2019-05 Networth

2018

May_2019

M/M $

M/M %

YTD

Assets

Corporate Acct

3,847,322

4,191,154

23,491

0.6%

8.4%

RRSP

717,438

731,261

-1,607

-0.2%

1.9%

TFSA

113,366

137,262

-4,495

-3.2%

21.1%

Personal Acct

310,466

297,891

4,251

1.4%

2.7%

Commodities

44,776

44,776

0

0%

0%

Personal Residence

3,030,000

2,607,000

0

0%

0%

Property- Other

852,450

800,350

0

0%

0%

Property- Office

448,000

473,000

0

0%

0%

Total

9,363,818

9,282,694

21,640

0.2%

4.1%

Liabilities

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

9,363,818

9,282,694

21,640

0.2%

4.1%

It is networth time again. The equity market has been rising. I do not spend much time dissecting what my numbers mean or what happened. I figure now that I am investing in ETFs that this will flail around randomly. And I am fine with that.

I do not try to understand what moves the market and thus our numbers. I simply gloss over any blogs or articles that mention market forecasts or explanations. It is what it is and I frankly do not see anyone knowing anything. Or worse, they may know a lot but it doesn’t matter to the portfolio.

I have never understood folks’ discomfort with not being an expert. I think this whole investing game is simply picking a plan and then sticking with it through thick and thin. There is no perfect investment plan. The best strategy is to get the heck out of your own way.

The more I review plans and numbers online, the more that I see that there are many roads to the promised land. And each of us define this differently.

I enjoy updating the numbers monthly since it helps me keep track of things. It reminds me to further simplify our accounts as added complexity drives me nuts.

Why Invest Passively?

  1. Better quality of life.
    1. I never have to read company reports.
    2. I never have to monitor the news.
    3. I can automate the whole bloody thing.
  2. Know nothing, do nothing.
    1. Takes less time and is much less stressful. It would be impossible to monitor 94% of the global equity and bond markets which is what my all-in-one fund has.
    2. I just have to bet that people will generally prefer capitalism to further their own goals. I can bank on that.

The documentation of my finances will hopefully illustrate how simple all this can be. I truly lack any bells and whistles in my plan.

In fact, when we started our corporation, the accountants told us to draw out a modest salary and leave the rest in the company. And all I did was follow their advice. This directed us to buy a cheaper home.

The changes for the small business deduction in our CCPC are a nuisance. But part of a good life is being flexible. My husband and I are using this to remind ourselves that perhaps it is time to slow down. This can only be a positive thing. Sometimes one just keeps slogging away and it takes changes such as the small business deduction limits to remind you that the goal is not to keep throwing money into the corporation.

Besides, many of us have dealt with emergency medical situations. This is just money. Must keep things in perspective.

I have zero insight into any “optimum” strategies. I do not think they exist. No one can predict what will happen with future taxes and legislation. But one can try to control their own small economy.

I can be open with my husband and children about a general approach to finances. I can continue to simplify our finances so that it will be simple for any of them to take over.

And that is the best that I can do. Be open, be flexible, keep things simple.

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2019-05 Passive Income

Symbol

May_2019

YTD

iShares Core MSCI All Country World ex Canada Index ETF

XAW

0

2003.40

iShares Core S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index ETF

XIC

0

4067.96

BMO Discount Bond Index ETF

ZDB

297.06

1326.67

Vanguard Growth ETF Portfolio

VGRO

0

24.05

Amgen

AMGN

0

480.67

Dividends- Corporate

297.06

7902.75

Interest- Corporate

3738

37188

Passive Income- Corporate

4035.06

45091

RRSP- Hubs

VGRO

0

503.56

RRSP- Mine

VGRO

0

97.14

TFSA- Hubs

VGRO

0

644.34

TFSA- Mine

VGRO

0

667.44

Dividends- Personal

0

1912.48

Interest- Personal

2078.95

9067.69

Passive Income- Personal

2078.95

10980

Total

6114

56071

Creating passive income has become my new interest. I never really thought about it all that much in the past.

But creating truly passive, do-nothing income is the best of all. That is what dividend and interest income translates into for me nowadays. The cash pops into our accounts without me doing anything. No more sitting on savings accounts with 0.6% interest.

