Weekend Reading – Amazon news, Mario’s house for sale, Aeroplan, Zuckerberg lost billions and more

Weekend Reading – Amazon news, Mario’s house for sale, Aeroplan, Zuckerberg lost billions and more

Welcome to my latest Weekend Reading edition – where I share some of my favourite articles from the week that was across the personal finance and investing blogosphere.

These were my articles from this past week:

This couple has saved well, invested well and will now retire.  Now what?  How should they consider investing in retirement to meet their next goals?

Thanks to my partnership with Sun Life Financial, here is a comprehensive look at naming beneficiaries for your TFSAs, RRSPs, RRIFs and much more.

Enjoy these articles and see you here next week when I will share an update on this article – Financial Freedom Age 50.

Have a great weekend!

Mark

Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune dropped a whopping $16 billion this week – read why here.

Fans of this site 5iResearch highlighted the dangers of defining yourself as a growth or value investor.

Pretty sweet photos of Mario Lemieux’s castle-home here – if you have $20 million to burn.

Nice to see Amazon diversifying into Canada with this big fulfillment centre announcement.

Air Canada launched a hostile bid to buy back Aeroplan.  This makes me believe you shouldn’t hoard any rewards points too far into the distant future since it’s impossible to predict how these points programs will change with time.  Get some and use some at your discretion.  Otherwise, pay cash.  Why?  Because essentially the very people that cannot afford to own a credit card (i.e., they owe money on these cards month after month) are the same people subsidizing your rewards points.  Does that make you feel any better about financial literacy?

Tawcan wrote about FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) again. The entire retire early thing is an interesting concept – something I wrote about here.  I don’t blame the “internet police” for calling out various bloggers who still make money, who purposely earn a living online yet call themselves “retired”.  It doesn’t really add up but to each their own. Personally, I just want to reach a modest status whereby I can choose to work at what I want to work at, when I want to work at it.  I’ll call this semi-retirement for the time being until I can come up with my own term.  I figure semi-retirement for us will look like this:

FIRE

We hope to realize some form of semi-retirement in about 5-6 years. Having (more) options in life will be good…

Financial Samurai believes it’s infinitely better to be wealthy than famous.  He raises a great point about our collective, increasingly, craving desire for self-validation through social media.  While I like and really enjoy using some forms of social media myself (namely Twitter), I can’t be bothered with posting everything about my life online.  Doing so seems like taking a drug to me.

Thanks to Rob Carrick for including my article in one of his recent Carrick on Money editions.  It’s always a thrill to get his major media mention and Rob has been a great supporter of this site for many years – thanks Rob!

Another Robb (Engen), wrote about what stock he would hold for the next 25 years (if he wasn’t an indexer).  Interesting debate.  Not sure of my choice to be honest.

Budgets are Sexy wrote about 7 money goals to hit by age 35. As an almost 45-year-old now, I thought I would take J. Money’s test even though I’m not a huge fan of these money milestones – everyone is different:

  1. Have growing net worth. Over time, thankfully, yes this has occurred.
  2. Be paid your value. Not sure of the context of this one.  I think I’m adequately compensated for day-job so that’s good?  The blog earns minimum wage – maybe!
  3. Be able to float yourself for three to six months. Three months, cash, yes.  Six months, no or not yet.
  4. Be dedicating at least 20% of your income to short-term and long-term goals.
  5. Have a network of trusted financial sources. Not sure of the context of this one but I guess so.
  6. Start taking insurance more seriously. We own a good portion of life insurance, and other forms of insurance (e.g., car) are mandatory, so I guess so.
  7. Consider a very basic estate plan. We have Wills in place and although everything isn’t perfectly itemized in those Wills we have most of our act together.  Don’t be an idiot, get a Will already!

Big savings reminders!

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Thanks for being a fan.

Mark Seed is the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I've grown our portfolio to over $500,000 - but there's more work to do! Our next big goal is to own a $1 million investment portfolio for an early retirement. Subscribe and join the journey!

16 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Amazon news, Mario’s house for sale, Aeroplan, Zuckerberg lost billions and more"

  1. Haha Mark I seem to be writing about FIRE a lot lately. :p

    Semi-retired sounds pretty good to me.

    The Lemieux castle looks pretty nice, too bad $20M will only get you a tear-down in Vancouver.

    Thanks for the mention, have a great weekend!

    Reply
  2. Lloyd (58, retired (but farm a bit), married, rural MB) · Edit

    I take umbrage to those that use their achievement of FIRE to advertise or promote their side businesses/books to finance their FIRE. It smacks of snake oil salesism (Ya, I made that word up). This is vastly different from a person retiring and selling vegetables from their garden or being a courtesy driver for a car dealership twice a week (for example).

    Reply
    1. Totally agree. I feel the personal finance space is general is interesting because many folks fail to disclose they are working when they really are. If you’re making money on a blog (like the minimum wage income I make here) – guess what – you’re working! Some bloggers don’t want to admit that for whatever stupid reason.

