Weekend Reading – Don’t sell everything, Couch Potato returns, Air Miles and more

Welcome to your Weekend Reading edition, some of the best articles from the personal finance and investing blogosphere right here.   With a new year, there is some new TFSA contribution room, and I shared my thoughts on what to put into this account here.  I also made some bold 2016 predictions including who might win The Stanley Cup.  Some thoughts about what the markets might do this year is there also…

Enjoy these articles and enjoy your weekend!

As a follow-up to the RBS article last week to “sell everything”, Tom Bradley shared better, more practical advice here:  “Broadly diversified portfolios have consistently served Canadian investors well. I’m not talking about ones focused on Canadian financial, real estate and resource stocks, but rather portfolios that hold cash, government and corporate bonds, and small, medium and large companies across a range of industries, geographies and currencies.”

Here are the Couch Potato returns for 2015.

Freedom Thirty Five Blog said this about dividend investing:  “It’s a brilliant way to make a reasonable amount of money over a reasonable amount of time”.   Agreed, but let’s not forget total return matters, a lot, although I suspect some people focusing on total return right now may not be feeling very good about living off their portfolio value.

Is collecting Air Miles still worth it?  How To Save Money has a take.

What to do with $1,000?  How should you invest it?  Read some considerations here.

Here are some signs you need a better retirement plan if you’re hoping for government programs to save you.

Michael James on Money has a suggestion to waste excess cash.

Husky suspended its dividend recently, not surprising given the oil rout.  This was a small hit to my dividend income unfortunately.

Don’t repeat these major money mistakes.

U.S. buyers are snapping up cheaper Canadian real estate with our decimated loonie.

Big Cajun Man celebrated #55 recently and recalls “My first mortgage interest rate was 14% and we locked in for 5 years because that was cheap.”  How times change.

Golf star Lee Westwood is selling his $11 million dollar home.  Nice place!

What do CPP changes mean?  Check out this essay over at Young & Thrifty.

My Dividend Pipeline has been on a buying spree lately.

Making Sense of Cents busted some early retirement myths.

Retirement guru Fred Vettese told us saving 10% of your income is no longer good enough for a comfortable retirement.  This was his recent article.  I mentioned the same thing here.

16 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Don’t sell everything, Couch Potato returns, Air Miles and more"

  1. After the RBS noise I thought about how much gold I could buy with everything I own. It turns out to be a surprisingly small lump. I think I’ll keep my money in my house and a small slice of almost every stock on earth. Thanks for the mention.

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  2. I am with Michael James, although I am fairly sure my lump of gold would be even smaller. The world has changed a great deal since I was a lad, but I have been glad to watch it all happen. Thanks for the inclusion this week, have a great weekend.

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  3. re: US real estate invasion — funny how things flow. Following the US housing bubble, Canadians were huge buyers of US real estate; now that our oil/currency bubble has popped, they are here to consume our RE! Even nationally, Alberta’s boom saw a lot of AB money buy up BC property; now BC money is flowing back into AB buying up foreclosed and depressed property. Americans buying into Alberta right now are getting some monster deals!

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    1. I was thinking about the same thing SST when I read that article. 7 years ago, Canadians with cash were buying in Florida and Arizona. Now, the tables are turned. Good on them – smart buyers.

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  4. Thanks for the mention Mark – have a great weekend! Watching both my investments and the Canadian dollar tank has not fun, but it never is 🙁 Unfortunately, I am overweighted in Canada and have been slowly trying to correct that. The markets have deemed fit to correct it for me a little faster!

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  5. I thought US real estate was still cheaper, even with the exchange rate. Didn’t expect them to be in a hurry to buy up such high-priced houses, since they haven’t followed the stock market down.

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    1. I think it’s still cheap in many parts of the U.S., that’s just a guess of course, but I know when I’ve visited Florida recent the prices seems to be back to where they were before, if not higher than prior to the 2008-2009 financial crisis. Have you ever thought of buying U.S. real estate? My wife and I considered it briefly in 2009-2010.

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      1. I haven’t considered it much, but I know someone who shows others how to find good deals (in the US, since this is a lot harder in Canada!) and manage the properties without having to spend a lot of time on it. I’m getting a little more interested even with the exchange rate disadvantage.

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        1. That would be my biggest concern with the place in Florida or Arizona…the property oversight and maintenance. You’re simply not there to see what is being done to maintain your investment. You (I would anyhow) need to find a company that you trust, and has a low vacancy rate.

          All that said, my wife and I are going to try and live off dividend income and distributions (from ETFs) and simply rent where we go/travel. If that’s for one or two weeks per winter short-term, great. Hopefully in the coming years, we can start taking at least one winter getaway per year. As we ease into semi-retirement, our goal is to get away and rent in the South, somewhere, for a month. Renting via Flipkey, VRBO, etc. has lots more flexibility vs. ownership. And no foreign tax headaches either 🙂

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          1. I probably wouldn’t buy anywhere that I actually wanted to go stay, unless it was an exceptionally good deal and it could be profitable on its own. For my own use I like to rent as much as possible. You can always find something new that way 🙂

          2. That’s another angle, with renting and your sunny south vacations or getaways, you can usually find something new(er). You also don’t have the headache of selling and what price you may or may not get to your liking 🙂

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