Decluttering your way to financial freedom; The Dr. Spock quiz; Furtive fee punishment for Morgan Stanley; ETFs MERs TERs MRPFs...WTF?; 9 principles to help boomers in retirement

Decluttering your way to financial freedom; The Dr. Spock quiz; Furtive fee punishment for Morgan Stanley; ETFs MERs TERs MRPFs...WTF?; 9 principles to help boomers in retirement

By Amanda Morrall (email)

1) Decluttering your way to financial freedom

Here's a chicken or egg riddle for you to mull over on the weekend: what comes first, a clear mind unfettered from psychic rubbish and the usual distractions, or a clean desk? 

As a Buddhist, I tend to believe the external world is a reflection of the inner. Apparently, I still have a lot of demons to do battle with as my desk is askew with all manner of junk including empty coffee cups, lipgloss, business cards and press releases.

I would argue some of this is necessary crap (it's Chanel gloss after all) still I'm over due for a tidy-up and according to this blog by these obstacles could be standing in the way of my success.

In the first of an 8 part series entitled "Do What you Want", said blogger advocates decluttering as a crucial first step. Some practical advice. I'm looking forward to the following installations.

2) Rational beings?

Most of us tend to think we're quite rational. When it comes to money usually we're anything but.

Here's a little quiz to test your financial aptitude.

3) Find the fee

For years investors have blithely accepted fees charged on managed funds. That's probably had less to do with being tolerant and more to do with not understanding how the fees are calculated and also applied.

Watch this video from the Investor Clinic, which endeavours to explain fees on Exchange Traded Funds, and you'll know why. I counted at least five acronyms used in the process of trying to explain fees of ETFs.

4) Furtive fees

The Securities and Exchange Commission brought the hammer down on Morgan Stanley this past week for dinging investors on advisory services they weren't actually receiving on one of their funds. The firm paid US$3.3 million to settle the matter with the SEC.

Hopefully it will serve as a warning to others practising duplicitous fee charging.

5) 9 principles to help Boomers in retirement

How much do you need in retirement?  It's a tough one to figure but having a ballpark is important both for planning purposes and also spending in retirement.

According a study out of the United States, 33% of 1,000 Baby Boomers between the ages of 55 and 70 didn't have a clue. 

Retirement investment specialists Charles Swab lays out 9 fundamentals for retirement planning.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Don't you mean "Mr. Spock"? The other one was a child psychologist (or something like that).

Oops yes. Clearly I wasn't a big treckie fan.

Ad.2. How humans are irrational and why - is the book: Thinking fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman

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