Smoke & Mirrors
Smoke & Mirrors Financial Myths That Will Ruin your Retirement Dreams By Trahair, David Book - 2004-

Many authors have jumped on this same band-wagon as of late, but a far superior read is "Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry". While the author of the above, (Helaine Olen) doesn't offer any real solutions, her research and presentation of materials is much better presented and thought out, and covers the 'financial services' industry in greater detail. 'Buyer Beware' should be replaced by 'Buyer Be Informed', in which case 'Smoke and Mirrors" does an adequate, but thin and glossed over job with a very dated version. It tries to cover a broad base of financial topics and potential 'pitfalls', but based on a 2007 data set, the information is woefully misguided and out of date. Suggesting Readers pay off their mortgage before starting a RRSP or TFSA, not only raises financial risk by putting all your financial eggs in one asset basket, it also ignores historically low interest rates. Why pay off a 2.5% mortgage loan with after tax dollars as the author suggests, when a basket of preferred shares in an ETF (say ZPR for example) with an MER of around .6 % (point six percent), currently pays a tax efficient yield of over 5% (or closer to 7% when you get the Canadian dividend tax credit when held in a taxable account)? The greatest risk most have isn't losing money, it's longevity risk and running out of money, which is guaranteed if you shovel all your money into paying down your house before investing in a balanced, diversified, and liquid portfolio.

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