Jun 292012

How would you like to perform simple clerical tasks for $32/hour? Well there are lots of openings for these kinds of jobs. But the problem is not everyone knows they exist, or where to find them.

The government recently released the 2010 household income data.  The median income for single people like myself is about $25K.  This puts me in a relatively good position considering I’m making more than twice that amount right now. Which shouldn’t be a surprise because I work 2 jobs and receive investment income, whereas most unattached individuals have one job. That’s why it’s important to start building multiple income streams as early as possible. The median family however made about $70K. For a closer look at the differences between various cities, here’s the chart from Statscan.

Ottawa takes the lead with the highest median family income of $91K. Not sure if that’s because of all the generously paid politicians living in our capital city or just a coincidence (O_o). Toronto, your manufacturing sector has been hit hard recently, hang in there. And Vancouver, WTF happened? Largest decline out of all the major cities. I am so disappointed (-_-;) 

So what can we do with all this information? Well since different cities pay different wages, we can make job searching decisions based on where the money’s at.  For example in BC, we can either be a sales clerk working in Vancouver for $11/hr, or we can move to Fort st John and make $17/hr. How about Alberta? Well in Calgary we can be an admin assistant for $40K a year, or an office administrator for $43K a year. Or we can move to Wood Buffalo and make over $60,000 a year as a support clerk.

similar jobs like this one found at: https://rmwb.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobsearch.ftl

This city of 65 thousand people isn’t very big, but you can still expect many first world staples like high-speed internet, satellite tv, various hospitality services, restaurants, shopping centers, etc. The only catch is the higher cost of living. A 2 bedroom apartment goes for $2K a month, but that’s not too bad considering tax filers in Wood Buffalo had a median family income of $169,790 in 2010.

It may be hard to find work in this tough economy but great paying jobs are available out there.  For unattached and adventurous individuals these opportunities should not be missed. You just have to be willing to move. If you just want to check out Fort McMurray, but don’t want to live there permanently, take a look at their summer jobs option. The point is if you’re going to work at Starbucks anyway why not work in a Starbucks that pays more? I like my current full time job designing art and stuff, but if I were unemployed, you can bet your bottom dollar I’d be applying for jobs in those wealthy northern cities.  However, I understand this is not an option for many of my readers who might have developed roots in their current locations.


Jun 262012

Just bought some shares of the fertilizer company, Potash Corp. I think this is a great opportunity to make some easy money, if I’m lucky. I’ve only used $600 of my own cash for now. It might not sound like much but that’s because I’m going to borrow extra money from the bank and leverage it up to roughly $2000!

Earlier today I bought 45 shares of Potash Corp at $43.74 each.
Initial investment: $600
Leveraged up to $1,978.29


This means I bought almost $2000 worth of stocks for only $600. My bank was nice enough to provide me with the remaining amount I’m short on. That means I owe the bank money, (at 4.25% interest annually) but I believe it’s worth the extra risk.

I’ve always liked this company. They specialize in fertilizers, animal feed, and other chemicals used to produce food. As they say in their advertisements, potash is food for the food we eat :). They also have a great balance sheet and trades at a decent 11 x forward earnings. They are the largest potash producer in the world and a leading phosphate and nitrogen producer. They will continue to be profitable as long as people continue to eat (=^_^=). Why did I buy Potash now? Because over the last year the stock has been falling. But lately it has bounced off a low and is moving up with above average volume. I think they have reached an inflection point.  The short-term technicals for this company is simply too amazing of an opportunity for me to pass up. By the way, Potash Corp is also publicly traded on the NYSE for those interested in the US.

My strategy is simple. I will consider selling this stock when it gets above $48. Or I will buy more of this stock if breaks support and falls below $39, thereby lowering my average cost base and I will sell another day. Since this is a S&P/TSX 60 listed blue-chip company, and is a leader in its industry, I’m not concerned about it going out of business any time soon ;-D

Jun 242012

Starting on July 9th, the maximum amortization period for a new mortgage will be 25 years, down from 30 (only if it’s insured by CMHC.)  This is a measure introduced by our finance minister to cool the housing market. This works because if someone wanted to buy a home today with a $300,000 mortgage, they can pay it off at $1512 a month in 30 years. But once the amortization rules change to 25 years, they have to make larger payments, ($1660 a month) in order to pay off the debt in a shorter period of time. Not a big difference, but it might be enough to make some people think twice about buying that home. For potential buyers who could afford a $300,000 mortgage today, might have to settle with something cheaper starting next month. I predict real estate prices will drop a little bit from July to September this year.

This is welcomed news for many in the economy. A lot of workers are really relieved because instead of raising interest rates to combat housing prices like the government usually does, this move does not hurt anyone working in the export or manufacturing sector. Landlords will also like these new changes. Since it will be more difficult to finance a home, people who are currently renting but are saving to buy their own place will need to save even more money for a downpayment before buying the home they want. This is also great news for home buyers who were planning to finance their mortgage for 25 years or less anyway. It will lower the prices of homes without affecting their original plan at all ^_^;. Some people think if you can’t pay off a mortgage in 25 years then you probably shouldn’t buy it in the first place (I don’t agree with that saying though.)

