September 2021 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.

Networth%

  • Equities – 41%
  • Bonds – 16%
  • Cash – 8%
  • Real Estate – 36%
    1. Home – 24%
    2. Extra Unit – 7%
    3. Office Unit – 5%
  • Other – 0.5%
  • Networth Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – 753,159
    2. 2020 – 923,032
    3. 2019 – 733,269

Portfolio

I treat all accounts as one portfolio.

  • Portfolio
    1. VGRO – 75%
    2. Cash – 10%
    3. VAB – 6%
    4. Brk.B – 4.6%
    5. GIC – 4%
  • Asset Allocation – 64.7%
  • Portfolio Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – 330,563
    2. 2020 – 370,596
    3. 2019 – 83,249

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.

  • September 2021
    1. Interest – 176
    2. VAB – 923
    3. Total – 1,099
  • 12 Month Trailing – 121,927
  • Mailbox Money
    1. YTD – 88,456
    2. 2020 – 125,388
    3. 2019 – 107,264

September 2021

Well another academic year has begun. My daughter has started the last year of her undergraduate degree. Thank goodness.

Life got busy with multiple home projects and many appliances needing replacement. If one reviews their activities, you will notice a lot of hassle related to upkeep of one’s home and cars.

So no vacation property for me thanks. I would rather rent during vacation.

I think we have become dividend investors without realizing it. It started as a semi joke about the mailbox money. But I can live off these amounts already. And we have another decade of practice left.

I am grateful that we like what we do. It is a more meaningful activity than volunteering for me. To each his own I suppose.

With respect to dividend investing, I completely understand the behavioural bias. I understand why people hold onto 100% stocks if it pays an income stream.

Not much new on my end. The market is ripping up my profits from earlier this year.

I am grateful that I just. don’t. care.

August 2021 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.

Networth%

  • Equities – 42%
  • Bonds – 16%
  • Cash – 7%
  • Real Estate – 35%
    1. Home – 23%
    2. Extra Unit -6%
    3. Office Unit – 5%
  • Other – 0.5%
  • Networth Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – 934,872
    2. 2020 – 923,032
    3. 2019 – 733,269

Portfolio

I treat all accounts as one portfolio.

  • Portfolio
    1. VGRO – 75%
    2. Cash – 10%
    3. VAB – 6%
    4. Brk.B – 4.6%
    5. GIC – 4%
  • Asset Allocation – 64.9%
  • Portfolio Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – 538,258
    2. 2020 – 370,596
    3. 2019 – 83,249

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.

  • August 2021
    1. Interest – 514
    2. VAB – 869
    3. Total – 1,383
  • 12 Month Trailing – 124,382
  • Mailbox Money
    1. YTD – 87,358
    2. 2020 – 125,388
    3. 2019 – 107,264

August 2021

I recognized lately that money takes care of most problems in a person’s life. Ofcourse one can spend almost any amount of money. But for the vast majority of people, money takes care of most things.

My mother’s insurance company is refusing to pay for some of her medications. All I think nowadays is “who cares?” I can just pay for it and stop having to deal with them.

This is similar to work pensions as well. Yes, one gets to have a “guaranteed” income for life. However, you get to pay with your life. Nothing is free in this life.

The markets continue to behave as I expected. It goes up and it goes down. Sometimes I hop onto the Bogleheads forum. The amount of fretting on this site makes me wonder why some of them even bother with equities.

If you are going to worry so much, just use GICs like we used to do.

Money can only do so much for you when your issues are psychological. But aside from necessary health expenses and relationship categories, I argue that it helps a ton.

You can’t take it with you either. I plan on giving some to my children while they are young enough for it to make a difference.

Too many people give money to their “kids” when they are seniors themselves. I do not have issues with them having to earn it. One must learn to use advantages appropriately. I am not into struggle for its own sake.

This past month money helped with paying off my child’s student loans, wisdom teeth extractions, new appliances, and a whole host of other large expenses.

