Should you become a DIY investor?

Should you become a DIY investor?

Should you become a DIY investor?

According to a recent survey, I think you should at least consider it.

But, becoming a DIY investor is not for everyone. It takes desire, time, knowledge, temperament and other behavioural factors. Read on for my take and some great insights from a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

Should you become a DIY investor? At least consider it!

Based on the results from a past survey from the Ontario Securities Commission’s Investor Advisory Panel, the results paint a rather poor picture about the advice some small- and medium-sized portfolio investors obtain from their financial advisor. It’s actually downright terrible.

Based on the data I read:

  • 43% of investors did not believe they obtained any educational advice.
  • Almost one-third of respondents (31%) were unable to say whether their advisor had spoken to them about planning for retirement, education or buying a home. (That’s insane…)
  • Only one-fifth had received any advice about budgeting or debt management.

Some of those stats among others are in the images below:

DIY Key Findings

DIY Key Findings 2

So, there are investors seeking and actually paying for financial advice, said advisors are to advise investors on various financial matters, but investors feel they are not getting any value.

Yikes.

How you can get started

Ultimately nobody cares more about your money than you do (except maybe me, since I have this blog and your dedicated readership)!

How can you figure out if self-directed investing is right for you?

I believe to have proficiency in anything in life, including the job you might do today, success comes from the right mix of personal traits and behaviours.

You need in no particular order of importance:

  1. The desire to learn and continue to learn.
  2. Knowledge in the subject matter.
  3. Time.
  4. The right temperament. 

With reams of financial information available, I would argue there is almost no excuse not to understand the basic elements that comprise 80,000+ personal finance books. I’ll summarize my book for you:

  • Book introduction: Spend less than you make.
  • Chapter 1: Save and invest the difference. Invest in mostly low-cost products. Consider diversifying your investments.  
  • Chapter 2: Avoid active trading. Celebrate falling stock prices – buy more when stocks fall in price. 
  • Chapter 3: Disaster-proof your life with insurance, where needed, to cover a catastrophic loss.
  • Book conclusion: Rinse and repeat for the next 30-40 years. 

Please buy my book! 🙂

That’s the basics within 80,000+ personal finance books in just five bullets.

In fact, you probably don’t need any more money advice.

Why DIY is not for everyone

While investing seems simple it is far from easy.

Simple but not Easy

With the services of a fee-only advisor or robo-advisor (make sure you read about my partnership here with ModernAdvisor!) investing is easier than ever. That said, you might still want to go it alone. Here are some key questions to ask yourself from my perspective:

  1. Do you have an intrinsic interest in personal finance or investing?
  2. Do you enjoy reading financial media articles or learning about investing?
  3. Do you like tracking information or a budget? On that note, I believe this is one of the best ways to budget.

If yes to all three questions, you might be a candidate for DIY investing. 

Independent thinking, critical thinking, some analytical skills, patience and commitment are just some of the valuable traits all successful investors have. If all of these traits don’t apply to you in spades, not to worry, there are some simplified alternatives to become your own DIY ETF or stock investor.

Simplified paths for DIY investing

Here are some options (I’m a fan of) to consider when starting or renewing your investing journey.

  1. Tangerine Funds

Why? For a fee just over 1% (that’s costing you $100 per year on every $10,000 you have invested), Tangerine offers a variety of funds to get started at costs far lower than some big bank mutual funds. 

  1. Mawer Balanced Fund

Why? For a slightly lower fee, the Mawer Balanced Fund is an impressive but simple all-in-one mutual fund solution to get started with investing.

  1. Robo-Advisor

Why? For even lower fees (roughly $50 per year on every $10,000 invested), robo-advisor firms can offer a very simple investing solution for investors who need help to train their investing brain OR for investors who want a more hands-off approach to investing but want the confidence their money is being systematically managed.

By putting investors’ money into high-quality, low-cost, indexed Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) they will create a systematic approach to investment management for you that entirely removes your emotions and opinions from the investment decision making process.  If the market goes up or goes down, there is no major knee-jerk reaction by the robo-firm (nor you).  Decisions are therefore made based on well-defined models and processes that do not leave any room for subjective interpretations.  As long as the inputs into the system are the same, the outcome will be the same regardless.

As one robo-advisor CEO once explained to me:

“It’s paternalistic and it works – just like removing your potato chips from your house works if you are trying to eat healthy.”

