more information on how to prevent your points for expiring without being used up.
Today's featured investment tool
The online community Reddit has a Canadian personal finance page that offers a forum where you can pose a question and get answers from your peers.
The question: "What are the mutual funds for the senior crowd? It seems you always talk about those individuals who are about to retire – what about those who are there?"
My reply: The closest thing to a mutual fund for seniors is the monthly income fund, which is offered in both mutual fund and exchange-traded fund formats. These funds hold diversified portfolios of income producing investments such as bonds, dividend-paying commons shares and preferred shares. They're worth some thought if you're a senior looking to convert accumulated retirement savings into regular income.
Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Questions and answers are edited for length.
Are you a loser if you have a savings account in your TFSA? Find out in my latest Carrick Talks Money video.
Attention, Generation Y
We're launching a Gen Y Money page and welcome your questions about money. Answers will be supplied on our website by a pair of millennial financial advisers. Send your questions to email@example.com. Make sure to include your first name, age and where you live.
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