Weekend Reading – The Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Edition!

Weekend Reading – The Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Edition!

Wow…almost another year in the books.

Where on earth does the time go?

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

In a year like no other, it’s hard not to take some additional time this holiday season to reflect.

Certainly, I’ve had a great year running the blog and I want to thank you for that.

The start of 2021 will be my 11th full year running this site. Incredible. The best part is, I still enjoy it!

At the time of this post, some by the numbers stuff for fun….

  • 810,101 – the number of pageviews on this site in just 2020.
  • 29,712 – the number of approved comments on all posts across the site.
  • 1,390 – the number of total blogposts published since the site was launched many years ago.

What can I say? I’ve been busy.

via GIPHY

But, so have you on the site. Thanks for your comments, engagement and sharing this site with others.

Thank you!

While I will probably get to a few blogposts between now and 2021, the most important milestone message I want to give is this:  a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you!

Christmas

Enjoy these articles below that I found interesting over the last week or so; I’ll be around in the coming days to post new material or whatever else comes to mind.

Best wishes everyone, stay well.

Mark

Holiday Reads

Great quote I found thanks to one of my favourite sites, FS Blog, a quote from investing guru and great Charlie Munger:

I just try and avoid being stupid. I have a way of handling a lot of problems. I put them on what I call my too-hard pile. Then I just leave them there. I’m not trying to succeed in my too-hard pile.” – Charlie Munger, 96-year-old billionaire investor, former real estate attorney, former architectural designer, and current philanthropist as vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.

I think there are at least a few life lessons in just that quote…

Need help with TFSA investing in 2021?

With new TFSA contribution room opening up in January, now is a great time to start getting your investing house in order to contribute to this gem of an account.

Here are some articles from my site (and others) that should help you make some great decisions:

I think you should strive to max out your TFSA first, every year because…

How to diversify my TFSA using ETFs

Should you transfer stocks from your taxable account into your TFSA? Maybe, but be careful. 

Should I transfer stocks into my TFSA?

Curious how truly valuable of an account the TFSA really is? Check this out below, assuming a younger investor maxes out their TFSA with existing contribution room over time ($69,500) (ahem, Iike I recommend above….) and invests in low-cost ETFs for the coming decades earning about 7% annualized:

Power of TFSA

You can play with the great Get Smarter About Money TFSA calculator here from my Helpful Sites page.

Other TFSA articles to help you invest wisely in 2021:

Fine work by Savvy New Canadians – 5 ways to invest in your TFSA.

Jon Chevreau shared some tips, for retirees, how to make the most of their TFSA in retirement.

One great example: make some RRSP withdrawals early, if you can, since the TFSA “has a great fit with the RRSP/RRIF, complementing one another throughout your investing marathon.

Jon also reminds you about something I discuss quite a bit: “For younger people, the TFSA may be their only investment plan while, for the older cohort TFSAs must be integrated with a total plan that includes pensions, annuities, non-registered savings, RRSPs and RRIFs.” 

Other fine reads…

Retire by 40 shared how the three biggest expenses can hurt your financial independence dreams.

His thinking aligns well with my insights. It’s not coffee that is stealing your early retirement.

Two expenses stealing your early retirement dreams (that are not coffee)

Tawcan shared how “living off dividends” might work if you take advantage of geo-arbitrage.

The Sunday Investor continues to pump out great content – here is an example of it, highlighting multi-year historical compound annual growth rates for all TSX stocks.

The Sunday Investor - TSX

Want to invest like a Dividend King? Dividend Growth Investor has the goods.

As we know from Mike Heroux, Dividend Stocks (can) Rock – he’s back to share one of his favourite holdings that’s ready to embrace electric vehicles.

Last but not least, don’t forget my book giveaway for The Grumpy Accountant. I’ll be giving away a copy of this book early in 2021 to help your tax season efforts 🙂

Reader question of the week!

Hi Mark,

I have a question regarding TFSA contribution timing. I have the cash saved up for my 2021 contribution. I’d like to get it in early in January to get it to work, but I’m wary of the recent run up in values. What are your thoughts on buying in ASAP vs. waiting for a dip or breaking up the buys over a few months? Maybe you could mention this in your weekly email sometime?

I might not be the only one trying to figure this out!

I enjoy your weekly emails!

Another great question!  I will add this one to my running list of FAQs here for community building.

Essentially, your question is: is it better to do lump sum investing (invest now) or dollar cost averaging (invest over time)?

Here is my thesis on this.

I prefer to invest money, when I have it, as in now. So, I’m in favour of lump sum investing versus dollar cost averaging (DCA).

Why?

First, I have no idea if the stock market is going to go up or down tomorrow, next week, next month or otherwise. But, I do know lump sum investing gets my money working for me as soon as possible.

Second, given markets tend to go up over time, you have a better chance of ending up with more money by investing in equities at once versus in phases over time. Of course, there are absolutely times when stocks go down, significantly, and stay down. Market volatility can occur. The challenge, we don’t know when that will happen. But overall, you’re more likely via chance to be giving up investment gains through dollar-cost averaging instead of lump sum investing.

