2019-07 Networth

2019-07

YTD

CCPC

4,311,959

462,238

RRSP

736,940

19,502

TFSA

141,444

10,078

Personal

290,659

584

Commodities

48,619

3,843

RE- Home

2,607,000

0

RE- Parent’s

800,350

0

RE- Office

473,000

0

Total

9,409,971

496,243

Summer is almost over. The last minute trips are starting to rev up. My kids who have been working steadily all summer are heading off with friends for late summer trips.

We are truly the sandwich generation. We are supporting our children while also actively helping parents on both sides. I have helped my parents since I became an MD. But now the assistance is branching out to both sides of the families.

The circle of life I suppose. It may appear to be more difficult. However I would rather funds be used to help parents rather than spending on useless luxuries. I have always prioritized people over things.

Don’t get me started about so-called “experiences”. Marketers are gifted in recognizing that those who live in developed countries are stressed by all their crap. This trend of selling “experiences” is just another way of separating the masses from their wealth.

I have many friends who are world travellers. Some eschew building roots so that they can be citizens of the world. However I rarely see traveling as more than buying a ticket and booking a hotel room. I do not see anything amazing in that.

I believe you bring yourself wherever you go. Most folks could try building a life where they do not feel the need to vacate. Then that would be life altering indeed.

Then traveling could be seen simply as getting away. And this could be something as simple as going for a drive or camping locally. I love camping. If I want luxury and comfort, I could stay home.

Enough about that. Trust me, many times I don’t agree with myself.

On a different note.

I met with my accountant last week. Boy he surely performs accounting voodoo. I gladly pay for his expertise. DIY taxes is not a good idea for us.

He is extremely focussed on helping us take funds out of the corporation tax efficiently. He thinks we are raving mad to keep our funds in one ETF. However he is a real estate investor so I understand why he thinks that.

Different strokes for different folks.

He does the taxes for many of our colleagues. He says that the vaunted goal is 5M in investable assets.

Oddly enough, I had already decided that that would be our retirement fund amount. There is only so much that anyone needs to save.

There is no guarantee with any of this. I told my husband to start taking it easy. One does not want to work so hard, take risks and then have some legislator whack a load off the top. No thanks.

I plan to use our frontloaded retirement portfolio to buy us time while we are young enough to amply enjoy it. It was similar to when I told him to buy his BMW. I told him to buy it when he turned 40 after we could easily afford it. I told him not to wait till 70 to buy it like his dad.

Timing is everything in life. It is like those parents who think that they will have all this time with their kids.

Man, that time just flew by for me. I have never regretted spending time with my children while they were young.

In fact, I often wish that I had spent even more time with them.

I have never felt that way with school or work. And I enjoy my work. So that puts it in perspective for me.

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2019-07 Passive Income & Portfolio Review

2019-07

YTD

CCPC

1,756

53,102(1)

Personal

4,829

16,231

Total

8,158

69,333

  1. Estimated Loss in SBD room = 15,060.

I update these numbers monthly now. It makes one look at their finances differently. I have never looked at the cash flow from our paper investments in the past. I was used to reviewing cash flow for our rental properties. Admittedly this is more fun. Because to receive this income, I do nothing.

This is my definition of passive income.

You might get a 50% plop down in your capital value with equities. However, nothing in life is free. The ability to capture investment returns by doing nadda is something that I am immensely grateful for.

My children are very fortunate to start investing during the release of the all-in-one funds and the index revolution in Canada.

On a side note, I added another 1000 shares to VGRO in my CCPC.

I could not resist with the recent volatility.

This money stuff is a bit of a game. One needs to be a tad philosophical about it all. If you are one to react with great emotion to this type of investing, perhaps real estate would work better. Or hire a financial advisor who can talk you off the ledge when the need arises.

I have come to the conclusion at this stage in my life that I want less hassles. I want investments that I can walk away from and they pretty much take care of themselves.

