Weekend Reading – Real estate advice, Aristocrats on the rise, Spendapalooza and more!

Weekend Reading – Real estate advice, Aristocrats on the rise, Spendapalooza and more!

Hey Everyone!

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

A reminder, in case you missed last week’s edition – here it is – about finding undervalued stocks, Air Miles alternatives, how to build an income portfolio, how to buy Cryptocurrency in Canada, retirement at 60 (without saving a dime before age 45!) and more!

The weather outside in Ottawa should be good, albeit maybe some rain on Sunday. Heck, fine. Even without golf, the weather should be nice enough to hit the bike paths this weekend for a nice long ride. On the fitness note, doing much better with spring now here. Walking some 7,500+ steps per day and biking about 20 km on average every weekend. Add in some strength training over time with push-ups, crunches, some free weights at home and more – and I should be even more fit. 

If COVID-19 has taught me/reminded me about anything at all…health is always the best possible wealth. 

Have a great weekend and enjoy these articles. A reminder to hit me up with a comment about the site, my articles or a shoutout on social media @myownadvisor regarding Weekend Reading or any other content anytime!


Weekend Reading

Earlier this week, I posted these articles:

Why some U.S. stocks such as Dividend Kings remain great long-term buys.

A passionate reader commented to me: “some people work too long and save too much” (for retirement). Certainly, saving too much for retirement can be a mistake. 

Lots of great comments on that latter post. I hope you add your take in my comments section…

Enjoy these other articles!

Smart advice from Our Life Financial when it comes to out-of-country real estate purchases.

“Please always seek the help of an accountant and lawyer to determine your best course of action depending on your situation prior to purchasing a property out-of-country.”

MoneySense helped some property owners out this week when posting: how financially viable is your rental property? Some good tips.

Jon Chevreau remarked the last federal budget in about 2 years is more like Spendapalooza.

Tom Drake from Maple Money shared the differences between open and closed mortgages.

For the most part, I believe a closed mortgage (i.e., one that you cannot pay off anytime without incurring a penalty) is best because you are taking advantage of the low borrowing costs as you pay off your mortgage. I know for us, we have a closed, fixed rate mortgage now under 1.7%. We’ve synced up that final term with when we will be debt-free (in about 3 years, 4 months from now – not that I am counting). So, a closed mortgage made sense to us. Your mileage may vary!

Then again, make sure you consider the opportunity costs with any mortgage instead of investing…

Here is my definitive answer between the mortgage vs. investing debate.


Barry Choi is reading my mind – I often search for how much does it cost to go the Maldives. The short answer, depending on where you want to stay, it could be a lot but follow his advice for better deals.

New Orleans Saints safety and two-time Super Bowl champion Malcolm Jenkins says despite making more than $70 million in salary and bonuses throughout his 12-year NFL career, he’s pretty thrifty.

Nice to hear Bob Lai (Blogger over at Tawcan) on the informative Personal Finance Show with Beau Humphreys recently.

I enjoyed the EFIC podcast with CFLer Courtney Stephen of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.  Although I’m a REDBLACKS fan Courtney….sorry man….it was great to listen to your money management mindset, investing and wealth-building tips. Hit me up when you’re in Ottawa for a beer…

Great, smart, actionable stuff from a pro who knows in terms of the 1% perspective:

  1. Consistent Ambition to keep you moving.
  2. A Game Plan to point you in the right direction.
  3. Daily Practice to build your confidence and prepare you for your moment.
  4. Patience to stay committed while you wait on your moment.

Dividend Hawk was pleased to see another JNJ dividend increase.

Dale Roberts also likes juicy dividends for his retirement portfolio – Dividend Aristocrats are fighting back!


Financial Independence – Retirement

As part of my ongoing commitment to share some financial independence, early retirement or retirement articles from the blogosphere, here are some links!

I’ve listed a few FREE retirement calculators on my Helpful Sites page for some time now, but this post below takes it one step further:

Check out Cashflows & Portfolios where we listed some of these calculators and more – and covered what we like and don’t like about them!

As always, ensure you check out my dedicated Retirement page where I have case studies about “how much is enough”, how other successful retirees are managing their portfolios and much more. They’ve been inspirational to me and shape where I want to be…

I’ve also continue to update that Helpful Sites page over time to go beyond FREE FIRE-like, early retirement calculators with much more. There are also services you can consider….for your retirement needs and wants!

Reader question of the week (adapted only slightly for the site)

Last week, I answered a reader question about a REIT stock. Check out my detailed reply but the short answer is: maybe you shouldn’t speculate with more than 5% of your portfolio in anything.

This week, a new question…

Thanks very much, it means a lot that you reply personally. I enjoy what you do Mark.

As a topic idea, I invest a lot through Sun Life self-guided RRSP with an employer match up to 5%. We have a selection of mutual funds in that portfolio but none that have a significant dividend component. About half of the choices are those Target funds for 2030, 2035, etc.

