Weekend Reading – Preparing for early retirement, best ETFs, how to dump your advisor and more #moneystuff

Weekend Reading – Preparing for early retirement, best ETFs, how to dump your advisor and more #moneystuff

Hey Everyone,

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.

This week, it’s all about preparing for early retirement, understanding the best ETFs to own, how to dump your advisor and more!

This week, I published this:

How to obtain financial independence on a teacher’s salary.  Now, some folks might say “I don’t feel sorry for teachers…” with all their summer vacation time, workplace benefits, and in Canada for the most part, a fat government pension.  Fair.  On the counter to that however, I would say you don’t live in anyone else’s shoes but your own.  Furthermore, when it comes to workplace pensions for professionals or otherwise, I would also add it’s very easy to assume things in life.  To assume just because an individual has contributed to a workplace pension and should be wealthy from that doesn’t always mean that’s true – although the odds might be in their favour.  I would encourage folks when they read something that might not align with their immediate conclusions to sit back, pause, reflect, and understand there is often much “more to the story” than what can be written in any one blogpost about any financial independence story or otherwise.  

Weekend Reads including my own content:

Cut the Crap Investing highlighted the benefits of investing with Justwealth for RESPs.

Thanks to at least one reader question/email this week, I thought I would share three (3) steps for how to dump your big bank financial advisor and become a DIY investor – if you are just starting out.

I’m preparing for early retirement in the coming years – striving for financial independence.

We continue to believe having this much invested in our personal portfolio at this age (beyond our existing workplace pensions, and of course, NO debt) will be “enough” for us to start working part-time or at least on our own terms. 

Based on the above, there is absolutely no way I want to be in this financial position – ever:  47% of Canadians struggle to pay for the basic necessities of life.  They might need to borrow money for expenses > just $200.  That’s insane if true.   

“A slightly greater proportion (48 per cent) of respondents said they have less than $200 remaining at the end of the month after covering living expenses and debt payments; that was up four percentage points compared to the previous survey in June.”

How much cash should you have in your portfolio?  MoneySense provided some ideas.

I’m eventually going to go with about 5% or so in cash (beyond any small emergency fund) when we stop actively contributing to RRSPs, TFSAs and our non-registered account; when we open up the investing taps to deliver a never-ending income stream in semi-retirement.

Reader question of the week (adapted for site):

Hey Mark,

Can you share how you opened your own discount brokerage account?  Do you have any step-by-step guidance on that?  Thanks very much!

Awesome question.

Here is my primer about opening your discount brokerage account.

Basically, I would do the following in the coming weeks to open your self-directed RRSP, TFSA or other discount brokerage account:

  1. Do some research on all discount brokerages available via that link above.
  2. Consider what self-directed account or accounts you want to open.
  3. Don’t worry about making any investment choices right away, you can open the accounts by depositing cash.
  4. Keep reading and ensure you subscribe to My Own Advisor! Some kidding aside (although not really…) I have a number of articles that discuss what to invest in and why (once you have some cash invested inside your account).  Here are just a few examples:

Here is my ETFs page – dozens on articles on this subject.

That should keep you busy and better still, well informed, and even better still than that – wealthy.

All the best.

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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.

8 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Preparing for early retirement, best ETFs, how to dump your advisor and more #moneystuff"

  1. Re: How much cash to hold, I like his statement “Really, the best you can do is create a portfolio that suits your risk tolerance profile and then stick with it”.
    For us we are 100% Income producing stocks, not counting our cash savings account, and don’t plan to sell or re-balance. If the market stays as is or rises our income keeps coming in and growing. If the market drops, every dividend reinvestment buy more shares and our income grows as well. Can;t foresee a situation when our income does not grow.

    1. I can’t foresee that either based on what I know you invest in….but…never say never! I do believe in some dividend ETFs (and although you don’t my friend which is A-OK of course) I do believe some low-cost ETFs can benefit the majority of investors who don’t want to hold individual stocks like we do.

      Too bad about the market, rising stock prices are not ideal!!!

  2. Thanks Mark, I really like that chart, or is a table? And you’re able to clearly demonstrate the spending plan.

    Hopefully the markets cooperate enough for us 🙂 I noticed that yesterday the markets went crazy to the upside. What did HE tweet now?

    And thanks for the link to the Justwealth RESP post.


    1. I just made it a table and inserted the image. That table is the game plan in a few years. We figure that with some part-time work and no debt – we should be good 🙂

      Ha. I was thinking the same thing re: markets.

      Most welcome and Happy Belated Birthday!!


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