Weekend Reading – Pricey mutual funds, $1 million TFSAs, Tesla and more

Welcome to some Weekend Reading friends.  I was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida recently for a few days enjoying some sun, sand, golf and downtime – so I missed a Weekend Reading update last Friday.  Thanks to my friends for making it another fun trip.

What are your upcoming travel plans?  Got any destinations in mind?

Over at Canadian Budget Binder, I provided a post about how to ditch your pricey mutual funds.  Earlier in the week, Grant, a reader of this site, shared his rationale for index investing and why this approach works for the majority of investors – and why it can work for you as well.  Also this week, I shared some tips to spend your tax refund wisely.

On a more somber note, our cat’s health continues to fail and I believe my wife and I will have to make a decision about her fate rather soon.  Some days have been better than others in recent weeks but we know her liver and other organs are failing.  We want to do what is best for her.  We don’t want to see her struggle or labour around the house, only to make ourselves feel better that she’s still with us.  The house will feel very empty without her but we’ll do what is right.  Times like these are tough.  It’s very sad to know the end is near for her.  We love our cat and we’re going to miss her dearly.

Thanks for reading.

Aeroplan members can now pay for taxes, fees and surcharges with their miles.  Of course it will cost you more miles to do so.

Rob Carrick shared some tips, how to build a $1 million TFSA.

Roadmap2Retire explained why he choose dividend investing as his strategy.

Young & Thrifty provided a net worth update.

Mr. Money Mustache took a Tesla road trip.

Here are some bargain stocks according to Sure Dividend.

Holy Potato is not convinced the “hot potato” passive investing approach is right for him.

DGI provided a list of U.S. Dividend Aristocrats for 2016.

Michael James on Money pays cash for cars.

Tawcan made some recent buys and sells.

Big Cajun Man said self-driving cars will change things.

Million Dollar Journey shared some income splitting options.  The TFSA is a great one every working couple can take advantage of.

Here’s where many high net worth investors are putting their money – holding more cash and trimming back on real estate.

24 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Pricey mutual funds, $1 million TFSAs, Tesla and more"

  1. Missed you last Friday, Mark.
    Sorry about your cat, but you will be surprised how peaceful it all is when the time comes. Remember the good times and be thankful that if she is suffering you can relieve that, unlike with our human loved ones.

    I am on my next destination: just left the incredibly beautiful city of Zacatecas (possibly the art centre of Mexico) and am now in San Luis Potosi. It’s party central here, like many spots in Mexico. Budget friendly travel, this modern hotel with floor to ceiling windows and spacious room is $52 a night.

    1. Thanks Barbara. She is gone now.

      We had a horrible day yesterday but things will get better – and yes – we focus on the good times. We are thankful we had her in our life and are richer for it.

      Congrats on the trip. Sounds like fun. Enjoy!

  2. re: Rob Carrick — glad to see the ‘$1 Million’ mantra is still alive and well. Also not surprising to see people still preferring fairy tale over fact. With ~1% of the Canadian population holding $1,000,000+ in investable assets, and with the growth of millionaires being slower than natural population growth (i.e. there will NEVER be a substantial population of millionaires in Canada), this all but fictional rarified air will be unattained by 99% of us — including a lot of high income earners.

    re: HNWI — I’ve been following Tiger21 for almost a decade now — love them! (They were one of the impetuses behind me becoming a Private Equity adviser.) But a caveat: if you don’t already have a million dollars you shouldn’t really try to emulate this group’s asset allocations. The members in Tiger21 are mostly ex-business owners who have spent their lives running their business and know less about investing, thus they join the club. The allocations reflect their biases, they invest mostly in the familiar — real estate and private equity (the two allocations out of which most millionaires are born). The rich should focus on wealth preservation, the non-wealthy should focus on wealth generation.

    Sorry to hear about your fur baby. An unpleasant reality check to what really matters in life. We have a dog, but fortunately we got the only dog who’s going to live forever! (Don’t you DARE say otherwise! 😉 )

    1. I would agree. $1M in invested assets will be largely unattainable for most, due to lack of income, poor investing habits and poor savings rates – and more. I am happy and feel proud we are 1/2-there.

      I find the Tiger21 camp very interesting. Interesting they keep that much powder dry. I’m learning this lesson but it’s taken me some time to hold cash patiently. Agreed – not surprising Tiger21 keep their assets where they made their wealth: real estate and private equity.

      Our cat is gone now and our weekend is going to be lonely and horrible, but things will get better over time.

      1. “I would agree. $1M in invested assets will be largely unattainable for most, due to lack of income, poor investing habits and poor savings rates – and more.”

        Runs parallel to using an external benchmark to guide your portfolio. If you believe, or are led to believe, that you need $1 million to retire upon, then the variables of your financial equation will be warped to fit that answer…an answer that will, in almost all probabilities, never be attained. Thus, you end up taking wrong actions — utilizing a certain strategy or chasing yield or saving too much or whatever the case may be.

  3. Loss of a loving pet is almost as bad as losing a child. With pets one know their approximate life span, but it’s still a difficult time when it happens. We’ve often said No More, but have always found another and soon it fills our hearts with love.

    Agree with Roadmap!

  4. Sorry about your cat Mark. They give so much and ask for so little, it’s such a hard decision. I’m glad you got away for a little R& R — helps keep the batteries topped up. Have a great weekend! (:

    1. Absolutely Gary. She was very protective of us and caring to us. I know she felt the same way about us and as we did about her….this is what makes this so hard. Thanks for your words.

  5. Sorry to hear about your cat Mark. It’s such a tough decision but the best. When we put our dog to sleep almost 2 years ago it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I had him from a baby and brought him to Canada with me when I moved here. He loved Canada, the squirrels and the snow. I’ll never forget him, he’s always going to be a part of our family. I haven’t talked about it yet because it’s still fresh in mind but I know he’s in a happy place now. Thanks again for the superb guest post. Very informative. Cheers mate.

  6. Thanks for the mention Mark. I didn’t realize that using Aeroplan points for taxes and fees will result in less value for your points, good thing to keep in mind. I’d love to drive a Tesla one of these days and see what the buzz is all about.


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