Liquid Independence

Liquid is the main editor of the Freedom 35 Blog.

Sep 192018
 

Freedom 35 Blog’s Growing influence

It’s been a few years since the last post featuring mean comments. I hope this time people will be nicer. 😳

Most of my regular visitors have positive and encouraging discussions in the comment sections on the blog. Thanks guys! 😀 But of course it’s also important to hear opposing views to understand personal finance through different life experiences. I’m not sure if you guys know this, but I’ve been told that my articles can rub some people the wrong way. I know – this was surprising for me to hear too.

Over the last few years this blog has been mentioned on different websites and internet forums, often met with some interesting feedback. I’ve gathered some of those comments today to share with my regular readers so we can look at some fresh perspectives, and perhaps learn something new. 😀

Below are comments written by random people online after they have read my blog posts.

Continue reading »

Sep 102018
 

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett recently celebrated his 88th birthday and told CNBC in an interview that he thinks stocks are still more attractive than bonds or real estate. In fact his company Berkshire Hathaway recently picked up some more shares of Apple Inc (AAPL) making it the largest position in the holding company.

The value of BRK.A shares increased by an astonishing 1,000,000% between December 1964 and December 2015. Meanwhile the S&P 500 market index increased by only 2,300% during that time. This is a testament to the will and dedication by Buffett & his team to create wealth for shareholders. I suppose you can say that if Berkshire has a will, Berkshire Hathaway. 😎

One thing to remember when investing is to keep it simple. You don’t have to be a genius to be good at it. 🙂

When we keep track of something it tends to grow. Building up investment experience is no different. That’s why every investor needs to track their investment decisions. This is going back to basics but it’s crucial to becoming better investors.

Investment Tracking 

This can be done by creating a simple table or spreadsheet like the following, and updating it over time. You can think of this like an investment journal. 🙂 I will demonstrate using the 2 new companies I blogged about purchasing earlier this year.

InvestmentTypeActionReasons for decisionDateExit plan
  • Parkland Fuel Corp (PKI.TO)
StockBuy 100 shares
  • Large network of retailers
  • Stable dividend yield (with growth)
  • Recession resistant
01/02/18Hold into retirement
  • Automotive Properties (APR.UN)
REITBuy 190 units
  • High 7% dividend yield
  • Relatively low payout ratio (60%)
  • Canadians love to buy cars
01/02/18Hold into retirement

 

Here are some additional columns we can add to track our investment decisions even more closely:

  • Timeline horizon (how long we plan to hold something)
  • Current market value of said investment
  • How to measure the success or failure of our decision
  • Any concerns that go against our final decision
  • Does the original reason for buying a stock still apply in the present day
  • What process did we use to evaluate the investment, eg: P/E ratio, Graham formula, or analyst predictions

No matter how good we are at evaluating investments, we’re eventually going to be wrong. Sometimes we may be wrong due to unpreventable reasons. But there are many factors that we can control, such as our own psychology and behavior.

Keeping a detailed investment journal of our decisions is the best way to remind us in the future of the feelings we had at that time to avoid making the same mistakes again. We’ll understand why we made the choices we did, whether or not it was worth it, the process behind our decisions, which strategies worked and which didn’t, and do our best to hopefully replicate past successes. 🙂 Hindsight is 20/20, but only if we remember how we thought and what we did in the past that lead to the current moment.

 

__________________________________
Random Useless Fact:

What it’s like having a motorcycle.

Sep 042018
 

We are now officially in the longest bull market in history. Hurray! 😀 Generally speaking a bull market begins when the market rises 20% from the end of a bear market. The last low set by the benchmark S&P 500 index in the U.S. was on March 9, 2009. It’s been 3,465 days of fairly steady growth since then, with the stock index climbing by more than 320% over that period. The previous record bull run was set between Oct. 1990 and March 2000 where the S&P 500 gained 418% between those 9.5 years!

Liquid’s Financial Update

*Total Income: = $6,000

  • Full time job = $3000
  • Part time job = $1100
  • Freelance = $500
  • Dividends = $900
  • Interest = $500
*Total Spending: = $3,500
  • Food = $300
  • Housing = $1200
  • Utilities = $100
  • Miscellaneous = $1000
  • Additional Debt Interest = $900

*Net Worth: (ΔMoM)

  • Assets: = $1,238,600 total (+9,700)
  • Cash = $11,200 (-400)
  • Canadian stocks = $177,800 (+4800)
  • U.S. stocks = $126,000 (+4500)
  • U.K. stocks = $21,600 (-300)
  • Retirement = $115,800 (+800)
  • Mortgage Funds = $33,900 (0)
  • P2P Lending = $32,300 (+300)
  • Home = $275,000
  • Farms = $445,000
  • Debts: = $426,400 total (-3,600)
  • Mortgage = $191,600 (-400)
  • Farm Loans = $181,900 (-500)
  • Margin Loans = $49,900 (-200)
  • TD Line of Credit = $0 (-1500)
  • CIBC Line of Credit = $3,000 (-1000)

*Total Net Worth = $812,200 (+$13,300 / +1.7%)
All numbers are in $CDN. 

