Jul 122011

1. Make more money than you spend. Continue saving and investing.
2. Make sure your career is interesting and fun to you relative to other jobs. Passion leads to skill which leads to good pay regardless of what industry you choose.
3. Pay off high interest debt, and consolidating your debt.
4. Borrow money to make money. Take advantage of low interest rates. It’s hard to find anyone who has invested in real estate or the stock market indexes for decades and have lost money consistently.
5. Keep your investment fees low to maximize returns. For example consider buying ETFs instead of mutual funds, especially if you live in Canada.
6. Don’t get divorced.
7. Don’t spoil your kids. Support them emotionally, but let them learn the meaning of gratification through hard work by themselves. They will thank you one day when they become independent, and will not feel entitled to ask you for money when you retire.

Jul 072011

Here in Canada, major retail banks are increasing service fees. This means we might have to pay a little more for the same everyday banking services. I heard ScotiaBank has already done it, CIBC also increased their fees in April, and I got a letter from TD earlier this year that states they will start charging higher fees starting August this year.

For TD, whom I bank with, some changes include raising the fee for additional transactions from $0.65 to $1.00, and increasing the service fee of one of their checking account from $8.95 to $10.95 a month. Food, energy, rent, gas, clothing, insurance, property tax, and just about everything else is becoming more expensive in Canada, so I guess it only makes sense to also pay more for bank services. Yup, inflation can be a large PITA sometimes. From what I’ve heard, so far 3 out of the 5 major banks in this country are raising fees this year, which they haven’t done for many years now, so maybe the other 2 banks are soon to follow?

To avoid getting charged these higher fees, one option is to look at alternative banking solutions like online banks instead of the big 5. For example PC Financial has a free checking account, uses CIBC bank machines, and has CDIC protection backed by the government. ING Direct has their THRiVE checking account which is also free. There is another way you can save money from these banking fee hikes. It is quite long to explain so I will talk about that in another post.

Jul 032011
*Dividend Income:
  • Discount Brokerage = $200
Discretionary Spending:
  • Eating Out = $200

  • Others = $1100
*Net Worth:
  • Assets:

  • Cash = $6,100 ( +$1,600 MoM)
  • Stocks = $68,200 ( +$20,100 MoM)
  • Home  = $243,000 
  • Liabilities:
  • Mortgage = $210,400 (-300 MoM)
  • LOC Balance = $4,000
  • Other Loans = $16,500
Total Net Worth = $86,400 ( +1.77% MoM)

Big month for income, as well as spending. Received bonus from work, nice! Paid auto insurance, property tax, and then spent $1K on consumer discretionary items (lots of games and toys from Ebay.) Also put in $4K on a margin account, more on this later. Furthermore, borrowed a lot of money to invest because the stock market went down a bit in June so now there are lots of discounted stocks to choose from. Bought some Intel, Caterpillar, KKR, and Stillwater Mining. 

Opened up a couple of margin trading accounts and put some money into them. My “Other Loans” mentioned above include an RRSP loan, and a separate line of credit.

* Numbers are rounded to the nearest $100.