Weekend Reading – How much is your time worth?

Weekend Reading – How much is your time worth?

Well hello!

Welcome to another Weekend Reading post, questioning: how much is your time worth?

Here are some of my recent articles before we dive into that subject:

Recently, I shared what some folks in the FIRE community seem to get wrong, including a continued obsession with the 4% rule.

I talked about quiet quitting and why it might be morally flawed.

I also updated you about our goals and progress to our goals – as part of this September 2022 update.

2022 Financial Goals – September Update

Weekend Reading – How much is your time worth?

I would hope, a lot.

But I wonder if we really think and behave accordingly?

Upon the passing of Queen Elizabeth II recently – I was thinking about this subject: the value of time. The cherrished commodity of time that we all have but it’s not equal. Far from it.

If you’re a lawyer, doing more profitable work than a carpet cleaner in the office, your time might be considered by some more valuable (than the carpet cleaner). That’s because people who spend their time doing more profitable work, making a higher wage, have higher opportunity costs. If only it was that simple.

There are people who spend their time volunteering – with no financial compensation at all – but benefit greatly from that time shared with others. 

There are others who spend their time working on specific relationships – grandparents looking after some children – who expect no compensation in return, who also benefit greatly from that experience.

You and I make plans with friends. We spend time investing in our relationships beyond family. There is no financial or other kickbacks for that whatsoever. 

So, whether you want more income, an improved, personal sense of community, better friendships or other – you need to make investments: in time.

This makes time, a valuable commodity.

I previously wrote about more time being a goal worth chasing – for us. The context is I’m searching for a better balance of day-time work and personal time in the coming years. Foregoing full-time work was definitely not an option when I/we had a lot of debt, but it’s certainly going to be an option in the future when we have none.

James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, has a comprehensive post about the Value of Time worth reading. 

Here are some examples from his article worth reflecting on:

  • Should you buy the nonstop flight and save two hours or get the flight with a stopover and save $90?
  • Should you pay your neighborhood teenager $20 to mow your lawn so you have an extra hour free on the weekend?
  • Should you spend this week working with a client that will pay you $2,000 right away or working on a business idea that could generate $20,000 over the next year?”

Everyone has a price on their time. Whether that’s driving around or running around to a particular grocery store to save $2, time to clip coupons, time spent away from work, or other.

I think it’s really important to calculate and manage yours wisely. 

A good reminder when it comes to what you value, including your time: any art of comparison can be the thief of joy.

More Weekend Reading…

Just having time, for the sake of having time, won’t keep you happy. Don’t take my word for it. 

This social psychologist and behavioral science professor at UCLA, wanted to know: will having more hours of free time actually make us more satisfied in life? 

Check out this article for the answer.

Here are three good ways to better enjoy your time, be “time affluent”:

  1. Get moving – exercise and mobility is huge for many of us.
  2. Practice acts of kindness
  3. Experience awe – through social, nature or other interactions. 

More gems from Charlie Munger of late I caught online:

  • On government and economic stimulus: “If you try and print too much money, it eventually causes terrible trouble.”
  • On consumerism: “The world is not driven by greed, it’s driven by envy.”
  • On advice for investors, to combat inflation, other than owning/nvesting in quality equities: “You don’t need all this damn diversification… 4 assets is enough.”
  • On today’s market to navigate:

“To everyone who finds the current investment market hard and difficult and somewhat confusing…welcome to adult life.”

Visual Capitalist highlighted where big tech gets their revenue and profits from. Here is an example:

Weekend Reading - Alphabet - Visual Capitalist

Amazing stuff. Source: Visual Capitalist.

A Wealth of Common Sense encouraged us to live like nothing matters. Some truth to that, for sure. Life is short, time is precious for all of us. Best use our time and our resources, wisely. From the post:

“But there is something freeing about doing your best, being yourself and letting the chips fall where they may.”

Got a birthday coming up? Consider getting some free birthday stuff while you are at it with thanks to GenY Money. 

Tiny Thought

When you see someone doing something that doesn’t make sense to you, ask yourself what the world would have to look like to you for those actions to make sense.

(Share this Tiny Thought on Twitter)

The problem with living off dividends is….

Dale Roberts – Living Off Of The Dividends In Retirement Why Sell Yourself Short PDF

I would agree given my approach to “living off dividends” is more mindset than ever growing income that I won’t spend. I wrote about that here. Of course I will eat my capital eventually and enjoy doing it!!

Otherwise, to Dale’s points, I would be leaving money on the table and committing to other downfalls:

  1. Focusing on just dividends or dividend yield may push an investor to tilt towards higher-yielding dividend paying stocks – therefore, missing out on lower-yielding stocks that offer higher dividend growth rates (examples: CNR, CP, WCN, WMT:US, or other stocks – and by the way, I/we own those for full disclosure and have done so for years.)
  2. Focusing just on dividends ignores other stocks or even ETFs that are likely to offer glorious long-term returns – therefore, the ability to sell shares or ETF units over time to enjoy the money I’ve worked so hard for. 

