My name is Mark Goodfield. Welcome to The Blunt Bean Counter ™, a blog that shares my thoughts on income taxes, finance and the psychology of money. I am a Chartered Professional Accountant and a partner with a National Accounting Firm in Toronto. This blog is meant for everyone, but in particular for high net worth individuals and owners of private corporations. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are written solely in my personal capacity and cannot be attributed to the accounting firm with which I am affiliated. My posts are blunt, opinionated and even have a twist of humor/sarcasm. You've been warned.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Purchasing a vacation property in the United States: Lifestyle vs. Bargain?

The Toronto Star’s Moneyville section recently had two stories on purchasing property in the U.S., the first by Roberta Avery who purchased a home in Sedona, Arizona and the second by Alison Griffiths who purchased a farm in Florida.

I found the articles interesting, as like many Canadians, my wife and I have bandied around the idea of looking for a U.S. property while the prices are seemingly low and there are distress sales. We have also had this discussion with several friends who are also considering purchasing a U.S. vacation property.

Although professionally I know of several people who have purchased U.S. properties, some of whom have bought multiple properties as pure investments, interestingly, only one of my friends has followed through with a U.S. purchase. That is not to say the Avery's and Griffith's have not made the best investment and/or personal home buying decision of their lives, it is just in my personal circumstances, it is still not the time to buy a retirement property.

My reasoning is twofold. The U.S. property taxes for Canadians are typically very substantial and taken together with the other carrying costs such as management fees, interest, insurance and utilities, my budget estimates put me in the red several thousand dollars a year, even if I could rent the property a month or two. With the glut of homes for rent in Florida and Arizona, I am not sure how much rental income one can count on in the near future. In addition, I would prefer to not have to deal with the IRS and file a U.S. income tax return every year, although that is not a deterrent on its own.

The second reason, and the more important reason, is that I have several places in the world I intend to visit over the next fifteen or so years, including Africa, Australia, the Baltic, Greenland and Bora Bora. My wife and I feel that if we purchase a U.S. vacation property now, we would feel beholden to using that property and we want to be free of any real estate shackles.

Alternatively, we could just look at a U.S. vacation property purchase solely as an investment, working with the assumption the property will increase in value greater the the yearly excess carrying costs. I have not ruled out that possibility yet.

I would be interested to know if the Avery’s and Griffiths’ plan to travel the world in addition to carrying these properties? It sounds like both these couples are happy to spend their time in their dream homes. I guess it’s different strokes for different folks, with future travel plans and lifestyle a determining factor.

The blogs posted on The Blunt Bean Counter provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

One item to shortly be crossed off my bucket list- Pebble Beach

The excessive heat in Toronto has dried out my brain, so today I will take a lighter approach to my blog, with no complicated income tax or business issues.

In my November 25, 2010 blog, titled, Sign that will, I discussed the importance of not only updating your will, but ensuring any changes to your will are finalized and signed. I followed the will discussion with a mini-blog about creating a bucket list. As my father died young, I am very cognizant about ensuring I do the things I want to do in life, before it is too late.


I noted in the above blog that amongst the items on my bucket list is to play golf at Pebble Beach in California and St. Andrews in Scotland, two of the most noted golf courses in the world. I have just booked Pebble Beach for an early fall game with my golf buddies. I am really looking forward to the challenge of playing Pebble Beach and the surrounding scenery. I will also be playing The Links at Spanish Bay, not a bad little course on its own.




I really feel strongly that everyone should create their own bucket list and try to achieve and undertake as many items as possible on their list.

Fore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





The blogs posted on The Blunt Bean Counter provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.

Monday, July 18, 2011

1% Prescribed Interest Rate Loan- A great income-splitting opportunity

The Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) has set its prescribed interest rate for the third quarter of 2011 and it remains at 1%, unchanged from the first and second quarter of 2011. This continuing historically low interest rate, offers yet another opportunity to income split with your spouse and/or children.

