There are a lot of reasons for people to feel a bit wary when it comes to the wide, wide world of personal finance. Whether it’s the quality of advice you receive, the level of precision required for RESP contribution strategies, or what you’re supposed to do with digital assets in your estate, there’s a lot to know. Thankfully, John DeGoey, The Loonie Doctor, and Katharine Schwab all have thoughts to share with you this month.

If you’ve still got a few minutes after reading through those, Dirk Cotton has some words of wisdom about the unreliability of any kind of financial prediction, and Emma Pattee provides a really thoughtful discussion on the meaning of success and how her family of origin influenced her perceptions. Our friend and fellow advice-only planner, Owen Winkelmon, wrote a concise summary of 7 ways to split income with your spouse, which can be a great way to increase your family net income. Finally, if you’d like to get a good handle on your appetite for risk but find those questionnaires a little much,, a nonprofit university-based project, has a 2 minute test (in multiple languages) that can help you get to know how well you understand risk and the math used to express it. Happy reading!

Misinformed Consent

From John DeGoey

“If the intentions are good, but the advice is nonetheless bad, how do we characterize the acceptance and implementation of that advice? Would your opinion change if the person giving the unwittingly bad advice refused to change the advice once the error in her ways was pointed out to her?”

Read the full article here.

Optimizing a Lump Sum RESP Contribution Strategy

From The Loonie Doctor

“You don’t need the precision required to fire proton torpedoes into the exhaust of the port of the Death Star. Again, the biggest mistake people can make with an RESP (besides getting sucked into a fee-laden and restrictive group plan) is holding on too long before pulling the trigger.”

Read the full article here.

How Facebook is designing for an incoming avalanche of dead users

From Katharine Schwab

“Facebook isn’t the only company that will face a conundrum about what to do with its droves of user data when those users pass on. The challenges facing the company reflect the tech industry’s larger problem with designing for endings–whether it’s the end of a product’s life or the end of a user’s life.”

Read the full article here.

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

Black Holes, the Higgs Boson and Retirement Planning | Dirk Cotton

“Retirement models, whether mathematical, spreadsheet, or Monte Carlo simulation, can’t predict the future the way models do in the physical sciences.”

I’m more proud of my marriage than I am of my career | Emma Pattee

“I interviewed a financial psychologist last year for an article I was working on, and he told me that every time my husband and I make a decision about money, we aren’t the ones making the decisions, our grandparents and great-grandparents are.”

Different Ways to Split Income With A Spouse | Owen Winkelmolen

Owen is out here consistently writing some of the clearest summaries on big, sprawling topics.

Risk Literacy Test |

How risk-literate are you? That is, how easy is it for you to understand probabilities and use them to inform your choices? Here’s a short test you can use to assess your risk-literacy.


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