Monday Money Links – Dividend Stocks Newsletter Promo, Mutual Fund Fees, ETFs and New Blogs!

Dividend Stocks Rock Promotion (sponsored)

Since I’m a dividend investor, I get a number of questions about which dividend stocks to buy and which sources I use for research.  While I tend to read a lot online from various sources (blogs, forums etc), I do get a lot of ideas from dividend newsletter subscriptions.

Longtime colleague Mike from the Dividend Investor blog runs a dividend growth investing newsletter called Dividend Stocks Rock (covers stocks in Canada and the US), and it’s good!    Last October, I helped spread the word about the Dividend Stocks Rock newsletter and Mike has confirmed that a large group of MDJ readers are now members.

Last year’s discount was pretty steep but I’ve managed to convince him to offer it again but only for the next 5 days (Until Friday June 29th).  The membership includes stock cards (225 stock reviews in total – adding about 5 per week), ranking and dividend safety score, complete dividend portfolios (including a retirement portfolio), trade alerts via email, and a live buy list.

Your Subscription Includes

  • A starting point to ease your mind –  we have 13 portfolio models including booklets and quarterly analysis. + Retirement portfolios (4.5% income+) coming in July!
  • A fast way to identify undervalued stocks – our Rock Solid Ranking tracks 100+ stocks and provide upside potential.
  • An answer to “when should I buy?sell?” – we send you all our trades with our investment thesis behind it.
  • Lots of free time to enjoy life – we go through the market to find the most interesting companies and we provide you with actionable content.
  • A personal assistant that does all the work for you – we have reviewed over 225 dividend stocks on the site, you can ask us to review any stocks in your portfolio.
  • A risk-free investment – we offer a 60 days No Question Asked Reimbursement Policy
  • The best deal of your investment journey – your price will never increase once you become a member.

The regular price is $177 for a one-year membership but the exclusive MDJ reader price is $77 (and the annual fee will never increase)!   Also, this is a no-risk offer – if you sign up and feel that the newsletter is not for you, you can cancel and get a full refund anytime within 60 days of signing up.  Check out all the details here.

Monday Money Links

Credit Card Genius does a great job in explaining 4 ways that credit card companies make money.

For readers of MDJ, you all know about the high MERs that Canadians pay for mutual funds (and significant long-term impact of paying extra).  Over the last little while, policymakers were considering ways to implement best interest standard of care for its clients.  One item in consideration was to ban embedded commissions charged from mutual fund sales. Unfortunately, this ban did not happen, instead, they banned deferred sales charge on mutual funds (a move in the right direction since it was an absurd fee).  You can get a full rundown from Boomer and Echo about the disappointing decision on embedded commissions.

Are you an ETF investor?  How many do you have in your portfolio? For us, we go with the simple as possible approach.  In my wife’s RRSP, we essentially have one ETF (XAW) that covers the US, international and emerging markets.  I got a little fancier with her LIRA, with ETFs to cover each market, but with the same approach.  Mark from My Own Advisor has an article on this topic and explains how many ETFs are enough.

It’s been a while since I’ve done this, but I’d like to send some attention to some newer blogs in the Canadian finance space that you should check out:

  • Prairie FIRE Canada – A blog all about the FIRE (Financial Independence/Retire Early) movement but from a Canadian perspective.
  • Gen Y Money – This blog was started by a millennial blogger that originally owned Young and Thrifty.  She has written a couple of articles for MDJ and is also a fellow dividend investor.  I enjoy reading her perspective as a new mother, frugal traveling, and her dividend updates.
  • Casual Money Talk – This Canadian blog is written by a Torontonian with a goal of reaching $1M in net worth by the age of 35 (2020).  She is doing a great job so far with a net worth of $670k!
  • Money Scrap – This is blog is written by an Ottawa resident named Caroline but from a slightly different perspective. Caroline essentially has enough money to retire today, but chooses to continue working for another 5 years when she hits age 55.  She also owns rental properties and details her experience with them (better her than me!).

If you are on Twitter, check out my regular updates here.

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FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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3 years ago

While the decision not to bad embedded commissions is disappointing, at least there were some positive steps forward, which hopefully will push this issue further in years to come. Truthfully, the industry will eventually be dominated by fee-based advisory services. Ten years ago, fee-based relationships made up less than 5% of the industry, and it is now over 20%. This is an unfortunately slow and painful process. What is frustrating is that mutual fund companies are making thinly veiled arguments against the elimination of embedded commissions. If a company wanted to argue that there needs to be a transition period to ensure that mass amounts of clients were not effected by knee jerk changes, that is a logical argument. But arguing that it is somehow better to embed commissions rather than a system that is inherently more transparent is just nonsensical. There is no other industry that would argue this. When I get a bill from my mechanic, I see the price of the parts, and the price of the labour. It is clear I can buy the parts and get somebody else to provide the labour. Parts manufacturers wouldn’t get away with just increasing the cost of the parts, and paying a portion to whoever I have install them, leaving it to the installer to disclose exactly how that breaks down, then also requiring that the only way to buy parts for most people is to buy them through a mechanic, who now can get paid more by recommending more expensive parts.

The fact that any bank or mutual fund company can somehow argue that a system where they sell their product for a price, then the Advisor has to set their own separate price for their services that is completely independent from the price of the mutual fund company, is somehow inferior to a convoluted system where it becomes easy to blur lines of what investors are paying for, and what they are getting for what they are paying, just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

This isn’t meant to be an attack on the Advisors who are forced to work in this system, as I firmly believe it is possible to be completely transparent in the current environment, this is about the Mutual Fund companies not taking any responsibility to create an environment which fosters transparency far more effectively.

3 years ago

Mistake in one of the links:
“…explains how many ETFs are enough.” is actually linked to

Nice to see the links to the FIRE sites

Casual Money Talk
3 years ago

Thank you for the mention. :)

I have learned so much from your blog over the past year, and taken many pages of notes (a lot of it on the Smith Manoeuvre). So a shoutout by you truly means a lot to me. :)

Mr. Prairie FIRE
3 years ago

Thanks for including my blog to your post! Humbled to have the opportunity to add a Canadian perspective to the personal finance and financial independence community. I’m a big fan of your blog and have been following for a year now. Keep up the great work!

3 years ago

Love seeing more Canadian PF bloggers popping up. Sometimes I still feel like I’m a new blogger that just entered the scene but then I realized I’ve been blogging for a number of years now. Time flies when you’re having fun.

3 years ago

Thanks for the highlight FT!! And thanks for allowing me to write for MDJ a few years back (ok more than a few years back I am now well in my 30s lol!!)- I see one posti wrote still does fairly well!!

3 years ago

Thanks for including me in your list:) Much appreciated.

Leo T. Ly @
3 years ago

It’s great to see more Canadian blogs and bloggers from Canada. We need a bit more representation from the great white north and share our knowledge from a Canadian’s perspective.

In terms of mutual fund fees, I think the effort is still now enough. We can pretty much find an equivalent ETF for any mutual fund out there, so why would I pay more for something similar?