Generally, the income attribution rules in the Income Tax Act restrict any attempts to shift income from a higher income individual to a lower income individual by attributing the income back to the higher income earner.

Thus, if you transfer assets to your spouse or minor children, any interest, dividends and capital gains, in the case of a spouse, and any interest and dividends, in the case of a minor child, are taxed in your hands as if you earned the income.

The exception to the above attribution rules applies where an individual makes a loan to a spouse or minor child and interest is charged on the loan at a rate at least equal to the CRA’s prescribed interest rate at the time the loan was made. Where the loan is made at the prescribed interest rate, the attribution rules will not apply. For the loan to be valid, the interest owing must be paid each year within 30 days after the end of the year (January 30th).

Income Splitting


 So why is this a great income splitting opportunity? Because, if your spouse or child is in a low income tax bracket and you are at the highest marginal tax bracket, there could be upwards of 46% in income tax savings on investment income if a prescribed rate loan is used.

If you make a loan to your spouse or minor child between July 1st and September 30th, 2011, the 1% rate is locked for the life of the loan. For example, say you loan your spouse $50,000 and he or she earns 3% on a long-term GIC; he or she will earn $1,500 and have to pay you $500 in interest, netting out $1,000. If your spouse has no other income and you are a high marginal rate taxpayer, you would save almost $500 in taxes. If interest rates recover over time, the benefit could become two or threefold. For those more adventurous, the money can be used to purchases stocks, ETFs, etc. and if you achieve an 8% return, you could be up to $1,500 ahead income tax wise.

Key points to consider


1. The loan agreement must be documented.

2. The CRA’s administrative position is if you have a current prescribed rate loan, you cannot repay it  and issue a new loan.

3. On loans to minors, any income earned legally belongs to the child.

4. The loan interest must be paid by January 30th of the following year.

It should be noted that trusts are typically used for income splitting with minors because minors generally cannot enter into an enforceable contract. Professional advice should be sought before setting up any type of prescribed loan.

The blogs posted on The Blunt Bean Counter provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.

Friday, July 15, 2011

CRA Audit- Will I be selected?- the animated version & Derek Jeter & the IRS

Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees recently hit a home run to join the 3,000 hit club. Only 28 players in Major League Baseball history have reached this milestone. Jeter became only the second player to reach 3,000 hits with a home run. So when Christian Lopez caught the home run, he had a souvenir of immense value, some say as high as $250,000 to $300,000. Mr. Lopez however returned the ball to Jeter, because he felt it was the right thing to do. What would you have done with the ball?

The Yankees lavished prizes upon Lopez for his altruistic act, including free seats and other memorabilia. The only problem with this is, these prizes are taxable and the IRS may want their share of taxes.


CRA Audit- Will I be selected?- the animated version


A while back I posted The Blunt Bean Counter video. I had widely differing views on the video; some really liked it and some, well not. At the same time I was making the first video, I thought it would be a good idea to make an animated version of my most popular post, "CRA Audit-Will I be selected? for those who are too lazy to read the print version. I was going to scrap this video, but decided after spending thousands (okay, twelve bucks) on production to post it anyways. This will most likely be the last time I inflict upon you an animated video.



The blogs posted on The Blunt Bean Counter provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Voting begins Friday July 15th, 'A Counting Exercise' is our Lenzr Photo Contest

You may have noticed the "A Counting Exercise" button / link on the right hand sidebar of this page? This is a photo contest my firm Cunningham LLP is sponsoring, hosted by Lenzr.com a photo contest company. This gives you some idea of how creative we accountants are, a slogan of A Counting Exercise; hey if we had marketing skills, we would be in advertising.  

Notwithstanding the lack of imagination on our behalf, there has already been substantial creative input by numerous freelance photographers. Each submission presents viewers with a challenge to try and count something unique and interesting.  Some of them are very clever.  

If you are a photographer, you have two days to submit an entry, before voting begins. You can still enter after the voting begins, but your picture will have missed out on votes and you'll be less likely to win.

