Best Of

October 18th, 2008 by Potato

With over 1300 posts here on BbtP, I thought I’d put up a little “Best of” page to get new visitors started on what there is to read here.

Blessed by the Potato is the name of my sometimes-whimiscal, sometimes-serious personal blog. As a personal blog, it covers a wide variety of topics with no particular posting schedule — some weeks I’ll post every day, some weeks not at all, though it’s very rare for me to miss more than one week in a row. Hopefully this post will help you get started on the years of material here, and find what might be of interest to you.

Personal Finance:

I’ve always had a passing interest in money and the stock market, and especially in the small numbers games, like figuring out how much you have to use the phone before a monthly plan becomes better than pay-as-you go. With no false modesty I’m a whiz with spreadsheets and have made some tools that I’m very proud of and that are even better and more reliable than some commercial calculators and tools that are out there. I’ve also written a how-to guide for do-it-yourself investors, and have a comprehensive course for beginners, focusing on the practical aspects of investing (actually buying investments, reporting your taxes, setting up good processes for long-term success, etc.).

A Summary of the Tools Available:
Personal Finance Reading Guide
TFSA vs RRSP Decision Guide
Capital Gains Tracking Sheet
CPP Calculator
The Automagical Financial Planning Ballparkinator, to help you answer “how much should I save? Am I saving enough?”
The Rebalancing Spreadsheet
Rent vs. Buy: the Investment Spreadsheet
Retirement Calculator – Part 1 of 3 – Introduction

Other useful personal finance posts to check out:

My course: Practical Index Investing for Canadians
My book: The Value of Simple
A five-part series on how to handle your taxes as a freelancer in Canada
Self-Publishing Behind-the-Scenes — an eleven-part series on my experiences with self-publishing in Canada, capped off with two interviews with other successful Canadian self-publishers. Only tangentially related to PF, but still one I want near the top of a Best Of ranking.
The RRSP series — the deadline
The Canonical Portfolio and The Canonical Portfolio Part 2: Apocrypha
The Value of Simple – Three Index Investing Options and Beyond the Three Options
Do-It-Yourself Market-Linked GICs
The Cone of Probability
Course Adjustments and Planning
Of Course You Invest It
A two-part series on the Flat Tax Fantasy part 2
TD e-series: A quick guide
Sector Focus with a TD E-series Portfolio
Personal Finances
My Financial Mistake And What You Can Learn From It
Rent vs Buy
Mortgage Budget Sheet
Should I Sell My House and Rent?
Intro to Finance: Mutual Funds
Intro to Finance: Stock Market Investing
Intro to Finance: Leverage/Margin

Cars, Hybrids, and Saving Gas:

I’m not really much of a car guy or a gear-head, but I write about my car a bit, especially since it’s been stolen… twice. That got me looking at replacements, in particular hybrid cars, which I’ve written about in great detail. I’m also interested in them since they seem to converge on that space between techno-geekdom, environmentalism, and personal finance.

ScanGauge – Part 1 – A nifty device that among other things can give you real-time feedback of your car’s fuel use; can be used to help you train yourself to drive more efficiently.
Hybrid Cars: The Benefits of My Research — A long discussion of almost every aspect of hybrid cars; unfortunately it’s now quite out-of-date.
Hybrid Payback – Them’s Fightin’ Words!
Fear of Hybrids — Magnetic fields? Really?
Nokian WR Review — I’ve become a snow-tire believer. These are great because I don’t have to take them off in the summer!
Gas Mileage and Winter — A discussion of why gas mileage is worse in winter, and some tips.


Insanity is all around us, and apropos to the heading, just about anything can be found here. In particular, after my car was stolen I commented a few times on stupid, insane thieves. Most of this stuff is more topical/timely though, so it might not be worth delving too much into the archives.

Power Bricks
Life With An Evil Genius

School, Science, and Sundry:

I completed my PhD in 2011. Science interests me enough that I made something vaguely resembling a career out of it, however, I explicitly avoid trying to write too much about my own field: it’s not that interesting to other people, and I try to keep my professional life professional. That doesn’t stop me from writing about science in more general terms though.

Advice For My Sister As She Goes To University

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