Savings account compairison

Let’s say you have a spare $5,000.  You want this money for travel… or a down payment on a car, or something else in the one to two year time frame.  What’s the best current bet for getting a little bit of growth over a year?

Mutual funds and stocks could lose value.  That’s probably not a good bet over the short term.  Bonds could work in some situations, so that may warrant investigation.  For now, I’m just going to focus on savings accounts and the tax implications.

All interest rates were captured on 3 Nov 2012.  Let’s take a look at a few options.  Let’s also have a look at tax implications for 2012.


  • One year investment period
  • Marginal tax rate is 32% (22% federal, 10% provincial)
  • There is contribution room for a TFSA
  • $5000 to invest
  • There is NO inflation adjustment necessary

Some Options:

Institution Rate (%) Interest ($) Taxes ($) Net ($)
AMA/Bridgewater Bank 1.85% $92.50 $29.60 $62.90
Canadian Direct Financial 1.90% $95.00 $30.40 $64.60
Canadian Direct Financial TFSA 3.00% $150.00 $0.00 $150.00
ING Direct Savings 1.35% $67.50 $21.60 $45.90
RBC eSavings 1.20% $60.00 $19.20 $40.80


I find it odd that some institutions are offering a *higher* interest rate for TFSA savings accounts. I won’t fight it – it’s a fantastic option for those who are saving for the short term. Even as an emergency fund the TFSA offers a significant advantage over taxed savings accounts. Naturally, there are limitations placed on TFSAs and it’s important to work within those limitations to ensure that there are no service fees applied to an otherwise exceptional deal.

Why the disparity in interest rates?  I can only assume that it’s because larger banks can get away with offering lower rates and still attracting customers.  Perhaps the inconvenience of dealing with multiple institutions is worth the cost of not keeping up with the rate of inflation.

CDQ: NTP will save you time.

In my second edition of Cisco Done Quick (CDQ) I will talk about how NTP – the network time protocol – will save you time.

Debugging network problems can be challenging. It’s made even worse by time zones and daylight savings time.  Worse still by a clock that has drifted.

Some older Cisco IOSes don’t know the current rules for daylight savings. They can be configured, if necessary. Start with setting a timezone and setting the rules for Mountain Daylight Time (or your time zone as appropriate):

clock timezone MST -7 0
clock summer-time MDT recurring 2 sunday march 02:00 1 sunday november 02:00 60

Next, setup NTP, if you don’t already have it:

ntp server [vrf MANAGEMENT] aaa.bbb.ccc.ddd
[ntp source gig 0/0]
[ntp logging]

Setting the VRF and source interface are only needed if you are using a dedicated management interface. The “ntp logging” line is only useful for debugging information. Remember to TURN IT OFF once you’re satisfied that everything is working.

Doing a “show clock” will tell you whether or not NTP has been able to update your clock.

So how does this save you time?

Well, with properly annotated timezone information and a synchronized clock, you’ll spend less time debugging and converting times or correcting for a drifting system clock.

UPDATE – 26 November 2012:

If your device is already using DNS, rather than hard-coding an IP address for the NTP server, I suggest you pop on over to  For Canadian NTP servers, look here.

Using the NTP servers in a pool will make things a little more fault tolerant.  It will help with:

  • NTP server drift (yes, it does happen)
  • NTP server outages (this happens more regularly)

The config will end up looking more like this:

ntp server [vrf MANAGEMENT]
ntp server [vrf MANAGEMENT]
ntp server [vrf MANAGEMENT]
ntp server [vrf MANAGEMENT]


The reading list

There are a lot of things I would like to read.  It’s often hard to find time, but find time one must.  This is essentially a public to-do list for what I have read, and what I hope to read. I will not normally include fiction in this list.

If you know me, then you likely know just how busy I am.  I implore you not to give me books.  I have more than enough, and I have scarce little time to do any reading.

TitleDate Read
Race Tech’s Motorcycle Suspension Bible2012
The Moneysense guide to Investing in Real Estate(2012)2012
The Moneysense guide to the perfect portfolio (2011)2012
Total Control: High Performance Street Riding Techniques2012
The Millionaire Next DoorDec 2012
The Moneysense guide to investing in stocksDec 2012
The Lazy Investor (DRIP)Nov 2012
The Intelligent Investor2018
Stocks for the Long RunAug 2016
Internet Peering Playbook 2013 EditionAug 2013
Wireshark Network Analysis – 2nd Ed.Jul 2013
Don’t shoot the dogSep 2013
Breaking the time barrierSep 2013
Your Financial Battle PlanJan 2014
Learn Ruby the Hard WayMay 2015
Pro GitMay 2015
CCIE R&S v5.0 Official Cert Guide, Vol 1, 5th Ed.Jun 2015
The Phoenix ProjectOct 2015
CCIE R&S v5.0 Official Cert Guide, Vol 2, 5th Ed.Nov 2015
The GoalJan 2016
High-Tech Heretic: Reflections of a Computer ContrarianApr 2016
So good they can’t ignore youMay 2016
The Age of SelfishnessMay 2016
To sell is humanJul 2016
The Now HabitDec 2016
Deep WorkDec 2016
How to Become a Straight-A StudentApr 2017
Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking, and Drying Wood the Scandinavian WayMay 2017
A Mind for NumbersAug 2017
Your Money or Your LifeAug 2020
The Unicorn ProjectMar 2020
TED Talks The Official TED Guide to Public SpeakingMay 2019
Mindset by Carol DweckNov 2018
The power of habitDec 2018
The 7 habits of highly effective peopleSep 2019
Traction by WickmanJan 2020
The end of averageDec 2017
Thinking fast and slowMar 2018
Astrophysics for people in a hurryJun 2019
BrandwashedJan 2018
Bacteria to Bach and BackJun 2018
Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really AreJan 2019
The World beyond your headMay 2019
The richest man in BabylonJuly 2020
The five dysfunctions of a teamMay 2020
The future X networkFeb 2019
Digital MinimalismMar 2019
Atomic habitsJul 2019
Learning how to learnNov 2018
PeakDec 2018
The end of ignoranceNov 2019
FlourishJan 2020
Google Site Reliability Engineering (SRE)Feb 2020
Months are approximate