Happy Birthday Canada! Bonne Saint-Jean (tard, je sais…) and Happy Moving Day! Canadians don’t seem to hang anywhere near as many Canadian flags on their property, boats, and homes as Americans do – so I thought a bit of blatant patriotism here can be excused for July 1st. For those who don’t know, the image above is the flag of Nunavut, Canada’s newest territory.
What a year, Canada… We emerged almost unscathed from the great recession to the south – thanks in part to our amazing Canadian banks and their conservative business policies! Well done!
Random Canadian Things I’m Thankful For:
BNN. Seriously some of the best financial reporting anywhere. Faves of the best: Howard Green, Amanda Lang, Michael Hainsworth, and Kevin O’Leary.
Having the “best” banks in the world (none collapsed during the crisis – they thrived! And they were awesome long before the crisis too!:))
TD Canada Trust, hands down the best customer service in banking anywhere – I can always count on you. I can call a simple 1-800 number from anywhere in the world and speak with a live, educated, intelligent human who can do everything for me in seconds. Love it. (It does seem that Scotiabank is probably a good second place, though, no?):) Oh yeah: and don’t get me started on my rant about why is it so easy to buy an international money order (in pounds, Euros, whatever) over the counter in Canada…. but in the U.S., Citibank (weren’t they supposedly the world’s largest, “most international” bank at one point?) doesn’t even do it (they only do U.S. dollar-denominated)? – Chase does it, but you have to order three days in advance because they outsource it!
If you think it’s nerdy that I’m thankful for financial institutions… well… there’s a difference over the border! And there’s a reason why I run a financial blog:)
Finally I just want to highlight a random but very fitting piece of news: just in time for Canada Day, one of Canada’s national icons is coming home for good: Tim Hortons, Inc., although of Canadian origin and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, was once owned by Wendy’s and later spun off on its own.
Now it has chosen to re-organize and re-register on Canadian soil in order to save money on taxes. Nothing will change for investors or customers, though – it will still be listed as THI in Toronto and on the NYSE. For Americans who don’t live far north enough to know about Tim Hortons, this company has a stronger brand recognition in Canada than any other Canadian company, and stronger even than Starbucks – many Canadians will never drink Starbucks, not because of any boycott, but simply because they swear so much by the taste of Timmy’s. You can’t argue with a Tim’s fan!:) (Isn’t that right? – for the record, I actually do prefer Starbucks coffee to Tim’s… but Tim’s is still the best all-round late-night, highway, where-else-are-you-going-to-buy-your- coffee-and-sandwich-before-you-catch-the-Greyhound? place ever).
Some Great Reads From My Fellow Canadian Finance Bloggers
Of special note: this past week many of our best finance bloggers were highlighted in the Globe and Mail’s Best Money Blogs 2009 reader-voted contest! Congrats to Squawkfox, Million Dollar Journey and for coming in right at the top!
Of course, there are several other great sources on the latest in Canadian Finance. So here’s a list of some of the ones I read.
The Canadian Capitalist needs little introduction. Many of us look up to this blog, which has a wealth of detailed investment and finance information for the Canadian market. See his recent entry on New iShares Emerging Markets and World ETFs.
Squawkfox is the undisputed winner of the Globe and Mail Money Blogs 2009 contest. And no wonder – this blog is visually pleasing, fun to read and chock full of instantly actionable tips and how-to’s, like her article on 8 Stealth Ways to Uncover Secret Online Coupons. Who’s not gonna read that?! Kerry has also written a mega best-selling book about 397 Ways To Save Money. She lives on an organic farm in BC with her husband and dog.
Four Pillars has a great post up today in honour of Canada Day, highlighting some of the best “junior” Canadian finance blogs – that includes yours truly. Thanks, Mike! Check out one of his recent posts: Never Underestimate (or Overestimate) Savings or Income Opportunities. Mike is “mostly a passive investor – broad-based ETFs for me. Some dividend stocks – maybe 15% of my portfolio.” Regular readers will know him from an interview I did with him about a month ago, so if you’d like to know more about Mike and his blog, check it out.