I reinvested our accounts to earn another 1% more, but it adds up rather quickly. I am training my kids to also start to focus on passive income. I wish I appreciated this lesson earlier.

Our real estate investments in the past did generate cash flow. And it was a healthy amount. However, it did take work or money to respond to our renters. It was hardly onerous but I prefer doing absolutely nothing instead.

I don’t think there are any other passive income streams that one can get without additional work. The ability to receive interest payments and dividends from your investments make the most sense.

In Canada, one has the chance to receive government benefits eventually, which is indexed to inflation. It all hinges back to living modestly such that whatever passive income one can generate will supercede it. Then you are financially independent no matter your age.

Likely the fastest way to generate passive income would be real estate investors. But this is a business as well as an investment. I would have zero issue using more cash flow rentals if we were earlier in our careers. But at this stage in our lives, we prefer ZERO work outside Medicine.

Our human capital has been in Medicine. We both agree we have no desire to do any other work aside from our career.

This makes things easier since many personal finance blogs are all about the side hustle. I definitely will say a big fat “No” to that. I can barely keep my regular life organized. I can not handle further complexity. I am simply at a different stage in my life.

Besides, I am not one to care all that much about generating “more” with effort. I have a good handle on what is enough for us. I get very tired when the bar keeps getting moved once a goal is reached.

If most physicians can do the simple things such as live modestly and save the difference, this would be enough. Many just need to stop buying liabilities would be a good start.

This blog should highlight how simple it can all be. I do NOTHING complicated. I seriously only engage in entering totals from my accounts into a spreadsheet.

I might have been a horrid investor but I could certainly save. Trust me, it is not a difficult effort since spending is more of a hassle for me. I love shopping at Costco since there is a paucity of choices. I dislike the ongoing choices required for shopping at other places.

Limiting choices also pertain to my investments. I look forward to streamlining my portfolio. I plan to keep the following:

  1. Legacy Stocks:
    1. Amgen
    2. Berkshire B
  2. VGRO- Vanguard Growth All-In-One ETF (80/20)
  3. VAB- Vanguard Canadian Aggregate Bond Index ETF

I have decided to gradually move the GICs in my RRSPs to VAB- a bond ETF. I plan to hold more fixed income and this will make everything easier in time.

This is the part that those who DIY invest recognise. It takes time to change portfolios. It will take about 5 years for my GICs to mature before the whole RRSP portfolio can be discharged into VAB. Patience is key. But it will be very simple when it gets rolled over.

Anyhow, I am glad that I am tracking our passive income. My husband who rarely asks about the finances says he really likes passive income. He can wrap his brain around that.

As an aside, I am glad that my husband does not care all that much about what I am doing with the portfolio. It is much easier to take care of this by myself. I tell him that if I mess up the finances, I guarantee that I would work to recover it. He knows that I can and would and thus he does not fret about it.

Hey, it works for us. Your mileage most certainly would vary.

And oh yeah, how about them Raptors!!! Building an automatic portfolio will give me more time to watch championship playoffs. June is the best month for that simple indulgence.

2019-06 CCPC Portfolio & Purchase Update

Security Name

Symbol

Jun_2019

Total Shares

Couch Potato Portfolio (77/23)

iShares Core MSCI All Country World ex Canada Index ETF

XAW

0

13531

iShares Core S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index ETF

XIC

0

6050

BMO Discount Bond Index ETF

ZDB

0

9902

Vanguard Canada Asset Allocation ETF (80/20)

Vanguard Growth ETF Portfolio

VGRO

2401

4936

CCPC Portfolio- Total

$799,281

I usually write this post during the first week of the month. However I was away camping in Yellowstone National Park. We drove by a couple of bison walking by the roadside. They were very close.

We ended up seeing most of the sites. I simply love visiting National parks. Yosemite is still my absolute favourite but Yellowstone was great.

My husband and I went. Okay here’s the deal. Dang it, I missed the kids and the dog. So we went home earlier than expected. We must start planning more family trips again.

Our kids at 18 and 20 years old still like to travel with us. I am glad.

We could have checked into a hotel but I enjoy camping. I would rather get the small campervan before I do the hotel thing at National Parks.