I am doing this with Vanguard Asset Allocation ETFs, intermediate bond ETFs and dividend reinvestment plans for almost all of it.

The more that I can take me out of the picture, the better my results should be.

Here are my current portfolios.

  1. Retirement Portfolio– @ 40% equities
    1. CCPC:
      1. VGRO [DRIP]- 80/20 ETF
      2. ZDB [DRIP]- intermediate bond ETF (tax efficient)
      3. Currently at 22% equities, will be 40% at year end.
    2. RRSP (tax deferred):
      1. VAB [DRIP]- intermediate bond ETF
  2. Contingency Fund:
    1. Tangerine HISA (high interest)
  3. Estate Portfolio:
    1. TFSA (tax free)
      1. VGRO [DRIP]
  4. Kids’ Portfolios:
    1. TFSA- VGRO [DRIP]
    2. RRSP- VGRO [DRIP]
    3. Taxable- VEQT– 100% ETF

We reached our plan of 5 M in our retirement fund. My husband is working on a 500K amount to use for laddered GICs when he actually retires. This will serve to buffer the portfolio if dividends do not meet our living expenses.

The newest iteration was adding VEQT for my son’s taxable account. It makes sense since he is only 21 years old. It only has cash distributions once a year which will make the paperwork less cumbersome during tax time.

I had entertained having him buy VDY (high dividend ETF) in his taxable account. However, he was crystal clear that he does not want to stop working completely even with FI. He did not feel the dividend tax credit was worth building a less diversified portfolio. I agree with him.

I swear he makes clearer decisions than my husband when it comes to investing.

2019-08 Portfolio Update

Buying time folks.

I can not time the market. I keep trying and I keep failing. I understand the futility but I trudge along.

My crux is my husband who continues to think that this can be gamed somehow. Thus rather than continue to explain that this is a silly exercise, I will continue to dollar cost average our portfolio monthly until the end of 2019. We will be in 40% equities at this time.

This is my hybrid method. It usually is the only logical compromise to the tendencies of my husband. It is no surprise that he is a surgeon. I heard somewhere that they tend to make the worst investors on average. And I am no better either.

The number of bad investments that I have had to dissuade him from are numerous.

And folks wonder why I am so risk conscious. I have had decades of practice.

The market is jetting to another all time high. No surprise to me by now.

Here is my purchase for August 2019 of VGRO- 80/20 All-In-One ETF.

ETF

Shares Added

Shares Total

VGRO(80/20)

1500

10,826

I meet with my accountant in a couple of weeks. This meeting should prove enlightening. We started a new trust as well as corporate amalgamations last year. We also did an estate freeze.

This meeting will hopefully bring the whole plan into alignment. I am looking forward to this meeting. It has been a long time coming.

I rely on my accountant along with his legal team. I do not pretend to understand the voodoo they perform in the background. I admit that I have never really tried.

I spend my efforts explaining to him what I am trying to achieve and he often just blurts out a simple plan. Over the years, he has admitted that he tells his clients mainly the same plan but no one wants to do it.

For almost a quarter century of owning my corporation, the game plan was simple. Take out just enough income to match the provincial doctor association RRSP rebate.

Then live within your means with that income. They currently match a 60K yearly salary.

Thus we have lived in middle class salary status for our entire careers. When we made doctor incomes, we simply never saw it. So when it came to designing our retirement, I have zero issue with designing a middle class lifestyle. This is all we have known for our entire adult lives.

This led to us buying into a middle class neighborhood. I am grateful my kids grew up this way.

Kind of keeps the whole shebang simple really.

I keep reminding my husband that it is likely the whole “investing” thingy won’t even matter all that much. We have bigger fish to fry in figuring out how to manage the stash in the Corp.

One fell swoop by the government can ruin a lifetime of wise choices. I see this happening around Canada. Folks who plan well and are disciplined are NOT rewarded.

I have come to believe that I can only plan so much. And since there is zero belief that any of this will work out, let’s just keep it simple.

