My Best of 2021

My Best of 2021

Well, almost another year in the books folks – so a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and family.

Welcome to my best of 2021. 

Where on earth does the time go?

2010 was the first full year of running this site and I’m still going strong all these years later. In 2010, I wrote about welcoming some new stocks to my portfolio (Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) was one of them), I finished some spring-cleaning by dumping all remaining costly mutual funds from my portfolio, I received my first feature in The Globe and Mail, and I started broadcasting my dividend income journey to the world. While the years have flown by, my passion for investing and sharing my journey with others has not wavered. This site remains fun, all these years later…

I want to thank you for that – since all readers are a big part of my inspiration and overall engagement in personal finance and investing. 

Thank you!!


Fast forward to 2021, and it was another fun year on the site, and building others, more on that in a bit.

Some My Own Advisor site stats by the numbers:

  • 835,000+ = the number of pageviews on this site year to date, in just 2021.
  • Readers spent an average of 3 minutes; 5 seconds on my site, in 2021. 
  • Top pages and pageviews in 2021:

My fun and ever growing Dividends page – where I highlight some of the stocks I own and why (that page averages 3,000 views per month).

My ETFs page – where I also highlight what low-cost ETFs I own and why; to manage a 7-figure portfolio.

The 5 stocks I want to buy in 2021 was very popular. I’ll recap what I bought and why in the coming weeks!

There were also some popular case studies viewed in 2021:

Can you retire early on a lower income?

How to invest for retirement when time is no longer your friend.

This couple wants to retire at age 55, they wonder without any pensions if then can retire on $1.2 million invested – do they have enough?

…and the list goes on and on and on!

As always, you can find these case studies with dozens of others on my Retirement page.

My Best of 2021

Here are some of my favourite posts over the last year and what readers enjoyed as well:

January 2021:

Investing wisely is of course smart, but so is tax-efficient investing. I profiled these tax efficient ETFs from Horizons ETFs and interviewed Mark Noble, Executive Vice President, ETF Strategy at Horizons ETFs about some products here. 

I also talked to semi-retiree, author and financial expert Jon Chevreau this month and asked him if you should ever speculate with your retirement portfolio.

February 2021:

I made a decision to renew some term life insurance this year – this was the thought process I went through to determine how much term life insurance was enough for me/us.

These are some RRSP “do’s” and “don’ts” in any tax year.

March 2021:

How to generate retirement income, including some tips from an advice-only financial planner was popular on the site.

These were some stocks to take advantage of with any market resurgence in 2021.

April 2021:

These millennials wrote me about their plan to FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) at age 50. I highlighted how they could pull that off and how much they would need to save to get there.

Millennials want to FIRE at age 50

Also in April, on the subject of FIRE, I mentioned FIRE really stands for Financial Independence, Retire to Entrepreneurship (and not Retire Early) since nobody in their 30s or 40s really “retires” from all work or employment income. #FIREpolice. Ha. 

May 2021:

I updated for all readers, based on many recent questions: How I built my dividend portfolio that now earns thousands in tax-free dividend income per year.

I also discussed a very important subject for any retiree or aspiring retiree: how to manage your healthcare insurance. 

June 2021:

After debunking the 4% rule for retirees and after covering the Variable Percentage Withdrawal (VPW) approach in retirement, I shared some other overlooked retirement income and planning considerations – including those I’m working through myself. 

July 2021:

Early retirement or any retirement comes with lots of uncertainly. The pandemic had me reflecting on the emotional side of early retirement.

I also predicted some big bank raises on the way this year – that could be windfall to my dividend income.

August 2021:

I highlighted these stocks and ETFs built to last for your portfolio.

Examples include XAW, VXC, VTI, QQQ and more. 

I also talked about how to fight inflation and offered some links to some permanent portfolios. 

September 2021:

In September, I wrote about why cash is somewhat king – although cashflow management is more important. That means you should consider a Cash Wedge for your semi-retirement dreams or at least some cash on hand to navigate market volatility at any age. 

The Cash Wedge – Managing market volatility

I also challenged investors to explain: why would anyone own bonds right now??

October 2021:

This month, I tackled of number of hot topics:

How much real estate should you have in your investment portfolio?

Here are some of the best dividend ETFs to earn cash for life. 

November 2021:

What is a LIRA and how should you invest in it?