I will go to hotels when I have no other options. When I travel overseas, I have to use hotels. But waking up outdoors while camping is really wonderful.

I should have started this ETF investing thingy much earlier. It is so bloody simple it is not even funny. It is a joy to add to the investment pot. I find that I enjoy that more than sitting around waiting for a deal to come along with real estate. Maybe I am just getting lazier since I have become postmenopausal.

I try to talk to my girlfriends about investing and money management. Some of them believe it is complicated. I want to tell them that it is as simple as a click of a mouse but many times their eyes start to glaze over.

That is the thing isn’t it? Too many folks try to make this stuff complicated. It isn’t. It is very similar to fitness. Many of us know what to do. But instead of doing the simple stuff, they would rather get lost in the weeds instead. It is likely a form of procrastination.

We have decided to build a portfolio with an asset allocation of 50/ 50. It is good enough for us as we are closer to retirement. I have only had high market valuations since I started investing our money into the market. It will be interesting to see if I alter the asset allocation when the market drops. Only time will tell I suppose.

I added more VGRO as this will be the main ETF in our portfolio. I will sell the Couch potato portfolio ETFs when I get the chance for tax loss selling. I will be keeping some cash around as I want the portfolio to have a 50/50 AA. Laddered GICs or a bond ETF will be fine for that.

Buying an all-in-one ETF like VGRO would allow us to take off and not care about what happens to our portfolio. We will know when really big moves occur since I am sure people will be talking about it. Otherwise we will let Vanguard do all the heavy lifting. That sounds grand to me.

I would rather plan more outdoor excursions with my family. I am investing this way to protect our investments from ME! (And my husband) Now that’s what I call having insight.

I tend to be a hybrid decision maker. I could have gone with VBAL which is 60/40 AA but then I do enjoy having some flexibility. And I would not buy VEQT which is 100% equities since I prefer that Vanguard performs the regular rebalancing. Thus we settled on VGRO which is 80/20.

There is one common thread I have noticed with investing. It never hurts to give oneself options. I have yet to see that being a drawback.

I doubt that there is any perfect investment approach. But there will be one that is a better fit for us and we have found it.

Interestingly enough, my son who is 20 years old has taken to these all-in-one funds like fish to water. He may be one of those odd folks who can stick with one method from the start. He has heard about some of our fork ups so perhaps that has helped.

We were likely the worst investors in terms of our portfolios. We have a crap ton in cash still. But we do not spend that much and thus it probably doesn’t matter how we invest it. Short of losing it, we will be able to continue living our modest lifestyle.

I would be grateful to be able to afford groceries at Costco. I don’t need or want any fancy restaurants. So called regular restaurants are expensive enough thanks.

That is the best part of personal finance. The fact that we all have different plans for our money.

2019-05 Month Review

My niece and nephew came for a visit in early May. I spent about a thousand dollars on meals out, events tickets and buying them some Patagonia and Lululemon outfits.

This was a great occasion to practice my plan to spend money on experiences but mainly spend money on people I care about. I would rather divert my unconscious spending to this category instead.

I also took the Visa away from the kids since they were unconsciously spending too much. I settled on a 100/ month for extras and that’s it.

My son was more than happy to give it back. My daughter did this reluctantly but both could see the doubling and tripling of their spending when they used the Visa. Hmmm.

I think these companies know exactly what they are doing. Making spending unconscious is very powerful.

Simplify

I have nailed down my running routine this month. The biggest breakthrough was shortening the run. I practically cut it in half to 2.5 miles. I run along a well lit residential street which is also a well used bike lane. Safe and super easy.

I also simplified by wearing my glasses for the runs. No more trying to stick contacts into my tired eyes anymore. And then giving up on my run because I got irritated with my bleeping contacts.

Financial Ease

I gave up on trying to groom my dog. I now gladly pay for my dog grooming. I was enjoying it for about a year but in the end it is a hassle. And I know how much I dislike hassles.

I am also buying way more mostly prepared foods. This is finally the combination that has made me want to eat at home more often. Eating the mostly prepared foods is simpler than eating out! Go figure.

This is a good reminder to me that sometimes paying more is just a smarter bet. One just has to be conscious that you are getting value for it.

I value convenience so I gladly pay for this.

