Weekend Reading – Bank stocks, boosting income, keeping things simple and more

Weekend Reading – Bank stocks, boosting income, keeping things simple and more

Welcome to my latest Weekend Reading edition…it’s been a busy couple of weeks!

Hard to believe December is now here – which is why we need to keep the pedal down on these 2017 financial goals.

A reader and fan of this site shared his simple personal finance rules of thumb.

Thanks to a reader question I answered this:  should I transfer stocks into my TFSA?  As always, the answer is, it depends!

Last but not least – this is our housing dilemma, part 2.

Those were the articles on my site for the last two weeks.  I hope you take time to check them out and comment back if you haven’t already done so.  (I read every comment.)

Time to get my act together and start some holiday shopping this weekend.  What about you?  Are you already done?

Enjoy the rest of these reads this weekend and see you here next week.


StockTrades highlights some of their favourite Canadian bank stocks.  I share a few as well, given I believe some Canadian dividend stock selections can be made easy here.

Interesting to read this MoneySense article about how to boost your retirement income.  Basically, design your portfolio for variable percentage withdrawals (VPW).  This is not a new concept just a spin on an established approach.  The essence of VPW?  Each year, the withdrawal is determined by a factor related to the current portfolio balance at time of withdrawal.  Markets climbing and portfolio great?  Take out more money.  Markets falling and portfolio looking bleak?  Consider taking out less money.  Basically, you continually adapt to your time horizon, asset allocation and market conditions.  It aims to deplete your portfolio around age 100.  There is an extensive discussion about this on MMM forum – that is – Mr. Money Mustache forum.

This self-taught investor might be a better investor than Warren Buffett.

Here are three ways to get international diversification according to Boomer and Echo.  While you can get this with Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) like he suggested you can also get this via buying (and holding) many blue-chip stocks – that have assets and revenues from many countries around the world.  To his point though I also own U.S.-listed ETFs in my RRSP.

How To Save Money shared some holiday spending tips – without being a Grinch.

Some interesting data from this new report by BDO Canada. Using the results (provided by almost 1000 participants) the report yielded the following highlights:

  • Preparedness – Business owners plan more for retirement than non-business owners but feel less on track (my comment:  seems appropriate).
  • Work in retirement – Almost one-third of business owners plan to work part-time after retirement — compared to 12% of the general population.
  • On succession planning – More than one in three business owners in our study plans to retire in the next five years. Without the right succession planning, these businesses are at risk of adversely affecting the owners, their families, employees and the wider Canadian economy (my comment:  that’s a big percentage).
  • On family – Financial support for children was more common among the business owners we surveyed than among non-business owners.

Million Dollar Journey reminded us that Google Finance is shutting down, and provided some alternatives.  I like (and have always used) Yahoo Finance myself.

Money We Have suggested to keep things simple.  Agreed.  Although I’m not against minimalism or shopping bans or anything else people want to do to save money (as they live their lives); just pick a system and stick with it.  Most importantly, live and enjoy every day.  Life is short.

Rob Carrick agrees that target benefit pension plans are the federal Finance Minister’s solution to an ugly problem.  “In the private sector, the trend is for companies with DB plans to close them to new employees and instead enroll them in DC plans. DB plans are much more expensive to run and some companies offering them want out.”  A far bigger reason they want out?  The investment and therefore financial risk for a defined benefit (DB) pension plan is on the employer not the employee.  What employer in their right mind would assume that today??

My fans at the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) sent me this link – some new content from the Financial Planning for Canadians website.  Recent research on financial blind spots for Canadians revealed that some Canadians don’t deal with their finances because they are too overwhelming.  This site helps folks break down the elephant into bite-sized goals in order to make personal finance less daunting.

Want to keep more money in your pocket?  Of course you do!

Check out my Deals page where you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars using better saving and investing solutions.

Here is a free trial to unbiased stock and ETF suggestions in Canada.

Here is a link to some FREE ebooks and other saving and investing resources I wrote about for newbie investors.

Thanks to this partnership you can start a free, risk-free trial account funded with $1,000 of ModernAdvsior’s money. You will also get a $50 bonus when you open and fund a new account.

Using my promo code with BMO, I can save you a few hundred bucks when you open your BMO InvestorLine account.

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.

