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I Love VGRO

I love this way of investing. My daughter is heading off today on a trip and managing my portfolio is NOT on my to-do list. In fact, she owns 100% VEQT (100% equities) and she doesn’t even look at anything. 

Investing has seriously been solved. 

Many prefer to live life rather than pretend to be an investing expert. You do nothing with this method of investing. One can’t do that with a business or with investment real estate. 

Also I was just about to close my Tangerine bank account. But they offered me 4.75% for 5 months. It’s just like the line in Godfather, “you want to leave but they keep pulling you back in.”

So I am moving my cash back to Tangerine. I can be bought apparently. 

I am grateful that we are in a bear market. I do not want to meet the bear AFTER we retire with lots of capital in VGRO. 

But after experiencing this bear market, I am convinced that I prefer VGRO rather than VEQT with a bond ETF or cash. 

I am not interested in watching anything closely to re-balance. I would stay closer to the tracking error if I just stick with VGRO. 

So once again, I would rather focus on getting my daughter to the airport rather than my portfolio.

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2022 – 10 Financial Update

“Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.”

― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life

My Investment Philosophy

  • Diversify – investments and taxes.
  • Do nothing – automate.
  • Develop margin of safety – allow assets to compound.

Portfolio

I treat all accounts as one portfolio.

  • VGRO – 84%
  • Cash – 179K
  • VAB – 5%
  • Brk.b – 5%
  • GIC – 3%
  • Asset Allocation – 72%
  • Networth YTD – (436,932)

Mailbox Money

“Life is really simple, but men insist on making it complicated.” Confucius (BC 551-BC 479) Chinese philosopher.

I have zero alpha.

I want “know nothing, do nothing” mailbox money.

Mailbox Money (SWR%)

  • YTD – 89,163 (1.25%)
  • 2021 – 136,578 (1.86%)
  • 2020 – 130,610 (2.04%)
  • 2019 – 110,068 (1.99%)

October 2022

I am enjoying the fact that I am really not caring about any of this finance stuff.

Not in a negative way but more in the sense that once it is set up and I have thought about things, there is not much else to do.

That is why I do not spend any time working out calculations about what is more optimal for any financial instruments. I don’t care and I don’t think it matters.

It is all too easy to get lost in the weeds of debating the so-called best way. Who really knows and who really cares?

Money is a tool. Thankfully I am shallow enough such that I don’t seem to waste time worrying about life’s purpose either.

That’s another arena of drivel that I am starting to see those who have achieved FI start to go down. Maybe now that investing has essentially been solved, it appears this is the next rabbit hole to crawl down.

It’s almost like no one is okay being okay.

My great joy is to make my finances simple such that I barely have to do anything even though I am managing it all myself.

I use automation and I buy asset allocation ETFs that are self rebalanced. It is likely not tax efficient but whatever. And I am okay with this being good enough. I don’t need or care if it isn’t “the best”.

I don’t bother wondering if dividend investing is better than growth investing. I am a dividend investor with my growth ETF. I just save more.

I don’t care about when to take CPP. I will delay it but if we are sick or we need the money, I would take it earlier. There are just some things that a spreadsheet has no way of answering for you.

No one seems to be okay with good enough. They all chase this elusive optimal or “the best”. The only certainty is that things change. So after all the optimizing, it likely won’t work out the way you want anyhow.

There is a reason this blog is anonymous and it’s built on a free website. It earns me nothing and I pay nothing to maintain it. Sweet.

It’s just the anonymous ramblings of some Canadian woman.

I like to write and update my financial to-do list. And writing this forces me to check my accounts regularly. Because one of my biggest problems has been forgetting about my accounts completely in the past.

That is why I must simplify and consolidate. If I am forgetting things now, how will my husband or children take care of things if needed?

Even if we doubled our net worth, I doubt that we would live any differently. That is how I realized that maybe none of this matters to me any longer. The numbers can grow but none of it translates to a different lifestyle.

No spreadsheet would make me want to invest with margin.

No spreadsheet will make me want to mortgage my home.

The best thing is to know what one wants. It makes reading financial media a snap. I can skim articles and quickly decide to skip anything that does not apply to me. Nowadays, most things do not seem to apply to me.

Another article with some expert forecasting where the market will go. Skip. The market will go up and down. That’s all that is certain.

There is no guarantee when one buys risk assets. And really all of life carries some degree of risk.

I might not watch my investments any longer since they are on autopilot. But the market is highly entertaining for reminding one of the neverending emotions we all have when it comes to risk and reward.

It really is the best show on earth.

2022-10-26 Week 43

“Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.”

― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life

My Investment Philosophy

  • Diversify – investments and taxes.
  • Do nothing – automate.
  • Develop margin of safety – allow assets to compound.

Portfolio

I treat all accounts as one portfolio.

  • VGRO – 84%
  • Cash – 156K
  • VAB – 5%
  • Brk.b – 5%
  • GIC – 3%
  • Asset Allocation – 72%
  • Networth YTD – (488,233)

Mailbox Money

“Life is really simple, but men insist on making it complicated.” Confucius (BC 551-BC 479) Chinese philosopher.

I have zero alpha.

I want “know nothing, do nothing” mailbox money.

Mailbox Money (SWR%)

  • YTD – 89,163 (1.26%)
  • 2021 – 136,578 (1.86%)
  • 2020 – 130,610 (2.04%)
  • 2019 – 110,068 (1.99%)

2022-10-26 Week 43

I suppose much like keeping your home organized, one needs to do some housekeeping on a regular basis. That’s how I view my financial journey now. It’s in maintenance mode. 

A large part of my transition was decluttering all the extra bank accounts, credit cards, holding companies, and investments that one can easily accumulate after investing for three decades. 

