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I got engaged last year (Wedding will be July 1, 2012) and up until this point I had basically spent every penny I had ever earned on travel and having fun. But now at the of 29, getting married and thinking about having children in the next 2-3 years I start to view things differently, (still want to travel and have fun but am now responsible for others, a first.)

Nearly a year ago some one gave me a copy of Derek Fosters book stop working here's how you can. And I became inspired. Since then I have been reading as much as I can on the internet, like blogs, news and financial sites. Opened a questrade account (made a few nice gains and kept losses to a min) and watch as much financial news as possible. I am going to try to work my way threw the "eight with weight" book list thats posted on this forum. I am also starting to post now instead of just lurking all the time, and I have viewed the better part of the KhanAcadamy.org finance videos which are amazing.
But there is still such massive gaps in my financial knowledge. Really I am like a sponge though when I decide I want to know something it just consumes me and I just learn everything I can.
I adore my partner and I want to be able to give her everything she needs in this world. We have huge dreams in this life and I will do anything to accomplish them with hard work and determination.

Living beneath our means is second nature to us both, I have saved funds and traveled around the world multiple times now and needed to save considerable amounts of cash each time. We are now putting aside the majority of our joint earnings and investing.

Can anyone share with me any thing else I should be doing to help educate myself. Including perhaps courses, additional books, or skills I should be learning with trading/investing or steps I should be taking to help me on my journey??
 

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I got engaged last year (Wedding will be July 1, 2012) and up until this point I had basically spent every penny I had ever earned on travel and having fun. But now at the of 29, getting married and thinking about having children in the next 2-3 years I start to view things differently, (still want to travel and have fun but am now responsible for others, a first.)

... when I decide I want to know something it just consumes me and I just learn everything I can.

I adore my partner and I want to be able to give her everything she needs in this world. We have huge dreams in this life and I will do anything to accomplish them with hard work and determination.

Living beneath our means is second nature to us both, I have saved funds and traveled around the world multiple times now and needed to save considerable amounts of cash each time. We are now putting aside the majority of our joint earnings and investing.

congratulations & very best wishes to both of you.

it sounds as if you have got your values straight (" i adore my partner ... we have huge dreams in this life") & you are setting out on a rock-solid foundation (" living beneath our means is second nature to us both.")

you will be, i suspect, an excellent investor. There will be no stopping you !

only 2 things come to mind, if you haven't already thought of them. Do you both have tfsas. That would be $40,000 (20k each) that could be set aside as soon as possible, never to be taxed again.

also, one learns a lot by actually owning stocks. There was a student in cmf forum about a year ago who said he owned 6 diversified stocks, although he recognized that 6 were too many for the small portfolio that he had. However, he kept all 6, he said, because they were such excellent teaching resources.

do you happen to know cmf forum member argonaut's list of 5 or 6 carefully selected canadian stocks. Argo's argument for owning stocks outright rather than index funds goes something like this: Why Own the full Index with all its Losers when You can Select Out the 5 or 6 Winners (apologies to argo if i have got this wrong.)

what argo has done is groom his short list into is a well-diversified small group of high-quality stocks that pay dividends. It's my understanding that he keeps these in his tfsa. The list includes a telco, a bank, a railroad, a REIT, and either a pipeline or a utility.

for my part i would be inclined to add a big energy company.

again, wishing you & your fiancée all the best.
 

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Congrats on the upcoming wedding. I second what humble has said, those are great starting points.

While there is a ton to learn, I think you two also need to figure out what you want to do. Different strategies work for different people, but you need to find what will work for you. Are there big purchases on the horizon (house for example)? What type of lifestyle do you want to live, including how much travel? That will impact your savings rates and your longer-term goals. Is it more important to retire early or to travel more early on and retire at a normal age? One answer isn't right or wrong here, but you need to figure out what you two want to focus on, what your risk profile is, what your short-term vs. long-term goals are, et cetera.

Sounds like you two have your heads in the right place, which is quite often the most difficult part on the path to financial freedom.
 

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Ever seen the show Till Debt Do Us Part?

It sounds like you have issues saying no and controlling desires. Your actions do not demonstrate a will to change this. Posting here is a good start but IMO this is a money management issue as well as one of controlling desires. For example, do either of you have any debt?

If you're serious about changing, your goal should be to save the money first, prior to spending it. If you know you want to get married and have kids, then plan to do so but base the timeline upon your own financial projections, budget and savings. Organize and manage your finances and save money.

Otherwise you'll spend the next several years in debt repayment mode while increasing your spending through additional expenses (wedding, kids, house, cars etc).
 

