Weekend Reading – Happy Holidays edition
Welcome to a new Weekend Reading edition and likely my final one for 2022.
Happy Holidays to you and your family, and thanks very much for your readership.
Yes, time flies as they say when you’re having some fun….with almost another year in the books.
Before I get into some of my favourite posts from 2022, and share some recent articles from the personal finance and investing blogosphere, I want to offer a sincere thank you to you, all readers, who continue to make this site enjoyable to run.
I like your banter.
I appreciate when you respectfully disagree with me. I learn from that.
I thank you for your compliments.
I appreciate your words of inspiration and motivation to help me realize our goals.
I enjoy learning new things from you.
After over 240,000 unique visitors to this site and close to 1 million pageviews in 2022 alone, I remain inspired to keep chronicling my journey and thoughts as My Own Advisor into 2023.
While I may get to a few blogposts between now and early 2023, the most important message to share at this time of year is this: a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family.
Weekend Reading – Happy Holidays edition
Great quote I found (and keep handy) thanks to one of my favourite sites, FS Blog, a quote from investing guru Charlie Munger from a few years back:
“I just try and avoid being stupid. I have a way of handling a lot of problems. I put them on what I call my too-hard pile. Then I just leave them there. I’m not trying to succeed in my too-hard pile.” – Charlie Munger, then 96-year-old billionaire investor, former real estate attorney, former architectural designer, and current philanthropist as vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.
I think there are at least a few life lessons in just that quote…
And also important for the holidays IMO:
My Favourite Posts of 2022
January 2022 – with higher inflation coming, at least I thought it would be coming in January 2022 for the rest of the year, I was positioning my portfolio for higher inflation.
February 2022 – I offered up some stocks to help Beat the TSX in 2022.
March 2022 – with inflation moving predictably higher and likely going forward throughout 2023 and maybe beyond, I posted this case study about a couple who wanted to retire at age 55, in a 70/30 stock/bond mix, and survive higher inflation over time starting out spending about $50,000 per year.
April 2022 – if $4,000 or so per month is not enough for you to start retirement on, that’s OK, I posted this case study to highlight how much you might need to retire on $5,000 per month!
May 2022 – a lump sum of money is an outstanding problem to have. What should you consider? I provided a take for some very lucky folks in that position here.
June 2022 – readers are always very curious how my DIY portfolio stacks up against an indexed benchmark. Well, I shared my results in June including why this might be my final benchmarking post here!
July 2022 – passionate readers of this site will know that I far prefer the terms financial independence / financial independence work on our terms #FIWOOT much more than FIRE. In my mind, here are the six phases you need to work through to achieve financial independence.
August 2022 – taxation is a nightmare we all want to avoid as much as possible! I believe understanding the tax treatment of income and assets, what assets could go where, is very important as part of your financial journey.
September 2022 – keeping cash, even some cash, seems foolish to some but not me. I like having cash handy if/when we need it. This never-ending-personal-finance-debate had me thinking: how much cash should you keep? I provided my answer for this upcoming year (2023) in that post.
My bucket approach:
October 2022 – this month, chatter of a pending recession in Canada and the U.S. started. Recessions are not good of course but they do seem to be a necessary evil in how our economy has always worked in the past. So, inspired by this cycle, how are you going to navigate a recession?
November 2022 – this month, sensing some form of semi-retirement is on the horizon, I shared this Financial Independence Update including our tentative portfolio drawdown order – and why!
December 2022 – there are many factors related to early retirement, full retirement, that need to be planned in advance. I’m learning about that in real-time… Here are 5 important factors to consider in your decision to retire. Take that quiz and let me know your thoughts!
As always, you can read about my portfolio, my stocks and my ETFs on these pages here:
Weekend Reading – Happy Holidays edition
…from Cashflows & Portfolios too!
This year-end recap on my site would also not be complete if I didn’t highlight some fun I had with my partner Joe over at Cashflows & Portfolios.
Joe and I started Cashflows & Portfolios to offer a unique free resource providing a beginning-to-end guide for Do-It-Yourself investors. Our content focuses on how to budget and generate cashflow; how best to invest that cashflow; onto using the nest egg to fund the next phase of life – retirement. We wanted to create a more actionable site to help you with your financial goals since we would have wanted to find such a site years ago as well…to help cut through the personal finance and investing noise.
Beyond our free content, we also started something very unique in Canada: offerring up our time and services to run financial projections to anyone, anywhere, anytime at a low-cost.
We are offering these services because we feel, essentially, we can help Canadians in a major way based on our experiences and we don’t feel Canadians should be paying thousands upon thousands of dollars for such services. We are also doing this because we are passionate about investing – like other DIY investors are – noticing a MASSIVE gap between fee-only planners who advise folks vs. folks who simply want some personal confidence in their own retirement projections with like-minded individuals – savvy investors that have usually already fired their costly fund money manager many years ago…
As passionate Do-It-Yourself (DIY) investors, we know the hard part really isn’t about investing or asset accumulation any longer with all the tools, services and resources available to Canadians.
The challenging part is really about solving the asset decumulation puzzle.
That asset decumulation puzzle is a process that is often very personal and must be tailored to your specific retirement or semi-retirement needs and goals.
I know – I’m working towards and through my own pre-planning work for semi-retirement right now!
Hit me up with a comment or email on Cashflows & Portfolios as you wish. I look forward to engaging with you there.
Other Weekend Reading you might find interesting…
Thanks to Accidentally Retired for including me in this latest FIRE survey. This survey linked to a few key early retirement withdrawal articles you might find interesting…
“And a few like Financial Samurai who recommends his own Financial Samurai Dynamic Safe Withdrawal Rate.
But if there is one person I’d listen to here…it would be Karsten @ Early Retirement Now who has written extensively (classic understatement) on the topic. He says “a personalized withdrawal strategy” is best.”
Ben Carlson has some thoughts on what might happen in the markets, in 2023.
In the end, Ben wrote:
“But I have no idea what’s going to happen in 2023 and neither does anyone else.”
“Planning should not include making short-term predictions about what’s going to happen in the stock market.”
Recently, Wells Fargo & Co. reached a $3.7 billion settlement with federal regulators, including a record $1.7 billion fine, to cover allegations that for years it mistreated millions of customers, causing some to lose their cars or homes.
The agreement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau includes more than $2 billion in “redress to consumers,” the CFPB said in a statement Tuesday that cited “widespread mismanagement” of auto loans, mortgages and deposit accounts.
Now that is financial consumer protection.
A reminder from me that financial experts also need to put food on the table – so they make predictions that turn our horribly wrong.
“Wall Street equity analysts were on pace to overestimate the performance of the S&P 500 index in 2022 by nearly 40% as of Tuesday, according to the average bottom-up forecast compiled by FactSet’s senior earnings analyst John Butters. That would mark their biggest miss since 2008 when analysts overshot by 92%.”
That said, patience after a bad stock market year is usually rewarded:
My source: MarketWatch
Winter travel is challenging and bumpy at best. My friend Barry Choi shared the ins and outs travel insurance to smooth out the bumps.
In closing, a busy year. An interesting year. Overall, another year to be very thankful for.
Again, best wishes back to you and your families for a safe, happy and enjoyable holiday season.