Monday, 28 August 2017

How to (almost) double your money in 10 years doing it the old fashion way -by earning it

Chart of S&P 500 

Remember the famous phrase ‘Do As I Say and Not As I Do.’ This is easier said than done, especially in the personal investment world.  I am always tempted to chase the next Facebook stock, or try to catch a falling knife like a J.C. Penney stock thinking that there is  value in bottom fishing. The only way to save myself in this case is that I always have some 'play money' allocated for such purpose, say no more than 2% of my portfolio. 98% of my portfolio is locked in ETFs or low cost mutual fund offered through the company. And as always the case, it tends to end up being a losing proposition. Cost of doing business, I guess. Overall, my net return is reduced by less than 1% a year.  I always advise my clients not to do what I am doing.  Well, some people like fast cars. I prefer the adrenaline of testing my knowledge and chase after stocks. If I found a winner, then I consider myself smart. If I lost money, I blame it on bad luck. 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

No Frills Retirement using OAS

To continue with the discussion of OAS, here is a good example on how one can structure his or her retirement planning using just income from OAS. Please email me if you think this is useful or not as I would really appreciate your feedback. My email address is

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Old Age Security (OAS) Facts and Figures

Unlike the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), which is funded by contributions from employees and employers, the Old Age Security system (OAS) derives its funding by revenue from government.

Friday, 18 August 2017

The Wealth Effect

I watched a documentary on TV Ontario last night called “The Super-Rich and Us.”  Shot mostly in London, England, Jacques Peretti investigate how the rich became richer, and the poor became poorer due to economic disadvantages.  Some of the stats were quite startling. In 1970, a banker in Britain earned as much as a teacher and a GP (General Practitioner or Doctor). The richest 1% of the population controlled 6% of the nation’s wealth; in 1980s, the percentage grew to 11%, and currently the richest 1% controlled more than 15% of great Britain’s wealth.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

My Path to Financial Independence

Building a sustainable retirement income portfolio that can withstand market shocks and meet your future expenses requirement is the ultimate goal for everyone seeking financial independence (FI).

For those closer to the normal retirement age of 65, it may be an easier goal to reach compared to millennials seeking early FI.  Given the number of early retires that have been blogging their successes on the internet, one would be forgiven to think that the path is easy to reach.  I truly admire them, but for the vast majority of people, achieving early FI seems an elusive goal.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Buying USD the professional way

With the recent surge in the Canadian currency against the US greenback, I consider this an opportunistic time to purchase US currency for your trip to the U.S. or for investment purposes i.e. buying U.S. listed stocks. The following charts illustrate the most cost effective way by using Horizon USD ETF. Many thanks to prior threads discussing this option, but I actually executed the trade below using my TD Waterhouse account, purchasing US$10,000 and saved over C$200 over buying the US currency from the bank.  Here goes!