That way, we win no matter what happens.

The more I research this stuff. The more I realize that you cannot control the markets. You cannot control taxation. You cannot control government legislation. You cannot control what family members decide to do.

But on the corollary it is a freeing moment. Too many of us actually think we have control.

Newsflash. We don’t.

Maybe my new motto is to try not to lose too badly. Hee hee.

2019 Retirement Plan

The ultimate reward for a well oiled retirement plan is not need to return to work unless you want to. That’s my current definition. YMMV.

The only way that I know how to plan anything is to begin with the end in mind.

This is similar to investing. Always know your exit strategies.

That is why retirement planning is crucial. It is the ultimate manifestation of a life investment exit plan.

I admit that I never thought of retiring completely. I never heard about FIRE until a few years ago. I had always planned to save a large chunk of cash early. I had planned to work part time making 100K/ year until I was much older.

I had spent over a decade working 6-7 days a week with only about 1- 2 weeks off a year.

Working just two shifts a week would have felt like retirement.

I never heard of safe withdrawal rates since I had not planned on withdrawing from investments before 65 years old. I agree with my friend Gasem that the math is likely not that simple.

To Do List Before Retirement

  1. Make sure our kids receive their education. We will pay for it all. The kids have already done their part to stay at the local university. The least we could do is pay for the tuition. My daughter wants to continue with professional or graduate work. We will pay for that as well.
  2. No debts of any sort.
  3. My parents are well cared for. We pay for all the property tax, insurance, utilities, cable and any maintenance for their home. I have been doing this since I was 30 years old. It is a blessing that my parents are healthy and able to take care of themselves.
  4. We have provided housing for our children as units in our multiplexes. We have two children and two self contained units that they can live in whenever they need to. This is their back up plan. We have no desire to dictate whether they live in those units. It will be based on the trajectory of their lives.

Retirement Plan Thus Far

  1. 5M is enough for us in our retirement accounts. We reached it last week. It is within the wrapped accounts of our CCPC and RRSP. But since we plan to “leak it out”, it should be tax efficient.
  2. We will not use these funds until my husband is 65 years old. That will be in 12 years.
  3. We will hold an additional 500K in laddered GICs. This will serve as a volatility ladder.
  4. The RRSP (tax deferred) account will hold mostly bonds as this will have RMD. No need to build these accounts up too much. Instead of getting rankled by RMDs, use them wisely instead. Just let it have a slow burn.
  5. Once the tax deferred accounts become drained, our retirement portfolio will hold mainly VGRO which is an 80/20 portfolio. This means the portfolio will be more aggressive as we get older.
  6. Our estate will mainly consist of our tax free accounts and our primary residence. We plan to give with “warm hands and warm hearts”. Our kids should be enjoying the benefits of the TFSA and our extra units while we are still alive. We also hold life insurance to help pay for taxes when we die.
  7. We will delay our government benefits until 70 most likely. This alone will provide us with 50% of our planned income.
  8. Our planned income will be about 100K per year. We have almost always taken less than this in salaries. We have regularly lived on this amount or less.
  9. We plan to draw income to the lower tax brackets around 50K each.
  10. Doctors with corporations should realize that the government has gotcha if you need to take out large salaries. So beware of expensive lifestyles.
  11. We plan to keep our medical licenses until 65 years old and work part time. This will mitigate SORR until we are ready to fully retire at 65 years old.
  12. Make sure all family members are doing well. Most spending shocks will come from those you love.
  13. We hold a fully paid off commercial unit which would cash flow another 30K/ year. This would be considered an uncorrelated asset.

Retirement Plan By Accounts

RRSP (tax deferred)

Mainly Bonds

CCPC

VGRO (80/20)

500K

5 x 100K GIC ladder

Contingency Fund

large cash reserve

Part time work until 65 years old

Why not eh?