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I got engaged last year (Wedding will be July 1, 2012) and up until this point I had basically spent every penny I had ever earned on travel and having fun. But now at the of 29, getting married and thinking about having children in the next 2-3 years I start to view things differently, (still want to travel and have fun but am now responsible for others, a first.)

[ ... ]

Can anyone share with me any thing else I should be doing to help educate myself. Including perhaps courses, additional books, or skills I should be learning with trading/investing or steps I should be taking to help me on my journey??
Congratulations on both the upcoming wedding and your new interest in learning about finances.

If you search other threads, there are a couple that provide books that other readers found useful.
Several that I enjoyed, in the order that I read them are:

a) The Wealthy Barber, by David Chilton
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wealthy_Barber

b) The Beginner's Guide to Investing by Richard Croft and Eric Kirzner
http://www.croftgroup.com/books/books.htm

I liked the "person on the street" style which does not assume a broad financial knowledge that these are written with, which made it easy to get started.


c) Investing for Canadian for Dummies by Eric Tyson and Tony Martin
http://www.amazon.ca/Investing-Canadians-Dummies-2nd-Edition/dp/0470833610
Table of Contents: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/toc/0470833610/ref=dp_toc?ie=UTF8&n=916520
[This one provides a nice overview of areas such as stocks, real estate etc. My one caveat is that the author's prefer the average person to use mutual funds compared to stock picking, where I am more of a stock picker.]


If you want to focus more on stocks, there is also Stock Investing for Canadians for Dummies by Andrew Dagys and Paul Mladjenovic. I haven't read it yet but the table of contents shows more of a focus on stocks.
http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/toc/0470736844/ref=dp_toc?ie=UTF8&n=916520



Check out your library, they might have these in stock. If not, they are not expensive, especially if you luck out like I did and get c) from a garage sale for fifty cents!


Something else to remember is to treat finance/investing no differently than any other skill or hobby. Learn what you can, when you can - I've seen too many start with enthusiasm, realise it will take time and give up as they "can't learn it in a week".

Also - there are many different ways to make money, just ensure the method is understood and tested. You may want to setup a practice or paper portfolio and see how your decisions/method work out, before risking your own money (particularly where you are picking individual stocks).



Cheers


P.S.

A word to the wise - make sure to check out the tax treatment and bookkeeping required before buying an investment.

I bought royalty trusts years ago, thinking they were treated the same way as a dividend paying stock. When I eventually sold, I discovered this was not the case and had to reverse engineer years worth of calculations, based on limited info that was difficult to get. If I'd investigated at the time of purchase and modified my bookkeeping, it would have been a fifteen to twenty minute a year task - instead of hours and hours.
 

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OP
Congratulations. In addition to the advice already proferred, I would suggest you think strategically about what you both want to have as a vocation. The choices can be vastly different in terms on financial outcomes.

Also learn about leverage.

Also develop financial planning skills and your own spreadsheets. It will make an enormous difference in the choices you make.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
First of all, thank you for all the warm wishes and congratulations, that is very sweet.
Lots to respond to. Thank you for taking the time to really give me some great reply's here.
I guess I will give a bit more information about myself, but I guess my question is less about critiquing my personal finance and more about pointing me in the wright direction so I can continue to educate myself.

We have zero debt, no student loan, mortgage, car payments anything. Even the wedding (which costs a bloody fortune) is paid off. But we also own nothing, which has been nice actually for traveling. We are hoping to buy a house in the next three years. But it will be extremely modest, we are pretty minimalist people, in that we dont need much in the way of possessions, we have always rather spent our money on experiences. We will be able to save between us 50-60k cash a year for the next three years in our jobs. I have invested a small chunk of change into the stock market with maybe 10 companies I believe will do well over the long run.

only 2 things come to mind, if you haven't already thought of them. Do you both have tfsas. That would be $40,000 (20k each) that could be set aside as soon as possible, never to be taxed again.
I was wondering about this. So its 5k a year per person since what 2008 then? What if you have lived over seas during this time and had no Canadian income and there for paid no Canadian taxes?

What type of lifestyle do you want to live, including how much travel? That will impact your savings rates and your longer-term goals. Is it more important to retire early or to travel more early on and retire at a normal age?
I think we are winding down from travel a little bit now. 10+ years of being on the road and living over seas. Now its baby time. One of the things that inspired me so much about his (Derek Fosters) books (I have read all of them) is that he has so much free time to raise his children. I think this is brilliant. I am truly sick and tired of working for other people. I am not thinking about early retirement but more about stay at home Dad but still being able to bring in my portion of the income (my partner loves working.)

Ever seen the show Till Debt Do Us Part?