  1. TD Bank e-Series Funds

Why? I don’t have a partnership (yet) with TD but another simple solution is to own TD e-series funds.  Some Canadian big banks (like TD) have been in the space of offering low-cost mutual funds or their own in-house ETFs for some time. TD e-funds happen to be some of the lowest cost solutions available.

  1. All-In-One Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

Why?

I wrote an extensive post about various the Best all-in-one ETFs here

The Best all-in-one Exchange Traded Funds

After opening your discount brokerage account:  

  1. Buy these funds
  2. Continue to add to them over time – and these funds will do all the re-balancing work for you. 

That’s essentially it.

Use my promo codes when you open your BMO accounts so I can save you hundreds of dollars!!

Why I became My Own Advisor – and why you might want to too

I became interested in personal finance, probably in my early 20s, because I had the aforementioned interest in this craft. Reading The Wealthy Barber cover to cover a few times over was definitely the trigger for me. David Chilton’s tale was extremely well-written and inspiring. I figured if Roy the Barber could amass that much wealth then maybe I could too.

You can find a list of books I’ve enjoyed and learned from over the years here.

However, I made a number of money mistakes over the years.

Thankfully, I kept my independent thinking along with my patience intact. The biggest trigger for me to change my investing ways came after my portfolio partially crashed in early 2000s, as part of the tech crash. I bought books and started to read, lots. And I kept reading.

What I found out was not really that surprising but enough facts that gave me a kick-in-the ass to change my ways in the coming years. I learned these keys:

  1. Active money management fees will steal from your portfolio value

For every $25,000 invested in a fund product that charges around 2% in fees, you’re kissing $500 per year goodbye. That might not sound like much but keep paying that 2% every year for another 9 years. A decade in high cost funds would cost $6,400 to buy and hold. High fees steal money from your portfolio value.

  1. Ownership is important

Contrary to what some financial institutions may advertise I am not richer than I think and I need think for myself in order to become wealthy. This means taking ownership over my financial plan and clearly understanding the products I am investing in and the risks associated with them. This also means setting up some goals and working towards them. They include simple things like having some financial discipline to consistently pay down my mortgage and avoiding major purchases on credit.

  1. Investing is a get wealthy eventually journey

Time is the market is my friend. Keeping a modest to high savings rate is my friend. Sticking with my plan is yet another friend. Striving to chase hot stocks or penny stocks or other flash-in-the-pan investments (e.g., pot stocks) is an enemy.   

Even financial pros have pros

In my years of running this blog, I’ve learned that even financial pros have pros they lean on. Accountants sometimes have fellow accountants to provide a sober second thought on taxation issues. Lawyers have other lawyers to discuss complex cross-border subjects with. Certified financial planners hire a fee-only advisor now and then to go over their blind spots.

None of us know what we don’t know.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with a few advice-only planners on this site and I’m happy to bring back Steve Bridge, a CFP from Vancouver for his detailed thoughts on this subject. Steve works as an advice-only financial planner with Money Coaches Canada (no affiliation with My Own Advisor). You can find him on that site for his services and you can follow him often on Twitter like I do at @SteveMoneyCoach.

Welcome back Steve!

Steve, why is managing your own portfolio potentially a good idea? What traits might the DIY investor approach be suitable for?

Good to be back Mark!

Two reasons that managing your own portfolio is a good idea are:

  • You have control over your money. No one cares more about your money than you do!
  • Lower fees. The compounding effect of investment fees can be devastating over the long-term. Because the effects are essentially invisible, to your points above, you may never know that you could have retired a few years earlier, spent more during your retirement, or left a few hundred thousand more to your kids, if not for the amount lost to fees over the years. Choosing a low-cost diversified index portfolio can be done for a 0.25% Management Expense Ratio (MER).

Further to your points above, traits of a good DIY investor include:

  • The time and energy to devote to this activity. No matter how much we think someone should learn about and do their own investing, the reality is not everyone wants to.
  • A basic to medium amount of knowledge about investing (what’s an index fund, how RRSPs work, etc.)
  • Being okay with keeping it simple. Investing does not have to be hard or complicated (KISS)
  • Resisting the urge to tinker. As Warren Buffett said, “Investing should be dull. It shouldn’t be exciting. Investing should be more like watching paint dry or grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas… It is not easy to get rich in Las Vegas, at Churchill Downs, or at the local Merrill Lynch office.”

One of my favourite quotes: “An investment portfolio is like a bar of soap: The more you touch/handle it, the smaller it gets” – Unknown

Love that quote too. Why does DIY investing not work for everyone? What challenges do you see in DIY investing?

