Weekend Reading – Giveaways, market timing, commuting sucks and more #moneystuff

Weekend Reading – Giveaways, market timing, commuting sucks and more #moneystuff

Welcome to my latest Weekend Reading edition where I share some of my favourite articles from the personal finance and investing blogosphere.

Earlier this week, I posted our latest goals update and I reviewed another book, and offered another giveaway!

Enjoy the articles and see you on the site!


Rob McLister, one of my go-to guys when it comes to mortgage news warned variable rate mortgages might be on the rise when the Bank of Canada announces another interest rate hike, or not, on October 24.   What say you?  Do you think rates are going up this fall?  I’ll say yes.

Insane really that almost 50% of Americans near retirement age have less than $25,000 saved for retirement.  This is despite the U.S. stock market doubling in value over the last ten years.

Here’s How To Save Money without being an extreme couponing fanatic.  From the article, we also use Save.ca, WebSaver on occasion; we’re big fans of accumulating PC Optimum points from places like Shoppers Drug Mart every time we shop there but most importantly we use free flyer apps like Flipp to comparison shop; helping us plan our grocery list every week.  Essentially, meal planning for us far outweighs running around with coupons although they come in handy from time to time.  What weekly shopping tips or tactics do you use?

Who benefits from a market correction?  The answer might surprise you.

Commuting sucks.  I agree.  From the article:  “We need to move quickly in a direction that has us look for greater flexibility in where and when we work. By offering even a day or two to work form home, we can start to unlock the 1.8 billion man-hours spent on commuting and apply them to other activities that either make us more productive, happier and healthier. We don’t need another study in the social sciences to know that these are all positives that beget more positives. Further, generational mindsets need altering.”  Unfortunately generational managers with those generational mindsets are hard to change 😉

Tweet of the week:

Tweet of the week

Partnerships and Deals!

Thanks to my passion for personal finance and investing, some great companies reach out to me and provide reader offers. I’m happy to share those on my Deals page!

Happy investing.

My name is Mark Seed - the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I'm looking to start semi-retirement soon, sooner than most. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Join the newsletter read by thousands each day, always FREE.

66 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Giveaways, market timing, commuting sucks and more #moneystuff"

  1. I was out working most of the afternoon. Come back in and see that there was a bit of excitement in the markets. What did you guys do to scare everyone? 😉

  2. Over 22% in ENB (including ENF). Not worried at all. Although they better slow down next year issuing so many new shares! I can’t wait to see what ENB trades at in 2020 and if the Divs increased by another 25% -35% over the next three years.
    Is having 22% in one stock too much? YES! but – I am willing and able to do such a thing. If ENB becomes Nortel – I will not be happy – but still will be a millionaire – wont really bother my day to day living. But any of my holdings could be a Nortel – fear is what stops others from making as much money as me 🙂

    1. ENB better watch their debt! I can’t see ENB becoming like Nortel but never say never. I wouldn’t personally have anything at over 22% in my portfolio unless it was a low-cost U.S. ETF like VYM or VTI or other. That’s just me. I’m too conservative!

      1. Same here on being conservative. That might be considered fear to some and prudence to others. I’m okay with that as I have no need to thump my chest about risk or performance.

        ENF & ENB combined is my largest stock holding(s) = <2%. I don't expect to see 5% other than for an ETF.

        The only guidance I've seen for ENB is for 10% dividend raises through 2020. Sounds like 2 more potential raises with 2021 unknown. Seems like a lot with all their debt, share issuance etc driving down the stock price.


        1. I just feel they need to get a handle on their debt, or get their projects done if they are going to keep raising their dividend so much past 2021. I could be wrong. Not on the “inside”!

          1. Yeah, $60 billion debt, b with a billion is a chunk. They’re on their way though- see below. And they do have some major projects on the go that will boost revenues. I think its well oversold now if they can work their way through the debt, which seems likely. Their long term div growth I think is 11.7%! I don’t expect 10% anymore but we’ll see.



        2. “That might be considered fear to some and prudence to others.”

