Monthly Archives: January 2015

The new Weekly Wrap: Brighter Life’s top retirement writers; reflections on Encore Careers

By Jonathan Chevreau

dNEcyrhc_400x400It’s always nice to be recognized, so the Hub is happy to pass on Friday’s announcement by of some of the Top Retirement writers for 2014.

The list includes me and via my Twitter feed, a nod to the Financial Independence Hub. It also notes my affiliation with MoneySense.cafor whom I am Editor-at-Large.

Last week, Sun Life Financial also announced its list of top Money writers for 2014, which includes the Globe & Mail’s Rob Carrick, and the Toronto Star’s Ellen Roseman.

I’m not sure what exactly the distinction is between Money and Retirement, but I suppose it’s the kind of fine distinction I myself make between Retirement and Financial Independence.

As I remarked on Twitter, there is a little irony about being categorized as a retirement writer, since this site labours to make a distinction between the traditional concept of Retirement and the evolving one of Financial Independence, or Findependence.

Thus far, however, I don’t believe Sun Life has a category for Top Findependence Writers, and I suppose the Hub should take that on itself. We already do in a way: click on our Best Blogs tab for a list of the Plutus award winners. Continue Reading…

Will “Unretirement” launch your Encore Act?

BN-ER243_bkrvun_GV_20140923135029By Jonathan Chevreau

Unretirement is a concept not unlike Findependence or Financial Independence; it’s also the title of a recently published book by Chris Farrell, Bloomberg Businessweek columnist and senior economics contributor for American Public Media’s syndicated radio show, Marketplace.

I’ve also seen the term Unretirement used by Sun Life Financial in Canada but that seems to be more a marketing term the company uses to promote its surveys on traditional retirement. That survey has been going for six years now, which certainly predates the publication of Farrell’s Unretirement Continue Reading…

The case for unhitching trailer fees on mutual funds

robb-engenBy Robb Engen, Boomer & Echo

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

One of the strongest arguments made by investment industry groups against banning embedded commissions – or the trailer fees paid to advisors when you purchase mutual funds – is that investors don’t want to pay up-front for financial advice.

xboomerandecho2-12.jpg.pagespeed.ic.3_5T_n6dOWjFMaguzvlI Advocis, which represents financial advisors across Canada, as well as the Mutual Fund Dealers Association, believe things are fine just the way they are, claiming, “investors prefer to pay for financial advice through fees that are part of their mutual funds.

These arguments are used to convince regulators that a ban on trailer fees would only hurt investors, with potentially “devastating consequences” for those who are just starting out and don’t have the means to pay directly for advice.

I’ve tried to debunk this argument in a recent post, stating that it’s up to the investment industry to adapt and deliver new service (and cost) models to meet the needs of consumers.

But a recent study by Morningstar India shed further light on the gap between investor expectations and what advisors perceived to be investors’ expectations.

How Do Mutual Funds Work?
Hub Extra for Newcomers: Primer on how mutual funds work

A third of investors don’t seek professional advice

The study found that over one-third of investors do not seek out professional advice when it comes to their finances, instead relying on their own knowledge or help from family, friends or colleagues.

Continue Reading…

Robb Engen, you’re no longer alone in being a 100% “pure” indexer


By Jonathan Chevreau

Here’s my latest MoneySense blog, which is a followup to Robb Engen’s article here at the Hub about his conversion from stock-picking to 100% “pure” indexing.

After Robb revealed his “conversion” and I appealed for other readers with similar stories, readers started to come out of the woodwork. In one of the cases, the “confession” appeared first at MoneySense and now The Hub.

In addition to the two readers profiled in the MoneySense blog, I’ve already started to receive more emails from other “pure” readers. Please let me know by emailing me at Hopefully, we’ll discover that there are a lot more than the half dozen I’m so far aware of.

I’ve republished the original version of the blog below and included photographs of the two readers that were not included in the MoneySense version:

Pure indexers step forward

Boomer & Echo’s Robb Engen

Early in January, popular blogger and fee-only financial planner Robb Engen announced on Twitter and his Boomer & Echo site that he had finally bitten the bullet – he’d liquidated his portfolio of individual dividend-paying stocks in order to become a 100% “pure” indexer. Continue Reading…

Two ways to downsize

downsizing home to a smaller oneOnce you hit the Decumulation years, a common option new retirees consider is Downsizing from a large urban home. Friends of ours on our street are about to put their home up for sale in order to move to a small town an hour away. The difference in the home values will constitute a major nest egg to supplement meagre government pensions and part-time work.

Wednesday’s Financial Post has two articles on this theme. In the RRSP Special Report (I also contributed an article on a different topic), Garry Marr describes the strategy of finding lower-priced homes in small towns:

The small-town appeal is a huge factor for retirees because it can allow them to sell their house in a large city and extract the equity, which they can then live off for their remaining years.

Top reasons to rent during retirement

Continue Reading…