Sheepishly, our banks and financial
institutions are beginning to remind us that RRSP season is upon us.
I don't know if you've noticed, but there are far fewer commercials
on TV this year reminding us to put something away for our old age.
I think this is because most of the financial geniuses who sold them
to us over the past few years are too embarrassed to stand up and
ask us with a straight face to shell out again.
Don't get me wrong. I'm all for retirement
and putting a bit aside so we'll be able to enjoy something in our
old age other than Little Friskies for Sunday dinner. I'm just tired
of an investment strategy that amounts to spending half of my
retirement savings on magic beans.
I keep getting cheery mailings from my RSP
people about how the "real recovery" is right around the
corner, and how we have all paid the price for unrealistic
expectations and a bad economy. My bank certainly paid the price.
Last year it was only able to report a 44% increase in profits over
2001, which means they'll have to serve non-vintage champagne at
It would have done a lot better if it wasn't
for the mountain of reports and statements it sends me every month
to tell me my retirement fund investments are disappearing faster
than Paul Martin's leadership rivals. By the time I've finished
reading everything, it's RSP season again. I don't know why they
don't just send me a postcard instead with a little note written on
the back: "Please send us more money, or just eliminate the
middleman this year by flushing half of it down the toilet."
My own little retirement fund isn't quite as
healthy as the banks' rosy finances. Let me put it this way, at the
current rate I'll be able to retire in 2096, provided I'm prepared
to make a few sacrifices in the meantime - like eating.
So I'm thinking of setting up a few
alternative RSP funds that ought to do at least as well as my
How about a Gun Registry RSP? Where else can
you see a million dollars grow to more than a billion in just four
years? I only wish I could have gotten in on the ground floor.
There should be a BC Premiers Fund, where
you have the opportunity to throw away your future on off-shore
A Raelian CloneAid investment plan might be
a good choice. Your investment would double every nine months. Just
don't ask them to prove it or tell you where it is.
I'd invest in a Canadian Prime Minister RSP.
It would be the only retirement plan where you never actually
If you're not into "ethical
funds", you could put your money into the Crazy Dictators Fund.
The Iraqis would let you invest your retirement savings in their
Weapons of Mass Destruction Portfolio. The only problem is not even
the CIA can locate it. If you're interested in a slightly
longer-term investment, you may want to consider their sister plan
in North Korea. You've heard of "balanced funds"? Consider
these unbalanced funds.
Maybe I'll have to just go back to my old
standby - the Lottery Ticket Retirement Plan. Just think of how many
chances to win big money a thousand bucks will buy. I figure that
even if I sink half of my retirement fund into scratch n' win
tickets and come up with nothing, I'll still doing as well as my
other RSPs. And I'll at least feel like I've had a sporting chance
to get something back for my old age.