Weekend Reading – #craftbeer, #Trump, money lessons, new vehicles and more

Welcome to some new Weekend Reading friends.  Earlier this week I shared some simple all-in-one investing solutions to consider here; thanks to Rob Carrick for picking that article up in his Globe column.  I also provided some quotes to live by from a reader of this site.

Enjoy your weekend!

Rob Carrick found an interesting list of sites and calculators to answer some common financial questions.

Were you smart with your money this summer?   Probably not, I drank too many #craftbeer.  They taste so good though…

Scott Adams is not holding back when it comes the American election, stating “You say Trump lied to get some votes in the primaries? Snore. They all lied. He just did it better.”

How To Save Money offered a few money lessons from seven personal finance books.  I’m a fan of what Robert Brown, author of Wealthing Like Rabbits mentioned below:

“When it comes to budgeting, Brown believes that we should:  Pay yourself first and budget the rest…Whatever budgeting system you decide to use, always remember that the most important part of any budget is to balance the fundamentals. Save for the future. Spend less than you earn. Spend smarter. Live within your means. Stay out of debt. Do that and you’ll be fine.”

Our Big Fat Wallet is fighting the urge to buy a new vehicle.   I know what that is like.   I drive this hot rod here.

Happy to see another bank dividend hike this week.   It’s always cool to see how a $0.02 company raise amounts to a $20+ income increase without doing anything but staying invested.

Michael James on Money believes Canada’s public sector should be more efficient.

Looks like some Millennials are taking out home equity lines of credit to fund their vacations.

CPI shows electricity prices sizzled in July.

Here are some suggested U.S. stocks that keep your portfolio afloat in bear markets.

16 Responses to "Weekend Reading – #craftbeer, #Trump, money lessons, new vehicles and more"

  1. So many topics – where to start?

    I read and commented on Michael J’s piece. I agree.

    Dividend increases by the banks and some strong earnings. Always good.

    Millennials (or anyone for that matter) funding vacations with home equity LOC….give your head a good shake.

    It’s smart to do an assessment of the true cost of a vehicle regarding replacement to determine your best choice. Something I could have done better during much of my life. I am not so sure about the term obfuscate regarding gasoline. The cost has simply come down for more than a short term and is likely to remain in a somewhat lower range for years to come, benefiting consumers but with a cost to our economy.

    High electricity rate or other CPI rises: To me it’s important to evaluate your own true usage and costs, and not rely solely on nationwide stats, since some categories might not apply or could be very different for your area and/or household.

    For example my electricity rates for 2016 declined 1.5% vs 2015, although our rates are set for the following 3 yrs increasing @ 1.5% each yr.

    We spend less on groceries now than we did 10 yrs ago, with more careful shopping, using a home garden etc. My insurance has gone down from 4 yrs ago. We’ve found many ways to save money, which have mostly been funneled into more discretionary funds to improve lifestyle.

    We’re confident in our ability to keep our cost of living lower than CPI in retirement where we have choices and can adjust consumption, but are most concerned with things we can’t such as fed/ prov. govt income taxes, municipal property taxes, etc Governments demonstrate little restraint and saavy regarding their spending of taxpayer funds on services, infrastructure or their own operations, as compared to what we do inside our own household; seemingly spurred on by citizens with an insatiable appetite for public and personal debt and increased spending.

    1. The way I see it, if the banking and energy sector goes under in Canada – we’re all doomed. Doesn’t matter if you own Canadian mutual funds, ETFs or stocks.

      That could be just me!

      Yeah, crazy those Millennials….

      We’re starting to save for a vehicle replacement in our house. We don’t have very much saved but I’m hopeful we can save $10k between now and this time next year for a new(er) car. By then, my car will be approaching 18-years-old….hard to believe.

      We’re confident if we can keep our savings rate over the next year, we’ll hit $14k in dividend income (excluding RRSP) by early 2017. That will be good. Basically > $1,000 per month, cash for life and never need to sell assets unless we want to. Add in a few pensions at age 55 (penalties of course) and we’re already at $40k per year without CPP, without OAS and we haven’t touched a dime from our RRSPs.

      The plans is slowing coming together regardless of CPI since we cannot predict what CPI, taxes, inflation will or won’t be – but we can control our savings rate and keeping our capital intact.

      Back to the comment….the government is rather wasteful at times. Sad but true.

      Have a great weekend!!

      1. Agree on the energy and banking sector being vital to a strong Canadian future.

        Good plan with the car fund!

        Sounds great with the current cash flow projections. You’ll be golden in the years to come.

        Agree also on controlling your savings rate while working, and not being able to control inflation, but essential to plan for it.

        1. Yes, the only thing we can really control is our savings rate, for investing, and our investing behaviour and practices, such as diversification. That essentially means more VTI and VXUS as I get older for the RRSP.

        1. I haven’t run the math but I’m not convinced it’s inflation alone. There is likely a compounding effect here as well with some differences in values…for the sensational headline.

          For example, using a time value calculator, $10 invested, yielding 3% interest, over 50 years is worth about $43.

  2. @Michael: It would be interesting if someone looked at the % of taxes paid by families from 1961 to 2015. I think people pay a much higher % of their earnings in taxes than they did. I do recall an article that mentioned Fed, Prov, Gas, GST/HST, and the rest. Maybe someone can refer us to it.

  3. bigcajunman’s article on rising cost in July, reinforces the need to have ones portfolio generate a growing income, especially during retirement. Sure if your market value rises enough to cover rising costs than one can sell a portion of their holdings to cover bills. But what if the value of your stocks drop. One needs to sell more shares to cover even higher costs. If the market drops for a few years one could be in for a real shock.

    Being retired I care little about the value of my portfolio than if my income has grown, even during down markets. It’s the growing income that will pay those rising costs.

    1. Funny, without reading your comment just now I wrote the same reply back to him!

      I prefer not to sell assets unless I absolutely have to – which makes dividend income stocks very appealing to me and always has.

  4. The reaction I’ve got to my article has been interesting. Each person seems to focus on either the part about the need for government efficiency or the part about misleading people about personal tax burdens, but few people react to both. Thanks for the mention.

    1. Well, happy you wrote this:
      “All that said, I’m not a cheerleader for reducing all forms of public spending either.” I agree. Healthcare, education and infrastructure spending is needed.

      Have a great weekend,


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