9 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Bank stocks, boosting income, keeping things simple and more"

  1. I think owning emerging market small-cap stocks is an advantageous way to obtaining international exposure for several reasons.
    1) While many US/Canadian/European ‘blue chip’ stocks do receive significant revenue from overseas it may be from government contractors or contracts with large foreign firms. Small-caps are likely to derive a higher % of revenue from the local population and be more exposed to local economic factors.
    2) Many large foreign firms are government heavily government controlled or highly regulated. They are subject to operating for social imperatives other than profit maximization such as providing subsidized energy to the population, etc. Small-cap stocks are less likely to be ‘Crown Corporations’ or GSEs.
    3) Earning the ‘small-cap’ factor premium, that is, over long run time horizons small-cap equities have higher total returns than large-cap equities. This has been documented across many countries and markets and I believe it will persist.
    Best, Ray

  2. Too many people think it’s important to beat the market, meet/beat other people’s criteria, etc. But like life, one shouldn’t worry what others have done or are doing. Set your own objectives and work to achieve them. If you do than good work. Of course one should alway monitor and update ones goals to ones situation, just ignore all the other noise.

    1. re: Set your own objectives and work to achieve them.
      Yup, have always said that; that’s why benchmarking is almost irrelevant (e.g. if my circumstance requires only a 4% yield, why fret about chasing/missing a possible 10% return?). Almost everyone ignores this “rule” (in many areas of life), we can see the results manifested in things such as cryptocurrency bubbles.

  3. re: DB plans — The investment and therefore financial risk for a defined benefit (DB) pension plan is on the employer not the employee. What employer in their right mind would assume that today??
    Especially when the viability of almost every plan is predicated on high long-term annual returns, e.g. 8%. With most plans holding a large percentage of bonds, and with bond yields having done nothing but go down…it’s kinda tough to achieve that high return required to fund the plan pay-outs.

    re: BDO…the number of owners retiring soon was staggering. Lots of change in private business coming (RBull)
    Yup, and for this very reason, a few years ago, I invested in a company which is buying up retiring SMEs. The long-term goal is to improve profitability of single companies and re-sell and/or create a collection of companies and then sell the entire parent company to a larger entity.
    As it stands, SMEs are not attractive to large investors simply because their dollar value is too low (e.g. a $1 billion firm isn’t going to waste resources buying a $25 million company, but it might buy a $250 million “fund” of companies).

    re: self-taught investor…
    Article was behind a pay-wall so had to look up Mr. Christopher Rees. His 25-year average annual return (ending 2016) is 21%; Buffett’s 50-year average annual return is 21%. Considering Rees is ~70 years old, his track record will always fall short and be incomparable to Buffett’s. As well, Rees is merely picking stocks, where as Buffett (aka BRK) utilizes a wide swath of financial and political tools (e.g. Reese owns shares of the company, Buffett owns the actual company).

    A link to a Rees’ own chart demonstrating his inability to beat Buffett: http://www.tenstocks.com/Charts.html . Notice the extreme volatility of his portfolio, as well as the fact that during his first 10 years he couldn’t even beat the S&P! Only 20% of the entire 25-year run was Rees’ portfolio actually beating Buffett’s. Sure he’s doing awesome, but he’s yet another in a long line of pretenders to the Buffett throne. During a bull market everyone looks like a genius. (And to nit-pick, he counts his break-even bets, the 0%ers, as “wins”, thus falsely skewing his win-loss ratio by +5%. Nothing like money to bring out the fraud. 🙂 )

    1. Yeah, I also found the number of self-employed individuals that want to retire – staggering. It will be interesting to see if that statistic comes to pass.

      Thanks for the chart re: “Notice the extreme volatility of his portfolio, as well as the fact that during his first 10 years he couldn’t even beat the S&P!” Awesome work overall but folks trying to be Buffett are very, very rare indeed. They simply don’t have his purchasing power – and that in my opinion is part of his investing greatness. Buffett can literally “move the needle” – the market.

  4. Lots of goodies to go through here today!

    -VPW- sold. IMO, too many good reasons to use this vs. some other kind of plan to draw capital and income for retiement overall cash flow.

    -Google Finance shutdown I simply use my brokers info.-more than I use, or maybe it’s a case of not missing what I don’t know about.

    -Keep it simple. Yes. A work in progress here. Also carpe diem.

    – “what employer in their right mind”= our governments since they utilize other peoples money to fulfill their promises, relatively easily fold to public unions, and the responsibility for when challenges happen shifts to a new government.

    – FPSC seems to represent some worthy lessons.

    – BDO info was interesting but the number of owners retiring soon was staggering. Lots of change in private business coming.

    Well I’m probably going to be incognito for a while. See you all later and have a great holiday season.


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