Apr 062017
 

A New Way to Measure Your Success

There are varying degrees of success and many different ways to define it. For example, in order to be a successful frequent flyer, you will probably need a lot of connections. 😀 And if you’re trying to lose weight, success is all about mind over platter, and winning that Nobelly Prize. 😄

how much do you value your free time?

Financial success is often evaluated in terms of income or wealth. But I often argue that time is our most precious resource. Unlike money, all our days are numbered. So given this reality, perhaps the best way to evaluate our success is to find out how much we value our free time. 🙂 This can be done with the following steps.

  1. Think of an activity that is neither pleasant nor unpleasant to do for you. It also can’t help you gain skills or make you smarter.
  2. Determine the minimum amount of money you would charge to perform that service for 1 hour for a stranger.

This mental exercise will reveal how much you value your time at an hourly rate. 🙂 For example, services I can provide that I neither like nor dislike include slowly folding laundry and walking around town for no reason.

I would have gladly accepted $20/hour to fold laundry 10 years ago. But things have change now. I would not give up my free time for any amount less than $40/hour today, because I can offer valuable skilled labour. Furthermore, I’m 10 years closer to death so there has to be an added premium on the remaining time I have compared to the past me. Due to simple economics, the fewer days I have to live, the more valuable those days are to me.

In a way, $40/hour is an indicator of my level of success in society. Perhaps a doctor or lawyer would value their free time at $120/hour. This wouldn’t be surprising given their place on the social economic ladder. It is not only a measure of their immense human capital compared to mine, but also their financial status.

How the Value of Time is Tied To Success

As self sustaining adults, the value of our free time should be the lowest at the start of our careers. But over time this value should increase to keep up with our growing human capital. Over time our demand for time is increased, and demand for money is reduced because we can earn money easier and more quickly.

Continue reading »

Apr 032017
 

When Long Term Planning Works Out

Thanks to my recent investment in Lending Loop I am now making an additional $2,000 per year of interest income. This brings my total passive income to $24,000 per year. Sweet peaches and cream! 😀 Here’s a breakdown.

  • $9,000 dividends
  • $9,000 rent
  • $6,000 interest

Passive income is the best kind of income for 3 important reasons:

  1. It’s stable and requires no effort from the investor.
  2. It has the capability to be tax efficient, eg: by earning it inside a tax advantaged account.
  3. It’s inflation protected. eg: My current passive income from dividends, rent, and interest would all increase under inflationary pressure.

But it takes time to build up $24,000 of annual investment income. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is passive income. It took me about 9 years of saving and investing to reach this milestone. Dividend income was my first passive income stream and it’s starting to really pay off now. 🙂 Many other bloggers are using this popular strategy for early retirement as well.

My current level of passive income by itself is still not enough for me to live on. However, my projection is to grow my passive income by $3,000 per year over the next 5 years so I will be financially independent when I’m 35 years old in 2022, making about $40,000 per year from my investments. 😀

Increasing my passive income by $3,000 a year is actually easier than it sounds due to my special circumstance. I have 3 lucky advantages that most people my age don’t have.

  1. I have over $1,000,000 of investments under my control. Dividend growth stocks increase payments to shareholders over time. Land tends to appreciate in value and extract higher rental income in the long run. Through inflation this $1,000,000 asset portfolio will grow by an estimated 2% a year to keep up with the cost of living. This works out to $20,000 of annual appreciation. We can easily convert any tangible asset into a perpetual passive revenue stream by using the 4% rule. Therefore, I can expect my passive income to increase by $800 by next year simply by continuing to hold $1+ million of productive assets. ($20,000 x 4%)
  2. I do not spend the $24,000 of passive income I currently make. So all of it can go back into buying more investments. $24,000 will generate about 5% of income for me with a combination of high yield income securities and dividend stocks. So that’s another $1,200 of newly created passive income for me to look forward to by next year. ($24,000 x 5%)
  3. Tax efficiency. Nearly all my dividend producing investments qualify for the federal dividend tax credit so I effectively pay only 6% tax on the income they produce. My rental income is offset by my mortgage interest so I pay less than 4% tax on this rental income. As I’ve written about in the past my profits are kept low. Nearly all my other passive income are sheltered in my RRSP and TFSAs, which accounts for more than $150,000 worth of stocks, bonds, mortgages, and other interest producing assets. This means I pay minimal tax on the $24,000 passive income I make.