We have also been eating out more. However, my family’s cooking skills have improved to the point that eating out tastes worse than home cooking.

So thank goodness for Costco and home deliveries.

Organizing the investments has made my taxes simpler. I barely spend any time thinking about this stuff. That was the point of all this.

One can spend a lot of time on this stuff or barely anything at all. I am planning to choose the latter.

July 2021 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.

Networth%

  • Equities – 41%
  • Bonds – 16%
  • Cash – 6%
  • Real Estate – 36%
    1. Home – 24%
    2. Extra Unit – 7%
    3. Office Unit – 5%
  • Other – 0.5%
  • Networth Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – 762,377
    2. 2020 – 923,032
    3. 2019 – 733,269

Portfolio

I treat all accounts as one portfolio.

  • Portfolio
    1. VGRO – 75%
    2. Cash – 10%
    3. VAB – 6%
    4. Brk.B – 4.6%
    5. GIC – 4%
  • Asset Allocation – 64.9%
  • Portfolio Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – 393,141
    2. 2020 – 370,596
    3. 2019 – 83,249

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.

  • July 2021
    1. VGRO – 24,900
    2. Interest – 2,573
    3. VAB – 981
    4. Total – 28,454
  • 12 Month Trailing – 124,480
  • Mailbox Money
    1. YTD – 85,975
    2. 2020 – 125,388
    3. 2019 – 107,264

July 2021

My investment plan is starting to materialize. The plan is to do almost nothing.

I know why I do not visit financial forums. There is too much noise. There is too much fear. I don’t think anyone knows anything. So what’s the point?

I just keep track of my portfolio by showing up here each month. I like regularity.

I am reminded that one can do almost nothing and that’s fine. I enjoy how simple things are nowadays. I believe folks who require a lot of guarantees should have gotten jobs with defined benefit plans.

There is no true guarantee with a volatile portfolio. That’s the nature of equity markets. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is selling something.

But there are various ways to secure retirement income. Folks just have to use what they have on hand.

I like how Gasem uses his social security. Now there is a smart guy with an interest in investing. And he still relies on his guaranteed government payments for his retirement. He is quite wise indeed.

I don’t make any money off this blog and have zero plan to.

This is just a portfolio diary. Period.

I don’t even think most folks know what is an adequate asset allocation. Everyone says 60/40. But that 60% equities has a lot of volatility.

I figure that once I invest with equities that there will be limited control. That’s why it is even more important to set up the controllable factors.

Live modestly.

Use a low spending ratio.

I would rather go to work than worry about equities.

I will likely be a quasi dividend investor. My ETF dividends will be enough to live on. I just have to make sure that it is less than 3% of the portfolio.

I am moving closer to holding only VGRO and 5-10% cash. This will be the easiest portfolio to maintain over the long term.

For now, it is to carry on and wait for GICs to mature. I have been enjoying the Olympics a lot. This is what you get to do when your investments take zero effort, you get to live your life.

Visit friends and family. Enjoy the outdoors more. Exercise and read. You get the idea.

June 2021 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.

Networth%

  • Equities – 40%
  • Bonds – 16%
  • Cash – 8%
  • Real Estate – 36%
    1. Home – 24%
    2. Extra Unit – 7%
    3. Office Unit – 5%
  • Other – 0.5%
  • Networth Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – 690,628
    2. 2020 – 923,032
    3. 2019 – 733,269

Portfolio

I treat all accounts as one portfolio.

  • Portfolio
    1. VGRO – 72%
    2. Cash – 13%
    3. VAB – 6%
    4. Brk.B – 4.6%
    5. GIC – 4.4%
  • Asset Allocation – 62.4%
  • Portfolio Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – 345,887
    2. 2020 – 370,596
    3. 2019 – 83,249

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.

  • June 2021
    1. Interest – 1,460
    2. VAB – 823
    3. Total – 2,283
  • 12 Month Trailing – 118,573
  • Mailbox Money
    1. YTD – 57,519
    2. 2020 – 125,388
    3. 2019 – 107,264

June 2021

The final plan is to hold VGRO and cash. But there are a few steps along the way.