The Financial Blogger is a financial planner who wants to share his own experience and knowledge so people can learn more about personal finance. His goal: to live from his online income and become an independent financial planner. 3 Canadian things he likes: BC Rockies, Montreal Canadiens and red wine from Okanagan Valley (Mission Hill is great!). Top 3 financial reads: Million Dollar Journey, Four Pillars and The Intelligent Speculator.
One of my personal favourites — I think the first Canadian finance blog I knew of — is Million Dollar Journey by Frugal Trader, who told me: “I started MDJ as I thought it would be a good idea to track my financial progress online. The goal was to help keep me motivated along with sharing wealth ideas to others along the way. My favorite books? For the beginner, even though it may be a bit dated, I like The Wealthy Barber. For someone who is looking to pick stocks, I recommend One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch. For someone looking to grow wealth, I recommend Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.” MDJ’s most popular article is probably the review of Canadian online stock brokers.
Brad from Triaging My Way To Financial Success writes about a Canadian Currency Hedging Strategy. Speaking with him, he told me: “I love managing my own money, whether it be my personal finances or simply wanting to create wealth for myself through an investment. I started out when I was about 15 with GIC’s and Canadian savings bonds and migrated to mutual funds, ETF’s and then individual stocks (about 90% of what I invest in today). Almost everything I know is either self-taught or through the guidance of a mentor (I have two). Blogging just began as a way to document my thoughts, activities and investment process and grew into something much bigger. I do private consulting on the side (away from nursing), and the blog has really helped to put me on the map by giving readers an in depth look into how I analyze a stock or investment from a unique perspective. I’m a value investor, with an addiction to dividends and I’m very low risk. Stocks might seem like a lot of risk, but I don’t like losing money and take a lot of time in my analysis to determine what makes a good investment. I think quality over quantity is a big determinant of success when investing and small gains can add up to much larger successes than trying to hit a homerun at every at bat. I’m more of a .400 hitter than someone who hits 45 homeruns but strikes out 250 times.”
Where Does All My Money Go?
Preet’s classic blog is one that I’ve just come across and one that also made the Globe and Mail’s finalist list for the best of money blogs 2009. Preet is a former financial adviser turned blogger. The site has a range of topics from “beginner” level to experienced – which you would expect, since Preet knows it all! There are also an amazing number of contests and giveaways on this site. Check out his recent post on Single Inverse ETFs.
Financial Highway started in January 2009. Ray covers a lot of topics, from honeymoon planning to the meaning of money. Take a look at his series on understanding options. I met Ray on Twitter – another of the great benefits of hanging out on Twitter all the time!:)
Another Twitter friend, and the most recent entrance in the Canadian finance blogosphere is Saving For Serenity. Alan — who I also met on Twitter — is a young North Vancouverite who “walks by day and writes by night” :) Every post is full of sensible tips or thought-out issues, like this one: A New Era of Personal Finance.
So that’s it – I hope you’re all enjoying Canada Day! Unfortunately I’m on the other side of the border right now, so I won’t see the fireworks, but I’ll be on Twitter if you want to shout:) (Are you a Canadian personal finance blogger whom I haven’t mentioned here? Please drop a comment below!)Related Posts
- Success Summary and Lifehack Links
- Spring Cleaning, Money Makeovers - Weekend Reading Recommendations for April 25
- In Case You Missed It: Alaskan Independence Day and Other Good Tidbits
- The Crisp, Clean Feel of 1,000,000 Suburban Dollars: One Guy's Road From Stale Money to Fresh Finance
- Reasons You Should Get Started Investing While Still A Graduate Student
- How to Pick a Financial Advisor
- Reviewing this Week’s Hard Truth about Money and Personal Finance
- Happy President's Day and Valentine's Day Weekend (and Personal Finance Links)
- Best Personal Financial Planning and Personal Investment Articles this Week from Personal Finance Blogs
- Start 2010 Right! Free Money and Prizes