Nutrition & Training Log

2018

May_2019

YTD/ (Goal)

Average Weight (lb)

135.2

131.1

(<130)

Runs

144

24

37

Weights Lifting Volume (lb)

217,115

36,300

133,275

Dining Out

Too many to count

3

24

My strength training has been spot on. I think I missed all of two workouts during the entire month. The 3 times weekly routine has been the sweet spot.

This highlights my point of tracking. Trying to make myself adhere to a schedule has never worked. What I do instead is to set up a schedule with no intention that I must follow it. I see it as a “guideline”. Then I see what I actually do and that becomes my experiment of one.

I get a lot more information from observing what I actually do versus forcing myself to do stuff. That has never worked. I do not like being told what to do. Not even by myself.

News

University Acceptance for My Son

My son recently got accepted into our local university. This is very positive as his traveling to campus will be much simpler. He knows to find work he enjoys enough as he may be working at it for 3-4 decades.

He has no interest in retiring even when he has enough money. He knows he needs to get out of the house and meet people regularly. My son knows himself better than many adults that I have met.

Husband Actually Talking About Retiring

My husband finally realized that he wants to retire earlier. He gave me a one week notice to engineer the retirement.

Thankfully this is something that I am always rip cord ready for and thus it was hardly a stretch to show him the numbers. There is zero point of working endlessly. I have always told him to work if he wants to for clinical acumen and simply to master his surgical craft.

We both would prefer to keep practicing part time. We both enjoy what we do. I think we will just take a lot more time off. I think the stress of 100% retirement at such a young age would be too much.

Especially now that our kids are older and more independent. It is much easier to travel for weeks at a time. Our kids know how to take care of everything at home. Another side benefit of having the kids attend the local university. (Hee hee)

Stuff I Am Obsessing About Lately

  1. Nissan Envy Campervan
    1. This is such a cool van and small enough that even I would want to drive it.
  2. Knitting
    1. This is like meditation. It is sooo relaxing and I don’t even make anything with it. But man it is fun.
  3. Schitts Creek (TV series)
    1. Omg this is the bestest show. And so awesome that it is Canadian.
  4. NBA Finals
    1. I used to be a humongous basketball fan. I almost failed 2nd year med school watching Michael Jordan’s first three-peat (1991-1993). Okay I exaggerate but I watched way too much b-ball during that time.
    2. GO RAPTORS!!!

Dang it, May was a great month.

2019-04 Expenses

Apr_2019

YTD

Fixed

Accountant

986

1537

Cellular

220

880

Healthcare

75

1155

Insurance- Auto

0

0

Insurance- Home

0

0

Internet (Wifi, Netflix, Spotify)

122

482

Maintenance- Home

0

383

Property Tax

0

4654

Transportation (Fuel, Bus)

159

390

Utilities

427

879

Total- Fixed

1989

10360

Discretionary

Children

74

294

Clothing

7

602

Dog

104

286

Food

1937

5224

Haircuts

60

103

Hobbies

4

345

Misc

3

3

Travel

0

867

Total- Discretionary

2188

7724

Expenses- Total

4178

18084

It is expenses time of the month. This is another financial habit that I have had since I moved away from home to attend university. I was only 17 years old and kept track of it all on a printed out calendar.

Good grief, both my kids are currently older than I was. Well it is much easier to track spending nowadays with apps such as Mint. That is what I use.

As usual, we spend the most on food. We also had guests during the month which involved you guessed it, lots of dining out.

I am beyond worrying about it all that much. I worry more for my health rather than the expense. My expenses seem to settle around 50- 60K/ year.

Thank goodness for Mint because I do not think I would track my expenses manually anymore. I think tracking manually is a very bad habit. I tend to accumulate habits that I will continue endlessly. If it wasn’t automated now, I shudder at all the life energy wasted trying to keep that up.

I have almost never budgeted. I just tend not to have insanely expensive tastes. I also tend to have simple hobbies. In fact, ALL my hobbies are free.

I tell my kids to just deposit a fixed amount into their chequing account at the beginning of each month. Then when they have spent the money they get to wait out the rest of the month with no further spending.

That is the easiest approach. With that strategy, you do not have to track anything. Honestly money spent is gone. Does it even matter which category it went to?

