There’s a common thread to Sandi’s top reads this month (and it’s not just the fact that she read them on the way to our Spring Retreat): disability insurance, moving in together, and annuities are all topics that too many people make too many assumptions about, including professionals who ought to know better. 

If you’ve made your way through those three eye-openers and want more, we’ve got you covered. Read about acting as your portfolio’s CEO, how Facebook and Google are privacy-washing their services, practical tips to overcome the transition from diligent saver to retirement spender, an overlooked truth about financial freedom, a brief history of social assistance in Canada, and how mental rigidity is the enemy of long-term investing success.

Disability Insurance…Because the Odds are Against You

From Russell Sawatsky

Russ launched his advice only planning practice in September 2019, and has been steadily developing a personal finance encyclopedia on his Money Architect site. This one on disability insurance is a very good place to start…but keep reading, because the whole library is great.

Read the full article here.


Heads Up on “Shacking” Up

From Marly Peikes

“There may be a myriad of reasons for living common law depending on circumstances, but one myth that needs to be unraveled is the notion that it is simpler not to get married. Common law relationships have a unique set of considerations.”

Read the full article here.


Evaluate Annuities as a Component of Your Retirement Income Portfolio

From Dirk Cotton

“Nominal (not inflation-adjusted) annuities can still play an important role. Our goal isn’t to ensure that inflation does not ravage our annuity income but to ensure that inflation doesn’t ravage our retirement income. As Milevsky’s comment suggests, the two need not necessarily be the same.” 

(Note that there’s some US-only information in this article that Canadian readers need to be mindful of)

Read the full article here.

You can read this month’s entire list below, and browse through past lists here.

Forecasting the Market is Almost Impossible, So Here’s What Investors Should Do Instead | Tom Bradley

“I came up with one recommendation that’s guaranteed to produce better investment outcomes — hire yourself as the CEO of your portfolio. That’s right. The buck stops with you, so start playing the role.”

At CES, Apple, Facebook and Amazon are preaching privacy. Don’t believe the hype | Geoffrey A. Fowler

“Lots of the companies that have gotten wealthy from selling us data-collecting devices — or from collecting our data — have learned to talk the talk on privacy. But they’re very often defining privacy in ways that serve their own interests first.”

Opening the Spigot | Jonathan Clements

We’ve found that many of our retiree clients have a hard time making the transition from “save diligently” to “spend happily”. Here are five very good (though US-centric) suggestions if you’re experiencing something similar.

What Nobody Told You About Financial Freedom | Safal Niveshak

“The fact is that the more we think that a lot of money is what we need to live happily, and the more we associate money with most things in life, the more we convince ourselves that we are too poor to buy our freedom.”

Bring back cost sharing! End 26 years of social assistance decline | John Stapleton

A brief but thorough history of social assistance in Canada from 1935 to today, with a glimmer of hope in the horizon.

A Common Mistake Many Investors Make: Mental Rigidity | Peter Lazaroff

“It’s one thing to agree to a long-term investment plan at the onset of a relationship with a financial advisor, but the actual experience of riding out different market movements is harder in practice than in theory.”

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