I’m not a big fan of this change myself.  It limits my choices so I can’t choose between 25 or 30 years anymore. But I understand why they thought these new rules will be good for the economy. I personally don’t think we’re in a real estate bubble and prices are going to crash. But I know a lot of people will disagree with me when they see houses like the one below selling for over $2.5 million :).

edit post: As B-Plus kindly mentioned below, if your mortgage is not insured by CMHC then these new rules don’t apply to you. For more info about your personal situation please ask your lender, bank, broker, etc :).


Random Useless Fact: According to names.whitepages.com there are dozens of people in the United States (as of February 2011) with the first name “LOL“.  (゜∀゜)

Jun 192012

Benjamin Franklin is widely known as one of the founding fathers of the US, a great diplomat, and has his face on the $100 bill. But not everyone knows about how frugal he was too (^_-) . Recently saw this article which tells a great deal about how he handles his finances. Much of his lessons still hold up in today’s world. Below are just some points. Red text are Franklin’s quotes.

image credit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ben_franklin

– Understand the true value of things.
At 7 years of age he overpaid for a whistle and subsequently realized that a person should always put things into perspective and not sacrifice too much of one’s money, time, liberty, virtue, or friends just to attain something that in the end is actually insignificant. Today, most people don’t experience buyer’s remorse until they are adults. Ben learned his lesson when he was just a kid. Genius.
“I conceive that great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by the false estimates they have made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles”

– Be Self-Sufficient and Invest in Yourself
When he began his career in the printing industry he learned to cook at home so he didn’t have to spend money eating out often. (Sounds like most PF bloggers I know) He used his savings to buy books and taught himself how to make his own equipment rather than buying them. Doing things for yourself saves money and empowers you to grow as an individual. This is why if you want to be rich you have to learn how to make money on your own, not ask other people for it.
“If you teach a poor young man to shave himself, and keep his razor in order, you may contribute more to the happiness of his life than in giving him a thousand guineas”

– Get Rich Slowly
Success and riches have to be realized with patience, hard work, and discipline. It took Franklin a decade of thrift, learning, and apprenticeship to slowly build the experience, money, and confidence needed to finally open his own business.
“To apply myself industriously to whatever business I take in hand, and not divert my mind from my business by any foolish project of suddenly growing rich; for industry and patience are the surest means of plenty”

-Time = Money
When a man thought a dollar was too expensive for a book he asked the clerk to call the boss. When Franklin came out from the press-room in the back of the store the man asked him if what’s the cheapest price Franklin will take for the book. “One dollar and a quarter,” answered Franklin. “One dollar and quarter! Why, your clerk asked me only a dollar just now.” “True,” said Franklin, “and I could have better afforded to take a dollar than to leave my work.” Pwned!

-Money Isn’t Everything
Don’t make money for money’s sake. Use it instead to give you the opportunity to be the kind of person you want to be. Franklin retired early with enough wealth to do the things he loved like reading, studying, making experiments, and…
“converse at large with such ingenious and worthy men, as are pleased to honor me with their friendship or acquaintance, on such points as may produce something for the common benefit of mankind, uninterrupted by the little cares and fatigues of business.”

Much respect for Mr. Franklin, the personal finance guru of his time. He contributed much to society and did many incredible things in his lifetime. But teaching people about money is often one overlooked, however it’s probably the one area where modern society can learn the most from. Readers, let’s learn from his wisdom so we can all achieve financial freedom and retire early too (=^_^=)

Jun 162012

The following examples are recent keywords that random people have typed into their search engines, and have brought them to my freedom 35 blog. I’m posting these inquiries up because other readers might be wondering about the same things.

June 16 – from Toronto, ON…
i have a td account will i get charged for taking money out at cibc
If you don’t have an account with CIBC then you probably can’t take your money out at a CIBC bank. If you are withdrawing money from a bank machine (ABM) that is not from your own bank then you will be charged a small fee. (usually $1.50)

June 15 – from Oyo, Nigeria…
freedom from job income
It’s possible to become completely free from your job and still make a comfortable income. 2 years ago I made about $1K from my investments. Last year I made about $2K. This year I’m looking at $4K. It will probably take 10 more years before the passive income can sustain my lifestyle, but I think it’s totally worth it.

June 14 – Kitchener, ON…
canadian repatriate offshore money
Commonly “repatriation” refers to companies or governments bringing money back into the home country. If there are Canadian companies who do business in other countries and make a profit overseas, they will most likely reinvest that offshore money back into that location, (expanding their manufacturing facility in China for example.) This way, they don’t pay Canadian taxes on that profit :). The only time they would bring money back into Canada might be to cover a capital loss in their Canadian division, or for emergencies.

June 14 – from Europe…
hot sectors for 2013
Probably similar to 2012. Mining, welding, piping, (anything related to trades.) As well as medicine, accounting, auditing, law, and other professionals.

June 13 – from Hounslow, UK…
financial problems in world
There are many financial difficulties facing the world today.

  • The top 2% of adults in the world owns 50% of all the wealth there is, and the gap is still growing between the rich and poor.
  • Greece, Italy, Ireland, and Spain spend more money than they make, and face the risk of running out of money to pay for basic public services like education, health care, policing, etc.
  • Housing prices are still low, and unemployment is still high in the US.
  • Even the wealthy have their own financial problems.


Random Useless Fact: No words in the modern English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.