Weekend Reading – Free flights, travel tips, budget master and more

Welcome to my latest Weekend Reading – fresh off the press for 2017!  I hope you had a great holiday and enjoyed time with family and friends.  We certainly did.

Here were my articles from the last week:

Your Money or Your Life Review.

2017 Financial Goals.

What about you?  Any big plans for 2017?

Thanks for reading, sharing and participating on My Own Advisor – 50,000 monthly pageviews strong and growing by the month.

Have a great weekend and drop me a comment or an email about any future post you’d like to see in 2017.  Happen to entertain all ideas.  Well, the good ones anyhow…


My greedy money friends at GreedyRates provided some examples of how you can get free flights from Canadian credit cards.   This is how we travel hack to save and splurge on vacation – including renting a nice Cadillac!

Tawcan shared his travel tips.

Yours truly was recently featured in this list of Top 100 blogs for dividend investors.  Great to see folks following this site from around the world.

Ryan Modesto wrote about rebalancing your portfolio in the new year.  I’ve got a draft in the works about how I rebalance my portfolio and considerations for you too.

Canadian Budget Binder shared some strategies to become a budget master.  I believe having the desire to do so is key and the most important part.

Million Dollar Journey provided his best of for 2016.  Maybe I should write a post about that?  I did that the previous year.

Dividend Growth Investor shared some quality stocks for 2017.

John Robertson released his Practical Index Investing Course.  I hope to take a tour of his course soon and provide a review, including a Q&A with John – so stay tuned.

9 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Free flights, travel tips, budget master and more"

  1. “Still not a fan of subsidized “free” items on credit cards to those that pay off their balances from those than cannot?”

    Nope. Why should I be? “Free” rewards aren’t like “free” health care.
    Credit card reward chasers are under the very wrong impression that it’s only the balance carriers/interest payers who are subsidizing all the “freebies”. This couldn’t be more wrong. There’s oodles of literature readily available to enlighten on how the whole process works.

    I’ll give you this one for “free”: The hidden side of credit card rewards (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/household-finances/the-hidden-side-of-credit-card-rewards/article13402007/)

    You can certainly argue with me, but who’s willing to ague against everyone’s favourite hack, Rob Carrick, who claims the same: “there are no freebies in personal finance.”

    “What is the solution?”

    Simple: Stop using credit cards!

    Credit card analysis reveals that those who use credit cards the most are the same people who can afford not to use credit cards…so why do they?

    Consumers have been utterly indoctrinated into believing CCs are a natural part of the economy — they aren’t. Credit cards are a consumer product. It’s a complete brainwash of our easily swayed emotions and lazy brains (think Homer Simpson); one of the best marketing schemes the world has ever seen.

    Almost no one will a) research the operational nature of credits cards and/or b) cease using credit cards in favour of other forms of payment; households have become exceedingly nanofinance (TM pending) focused and will adhere to whatever behaviour they believe allows them to get the most for the least without any regard to events on larger scales (a manifestation of our primal sense of self-preservation).

    The only other course of action is for the government to eliminate interchange fees and/or adopt a multi-price system.

    Realistically, neither avenue — personal or policy — will be pursued in Canada any time soon.

    “private equity oil investment…is that a registered or non-registered investment?”
    Initially and currently non-reg but now that it’s public I can start moving shares piecemeal into our reg accounts.
    In hindsight, it wasn’t so much the investment itself which scored big, but the prevailing environment of cheap credit which donated most of the triple-digit returns. In other words, it was 99% luck.

    “When are you going to email me back again? Kidding, no rush on the blogpost if you don’t want to. You seem to have an interesting investing approach though.”

    Once a year isn’t enough?!
    But seriously…my investing approach has shifted from atomistic to holistic investing but still expend far too much energy complicating everything. I have some scratchings on this I’ll shoot your way.

  2. “…free flights from Canadian credit cards…” — agree with this 0% (Hemingway always said to write in the positive!). Yet another demonstration of the abysmal short-signtedness of credit card users (and lack of accuracy among PF blogs; the more I experience the more I realize just how micro — bordering on nano — focused PFers truly are). As the age old adage states, there is no free lunch aka nothing in this world is free, that includes “free” flights. In this Capitalist society we are certainly free to chase whatever gains we choose, but never fool yourself into believing anything is free. Someone is paying for your “free” flight but most recipients won’t care.

    “Top 100 blogs for dividend investors” — probably about 95 too many. Seriously. The thing which strikes me (and saddens me at the same time) is ‘early retirement’ being the main driver behind almost all of the blog authors. I guess when a generation encounters a perceived insurmountable degree of employment challenge they opt for ease. It’s intelligent yet at the same time…disheartening(?). I guess I can’t expect the producers of the world to do much more than they have already demonstrated; the true innovators, thankfully, will remain in the game.

    “Sean Cooper” — the only positive thing about his online life is that he paid off his mortgage (however unverifiable that is). Chock full of un-faced inconsistencies. Ever since he admitted to lying about his financial state in trade for media coverage…well, he’s just above Derek Foster at the bottom of my list.

    “Practical Index Investing Course” — holy youknowhat. Please tell me what $299 will teach me above and beyond anything and everything I can learn online or from a library — for FREE*! Well, besides how to waste $299, that is. In reference to Michael James’ recent ‘59.9%’ post, just more proof that a ’round number-1′ attracts far more sales and profits than would an even $300.
    *(free only in that you don’t pay upon receipt of material; cost comes from buying internet and taxes)

    Any positives? Of course. After all my year-end summaries came in, my public equity accounts stand at +34% (RBC) and +242% (TD) for 2016; total return +46%. I keep them separated for taxation and trading purposes. Of note, the stock held at TD was a private equity oil investment which turned public this year; a good example of how a well-managed company can overcome sustained hardships (e.g. plummeting and continued low oil prices).

    Ending with a head-shaker…BC has just released its real estate assessments. I have relatives in Vancouver who bought a “house” (only in Van is it considered a house) about 12 years ago. Current pricing has seen it grow 14%/year (S&P 500 @ 5.5%/yr) to well over $1 million.

    Time to get back to enjoying the last of my government-funded Christmas days off…

    1. Hey SST,

      Still not a fan of subsidized “free” items on credit cards to those that pay off their balances from those than cannot? What is the solution? Thoughts? On the same vine, I had a comment on my site recently about 0% car financing. Not sure if the reader knew nothing, especially from a car dealership, is free!!

      re: your public equity accounts – very well done. I didn’t hit that. I think my CDN-side of my account was around 24%. US mirrored the equity markets return. Interesting…private equity oil investment…is that a registered or non-registered investment?

      When are you going to email me back again? 🙂 Kidding, no rush on the blogpost if you don’t want to. You seem to have an interesting investing approach though.

      Our house is certainly not worth over $1 M. Maybe $600k.


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