Weekend Reading – Dividend income reports, rational decisions, life lessons 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.
So, the golf game progress continues…focusing on this practice drill at the range every week:
I hit balls keeping a golf glove tucked under my left armpit like world #1 golfer Rory McIlory above. Why?
It helps keep my arms, specifically my left arm “connected” to my body. I continue to use this drill with 7-irons at the range for about 30-40 balls. I swing at about 50-75%. I figure if this drill is good enough for world #1 golfer Rory McIlroy then it’s good enough for me…!
In recent weeks, I’ve also started to work on this simple drill at home while watching the odd round of golf on TV, or while stretching at the condo:
This is a “pump drill”.
It’s very simple and you can see the genius behind it here in this short clip:
These drills cost nothing but can be very powerful to improve any golf game.
I think these drills will continue to improve my consistency and scores. There is some evidence it is working…
A more consistent and therefore connected golf swing allowed me to start my last men’s night round this week with 11 pars in a row – something I haven’t done since I was a junior. Unfortunately, I ran out of gas and energy coming down the stretch. I made a number of bad decisions and poor swings but I still had a great round for me: shooting 35-41 for +5 76.
Let’s hope my continued work on the range can translate into lower scores…
Got any simple golf tips or drills you’re working on? Do share!
I shared my most recent monthly dividend income update here:
I anticipate the dividend income should rise again this month (July) since I’ll be receiving and reinvesting dividends paid from Algonquin Power, Bell Canada, and a few more. Stay tuned for that update.
The Dividend Guy shares some reasons why he keeps a diverse list of low-volatility stocks and growth stocks in his portfolio that are not limited to:
Alimentation Couche-Tard, National Bank, Royal Bank, Fortis and Magna. On the U.S. side Mike enjoys holding Apple, BlackRock, Disney (although they cut their dividend drastically), Microsoft and Visa to name a few.
Robb Engen wondered if you’re making rational financial decisions. Probably not, at least not all the time Robb! But trying to be rational all the time and constantly adjusting for calculated risks makes for a very boring life I believe.
In fact, I read something on Twitter recently that suggested if you don’t drink any beer or alcohol, you instead save that money for 40 years straight, earn 7% annualized returns on that money, you could have a few hundred thousand dollars in 40 years without any inflation adjustment. That sounds very rational but also an extremely boring life.
Thanks to GenY Money for including me in her great PF Blog Summer Round Up!
Court from Modern FImily shared her reasoning to work part-time.
That’s something I’m thinking about and talking about with my wife much more – as soon as our mortgage is paid off. I figure that’s going to open up a whole world of opportunities for us.
Mixed Up Money opened up on some money life lessons after turning 30.
This was well put: “IT’S OKAY TO SPEND MONEY ON THE THINGS THAT YOU LOVE”
Yes. It. Absolutely. Is. Just be sure those spending habits align to your values more often than not. Otherwise, too much spending and debt can be crippling.
Freedom Thirty Five Blog told us low interest rates are here to stay.
Tawcan shared his dividend income update. Impressive. His “top five dividend payers for June 2020 were Enbridge, XAW, Brookfield Property Partners, Manulife, and Brookfield Renewable (not in order).
Dale Roberts wrote about the COVID-effect and more specifically, how this pandemic might have “knocked some sense into those (millennials) poised to become the dominant economic driver of the country in the coming years.” I remain skeptical Dale but you never know. Some certainly have their financial act together but many don’t!
Reader question/email of the week
A younger reader recently told me he “doesn’t care about buying new cars..I’m going to do it because I’ve earned it” after he read this post:
Two expenses stealing your early retirement dreams (that are not coffee)
He went on to say “it doesn’t cost me that much…I make good money.”
I replied and told him, fine, that’s your decision and that decision is not right or wrong (should he value car payments and enjoy nice cars that go along with them). You need to live your life. That said, I did also remind him there is an opportunity cost of having car payments vs. buying appreciating assets over the coming decades. He could always buy a gently used but nice car.