70+

Government benefits + RMD

Retirement Plan By Age

Now to 65 years old

Work part time enjoyably

65 years old

Retire from MD

65 years – 70 years old

  1. CCPC dividends
  2. Laddered GICs if needed.

70 years +

  1. Government benefits
  2. RRIF RMD
  3. CCPC dividends

Retirement Budget

  • Plan 100K per year. We have lived on this salary for over the past two decades.
  • At 70 years old, 75% of our planned income will be covered by government benefits and RRIF RMD.
  • Our actual expenses are about 50- 60K per year.
  • Our essential expenses are about 36K per year.

And most of all, I am keeping this simple with proper use of beneficiaries on all accounts. Keep our will up to date. And talk to my family about things regularly.

None of our plans involve luxury. It is all about getting certain big ticket items done.

Life throws plenty of curveballs. Money alone won’t save you but it can help. It gives one options.

My husband used to scoff at how anyone could not take care of a house if it was handed to them. I reminded him our house still costs a mint even though we have paid it off. Run the numbers and you shall see how easy it is to not be able to afford a paid off home.

We are extremely fortunate in Canada to not have large health care costs. It does not sound good for our American neighbors.

When One Of Us Dies

The survivor will still get their government benefits at 25K/ year plus the full RMD of 25- 30K/ year. Expenses should decrease 25% to 75K/ year.

The survivor would likely jump up the next tax bracket.

The harsh truth is that if my husband predeceased me then my discretionary expenses will go down dramatically. He is the one I spend most of my time with. My life buddy would be gone and I can see not wanting to dine out very often. Or traipsing the globe. Or camping and fishing. So we want to do some of that now.

I think that is reality when your spouse dies.

Investing is not a proxy for my self worth. Omg nope. Or else I would be in a very bad state.

The advice I am giving my husband is this. He will enjoy more time off now when he is younger than to work full time to reach some mythical number a decade later. If one can not define “enough”, it will forever be an elusive concept.

Like seriously, how much money does anyone really need? It is the ability to not dig into the saved amounts that is important. Not the throwdown of more and more cash.

You can always ratchet it up later if needed. I surely can if need be. That is why I would not give up my license until I am 65 years old.

Money can be a mental crutch. If you can structure your life to NOT rely on external sources for many of your needs, you will have more wealth. And not just in monetary wealth.

Here are some examples of things I did/do.

  • Take care of my own children (minimal daycare).
  • Home gym
  • Gardening
  • Multiplexes in solid urban locations with good public transportation.
  • Live close to work and shopping- minimize car use.
  • Stay healthy- minimize healthcare costs.
  • Don’t be vain- eliminate all woo woo cosmetic procedures.
  • Dress simply- thus can ignore fashion.
  • Live simply- thus can ignore luxury.
  • Save before you buy something- then the bank and their loans don’t touch you. (Of Course during such low interest rate environments, you just have to do the math to see if it makes sense).
  • Pick simple hobbies. I don’t care if golfing or skiing gets expensive. I don’t do those.

I could go on and on. It is almost an opposite way of thinking. I am never trying to think of ways to “fit in”. I have always focused on what I need and want. And by being truthful, none of this involved beating my head against a wall to try to “get in” anywhere.

No one could tempt me with a prize. Since I became immune to all their shiny, shiny pretty objects long ago.

I care about freedom and convenience. None of that equates to status, power, popularity or luxury.

Anyhow this is my version of my current retirement plan. I will review this yearly.

2019-06 Networth

2019-06

YTD

CCPC

4,239,511

389,788

RRSP

733,886

16,448

TFSA

139,179

7,813

Personal

292,368

2,293

Commodities

46,860

2,084

RE- Home

2,607,000

0

RE- Parent’s

800,350

0

RE- Office

473,000

0

Total

9,332,154

418,426

RE= Real estate

If my children were in public school this would be about the halfway point in the summer. However they are both in post secondary so it’s less noticeable to me nowadays.

My daughter would like to attend medical school. Some of our physician friends try to talk their children out of medical school. We do not. It is a good profession. Life really is what you make of it.

