Weekend Reading – Black Friday deals, saving a bundle of money, avoiding the oil and gas industry and more #moneystuff

Weekend Reading – Black Friday deals, saving a bundle of money, avoiding the oil and gas industry and more #moneystuff

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.

Earlier this week, I published this:

Is the “safe withdrawal rate” – safe?  I mean, does the 4% withdrawal rule make any sense these days?

Read on to find out how I feel about this but maybe more importantly, what a Certified Financial Planner does about this rule with his clients to secure their retirement. 

I have a follow-up post of sorts on this subject planned soon, so make sure you tune in to read that!

You can find many retirement essays and case studies on this page here.

Until next week, all the best and thanks for your readership!


Weekend Reads

A reader recently asked me – how should I invest once my RRSP and TFSA are full? Great problem to have first of all! Second, I answered that question here.

I can always count on my buddy Stephen Weyman to share shopping deals. Here is his latest when it comes to Black Friday events now through December 3, 2019.

Interesting news from BMO, closing out their line of European ETFs soon. Thoughts on the competitive ETF landscape? Remember friends, when it comes to investing – low-fees coupled with market performance really, really matter!

Simply awesome the number of comments and responses to this post – they have $1.2 M in the bank but no pension plan from their workplace.  Do they have enough?  

A big thanks to Cut The Crap Investing – a fan of this site and my DIY approach from Day 1 – who has included a bundle of my articles on his site over the last year.  Dale recently wondered to me via Twitter, should you avoid our Canadian oil and gas industry?  I don’t think so outright but I must disclose I have a bias to pipelines as transport “toll roads” in Canada – I invest in Enbridge (ENB), TC Energy (TRP) and Inter Pipeline (IPL) that combined make up almost 10% of my total portfolio.

You can see the stocks I invest in for juicy dividend income and growth here.

Good, honest stuff from Jon Chevreau via Michael James on Money:  #FIRE is impossible for reasonable people.  Agreed.  That’s because people who strive to optimize their money are not “the norm”. They never will be.

This blogger looked forward to share things she would tell her 40-year-old self.

Reader question of the week (adapted for site):

Hi Mark,

I am an ETF investor who invests primarily in dividend paying index funds. A question that I could not find an answer to.

If I look at the return of the fund does that number include dividends? I always enjoy reading your articles and see a 7-figure portfolio in your future.

Warm Regards!

Geez, a 7-figure portfolio for us soon?  I hope so. 

Thanks for the readership and support.

OK, smart stuff, you’re an ETF dividend oriented investor. That means you ride near-market returns and earn cash flow while doing nothing. We should all aspire to that!

Here are my favourite dividend ETFs to earn CASH for life.

Back to your question, for the most part, unless the ETF/fund prospectus says otherwise, it’s always been my understanding that when funds advertise their returns – it is after expenses are accounted for.

Also, when fund performance data is published, the performance (unless otherwise specified again…) reflects the total return – that is – the ETF return is the sum of capital appreciation + dividends + interest.  

Hope that helps and happy investing as always!


Partnerships and deals

Visit my Deals page to see where you can save more while investing, get higher cash back on your everyday credit card purchases (we get 4% cash back), and how you can obtain a better low-cost mortgage rate…and more.


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.

16 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Black Friday deals, saving a bundle of money, avoiding the oil and gas industry and more #moneystuff"

    1. Posted returns after MER (usually unless otherwise stated in the fund prospectus) and such posted returns = sum of price + dividends + interest + ROC (return of capital), the latter is any.

      Again, rule of thumb, depends on fund of course but returns normally after fees accounted for.

      1. Mark, I was referring to returns shown on on sites like Morningstar. I prefer them above the others. The charted performance numbers are post everything. lol. When using graphs they’re usually just price returns for stocks and ETFs but Morningstar has a “dividend effect” feature on their interactive charts which, in essence, is total return. The charts for mutual funds are total return as the dividends are factored in. Bottom line performances are always given post MER.

    1. I struggle with it Brad because I have a “rule” per se that says other than indexed or dividend ETFs that are inherently diversified (like VYM), not to own more than 10% in any one stock and ideally, no more than 5% in any one stock.

      I just checked and ENB makes up almost 4.5% of my entire portfolio, so that’s good enough for me. I’ll just keep DRIPping my ~5-6 shares every quarter.

      Not sure if that helps but that’s my plan!

      1. Hi Mark,
        Just wondering how you manage to DRIP ENB? Is your brokerage handling it via a synthetic drip?
        When ENB suspended the option last year, I called up my brokerage (BMO) and was told they were not going to continue it.

        1. Great question Vito. It’s really up to the brokerage. Not all brokerages nor synthetic DRIPs amongst brokerage are created equal. I do remember BMO no longer honoured the synthetic DRIP but I believe a few brokerages still do.


          The DRIP suspension is effective with the scheduled dividend payment of Dec. 1, which means investors enrolled in the plan will receive cash instead of shares on that date. The suspension applies to Enbridge’s own DRIP, which is administered by its transfer agent on behalf of investors whose Enbridge shares are registered in the shareholder’s name.

          Many brokers also operate their own DRIPs that let shareholders reinvest dividends from Enbridge and other companies. The status of these “synthetic” broker DRIPs – which allow for whole, but not fractional, share purchases – is less clear. I spoke to one discount broker who said its Enbridge DRIP will continue, with the shares now being acquired in the market instead of from Enbridge’s treasury. Another discount broker said it will discontinue its Enbridge DRIP.

          “We can’t comment on the synthetic DRIP programs offered by brokers as it would be up to the broker. We can’t hypothesize on what they may do or not do,” an Enbridge spokeswoman said in an e-mail.

          1. I can confirm RBC also still does synthetic drips for full shares with Enbridge. The Dec 3 dividend is already in my acct and I’m sure the drip buy will happen today and show tomorrow.

            1. That’s good to know! I know not all brokerages are created equal and some do or do not elect to keep synthetic DRIP programs for certain stocks running.


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