I posted my Financial Independence Update as well. 

Financial Independence Update

December 2021:

Thanks to those big bank raises I predicted months ago, our dividend income rose substantially to new highs his month in this November 2021 dividend income update. 

And…these are some great year-end tax tips if you haven’t already included some in your personal finance plans. On top that, in that post, I offer you a whopping 30% off The Grumpy Accountant with my personal promo code. 

Best of 2021 – a new site and a new venture – Cashflows & Portfolios

This year-end recap on my site would also not be complete if I didn’t highlight I started a new site and new venture in 2021 with my friend Joe who founded Million Dollar Journey. 

We started Cashflows & Portfolios to offer a unique free resource providing a beginning-to-end guide for Do-It-Yourself investors. Our content focuses on how to budget and generate cash flow; how best to invest that cashflow; onto using the nest egg to fund the next phase of life – retirement. We wanted to create a more actionable site to help you with your financial goals since we would have wanted to find such a site years ago as well…to help cut through the personal finance and investing noise.

Beyond the free content, free downloadable tools and weekly newsletter, we wanted to do something very unique in Canada: offer up our time and services to run financial projections to anyone, anywhere, anytime at a low-cost. 

Cashflows & Portfolios

We answer a host of questions for Canadians looking for any early retirement or full-on retirement drawdown answers; we offer a detailed report or reports for you, customized to your needs, that answer questions specific to your financial situation such as:

  • Do I have enough to retire?
  • When can I retire?
  • Will I run out of money in retirement?
  • How much can I spend in retirement?
  • How much of a financial legacy can I leave behind?
  • Should I take CPP at age 65 or 70?
  • How do I minimize OAS clawback?
  • Which account (and when) should I withdraw from during retirement for the highest tax efficiency and estate value?
  • And the list goes on for whatever you need!

We are offering these services because we feel, essentially, we can help Canadians in a major way. We are currently using professional financial projections software that we use, and making it available to our readers. We are doing this because we are passionate about investing but we also feel there is a HUGE gap between fee-only planners who advise folks vs. folks who simply want some personal confidence in their own retirement projections. As passionate Do-It-Yourself (DIY) investors, we know the hard part really isn’t about investing or asset accumulation any longer with all the tools, services and resources available to Canadians. The challenging part is really about solving the asset decumulation puzzle. That asset decumulation puzzle is a process that is often very personal and must be tailored to your specific retirement or semi-retirement needs and goals. We know – we’re working through that process ourselves right now!

Because we do not offer any financial advice, and never will, we can offer our services for a fraction of the cost some planners charge. We don’t charge between $1.5k – $11k for a financial plan since we don’t offer debt management services, estate planing or other services that come with those plans. We also have no desire to manage any investors’ financial assets – so we avoid that conflict of interest! We are DIY services for DIY investors from passionate DIY investors. 

With Cashflows & Portfolios services, we work with you, take your inputs, your assumptions, then work on providing you with an optimized Retirement Projections Report(s) that is customized to your needs and goals. That’s it. Simple but very, very effective. 

It’s been amazing to see that site and services grow in 2021 and we’ve got a queue of work to help more Canadians in 2022, along with more plans for the site itself. So, I encourage you to hit me up with any retirement projections case study ideas for some blogpost content or ask me about your own projections service needs. Happy to help!

My Best of 2021 summary

A busy year. A challenging year. Another year to be very thankful for.

I want to acknowledge and thank all the readers, visitors, giveaway contestants, fellow bloggers, mainstream media, partners and many more associated with My Own Advisor that make running this site a pleasure and a continued passion. 

My best wishes back to you and your families for a safe and enjoyable holiday season. See you around the site again in the coming weeks, and of course more content in 2022. 


My name is Mark Seed - the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I'm looking to start semi-retirement soon, sooner than most. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Join the newsletter read by thousands each day, always FREE.

36 Responses to "My Best of 2021"

  1. Congratulations, Mark, for your generosity and knowledge sharing. I particularly like the objective and unbiased thoughts and ideas behind your stories/cases. Great success to your own financial independence journey and your blogs.

    Merry Christmas to you and family, and all your readers!

