2019-04 Financial Ease- Investments

This will be my foray into thinking about ways to develop financial ease. That is a fun topic for me so I will write about that.

Everyone wants to write about investments. I write about it as well. But I know that this is one of the easiest parts of one’s financial plan. Anyone who can fog a mirror can now buy an all-in-one ETF from Vanguard and be done with it. If one only invests in tax deferred or tax free accounts, it would be supremely simple.

The problem most anyone reads about is what is the best investments to use. People drill down deep about which products to buy. They really think about it all too much.

The palpable agnst can be too much to bear.

You will note that I take a slightly different approach. I just go with good enough. Especially when it comes to paper investments. We are all PASSIVE investors no matter how much time we want to spend on it. The market will never care what we think about pretty much all of it. We have zero influence or control.

But it is a good thing since we do not actually need to do anything. That is why I grab a low cost, globally diversified ETF from a reputable company and then I am done.

I will be ridding my CCPC of the 3 fund Couch Potato portfolio during the next tax loss selling opportunity. I plan to hold one ETF.

And it is not because I have limited investments. But when it comes to paper investments, I have learned to respect that it is limited what one can do. Most of it is luck. None of it is due to investor prowess.

The same can not be said for buying cash flow positive real estate or starting your own business. Those require skill.

But it also takes more work and hassle. There is a trade off.

But when it comes to paper investments, save your time and energy. At best everyone is playing around the edges and I doubt that it will amount to much difference.

You can make it more complicated by wasting oodles of your own bandwidth and you might still be wrong. Or you can spend 100 basis points and pay an advisor who makes it complicated. And lo and behold, he could be wrong as well.

Thus for my own financial ease, I deem none of this activity worthwhile. I have decided to hold all fixed income in my RRSP because I want GICs in that tax deferred account. I want this to form my income floor when we retire. It is an additional benefit that this is a good place to stick interest bearing investments.

I plan to keep my paper investments simple by using one ETF (VGRO). I will not delude myself that I have any control over the markets. I will take what it gives me and I would rather ignore the whole thing.

What else in life improves when you ignore it? Not your relationships or career or health.

Okay absolutely nothing else.

Accept that being “smart” and “hardworking” will not give you an upper hand in the market. You chose this route so you could do nothing.

I have read enough financial commentary to sense that when the markets hit the proverbial fan- all these folks who know lots will all be sitting there experiencing the same things as know nothing moi.

So whatever. I had listened to what they say but it is all trending towards woo woo to me now.

What makes sense?

You can’t time the market so just keep buying on a consistent basis.

There is no perfect investment so go with low cost, globally based funds.

Fees matter and trade less as well.

Set as much as I can on autopilot since the less I deal with it the better I will do.

I chose this investment vehicle so I could do nothing and know nothing.

I will follow my simple adage. Buy regularly and when it goes on sale, just buy more. So simple indeed.

You can not control the markets but you can control how much you save. And you can control how you enjoy all this new found time and energy with this do nothing investment vehicle.

You may be someone who needs talking off the cliff when the markets decline. You best question how much you want to play this game. And you likely need the handholding of an advisor. The market will eat those with weak stomachs for lunch.

The market does NOT care about you and your financial needs.

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