I remind my children that there is no “career charming” so take it as you will. They do not have to have high expectations for their career.

I do not try to sway them in terms of their career aspirations. I only try to teach them to live within their means. I try to teach them proper financial management so that whatever career they choose, they will be fine. Because that is what I truly believe.

I simplified my own excel table above. These numbers only really mean something to me. They are a way for me to keep track. They do not mean anything to anyone else. I track my numbers since it is a great habit.

I have been planning my husband’s retirement lately. It has become a rather interesting exercise. I have no idea how these young people FIRE (financial independence retire early). I would be very nervous retiring without my upcoming government benefits when I turn 70.

There is the issue of guaranteed income, indexed to inflation. I have been unable to generate that with any investments. Especially with investments that require zero work from me.

The only other way I can think of generating this is with cash flow positive real estate. But that involves a part-time job. We were never able to find anyone to do this for us reliably. Dr. Networth has a great strategy.

If we were younger this would not be an issue. But as we get older we realize that we want less hassle. We loved investing in real estate when we were younger. But it is a mind shift as we get older.

We are not wealthy enough that we could buy entire apartment blocks without leverage. My concern would be if the banks did not renew our mortgage for the investment properties. Or there were large repairs we could not handle. That has always been my concern.

Leverage is a great way to increase your wealth. However it has always been something that has made me nervous. If I did not become wealthier because I limited my use of leverage, I am fine with that.

For me the point of money is so that I don’t have to worry about it very often. That is how I define wealth. If I had to dream up a myriad of ways of gaining more wealth, that would not be particularly fun for me.

I am grateful that I’ve always been someone who knows what is enough for myself. I have certainly met folks who never seem to have a limit. Once they reach a goal, they quickly double the goal or start creating another one. They seem to enjoy reaching their goal for a very short period of time.

I think ambition and dissatisfaction is very important when you are lacking in something. However like most things in life there is a law of diminishing returns. In fact, the never ending climb starts to work against you in life.

So much of the ills of the world could probably be avoided if folks could just figure out what is enough. But the problem is most people consciously or subconsciously compare themselves to one another. It is this comparison that is fraught with problems.

I will continue to keep track of our net worth as above. However a large portion of our net worth is in real estate which is not liquid. I am working on how we will utilize our capital during retirement.

I repeat, it has become a very interesting exercise.

2019-06 Passive Income

2019-06

YTD

CCPC

6,256

51,346

Personal

1,902

11,492

Total

8,158

62,748

It is passive income time again. I am beginning to enjoy this time of the month. This is the first full year that I am tracking my passive income diligently. I am not completely sure where the final total will be.

Regardless I am pleased that at 50 years old I am starting to focus on this. I understand the whole concept of “total return”. However I likely have the same behavioral biases as cult dividend investors who enjoy seeing their dividends.

I admit that I plan to spend mainly my passive income. We will spend “total return” if we are at a shortfall from dividend income alone. However I understand my own biases and I would prefer to set up a stream wherein I am not forced to liquidate equities during a downdraft.

We almost thought of buying a high dividend ETF such as the Vanguard Canadian High Dividend Yield ETF (VDY). But we realized that this fund was not very diversified with only 56 companies currently. Furthermore, we do not want more income in the Corporation at this time. This would only decrease our small business deduction further.

My husband would like to continue working until he is 65 years old in a part time capacity. However who knows how much he will want to. One thing I have noticed is that once you slow down, you rarely want to rev back up again.

Thus we are shoring up a tranche of “last in, first out” funds. It will likely be able to fund about 10 years of our expenses.

At first I had planned to put it all into fixed income. However we likely will not need all of this. It would be wise to invest a portion of it in equities. It really is just back up.

This will prevent us from being concerned when he is 60 and doesn’t want to work at all. That should cover us until we are ready to use our retirement portfolio at 65.

I would prefer to give ourselves options.

