Welcome to my latest Weekend Reading edition, #TheMasters edition.
Thanks to my friend and neighbour, I was very fortunate to visit Augusta National Golf Club this week as part of The Masters tournament. It was needless to say for any passionate golf fan like myself, a major thrill even though the Wednesday Par-3 contest was rained out for the first time in tournament history. I got to be inside the golf course for about three hours, a rather short day, but very memorable one all the same. I hope I can go again someday and spend a couple of days there.
13th green Augusta National Golf Club – home of The Masters.
Enjoy these articles this weekend and if you’re a golf fan, I hope you enjoy…The Masters.
My articles from the week:
Is Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) right for you?
Here is our bucket approach to earning income in retirement.
Canadian Mortgage Trends told us more mortgage rates now hinge on credit scores. From Rob’s article: “On conventional mortgages, the magic number seems to be 720. On scores below that, lenders’ extra insurance costs start climbing more meaningfully, and some of them pass that through to borrowers.” Yet another good reason to be mortgage and debt-free.
Here’s how you can get your own FREE credit score here.
Roadmap2Retire recapped some recent dividend raises and cuts.
Canadian Couch Potato had some fun in this ETF post on April Fools’ Day.
From the oldie but goodie file here are 10 saving and investing truths you can take to the bank.
Holy Potato believes in rent control.
Retireby40 shared 5 dreams that did not come true in his early retirement.
Michael James on Money found some interesting takes on debt. Here is a comprehensive list of advice on managing debt, including some insight from yours truly. “You can’t fix something in life until you define the problem. Define your debt.”
Preet Banerjee highlighted more Canadians are taking out more six, eight and ten-year car loans. I tend to agree with him even though he didn’t say it – that’s not smart.
Retire Happy listed 10 traits of resilient people.
Big Cajun Man included my article and many others in his latest #MoneyTalk blog roundup edition.
Here are some thoughts from Dividend Growth Investor in finding dividend stocks when the market is priced high.
How To Save Money shared some good tax tips. If you’ve already filed your tax return for this year I suggest you spend the refund wisely.
re: Augusta — it would be interesting to sit through the process of designing a course just to see the influence of actual architecture and engineering vs interpretation of feel, intuition, and experience.
re: Car loans — this has been going on in America for a number of years now, with loans extending out to 10-year terms. When the the housing market crashed, banks turned to the worshipped automobile in order to continue the subprime cash machine. No reason to alter behaviour when there’s still profit to be enjoyed.
re: Interesting takes on debt — off the top “Brave New Life says “College debt and a home mortgage are the only two acceptable debts. Ever.” ” — BNL demonstrates limited thinking and conditioned beliefs. Truly, the only reason to employ debt is for investment purposes (aka production and production assets). Neither a house nor an education is an asset and do not produce anything.
What’s interesting is that most of these ‘takes’ are aimed at the “middle class” audience, the people who surf these kinds of websites and blogs. What’s more interesting is that ‘debt’ is viewed as the problem, period. Perhaps a more serious problem is that less than half of the commentators looked beneath, viewing debt as a result of ’emotions’, ‘mindset’, and ‘habit’ (echoed in MJ’s own comment, “I don’t know what this means or how it can help someone.”). Often the problem we think we have is not the actual problem we need to solve.
Blogs are great for expressing the superficial aspects of certain ideas, but a weak medium for expanding on topics which are too big and/or too complex, such as debt and its causes. It’s been repeatedly shown that debt (and poverty) actively affect the brain’s ability to process information in a logical manner as well as its ability to think financially long-term. There is a truncated thought process which does not allow for “declaring war” or “focus on how to make more money”. Witnessing expressions such as these, I have strong doubts the PF blogosphere is capable of solving this particular and enduring problem (esp. when it shines so brightly in the ‘credit card rewards’ department; cognitive dissonance much?).
You’ve got Augusta and the Masters, this Sunday (being a cyclist) I’ve got the Paris-Roubaix — the 115 year-old race dubbed the Queen of the Classics/Hell of the North, oft described as a brutal and beautiful spectacle. I hope it will be!
SST, Augusta was off the charts. Never seen anything like it. The infrastructure alone is worth tens of millions of dollars.
re: car loans. Yes it has. I’m tempted to buy a 2-3 used car next time. Thoughts?
re: Education – would you not consider some debt to get a medical degree or engineering degree good debt over a Bachelor of Arts? Education can be an input into production.
I too have strong doubts the PF blogosphere is capable of solving any financial literacy problem because the problem does not rest with information.
The problem rests with behaviours and reading something won’t typically change behaviour.
Seems you’re a cyclist. Cool. I’ll be on my mountain bike this week when the weather is warmer in Ottawa 🙂
Thanks for the inclusion this week, I will be watching closely for Amen Corner this weekend. One day I will be there.
Enjoy the warmth of the weekend.
Thanks for sharing the post on dividend raises & cuts, Mark. Hope you are having a great wknd
I enjoyed your last two posts. They got me thinking about my situation
Have a nice weekend Mark!
Great. Happy to hear the blog makes you think 😉
Haha, I am thinking waay too much about retirement and investments. My occupation, contacts, and side projects do not help either!
Same. I think about it often – hence the blog to share some of my thoughts! 🙂