By my estimates, only around 5% to 10% of people are cut out to be good self-directed investors, because there is so much that goes into it. This includes:

  • Choosing which investments to buy and making sure you understand those investments, (i.e., not buying something because a website, the herd, or your brother-in-law said to)
  • Being technically able to open a self-directed brokerage account and to place a trade
  • Having the time, interest, and energy to devote to investing
  • Understanding how much you can afford to invest, how much you need to invest, and in which accounts to invest in (and how much to put in which account (RRSP, TFSA, non-registered, corporate) based on your specific situation
  • Having the discipline and mettle to rebalance once or twice a year or when investments deviate from your target allocation (which may involve selling winners and buying losers)
  • Having the temperament to not sell (and in fact, buy) during market drops (the 2008/2009 crash and subsequent withdrawals proved the vast majority of investors cannot do this)
  • In retirement, determining the best order, which account, and how much to take from your accounts (this needs its own post!)

Investing blindly for the sake of investing doesn’t make sense. You need an end goal and a plan first in order to have a proper investment plan. A few of the questions that need to be answered prior to investing are:

  • Why are you investing?
  • What is your target retirement spending goal?
  • What are your projected sources of income in retirement?
  • How much do you need to invest?
  • What is your starting point?
  • Do you have a pension?
  • What is your time horizon?
  • Will you receive an inheritance?

Investing is never the first thing I work on with my clients. The investment piece of a financial plan is like the last four pieces of a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle – once the other pieces are in place (goals, cash flow, retirement planning, tax planning), the investment strategy (asset allocation, implementation, etc.) is pretty straightforward.

The fight between active and passive investing gets lots of debate. Do you believe in any active money management, even 5% or 10% of a portfolio value? Why or why not?

Mark, there is nothing wrong with allocating a small percentage (5% to 10%) of a portfolio to do some active investing. It is certainly more exciting, and who knows, you may hit a home run and pick that next great stock, but the reality is that study after study shows that passive management beats active management, over almost any time period. Here is a chart showing one- and ten-year underperformance of actively managed mutual funds in Canada:

Underperformance Canada - Should you become a DIY investor

And these are supposed to be the best and brightest when it comes to picking stocks. If trained professionals doing this full-time with expensive software can’t outperform an index, what makes me think I can?

There are other considerations when comes to active investing, and one that I’ll touch briefly on is  whether or not you have a defined benefit (DB) pension plan. Those with a DB plan can be a little riskier, as they have this  guaranteed income source to fall back on in retirement. If they mess up their investments, it’s not as big a deal as for someone without. For someone like me, my financial independence (based on my investing success) sits squarely on my shoulders. If I mess up my investments, the stakes are higher.

Very fair. Finally Steve, I got this reader comment/question. Thoughts on how to approach estate planning for these individuals who no longer can DIY invest? What options might they have?

See excerpt from a reader, adapted only slightly for the site:

Hi Mark,

I have been following you for years, learned a lot from your investing plan and I want to thank you for all your good work. I have achieved financial independence because of you.

I am working part time now just because it provides balance in my life and I feel productive even at 65. 

I would like to mention that « decumulation in retirement » is a subject that is not talked about much and I am looking forward to your articles regarding that subject. 

Also, another subject that isn’t talked about is when you are no longer able to manage your own DIY portfolio because of health issues. Not sure how others go about this.

Mark, how would you go about this? Either if confronted or simply you find there is increased difficulty of managing your portfolio as you are aging?

Thank you for your time.

Steve to Mark – What a great letter!

That’s a very nice tribute to all the work you have done helping Canadians make good financial decisions. Very well deserved.

I agree with your reader when it comes to decumulation strategy in retirement not getting the coverage it deserves. The impact of how much to draw from which account and when has a huge impact on retirement spending – done right you end up with a lot more than if done poorly.  A good financial planner will go over this in great detail with retiree clients.

Managing investments due to health issues or cognitive decline is an extremely pertinent topic as well (your reader hit a lot of excellent points in his letter!). There can be ‘levels’ of involvement in managing your own investments, ranging from total DIY to an all-in-one fund, to a robo-advisor and then to the point of naming a trusted individual power of attorney to manage your investments. Making sure you are on the same page with whomever you choose to appoint when it comes to your investment philosophy, asset allocation, etc. will be very important. I advise thinking about and implementing this as far ahead of time as possible (this can apply to yourself, elderly parents, etc.).