I occasionally rebalance between funds and since December I’m 40% in cash on frothy market values (I missed the recent run up but ready to dive back in on a dip).

With dividend principles in mind and more than 10 years until retirement from this employer, what’s a guy to do? The 5% match is a no brainer, so I will stay contributing for sure.

I guess my question is: should dividend investing style be important in this case or should I focus on growth (or at least preserving/accumulating wealth?)


Great question!

To be honest, if your plan ain’t broke don’t go fixing it. 

I can appreciate you might have missed any dip which is why, and it’s hard to do I know, you need to stay invested as much as possible for as long as possible. Getting in (or out) of the market is simply guesswork.

I’ll be the first one to stay that I love dividends (and distributions) from my stocks and ETFs – I hope to live off them in the coming years as my portfolio continues to churn out cash! That said, total return matters and trumps all. The easiest way to achieve total market equity returns is to invest in low-cost, diversified, plain-vanilla equity ETFs.

I’ve got some of my personal favourites on this site including some great all-in-one funds:


Here are some of the best all-in-one funds to own = no-rebalancing required. 

I would say on the surface, keep getting your match at work (that’s VERY good) and try and invest in a total return approach or near total return approach (i.e., keep mostly equities over bonds) that has you invested in a risk tolerance profile that avoids selling or too much re-balancing. Your future self will thank you. You can always dabble in individual stocks later on if you want closer to retirement once your financial foundation is set.

Read on about avoiding too much speculation with your portfolio here. 

Thanks for your readership! 


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.

11 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Real estate advice, Aristocrats on the rise, Spendapalooza and more!"

  1. Hey Mark

    I am very interested in the draw down calculators, but I couldn’t locate them??
    Can you point me in the right direction?

  2. Thanks Mark for including my post on the US Dividend Aristocrats. It’s not well known that while the U.S. markets tanked terribly in the dot-com crash of the early 2000s, the Aristocrats largely sailed through. It was pockets of over valuation that took down the entire market, and the total market funds. That led to the lost decade for U.S. stocks – no real returns for a decade. Yikes.

    We may be in that situation today with over valued U.S. markets. It is largely in big tech and a few other names. Readers/investors might consider the Aristocrats once again. We are in similar over valuation metrics today compared to the dot-com crash era.

    Who wants another lost decade? Ha. I’m happy to have 9 Aristocrats in our mix.

    Dale @ Cut The Crap Investing

    1. Indeed. I recall those days and I was in mutual funds at the time, early 2000s. This got my brain churning about what to own and what could be more resilient. So, funny enough, it’s when I gravitated to dividend paying stocks and read, and read, and read about them. Fast forward just a few years into late 2007-2008-2009, another crash, I started investing in such stocks like JNJ, PG, and a few others.

      Here we are now and while I continue to own JNJ and PG, I own that QQQ fund for the tech funds that dominate the U.S. market. You may see history repeat!

      To hedge against another lost U.S. decade I’m owning U.S. utility, telco stocks, and then JNJ and PG. I figure those are largely recession-proof.

      Have a great weekend,

  3. Liked reading your statement on health and on your physical activity. Building that up now and as a habit will serve you extremely well and enhance your FIWOOT.

    Spendalooza indeed.

    Great line up this week. Have some more reading to do but now that my run is over and am refueled its outside to enjoy the weather.

    1. Yes, just back from my 15km + bike ride and put in 12,000 steps today. A few push-ups later and a good day! Will make my guilt-free beer(s) taste great!

      1. Awesome. Good job.

        Got in 22k run today. 68.3k for the week. Day off running but strength training tomorrow. 3x /wk – 6 hrs. 190 push-ups -hard ones, 36 pull-ups , 36 chin ups, 80 full body dips, plus lots of leg routine, extensive core workout later on.
        Feeling good.
        Was going to do a bonfire on shore tonight but tide still too high!


  4. Great articles as always, Mark. Regarding the questions on wills, there are a couple of will-kits that are popular, like Willful and LegalWills. Which in your opinion is better? Or is it better to see a lawyer specializing in wills & estates to get the best advice? I understand it costs more to get your customized will from the lawyer and if one has complex situations, the lawyer can provide customized advice. In general where there are no complexities involved, would the simple will-kit suffice? Thank Mark for your great advice as usual.

    1. Hey Ken,

      My BIL used LegalWills and said it was a good process overall.

      I haven’t done a comparison myself but I can say based on my emails and interactions with LegalWills they seem very customer focused.

      We used a lawyer in the past but need to update our Wills this year I think given some things have changed a bit with our assets (in a good way) so best to seek lawyer advice for complex situations, re: the lawyer can provide customized advice but you can still draw up the legal will via LegalWills, Willful, etc.

      Hope that helps? I can always reach out directly to LegalWills – they are on my speed dial and I’ll be working on a new post with them hopefully this spring 🙂 A good one coming!

      Stay well, thanks for kind words and readership!


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