There is a reason I have been using Mint. I flag only my food expenses for the month. The fact is that no matter how I track it, I do not change my behavior all that much. What has changed my eating out for the current month has been realizing that I would rather eat prepared foods at home than go out.

It is the health aspect that is changing my behavior than caring about how much it costs. It really can be that simple.

And for those who find it too easy to spend. Just use cash and then stop when it runs out before the end of the month. My kids use this method and it works.

I only used cash during Medical school. I was rejected for the only Visa card I applied for at the time. I probably filled it out incorrectly. I also never borrowed from the bank. I use to listen to my classmates go on and on about their lines of credit.

I have also never had a line of credit either.

The more I think about it, the more I realize how minimally I use the financial system. That’s likely why I still do not have a personal banker to this day. I tend to use mainly online banking. I never needed to form any “relationships” with a banker since I rarely used them.

I had one mortgage for our rental house and other than that we paid for all our properties with cash. My accountant told me to pay off the remaining rental mortgage since he saw that I left most of the cash sitting in the accounts.

Anyhow, back to tracking expenses. It is likely a waste of time for me to do this anymore. I spend erratically and it has never seem to matter to our family finances. The best advice I can give is to not saddle yourself with too many subscription type of expenses. The inertia makes one keep those for much longer than needed.

As physicians, we do not make leveraged income. We need to stop spending like it is the easiest thing to make the money back.

Money does not have much to do with intelligence. And certainly nothing to do with academic intelligence. Unfortunately many doctors have an ego. That is the tripwire that many merchants catch them on. Doctors want to feel important and society is happy to further their delusion by selling them pretty shiny things.

If you don’t spend like a silly person, then meticulously categorizing your expenses is likely a waste of bandwidth.

I am sure there are plenty of folks like myself who will not change their behavior even after seeing the numbers year after year.

The most helpful part of my expenses is knowing how much my essentials cost. The rest is all discretionary and contingency expenses. Contingency expenses are the most difficult. They seem to come out of nowhere.

There is nothing wrong with spending if you have the means to afford it comfortably. I prefer spending on systems that makes my life better. I love my Roomba for my daughter’s long hair, I love my dishwasher for obvious reasons. I love things that make my life convenient.

Instead of not spending, focus on consciously spending on what you love.

I love convenience, freedom and relationships. I spend happily on things that support those values.

For everything else, I could care less.

Money has allowed me to avoid doing things I don’t want to do. Hmm. I don’t like cooking so perhaps that’s why I eat out so often. But I hope it’s more that it helps me enjoy my relationships with a great meal out.

You just have to know what you like. I like food that tastes good to me. I could care less about fancy restaurants with menus I can’t pronounce.

I also have a general disdain for luxury and status. That alone makes my spending lower than most folks. And don’t get me started on “exclusivity”. I have tried these things and they are often one step short of being super annoying.

Expenses are an important part of personal finance.

Just know that any amount of income can be spent.

2019-04 Networth

2018

Apr_2019

M/M $

M/M %

YTD

Assets

Corporate Acct

3,847,322

4,167,663

104,869

2.6%

7.8%

RRSP

717,438

732,868

5,168

0.7%

2.2%

TFSA

113,366

141,757

4,752

3.5%

25.0%

Personal Acct

310,466

293,640

-2,390

-0.8%

1.2%

Commodities

44,776

44,776

0

0.0%

0.0%

Personal Residence

3,030,000

2,607,000

0

0%

0%

Property- Other

852,450

800,350

0

0%

0%

Property- Office

448,000

473,000

0

0%

0%

Total

9,363,818

9,261,054

112,399

1.2%

3.9%

Liabilities

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

9,363,818

9,261,054

112,399

1.2%

3.9%

It is networth time of the month again. I have kept track for as long as I can recall. I kept track even when I have no idea what to do with the numbers.

I think the way I manage finances is similar to keeping one’s house clean. I put everything in its place so that I can find things easily.

Why bother keeping track of your networth? Honestly, why not? I mainly do this nowadays to make sure that I review each account’s transactions. If I did not have this spreadsheet and the habit of reviewing, I’d likely lose track of an account.

I have set up notifications on most of my accounts to alert when there is access or spending on my credit cards. But regularly reviewing each account reminds me to take a closer look once a month.