Should you become a DIY investor summary

In closing, your approach to investing will likely revolve around the time you wish to spend on the subject matter, the interest in the subject matter, and what your goals with investing are.

While DIY investing and becoming your own advisor like I have done might have some challenges, I suspect the passionate DIY investor will embrace these challenges as opportunities as they put their best mix of personal traits, knowledge and skills, and energy forward.

So, what say you? Are you ready to become a DIY investor? Do tell me what you’re curious about and what you’d like to know!

My name is Mark Seed and I'm the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I've surpassed my goal and I'm now investing beyond the 7-figure portfolio to start semi-retirement with. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Subscribe and join the newsletter! Follow me on Twitter @myownadvisor.

43 Responses to "Should you become a DIY investor?"

  1. Hello Mark,

    I recently came across your blog and I seem to be stuck in the ‘read everything’ stage and, I am sure like others, am still reluctant to move ahead with DIY. I own my home, am debt-free and nearing retirement and will have an excellent DB pension. My experience with advisors at my bank have been high MER mutual funds and unimpressive gains. I am looking to put my maximum TFSA amount into low cost, set and forget investments, including MAW104 that you have mentioned several times and perhaps some ETFs. This should be for savings only as I do not anticipate needing to withdraw from my TFSA to sustain my retirement.

    Any “how to” advice (or links to previous posts) would be appreciated to help me break my inertia.

    Reply
    1. Ha, love the “read everything” stage! Thanks Ron.

      MAW104 is a great fund and I know a few retirees that own it for simple, balanced, set and forget investing. You can do the same with a VBAL or XBAL or ZBAL as well.
      https://www.myownadvisor.ca/the-best-all-in-one-exchange-traded-funds-etfs/

      What’s your tolerance for risk? You could do far worse than owning any of those simple all-in-one ETFs. I happen to own XAW for some diversification.

      Let me know of any specific topics you’d like to know about. I’m sure I can send more articles your way.
      Cheers.

      Reply
  2. Hi Mark, enjoyed this. Thanks to million dollar Journey and your blog I am 5 years into investing myself and taking responsibility for my retirement. I would recommend it even if all you do is follow a Canadian couch potato basic fund, pay a minimum of 10% per wage packet and set it up via a discount broker, then ignore it for years.

    Yes you can go wrong, but read lots and stick to the basics and you’ll be in good shape come retirement.

    Reply
    1. Chris, simply awesome to hear. MDJ was one of my favourite sites years ago as well.

      Absolutely nothing wrong with CDN couch potato approach – easy-peasy and a great get wealthy eventually strategy.

      Mark

      Reply
  3. I’ve been DIY for 25+ years (after a couple of disappointing years with an MFDA advisor who put me in DSC funds). Early on, I tried stock picking but didn’t have the right frameworks or access to data to do it well, switching to a MoneySense-inspired mutual fund portfolio, but soon after discovered index ETFs. I got hung up on trying to find the optimal asset allocation (I was looking for too many subclasses of ETFs) until I learned about the Canadian Couch Potato models which I’ve been happy with.

    Knowing your blind spots is key – I contribute in lump sums, and am prone to attempting to market time the entry of these funds, even though rationally I know I shouldn’t and I’m only hurting myself by missing rising days or distributions. I never market time by selling and repurchasing, it is strictly on deploying new capital. That’s why I’m a really big fan of the asset allocation funds – it reduces the ability to tinker and play with parts of your portfolio, or to tilt to or away from specific markets.

    As a younger investor, I was looking for maximum complexity and way more moving parts than needed. I’ve matured, I’ve also come to value simplicity in my portfolio, partly because I realize all that extra work added little return, but mostly so in case something happens to me, my wife isn’t left with a mess to figure out.

    Reply
    1. “Knowing your blind spots is key” – indeed. I know I like some stock picking/owning stocks, but I am gravitating to more low-cost ETFs for simplicity over time. I will however keep my existing stocks for passive, dividend income.

      I’ve made a bunch of money mistakes. Such is life!!
      https://www.myownadvisor.ca/some-of-my-best-personal-finance-advice-so-you-dont-have-to-make-the-same-mistakes-i-did/

      Yes, those all-in-one funds are great for so many reasons Bart. I direct any younger investors to consider those and simply add and add and add to those over time!!

