Monday, March 12, 2007

Pot pourri

Some Monday morning personal finance miscellany:

A - I found myself nodding my head even more than I usually do at Rob Carrick's piece in ROB over the weekend. Don't get me wrong, I like bitching about the banks as much as anyone. But considering how stellar they consistently are as investments, Rob proposes what we've all thought at some point: why not make Canadian banks the only thing you hold in your stock portfolio.

2 - I'm familiar with the concept of 'vice investing' where you buy companies that profit off of our dirty little secrets. Traditionally, things like tobacco, liquor, gambling and guns are included under the vice umbrella. But an interesting Marketwatch article suggests another oft-overlooked vice industry. It turns out there's a sensible way to blow your paycheck at a strip club.

iii - We Canadians are only two days away from long-overdue wireless number portability and I don't know about you but I've been waiting a while for this. American readers may not appreciate how huge this is since they've had this ability for years, but until now, Canadians were unable to take their phone numbers with them when they switched phone companies. That sounds like a meaningless factor, but I know for a fact it's something the phone companies have been preying on for years, knowing that most people won't want to go through the hassle of changing a phone number, so they'll stick to a cellphone plan that's gouging them. Here's hoping this will be the first step towards Canada getting cellular rates that are halfway comparable to places elsewhere in the developed world.

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