In terms of our networth, the only account that went down was our personal spending account. This was likely from an expense since all the funds are in a Tangerine high interest savings account.

I am proof positive that one can increase their networth by savings alone. My husband and I reviewed our investment acumen lately and the results were not pretty. But we continue to earn consistently, keep modest expenses and avoid doing too much silly stuff with the investments. Many years we simply did nothing.

There is plenty to be said for doing the simplest of things. It works. You might have nothing to tell anyone that would impress them. But with the kind of money most physicians need to work diligently for, it makes sense to keep it simple.

Our Personal Account consists of cash in a high interest savings account. Currently I get 2.75% thanks to Tangerine. However I have been thinking about putting a portion into VDY ETF which is the Vanguard Canada FTSE Canadian High Dividend Yield Index ETF .

My thinking is that we rarely need such a large infusion of cash in our daily lives. Our retirement portfolio is made up of our CCPC account and our RRSPs. This portfolio is planned for 60/40 to 70/30 asset allocation. We will get there someday..

My personal account is really for spending. I don’t care if there is limited growth. But I figure the Canadian dividends would have preferential tax treatment. I recognize that VDY is mainly made up of banks (about 66% financials) and oil & gas (about 22%).

But the thought of trying to choose individual stocks to buy and hold is NOT what I want to be doing at this stage in my life. I do not care enough to even bother. I will gladly pay the 0.22% MER to keep me away from looking at individual companies. I do not even read the newspaper most days.

I plan to spent the dividends each year. The passive income would likely be higher than the high interest savings account. That would be an additional bonus. Anyhow that is on my mind and I will mull over this for a while before I pull the trigger. We have invested for decades and have never opened a personal taxable investment account.

We have always invested via the Corporation accounts or else I just held large amounts of cash. I have always had serious “cash drag”. Like I said, we pretty much deviated from “optimal” investing but simple habits have allowed us to keep our finances on track.

That has always been my issue with folks who do not seem to be able to save enough. Rather than deal with the biggest issue which is the fact they have meager savings after decades of full time work. They would rather talk about investing. I keep thinking, investments are NOT the problem here.

Furthermore, I firmly believe that the equities market are not less risky the longer one holds an investment. I see it as a percentage game. If one can live on 2% of their liquid wealth, then one can invest as much or as little in the stock market. And I would stay with low cost broad market index funds since picking individual stocks is ever riskier. I am NOT Warren Buffett.

Or one has pension-like income which can cover all their living costs. Few physicians have that. Also many physicians have such high expenses. I often tell my husband that his sister who is a doctor could never retire. No one could generate enough passive income to cover her lifestyle.

It is the regular dull accounting that I partake in that likely keeps our family finances on track. Nowadays the excel sheets do all the heavy lifting.

But there is a great truth that one should track what one cares about.

Enjoy the long weekend!

2019-04 Passive Income

Symbol

Apr_2019

YTD

iShares Core MSCI All Country World ex Canada Index ETF

XAW

0

2003.40

iShares Core S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index ETF

XIC

0

4067.96

BMO Discount Bond Index ETF

ZDB

297.06

1029.61

Vanguard Growth ETF Portfolio

VGRO

24.05

24.05

Amgen

AMGN

0

480.67

Dividends- Corporate

321.11

7605.69

Interest- Corporate

15325

33450

Passive Income- Corporate

15646.11

41056

RRSP- Hubs

VGRO

503.56

503.56

RRSP- Mine

VGRO

97.14

97.14

TFSA- Hubs

VGRO

303.12

644.34

TFSA- Mine

VGRO

331.44

667.44

Dividends- Personal

1235.26

1912.48

Interest- Personal

835.91

6988.74

Passive Income- Personal

2071.17

8901

Total

17717

49957

This is the year I start caring about passive income. I think it’s called the zero hour work week for a reason. That has never been what I had been searching for but it has a snappy ring to it.

The concept that your money needs to work hard for you makes sense to me. I had been a bit too complacent with it for years. We are likely about ten years away from a normal retirement age so this has become more pertinent.

I currently receive dividends from four ETFs and 1 stock. I still own Amgen which is a legacy holding before the small business deductions kicked in. I also still hold some Berkshire but that doesn’t pay any dividends.

