Weekend Reading – What it takes to retire early, investing lessons learned, rising home prices and more #moneystuff

Weekend Reading – What it takes to retire early, investing lessons learned, rising home prices 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.

Earlier this week, I published these articles:

I shared an update on our financial goals.  Not terrible but not ideal to be honest.

Although this was somewhat controversial based on the comments I got, I don’t believe any 30- or 40-something should strive for retirement or early retirement.  Instead, strive for financial independence.  These are not the same things in my book.  

The weather in Ottawa is absolutely beautiful today.  I hope you have a great weekend and enjoy whatever you have planned.

See you here next week when I will talk to a Millionaire Teacher.


Weekend Reads

Weekend Reading

What does it take to retire early? My take? A healthy income coupled with a very high savings rate, with a nice dose of frugality will do the trick.  

In no particular order, here are some things that should work out well for you long-term:

  1. Focus on ramping up savings for investing.
  2. When and where possible, think of avoiding money waste.
  3. For any dual-income household, experiment with living on one income (and saving the other). See #1.
  4. Strive to max out your TFSAs and RRSPs. Then you can consider what is next!

Further Reading: I’ve maxed out my TFSA and RRSP – now what?

Dividend Growth Investing & Retirement highlighted a stock investing lesson learned.  He reflected on his “stupid Kinder Morgan purchase”. 

Jon Chevreau shared how Canadians are being impacted by rising home prices.  Are you being impacted by rising home prices?  Are you benefitting?  Are you being priced-out?  Do tell…

Million Dollar Journey answered a reader question about a low-income senior – whether they should use the TFSA or the RRSP for investing.  When in doubt, go TFSA.  Why?  “Because RRSP withdrawals count as income, which will impact GIS benefits for low-income seniors.  TFSA withdrawals, on the other hand, do not count as income and are not government benefit tested (for now).”

You can read up on all things TFSA for investors young and old, why it’s a phenomenal account for investors at any age here.

Is Investing Risky?

Outstanding podcast with behavioural psychologist and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman on The Knowledge Project.

One of my favourite books was Thinking Fast and SlowHighly recommended to get a better understanding of how our minds work.

The Dividend Guy believes in chasing FIRE you got it all wrong.

Route to FI detailed how they intend to be financially independent in another five years.

Nice to hear from Mr. Prairie FIRE (Fred) on the most recent Explore FI Canada podcast.

Reader question of the week (adapted for site):

Hi Mark,

I really enjoy your site.  I have a follow-up question regarding diversity.  I read your answer in this Weekend Reading update on that.  How exactly are you going to reach your targets?

Thanks for this question.

Like I mentioned in that Weekend Reading edition, answers about portfolio diversification deserve their own blogpost – that is on my radar.  In the meantime:

How am I actually going to do that?

I’m going to use Norbert’s Gambit – a “how-to” was provided in this post to save money on exchanging Canadian dollars to U.S. dollars.

My end-goal to improve my diversification for semi-retirement?

  • Hold about 20-30 dividend-paying stocks from Canada and the U.S for passive income inside our TFSAs, RRSPs, and taxable account.  Mind you, some of the dividend income will be completely tax-free (thanks TFSAs!)
  • Hold a couple of low-cost ETFs that invest in hundreds (or thousands) of stocks from around the world.  We will spend the distributions generated by these investments and withdraw cash from our RRSPs in semi-retirement, keeping the capital intact.

What are your asset management plans for retirement or semi-retirement? 

Partnerships and deals

Should you become a DIY investor?  I think you should at least consider it!! In doing so, you’ll keep more money in your pocket and minimize financial fees.  That will be some of your keys to financial success.  It’s a proven formula.

Take advantage of these saving and investing deals!

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.

4 Responses to "Weekend Reading – What it takes to retire early, investing lessons learned, rising home prices and more #moneystuff"

  1. Hey Mark ,
    about diversification , what do you think about emerging markets do you invest in it or do you do that by investing in Low cost US etfs since a lot of them have ties in those areas ? the reason why i’m asking when i first started diy investing i bought XEC but then it stayed in the red the whole time and being new to investing i panicked and sold it at about 10% loss after reading endless articles about how good or bad emerging markets are 🙂 but now i’m debating if i should buy it and HOLD it 🙂 , I do own VUN XEF and ZDI which i know they have some exposure to the asia developed but i don’t think they cover China India etc… so yeah i like to know what you and the readers think about this.

    1. I did, some time ago, invest in emerging markets but I don’t any longer. The simple reason is: if you invest in the S&P 500 via a low-cost U.S. ETF you’re going to get international exposure based on where those companies operate. I recall Jack Bogle himself (Vanguard founder) never invested in international markets despite touting the praises of index investing around the world.

      I think you’ll have to weigh your own pros and cons but for me, I probably won’t invest “there” for some time to come. Need to build up positions in other dividend payers first 🙂


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