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Financial advice for my younger self

Inspired by a few reader questions a few weeks ago and reflecting upon some older blogposts, I wondered what financial advice would I tell my younger self?  Here are some things that have crossed my mind… Dear Mark, There is no point saving for your financial future if you don’t take care of your health.  Your health will be your most important asset. Investing is for the long-term.  Trading is for the short-term.  You’re going to have minimal success at timing the market so forget trading.  Make sure you buy and hold indexed products ...

How to kill your retirement plan in 3 easy steps

Over the years I’ve read a number of personal finance and investing books to mature my financial acumen. For today’s post I’ll collate what I think are three great ways to kill your retirement plan. Retirement plan killer # 1 – always living with credit card debt Unless you have a healthy and rising stream of cash flow (good on you by the way), I’m convinced consumer debt is a great way to kill your retirement plan.  Consumer debt, such as credit card debt is a HUGE retirement plan killer; who on earth pays 18% interest for months on ...
Financial Freedom

Lofty financial milestones can be just around the corner

While thinking ahead to 2014 some lofty financial goals crossed my mind: Can we max-out the contribution room in our Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) by summer 2014? Can we start saving for an overseas trip in 2015? Can we put away at least 10% of our net income next year into RRSPs? Can we be mortgage free in 5 years? My initial thought was…we can’t possibly do all this over the next couple of years….can we? A recent conversation with a friend of mine reminded me about the choices I’ve made, we all make, regarding where we ...
Investing Advice

Investing advice that never goes out of style

Over the last week, I found myself thinking about what a new investor might want to know or be mindful of as they start their financial freedom journey.  Considering I haven’t reached financial freedom yet, I thought I would list some investing advice I’m taking to heart, advice that never seems to go out of style.  Hopefully the advice below helps you, words of wisdom you’ll consider adopting if you haven’t already done so.  Let me know what rings true to you in a comment below. It doesn’t matter whether you make a return of 2 percent, ...
Financial Attitude

Great finances start with great attitudes

Some time ago, I read a blogpost by Seth Godin.  In this article, Seth ranks the hierarchy of success in the following order of importance: Attitude Approach Goals Strategy Tactics Execution Seth may have something here. Culturally, we are obsessed with execution and my workplace is an example.  Use this word instead of that word in this communication memo.  Use this software solution not that one.  “We’re doing it all wrong.” Execution, while important is not the most important factor to realize success.  The same goes ...
Leadership and Finance

Leadership and Financial Parallels

A few years ago, I read High Altitude Leadership by Chris Warner and Don Schmincke.  In this book, the authors tell us how the dynamics of mountaineering provide some tailor-made metaphors for our business world.  I won’t list all those metaphors in today’s blogpost but many of them do relate to personal finance as well. High altitude leaders tame fear in themselves, their teams, and their organizational cultures by taking decisive and disciplined action. I think when it comes to money management, we’re not decisive and disciplined enough.  ...

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