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This made us buy only when things got really rough, like SBUX @ $17, MCD in the $50s, WFC in the teens as well as all those juicy index funds. And when things got rough, I even dipped into stocks for my wife's account - again screaming buys based on both trailing earnings, and projected future returns, but when things serious problems like Bear Sterns, Europe part I and II etc.

sampson i certainly don't mean to pry here, i'm more talking out loud to myself at this late hour of the evening, so no need to look here or to answer.

this is the paragraph that draws my attention. If i have followed you correctly, there was a certain degree of market timing in the index account, with contributions being made in late 08 & subsequently, which in turn have produced the fine gains that the account enjoys today.

but in this paragraph, various stocks were also being bought at 08/09 crash lows, presumably in the stock account. Their timing was the same, ie it was excellent timing. The way i see it, these fortunate stock purchases would have/should have generated the same fine gains - or even better gains - as those enjoyed in the index account.

like i say, just musing out loud, no need to answer.
 

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Pie, offset by the bad ones - honestly, what business did I have buying OIL or WWE - fundamentals and prospects (due to debt in OIL's case were abysmal). And hence this semi-enlightenment.

Like the indexing, I've been focused on diversification, but take it further to diversification by asset class, nation, and economic sector. I think clear too much. If I had only focused on the best and shorter list (I own far too many individual stocks) I would/could hazard to guess the individual picks could have performed as nicely.

I was beginning to consider hanging up the stock pickers hat, but I think I need to refine, then revisit in another 5 years. It is really the discipline in my wife's portfolio I must emulate, that has been the key to success, not stock picking or indexing, just recognizing TRUE opportunity.

I hate to sound preachy, just using this thread to hash out my own ideas. Poor OP, I totally hijacked this thread. Maybe the mods can move these posts into a new thread titled "Stock picking vs. indexing, a learning experience" or name it "Husband vs. Wife, Wife wins".
 

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we will definitely have to find snowbird & propose a magnificent champagne toast.

we will ask her forgiveness on the grounds that it is a highly-charged issue, like the san andreas fault, which rumbles beneath the surface in cmf forum & produces an earthquake from time to time.
 

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Although jacked, I am sure the OP is enjoying learning from other's experience. I know I certainly am. Sampson, it will be interesting to compare your returns vs your wife's on a longer term basis. You are like the CMF guinea pig for index vs active :encouragement:
 

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I often mention this, but my philosophy is simple.

I don't know which is better, so I'll nestle myself nicely into the grey zone. If indexing does better, we benefit, if stock picking does better, we benefit. We essentially reduce the out-performance gap by half.

No home runs here, just a steady-eddy approach to reaching our objectives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Ah, I have just been back to my neglected diary today and i've enjoyed reading the debate here. So much useful information pops up everywhere in CMF so i don't mind the going-on here. Thanks to all for their contributions.

I have a keen interest in finance (also my profession) and am willing to dedicate time to research and learning more about investing. Personally, the reasons i went with stocks vs. ETF, are (1) I want to take a active role in investing to build my knowledge; and (2) I would not want to invest in all the stocks in an ETF, so i'd rather pick a few of stocks that i am interested in and that i understand their fundamentals. I am starting with a relatively 'small amount' and so far i invested in a handful of stocks: MCD, CVX, BCE, AGU, KO. (all in registered accounts). This is ~75%of my portfolio, the balance is held in cash & the PH&N Bond fund. (all investing is long term unless fundamentals of company changes). I am certainly going to be reviewing this approach as time goes on and as investable cash grows.

I have come a long way since i first joined this forum, and started to pay more attention to my finances and realign my priorities.

