Announcements Personal Finance

LinkStuff – High Definition TV Edition

I finally upgrade to high definition tv and have been pretty happy with it.  Hockey is pretty good in HD (although it would be a lot better if the Leafs were still playing), but the best improvement has been cycling.  I’m currently watching the Giro d’Italia (Canadian Ryder Hesjedal was the winner last year) and the scenery is fantastic.  It looks good on non-HD as well, but the difference is stunning.

I can’t wait for the Tour de France to start.

On with the links

Ben Rabidoux, a noted real estate bear, wrote a good article called Should everyone consider renting over buying right now?  It’s a reasonable article although personally I wish a smart guy like Ben would use his talents doing something more useful than calling for real estate crashes.  Unless he can tell us when the market will go down, how much it will go down and for how long it will be down – any predictions are completely useless.  See Garth Turner for another example.  Garth has been calling for a real estate crash since sometime after the second world war.

 Tom Bradley, the owner of Steadyhand Investment Funds wrote a letter to the Ontario Securities Commission with some suggestions about separating the cost of financial advice from the cost of  mutual fund management in Canada.   As I wrote back in 2011, I also think separating these fees is a step in the right direction.  It’s interesting that Bradley talks about lack of disclosure of mutual fund fees, but he fails to mention that his firm would likely benefit quite a bit if his suggestions are put in place.

And now for something completely different

Here are a couple of non-financial links:

Making bacon.  Who doesn’t like bacon?  This song video is quite amusing and it might make you hungry.

The Rob Ford story just gets better and better.  Jon Stewart from the Today show did a hilarious skit on Rob Ford which is well worth watching.



LinkStuff – More Money For Beer Edition

I did a book giveaway earlier this week for the awesome More Money for Beer & Textbooks book and the two winners were Judy and Siu (who also won the funniest comment award).

If you know someone who is in post-secondary education or about to enter – please buy the book for them.  It’s really good.

On with the links

Mike Piper answers the question – What happens to bond funds when rates go up?  Hint – It’s not as bad as you might think.

Harry Sit says that non-profit companies are not always better to use than for-profit companies.  Some good points.

Tom Drake has a beginner’s guide on how to buy stocks. It includes what to look for in a stock and discount brokerages you could use.

Robb from Boomer & Echo says that a high debt-to-income ratio is misleading and not to worry about it so much.  Of course, as always it depends on your situation.

Michael James wrote about how RRSPs and RRIFs are mis-handled for low-income seniors.

I like this article about a 20-something person who isn’t disappointed they aren’t living the dream and is working their butt off to improve their lives as best they can.

This drives me nuts – EI for seasonal workers is a bad idea.  We are paying people to not work for part of the year.  Dumb!


Will There Be a $250 Stimulus Check for SSI Recipients In 2013?

Getting a $250 check mailed to you out of the blue sounds like a nice thing to happen.  This is not just an idle fantasy – in 2009, anyone getting a regular SSI payment received $250 from the government.

[Read about the 2020 Corona Virus (Covid-19) Stimulus Check]

If you are not able to work due to some sort of disability, then it is hard to make ends meet.  Prices are always going up and the economy in general hasn’t been doing well.

Will there be an SSI stimulus check for 2013?

Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that any bonus checks will be sent out to SSI recipients.  In 2009, the rationale for sending out the stimulus check was that the cost of living increase was zero.  However, this year the increase is 1.7%, so that reason isn’t valid this year.

These kind of checks are generally sent out in order to create an economic stimulus for the American economy.  While it may not seem like it to many Americans, the economy is stronger now than it was back in 2009, the last time a stimulus check was sent out.

The odds of the government send out a check are pretty much zero.  It would take a major economic slowdown for the government to consider doing a stimulus check and even then the chances are pretty low.

History of the SSI stimulus check

In 2009, everyone on SSI got a $250 check to do whatever they wanted with.  In 2010, President Obama suggested it would be a good idea to send out another one, but it never happened.

What does SSI stand for?

SSI refers to Supplemental Security Income which is for people who can’t work due to disabilities.

Will there be a stimulus check in 2013?

Will there be a $250 stimulus check for Social Security recipients in 2013?





Will There Be a $250 Stimulus Check In 2013 For Social Security Recipients?

The economy isn’t doing that great.  Sure, it’s improved marginally in the past year or so, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy for most retirees to get by.  High unemployment makes it hard to pick up that part time job to make ends meet and the price of things never seem to stop going up.


[Read about the Corona Virus Covid-19 Stimulus Check in 2020]

Getting a stimulus check from the government for $250 would likely be at the top of any Social Security recipient’s list of things they would like to happen this year.

However, it isn’t very likely to happen.