The images below are some of my favourites to date (I am not a judge nor do I have a photographers eye).

Fireworks of stares
This photo is pretty freaky with all the "eyes" staring back at you, yet you want to count all of them. This picture is by silversurfer71, whom I understand is a recent Lenzr winner. He's talented.



Rock Labyrinth
As my wife will tell you, I have no eye for photography (she will not let me take any picture of importance), yet here I was struck by the blue of the sky, and the clouds are beautiful. However, they may take your eye away from the count. Well done tammyschmidt.


Pink Sky
I like this picture since the pink just seems to go on forever and you feel like you could be counting forever. This picture is by Martin Savaria who's very prolific,and has one of the highest point scores on the website.

Southern Streets
I like this for the simplicity of the picture and how well it reflects the theme of counting something. the photo is by Irakari 2010.

Our Lenzr photo contest already has over 120 user-submitted images! Hey, maybe accountants aren't the only people who like to count things! 

The blogs posted on The Blunt Bean Counter provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wealthy families and their children-any lessons to be learned for everyday Canadian families?

In my recent blog “Estate Planning-Taking it to the grave or leaving it all to the kids,” I quoted comments made by Dr. Lee Hausner in regard to how she suggests wealthy families deal with their money and their children. I remember reading Dr. Hausner’s comments in a 2007 article, titled The Trust Fund Whisperer and they have stuck with me over the years.

Although Dr. Hausner deals with extremely wealthy families, I feel that her advice is relevant for many Canadian families, from middle to upper class. In this blog I will review some of her suggestions and their applicability to Canadians who are not “├╝ber rich”.

Set an example


In the article, Dr. Hausner notes that “How children feel about money has a lot to do with how they see their parents spend it. Stay productive, be charitable and invest wisely, and your kids will too.” For a typical Canadian working class family, I think the example is set through children observing how hard their parents work to put food on the table. But what about upper middle class and upper class Canadian families? These parents also often work extremely hard, however, even with significant family income, many live pay cheque to pay cheque in an attempt to keep up with the Jones’s by spending for a house in the right area, the BMW lease and the required family vacation to Europe, while paying little attention to volunteering or charitable giving. Stepping back and paying some heed to Dr. Hausner’s comments may provide some perspective and provide a better example to your children. (I am not in anyway saying I am above this discussion and that I am not guilty of some of these sins, I am just commenting in general).

Encourage philanthropy



Dr. Hausner is very big on encouraging philanthropy and becoming involved in charitable causes. I would suggest that these two activities can be undertaken by anyone, regardless of wealth. Where children observe their parents involved in charitable causes, there is clearly a filter down effect, including discussion of these causes at the dinner table. Where children receive birthday gifts or other cash gifts, parents should encourage the child to give even $5 to a charitable cause. In Ontario, the high schools have really taken an active role by requiring community service as part of the graduation process.


Avoid cash paralysis


Dr. Hausner suggests you don't transfer any substantial amount of wealth before or during a child's career-building years. Pay for education, housing and other expenses, but large sums of cash will just "grind their productivity to a halt." This suggestion is limited in scope for most Canadian families, but should be kept in mind by any family that will inherit funds as part of the large wealth transfer currently underway.

An interesting read in this regard is an article by Leah McLaren in the July edition of Toronto Life titled Latner vs. Latner vs Latner vs Latner. To quickly recap the article: Albert Latner made millions of dollars in real estate and then sold out and branched into health care and casinos amongst other interests. He then took his healthcare company, Dynacare, public and sold out for $480 million dollars. His holding company also owns shares in the Fallsview Casino Resort. According to the article, after Albert’s wife passed away, he decided to distribute his children’s entire inheritance in full. The Toronto Life article discusses the fallout of distributing the full inheritance, it's a fascinating read to say the least.

 Encourage passions


Dr. Hausner suggests that if your child wants to be a teacher, but worries about the standard of living associated with the profession, offer to match their salary. Again, while not applicable for most Canadian families, I think this is a great suggestion for any family that will have some excess wealth. While matching a salary may not be within the grasp of many, if your family has some excess wealth, what better way to encourage your child than by supporting them in a job or profession they truly love.