2013 - the story so far:
- RRSP & TFSA Maxed
- Mortgage prepayment of $40,000 from bonus and savings
- Saving close to $4,000 a month, currently holding in savings account. Target is to accumulate another $40,000 to dump in mortgage next year. (not all months are created equal and some months i only save $1,000)
- However, expenses are climbing for this year - travel+entertainment are main culprits (But, i am having an eventful year so far and have a trip to Italy planned for September that will totally blow the budget:)
- Looking to invest this year's RRSP cash in a few more stocks on my watchlist (hoping for price drop): CNR/CSX and IPL.
- Using Mint to track networth and it is currently at $234K. This isn't growing fast enough:rolleyes2:
I will post monthly updates including networth to see what the trajectory looks like:) Do people include the DC pension in calculating networth?
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
2017 - Mid-year Update:

Assets:
Condo Unit - $375,000
RRSP - $172,209: US and CDN equities
TFSA: $65,597: CDN equities
DC Pension: $110,522: US, CDN equities plus Fidelity Target Date fund via work investment provider
Company stock: $2,064 (not including ~$30,000 currently underwater)
Total = $725,392

Liabilities
Mortgage (1.85%, 2020): $160,000
Plan is to prepay by $40,000-$45,000 each year and will have this paid off by 2019

Net worth
$565,392

Short Term Goals (6-12 months) - Age 40
- Prepay mortgage - $45,000 by Dec 2017
- Earn side income - $6,000 by Dec 2017 (i.e. $1,000 per month) - i am currently renting out my parking spot in condo -$100/month, Airbnb - $500/month, planning to get into ebay selling, other side hustles

Long Term Goals (2018-2022)
- Mortgage is paid off
- Save $290,000 in 5 years (free cashflow generated from not having mortgage will go into RRSP, TFSA & Non Reg)
- Start own business
- Have net worth of ~$1MM

Longer term (2022+) - Age 45
- Quit paid employment at 45
- Have enough Nest Egg to meet retirement needs
- Semi-retired from own business by 55

The biggest threat to the 5 year goal is job security - pretty tough in Calgary these days.

Please critique and give me your opinions on if these are reasonable. Any advice is welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Q3 UPDATE:

Assets:
Condo Unit - $375,000
RRSP - $178,689: US and CDN equities
TFSA: $68,598: CDN equities
DC Pension: $112,469: US, CDN equities plus Fidelity Target Date fund via work investment provider
Non-reg savings: $19,623
Total = $754,379

Liabilities
Mortgage (2.35%, 2020): $165,444*


Net worth - Sept 30, 2017
$588,935

*mistake in June update*
 

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Hi, nice long term update to your freedom diary Snowbird.

I can't help but raise an eyebrow at how much of your networth is tied to your condo. I guess Calgary must be really expensive, over here in the Ottawa suburbs, $375k is the price of a nice single-family house. My nice condo is worth about $180k. What I'm trying to say is you could accelerate your path to freedom by moving to a cheaper location and investing the difference. But heh, I understand it must be hard to change cities or move farther from your work. If job security is really an issue where you're at, well maybe that's a good excuse to do it.

cheers
 

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Thal, I think having a high % of your total asset value tied up in your primary residence relatively early in your journey is probably pretty normal, especially if you are aggressively paying down a mortgage?
I'd be more concerned if it was still a large % when you get close to FI or retiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Yeah, Calgary RE is expensive, and my condo is located inner city which is even pricier but allows me to go without owning a car. I wish i could move to cheaper place but right now I have other personal ties to Calgary and i just survived another round of layoffs so we'll see. This job insecurity is definitely making me think seriously about other ways to further my personal goals by starting a business or RE rental/investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 · (Edited)
Sept 2019 update

(age: 42, single income, no dependants):

Assets:
Condo Unit - $375,000
RRSP - $255,410: US and CDN equities
TFSA - $100,951: CDN equities
DC Pension - $166,321: US, CDN equities
Total = $897,682

Liabilities
Mortgage (3.1%, 2020 renewal): $95,850

Net worth
$801,832


My plan from 2017 has been delayed a bit as I quit my well-paying but soul-destroying job in 2018 and so my FCF is lower by $20K/year on my new salary. I won't be able to pay off the mortgage by next year after all.:( I've been good with keeping expenses down and aggressively paying down the mortgage but the pay cut really hit my savings rate.

I will be renting a place together with my BF next year and will rent out my condo at that time or sell - the market is till too soft but we'll see what next year brings.

