Weekend Reading – Happy New Year for income, goals and #money edition

Welcome to my final Weekend Reading edition of 2016 – crazy how fast another year goes isn’t it?

Enjoy these articles I read over the holidays, including a few that mentioned yours truly.

Thanks for the blog support in 2016 friends.  I appreciated every Tweet, Comment, Like, Google+ and email in my inbox.  This site now has over 50,000 pageviews per month – and growing!

See you in 2017 with more great financial insight from experts, personal perspectives, lesson learned, giveaways (including at least one in January) and much more.

Happy New Year!


New Year

Million Dollar Journey shared his financial freedom update for this year.  Very well done.

Our Big Fat Wallet improved his dividend income.

Tom Drake included yours truly in this list of financial success stories for 2016.  Some impressive milestones by others here.

Check out how we finished the year with our financial goals.  

Larry MacDonald wrote about this DIY investor who is putting her investment portfolio on autopilot.

Ben Carlson wrote about the hierarchy of investment difficulty.

Save with SPP (Saskatchewan Pension Plan) listed New Year resolutions from many bloggers, My Own Advisor included.

Michael James on Money is not surprised by procrastination.

Big Cajun Man wrote about his financial grievances.  I’m surprised his list was that short!   For the record, I’m tired of hearing about extreme frugality when it comes to the small things in life (i.e., Latte Factor).  Go and enjoy your nice coffee every few days dammit. A $4 coffee a couple times per week is not killing your retirement plan.

Here are Kevin O’Leary’s favourite dividend stocks according to Sure Dividend.

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.

15 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Happy New Year for income, goals and #money edition"

  1. Nice job on both your blog and on your FI progress for 2016 Mark. We’re fortunate to be enjoying our retirement, and tracking fine with our financial plan.

    I hope you and everyone else here have a year of good health, happiness and prosperity in 2017.

  2. I agree, if you can turn your financial life around by cutting out Latte’s, you aren’t that bad off. It was a short list but yes I could easily keep going (and complain about the Snowflake Generation, and such, but figured I’d stay on topic). Thanks for the inclusion and Happy New Year!!!

  3. A week into the New Year — the scientific New Year (Dec 21), not the arbitrary New Year (Jan 1) — and all is well…really well.
    I’ll have to update my portfolio return as my oil stock gained a nice 25% on this last day of 2016.

    “For the record, I’m tired of hearing about extreme frugality when it comes to the small things in life…” — On the same page. “I wish I wore more raggedy clothes and ate more KD,” said no one ever on their death bed. Being ultra-frugal is a bit absurd, really. It’s the small things in life which make life worth living. Get the big things right and enjoy everything else.

    “Autopilot portfolio” — I commented, somewhat, about this in Michael James’ procrastination post: “…replace behaviour with automation.” If a person lacks a beneficial combination of behaviours required to deliver low-cost consistent market-beating returns, it would be best to automate (almost) the entire portfolio chain — from saving to selection to reallocation.

    “Festivus” — I’ve got a lot of problems with you people, and now you’re going to hear about it!
    – Housing Bubble: when the government is giving away free down-payments to its citizens and tax breaks to foreign “housewives” (aka money laundering shell corporations), it’s hard to fight a bubble…
    – FinTech: I’d rather have H.A.L. figure out what to do with my money rather than having no index funds to buy and being charged $100 per trade. We’ve come a long way, baby.
    – Debt: it’s only good when allocated to true investment — that is, the creation of future capital (i.e. not stocks). Otherwise, all it does is artificially boost the wealth of asset owners.

    Good luck to all those with resolutions!

    1. I’ve never been very good, confession time, at automating all my saving and investing habits. That’s something I’m going to work on more in 2017 – I could do it more. Things we automate:
      -Monthly RRSP contributions
      -Doubled-up mortgage payments
      -Savings to TFSAs
      -Dividend reinvestment plans.

      We could be doing more including more automatic savings to car fund, etc., and I will attempt to get on that in 2017…

      We have absolutely come a LONG way regarding trading/investment costs…a benefit to us all.

      Do you have any debt SST? You strike me as the answer would be a big fat “no”.

      Happy New Year!

