Weekend Reading – Dead simple investing, selling Berkshire, household expenses, and #money stuff

Weekend Reading

Welcome to my latest Weekend Reading edition.  I hope you’ve had a good week.  As I write this post, we’re bracing for yet another winter storm in Ottawa.  I suppose it could be worse – our friends down east in St. John’s might be getting up to 50 cm of snow over the next few days.  *Sigh*   Will winter ever end?  Sure, it looks nice but it’s been 5 months and I want to see solid ground 🙂

Weekend Reading

Here are my writings from the past week:

Can you have too much money in your RRSP?  Read on to find out what most readers told me.

This marks the end of Fraud Prevention Month # FPM2017 but I believe, based on my own recent case study here, every day of every month is fraud prevention month.

Enjoy the rest of these articles and we’ll chat next week.


Here are my ideas about some simple all-in-one investing solutions.

InsurEye is striving to help new drivers to Canada with this article:  Cheap Car Insurance – 7 Things to Know If You Are New to Canada.

A Wealth of Common Sense wrote about the hardest question in portfolio management.

What are your household expenses?  How do they stack up with others?

Household expenses

Andrew Hallam sold $400,000 of Berkshire Hathaway shares.  Damn that’s a big transaction!

RetireBy40 believes in systems to accomplish goals.

Ever wondered about Sustainable Investing?  There’s now a new tool for that – read about it here.

Dividend Growth Investor shared his thoughts about how to invest in a slow growth environment.  Personally I don’t plan to change a thing.  He summarized his perspective this way:  “Using history as a guide, earnings will start growing sooner or later, which would ultimate drive future growth in dividends and intrinsic values. Holding tight on to your diversified dividend portfolio, focusing on the dividends, and ignoring the stock market will likely be the winning attributes of successful investors through the end of the next decade.”

Thanks to MediaPlanet for including yours truly in their 2017 Future of Investing campaign – an insert to the Toronto Star.

Michael James on Money clarified a pension rip-off.

I agree with my friend Dividend Earner – TD is a buy and long-term hold.

This is our standard emergency float to help us recover if and when $hit hits the fan.

Here’s what a number of bloggers would change if they had a money do-over.   A common theme:  start investing earlier.

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12 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Dead simple investing, selling Berkshire, household expenses, and #money stuff"

  1. re: Household expenses infographic — ‘Alcohol, tobacco, games of chance 2.5%’ vs ‘Education and reading material 3%’…we’re spending money on the wrong mind-altering substances.

  2. Mark,

    Thanks for the mention. While earnings growth has been low, valuations are a little overstretched, and forward returns for the next decade may not be very high, I just need to stick to it through thick or thin.

    I just hope that someone doesn’t see the data, and sells everything on Friday/Monday morning. I do not believe in market timing.

    It is very interesting that Andrew Hallam sold $400,000 worth of Berkshire Hathaway. I hope he didn’t have to pay a ton in taxes on the transaction. Also very interesting that Berkshire probably accounted for anywhere from a third to half of his net worth. That is a lot to place in a single company in my opinion.

    1. Same. Sticking with my plan, owning 30+ CDN stocks and 10 or so U.S. stocks. Index everything else for capital gains. Keeping it simple where I can 🙂

      Berkshire however is like a mini-indexed fund though – owner of many blue-chips but regardless, that’s a LOT of money!

      1. “Berkshire however is like a mini-indexed fund though – owner of many blue-chips but regardless, that’s a LOT of money!”

        Or so the myth is perpetrated. YOUR portfolio is more of an mini-index fund than BRK. As some finance guy on another finance blog states: “Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett’s firm, essentially acts as a multi-strategy hedge fund. Berkshire engages in sophisticated insurance underwriting, complex fixed-income strategies, multi-strategy equity approaches and tactics that more resemble a private equity firm than a value-based brokerage account. Replicating this isn’t just difficult — it might well be impossible.” Probably wise of Hallam to swap ‘multi-strategy hedge fund’ shares for actual index fund shares.

        1. Andrew is a pretty sharp guy. I think there is beauty in his simple portfolio but for a number of reasons I simply can’t let go of my 30-40 stocks.
          I guess it’s the psychological benefit that dividends provide – I like seeing the tangible cash flow, flow in.

          Thanks for your comment.

  3. I generally agree with John Heinzl, but this time I would like to suggest an alternative for beginners.
    – Open a discount-brokerage account
    – Look to buy only One good company stock (it wouldn’t take much to come up with a list to choose from, a major Cdn bank, a utility such as FTS or EMA, a Communication from on the the big three or a pipleline).
    – Follow that stock till you feel comfortable that your money is doing what you expected. If so, buy more shares of the stock (or re-invest the dividends to buy more shares)
    – Then choose a second stock and again give yourself sufficient time to assess and learn more about investing.
    – continue the process till you’ve accumulated a portfolio of good stocks
    Don’t try to build a total portfolio immediately, start slowly and expand into other holdings as one learns more and has more to invest.

    1. Well, I largely agree with you cannew since I’ve followed a similar path but I can also appreciate many people don’t have the time nor desire to DIY invest.

      Shame really, it’s their money and a VERY valuable life skill.


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