      Great comment.
      Mark

      Reply
    2. Thanks for sharing your journey, BB. I also started with an expensive advisor when I was younger – it was only after I figured out the fees and poor relative performance when I started to educate myself.

      I really like your investment strategy – I do the same thing when it comes to re-balancing (I just buy more of whatever has gone down the most). When I started with ETFs (over 10 years ago), I had to pick and choose which ones to buy. These days, I use four or five ETFs. If I was starting today, I would be going with asset-allocation ETFs.

      I’m with you – simplicity is the way to go!

      Steve

      Reply
      1. Thank you Steve,
        The two statements that I keep front and centre are one from about 1995 that shows I was in a motherlode of DSC funds, and the one from 2009 that showed my market value was 50% of my book value. The DSC statement taught me that much of the financial industry is set up to make the industry rich at the expense of investors, and the market/book value taught me my risk tolerance.

        Like you, I set mine up with 4-5 ETFs: VCN, VUN, XEF and XEC (I use HXT in a taxable account). I never tried Norbert’s Gambit, but should have to hold VTI. If I were to start over, I would use the asset allocation accounts to simplify life. Any minor extra fees won’t be noticed in the grand scheme of things.

        Good luck with your investing journey!

        Reply
        1. As you already know Bart, those are some great low-cost ETFs. You don’t have to hold U.S. listed ETFs. I can be more efficient but far from necessary and it does require a Gambit to save on transaction/currency conversion costs. Really not needed.

          Those Vanguard and iShares products are leaders.
          Mark

          Reply
  4. In my line of work(accountant,) I see a lot of investors both from an advisor viewpoint and DIY approach. Those that do well are more of a buy and hold methodology. I have only encountered one day trader that knew what he was doing. Stocks were held for at most 5 minutes. Very interesting to understand the methodology but definitely a stressful work environment when it is your own money.

    There are lots of good advisors out there but there are also those that dont explain or help in the process. Most advisors can tell you what to buy but very few address when to sell.

    As to the DIY investors….I see lots…those that do well tend to have a specific knowledge that helps them with the investing. Patience is key. Those with no patience tend to lose capital. My experience with the DIY investor is those with a broad mix of investments with a longer holding period tend to do well. Those that like risk….may hit a big one but too often lose in the long term.

    All this has helped me with my own investing. My portfolio is one of a broad mix of solid businesses both Canadian and US. I dont focus on dividends but on long term growth. I still buy dividend stocks but my criteria for evaluation is overall growth of the portfolio. It helps to see a lot of investment portfolios and how they perform to understand in the long term what really works. Some of my clients have 50 years of investing history. It has definitely shaped my own investing.

    I think there is a small number that can do it on their own. You still need some understanding of the markets and economics and you have to be able to sleep at night. I would still advise anyone to get some form of investing advice.

    Reply
    1. Very insightful and interesting comments Brent. I use a FA for about a third of my holdings. Most of the fees are tax deductible as 75% of the assets are in non-registered accounts. My FA provides specific information that I generally cannot find anywhere else and has led to significant gains in my own DIY portfolio.

      Reply
    2. Hello Brent,

      Thanks for the thoughts; great to hear from someone who sees a variety of financial situations. Good to hear that the ones who do well are the ‘buy and hold’ types.

      Yes, I agree that a small number can do it on their own. It is a rare breed that can do it well – keep it simple, don’t tinker, don’t react to ‘noise’, know what to choose, etc.

      I like that you advise getting investment advice. I would add to get it from someone who understands you, your goals, your finances, your cash flow, your retirement plan, etc. AND you understand 100% how they get paid and how much.

      Steve

      Reply
    3. Great comment Brett, thanks for that. I fully believe there are folks that can benefit for some advisor advice – as long as it is value added. In some cases, it is not.

      I know of a few DIY investors who have been owning stocks for 30-40 years now. It’s tremendous how much wealth they have accumulated from a boring buy and hold approach.

      Thanks for your detailed comment and follow.
      Mark

      Reply
  5. A key point which you outlined was to get educated. When talking about investing with my friends most of them don’t know about MER’s. Their responses are always that they are not paying for their advisors. They don’t realize that in fact they are paying dearly.

    I agree the DIY approach isn’t for everyone but everyone should know how their advisor is being paid. And if their advisors can’t answer that clearly in a way you understand and and agree with them if it’s not time for you to DIY at the very least it’s time for a new advisor.

    The key is to always understand what you are investing in whether you are the one doing it or someone else is doing it for you.