Simplify with DRIPS

On my quest to simplify all of this, I set up DRIPS for my ETFs. Dividend reinvestment makes sense since my brokerage charges 10 dollars for every transaction. My bond ETF distributes monthly so this could add up quickly. Furthermore who wants to make these transactions each month? I certainly do not want to once I am fully invested.

Thankfully the brokerage I use will keep track of the adjusted cost base for me. I will double check this against my own records initially.

This blog is really my investment diary of sorts. I do not have many answers for others. I am trying to figure this out for my family. Thus far I see that accumulation is simple. The distribution of the assets will be more challenging.

It will be interesting for me to see how my investing path will change (or not) in time.

2019-07 Portfolio Update

It is buying time again. Welcome to another month. One thing I can say is that equities are quite volatile. This makes knowing when to buy them kind of a crapshoot. Which is fine since I do not believe you can time the market. Goodness knows I try.

Here are my purchases for the month.

  1. VGRO (Vanguard 80/20 all-in-one ETF) – 780 shares [total shares 9270]
  2. VAB (Vanguard Canadian Aggregate Bond Index ETF) – 1427 shares [total shares 1777]

I am beginning to only look at my equities in terms of the shares that I hold. Focussing on the price of these equities would probably not be very healthy. Plus these darn things move all the time. But my share amount does not. And dividends are paid by the number of shares I own.

My equity purchases are becoming very similar to how I shop. I have never been one to shop for the absolute lowest price for anything. I prefer to get a sale but it doesn’t have to be the biggest sale of the year. And once I purchase something I never go back and re-shop the same item. That would only cause regret and be a complete waste of mental bandwidth.

I am starting to see that buying equities pretty much falls along the same line. These prices move all over the place. What is the point of believing that you are going to get it at the lowest price? That sounds like magical thinking.

My husband often thinks he can buy these equities at the lowest price. Which makes me realize that that is a very bad strategy.

I am methodically moving my cash and matured GICs into VAB in our RRSPs. This bond fund will make the portfolio much simpler to manage. Furthermore it will add the liquidity needed during market movements.

However I believe that this is as much as we want to fill our retirement portfolios. We feel it is time to start front loading a big cash bucket for using in our 60s.

I tend to prefer having a plan for my funds. I do not blend my retirement portfolio with my contingency funds. It might serve financial planners because it makes it easier for them to manage. But I don’t see the point of doing that myself.

The plan with equities should be to hold them forever. If you think of buying and selling all the time then equities might not be for you.

I plan to hold our retirement portfolio until my husband turns 65 years old. This will be in about 12 years. At that point I will be more than happy to spend the dividends and interest payments.

The contingency funds will constitute mainly cash instruments. I plan to spend this amount earlier. It will be the concept of “last in, first out”. There is no point in putting this into anything long-term. This will likely be a great option for GICs and high interest savings accounts.

So that’s it. I plan to keep it relatively simple. It is always a good idea to have some funds on the side so that you do not dip into your long-term retirement accounts.

I don’t know anyone whose life hasn’t had the occasional large unexpected expense. That is the point of our contingency fund. That has worked for our family thus far.

I do not stress about the portfolio much nowadays. Portfolio construction is a commodity. Planning one’s retirement will require a comprehensive overview. I doubt very many of us will have plans that look exactly the same.

This is the best part of some blogs. Many of us lay it all out there and have zero issue with questioning our own way of thinking.

That is one way to learn after all.

2019-06 Month Review

Travel

June was a great time for a road trip. Hubby & I were able to visit Yellowstone National Park. We saw bison up close while we were driving. The weather would change very quickly at the park.

The first evening we enjoyed a lightning storm with heavy rain. On our second evening, it snowed.

I thought I was leaving Canada to get away from the snow. Regardless I love seeing nature. National parks are my favourite. I figure I can always go on cruises when we are seniors.

We car camped which made us feel like we were 25 years old again. I told my husband that if I wanted comfort, I could stay home and sleep in my own bed.