It sounds like you have issues saying no and controlling desires. Your actions do not demonstrate a will to change this. Posting here is a good start but IMO this is a money management issue as well as one of controlling desires.
The royal mail; I am sorry I think you have very much miss understood me and what I do. I am a very practical and goal orientated person. When I set my mind to something there is nothing I can not do (Including personal finance). I did my first around the world trip at 19 and paid for it while saving at a job that paid me $8.00 an hour. I worked more then 80 hours a week and banked everything, cut out everything I wanted in the short term for what I needed in the long term. There is something to be said for delayed gratification.

Electric12; I read the wealthy barber last summer, very very good, learned heaps I had never thought about. I am working on the Dummies books now, I noticed others had mentioned them in there posts so I picked some up.

Thank you again, please any other advice is always welcome.
 

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Thanks for clarifying, dopp. You are right that I seem to have misunderstood you. I was mislead by the comment about spending every penny you had on travel, having fun etc. It's good that you are able to save and live below your means in order to have the stuff you want. Working hard and having 0 debt is an excellent track record. It sounds like you've got the right idea, esp since wedding is already paid.

May I ask how much you have put aside in cash (other than retirement funds) at this point?

Do be wary of those who will try to steer you towards investing every penny. Cash reserves are very important!

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Not much, 15k in the last year but I have paid the wedding myself. That has been the "big purchase" of the last 12 months. So the remaining of 2012 will see the accounts raise considerably.

And for me travel has been its own type of investment the same way that people say that there education is an investment. I am not talking about sitting on the beach in Cancun (not that there is anything wrong with that) but more backpacking threw third world country's, learning the languages and customs and studying the food (I am a Chef by trade.) But being that I have been to more then 40 country's, and I paid my own way the entire time I would say I am happy with my choices even if I am a little behind financially then others.
 

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I was wondering about this. So its 5k a year per person since what 2008 then? What if you have lived over seas during this time and had no Canadian income and there for paid no Canadian taxes?
If you can now have $20K as hp mentioned, it means it started in 2009! To be eligible, you need just be a Canadian resident 18+, also:

- unused contribution room is carried forward indefinitely;
- you can withdraw at any time, but can't put back in until the following year as re-contributing within the same year may result in penalty tax, if you go over your contribution limit for the year.

More nifty tips:

http://www.taxtips.ca/tfsa.htm

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/tfsa-celi/menu-eng.html?=slnk

So, you picked Canada Day for your wedding day! :)

Congratulations/good luck/welcome to the forum!
 

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I was wondering about [the tfsa]. So its 5k a year per person since what 2008 then? What if you have lived over seas during this time and had no Canadian income and there for paid no Canadian taxes?
this is a good question. Partial simple answer: tfsas began in january 2009, so there are 4 cumulative annual injections of $5000 each. Another part of the simple answer says that you can at least make the contributions for 2012, so that would be at least $10k for 2 tax-frees for 2012. You're already at questrade, i believe they don't charge for tfsa accounts, so all this sounds good.

partial complex difficult answer: what was your status during the years you were travelling, with no canadian income. Had you previously been a resident canadian taxpayer. Did you cut all ties with canada. What about your health insurance. Your driver's license. The points i'm raising are only the tip of the iceberg. Deciding where one was domiciled is tricky. You probably were domiciled here in canada the whole time, if you had been a canadian citizen & resident prior to departure. A salient detail is that you were genuinely travelling & you did not establish a domicile anywhere else, or so it appears.

this is by way of saying i don't know if you can contribute for the years 2009, 10 & 11 if you were, in fact, travelling & working offshore but not paying income taxes in canada. How about we all think about this & see if our best accounting members have an opinion to contribute & revisit this issue of prior tfsa contributions later.

now i have a question: after the wedding & honeymoon, when things have settled down chez vous, do you think cmf forum might come to your restaurant for a party dinner. We are a bunch of food groupies, as you will discover. In fact, food is more important than finance ...
 

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I would recommend a college or university level introductory accounting course or a book that teaches the same (if you don't already have the knowledge). The skills from the course will give you the basis to read financial statements and form your own opinions. If you watch BNN or read seeking alpha long enough you'll see lots of conflicting opinions.

Also, some people can't really handle the emotional factor of investing on your own (market swings and such). If your that type of person then don't put a ton of money in at first and ride out a small market downturn like what we're having now.

Finally, congratulations on the wedding! Exciting stuff.
 

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As far as taking an accounting course, the introductory courses do not touch on taxation at all so I would not recommend for this purpose. You wouldn't hit that stuff until year 3 or 4 with your taxation classes. I also took an financial securities investing course at university and that touched more on the theory and mathematical side and did not touch upon taxation. So if you are interested in a course to learn about investing + taxation, be very clear in advance what the instructor will be covering as your expectations and reality may differ.
 

