If I were running in this federal election, a few things would be different. F would be held accountable for the 0/40, 4/35 decisions that have helped render homes unaffordable. My party (whichever) would disown me. And I’d have to be nice to everyone. So forget that.
In yesterday’s post I wrote about investing, saving and tax shelters. The TFSA, I opined, is sweet. You should stuff that sucker full of money and aim to get good returns by buying assets like equity ETFs, real estate investment trusts or anything to do with China. The last thing any sane person would opt for would be to use it as an actual savings account or to house a pathetic, wimpy, inadequate, flaccid GIC.
In response, some social activist with a backpack and his organic lunch in Tupperware, breached this blog’s security, rode in on a girl’s bicycle and wrote this:
Mr. Turner’s advice is irrelevant for poor and middle class Canadians and shows how out of touch he is with reality. Most Canadians don’t have 5k a year of after tax income (let alone 10k) to gamble away on risky investments. That’s why most Canadians put GICs and HISAs in their TFSAs, not because they’re too stupid to invest in stocks, as Mr Turner seems to think. If your after tax income was 25k (median income in Canada), you too, Mr Turner, would do the same. TFSA lifetime contributions should be limited to 50k and growth should be limited to 150k tax-free.
Because I’m not running for anything, I told him to blow off.
That elicited a few comments such as:
C’mon Garth, give Terry a break. He makes a good point. Have you ever tried to live on $25K per year as a family like he points out? Have you ever tried to feed a family on less than $20K per year? I have. And it sucks.
Things changed for me, I am lucky now and make plenty of money. But buddy has a good point. Go ahead and rip me a new one. Or make some condescending remark. Cause that’s what you do. Garth, I have been a fan of yours for a long time and have bought your books, but seriously dude, you should show a little empathy sometimes. Goes a lot further than arrogance. Come to think of it, you remind me of Steve H. BTW that is not a good thing.
First, to address little Terry, most Canadians don’t come to this blog – which is about money, real estate, the economy and overweight but alluring people in underwear. Second, the fact most Canadians can’t scrape together $5,000 ain’t my fault. I refuse to take blame for it, feel no guilt about it, and have no plans for remorse.
In my world, taxes would be less, tax shelters big enough to live in, entrepreneurs unfettered and government shrunk. But this doesn’t mean we can’t be compassionate or helpful to everyone who wants a hand up. So this blog does fulfill a purpose. It shows all people – of modest means or not – that investing isn’t mysterious nor out of reach. That [email protected] may not be acting in your best interests. That nobody should be happy with a 1.5% ‘high-yield’ savings account. That fear of risk debilitates and leads to decisions creating more risk – like running out of money. Or that sometimes doing what the crowd’s obsessed with, like buying granite and stainless with no money, is financial suicide.
The best way to keep struggling people struggling is to deny them information. The next best way is to rid them of hope. So in any country where limits are placed on how much people can earn, so everyone’s a little more equal, everybody suffers as investment flows elsewhere. Just ask France.
Should I be more empathetic? Sure. I could be helping thirty homeless guys in a Winnipeg shelter tonight. That’s worthwhile work.
But I chose another path. It’s this pathetic blog. The message is simple.
There’s no restriction on knowledge or education. There’s no reason avoiding taxes, growing money, investing or gaming the system should be the preserve of the rich. No reason why anyone should get talked into a dead-end investment by a banker or a bike-riding messiah with a bad case of noblesse oblige.
So if you came here to patronize and lecture, Terry, get stuffed.
Vote for Gandhi.