Most families do not have the wealth transfer concerns Dr. Hausner addresses, however, in my opinion, her suggestions are applicable to many families, notwithstanding their incomes.

The blogs posted on The Blunt Bean Counter provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Estate Planning-Taking it to the Grave or leaving it all to your kids?

It is my observation from over 25 years of estate planning meetings, that people form four distinct groups:

(1) Those that will take their wealth to their grave.
(2) Those that will distribute their wealth only upon their death.
(3) Those that may not be able to afford their grave, as they give all to their children and
(4) The most common, the middle ground of the extremes.

Today, I discuss these four groups in a guest blog I have written for the Candian Capitalist titled "Estate Planning-Taking it to the Grave or leaving it all to your kids?" Here is the link to the blog.

I thank the Canadian Capitalist for the opportunity to guest post on his renowned blog.

Finally, I will have a follow-on blog on Wednesday this week.

The blogs posted on The Blunt Bean Counter provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Budgets and underestimated household expenses

On Tuesday, Roma Luciw quoted me on "Nine expenses you underestimate" in her article in the Globe & Mail. Today, I am posting the entire blog, including those nine expenses, as I think my discussion on creating a one-month budget is important. For anyone who is a "Where's Waldo" fan, see if you can spot the obvious edit the Globe and Mail made to the original nine household expense item descriptions.


I often get calls from clients and potential clients requesting a consultation to discuss their family spending and family budget. Once we set a time for the meeting, I request that prior to the meeting, they prepare a best estimate summary of their spending. Unfortunately, I know this request will most likely not be fulfilled because; (1) most people have no tracking system for their expenses, (2) many summaries are missing so much information that they are virtually useless, or (3) the appointment will never happen.

I find it truly amazing that so many people are so averse to budgeting and tracking their spending and they remain so even after a triggering event that causes the initial phone call to set up the appointment. Not only are people averse to budgeting and tracking, they are also a little lost when it comes to their current habits. When I have the chance to meet with both spouses, I like to ask them to estimate how much they think they spend a month. Typically, one spouse has an idea of how much they are spending while the other spouse is not even in the neighbourhood.

What really drives me around the bend is that with minimal effort, it is possible to make much better decisions. Even if you track your expenses for only one month, you will have a baseline for most of your spending because 75% or more of your expenses are likely recurring monthly expenses of the same or similar amounts. If you only track significant expenditures after that one month, you will have a fairly accurate budget for the full year.

Tracking expenses is not only necessary to ensure you have enough money to pay your bills, but it is also the starting point for savings (see my blog Where did my money go? for tips on tracking expenses). Once you know what you spend, you can budget to ensure you do not spend any additional funds and you can even cut some expenses.

In general I have found people severely underestimate the following expenses:

Weekly living expenses- While each spouse may only go to the ATM one time and thus have an idea how much they spend individually, often both spouses are going to the ATM and those weekly cash expenses are significantly higher than you think.

Gifts- Most people have an idea of how much they spend for Christmas gifts as the holiday season is a condensed period of time, however, how many birthday gifts, anniversary gifts, graduation gifts, etc. do you give throughout the year? This is especially relevant for those with large families.

Charitable donations-Many people do not track their donations throughout the year. This can be problematic, especially for people who wish to give a certain percentage of their income in a particular year.

Automobile expenses- Many people fail to consider some of their car expenses. This expense quickly escalates when you include your lease, or loan principal and interest, repairs and maintenance, parking, insurance, tolls, etc.

Sin costs- The cost of beer, wine, cigarettes, funny cigarettes, is never correctly accounted for and often severely underestimated.

Kid’s programs- Today’s child is enrolled in multiple programs. In my opinion many are “over programmed,” however, notwithstanding my opinion, these programs are very expensive and add up quickly.