  • Wait for my GICs to mature. Last ones are due in 2024.
  • Sell VAB, the intermediate bond ETF, and buy VGRO in the RRSP.
  • Sell Berkshire when we work part time. This is because of the small business deduction limit.
  • Sell our office when we retire.

When we fully retire, we will spend mainly mailbox money. I will make sure that it is less than 3% of our total portfolio.

So that is the plan. Not amazing. Not optimized. But very simple for everyone including me.

I continue to minimize our financial accounts. I started the year with four credit cards and now only carry two. One for personal use and one for corporate use.

I am helping my children to avoid financial junk drawers and to keep things simple. It takes a lot of time and effort to unwind past mistakes.

I searched for this type of investing when I was in my twenties. I even called Vanguard. But alas it did not arrive in Canada until 2011.

I did not fully adopt it until 2018 when the asset allocation ETFs started.

So yeah kids, you guys can keep it simple and easy.

May 2021 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

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

Networth%

  1. Equities – 38%
  2. Bonds – 16%
  3. Cash – 10%
  4. Real Estate – 36%
    1. Home – 24%
    2. Extra Unit – 7%
    3. Office Unit – 5%
  5. Other – 0.5%
  6. Networth Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – 537,267
    2. 2020 – 923,032
    3. 2019 – 733,269

Portfolio

I treat all accounts as one portfolio.

  1. Portfolio
    1. VGRO (80/20 Asset Allocation ETF) – 69%
    2. Cash – 15%
    3. VAB (Intermediate Bond ETF) – 6%
    4. Brk.B (Berkshire Hathaway) – 4.7%
    5. GIC – 4.7%
  2. Asset Allocation – 60.3%
  3. Portfolio Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – 230,238
    2. 2020 – 370,596
    3. 2019 – 83,249

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.

  1. May 2021
    1. Interest – 1,952
    2. VAB – 874
    3. Total – 2,826
  2. 12 Month Trailing – 118,663
  3. Mailbox Money
    1. YTD – 55,236
    2. 2020 – 125,388
    3. 2019 – 107,264

May 2021

As you can tell from the brevity of the figures tracked, I have continued to simplify. I only care about my networth, asset allocation, portfolio and mailbox money.

I plan to hold mainly VGRO and cash in due time. It will take another couple of years for my GICs to mature. I can not sell Berkshire until my husband is working part time. Otherwise it would overwhelm our small business deduction for the year.

I do not bother with asset location. The government can change your taxes and plans dramatically. I just put assets everywhere and hopefully I will have flexibility when the government changes the rules again.

Plus I don’t even care about paying taxes. I just don’t want to overpay.

I can control spending. Many of the other factors such as the stock market, interest rates, housing market, your health, your loved ones’ health are beyond your control.

Come to think of it, you likely can’t even control spending. If a true spending shock occurs, you will pay. Period.

I keep things simple and hopefully I will at least be able to see trouble earlier.

I am very grateful when things are going well. I do not need or demand home runs. I am more than happy with a quiet life with a minimum of hassle and busyness.

I am grateful that I worked hard early on in my career. That has allowed me to glide for the past 16 years.

In terms of my investments, I plan to keep whittling away at the components. This tax year has been utterly simple. My accountant has zero idea what to think of all this. But it is becoming harder for them to say that my taxes are complicated. They are finally simple. Amen to that.

I am able to see how everyone wants to complicate things so that they can charge fees to unwind it. I see this for financial advisors, accountants and lawyers. Everyone seems to have their hand out perpetually.

I always knew that working a lot for money was never worth it for me. I was willing to work enough. And honestly I prefer to spend less than go out of my way to earn a lot more.

To say that I can be truly lazy when it comes to money is an understatement. But it works well since I am also someone who enjoys good enough. I never need to have the best of anything.

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