Q2 2016 Update – An uneasy time with Fort McMurray Wildfire

Q2 2016 Fort McMurray Wildfire

Andddd here’s another one! The second quarter of 2016 is over and it seems like time is flying WAY faster than normal. There’s not a whole lot to talk about that happened in this quarter but there’s one major thing you may have heard of.

On May 3rd, my second home of Fort McMurray, Alberta was evacuated. Over the next few weeks 15% of the town was burned to the ground and the majority of the city had major smoke damage. I happened to be extremely lucky and wasn’t in town, was scheduled to fly back the morning of May 4th. Which is now starting to become a trend for me, avoiding major disasters by a day. In 2013 my other hometown of Calgary, Alberta had a major flood that caused billions in damages throughout the province only weeks before their biggest tourist attraction, The Calgary Stampede. Luckily, I wasn’t there for that either, flew out of town for 2 weeks the day before it happened and the evacuation order was lifted just before I got back. I’m like a disaster dodger and I really hope that trend doesn’t stop! Read more

How to NOT become a millionaire

hot to not become a millionaire

There’s tons of websites and guides out there to help you get rich fast. Well here’s another list for you to read, but it has nothing to do with getting rich quick, or even getting rich at all. Here’s 7 ways to NOT become a millionaire as if we NEED more help with that!

  1. Don’t take advantage of your employer matched GRRSP contributions – This is an instant return on your investment, but you probably don’t want to do it because it’s a hassle or the management fees from the designated broker might be a little higher than your own Canadian Couch Potato Portfolio and you can do better without their money weighing you down. Turning down a 100% return to save 1% is a sure fire step to ensure you do not become a millionaire.
  2. Don’t negotiate a salary – Employers are ALREADY offering you more then your last job AND they said that’s as high as they’ll go, so you don’t want to make them angry by asking for more. In my day to day work I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing and sending job offers to people and they almost never negotiate their salary. This is fantastic from my point of view because I just got an employee on sale for that project.
  3. Stay in one job miserable job – After all you should be thankful you have one right? Some say that if you stay in your jobs for more than 2 years you can make about 50% less than those who don’t. So that’s a pretty quick way how to not become a millionaire just by staying put.
  4. Don’t teach yourself about personal finance – They don’t teach us anything in school for a good reason, right? Public school boards totally have our best interests in mind when it comes to teaching us life skills. I constantly use Pythagorean’s theorem and dissect small animals at my job.
    You’ll probably want to write down these books to make sure you never accidentally read them: The millionaire teacher, The Wealthy Barber Returns and well really just anything about money, don’t bother with it. School taught you enough, after all you came out of high school knowing how to file your taxes right?
  5. Keep up with the Joneses – They’re financing everything and so should you! After all it gives everyone the impression you’re doing so much better in life then they are and that’s how you want to live right? Leverage every purchase you make so the majority of your income is going to interest payments and while you’re at it make sure a few of those purchases are on credit cards. The quickest way to never be a millionaire is to always carry a balance from those designer goods on your credit cards so you rack up that 18-21% interest. If you’re paying enough interest each month that’s an excellent way to not become a millionaire!
  6. Invest in highly volatile stocks and trade with your gut – There’s people that study the markets and world trends for a full time job and they can’t predict how the markets will go, so trading with your gut is the best way to not become a millionaire, right? Just buy and sell as you see fit, you don’t need any training but if you’re going to take some training make sure it’s those from one of those get rich quick guys you might see paying models to promote on Instagram and on some YouTube channels. They’re definitely a scam, so they can certainly help you to not become a millionaire.
  7. Don’t learn from your mistakes and accept responsibility – Once filed for bankruptcy? It probably was just bad timing in the markets and will never happen again! Definitely repeat those same steps to ensure you’ll never become a millionaire.

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3 ways I discovered how to reduce my taxes

Reduce my taxes

3 ways I discovered how to reduce my taxes

I remember a few years ago I read this article online that I now cannot find. It was basically an explanation on how the rich pay much less in taxes as a percentage of their income.  I didn’t think too much about trying to reduce my taxes at the time because I had recently graduated university, and was starting my new career in another province.  I had too much to worry about before I could worry about trying to reduce my taxes…like getting enough income to start paying taxes. I thought that would be the best place to start!  But I think it really stuck with me subconsciously because over the next few years I started to think of multiple “hustles” to help reduce my taxes as I felt this could be another avenue for retaining more money.
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2016 Q1 Update – The worst increase yet

increase to my net worth

 

So a year has gone by since my first Q1 update and basically since I started this blog. So I’ll be looking back at the entire year to see how I did with my goals.  First a quick recap of the year.

I started this blog in the last few days of March in 2015. I started it with the intention of just getting a creative outlet in my life that I can share some thoughts and stuff on my trips and inspire people to start planning their financial futures a little better and earlier then most start to plan.  That idea turned into more of a focus on personal finance since my personal life took a big turn and I wasn’t in a good place to talk about it, even typing this now is difficult.
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3 quality assets to make you lots of money

Assets

3 Quality Assets to make you lots of money

If you read my article What is net worth and why should I know mine, then you may already be familiar with what assets are because knowing them are essential for determining your net worth.  Assets are simply defined as property owned by a person or company, regarded as having value. Popular forms of assets are houses, vehicles and investment accounts (ie RRSP, TFSA, 401k, etc). Less common assets would be jewelry, art, RVs or other vehicles and high end luxury goods.  We’re going to focus on the popular assets for this article. In particularly money making assets.