This month I have even cleaned up my children’s accounts. Now that they are in their young adulthood, it’s time to cut the parental money cords. They both canceled their bank accounts which I had started for them when they were infants. 

They now use Tangerine and have their own Visa debit card. I have told them not to get a credit card. No need for such a fuss. At this stage of their lives, it is valuable to know where your money goes. Credit cards are financial instruments designed to make one lose track of one’s spending. Not good. 

I taught them a simple strategy. Load up their chequing account with the amount they want to spend for the month. Once that is all spent, they simply have to wait until next month when it gets refilled. So simple and yet so powerful. 

It’s always easy to tell people what to do. But sometimes folks just need to have this laid out step by step. It is all too easy to KNOW what to do but to become easily distracted and not get things set up and started. Then decades can go by…

That is why I have chosen to simply show what I have in my portfolio. The majority of my portfolio is in one ETF and it is glorious. I barely think about it and it has freed a ton of bandwidth worrying about what to do with my investments.

For me, it is more than good enough. I just do not care anymore about optimizing. I pay more for online shopping which I LOVE. So why not pay more for the simplicity of holding my assets in one ETF?

Life is a trade off and nothing is free. 

My plan is to make investing simple for me and my family so that we are able to manage this ourselves. 

I prefer spending dividends when I retire since VGRO pays quarterly dividends that match our expenses. We oversaved but most times that is simpler. No complicated mental gymnastics with that one.

And yeah, I am too lazy to bother with investment real estate. I want to manage NOTHING. 

That is the beauty of passive index investing. When the investments drop, I do not have to do anything. That. Is. Awesome. 

I do not even have to be vigilant. My ETF will do what it is meant to do and I can go for a nice walk instead. 

There are few things in one’s life where you will get a better result by doing nothing. 

Investing is one of them. 

Thank goodness for that.

2022-Q3 Financial Update

“Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.”

― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life

My Investment Philosophy

  • Diversify – investments and taxes.
  • Do nothing – automate.
  • Develop margin of safety – allow assets to compound.

Portfolio

I treat all accounts as one portfolio.

  • VGRO – 84%
  • Cash – 156K
  • VAB – 5%
  • Brk.b – 5%
  • GIC – 3%
  • Asset Allocation – 72%
  • Networth YTD – (704,083)

Mailbox Money

“Life is really simple, but men insist on making it complicated.” Confucius (BC 551-BC 479) Chinese philosopher.

I have zero alpha.

I want “know nothing, do nothing” mailbox money.

Mailbox Money (SWR%)

  • YTD – 89,163 (1.30%)
  • 2021 – 136,578 (1.86%)
  • 2020 – 130,610 (2.04%)
  • 2019 – 110,068 (1.99%)

The metamorphosis is complete. 

I have simplified my finances such that I am managing quarterly. 

A large portion of my prior spreadsheet activities have been eliminated. 

I have closed down extra accounts. 

So this will be the new routine going forward. Just do less. 

Most of this stuff just needs to be good enough. 

Nowadays, I just buy VGRO quarterly and that’s it. 

I no longer track my expenses with Mint. I simply use the year to date total on my Visa card. 

I minimized the number of bank accounts we hold such that it has become much easier to keep an eye on our finances.

I have been minimizing the number of ETFs we hold. I will likely only hold VGRO in time. Berkshire will be sold when we retire when this does not impact our SBD. VAB will be changed to VGRO as well. My GICs will fully mature by 2024. 

I truly enjoy mailbox money.

August 2022 – TINA

Portfolio Aug 2022

I treat all accounts as one portfolio.

  • VGRO – 83%
  • VAB – 5%
  • Brk.b – 5%
  • GIC – 3%
  • Cash – 231K
  • Asset Allocation – 72%
  • Networth YTD – (531,376)

TINA – “There is no alternative”

I believe this to be true. 

What are one’s options?

  1. Equities 
  2. Real estate 
  3. Businesses 

Generally speaking, that’s about it. Ofcourse one could crawl down the rabbit hole for each category. But let’s not. 

I have no interest in making more money with effort. Like zero interest. 

That is one of the benefits of living simply. You can stop actively earning after awhile. Because once one has enough, what is the point?

I have been very clear that money should translate into comfort and convenience. Most things in life can not be solved with money. Best not to try to solve a non money problem with more money. It will not work. 

It always goes back to knowing oneself. For some people having more money allows them to do more. I call these the “freedom to” folks. Whether that is to start a new business or start their real estate empire. 

I am on the other spectrum where having money allows me to engage in my life of doing less. I am firmly in the “freedom from” camp. 

The biggest benefit of late has been my ability to stop shopping. I use online shopping services solely. It has been nothing short of amazing. 

I have never been one to go into debt to buy stuff. And I certainly would not go into debt for expensive vacations. I just don’t tend to swing that way.

So to revisit the other options for investing. We have done real estate over the years. But nowadays I prefer the dividends that come with me doing nothing.

And in terms of starting a business, you can forget about it. Running our own practice is enough for me thank you very much.

I revel in this “do nothing mailbox money”. 

There are no longer any problems to solve as one would get with real estate and businesses. Vanguard takes care of my ETF and all I have to do is NOTHING! 

Doing nothing is easy for me. 

Aug 2022 Financial Updates

  1. Use Visa spend totals to track personal spending. Zero need to sign on to any other financial aggregators account like Mint. 
  2. Plan to close our Tangerine bank account. Will have one credit union for all our banking. 
  3. No VGRO to buy this month since I will begin investing quarterly rather than monthly. Just keep 150K cash instead of 200K cash. That was a simple maneuver. I must stop hoarding cash.