History of the $250 Social Security recipient stimulus check

In 2009, a $250 check was paid out to Social Security recipients which was supposed to make up for the fact that there was no cost of living raise for Social Security payments because of low inflation.

The Social Security cost of living raise for 2013 will be 1.7% which isn’t a big increase, but means that there won’t be any kind of stimulus check given out.


As to the question of ‘Will there be a $250 stimulus check for Social Security recipients?” – the answer is almost certainly no.

Will there be a stimulus check in 2013?

Will there be a $250 stimulus check in 2013 for SSI recipients?



Will There Be A Stimulus Check In 2020?

One of the more common questions I get at this site is “Will there be a stimulus check in 2020?”.

The answer unfortunately, is almost definitely no.

[Edit – Mar 21 – 2020.  Looks like unfortunately the answer is almost definitely yes!  I say ‘unfortunately’ because this is only happening because of the Corona virus which isn’t a good thing.  Read more about the CoronaVirus stimulus check]

Why do people keep asking this question?  Well, back in 2008, the US government did give out $600 stimulus checks to most Americans.  Needless to say this money was very well received and I’m sure most people wouldn’t mind seeing more of those checks.

Who doesn’t like free money?

History of the stimulus check

In 2008, a $600 stimulus check was paid out to most taxpayers in an effort to boost the economy by getting more cash into the hands of people likely to spend it.

In 2009, a $250 stimulus check was sent to all recipients of Social Security (retired people) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income) for disabled people.

Will there be another stimulus check this year?

The factors which might produce another stimulus check could include:

A bad economy – While the current economy isn’t great, it’s better than it has been in the past.  Even housing prices seem to have bottomed out.  Unless there is a major slowdown in the economy, this will not provide much motivation for another check.

Election year – My theory is that politicians will try to buy votes when given the opportunity.  Given that 2019 is not an election year, this shouldn’t be an issue.

What is a stimulus check?

A stimulus check is a check mailed out to a significant number of Americans in order to give government tax money to those most likely to spend it and help stimulate the economy.


There will be no stimulus check in 2020.  I know that might be disappointing, but the reality is that is just isn’t going to happen.

Will there be a $250 stimulus check in 2013 for SSI recipients?

Will there be a $250 stimulus check for Social Security recipients in 2013?





LinkStuff: Online RESP Chat With Globe And Mail Today

Announcement – I’ll be doing an online chat on RESPs with the Globe & Mail today at noon to 1pm, so if you have any RESP related questions, please check it out. And unlike most of the questions asked through this blog, I promise not to ignore any of them. 🙂

Here is the link.

On with the links


LinkStuff – Sandy Edition

I hope everyone survived the recent bad weather resulting from Hurricane Sandy.  Luckily in the Toronto area, we were spared most of the effects and just had a bit of extra rain.

The New York stock exchange was closed for two days this week because of the weather and my friend Alexandra Macqueen who wrote the excellent Pensionize Your Nest Egg book, commented that it was closed because of too much liquidity.

Stock exchange liquidity refers to the ability to easily sell securities on the exchange and since there were lots of liquids involved in the shutdown….ok, maybe you had to be there.

On with the links

Here is a story about a mom who is considering spending $1,500 on a double stroller.  And I’m sure her RRSP & RESP are maxed out…

Here is a funny article about why statisticians make lousy investment clients.  Some good lessons about “safe” retirement withdrawal rates. 

Congrats to Tim at Canadian Dream who just paid off his mortgage at age 34.  If you are only going to do one good thing financially – paying off the mortgage would be my #1 choice.  And don’t go to any open houses either…

Robb from Boomer & Echo discusses why he made a major career change.

Mike Piper discusses retirement planning with no kids.

Michael James explains why he is too lazy to fill out the MPAC house assessment reconsideration form.  😉


LinkStuff – Dividend e-Book Edition

My friend Mike Hereux from the Dividend Guy blog has written a book about dividend stocks called Dividend Growth: Freedom Through Passive Income.

It’s a pretty good guide on dividend investing and includes everything from stock selection to diversification to taxes. If you want to learn more about dividend investing, this book is a good value.

So far it is only available on Kindle, but Mike has promised that a print version is forthcoming. Remember that you don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle books – they can read on any computer or smart phone.

One of the neat features of this book is that there is both a Canadian and American edition.

Here are the links to the books in the Kindle bookstore:

On with the links

 Boomer & Echo wrote a really good post illustrating the need for disability insurance with a real life example.  I’ve had conversations with people who thought that only people with manual jobs need disability.  This isn’t the case at all.

This article shows some proper financial planning strategies for low income seniors.  If you are in this group or know someone who is, send this info to them.

 Michael James does some research to show that a bond & stock portfolio isn’t likely to outperform an all-stock portfolio over the long haul.  You should add bonds or other fixed income products to reduce volatility, not to increase returns.