Cottage- Cottage costs are problematic on two accounts. Not only do you need to track the property taxes, mortgage, interest payments, repairs, maintenance, insurance and utilities, but you also often have a massive entertainment expense that even the most detailed person would be hard pressed to track.

Restaurant- For some people, these costs are not substantial, but for many double income families, these costs are substantial.

Women’s beauty costs- Often way understated, but guys, I would not even go there.

As discussed above, tracking costs is important for both budgeting and increasing your monthly savings. I strongly suggest that if you are not willing to buy an accounting program such as Quicken, you try my one month experiment and then just track your large one time expenses. It will be an eye opening experience.

The blogs posted on The Blunt Bean Counter provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How we look at Money

While vacationing in New York a couple months ago, I came across an interesting article in the New York Times titled “Net Worth, Self-Worth and How We Look at Money” by Paul Sullivan. I am fascinated by the psychology of money, so this article was of extreme interest. The article centered on a study by Dr. Brad Klontz a financial psychologist.

Dr. Klontz and Dr. Sonya Britt have published a study called “Money Beliefs and Financial Behaviours: Development of the "Klontz Money Script Inventory” . In the study, a sample of 422 individuals indicated their level of agreement on 72 money-related beliefs revealing four distinct money belief patterns.

Dr. Klontz’s calls these four distinct money belief patterns, “money scripts.” The scripts are intended to be used by psychologists to assess whether a client’s attitude may interfere with their ability to accomplish their financial goals.

The four scripts are discussed briefly below:

Money Avoidance


The study describes money avoiders as people who “believe that money is bad or that they do not deserve money. For the money avoider, money is often seen as a force that stirs up fear, anxiety, or disgust. People with money avoider scripts may be worried about abusing credit cards or over-drafting their checking account; they may self-sabotage their financial success, may avoid spending money on even reasonable or necessary purchases, or may unconsciously spend or give money away in an effort to have as little as possible in their control.”

The study found that people in the money avoidance category typically have low incomes and low net worth and this group would typically include people between the ages of 18 and 30.

It may be because the demographic group for this script is not my client demographic, but I have not seen this type of behaviour exhibited.

Money Worship


Dr. Klontz states that the most common belief among Americans is that “more money will make things better.” The study says “Individuals who subscribe to this notion believe that an increase in income and/or financial windfall would solve their problems. However, there is a paucity of empirical evidence to suggest that more money solves life problems.” The study goes on to say that “Furthermore, after an initial period of excitement, financial windfalls do not have a lasting positive impact on mood. For example, research has shown that while lottery winners feel good about winning, they are not significantly happier than non-winners, and even report experiencing less pleasure in ordinary activities than non-winners (Brickman, Coates, & Janoff-Bulman, 1978).”

The study cites various other studies that reflect minimal evidence suggesting there is a relationship between wealth and happiness, yet most people feel that their life problems would dissipate if they had more money.

The study suggests that money worshipers are typically young, single with lower levels of income and net worth with the tendency to not pay credit card debt in full each month.

In my experience, money worship is not only an issue with the young and single, but with all demographics. However, I must agree with the assertion that having money does not guarantee happiness, although in many cases, at least on the surface, it clearly does.

Money Status


The study says money is status scripts are “concerned with the association between self-worth and net-worth. These scripts can lock individuals into the competitive stance of acquiring more than those around them. Individuals who believe that money is status see a clear distinction between socio-economic classes.”

Personally, I most often observe money worship in higher income groups; as for many in this peer group, success and wealth is paramount.

Money Vigilance


Dr. Klontz has stated in the past that “For many people, money is a deep source of shame and secrecy, whether one has a lot or a little.” The study notes that money vigilance “appears to be linked to alertness, watchfulness, and concern about money, and the sense that one must be heedful of pending trouble or danger.”

I am not sure I can say I have run across this script, however, I have definitely met many people who are secretive about their wealth to ensure they are not viewed differently by their friends and family. Maybe this is partly shame; however, I am not qualified to say.

