RRSP Season

Regular readers will recall my distaste for investing in the stock market, something that has left me, for as long as I’ve been an RRSP contributor, earning around 1% interest in deposit receipts at our local credit union.

This has meant, in part, that our yearly trek to the credit union – usually on the last possible day to make contributions for the year – has involved some apologetic sidestepping when the friendly credit union staff bring out the “investment vehicle” brochures and start talking about index-linked mutual funds and the like. “Oh, we’ll just keep it in a deposit receipt for now and think about it later.” 

It seems that this combination of amateur ideology and procrastination has finally come around to being in vogue: at last night’s annual credit union visit our friendly staff-person as much as suggested that credit union deposit receipts were as good as any alternative, at least for the time-being. It wasn’t a ringing endorsement of my philosophy – the S&P-linked index fund brochure was still on offer – but it’s close as perhaps we’ll ever come to being “normal.”

As such I was happy to read the following in a recent New Yorker profile of economist Paul Krugman:

The crisis should have been a lesson to people not to rush into investments that they didn’t understand, but Krugman suspects that it wasn’t. “It hasn’t been the searing experience,” he says. “A lot of people got burned, but I’m not sure that they’ll remember. You really have to have a Depression mentality to say, ‘I’d rather have cash or Treasury bills that yield almost nothing, rather than this product that my banker assures me is perfectly safe and yields two per cent.’ So, unless there’s a lot more regulation, we could do this again.”

Which, I think, means that I have a “Depression mentality.” Which is not such a bad mentality to have, all things considered.


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