Continue reading »

Aug 292018
 

According to a recent Northwestern Mutual study, nearly 1 out of 3 Americans have less than $5,000 saved for retirement. The average retirement savings for all Americans is $84,821. That’s a far cry from enough. Experts typically recommend building at least $1 million in savings by retirement. So it doesn’t look good for the average American. And we aren’t doing much better up here. A CIBC poll shows that 32% of Canadians between 45 and 64 have nothing saved for retirement. 😮

The 3 pillars of retirement savings

I recently finished reading a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, which explains that we can’t possibly care about everything in our lives because that would be too exhausting. So we have to choose what’s actually worth giving a hoot about. For those who are having trouble saving for retirement the best way to get ahead is to focus on a few things that will make a substantial difference. 😀

Below are 3 important factors that are absolutely the mutt’s nuts to building up a retirement nest egg.

Income

This is the number one tool to accumulating wealth. You can’t have savings if you never have income. Prioritize finding new ways to make additional income. This could be through a side job. Investment income is another method that requires patiences but ultimately has extremely lucrative results. For example this is what consistently investing in dividend growth stocks for 10 years can do in a bull market. 🙂

Another strategy that usually gives a lot of mileage is to constantly apply for new jobs. Every month make it a goal to send your resume to a few different companies, and follow up with any interviews or feedback you get. The worst case is you decline a job offer with a lower salary than what you’re currently earning. But if you are offered a better compensation package then you’ll receive an immediate raise in your career, either by joining the new company, or negotiating a higher salary with your current employer. 😉

Continue reading »

Aug 232018
 

Have you seen a human body? It is an accident waiting to happen. Every aspect of it is prone to injury. Toes sticking out of the end of our feet are just begging to get stubbed and broken. We are all soft and squishy, making us depressingly easy to puncture.

The sun gives us cancer. Much of the water on the planet is problematical. Much of the air is unbreathable. And don’t even get me started on the brain. It is so easily distracted, it is a wonder we ever complete tasks without hurting ourselves.

Personal responsibility 

You can’t completely stop people being careless and irresponsible. But you can make them pay when their irresponsible actions cause you damage. And it helps. It used to be that people thought drinking and driving was no big deal. Now, people are much more hesitant to do it because there is a price attached.

Places around NYC used to be a lot more dangerous. It is a lot safer today thanks in part to the efforts of people like these Bronx personal injury attorney groups out there that make people accountable for their irresponsibility. 

It is not overly litigious to seek remunerations for damages someone else caused. By holding them responsible, you make it less likely that they will cause someone else similar damage. 

We used to deal with these situations with blood feuds. Today, we settle it through the law. There are ways to settle disputes without bloodshed.

Reduce your risk

Driving is one of the biggest responsibilities we have. And yet it is taken for granted more than most. How serious a responsibility could it be? After all, we let 16-year-olds do it. And if there is one thing we know about teenagers, especially boys, is that they are the furthest thing from responsible.

Don’t text and drive seems obvious until you watch a teen or young adult behind the wheel of a car. We are evolutionarily predisposed to do unwise things when young. According to the experts, our brains aren’t even fully formed until age 25. Our current laws and what we know about science are at odds.

What can you do? Be excessively responsible when you do drive. Perhaps, take public transportation. Ride a bicycle. Better yet, walk. Don’t just do it for exercise. Do it to reduce congestion on the roads and to make it a little less likely that an accident will clog the highway in the morning.

The bottom line

Besides all the hassles that often accompany accidents like car repairs, hospital and doctors’ visits and the pain of recovering, we should also address the impact on our wallets. While you will probably recoup your expenses and even a bit on top of that, you’re still like to have shell out money for those hassles just mentioned. There’s the deductible on your car insurance for repairs, and if the car gets “totaled” by the insurer a lot of the time the payout doesn’t come close to covering the cost of a comparable vehicle. Then the medical bills, even if you have insurance, could add up. Once you account for deductibles, copays and medicines the total can be financially devastating. Things like supplemental insurance or a rainy-day fund can be a make-or-break lifeline.

The human body is easily damaged. But it also has a brilliant self-healing mechanism aided by modern medicine. When self-healing is not enough, we need to make the people who are responsible for causing accidents in the first place accountable for their actions. We can reduce our accident footprint by driving less. And we can take care of our bodies so that they are more accident resistant.