Another year is over and so here’s another update, this time for Q4 2016. As I mentioned in my last quarterly update I was jamming all of my trips into the last half of this year, so we’ll say I was on vacation…even though I probably wasn’t.
I’ll do a quick brag about my trips to start this off and get it out of the way. Read more
Happy New year everyone!
I hope 2016 was better to you than the media portrayed it to be. For the last few months of the year you’d swear nothing good happened. I think those people just didn’t have time to look at their retirement savings. The year was pretty solid overall for the markets, the Dow Jones was up 14.4% as of closing just before Christmas.
Very solid year for the Dow Jones
For Canadians, the TSX composite index was up 17.8% over the same time period! So, if your investments are close or matching these indexes you’re looking at a possible 14-18% return for one year. To put that into perspective you’ll double your portfolio in 5 years without any additional contributions! Read more
The holidays are here! Which probably means one of two things. You’re either going to plot how to steal Christmas while hiding in your cave because your heart is two sizes too small or you’re going to go broke from spending all your Christmas cheer(and by cheer I mean money…cheer=money in case you didn’t get the memo).
This is what you look like when you’re plotting to steal Christmas. For some reason plotting that makes you hairy and green.
So how can I help you with these issues? I can’t, I’m not a doctor. I have no idea why your heart is like that and you should probably have it looked at immediately. That sounds serious. Also I can’t keep you from spending your money. That’s something you’re going to have to limit yourself. But here are a few tips on budgeting for the holidays. Read more
How to make money in real estate? That’s a very popular question and has tons of answers! You can literally make money with lots of different options, and each option has multiple ways to execute them. On top of that, you can apply each of those options to different areas of real estate like residential, commercial, industrial, etc. I could go on for a while with these but I won’t. Soooo see ya next week!?
NAAA! I’m just kidding…had ya for a minute though didn’t I? You thought I was going to take my dozens of blog dollars and disappear for ever didn’t you? Actually, I’m just going to touch on a few popular options and a few lesser known options on a higher level. In a future post I’ll break each of them down in greater detail, but for now we’re just going to dip our toes in the water on how to make money in real estate. Read more
Comparison sites have been around a long time; you’ve almost certainly used some yourself. Have you ever searched for a trip on Expedia or Kayak? I do it all the time, you can usually save a few hundred dollars on trips you’re planning. They’re also great research tools to help plan and budget your trips.
Have you ever bought anything on Amazon or eBay? Me too! You’d be foolish to buy something online and not consult these sites for price comparisons. You’d also be foolish to not check a site like Ebates to get an even further discount on your trips or products or money back.
While the above-mentioned sites work great for 90% of our purchasing. They unfortunately don’t help us with big ticket items like insurance and mortgages. Insurance typically is worth thousands of dollars and mortgages are often in the hundreds of thousands. You can save more on these than you would on almost any other purchase, besides the houses and cars themselves. Apparently, Canadians just don’t do this. According to a recent study by LowestRates.ca only 8% of respondents used a comparison site to source their most recent mortgage! WHAT?!?
Why would no one use these financial comparison sites?
Money tips for any age
Here are four money tips that you will either have success with, or you will regret not following. The choice is yours!
Never finance depreciating assets
If you’re borrowing money and the asset depreciates in value you’re paying much more than you think. Debt is not a bad thing if used correctly. If you use it to purchase properties that increase in value it can be worth it. You can borrow at 3% on a mortgage and you gain 4% each year on average on that house value, your net worth will still be increasing. If you buy stocks on a margin and they gain more than the cost to service your debt, you’re still ahead.
It’s when you buy everyday products on a credit card and don’t pay it off before you incur interest when you fall behind. With a depreciating asset you’re losing money over time on owning the asset and you’re also paying interest to own it. Look at owning a new car for an example. Buying a new car at 0.9% interest is a pretty good deal as far as finance rates go, but you’ll still pay more to lose money. Buying one at 0% is even better, the car will depreciate but you won’t be on the hook for any interest. Read more
How did I change my financial mindset?
My financial mindset has changed over the years. Growing up and always having some kind of income since I was about 10 years old definitely gave me a good work ethic. It also gave me a lot of spending money because as a kid I had no financial obligations. Because of this abundance of spending money, my financial mindset started off terrible. I had no problem buying myself comic books every week or snacks at the corner store. This all lead to probably an excessive spending habit in my later teenage years when I discovered paintball. After playing twice when I was 12 or 13 I went out and spent $400 dollars on an entry level gun and mask. After a few more times, I upgraded my mask to a thermal lense and started to spend more and more on gear. This grew over my teenage years to having 5-6 paintball guns at any given time and countless accessories. Read more
How much does it cost to employ smokers? No matter how you break it down, smoking costs money to the smokers, the government/insurance companies and their employers.
Every six months or so one of my co-workers ends up looking at the amount of people in the smoking pit and rants about how much money we waste paying people to smoke. Then he always ends up telling a story about a guy he used to work with at another company.
The story is about a guy who was approaching retirement. This guy wrote his superiors a letter on how over the course of his career he has seen many people take 5-minute smoke breaks X times a day. Apparently he calculated the amount of time these people took to smoke throughout the day and totaled it over his career. In his letter he mentioned his retirement and asked if he could take his smoking time now in one big chunk…seriously. Read more
4 New Mortgage rules in Canada are coming!
The newest one actually starts today! Sorry for not giving you a better heads up, but hopefully it’s not too late to let you know about the changes that are coming/here. There are currently 4 new mortgage rules that will be coming into effect over the next few months.
Many people maybe wondering why change the mortgage structure? Well, I don’t really know either, let’s look at a few facts about our economy. Canadian household debt to disposable income has risen to 165.3%. This is just slightly less than the all time high of 165.4% in late 2015. Meanwhile housing pricing are going nuts in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Hamilton. All of those cities’ housing prices have seen double digit growth over the past year. Vancouver is seeing a 22% increase! But even with all that, mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve been in a long time. Just like the USA in 2008!…oh wait…I think I see the issue now.
In case anyone doesn’t remember 2008, here’s a graph of the S&P 500 for last half of the year. It was MUCH worse for a lot of smaller companies.
Where does the time go! Now we’re three quarters of the way done with 2016 and it seems like I haven’t done anything. So in true procrastination fashion, I’m jamming it all into this last half!
It seems like every year I jam all of my vacations in the last half of the year and try to rush and get my yearly goals done. I took two weekend trips this past quarter with my beauty of a girlfriend. The first one was for my sister and her fiance’s stag and doe party to farmland Ontario. The second was for our good friends and neighbor’s wedding back to my old stomping grounds of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Read more