February 2022 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 – 43%
  2. Bonds – 16%
  3. Cash -3%
  4. Real Estate – 38%
    1. Home – 25%
    2. Extra Unit – 8%
    3. Office Unit – 5%
  5. Other – 0.5%
  6. Networth Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – (196,495)
    2. 2021 – 1,250,255
    3. 2020 – 923,032
    4. 2019 – 733,269

Portfolio

I treat all accounts as one portfolio.

  1. Portfolio
    1. VGRO – 80.5%
    2. Cash – 5%
    3. VAB – 5.6%
    4. Brk.B – 5%
    5. GIC – 3.3%
  2. Asset Allocation – 69.7%
  3. Portfolio Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – (266,292)
    2. 2021 – 728,410
    3. 2020 – 495,984
    4. 2019 – 190,513

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. February 2022
    1. Interest – 2,521
    2. VAB – 1,102
    3. Total – 2,624
  2. Mailbox Money
    1. YTD – 41,819
    2. 2021 – 117,558
    3. 2020 – 125,388
    4. 2019 – 107,264

February 2022

It’s another month of doing nothing with my investments. That is positive.

Work has become much busier so it is great to do nothing with the finances.

Even with tax season upon me, I don’t seem to care. There is only a T3 from VGRO and T5’s from my bank accounts. And that’s it.

I have always had strong financial habits but combining this with keeping things simple has been nothing short of life changing.

I remind myself that I have zero control over financial markets. The only thing I can do is figure out my plan and keep it simple.

I tell my children to use one Visa, one bank account and one brokerage account. If I could keep things that simple, I would.

I also notice that my accountant charges me the same no matter how simple I make it. Interesting.

So the best part of being an index investor is that I can completely ignore things and it still works.

Not much else in my life works that way. Good luck keeping your career afloat by doing nothing.

January 2022 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 – 43%
  • Bonds – 18%
  • Cash – 4%
  • Real Estate – 37%
    1. Home – 25%
    2. Extra Unit – 8%
    3. Office Unit – 5%
  • Other – 0.5%
  • Networth Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – (196,495)
    2. 2021 – 1,250,255
    3. 2020 – 923,032
    4. 2019 – 733,269

Portfolio

I treat all accounts as one portfolio.

  • Portfolio
    1. VGRO – 80.7%
    2. Cash – 5%
    3. VAB – 5.5%
    4. Brk.B – 5%
    5. GIC – 3.8%
  • Asset Allocation – 69.5%
  • Portfolio Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – (238,521)
    2. 2021 – 728,410
    3. 2020 – 495,984
    4. 2019 – 190,513

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.

  • January 2022
    1. Interest – 4,582
    2. VAB – 644
    3. VGRO – 33,966
    4. Total – 39,193
  • Mailbox Money
    1. YTD – 39,193
    2. 2021 – 105,581
    3. 2020 – 125,388
    4. 2019 – 107,264

January 2022

Well the finances are simple now. Thank goodness since I am once again the backup for any practice upheavals. No need to multitask since I do not have much to deal with financially.

I certainly see the benefits of switching out of the GICs and VAB with their irregular payments. I will not need a spreadsheet to keep track of my maturing GICs.

Berkshire does not pay anything so in a sense it is the easiest stock to hold. Nothing to do until we sell it. It took four buys to purchase my shares so the paperwork will be minimal when I sell.

When all the GICs and VAB gets converted to VGRO, I will be left with my corporate account and taxable account where I need to track ACB (adjusted cost base).

Tracking mailbox money will be quarterly dividend payments of VGRO between all our accounts. I enjoy the quarterly dividends. My son also enjoys this and has decided to use VGRO (80/20) as well.

My daughter likes to spend. Thus she has decided to go with VEQT (100% equity) mainly to forget about her investments with its yearly distribution. Because nothing happens in her accounts except in January.

People can laugh at how I am structuring my finances. But it does come down to knowing oneself. I despise complexity especially for something which I have zero control over such as the stock market.

So the best way to deal with it is to dumb it down so that I can see my holdings easily. It works for me and that is the only bar I need to meet.

The most noticeable shift has not been the ability to buy more things or experiences. But it has been in the lack of care when life throws financial curveballs. I am able to observe myself simply not caring when the usual large household expenses come up.

Perhaps this has to do with us still working. But whatever it is, I am pleased with this side effect. Thus wealth has been about providing reserve for the usual life happenings that come up financially.

It is not lost on me that we will own our home, VGRO and some cash. That’s all that we will use to take care of our finances.

I tell the kids to save and live within their means plus use VGRO and VEQT. I tell them that if this doesn’t work, well I have no other solution for them. It’s frightening how clear I am about our situation.

December 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 – 44%
  2. Bonds – 16%
  3. Cash – 4%
  4. Real Estate – 34%
    1. Home – 23%
    2. Extra Unit – 6%
    3. Office Unit – 5%
  5. Other – 0.5%
  6. Networth Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – 1,250,255
    2. 2020 – 923,032
    3. 2019 – 733,269

Portfolio

I treat all accounts as one portfolio.

  1. Portfolio
    1. VGRO – 79%
    2. Cash – 6.5%
    3. VAB – 5.6%
    4. Brk.B – 4.7%
    5. GIC – 3.8%
  2. Asset Allocation – 68.2%
  3. Portfolio Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – 728,410
    2. 2020 – 495,984
    3. 2019 – 190,513

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. December 2021
    1. VAB – 912
    2. Total – 912
  2. Mailbox Money
    1. YTD – 105,581 – This is lower because I add the interest when T5 slips come in February. Yes, I have become this lazy.
    2. 2020 – 125,388
    3. 2019 – 107,264

December 2021

Well the final month of the year has begun. Mother Nature has been catching us off guard with her weather extremes.

