Reader Question – Where to start reading on your site?

A little while ago Matt wrote me asking:

“I read your About section and thought I’d send you this quick ‘hi’.  Do you have any advice where I should start reading on your site?  Thanks for reading this quick email and double-thanks for putting together your site!”

First of all, thanks Matt for reading My Own Advisor and reaching out to find out more.  No doubt after a couple of years of blogging, you end up with a host of online material.

Where should you start reading on my site? 

That depends on what you are looking for really.

Based on your question to me and what I can infer, I suspect you’re looking to find out more information about my savings or investment approach or both.  If that is true Matt, I suggest you keep reading below.

On the topic of debt

I don’t like it.  It is largely a necessary evil for homes and cars but for me that’s where it ends.  I don’t currently have nor do I ever want to have any credit card debt.  You can read more here about my view on debt.

On the topic of saving

You can’t invest what you don’t save, at least I can’t.  This is why my wife and I pay ourselves first, like a bill payment to Enbridge, Rogers, Hydro One or any other company we consume services from.   Bill payments are made to Us Inc.  You can read more here about what we do and why we do it.  I think regardless of your salary or where you are in life, contribute what you can and stick to it month after month after month.  Every little bit counts and it will add up over time.

On the topic of emergency funds

I have no idea what the future holds and if you do kudos to you, please give me some stock market predictions!  Since I have no such gift I prefer to plan for the unplanned as conservative and geeky as that sounds.  This means I have an emergency fund that will get me through some rough patches for a little while if and when they occur.  My emergency fund value might be higher or lower than some but I encourage you to determine your own comfort level and work towards that.  This is where your savings should start, before investing.

On the topic of investing

Where do I begin Matt?  Maybe I should tell you where I started with my investing journey…

I used to be an investor in big bank mutual funds.  In my early 20s, there was no animal like a tax-free savings account (TFSA).  In my early 20s, the only investment account I had was a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP).  It wasn’t a self-directed account either, meaning, based on the account I had at the time, I could only own the bank products from the bank I was affiliated with.  I had two mutual funds; 1 bond fund and 1 equity fund – not very diversified but “a good start”.  I kept these mutual funds in my RRSP until a few years ago.  That’s because a few years ago I got smarter and I decided to leave the mutual fund industry and I think you’ll learn from what I did here.

What do I invest in now?  I invest in broad-market Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and dividend paying stocks.  I have a few investing accounts, all of them self-directed.  These accounts provide me with the flexibility to own what I want when I want.

In closing, I’ve got a bunch of other articles I could share with you Matt but I hope these ones above give you the insight you are looking for.  If not, fire me another email and I’ll write another blogpost.

Do you have a question for My Own Advisor?  Contact me via my About & Contact page.

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