Weekend Reading – Making your money last, zero-fee ETFs, promo codes for investing and more

Weekend Reading – Making your money last, zero-fee ETFs, promo codes for investing and more 

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

Amongst more work of late, I found some time to post these articles on my site:

Want to learn how to Beat The Bank?  Read on here for my book review and giveaway!  Of note, I hope to have the author of Beat The Bank Larry Bates on my site for an interview in the coming weeks.  Any questions you want me to ask Larry?  Share in a comment.

Beat the Bank

I took a departure from writing about stocks, ETFs, real estate and others stuff and wrote about feeling financially trapped of late.  Have you ever felt this way?  If so, what did you do to get out of your rut?

Congrats to Marc who won a copy of this book for my latest giveaway.  Marc, your book is in the mail; thanks for being a fan.

Enjoy your weekend everyone and see you on the site!


Rob Carrick interviewed retirement guru and actuary Fred Vettese recently.  Fred Vettese’s top-5 recommendations to making your money last in retirement?

  1. Reduce your investment fees.
  2. Consider an annuity.
  3. Defer your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) benefits until at least age 65.
  4. Make adjustments to spending habits over time.
  5. Consider the “nuclear” option of using a reverse mortgage, if you have to later in life.

I’m a fan of 1, 3 and 4.  Not so much of 2 and 5.

You can review my take on one of Fred’s quality books on retirement here.

Million Dollar Journey announced his latest quarterly dividend income update.  Always impressive – I mean seriously, almost $44,000 per year earned from your portfolio before age 40?  Very well done Frugal Trader.

Ben Carlson discussed the psychology of playing the lottery.  Why?  Behaviours are tremendously difficult to change.  “Many people in the financial world spend their time pushing square pegs into a round hole by trying to change ingrained human nature. Typically, these efforts fall flat because they don’t take into account how difficult it is to change behavior.”  (Footnote:  I see this in my workplace week after week after week.)

Considering weed stocks for your TFSA?  This investor did and now he has about $130,000 to show for his efforts.

Fidelity has new zero-fee ETFs now.  However…Fidelity still has a LONG ways to go to catch Vanguard when it comes to assets under management for certain ETFs.  Vanguard’s Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) recently became one of only three ETFs to reach the $100-billion asset mark, joining iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) and State Street Global Advisors’ S&P 500 SPDR (SPY). The Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO) has $90 billion in assets.  I believe any of these low-cost U.S. funds are excellent way to follow the performance of the U.S. market.  I also think there are great low-cost U.S. dividend ETFs to consider for income and growth as well.

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.

10 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Making your money last, zero-fee ETFs, promo codes for investing and more"

  1. re: “weed” stocks
    “I prefer stock picking…because I can invest in things I understand…”
    So cringe worthy. When I hear people say this, it’s a sure sign they have very little understanding.
    “I really enjoy watching [stocks] go up and having them handy to look at whenever I want really adds to my day.”
    Yes, take stock picking tips from this guy. Please.

    It’s Capitalism, however, so job well done to the pot smoking rig pig.

    re: the psychology of playing the lottery
    “…wealthy people wouldn’t experience the relative change as much as a poor person if they won the lottery.”
    True, but the lotto corps. also market almost exclusively to the poor demographics thus further exploiting the ingrained/innate behaviours. Tacking on meaningless slogans such as “Drink Responsibly” or “Play Within Your Means” does nothing to inhibit negative habits and/or cultivate positive habits.

    Again, it’s Capitalism, money rules so get the money from where ever you can.

    re: Consider the “nuclear” option of using a reverse mortgage, if you have to later in life.
    Definitely. Why not? You certainly can’t take it with you and leaving an inheritance is only a weird moral issue (is that why the negative “nuclear” connotation?). I plan to shuffle off so deep in debt it’ll make bankers everywhere proud. If you’re gonna live like a Capitalist, might as well die like one, too! 🙂

      1. Probably not, I’d just sell instead.

        But if you’ve only got 5-10 years to live, statistically, then why not consider “nuclear” tactic? The money rules when you’re 80 should be very different than the money rules when you’re 40-50-60.

        Who knows, I might even take out life insurance on my parents!

  2. RBull (59, retired, married, rural coastal NS) · Edit

    Yes, MDJ is doing very well indeed.

    Fred Vettese is retiring end of this month at age 65. Rob C. had another article where he interviewed him Sept 27.

    I think the FP DSC article you linked was a pretty old one.

    Weed stocks. No. When/if they come back to earth and aren’t nearly so “high”, maybe.

    Interesting article from Ben Carlson. That’s a pretty good sounding concept for some folks.

    1. Ya, I linked to the old article since Ken Kivenko was emailing this week about DSC and I found that older article. I forgot it was SO old though…from 2013 but surprisingly still very relevant.

      In the coming months, we’re focused on staying the course with our RRSPs (keep monthly contributions going; raising/saving that cash portion); thinking about future stock market purchases (likely VXC or XAW or VYM) inside that account. We’ll also save the required but max. contribution room for the 2019 TFSA contribution. Need ~ $11k ready to invest by December 2018. Otherwise, it’s all about debt paydowns and killing debt by age 50. Having a paid off condo will open up a world of opportunities for us. T-minus ~ 5 years if we work at it. That gives me some motivation to stay the course and work through things.

      I appreciate your email. Will get to it but need to go to the Panda game today to cheer on my alma mater (Ottawa U.).

      1. RBull (59, retired, married, rural coastal NS) · Edit

        All good things- saving, investing, debt killing.

        Need 11K for then too. Maybe we’ll even see 12K this “election” coming year.

        Have fun at the game. Take your time replying. I’m not going anywhere.

        Cold still hanging but easing. Got in a good 12.5k run earlier this am. Earned my beer tonight!

        1. re: Got in a good 12.5k run earlier this am.
          As a runner, you’ll be chuffed to know that ex-runner turned pro cyclist Michael Woods just landed 3rd place in possibly the hardest ever World Championships in Austria. It’s kinda like if Italy took bronze in hockey at the Olympics. Not very money related but it’ll definitely give him a salary boost for his next contract.

          1. RBull (59, retired, married, rural coastal NS) · Edit

            Though I know little to nothing of cycling I always appreciate athletic feats.

            Sounds like quite an accomplishment.

          2. It definitely is. And to make the story even more money related, Mr. Woods used to work as a bank teller.
            Middle-distance record-setting runner –> bank teller –> world class cyclist. One of these things does not belong. 😛


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