          May I be both? I’m a proud prude and darn scared. 😉

          Seriously though, I’ve wembled on reducing my BPY.UN to a more prudent level but I just never got around to it.

          1. You can be whatever you want. LOL

            I think you’re in a place few are in terms of safety with your income and lifestyle, and assets for the long term.

  3. I’ll just repost from last weekend:

    re: 50% of Americans near retirement age have less than $25,000 in savings for retirement
    Sigh….again? Really? Attention ALL the people! Americans are POOR! The end! See the first bullet for a clue as to just how messed up that country really is. Doesn’t matter that 20 of the last 30 years have been bull markets if you don’t have the money to participate. One of the myths of Capitalism is that you can get just as rich as your neighbour, however, just as there is staggering income and wealth inequality in America, there is also staggering opportunity inequality. The trend is for fewer people to own more and more people to own less. TLDR: Americans are poor, despite their best media efforts to convince the world otherwise.

    re: commuting
    One HUGE factor in our house/location decision. Could have bought new/bigger/cheaper but further out which would have meant most likely a 2 hour total commute per day. That’s 10 hours a week…not only is it a monstrous waste of the ultimate resource — time — but translated into money, would easily surpass $1,000,000 over the span of a typical career.

    re: A Wealth of Common Sense
    I really should get back into reading Carlson’s stuff.

    1. It would be interesting to learn more about Canada-US investing differences. I was also startled to learn so many in the USA are not well prepared. In both countries, mean/average net worth is much higher than median (the middle point of the distribution), but the difference is dramatically stronger in the USA. Higher valued real estate drives part of Canada’s wealth.

      Mean: $669,300 ($Can)
      Median: $295,100

      Mean: $692,100 ($US)
      Median: $97,300

      1. Startling for sure.

        Re net worths that US median is startling for me. 97K?

        Enormous wealth disparities. Richest must be really skewing numbers for the US mean.

        What did you find for the source?

        1. Hi RBull,
          I was floored when I saw those differences too. That there are some very wealth outliers who skew the mean didn’t surprise me but when I saw the medians I thought it was an error. The data come from government sources – I should have mentioned both are 2016 data. I like that the Canadian data shows results by wealth quintile ($1.65mn for the top quintile). US data are hard to find in a way that matches.

          USA: https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/scfindex.htm – click on the PDF for “Changes in US Family finances” and jump to page 13. It shows results by different demographic groups – the differences by race are especially disappointing. See the income data as well.

          Canada: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/t1/tbl1/en/tv.action?pid=1110004901&pickMembers%5B0%5D=1.1&pickMembers%5B1%5D=2.27&pickMembers%5B2%5D=4.5

          I’ve looked at other sources like Credit Suisse, World Bank, The Economist, etc. They show different figures but a similar pattern – it’s neat to see the situation in other countries. This info could make a whole post or series of posts on its own.

          1. @BartBandy1917,

            Nice work. The states is definitely wacky with their income disparities. I know SST has commented on this many times and as someone who has been to the states many times, with family owning additional homes there I have seen it too.
            Re Canadians I looked at principle residence value in context of net worth. Median was $349K bringing the mean to $320K xhome and the highest quintile home was $550K bringing the number to $1.15M xhome.

            Agree the world of stats/demographics would take up a lot of pages.

      2. Very fair point…but I think there is a massive income inequality in the U.S. when compared to Canada; the median – the middle number of the dataset – (not the mean) demonstrates that.

        1. You’re absolutely right – there’s a ratio used by economists called the Gini ratio that looks at the gap between the richest and the poorest (the smaller the more equal). According to OECD, Canada sits at 31.0 and USA at 39.0, so more inequality south of the border.

          USA mean income: $102.7k
          USA median income: $52.7k

          Canada median: $70.3k ($CAN)
          I couldn’t find mean household income for Canada for 2016.

          Of interest to many in this site, Fred Vettesse’s work shows Canada has the second lowest poverty rate among seniors in the OECD (New Zealand was first). The poverty rate is four times higher among the general population than among seniors! GIS/OAS/CPP all help.

          1. Interesting stuff again BartBandy1917. I tried to find median/avg HHI also but couldn’t find. I’m guessing it’s a lot closer to 70 compared to USA difference.