It is very interesting to note that Dr. Klontz in the New York Times article said “the four money scripts illustrate problems that have less to do with money than with what money represents.”

The blogs posted on The Blunt Bean Counter provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Blunt Bean Counter noted in The Globe and Mail- Nine expenses you underestimate

Thanks to Roma Luciw for referencing me in her column today, "Nine expenses you underestimate" in the Globe Life Money Section, page L4. Roma, the web editor of the Globe Investor personal finance site, writes an insightful column on Monday in the G&M on various personal finance issues. She is also one of the contributors to Home Cents, which provides expert tips on how to make money and save money.

Roma’column today touches on budgets and underestimated household expenses. Although a mundane task, budgeting and tracking expenses is not only necessary to ensure you have enough money to pay your bills, but it is also the starting point for savings.

The blogs posted on The Blunt Bean Counter provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.

Monday, July 4, 2011

RRSP Swaps - Be careful of the new “advantage” penalty provisions

On June 6th, the Federal Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, re-introduced the Conservative government’s budget of March 22, 2011 (that was never passed due to the dissolution of parliament).

The June 6th budget re-introduces the proposed Registered Retirement Savings Plan (“RRSP”) anti-avoidance rules, including the introduction of “advantage rules” similar to those for Tax-Free Savings Accounts.


Simply put, an “advantage” is a benefit obtained from a transaction exploiting the tax attributes of an RRSP. One of the benefits explicitly targeted are asset purchase and sale transactions (“swap” or “RRSP strip” transactions) between RRSPs and other accounts held by the annuitant of the RRSP. An example of a swap or strip transaction would be if you transferred $15,000 of Research in Motion shares to your RRSP in exchange for $15,000 in cash from your RRSP account. The government is not concerned about swaps or strips, such as the above, which take place at fair market value, but rather frequent swaps that exploit small changes in asset value, such as the transfer of an illiquid stock that has a wide ranging bid and ask value so the fair market value on a given day is not necessarily clear and thus, taxpayers can exploit this uncertainty.

The “advantage” rules in relation to swaps and strips are effective starting July 1, 2011. The “advantage” rules impose a tax of 100% of the benefit received, a very harsh penalty. However, so long as the swap is done at fair market value, there will be no tax advantage gained and therefore no penalty will apply.

It should be noted that the budget proposals also re-introduced new rules in connection with “prohibited” and “non-qualified” investments in RRSP accounts. Rather than the current 1% per month penalty, an RRSP annuitant will be subject to a 50% special tax on the fair market value of any “prohibited” or “non-qualified” investment in their RRSP account. A swap transaction to remove a “prohibited” or “non-qualified” investment in an RRSP account, and also to avoid the new 50% tax, is permitted until the end of 2012.

I had heard rumblings that swaps were now prohibited by certain financial institutions and I could not understand why, since the legislation only talked about an advantaged gained on a swap, not the elimination of swaps.

However, I recently watched a video on the swap rules by Jamie Golombek of CIBC Private Wealth Management and now understand what is happening. Some financial institutions are concerned that the “advantage” rules may come into play unknowingly and want to eliminate the risk to themselves, their advisors and their clients. As a result, they are considering not undertaking any swaps. Since there is no tax advantage if a swap is undertaken at fair market value, the institutions are effectively disallowing swaps that are allowed under the Income Tax Act.

As Jamie notes, some institutions are considering allowing swaps of TSX listed shares, so stay tuned to see how this all shakes out.


Bloggers Note: There is now some concern that the CRA may take the position that even if a transaction is undertaken at equal value,  if the swapped security generates a greater return than the security transferred out, there is an advantage.

Thus, it would appear the prudent position is to not undertake swap transactions and most institiutions are not even allowing swap transactions.

The blogs posted on The Blunt Bean Counter provide information of a general nature. These posts should not be considered specific advice; as each reader's personal financial situation is unique and fact specific. Please contact a professional advisor prior to implementing or acting upon any of the information contained in one of the blogs.