There’s essentially three main types assets to make you lots of money: Read more

7 ways to spend your tax return

spend your tax return

7 ways to spend your tax return

In case you haven’t heard all the radio ads about how scary your income tax is SUPPOSED to be(it isn’t) in order to scare you into paying money to have someone file your taxes, you may not have realized that it’s tax season.  An exciting season for a lot of people because it’s the one time of year they get “paid” from the government.  Unfortunately, your tax return isn’t getting paid from the government but only getting your money back that you’ve loaned them interest free.

If you’re like the majority of the population you’re probably getting some money back in the next few weeks and I’m going to share with you some ways how to spend your tax return. Some of these will be great for future you, others are going to be instant gratification for present you. It will be all your choice; I can only pass along the ideas. Read more

Overspending habits: What do you overspend on?

Overspending Habits

Overspending habits: What do you overspend on?

Most people have shopping habits that they may or may not realize. Breaking these habits may have the potential to save you lots of money because you’re probably overspending. These habits can be broken but breaking them can be mentally tough.

What I mean by mentally tough is that they’re overspending habits that you’ve either grown up seeing or have developed over time without realizing.  For me, it’s buying books. When I first started working I would read a book every week or two, now I’m lucky I have the time to read one a month.  But my biggest issue is that I for some reason don’t walk 4 blocks to go to my city’s public library where they would have the majority of these books to borrow for free. Something which not only benefits me by saving me money, but also walking there would be good exercise and it would reduce waste in the environment. Yet I always go online and order a brand new book for myself that will be read once and sit on a bookshelf for years until I give it away to a friend that may notice it when they visit.

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Income Tax season: Is it really that scary?

Income Tax

Is income tax season as scary as they want us to believe?

Spoiler alert: Nope!

Well it’s the end of February and I’m starting to hear all of the usual ads on the radio when I’m driving anywhere now. Even on TV you’ll see a few of them. They’re all reminding you of the same thing and trying to tell you that you need a professional’s help.  They’re all about tax season! With Canada’s personal income tax deadline coming up on April 30th, 2016 I’m going to tell you why you don’t have much to worry about and why you should file your taxes yourself.

Judging by all the commercials I hear on the radio you’d think filing taxes was the hardest thing in the world.  These commercials like to emphasize that if you don’t get it right the government is going to come after you for more money.  Sometimes they’ll use terms you might not be completely familiar with like deductions, tax credits, or audits.

I think a lot of people are under the impression a lot of these tax preparation places employ accountants and highly trained professionals that know the income tax structure inside and out.  Unfortunately this is about the furthest thing from the truth. Read more

Falling oil prices: Is this the end?

The End of Falling Oil Prices

If you read my last post about Canadian investors losing faith you probably know that I’ve been waiting to see an end to the falling oil prices.  I live in the province of Alberta in Canada and it’s basically a petroleum province.  A large percentage of Albertans are employed directly through the oil and gas companies or their service companies like construction, or drilling. Pretty much the rest of them are employed indirectly by working at the banks and car dealerships to help flood the province with jacked up rig rockets…Oh and feeding us, they feed us too…

What’s a Rig Rocket you might be wondering? 

Well since you’re clearly not from Alberta with that question, here’s an example.

Falling Oil prices

Rig Rocket – A lifted truck with HID headlights, running boards, questionable stickers and a chip that “totally makes 750hp Bro!”.

But Rig Rockets have nothing to do with falling oil prices, if anything they’re helping get rid of the oversupply!

On to the real topic of falling oil prices!

Since oil prices started to fall a little over 18 months ago jobs in Alberta have been dropping faster than Donald Trump supporters should be (how does his rating not drop with every public appearance?). By the end of August 2015 Alberta had lost 63,500 jobs and i hasn’t stopped there with Husky and Cenovus  letting go a few hundred more this past week.

Needless to say when news of a recent meeting between Saudi Arabia and Russia over oil productions flooded social media earlier this week a lot of people were getting excited.  They can’t possibly be meeting to let each other know that they’re increasing production, right? Well no, they were talking about maintaining current production levels.  Which could be great but I don’t think it will be all sunshine and rainbows any time soon.  These talks came with several strings attached and here’s my thoughts on them:

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Canadian Investors losing faith!?

Canadian Investors losing faith

Ohh hey there fellow Canadian Investors!

(and non Canadian investors alike! but this post is geared slightly more towards the Canadians. Sorry!)

Hope I haven’t kept you waiting too long! I’ve been under a rock these last few months hiding from the falling Canadian stock market. I haven’t been hiding by myself either, according to the Financial Post Canadian investors haven’t been feeling this worried since the financial crisis in 2008.

Canadian Investors losing faith

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