      Reply
      1. Lloyd (58, retired (but farm a bit), married, rural MB) · Edit

        Don’t get me wrong, I love reading the financial blogs and the associated comments. Just don’t insult our intelligence by using a blog to achieve said FIRE.

        Reply
  3. re: infinitely better to be wealthy than famous.
    Not sure about this one. In modern times (perhaps in any time), fame can get you a lot (e.g. Trump). If you make it your career to “be famous”, how does that differ than any other job (besides having a very fickle customer base)? Fame might be more difficult work than a mid-management civil servant, but the rewards (and detriments) can also be exponentially greater. Work the game, reap the rewards and you’ll likely gain far more wealth in a far shorter period than any millionaire next-door.

    re: It’s always a thrill to get his major media mention
    The irony isn’t lost when this latter statement follows the former.

    re: Tawcan wrote about FIRE
    I’ll repost a blog link previously mentioned on MOA:
    FIRE – Financial Independence, Retire Early is a Bad Idea
    (https://barbarafriedbergpersonalfinance.com/fire-financial-independence-retire-early-bad/)

    The problem I have with FIRE cheerleaders isn’t with their charade of being “retired” yet living off of blog/media/social welfare income — most facets of modern life are predicated on deceit and deception — no, the larger and more corrosive problem is that this niche screams relentlessly about employment being a terrible position in life, and that if you do work at a job you are a sucker destined to die broke and broken. This, of course, is their go-to marketing scheme; the brain is easily swayed by bright lights and loud noises.

    As Barbara states, those who are infinitely more FIRE than any FIRE blogger will ever be, “they’re [still] contributing to society”. This thought mirrored by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful…” Of what use beyond their own ego are FIRE bloggers I have no idea. Amusing though, that all of them actualized their FIRE dreams via wealth gained by previously being useful. So, please, go to work and keep going to work, you’re making far more difference in the world than a FIRE blogger would have you believe.

    Reply
    1. Lloyd (58, retired (but farm a bit), married, rural MB) · Edit

      One major factor for retiring as early as possible was to get away from shift work. I loved shift work but it’s easier (A LOT) as a young person. There are numerous articles claiming that shift work shortens life and getting away from it can ameliorate the effects to some extent. I do not regret retiring from that. But I still earn income from farming which is actually fun.

      Reply
      1. RBull (59, retired, married, rural coastal NS) · Edit

        Good you were able to exit shift work at a relatively young age.
        And also good is you’re having fun with farming and earning income. I haven’t been fortunate enough to find that magic box…yet anyways. The fun things for me seem to cost money & don’t generate income (investing hobby aside)!

        I’m in agreement with your comment above on FIRE.

        Reply
      2. “But I still earn income from farming which is actually fun.” I think that’s great. I would like a job that is a) fun and b) I can earn income from. Not there yet but eventually I hope 🙂

        Reply
    2. “The irony isn’t lost when this latter statement follows the former.”

      What’s wrong with a bit of fame and money? 🙂

      Personally, and podcast speaks to this – fame certainly isn’t a mention in the Globe and Mail. It’s more like having a few million Twitter followers or when you’re a household name like LeBron and everyone knows who you are.

      As for the FIRE bloggers, I don’t mind the posts and articles but at least be honest where your money is coming from. I simply dislike these FIRE bloggers talking about the fact they are “retired” when some of them make tens of thousands per month from their blog to provide their lifestyle. That’s a bit much.

      The good news is SST – I can’t be a FIRE blogger because I’m a) in my mid-40s now and b) not yet retired.
      https://www.myownadvisor.ca/is-financial-independence-retire-early-fire-right-for-you/

      “More time and freedom would be great but instead of rushing towards this we’re more or less inching our way in this direction – enjoying the journey.”

      I read that article. I agree with this:

      “But, I’m also fortunate that my husband and I have fulfilling work that makes a difference to us. I’m sympathetic to those who aren’t that lucky and working jobs that they dislike. I think FIRE – financial independence, retire early is silly. What are you going to do with the next 55 years of your life if you retire at age 30 or 40? Work gives structure to life and provides fulfillment.”

      For me, it’s about having “enough” and continuing work at something I really, really enjoy. I suspect I will do so in another 5 years and I’m working towards that.

      I certainly don’t take the FIRE folks as gospel.

      Reply
  4. “Stock to hold fro 25 years”
    If I was to pick one US stock, I’d probably select JNJ
    For Canada I’d select one of the top three banks. RY, TD or BNS

    Reply
    1. I think a bank like TD would be a great one to hold given their U.S. presence (that is growing). I like your call on JNJ but I wonder if other healthcare stocks might be just as good? JNJ has to stop getting fined/stop cutting corners.

      Reply
    2. Guess we’ve done the same thing but expanded to 12 stocks in four sectors (5 banks, 2 comm, 2 utility & 3 pipeline).. In 25 yrs I’ll be 101, if I make it that long, so I can’t expand the time.

      Reply

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