I own the 3 Couch Potato portfolio ETFs- XIC, XAW & ZDB. I am gradually building up our VGRO ETF portfolio which is the only ETF I plan to keep aside from our two legacy stocks.

My current corporate owned GICs are gradually maturing and I will not be renewing them. I plan to keep the cash in 90 days terms which currently pay 1.7% interest in our local credit union. This will keep it relatively liquid until I have it fully invested.

The GICs in our RRSPs are also regularly maturing. At last count we had about 45 strips. Oh my goodness. That is too many.

I had originally wanted to buy the GICs quarterly or even (gulp) monthly. I cured myself of that silliness and have decided to buy the GICs only in January each year.

Even with an excel spreadsheet keeping track of the GICs, it has become unwieldy to monitor. So I plan to decrease the complexity by holding one GIC strip per year in each RRSP account.

Interest rates have been bouncing around but that is the nature of the investing game. I have no idea what direction any financial instrument will perform in the short term. But I can continue to implement my plan.

I am not really sure where our passive income will consistently land. But with this new tracking, it will be clearer to me after a couple of years.

The government will be limiting the small business deduction in our CCPC when one reaches 50K of passive income. We may likely breach this threshold during the year. We are 82% of the way there and it is only May.

The benefit is that my husband plans to happily work less. They have hired some new colleagues and this is a perfect time to start helping them start their practices. This is the cycle of life I suppose.

I have certainly seen many instances where doctors tend to “eat their young”. I think this small business deduction limit may have healthy side effects for our profession. Doctors as a group tend to attract very competitive and hard driving types.

Making them see that working harder effectively throws them backwards may help to wake some of them up. That may have the unintended consequences of improving our colleagues’ family lives and mental health.

Perhaps when many doctors begin to take their foot off the gas pedal, they may start to think about their optimal practices and lifestyles. No one else will be thinking about this for you. There is no human resources department you can run to when things start to derail.

Many times just remind yourself that keeping yourself healthy will make you better at EVERYTHING else. It pays to slow down just a bit to catch your breath.

Passive income will not matter if you end up broken just to get there. Furthermore, money is a tool.

Tools are only useful when you know what you want to build.

2019-05 CCPC Portfolio & Purchase Update

Security Name

Symbol

May_2019

Total Shares

Couch Potato Portfolio (77/23)

iShares Core MSCI All Country World ex Canada Index ETF

XAW

0

13531

iShares Core S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index ETF

XIC

0

6050

BMO Discount Bond Index ETF

ZDB

0

9902

Vanguard Canada Asset Allocation ETF

Vanguard Growth ETF Portfolio (80/20)

VGRO

1350

2535

CCPC Portfolio- Total

$749,403

Here we are at purchase time for another month. Is it me or are these months arriving faster and faster?

I realize that in time, my CCPC portfolio will be very simple. The table will consist of one ETF.

I am leaving my Couch Potato portfolio intact until a tax loss selling opportunity occurs. Then I will transition the entire portfolio to VGRO.

My current plan is to buy monthly and just buy more when the price goes down. I can only follow the simplest of strategies.

I bought VGRO close to its all time high price. I am unable to consistently time the best times to buy so I will need to follow a methodical process. Although I certainly do not like or want to buy when the price is so high, what are my other alternatives?

I am helping myself behaviorally with buying numerous tranches of this ETF. My purchase prices will blurr with time to my conscious mind. Whatever helps me get the funds invested, the better. When I set a specific purchase date on my calendar, it forces me to follow the schedule. I do not allow myself to reset the date.

I have done the research and spent some time thinking about the plan. All that is left is to move forward with the purchases. It is easier said than done. One needs to be slightly detached from the process to not begin to second guess yourself.

I tend to buy at the current ETF price. I do not try to wait and get it at a lower price during the day. Not only does this waste vast amounts of bandwidth worrying or caring about the price movements. But it does not help since the moves appear quite random.

I set the following rules for my purchase now:

  1. Avoid buying at the beginning or the end of the trading day. The large price moves scare me during these times.
  2. Make sure the ETF has only 1-2 cents spread between the bid and the ask.
  3. Set my limit order 1-2 cents above the ask price since I want my order to get filled.