Our young reader was absolutely floored and dumbfounded when I shared this graph, suggesting he could consider buying used cars over time, and instead, siphon that $500+ monthly car payment into his Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) for the next 35 years:
Something to consider millennials…
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Thanks for the tip! I’ll look into that!
Another great article, Mark. I have a 2009 Honda Civic standard shift which I bought on New Years Eve of ‘09. I never buy a new car but they had an excellent deal at the time. It was my first Honda. I currently have 420,000 Kms on it and it still works like a charm. Unfortunately, the air conditioning let go but other than that, it has been very good to me. I will definitely buy another civic but think I will drive this one to the ground first!
Jeepers…420,000 km? Well done. I got ride of my almost 17-year-old Mazda a few years ago but it didn’t have that many kms. I just rusted out!
Just thought I mention, my 2010 Honda Civic air conditioning wasn’t working last year. The service man at the dealer said there’s a switch that goes after about 10 years, he replaced that and it works fine again. Not sure if that could be your issue, but that was a pretty simple fix.
Mark, I believe you have an affiliation deal with EQ Bank and for good reason, they are a good bank and they pay above average interest rates. In fairness to your readers though, shouldn’t you at least mention Motive Bank in passing? They pay 0.2% higher than EQ and are covered by the CDIC. I always enjoy your blogs, keep up the good work.
Thanks Randy. I hope to put a post together highlighting other decent interest rates at banks at this time in the coming weeks. I don’t have any affiliate yet with EQ Bank but working on it 🙂
Great point to ensure anything you invest in is covered by CDIC.
Stay well Randy!
Hi Mark, I am a long time reader and first time commenter. I think this is the best Canadian investing blog and I’ve learned a lot from it. Our family has owned several Toyotas over the years and we drive them until they drop. Our current Toyota is 10 years old and we’ve never had any issues with it. We definitely plan on keeping it for many more years. As a recent early retiree in my 50s, I have been able to golf more this year and have rediscovered my love for the game. A switch to the claw grip has improved my putting tremendously.
Wow, such kind words 🙂
Smart stuff on the Toyotas over the years and likely why you are able to retire at a younger age than most. Well done.
How is the claw grip? I use left-hand-low and have done so for years and really like how it steady it makes me.
Hope the golf game is well!
One of my kids didn’t get a vehicle until he was 28 and took transit everywhere. Bought a townhouse with the savings at age 24 and started building real estate equity. He bought an older vehicle with high mileage for $3K, had it inspected by our trusted mechanic, put good tires on it, changes the oil twice per year and will drive it into the ground. Budgets $500 for annual repairs and hopes to get three to five years out it. We give the kids AMA roadside assistance for Christmas.
You’re a good, practical parent to be giving out AMA roadside assistance for Christmas. Well done. I hope to drive our current KIA into the ground and save up some cash to pay for the next one in the coming years. That’s our plan 🙂
We haven’t had a car payment for five years. Feels great!
Thanks for the mention, Mark. 🙂 I’m not very good at golf but would like to play more. Lots of millennials don’t realize that buying a fancy car isn’t just about sacrificing the money today. They neglect the future value of money that grows over time. Exponential growth is difficult for the human mind to grasp. It’s a good thing that reader is learning this from you at a young age.
Ya, hopefully the millennial will take this information and use it for some good. You never know with “kids” these days 🙂
All the best to you and journey, sounds like you’re hitting some great milestones! I remember when we passed > $1 M in net worth. Felt great but then I wanted $2 M to be closer to semi-retirement. 🙂
“In fact, I read something on Twitter recently that suggested if you don’t drink any beer or alcohol” – my goodness the humanity!
no kidding a boring life 🙂
It’s just like some of the ‘healthy’ diets that are supposed extend your lifespan – they really don’t, it just seems that way because they are really dull and supremely boring – oatmeal for breakfast every day please! no! (unless you happen to feel that is good thing) – each to his own – not I.