That’s the part of camping I love best. Truly sticking with the basics is a good reminder of our usual pampered lives.

Invest

My son has been working part time. He has saved all his earnings and has fully contributed to his RRSP. This child is certainly more like me than his dad.

And he buys the ETF exactly as one is suppose to. He buys it when he has the money.

I am the one who has a harder time pulling the trigger. I keep saying things such as “You know the market is at another all time high. Do you want to wait for a bit before you invest all your RRSP money?”

But he is adamant that he just wants to buy VGRO since he has such a long time frame. Good boy.

Simplify

My latest craze has been finding out that there is a website which loads up the weekly specials at Costco warehouses. This is awesome. This will save me loads of time walking around the warehouse. Here is the link for Western Canada. https://cocowest.ca/ and Eastern Canada https://cocoeast.ca/.

I am mildly obsessed with making shopping simpler. Every Costco fanatic I have told about this has been seriously happy with me.

I plan to continue stripping and chiseling away at the unneeded extras in my life. I plan to be left with mostly what I want.

If I can be brutally honest, money mainly serves as a source of options and convenience.

I value my freedom of choice way more than stuff. Things just waste more time and energy.

I see this as a source of stress for most folks now. Life gets filled with loads of things that don’t fit. It’s akin to sitting in your home and looking around and realizing that you don’t even like half the stuff.

But you still need to clean it, store it and fix it. Like yuck already.

I enjoy the concept of less. I love less hassle. Most of our savings were built from that concept alone.

That is what I am proving to myself. Most things I do are extremely simple.

If you are able to save, it likely doesn’t matter how you invest. We are sort of proof of that.

Simple can be extremely powerful.

My life has been built from the many things that I could leave alone. It rarely was achieved by catapulting myself to grand heights.

Less has certainly been more for me.

Happy Canada Day Long weekend!!!

Investment BTI (Big Ticket Items)

The only way that I ever did well in school was my ability to delete useless information. I enjoyed my free time and sports too much to simply study all day. I could never try to learn all the birdseed stuff that my fellow classmates revelled in. I always knew that it would never matter for my career.

Investing can be simple if you can ignore the noise.

Here are my basic investment tenets:

  1. I do not know what the markets will do so I will invest regularly.
  2. Maintain an asset allocation that my husband and I can live with. But asset allocations are not set in stone.
  3. Stocks can be very volatile. They call it a “risk premium” because you bear risk to hold them.
  4. Only invest in equities what you can see drop by 50%. If you can not stomach that you best lower your stock positions.
  5. Risk is interesting. It is dependent on the amount of assets risked and your current life stage. It is akin to young women who often professed to me exactly how they would behave BEFORE they had their children. I think children are a good reminder of your behaviour and humanity. We all say we will act a certain way until your kid forces your hand and you see yourself acting exactly the OPPOSITE of what your younger self believed.
  6. It’s great to learn what others can do when it comes to investing. However be honest about what I can and want to do.
  7. It is okay to admit that you can not adopt certain strategies due to laziness or lack of knowledge/ networks.
  8. Paper asset returns are based on what you don’t pay for. (ie low MER, low transactions/ trading fees, no AUM)
  9. Do my best with taxes but do not focus on changing strategies to mitigate this. Do not let the tail wag the dog when it comes to taxes.

How To Save My Investments

  1. Real Estate- I need to rely on others to do what is needed when a problem occurs. For example, plumbers to fix clogged toilets.
  2. Equity Assets- When the market drops, buy more if I have money or else just do NOTHING. I realize that I am designed for doing nothing.

Thank goodness for the low cost broad market index funds. I am grateful that Vanguard is in Canada. I don’t believe investing can get any easier than it is right now.

Folks can over complicate this all they want. But I doubt their results will be much better over the long term.

I plan to read less and less financial information. I don’t believe it will move the needle at this point. Once you understand the basics, it is enough.

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