Following these steps has allowed me to buy my ETFs more robotically. I can see why folks would want an advisor taking care of this for them. At times the large amounts I invest makes me pause. I keep thinking that maybe I can buy more shares when the price comes down.

But that is a dangerous way to think since then you start to believe that one can time this stuff. Or have any control whatsoever. Sadly, I know that I do not.

I only started thinking about investing in equities again in 2018. I can see that it truly is a bit of a crap shoot. That is why I just try to find the simplest approach and stick with it. I seriously see no utility in diving too deep into this stuff.

I truly believe you could know nothing and do nothing and likely have the same or better result than someone who learns about this stuff daily.

Where else in life would that be possible? Try that as a physician. Good luck with that.

But this also makes things easier since I discount all forecasts and opinions. I just do not care what anyone thinks will happen. It will be what it will be. I have zero control anyways over the market. And no one else seems to either.

This saves one serious time and energy. In this age of too much information, the ability to delete large swaths of noise makes life simply divine.

2019-04 Month Review

Blogging has become a wonderful hobby. It has helped to streamline my thinking about my finances. Anyone who discounts that has certainly not tried it.

I recognize that my opinions on investing are irrelevant as I am a novice in many respects. There is more than enough internet ink and real ink spilled about these topics.

How anyone wants to manage their money is their business. The benefit of the internet might be to allow some of us to show what we do.

Then take any useful nuggets for yourself. That’s the best any of us can do.

Relationships

April has been a fantastic month as my daughter finished exams for her first year of university. Finishing the final exam is always a relief on multiple dimensions. Plus the weather is gorgeous so Spring exams are often hard to stay focused.

She will be taking a course during the summer so only a couple of weeks break for now.

My son is working at a local cafe. It is a few minutes walk from home. He has started to follow my advice of working close to where you live. That’s because commuting sucks big time. I concur.

I am readying for family and friend visits. These are a regular occurrence during the year.

First up is a visit by my niece and nephew. They are young adults and my nephew is about to graduate university.

I have been blogging consistently for over a year now. I have settled into a rhythm that makes sense to me. I will post numbers. Less woo woo. Dr. MB’s woo woo can tend to be rather frightening. I am NOT a politically correct person.

My opinions do not really matter. It is not like I “know” the correct way to do anything per se. This is just how I do it. Simple as that. Your mileage may vary.

Nutrition and Training

I started limiting junk food on Apr 19th. Aside from accidentally taking a sample of chocolate at Costco, I am avoiding this stuff.

I started eating prepared salads from Costco. We have actually been eating lots of vegetables. It costs more but whatever. It will always be cheaper than eating out. And way healthier.

I also settled on a shorter running route. I cut my running route in half. I am using my principle of making things simpler until I am able to fire consistently.

It is more important to build and enjoy the habit. I am too old for building non sustainable and unenjoyable habits into my life.

My home gym is in the basement. There is minimal issue with getting ‘er done. I have switched to a 5 x 3 workout, three times a week. This seems to be the sweet spot for me. For now.

When I tally up, I use three lifts- back squat, dumbbell bench press and deadlift. No other lifts count in the volume totals.

April 2019 Stats

2018

Apr_2019

YTD/ (Goal)

Average Weight (lb)

135.2

133.9

(<130)

Runs

144

8

13

Weights Lifting Volume (lb)

217,115

29,100

96,975

Dining Out

Too many to count

4

21

Tracking fun stats keeps me entertained. That is likely why I do not get bored since I always have little experiments or projects to work on.

Financial Stuff

Ben Felix from PWL Capital lit up the internet with his take on dividend investing. I have no real opinion on this matter. I am simply too lazy to bother trying to pick a good dividend growth stock. Furthermore I do not think I can do this consistently so why bother?

And as I keep saying, if I want to be active, I would buy some cash flow positive real estate instead. Dr. Networth’s burgeoning RE investments are pretty neat. Very impressive indeed.

That is one of the best parts of getting older. If you can be honest with yourself and review your own investment results, it can be rather humbling. After a while, I simply had to be honest that my greatest strength is from NOT doing things. I rarely hit anything out of the park investment wise. And even when I did, I did not have the good sense to hold them. (Amazon anyone?)

Such is life folks.

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