I like my new job - it is super flexible and I like the culture there but I am getting restless again and now thinking of looking for something new in a year or so with better pay! (I feel grossly underpaid). Anyway, I had imagined this would be my last gig as an employee and I now have more time to work on starting my own thing so I may just stick it out.

The NEW goals are:
- NW of $1M by 45 and debt free;
- 50% of current income generated from self-employment with a path to exiting the corporate world by 50.

is this feasible? We will see...
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 · (Edited)
Q4 2019 Update

Age: 43. A Year older! December was eventful, splurged on my birthday celebrations, started a new job that came with an incredible pay raise - yay me. Time to fire up that Personal Savings Rate!

Assets
Condo Unit - $375,000
RRSP - $276,200: US and CDN equities
TFSA - $98,492: CDN equities
DC Pension - $163,544: US, CDN equities
Checking acct - $11,600
Total = $924,857

Liabilities
Mortgage (3.1%, 2020 renewal): $91,700
Credit card - $3,200 (spendy December)

Net worth
$829,957


2020 Goals
- Target Personal savings rate of 65% ($60K), excluding any bonuses
- Max TFSA, RRSP
- $40K to prepay mortgage
- $5K vacation/trips/hobbies

Q1 2020 plan:
- Max TFSA (transfer from checking account - Jan. 2)
- Pay off CC Balance (Jan 3)
- Save $15K (Mar 31)
 

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Awesome! So you switched to a new job again? Just ~6 months later? You were talking about liking your new, lower paying job just 3 months ago...

Have you found any cashflowing rentals in Calgary yet? What are rents doing? Up here in Fort Mac rents are still dropping I believe. The condo market is in the gutter, but when I do the math based on advertised rental prices minus $100-200, which I think is where the market is at, these things still don't cashflow. You can get a dump 1-bed for $50k that will rent for $800-900, or a nice 1-bed for $120k that rents for $1200-1300. Both only barely break-even on a 25 year mortgage, which is not good enough for an investment property.
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
Thanks! I am feeling very good being back on track with my financial goals and working in a company that is growing!. Yes I was in the previous job for exactly 12 months when this new opportunity presented itself. I was approached by a recruiter in October for this new job and while I loved it at my old job, in the end, it came down to $$ as the new position came with a huge increase in pay, higher responsibility and being a much smaller company, better opportunities to get involved in different kinds of work.

Rents are still slack in the Calgary condo space, and I'd like to stay in mine until the mortgage is paid off and then the cashflow will work if I rent it out, it should cover the condo fees plus my new shared living space with the BF. The market for selling is not great either so I'll probably keep it for a while and hope things come back at some point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
Age: 44. Report date: March 31, 2021
2020 might just have one of the best years of my professional life; I enjoy my job and feel like I am being rewarded fairly for my skills. Got a promotion within a year at the new job and expecting similar successes in 2021 for the company and hopefully myself.

Saved up a whole lot due to Covid but decided to splurge on a few nice things for myself this past few weeks and may have gone overboard hence the huge credit card balance.

Assets
Condo Unit - $375,000 (Mindful that is is optimistic - Condo values are down significantly here)
RRSP - $350,998: US and CDN equities
TFSA - $118,600: CDN equities
DC Pension - $191,345: US, CDN equities
Checking acct - $2,992
Total = $1,038,935

Liabilities
Mortgage (1.45%): $27,836
Credit card - $6,912 (will be paid off end of April)

Net worth
$1,004,187 (first time hitting $1MM)

2021 Goals
  • Max TFSA, RRSP : Done
  • Deploy $15K to fully pay off mortgage (Dec)
  • Put aside $15K in emergency savings (~1 year of expenses)
  • Personal Savings rate: ~65%

I will be glad when the mortgage is wiped out but I don't know when I will feel like I have achieved financial independence or whether I am even on track. I still like my career so might work for another 3-5 years but thinking of a business to run after that.

At what point (NW/Invested Asset level) did folks feel confident in their stash?
 
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