RRSP or TFSA? (You may be surprised)

A great perspective from my buddy JJ on TFSA vs. RRSP which has me re-thinking my strategy.

engineering wealth


According to a recent survey from the Bank of Montreal (http://newsroom.bmo.com/press-releases/bmo-annual-tfsa-report-tfsa-adoption-among-canadi-tsx-bmo-201312190918655001) most people still don’t have a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA), although nearly twice as many people in 2013 had one than in 2012.


I like TFSAs much better than Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs). Why? Like a RRSP they grow tax free, but instead of getting the tax credit up front you get it at the end. Since most people I know don’t reinvest their “tax refund” from their RRSP, back into their RRSP dollar for dollar, you are better off investing in a TFSA. You pay NO TAX on anything you withdraw from you TFSA. All withdraws from an RRSP – principle and growth, is taxed (and counted) as income. Income is taxed at double the rate of capital gains. Withdraws/income from your RRSP also take away from Old…

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A ‘Plathoon’ of Canadian Flags

Visiting the several towns involved in the failed Dieppe Raid, you see more Canadian flags than any place in Canada (with the exception of on Canada Day). It is quite strange to see the maple leaf so prominent on foreign soil!

You can’t help but feel pride in our country when you see how much the locals still remember Canada’s contributions (even in disaster). I hope some day the people of Afghanistan will appreciate the sacrifice of the Canadian casualties as do the French, but somehow I doubt it.
This picture is taken in Pourville-sur-Mer, the location of the most ‘successful’ part of the Dieppe raid, and where Charles Merritt won his Victoria Cross (and survived!). This was actually quite controversial at the time, because strict rules that govern the awarding of the Victoria Cross state that it cannot be given to a soldier that is taken prisoner. It was assumed that when Merritt was left wounded on the beach –holding off the Germans and enabling his men’s escape– that he was killed and not captured, hence his posthumous award which then became non-posthumous (one of the few VC recipients that didn’t die getting it).

The World’s Most Awe-inspiring Tribute

Vimy Ridge Monument

We visited the monument in memory of the UK’s unknown solders –Thiepval– the prior day, and it was HUGE. While smaller, Canada’s Vimy Ridge WWI memorial makes a stronger impression! The foggy morning probably contributed to the atmosphere created as you walk towards this beautiful limestone monument, it certainly gave me goosebumps!

Pictures can’t do it justice, but I tried my best. The picture above links to more pictures. You really have to witness it first hand to appreciate this tribute to our WWI dead. It sits on an undulating treeless field created by the shelling of WWI mortars, field guns and heavy artillery, which certainly adds to the atmosphere.

Juno Beach Professional Development Tour Album


Originally uploaded by Adrian F1

I’m going to add detailed blog posts soon, but wanted to get a link to my photo album up while I have WiFi, or as the French say “weefee”, which is so cute (at least when the girls say it).

I See Four Lights!!

Fans of Star Trek TNG will undoubtedly remember the episode where an alien captures the captain (Cpt. Picard played by Patrick Stewart) and attempts to break him by torture. The simple test used to determine if Picard’s will has been broken, is to ask him if he sees 5 lights when there are actually 4.

Even against increasing physical pain and mental torture he maintains, “There are FOUR lights!!”. To this day this is one of the only episodes I remember, because Stewart’s incredible acting, and because of his comment to his rescuers at the end (paraphrasing): “Just for a moment, I could see five lights”.  This indicated to me that even the best amoung us can be convinced of something false, given enough mis-information under duress.

Politics today has way too many layers. I think politicians are trying to convince us there are 5 lights on one side, and sometimes 3 by the other side. If one side uses rhetoric, the other side must reply with the same, like two sides trying to barter to a final price. Trouble is, what comes out from both sides is only so much crap, and sometimes people actually are listening.

I choose to see 4 lights regardless of what crap they throw my way.

Engineers vs. Smart Engineers

Dan Pink pointed this xkcd comic out via Twitter. It hits me on so many levels:

Nortel’s Downfall – The Mini-Series

2010-6-5 – Note that Constantin film has blocked all of these videos based on protecting their copyright. This only goes to show that Constantin film execs. have their heads firmly up their asses. While this is certainly within their right, they don’t seem to appreciate the role that social media and ‘mashups’ like these have in promoting their artist’s great work. I had never heard of the movie ‘Der Untergang’ until I saw the first video below, and it was only when I saw Bruno Ganz’s passionate performance that I had any interest in seeing their movie. Unfortunately their loss is ours as well. – Adrian

My previous post “Who Killed Nortel?“, featured columnist James Bagnall presenting a very balanced view of the contributing factors to Nortel’s demise.  Time now for the corresponding ‘unbalanced’ view:

I think many people saw the original ‘Downfall’ youtube video, but many apparently didn’t know there was actually 12 of them! While these videos don’t express my personal views (do I have to say that again?), they are really funny, and the production values are pretty slick. They are based on the 2004 movie “Der Untergang” (German for ‘The Fall’), which provided a great canvas for this topic because it contains many profound Hitler rants (adeptly ranted by Bruno Ganz).

For those of you not familiar with the names referenced, Mr. Bagnall’s articles linked above are good background.  You will also be confused by both Hackney and Mike Z. both looking a lot like the Führer.

Part 1 – The Original: “There Will Be No New 3-5 Year Plan”

Part 2 – “Those Lousy Stinking Peasants!”

Part 3 – “Synergy My Ass”

Part 4 – “The ‘Free Press’ Won’t Let Us Do Our Jobs in Secret!”

Part 5 – “I Say: To Win You Must Quit!”

Part 6 – “Get In Line Behind the Other Creditors”

Part 7 – “Business Made Simple”

Part 8 – “Unfortunately, You Are Not a GE Man.”

Part 9 – “Who Are They to Tell Us What to Do With Their Money?”

Part 10 – “The Price You Ask For is Way Too High!”

Part 11 – “I believe… in Executive Bonuses.”

Part 12 – “Don’t You Understand? Nortel is Bankrupt! It’s Over!”

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