Three, and maybe my most important point for you, think of DCA as market timing. You are strategically setting up intervals or timing your purchases that may or may not work out when it comes to market pricing.

That said, the DCA approach can make you emotionally feel better since you’re not investing lump sums of money at once. It may seem less risky, therefore feelings that are reducing your stress by potentially reducing the impact of market volatility. This is not wrong whatsoever, it’s just your plan.

I liken these types of decisions like paying off a mortgage – very aggressively. Some people swear by it even though it might not make the best financial/mathematical/logical sense. It doesn’t mean it is flat-out wrong.

Saving, investing and more are much more emotional decisions than we tend to recognize. So, if it makes you “feel better” to go with DCA, then do it. Dollar-cost averaging aims to avoid mistakes of making a lump sum decision that could be poorly timed. Only in hindsight will we all know if that decision is correct!

Finally, for the holiday / 2021 investing inspiration file!

This couple has worked hard to save and invest $1.2 million dollars by their early-50s, but without a pension, they are not sure if they “have enough” to retire on until their late-90s.

Do they have enough? I provide an answer and so does a fee-only-planner.

Read on to find out, should your spending goal be about $50,000 per year after-tax.

They have $1.2 million and no pensions, can they retire?

Happy Holidays and Investing!

My name is Mark Seed and I'm the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I've surpassed my goal and I'm now investing beyond the 7-figure portfolio to start semi-retirement with. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Subscribe and join the newsletter! Follow me on Twitter @myownadvisor.

26 Responses to "Weekend Reading – The Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Edition!"

  1. Thanks for the mention Mark and happy holidays to you and your wife (and your cats too).

    Pretty incredible that you kept running the site for 11 years and the traffic looks good. I’m sure you’ll hit 1M views next year. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Impressive numbers Mark:

    810,101 – the number of pageviews on this site in just 2020.
    29,712 – the number of approved comments on all posts across the site.
    1,390 – the number of total blogposts published since the site was launched many years ago.

    1390 blog posts, is just amazing! I don’t know many blogs that have been around for 11 years! Keep up the great work.

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Mark.

    cheers,
    Kanwal

    Reply
    1. Yeah, getting old. 🙂

      All the best for these holidays to you and family Kanwal; we’ll chat and see you again (in-person!) in 2021!

      Best wishes,
      Mark

      Reply
  3. Mark, wishing you and your wife, and all the readers of this site a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Regarding TFSA, I have waited for 2019, and invested right away for 2020, both turn out to be wrong decisions. If I invested right away for both years, then at least I would be right once. I decided to always invest right away for TFSA from now on as the winning odds will be higher that way.

    As I invested in index e series funds for RESP, always do that first thing each year. So far RESPs are the best performing accounts for me. LOL. Maybe I should switch from dividend growth investor to indexer.

    Reply
    1. Well, I definitely know the blend of CDN dividend paying stocks and some low-cost U.S. ETFs are working for me. We realized a major milestone this year thanks to that approach and I have no intention of changing the general plan. I have made a few adjustments in late-2020 and will report those in the New Year!

      Happy Holidays to you and family.
      Mark

      Reply
  4. Hi Mark

    I look forward to My Own Investor weekly newsletter. It always has something of interest and value. Your format is very easy to navigate.

    So I am not surprised by your statistics for readership. Keep up the good work, please, and have as good a Christmas as circumstances allow. And of course, may success continue to follow you through 2021.

    Reply
  5. Well done! Eleven years is a long time! I haven’t even built my portfolio in eleven years. I didn’t start getting serious about investing until 2012 and my blog is only a year old. Anyways have a wonderful holiday and stay safe!

    Reply
  6. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Mark! Thanks for all the work you do on this site. I look forward to many more new articles.
    Here’s to a healthy and prosperous 2021. Good riddance 2020.

    Reply
  7. If you are going to sit on cash waiting for the “right” time to invest then you might as well have it sitting within your TFSA. Then if that once in a life time buy comes along the cash is right there. And you are less tempted to nibble away at it on “that would be nice” purchases.
    One other thing you might do is check with the CRA if you are not sure about your contribution room – just in case you did not contribute one year or made a less than max contribution. I will heed my own advice come January.

    All the best to everyone.
    Take care, stay healthy

    RICARDO

    Reply
    1. That’s a fair point – if you’re going to keep cash ready to invest, the TFSA (for tax free growth) is as good spot as any!

      Happy Holidays back Ricardo.
      Mark

      Reply
    1. Thanks for the link! I continue to own most stocks in that BTSX list but I did make some recent changes. Just posted!
      https://www.myownadvisor.ca/lessons-learned-in-diversification/

      I’ve tried to have Matt on the site but not yet/no luck. I know he’s busy. Here was an older post as well. Ross Grant did the same thing and I’m largely doing the same thing as well, although I’m holding more U.S. assets over time.
      https://www.myownadvisor.ca/can-beat-index-yes-ross-grant-proves/

      Cheers,
      Mark

      Reply

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