    1. Thanks very much Angela, and your comments are very much appreciated and make my day!
      Happy Holidays to you as well and see you on the site in 2022 🙂

  2. Merry Christmas to you also!

    Congrats on the 11 years of fantastic contributions to the Canadian PF blogosphere. Amazing page views this year, well done!

    I’m excited that you’re working on the de-cumulation puzzle both here and with C&W. There is so much content devoted to getting people on the right financial path, and rightly so. But it always seems like the drawdown is left to an advisor. Maybe it’s because that was the norm for people a little older than us. I think we’re going to see a huge demand for DIY drawdown strategy and planning in the coming years as more DIY investors get closer to their FI numbers. Looking forward to more great content from you!

      1. Ha, I know what you meant! Well, congrats back on growth of Explore FI Canada in particular and happy to support. It’s a strong lil’ PF community we have and I believe we all enjoy seeing others succeed and chase some dreams 🙂

        Best wishes to you and family for the holidays. No doubt we’ll chat lots in 2022!

  3. Deane Hennigar (RBull) · Edit

    Awesome stuff Mark. You’ve done so much for the investing community with this fantastic site and now with another cashflows and portfolios. It shows you have dedicated a lot of time, energy and thought with them. I really appreciate it and am thankful to have found MOA and being able to share in it. Congratulations on 11 successful years and on the incredible job you’ve done with your own investing journey.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours and to all the investors and readers of your site out there. So many good people!!

    Looking forward to 2022.


    1. Deane, very kind of you. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed interacting with investors and readers like yourself to improve my own financial literacy but also help others. It’s fun to run the site, and if I help a few others along the way, even better 🙂

      Happy Holidays to you and your family and best wishes in 2022 – I’m sure we’ll be in touch!

  4. Merry Christmas Mark ! Can’t thank you enough for all what you do on this blog you helped me and helped a lot of other investors like me.
    To more success in the coming years.

  5. Mark, you are a big inspiration and 100% of the top 5 Canadian Passive Income leaders who generously share their journey with the world.

    I feel grateful to have known you since I started my own earlier this year. I am so excited and can’t wait to read the post about your retirement and then even more exciting readings about how you are enjoying life.

    Keep up the great work and wow awesome numbers! Almost $1M in a year. Do you have a chart comparing your readers and other blog numbers since 2010? Maybe another blog post about this to give us new bloggers a bit of hope!

    1. LOL, well, not many tips Mr. Dreamer other than following my passion for some key topics and clicking “Publish”. 🙂

      I appreciate the kind words and encouragement – it remains fun to run the site and interact with so many DIY investors.

      I will do my best to keep up the great work in 2022.

      Best wishes to you and family,

  6. Congratulations on another successful year. Sharing your wisdom has furthered my education in my self-directed investing journey. I look forward to each post. I am also enjoying the retirement related articles on Cashflows and Portfolios.

    Merry Christmas and best wishes for a safe and healthy 2022 for you and your wife.

    1. Awesome to read Jan. Thanks very much. Yes, the new site is fun and interesting and a totally different approach as you know but Joe and I are enjoying that and we feel we’re helping out many in that lower-cost service model.

      Happy Holidays back to you and family, a healthy 2022 to you as well!

  7. Merry Christmas Mark to you and your family. Thank you so much for your thoughts and great knowledge on how to invest our hard earned money. All the best in the new year.

  8. Thanks for all the years of posting on your informative website, I have been following it pretty much from the start.
    Season’s greetings and best wishes for a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year.

  9. Merry Christmas Mark! I have enjoyed following your articles for several years and hearing from you and the very knowledgeable community of commenters who share their perspectives as well. Wishing you all the best for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2022!

    1. Yes, it is great to interact with so many other emerging and successful DIY investors via this site – it’s a great platform to do so.
      All the best to you and family, and I appreciate your thoughtful contributions to the site.
      Chat more in 2022 I’m sure 🙂

  10. Congratulations on the success you’ve achieved with your site, it’s well deserved.
    Continued success in the coming years and let’s keep in touch.
    Merry Christmas and keep safe.

    1. Starting to work through your book today and looking forward to having you back on the site in 2022. Congratulations on your books over the years, quite impressive.

      Best wishes to you and family for the holidays and for 2022 Henry.

    1. Thanks very much for the support and kind words zsaid. It’s always great to read comments and chat with readers on the site.
      Best wishes back for 2022!


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