Weekend Reading – Debt, everyone in sales, millennial tips, 50,000 visits per month

Welcome to my latest Weekend Reading edition, where I share some of my favourite reads from the week that was.

Earlier this week I posted my interview with Ken Kivenko, who is an investor advocate for Canadians at large and I recapped my conversation with a co-worker who felt they didn’t need to save for their vacation, let alone retirement, because they believe their pension will take care of them.  Roll the dice – I hope they are right.

Enjoy your weekend and take care – thanks for being a fan and helping this site hit 50,000 visits per month.

My Mixed Up Money said good debt doesn’t exist.

Ben Carlson thinks everyone is selling, something.

Boomer and Echo has some suggestions for couples just starting their investing journey.  Speaking from experience, the best place to start with your partner or spouse is to actually talk about it.

Tawcan shared some tips for millennials.

Financial Uproar has some annoyances with the personal finance echo chamber.

Half Banked highlighted her takeaways from the recent Canadian Personal Finance Conference.  This is what I liked here.

My friend Michael James on Money has some quality personal finance reading material to check out.

Cait Flanders said you don’t have to do it all.  Agreed.

Interesting initiative by 5i Research – a stock simulator competition. $10,000 in prizes are available.

Big Cajun Man and Preet Banerjee are two peas in a pod when it comes to this – they believe debt is a nasty four letter word.

Back to Preet, I’m looking forward to his upcoming Money School series.  His videos are excellent.

Here are some stocks to consider after the recent OPEC meeting – courtesy of Roadmap2Retire.

Note:  I recently changed webhost providers.  Please clear your cache and browsing history to launch My Own Advisor in your bookmarks.  Hopefully the new site speed is working well for you.  Thanks for being a fan – Mark

9 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Debt, everyone in sales, millennial tips, 50,000 visits per month"

  1. Nelson nailed it. Hard.

    “Every personal finance blog is identical.” Indubitably.

    I’ve been paring down my PF blog responses from daily to weekly but finding the effort to muster even those once a week replies an exercise in futility. I might bookmark Nelson’s article to read first as a reminder whenever I feel the urge to wade into the PF muck.

    The PF community publishes to appease more of the same and dig the trench even deeper (the ‘Weekend Roundup’ props are especially amusing. Like a bunch of old golf buddies high-fiving each other just for showing up.) A fly in the ointment only serves to irk those of cemented beliefs instead of being a signal to put the lid on the GD ointment! The internet certainly amplifies our weird behaviours.

    There are exceptionally few high-impact decisions we make in life, those which create the majority of circumstances in our life. Do a metastudy of the PF realm and you’d most likely draw out a duo of high-impact decisions: save as much as you can in a diversified portfolio, and don’t use debt. Commit to these decisions and the probability of having a healthy financial life is high. Everything else is brain-wasting dross.

    E.g.: My Mixed Up Money — “Good Debt” Doesn’t Exist…complete rubbish and demonstrating a deep non-understanding of economics. Let’s throw another qualifier in there — Good CONSUMER Debt Doesn’t Exist. Good INVESTMENT Debt Does Exist. But in the world of PF, “debt is a nasty thing/four letter word”. These extreme half-myths only muddy the waters. Let’s investigate further…

    As per your question last weekend, “I wonder how much credit card debt GDP?”, I did the calculations 2 or 3 years ago, and from memory outstanding CC debt is somewhere in the range of ~5% GDP; total consumer debt (ex-mortgage) is ~30% GDP. To all those PFers who believe debt is a “social obscenity”…I doubt your economy would look so hot sporting a 30% haircut. However, we could definitely cut out the credit card debt (-5% GDP) and usage (-3% prices) without any major disturbance (-2% broad economy). Thus, paradoxically, debt has become almost a good thing, especially in support of our modern way of life — even to those who harbour no consumer debt:

    New report highlights worrying trends in Canada’s comprehensive wealth
    “Canada’s real per capita comprehensive wealth grew by just 0.19 per cent annually between 1980 and 2013. In contrast, real per capita consumption of goods and services grew by 1.36 per cent annually. The gap between these two trends is a cause for concern, as consumption growth in excess of capital growth is likely not sustainable in the long run.”

    What, dear anti-debt reader, do you think has fuelled that 35-year stretch of consumption and built your comfy Canadian life?

    To those on a high, white, male, middle-class horse…put yourself on the left of the financial bell curve — physically and/or mentally — for an entire year and see how well you do without debt. And to those who are employed by any level of government, such as I, good luck getting paid without the use of debt.

    And then I read this: Dear reader: what type of product might you be looking for from me?

    NO. (in size 3,000 font)

    Stated countless times, we the people do NOT need more information or products.
    What we need is to change how we think and of what we think. Proof? After decades of mounting PF material, from both amateurs and professionals, the bulk of Western populace is still floundering in relative poverty.

    Almost every identity within the PF community is a producer, not an innovator. Thus, by design, it’s groupthink.
    So, unless your “product” is powerful and/or unique enough to change how we operate, it will do nothing except add to the noise.

    I suppose, however, it’s de rigueur that in a Capitalist society, the end game is to monetize absolutely everything.
    After all, everyone is in sales.*

    I’ll leave you with this, if you choose to pursue the long climb out of the PF trench, as Nelson recommends:
    Curating a Social Media Feed to Make Better Decisions

    “The lesson is that we’re failing to understand the full composition of the world we live in because we’ve created echo chambers that curate the things we want to hear and reinforce our confirmation bias.” — Cullen Roche

    Time to harvest my December crop of jalapeño peppers. Enjoy the freeze, East Coasters.

    *Starting 01/01/2017 I’ll be selling my blog comments: $5 for a standard hi-5 reply (e.g. “Awesome job with the dividend run!”), $25 for a nails-on-chalkboard reply (“Are you insane?!”). Interested parties can email me. Thanks.

    1. Great comment SST…and I think the same can be said for any community, personal finance or otherwise, there are problems with groupthink.

      I do the “Weekend Reading” not only to promote other blogs, I like, but rather to highlight what I find interesting and might be interesting to others.

      100% agreed – the internet amplifies our weird behaviours…

      When it comes to personal finance – spend less than you make, invest in low-cost funds or others, and enjoy your life. There are your 80,000 PF books right SST 🙂

      I don’t see myself launching a product to promote anytime soon although I might consider a free ebook eventually. We’ll see. If I do that it’s not for fame – I’ll do it because I want to.

      I enjoyed the last part of your comment – well played 🙂

  2. Stock simulator ‘Those who have joined the competition have three months to construct and trade a portfolio. At the close of the competition, the top 15 ranked portfolios are invited to submit a report (900 words max.) outlining their strategy’
    The problem here is it’s a Short term contest. Those buying & trading the highest risk stocks will probably win. That’s not what I’d want to teach my grandkids how to invest.

    1. I don’t mind the 5i initiative. I think you’re much better off learning money lessons when you’re younger. Trading is not usually good for the investor, agreed 100%, but it’s VERY good for the financial institution!


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