            I’ve seen that info from Fred V. before. Seniors in this country are generally well looked after, although I read recently its the only group that is increasing their debt load -possibly living on HELOCs??. Not good.

  4. Rates. About the only thing I’ve been right on over the past year plus. Yes, they’re going to keep rising for some time. Even Trump isn’t going to stop them.

    Time the market. Sure but most of the time you’ll be wrong.

    Andrew H, yes, start with reviewing current spending and project from there. %’s rules on income don’t make any sense.

    Benefitting from a correction. I agree that’s the way people in accumulation mode should look at it.

    Commuting a drag. Yeah, I did it but glad its over. I don’t know anything about the generational thing being referred to. haha

  5. Who benefits from market correction?
    – All those mentioned by Carlson, but especially those who have new money to invest and if they invest wisely.
    – Retired people like me who are not adding new funds, but reinvesting our dividends. For example we got about 8 more shares of BCE than last Qtr because the price dropped. Those 8 shares will increase our income next Qtr.

        1. We received 12 shares in the July distribution but October’s hasn’t shown up yet. According to my calculations (910 shares) we should get 13 for an increase of 1. In order to increase by 8 one would have to have an awful lot of BCE (not that there is anything wrong with that).

          1. 910 BCE shares, impressive. I don’t think I own anything with that many shares. We do however own a number of companies and at least one ETF in the 400+ share range though.

      1. Indeed. Between 4000 and 4100 shares if my math and quick research are right.

        You have a pretty healthy dose yourself. I’ve only got about 340 shares but may dip in for another another 100 to 160 or so if we see the mid/high 40’s sometime- (probably). No drip. Income for living from my unregistered.

        1. Yes, BCE hasn’t done well other than the dividend and raise. I wouldn’t expect it to have a lot of growth into the future either.

          However, I don’t follow the logic of comparing diversification, performance and dividend of one stock to an ETF with 66 holdings and 1/3 in the USA, rather than to another ETF in the CDN/US mkt. I think its safe to say none of us holding CDN and US stocks only hold BCE and aren’t paying .71 MER.

          1. I guess you’ve forgotten about Nortel. A lot of people were hurt badly and would have suffered much less if they were diversified in an etf like ZWU. Superior dividend despite the mer

          2. You evidently missed the point Purrfect. Have another read of what you wrote and what I wrote.

            Nortel is irrelevant to the discussion. No one has suggested diversification is bad. I am often an advocate of it on here. I hold considerable stocks for CDN (24) and that makes up less than 25% of portfolio, VTI, VYM, VXUS, IDV for equity portion. Many thousands of companies overall. To be clear not just BCE, a very small holding overall to me. On the flip side plenty of people have done very well being very concentrated so I don’t push my strategy or make superiority claims.

            I’m not sure how anyone could begin to think one stock would be as diversified as ZWU with 66 holdings, or at a given point in time would always outperform, or outyield it and therefore why it would make any sense to do that comparison and suggest the entire ETF as better alternative vs. that one stock holding. Yield is only one factor with an investment and highest doesn’t necessarily equal best. Far from it. Total return matters to most, growing dividends to some, and cost should always be a key factor.

        2. I’m not familiar with ZWU so I took a quick look. I’m not that familiar with “covered calls” (and I have no desire to learn at this point) so keeping with the thought of never investing in something one doesn’t understand, it’s not for me and I didn’t bother looking any further. More power to those that want to utilize that path.

          As for BCE being down this year, I’d suspect that not many of us are that new into the stock (supposition on my part and subject to being incorrect). I own BCE because in my delusional mind I’m getting back what I’m paying them for my telecom. If it goes broke à la Nortel then I fear we’re all going to be in a world of hurt whether it’s through stocks or ETFs.

          1. I have the same delusional mind because I want to heat my home with gas, so I own ENB. Enbridge dividends now (in theory) cover my natural gas bill for the year. I don’t use the dividends for that though – they are reinvested.

            Same goes with Telus. I own shares in that because my cell phone is with them.

            People need to bank, so do I, so I own 7 CDN banks.