I prefer a “moderation in all things including moderation” approach. That said a tall cool one (or two …) beacons, especially on a hot day like today. Cheers! (insert/imagine multiple beer emojis)
Everything in moderation is a life tenet of mine. I figure it’s OK to indulge once in a while as well. Life is too short to be counting pennies all the time. All save and no play makes for a boring life. Not for me!
Thank you Mark for the mention! I was so indecisive for over 5 months regarding the switch to part time but now that it’s been 9 months in I can say with 100% certainty it was the right move for me/my family. Life is so much more enjoyable these day – especially since I’m off and at home 80% of the time now. Life is good and looking back I can’t believe I had such a hard time mentally battling with the idea.
And that’s the beauty of FI and saving and investing – you eventually do things that mean the most to you on your terms. Good decision for you and your family. Hard to argue with the outcome now!
Great illustration and recommendation on buying used — I’ve been driving for 35 years and every single car I’ve owned was bought used. Even though I could easily afford to buy new, I’m motivated by exactly the same reasons – I’d rather have my money growing!
People don’t think of it this way, but when you are buying a vehicle you are buying a stock of unused mileage, and better vehicle quality and durability means cars can be expected to last 250-300k kms. Ancient data (2008) from Statscan says people drive about 15-16k kms/year (I use 20k/year as a rule of thumb). I usually buy mine at the 4-5 year mark where half the depreciation had been taken but only about a quarter of the mileage has been driven, and I usually keep them till they are about 15 years old when major repairs start to cost more than the vehicle is worth. Oh, and I always pay a little more for better quality vehicles — Toyotas and some Hondas, but I’m open to better quality Mazdas and even Hyundai now.
Hi Bart – please consider adding Subarus to that list 🙂
I’ve bought used and I’ve bought new – personal preference is new because I get exactly what I want but then I keep the cars until they die eg. 15+years. Tradeoff works for me
Yes, I’m a fan of Subarus too – the Forester in particular. The 2011-14s with the 2.5 litre engine had serious oil consumption issues but that seems to have been resolved. Subaru has a superior X-Drive all-wheel drive capability too. Definitely a first choice for the snow belt!
We have had Subarus since 1987. A few of them now. The only one that was brand new, we kept it pristine, was totalled by a driver running a stop sign on a USA highway. Broke my heart. Also I have never recovered from the injury and got no compensation, as very difficult to get anything from a US insurer. We replaced it with the same model, 2 years newer.
Hi Barbara, very sorry to hear that you had an accident in the States — that sort of thing really scares me – I’ve always been extra cautious when travelling there. Very sorry to hear you still are suffering from that incident.
Mark has said before that “health is wealth” and no amount of assets is worth it if you health is suffering, especially from accidents caused by others. I hope you can get some phyiso or other help.
Thank you Bart. Sadly, physio made it far worse for me, but massage therapy (has been on hold for awhile) was very painful, but has helped.
Re: the Subarus. When we bought the replacement car, it was 2 years old and 2 years newer than the one totalled. We flew up to Grande Prairie to get it, as it was exactly what we wanted. The young guy still owed about $7000 on the car, over and above what we paid. He was happy just to sell it, and we were happy to get a used car that someone had bought everything for–like long extended (transferable) warranty, fancy undercoating and Diamond-Kote top coat, heavy duty battery, winter tires on rims, etc. He was moving to Calgary and going car less.
Sounds like you got a great deal Barbara!! Well done and savvy.
Gosh Barbara, very sorry to hear about your injuries but my goodness I hope you are on the mend. Sounds lucky by the outcome! Stay well.
Thanks for the mention Mark. Looks like you’re working hard on your golf game. Must be nice weather in Ottawa. Have a great weekend.
No problem Bob and all the best my friend!