      1. “Things we automate:
        -Monthly RRSP contributions
        -Doubled-up mortgage payments
        -Savings to TFSAs
        -Dividend reinvestment plans.

        We could be doing more…”

        That’s probably enough, for your circumstance. You are automating a portion of your income into allocations which cannot be spent, only invested. That’s half the battle right there. Even if you never get around to investing it, you’ll still have the cash, which is better than most.

        “Do you have any debt SST? You strike me as the answer would be a big fat “no”.”

        Out side of a mortgage? Sure do. But I’m under no illusion of how dept operates, thus my entire debt load is exclusively for ‘investment’ purposes. We aggressively paid down half our mortgage principle from day one, but with our current rate (~2%) at ~1/3 of our initial rate, I can’t justify that continued additional allocation of cash. Ditto for unsecured lines of credit (3%). But no credit cards, which truly are the worst form of debt. Basically I operate with somewhat roughly the same ideology as that Freedom35 character.

        Personal debt, investment debt, and sovereign debt are all completely different animals, yet most in the PF blogosphere think all debt operates as ‘personal debt’ and is “bad”. I got over that irrational fear (e.g. think about the cognitive dissonance, of both citizens and government, pertaining to mortgage debt and investment debt; it’s absurd) and haven’t looked back. Yes, there are other maths involved in the debt:return equation, however, they currently still work in my favour.

        As for 2017, I’ll try to finish that guest post for you.

        1. I suppose we could always be doing more…but we’re doing OK.

          I’m surprised about your debt, but as you say, you’re putting that to work I suspect. Are you heavily leveraged for just a bit? I assume it’s within some comfort-zone you have established for yourself.

          Until our mortgage is under $100k, I don’t think we’ll take on any leveraged investing. Our goals are to max out TFSAs again this year, hopefully get very close to maxing out my wife’s RRSP (mine is maxed), continue some non-reg. investing and then simply enjoy the money thereafter. We feel a balance is healthy for us but I’ll have more to share in an upcoming post about our 2017 financial goals soon.

          Yes, write me an email in the coming weeks and we can get started on your guest post 🙂

          1. “I’m surprised about your debt, but as you say, you’re putting that to work I suspect.”
            People (I think especially Canadians) harbour a very bizarre notion about debt. We have no problem assuming hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to buy real estate — provincial governments are now even giving away the down payments! — yet to even contemplate doing the same to buy any other type of asset is considered extremely risky behaviour. This is truly absurd and a classic case of cognitive dissonance (and exceptionally truncated thinking).

            Historically, according to factual data, residential real estate advances in and around the same level as inflation, where as stock gains are double that of real estate. Accelerated mortgage payments to secure a “guaranteed” 2% return (my current mortgage rate) look incredibly feeble compared to, for example, the 242% return I got from my oil stock this year. Regardless of starting date, 25-year stock returns have been positive, thus it only makes sense to take a long-term investment view when utilizing debt, think of it the same way as a 25-year mortgage. I tend to think of debt in corporate terms (“How would Apple Inc. use this available debt?”) rather than personal terms (“OMG! I have a $285,000 mortgage!!!”).

            “Are you heavily leveraged for just a bit? I assume it’s within some comfort-zone you have established for yourself.”
            We are at ~50% debt utilization; stress tested at current interest rates + 2%, which should allow for at least 12 months of deleveraging if the situation demands.

            1. Yes, historically, over long-periods of time, RE moves with inflation. Try to tell that to people living in TO or Vancouver though 🙂

              I have no problem with leveraged investing but I don’t believe it’s a great idea for us until our mortgage is better under control. That means we could pay it off; all debts, or close to it if things got really tough. For now, I believe our combination of maxing out TFSAs, maxing out RRSPs and also killing mortgage debt is a good one.

              Would you generally agree?

  4. I think you’ve had a good 2016 Mark and we wish you & your family continued success in 2017.
    For us we’re contented with the income our portfolio generates and are happiest that our grand daughter has begun her road to building an income stream for her retirement.

    1. It’s been a good year cannew and it’s great to have support and wisdom on the site from folks like yourself.

      From what I recall you’ve started quite the legacy for your granddaughter. Nicely done.

      Best wishes and chat often in 2017.


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