Weekend Reading – New ventures, FIRE is not about retirement, dividend growth stocks and more!
Welcome to my latest (and first!) Weekend Reading edition of the new year – where I share some of my favourite articles from the week that was across the personal finance and investing blogosphere.
Again, I hope 2021 is good to you and your family!
Earlier this week on the blog in case you missed it:
I have a fine interview with Mark Noble, Executive Vice President, ETF Strategy at Horizons ETFs about the Horizons ETF line-up including their all-one-funds and beyond. We touched on the tax-efficiency of their ETF funds, why Mark feels investors should consider larger equity weightings in their portfolios, the classic case of overcoming home bias, how Mark invests his own money, and more.
I also had the pleasure of talking to LegalWills.ca about making a legal Will in Canada. A grim topic to an extent but an essential one as part of your overall financial plan.
Enjoy the weekend reads below and some news about a new venture too!
One of my favourite sites, reminded investors about the various fees you pay (or may not realize you pay). I understand my money management fees every year – do you?
I enjoyed this year in review from Ben Carlson. Good perspective on returns of course:
“It’s worth remembering what your personal goals and circumstances are when you hear so many people bragging about how much money they made or how huge their returns have been.
As long as you stayed true to your investment plan and continued making progress towards your personal and financial goals, that’s a win in my book.”
Speaking of staying true – incredible work by Mr. Tako Escapes:
“How much did we spend? In 2020, the Tako family spent $41,891. This works out to an average monthly spend of $3,490. With passive-income (mainly from dividends) of $60,737, our spending was comfortably less than our passive income! That’s an excess of $18,846.”
I have a long ways to go to catch-up to Mr. Tako but I’m working on it in this update here:
I guess the power lessons from Mr. Tako for you and I:
- Save your money – invest it wisely
- Keep expenses modest
- Rinse and repeat so that eventually, your money invested exceeds your expenses.
Pretty good wealth building formula.
Matthew is getting there himself. To Mark Noble’s advice from the Horizons ETF post – he bought more of low-cost ex-Canada ETF XAW to diversify beyond Canadian borders.
Big fan of Rob Carrick when these articles come out. For non-Globe & Mail readers (image from Globe below), here are the Canadian dividend growth companies, as calculated by Mr. Dividend Growth himself Tom Connolly, that increased by more than an average 7.2 per cent annually from 2010 through November, 2020.
I own 10 of these stocks above at this time.
Money Saved is Money Earned wondered if any FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) bloggers really retire. Of course not, well, most don’t in my book. They just do different kinds of “work”. They influence, they blog, they write books, they do podcasts, they do all kinds of things to make some money but they don’t retire.
I’ve never really liked the inflated marketing around FIRE, especially the “RE” part. I’ve coined my own journey: #FIWOOT
There is of course nothing wrong with any of these things (books, blogs, podcasts and more) but you’re not “retired” if you work for money and earn an income from it. Debate on.
I hope to always work to some degree and if I can earn some money – great – since I want to keep my mind and body active. I also enjoy having a purpose or purposes in life. I’m just wired that way.
A new venture is coming soon from yours truly…
Do you know where your money is going? Do you understand your cashflow?
Are you aware of the best ways to invest for long-term returns? Do you want to learn step-by-step how to build a responsible portfolio?
Looking for some options to draw down that portfolio in a smart, tax-efficient way?
I’m very proud to be launching a new venture soon with my friend about exactly this stuff.
We’ll formally launch the site next week (update – now live!!) and although we’re in the very early days of site design and maintenance, we promise over time this just might be the best “how-to” site in Canada – how to go from zero to hero when it comes to managing your expenses, investing for the long-run wisely, and then ultimately planning for a smart, tax-efficient, and successful retirement – at any age no less.
I look forward to sharing more details over time including with a dedicated post about what we plan to build, maintain and why!
(Don’t worry, My Own Advisor is not going anywhere and I’m not selling out this site! I enjoy it too much….)
Reader question of the week (adapted just slightly for the site):
I enjoy reading your insights.
I do have a question about portfolio manager software. I have a brokerage but some minor irritations on data pertaining to day-over-day changes. As such, and if I recall correctly, you mentioned both Wealthica and another software tool.
I have tried to research a bit about Wealthica, and, it seems to be legit and safe to use. As an older retiree, in addition to my company and government pensions, I am realizing just over $600/month in dividend income from my investments. To ease my conservative nature, I would appreciate any advice you could bestow about your experiences on such software use – should I consider it? Is it safe to use?
Great question. I wish I knew the definitive cybersecurity answer for you!
Wealthica (no affiliation) was created a few years back out of Montreal and last time I checked it helped investors track billions of their money easily, online. (Mint does something similar.) Wealthica is also free to use.
Wealthica will aggregate and consolidate investment brokerage information and more. I haven’t used the service myself and don’t intend to – since I manage my own financial affairs largely without any online software like this – although that may or may not change over time.
The main reason I don’t use Wealthica or Mint or another tool like this is to this point is, despite their cybersecurity protocols in place (that I can’t speak to) I feel there is already plenty of risk incurred with any financial information in a brokerage, or bank, or CRA, or other today. I don’t need to complicate my cybersecurity financial life. I don’t need to link various online accounts and aggregate it online for others to manage. I’d rather keep a personal spreadsheet or other tools at my disposal to itemize my assets and liabilities and manage it from there. Other folks may or may not feel the same.
Unfortunately my answer is: I don’t know. I know some users of Wealthica and Mint or other solutions as well but the minimal amount of online solutions that I need to store my financial information, by others, the better.
I hope that provides some insights and this is certainly not a knock to the solution providers – just how I feel right now.
I appreciate all reader questions and keep them coming!