My main theme is to live semi-independently from consumer culture. I prefer to DIY and consume less no matter my wealth level. I have always been this way.

Nowadays I like to bake my own bread. I stock plenty of staples such that I am not shopping all the time. Although it still feels like I do. If I can do something passively I prefer that versus wasting resources to get the same thing done. Most of this is about planning. A perfect example would be line drying laundry. If one washes their clothes on a regular schedule, then one can wait for clothes to line dry passively.

December is a great month to recall that one does not have to shop to celebrate. Our family mainly celebrates with food. It is fabulous. Everyone takes turns to make something special.

There are no large gifts. No.more.gift.buying.please.

I now look at my portfolio as what can I actually do? Many people believe they have alpha and they try to move in and out of certain assets. I know I can do none of those things successfully. I know I don’t care enough. I also know that nobody knows anything that will guarantee investing success.

There is so much less to think about now. I spend time thinking about ways to make my financial life simpler. That is the fun part for me.

Perhaps for 2022 I will try to invest quarterly rather than monthly. That’s the extent of what I stretch my bandwidth for nowadays. Life is getting easier and simpler.

Now just waiting for this dang virus to go away.

Addendum Jan 2, 2022 – Real estate has gone up considerably in the past year. I just bought what I wanted and could afford and then just enjoyed living in it. This is another market that is hard to time. The cost for being out of the real estate market is the emotional cost of those you love who would like to start building their lives around the family home. Nothing is free, you pay one way or another.

November 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 – 44%
  2. Bonds – 16%
  3. Cash – 4%
  4. Real Estate – 35%
    1. Home – 23%
    2. Extra Unit – 6%
    3. Office Unit – 5%
  5. Other – 0.5%
  6. Networth Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – 1,044,453
    2. 2020 – 923,032
    3. 2019 – 733,269

Portfolio

I treat all accounts as one portfolio.

  1. Portfolio
    1. VGRO – 80%
    2. Cash – 5.8%
    3. VAB – 5.7%
    4. Brk.B – 4.5%
    5. GIC – 3.9%
  2. Asset Allocation – 68.6%
  3. Portfolio Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – 588,585
    2. 2020 – 495,984
    3. 2019 – 190,513

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. November 2021
    1. VAB – 839
    2. Total – 839
  2. Mailbox Money
    1. YTD – 102,556
    2. 2020 – 125,388
    3. 2019 – 107,264

November 2021

I am fully invested now. It is about time. I really can not time the market.

If it was only the loss of money from market timing, I would be okay with that. But it was a waste of mental bandwidth wondering when to deploy the remaining cash. That part really annoyed me.

I am planning to maintain VGRO and 5% cash. It will take a couple of years for the remainder of my GICs to mature in my RRSP. But once that is done, I will have full liquidity in all my investments.

I needed the time to learn this final lesson. One always thinks they can market time. Until reality proves them wrong.

Furthermore, my plan is about simplicity.

Some folks believe that 20% in bonds won’t really help during a crash. They are probably right. But one underestimates how much equity risk a 60/40 portfolio also holds.

That is the reason, one’s life outside of the portfolio has to be rock solid. That is why I will hold a large buffer of cash.

I recognized during the brief COVID market crash, that I really like my cash. It was the only capital around that was deployable and enjoyable.

I believe that investment strategies may alter from time to time. But humans stay the same. Human foibles are what will distance a good investor from a poor investor. And I count myself as a very average investor.

But through this, I know myself better and how I react to the unknown. Which is essentially all of investing. No one knows anything, with certainty.

The way I have dealt with this is to be clear about what I even want money for. Then I constructed the foundation around the volatility inherent with an equity portfolio.

I chose an automated way of investing. I may be confident that I will be disciplined but what if my husband or my children are not? Why build this up for decades and lose it all in one fell swoop?

So I think the best approach would be to automate things. Then just get out of the way.

These few years of blogging have been notable for me. My real life is fulfilling enough such that I have zero need to create an online tribe per se.

I am not searching. That is why I reached financial independence in my mid 30s and have never had any desire to shove this in front of others or to be recognized for it. It was simply enough for me to know that I had reached FI. Then I promptly went on to live my life.

It helped that I had a young family and the ability to work whenever I pleased. I never had to wrestle with identity. Being self employed, no one really knew where I was working month to month. That was awesome.

This blog has been about my evolution for how I manage my finances. Admittedly it has all become easier.

I have even given up on keeping track of interest payments. It dribbles in through various accounts. I would rather wait to receive the tax slips in February.

I am becoming tired/ bored with recording my monthly balances.

This is probably healthy. Because nowadays I barely even know if the markets go up or down. And I don’t seem to care.

It is what it is after all.

Addendum: I appear to have accidentally written over my October 2021 Update. Oopsie.

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

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

Networth%

  1. Equities – 41%
  2. Bonds – 16%
  3. Cash – 8%
  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 – 753,159
    2. 2020 – 923,032
    3. 2019 – 733,269

Portfolio

I treat all accounts as one portfolio.

  1. Portfolio
    1. VGRO – 75%
    2. Cash – 10%
    3. VAB – 6%
    4. Brk.B – 4.6%
    5. GIC – 4%
  2. Asset Allocation – 64.7%
  3. Portfolio Gain (Loss)
    1. YTD – 330,563
    2. 2020 – 495,984
    3. 2019 – 190,513

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. September 2021
    1. Interest – 176
    2. VAB – 923
    3. Total – 1,099
  2. 12 Month Trailing – 121,927
  3. 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 my 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.

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