Why my goal to live off dividends remains alive and well

Remember, even with the 4% rule, as much as you don’t need to follow this rule in retirement whatsoever (and you shouldn’t), by following this rule you might end up with up to 3x (not a typo), up to three times your portfolio value over a 30-year period depending on future returns if you just stick to the 4% rule. 

Awsome work by Michael Kitces below:

4% rule Kitces

Something to consider….as bad as 2022 has been for some!

Have a great weekend!


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.

23 Responses to "Weekend Reading – How much is your time worth?"

  1. Do you have to be a paid subscriber to read the full “living off of dividends” article?

    Mark or anyone out there in the community, if you have money to invest now (either CAD or USD) which stocks would you invest in (new or add to)? I’m curious, not recommendations of course.

  2. Personal opinion is that total returns, growth plus dividends, matter more when you are building your portfolio in your younger years. I hold several equities that have grown very well over the past few decades both in value and pay outs. However now I am more interested in the payout. The candle is shorter now than when i was fifty. So the monies from my RIF/LIF are going towards life expenses as well as the TFSA and hopefully growing a non-registered portfolio. Sooner or preferably later the RIF/LIF will not be able to keep up with the mandatory withdrawals so you get faced with the law of diminishing returns. Hopefully by that time the TFSA and non-registered funds will be able to step in it there are any shortfalls.
    If the money you receive through various pensions as well as your own investing skills bring a smile to your face, or someone else’s face, then you are a long way on the path to enjoying life. We can’t do it all no matter how much money we have so enjoy what you have and the family and friends around you


    1. I would agree: money is a tool.
      “We can’t do it all no matter how much money we have so enjoy what you have and the family and friends around you…”
      Life is short.

      1. The longer you live, the more likely you are to live longer.
        That doesn’t add any more wax to your candle though.
        So enjoy it for the pleasures it can bring to you and those you love.


        1. That is why I believe long term dividend paying companies have more staying power. They have to be more disciplined to continue to satisfy their investors. Nortel, Blackberry, were tech stocks. You can do well, or not so well. I had Nortel in a small amount at one time, but it was not a core holding. We made a little money on it.

          1. Makes sense to me since many established companies, that pay a dividend, let alone a growing dividend – know there are some shareholders that prefer this optionality – it’s part of any Board shareholder value proposition.

  3. Deane Hennigar (RBull) · Edit

    Great post Mark. Nice comments Gruff403.

    Being retired has caused me to reflect even more on life and time etc. That’s good. People that can think this way earlier in their to set priorities and create their ideal scenarios are golden. Good luck to all.

      1. deane hennigar (rbull) · Edit

        I missed the word lives in there, and couldn’t edit.

        Thanks Mark. Yes all is good here. Looks like we are going to finally have rain this week. Forgot what it is like. Maybe my grass will come back to life. Fortunately my well has held out so far.

  4. Great post by Dale Roberts. This has been my dilemma for the past couple of years. I own lower yield stocks like ATD, CNR, IFC, BAMA, and the US High Quality ETF (ZUQ) at a yield of 1%(50% of my Portfolio). I’m 57 and I will retire at 65-66. As much as a fully dividend investing portfolio at a 4-4.5% yield sounds like a great idea, I personally like the idea of total return (capital gains plus dividend growth). I don’t want to sell these amazing holdings as I think that in 30 years, I will be incredibly please with the results. I feel that if I let these stocks rise, sell a few shares each year, and hold at least 2 years of cash in retirement to ride out bear markets like we’re experiencing now, I think in the long run, I will be happier with the results than an exclusive dividend portfolio. I would be interested in your opinion about this Mark, Thanks.

    1. DCBass, I think a blend of lower-yielding and higher-growth stocks is great – coupled with modest yielding stocks.

      I think your selections like ATD, CNR and Brookfield are great examples – buy and hold, somewhat recession-proof stuff too.

      I also love the idea of total return = some capital gains + dividends and some dividend growth.

      I think your overall plan is a good one. I mean, I intend to “live off dividends” for a bit, in the early retirement years just in case the market goes totally sideways for a decade and then I will absolutely sell shares over time to drawdown the portfolio.

      I would personally avoid a 100% dividend portfolio but that’s just me. I know other investors who invest this way and it meets their needs. All depends 🙂


  5. “If I could save time in a bottle” – sorry couldn’t resist.
    Health, time, people, money isn’t a bad order for your priorities. There are many that are gone that I wish I had more time with.

    Great reminder Mark.

    1. Time goes so quickly, right Gruff? I’m learning to enjoy things a bit more now as I get older. Not worry about money as much. Yes, save a bit but no point in having wealth and never enjoying some of it. Makes no sense to me. 🙂

      All my best,


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