            The list goes on.

            Some people like to blame Nortel (for their portfolio failures) but they never paid a dividend so it was all total return with that one. Anyone with any market history knowledge knows not to invest more than 5% of their entire portfolio in any one stock – no matter how good it seems to be at the time. A huge lesson for other investors should they wish to learn from it!

            Thoughts Lloyd?

          2. I do have a stock that makes up more than 5% of the overall portfolio (BPY.UN) but I acknowledge the risk and believe I have mitigation forces in place (DB pensions are wonderful things). It may very well be riskier to hold larger amounts of some single stocks but if one is aware of the risk, I don’t think it would be my place to say it’s good or bad. I suppose one can extend this thought to sectors as well. For example, if one’s entire portfolio is just in financials but covering 15-20 stocks they may also be setting themselves to increased in risks. I guess it all comes down to being informed as to the risk level one is comfortable with. My fear now is that there a LOT of people that ought not to be “in the market”.

            1. I think so… re: riskier to hold larger amounts of some single stocks.

              As long as folks understand and accept the risks – all good. Some investors make the case of concentration over diversification but then again, you have to know the costs if things go amiss on you. Meaning, holding only CDN banks while very profitable in the past might also be a killer in an unknown financial future.

              Your fear is valid, which may eventually bring it down some!

          3. Fair points Mark and Lloyd.

            Re stocks my largest holding is less than 2% overall and others down to about .67%. Some might argue that’s not enough to move the needle vs. not enough diversification. That’s fine with me.

            Re “ought not be in the market” that might be a genuine fear to be concerned with. No experience with a big bear.

            Kind of like some of the folks stretched and owning homes now and in the coming years. No experience with more normalized rates.

            I hope it all works out.

            1. Well, my largest holding is VYM approaching 6% of the entire portfolio. Then various CDN banks around 4-5% of portfolio, ENB, EMA, BIP, etc. A number of stocks I own are about 2-3% of portfolio. Eventually my plan is to have all dividend payers = 50% or so of portfolio and low-cost U.S. ETFs about 50% of investment portfolio. I would like the cash wedge about $50k pre-retirement in a savings account. That should be good.

          4. Again, in my delusional mind, I imagine a canoe with a bunch of people in it. If the weather starts to come up and one person begins to panic, probably manageable. If two people start to panic, we begin having concerns. If three or more start panicking, we’re all going into the water and there ain’t much we’re gonna be able to do about it.

          5. I’ll jump in as we are the extreme on the Concentration end. We hold only 12 stocks in four sectors, Bank, Utilities, Pipelines & Comm with roughly a 25% investment in each. Our portfolio is well in the 7 figures so we have several stocks with more than 20% or our holdings.
            We used to be concerned about the lack of diversification, holding too much in one or more stocks, fearing the potential market correction or a stagnate market for many years. We used to record the price of each stock every Saturday for years. But over time we trimmed our holdings to those we felt were our best and most productive from an Income perspective. We changed our thinking over 10 years ago to growing our Income and ignoring Price. Our objective was to see an ever rising income, hopefully 10%/yr. What we found was as our income grew so did our capital, not necessarily in line but over time. For us we’ve achieved our goal and the growing income continues even though we no longer add new funds, accept for re-investing a majority of our dividends.
            Yes it’s been a bull market over the past 10 years, but even during the financial crisis our income grew though much slower. Yes, its always possible one or more of our 12 stocks could run into trouble, but become Nortel, extremely unlikely. In fact ENB has suffered over the past year, but they still grew the dividend and we’ve bought many more shares at the lower prices. No we don’t worry that we have $$$K invested in several companies, in fact we relish that we do own so many shares of these great companies, IMO.
            We don’t say it’s the best portfolio, strategy or one others should follow, just the best one we found for us!
            When the next crisis happens or if the market stay down, I’ll gladly provide an update.

          6. For all holdings rather than just stocks my largest is also VYM which is about 11%+ overall currently. VTI is slightly less. Then IDV, VXUS before getting to CDN stocks. Somewhere in there are bonds, GICs etc


Post Comment