Nov 262010

Interesting article about credit awareness in Canada, albeit not from recent data.
Here are some key points I found interesting:

13% of Canadians feel that based on their current situation they will never be able to retire
We should definitely look into lowering this number, for the sake of all our futures.

28% of Canadians do not know the interest rate on their credit cards
I was part of this group until I read this article, because I figured since I pay off the full balance each month, the interest rate doesn’t matter. I just checked mine out of curiosity, 19.95%!!!

40% of Canadians do not pay their credit card off in full each month
I would like to thank everyone who belongs to this group. Without you guys, the rest of us would be paying for higher banking and credit card fees.

53% of Canadians do not have a personal/household budget
Lower than I expected.

Only 37% of Canadians who make less than $30,000 per year pay their credit card off in full each month; whereas 73% of Canadians who make $100,000 per year pay it off in full each month
A perfect example of why the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer.

At the end of the day, knowledge is power. The more you know about how credit and debt works the less likely you are to fall victim to debt spirals and financial traps.

Nov 242010

A commodity is usually a raw substance which has the same price no matter where you buy it from because there are no qualitative differences eg: gold, copper, oil, salt, etc. In other words, it’s the same no matter who produces it. And their price fluctuates with global demand.

Earlier this month, the US has decided to print and pump another $600 Billion into their economy to encourage people to borrow, invest, and spend, because hey, now there’s more money for everyone to use. But whenever you add more dollars into the pot then each dollar will be worth less than it used to. So as the printed money slowly makes its way into the consumers’ hands we may see some kind of inflation in the future.

I think one way to protect yourself from rising inflation rates is to take advantage of stocks and other investments that grow with inflation. One of these asset categories is commodities. I recently bought some shares of EnCana (ECA.TO) at $28.61/share. They produce natural gas from the ground which is used for many things from heating people’s homes to making fabrics, glass, paint, fertilizer, and other chemical usages. Growth stocks and other commodity related plays like agricultural machinery companies are a good hedge against the risk of high inflation as well.

Nov 122010

Telling article from a few months ago about household net worths.
Here is a summary at a glance, plus some other related information.

Vancouver’s average household net worth      =$572,988 (highest in the country)
Calgary’s                                                         = $526,534
Toronto’s                                                         =$531,621
Saskatchewan’s                                               = $313,326
Average net worth in all of Canada            = $351,282 

By comparison to some places in the US.
San Fransisco, CA                           = $665,790
Houston, TX                                    = $449,229      
New York City, NY                            = $463,845        
Denver, CO                                     =$463,643
Average net worth in all of USA  =$434,782

For someone living in the country’s most affluent and expensive city, I feel as poor as a divorced hobo after reading that article.

As for median net worths, I don’t have the latest numbers but in 2009…
Canadian median household net worth = $170,000
American median household net worth = $126,000
I generally don’t look at median numbers because they represent the middle of the bunch, but I want to set higher goals for myself than just being in the middle.

Nov 102010

First Post – Nov 2010

My background.

Eight months after I started my career in 2008 I saved just enough of a down payment to purchase an apartment close to where I work and moved out from my parents’ basement. Since then I have enjoyed the freedom of living independently, learned the importance of paying my mortgage and utilities on time, paid off my student loans, and saved up some cash for investing.

My plan is to become financially independent around my 35th birthday (year 2022.) Financial independence to me means having enough income generating assets to pay for all my needs and expenses.

I plan to reach this goal through living within my means, taking advantage of opportunities when they arise, and investing wisely in the financial markets.

Will I succeed? Only one way to know for sure.
And this blog will track my progress.