    Reply
    1. Agreed. Just like you should know how your lawyer, electrician, plumber is compensated – you should know how your financial advisor is paid too. Sadly, the financial industry doesn’t want that level of disclosure yet. Even still, investors should strive to self-educate and know what products they are putting in their portfolios and why.

      Nobody cares more about your money that you do! This you know.

      Thanks for the comment.

      How is your financial freedom journey coming along?
      Cheers,
      Mark

      Reply
      1. Good point Mark, I like how you compared financial advisors to other service providers – so true.

        My financial journey is continuously progressing. I’m super happy with the progress I’m making. My husband and I are on the path to FIWOOT!

        A few years ago my husband and I decided to DIY some of our investments and buy ETF’s. We have adopted a set it and forget it mentality and are never bothered by market fluctuations.

        Reply
        1. Great stuff – love the FIWOOT!

          Set and forget it is smart (as you know) since you just focus on one thing – increasing your savings rate over time. Do that well, and wealth is almost automatic.

          Reply
          1. I have split my portfolio between three advisors. One is a robo advisor but the other two are hybrid low fee advisors that are similar to robo’s but also offer frequent consultation with a human advisor. Ironically in my old day job I helped manage over $100 million in a retirement
            fund and a sizeable foundation endowment. So I know how to DIY, I just don’t like doing it with my own money. I realize it is costing me some thousands but I still think it is best for me to outsource managing my investments.

            Reply
            1. Steve – I believe there is no right or wrong. Yes, fees costs, but an informed decision is far better than otherwise.

              As long as you know how you’re compensating your money management, what projected returns might be to meet your needs, as long as you are meeting your own financial goals – really – that’s all that matters.

              I don’t care if folks have $2 M in GICs. As long as they are investing with informed decisions in mind and meeting their needs – life is good.

              All the best and drop me a line if you have more questions.
              Mark

              Reply
    2. Hi Maria,

      Loved your comments! Yes, I hear the same thing all the time – “I’m not paying my financial advisor anything”. Yes you are – you are paying more than you can imagine (thanks to the power of compound interest).

      Yes, know what you are investing in and how the person helping you is getting paid. It’s not asking a lot, is it?!

      Steve

      Reply
  6. love this article Mark !
    Yes it can be done and it’s easy as long as you stay disciplined and ignore the news ( I’m guilty of that in the beginning of my DIY investing but i learned my lesson i guess :)).
    Love the “Wealthy barber” one of the best books i’ve ever read.

    Reply
  7. Great post Mark.

    You’ve outlined the few key issues most all personal finance boils down to. And you’ve provided a wide range of specific options to cut investing costs significantly to cover most any investors needs.

    Get yourself over to MOA and get with it Canadians!

    Reply
  8. Although I recognized that I never saw the percentage ‘promised’ in my RRSP mutual funds, I didn’t know where to turn for a workable alternative. Certainly my bank wasn’t offering workable advice. After I retired, I lucked into a basic Canadian book on investing and your blog. I have saved, bought blue chips stock through a discount brokerage, and made far more than I did while working — yeah for dividends! If this comment isn’t talking to the already converted and reaches someone considering doing it themselves, my advice is the same as yours Mark: learn the basics and do it yourself.

    Reply
    1. Great stuff Pat. There is of course risks in individual stocks but I firmly believe for my own portfolio that as long as many companies pay dividends, I should have “cash for life”.

      All the best,
      Mark

      Reply
  9. I was with a full service broker for about 10 years, invested in DSC mutual funds and some stocks. Once a year I received a phone call at work with recommendations to sell x and buy y. When I said that I wanted to look into it, I didnt hear anything back. Then the annual phone calls turned into meetings at his office with the same conversation. If I asked questions about other investments or tax consequences, I was ignored. When I had the time I started reading about investing. The Wealthy Barber, then the Millionaire Next Door and many many others became my friends. With the Couch Potato portfolio making sense to me, I opened an account at what is now TDDI. I followed that strategy to gain confidence and see the results. After the final annual meeting with no answers, I switched all my accounts to TDDI and have never looked back. There is now so much more info and blogs online that it is easy to educate yourself if you have the interest. And robo advisors make it easy if you dont want to do it yourself. I am now transitioning to a dividend strategy, with ETFs for foreign investments.

    Reply
      1. It’s hard to bite your lip when u trip upon a financial story from a friend., especially when they try to interpret what their financial advisor told them.

        Reply

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