Weekend reading: RRSPs, markets and Tim Horton's - MoneySense

Weekend reading: RRSPs, markets and Tim Horton’s

Stories to read over the weekend.


Show of hands: how many people have beat the March 1 RRSP deadline? If you have, congrats, this weekend will be a relaxing one. For everyone else… what are you waiting for? If you do have some time to enjoy a serene morning in front of the computer, then you may want to check out these stories.

RRSPs: A plan for all seasons: Canadian Business’ editor Steve Maich, and senior writer Matt McClearn, created a compelling story on our lack of savings and love affair with debt. With only 24% of Canadians investing in an RRSP, a retirement crisis is looming. Here’s a bit of what they wrote:

“Here’s what most big-bank economists believe but hesitate to say: Canada is on the front edge of a retirement crisis. And while it’s true that some people just don’t want to retire, a far greater number appear simply to be giving up on the dream while they are still mid-career. Others are just deluding themselves that it’ll all work out, somehow. If that doesn’t sound like such a big deal to you, it should. Retirement isn’t just about old folks hitting the road in an RV or relaxing in Florida for the winter months. The financial stability of the retirement cohort is a fundamental pillar of any developed economy, and if that pillar is crumbling, it means future generations of elderly Canadians will be even more dependent on government support, even more hobbled by debt, and even more vulnerable to the kinds of economic swoons that we saw last year.”

Check out part one and part two.

When will the markets get their groove back: The title is pretty self-explanatory — the markets aren’t doing anything spectacular these days. The Financial Post’s Janet Whitman attempts to explain what’s going on, and what it will take before we see the numbers rise. Whitman writes:

“Mr. Dwyer said the market is in a transitional phase. While the housing market has stabilized and Americans’ retirement plans have recovered, consumers still have plenty of concern about the labour market. ‘Until we see some positive numbers in the jobs market, that’s going to keep spooking the market.'”

Tim Hortons Brews an Expensive DRIP and SPP: This cleverly titled blog post from Canadian Capitalist looks at Tim Horton’s new dividend reinvestment (DRIP) and  share purchase plan (SPP) programs. While the company says these are economical ways to invest, CC doesn’t think so.

“Tim Hortons said that the Plan allows shareholders to purchase shares in ‘an economical and convenient way’. The Tim Hortons DRIP and SPP may be a convenient way to accumulate shares but it is a joke to call it economical.”

Three ways to find value in a pricey market: While the market isn’t moving around too much right now, it’s still higher than it was a year ago. So finding good value can be challenging in some cases. CNN Money’s Carla Fried shares her advice on how to find bargains in the market. She offers up some good suggestions including finding income producing stocks and equities that are on the rise. One of her good value bets? Tech stocks:

“The bargain: Tech stocks. Yes, tech was among the market’s big winners in the recent rebound. But because earnings for information technology companies actually grew during the financial crisis, tech has seen its price/earnings ratio fall since the credit crunch began in 2007, while the S&P 500’s P/E has risen.”

On Twitter:

Kerry Taylor (@squawkfox), author of 397 Ways To Save Money, is a great read. She often posts insightful personal finance links and re-tweets great content from other financial personalities.

Follow Bryan on Twitter @_inthemoney