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Carrick's newsletter: There's more than just old dudes writing about finances

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A young female blogger says a common complaint about the world of finance is that it's dominated by older men, particularly in the banking and brokerage worlds. "This lack of perspective can make us younger, female investors feel left out and awkward about getting serious about our money," she writes.

I like her solution. In a recent post on her blog, she lists a few of her favourite female finance bloggers. Here are some of the topics these bloggers have written about lately: How to live in an unaffordable city, how to budget for a new home, your brunch habit, how much people spend on wedding presents and the benefits of job hopping versus being loyal to an employer. These are all fresh, relevant topics that you don't see the old dudes talking much about.

Here are a few more female personal finance voices you should check out:
- Cait Flanders
- Give me back my five bucks
- Golden Girl Finance
- Squawkfox

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The worries about index investing are overblown
The rise of low-cost index investing has been one of the most powerful financial trends of recent years. This has led to increased scrutiny of indexing and, inevitably, criticisms that say it might be dangerous. Here's some commentary that should put your mind at ease if you're an indexer.

Can riding your bike affect your car insurance costs?
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Trendspotting – millennial moves in with grandparents
We've been talking for years about how many young adults are moving back into the family home. Here's the story of a young woman who moved in with her grandmother to save money and stayed because the two are best friends.

Today's featured financial tool
This ETF screener is offered by an investment research outfit called Morningstar, which is known for its star ratings on mutual funds and ETFs. You can look up ETFs by star ranking.

Ask Rob The question: "Is it true that online brokers take a trailer fee for mutual funds purchased via their investing sites where no advice is provided?"

The answer: "In many cases, yes. The background here is that the fee investors pay to own many mutual funds include trailing commissions that go to advisers and their firms to pay for advice and services. So if you own these funds in a DIY account at an online broker, you may still be paying for advice. Solution: Look for the Series D funds that online brokers are increasingly making available. They're low-fee funds for DIY investors that have most of the trailing commission taken out."

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can't answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.

What I've been writing about
- How aspiring buyers should play Toronto's real estate market
- Beware the bait of the increasingly common readvanceable mortgage
- Your adviser could be making wealth-destroying fund decisions (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

Featured Video
Not having a will is an unforgivable money mistake that a surprising number of people are making.

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