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I like your attitude op. If you have any specific questions, just ask.

A couple things that you can probably sort out now to determine what type of investor you can be.

1. How much time can you spend on it per week?
2. How accessible are the brokers to you (for example, I can access mine wherever and whenever).
3. Do you plan on being permanently hooked up to the stock market (How much do you want it to be part of your life)
4. What is the ratio of investment to work income that you would like to have? The more investment weight means more stress and time investment
5. When would you like to stop working?
6. At what price would you like to stop making more?
 

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As far as taking an accounting course, the introductory courses do not touch on taxation at all so I would not recommend for this purpose. [ ... ]

So if you are interested in a course to learn about investing + taxation, be very clear in advance what the instructor will be covering as your expectations and reality may differ.
+1 ... though I took accounting in high school but had a similar experience. It was nice for the bookkeeping part but wasn't really much for investing or taxation.

Some of the general interest type courses offered by a college, university or high school that cover investing or finances IMO, appear that they would be a better bet. The time commitment and cost were much better as well.


Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Educational + fun trips are priceless indeed! I bet you have many stories to tell.
No doubt. I spent a year travelling in South America, 4 plus years living and travelling in the South Pacific, A year in South East Asia. 1 full year living in the Arctic as well as lots of other trip threw Europe, North Africa and around North America. Learned heaps not just about the world but also about myself.

partial complex difficult answer: what was your status during the years you were travelling, with no canadian income. Had you previously been a resident canadian taxpayer. Did you cut all ties with canada. What about your health insurance. Your driver's license. The points i'm raising are only the tip of the iceberg. Deciding where one was domiciled is tricky. You probably were domiciled here in canada the whole time, if you had been a canadian citizen & resident prior to departure. A salient detail is that you were genuinely travelling & you did not establish a domicile anywhere else, or so it appears
Well I paid taxes in New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore for different amounts time each. But I had worked in Canada and was a tax payer during my teenage years from about 1999 - 2003 and then have paid taxes again since 2010 in Canada.
I had always put my father address as my permanent address. Always kept a Canadian bank account and Canadian Credit Card. I got my OHIP updated with no problems when I got back (old one got stolen.) And am looking to get my a new drivers licence this year as my old one expired a while ago when I was over seas (I dont actually drive.)

Also my soon to be wife is not Canadian, we are applying for her PR once we are officially married. So I assume once she has PR then she can also contribute to RRSP and TFSA?


now i have a question: after the wedding & honeymoon, when things have settled down chez vous, do you think cmf forum might come to your restaurant for a party dinner. We are a bunch of food groupies, as you will discover. In fact, food is more important than finance ...
Haha maybe we can figure something out.

The eligibility part is explained in the CRA link I posted and here is another:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/tfsa-celi/lgbl-eng.html

To be sure & if you need further clarification, you can always call them!
I will for sure study up. Thank you

As far as taking an accounting course, the introductory courses do not touch on taxation at all so I would not recommend for this purpose. You wouldn't hit that stuff until year 3 or 4 with your taxation classes. I also took an financial securities investing course at university and that touched more on the theory and mathematical side and did not touch upon taxation. So if you are interested in a course to learn about investing + taxation, be very clear in advance what the instructor will be covering as your expectations and reality may differ.
Alright good one, I will look into things like this. I have looked into going back to school for years as I would like to get out of cooking for a living but I have never been sure what to study.

I like your attitude op. If you have any specific questions, just ask.

A couple things that you can probably sort out now to determine what type of investor you can be.

1. How much time can you spend on it per week?
2. How accessible are the brokers to you (for example, I can access mine wherever and whenever).
3. Do you plan on being permanently hooked up to the stock market (How much do you want it to be part of your life)
4. What is the ratio of investment to work income that you would like to have? The more investment weight means more stress and time investment
5. When would you like to stop working?
6. At what price would you like to stop making more?
I have an idea about some of the answers to these questions, but others not at all. Part of the problem is that I will be at this job contract for three years with a certain salary and then following that everything will change considerably, we will move, start trying for a baby and hopefully buy a house.


Another question:
I project our net worth should go to about 200k in the next three years, I am thinking about buying a house in a small town for somewhere around the 160k mark (have already looked at houses we like for this price, assuming the housing market doesnt change to much in the next three years.) Is it prudent to just buy a house outright in cash and just skip the mortgage stage or keep more of the cash for investments and do something like the smith manoeuvre.
 

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If you can buy a house without a mortgage, I say by all means do it. The Smith Manoeuvre just essentially makes your mortgage interest tax deductible, but it's much better if you never have any mortgage at all.
 
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