Due to the 1st and 2nd reasons in the above list, my passive income should grow organically by $2,000 every year without me injecting any new capital into the portfolio. The remaining $1,000 of passive income (to make up my $3,000 increase per year) will come from savings. With an expected 5% income rate I will need to save $20,000 per year on average to make this happen. I think that’s a reasonable goal for me. 🙂

This whole plan all started in 2008. I’m just following through with it now and adding small changes as things move along. What truly amazes me is the fact that my passive income has now reached a point where it is growing at a faster rate than my active income. There is no way I can sustainably increase my salary and wages by $3,000 every year without sacrificing my health and risk getting burnt out. But my passive income can. 😀 This is why investing becomes more effective the longer one does it.

 

Liquid’s Financial Update

*Side Incomes:

  • Part-Time = $700
  • Freelance = $800
  • Dividends = $700
  • Interest = $100
  • SolarShare bonds = $500
*Discretionary Spending:
  • Fun = $500
  • Debt Interest = $1200

*Net Worth: (MoM)16-12-networthiq_chart-nov

  • Assets: = $1,097,900 total (+9,500)
  • Cash = $2,200 (+700)
  • Canadian stocks = $145,700 (+7500)
  • U.S. stocks = $90,100 (-700)
  • U.K. stocks = $19,600 (+300)
  • RRSP = $76,400 (+1500)
  • Mortgage Funds = $30,800 (+200)
  • Peer-to-Peer Lending = $20,300 (+200)
  • SolarShare Bonds = $9,800 (-200)
  • Home = $270,000
  • Farms = $433,000
  • Debts: = $495,200 total (+800)
  • Mortgage = $184,300 (-500)
  • Farm Loans = $190,300 (-600)
  • Margin Loans = $62,800 (+3200)
  • TD Line of Credit = $14,800  (-600)
  • CIBC Line of Credit = $26,500 (-500)
  • HELOC = $16,500 (-200)

*December Total Net Worth = $602,700 (+$8,700 / +1.5%)
All numbers above are in $CDN. 

I got my first SolarShare bond payment! This is the first of 30 total payments I will receive over the next 15 years.

Much like black holes, climate change can really suck. 😄 I invested in SolarShare last year because I wanted to make the world a greener place and earn a profit while doing it. 😀

Continue reading »

Apr 012017
 

A Real Education About Money

April is officially financial literacy month. Yay! Information is free and everywhere. The problem is some can be misleading. One of my favourite PF gurus, Gail Vaz-Oxlade, recently noticed a slough of pretentious ninnies online pretending to be financial experts.

Personal finance is really popular these days. But I agree with Gail. Real financial advice is rare. I bet dollars to doughnuts many bloggers don’t know what they’re talking about 😛 The current education system is failing the public. This is why I’ve created my high school investing course.

Retiring early should be achievable for anyone. So over the next few months I will be visiting various secondary schools around the city to lecture and teach students how to make money, using other people’s money. 😀 Financial experts such as Robert Kiyosaki have been using this lucrative strategy for decades to make millions. 😉

I was compelled to take on this project after receiving tons of positive feedback from visitors about how reading my blog has made them a lot of money. On my previous post about index investing, one commentator even suggested I charge exorbitant fees to do consulting work, haha. 😉

Let’s be honest. As an authority in this area I should take on a leading role to help others make sense of the financial world. And the best time to teach someone is when they’re young. 😀 I already have years of teaching experience. So naturally I am the best person for this job. 🙂

The Investment Course Outline

For now things are going as planned. After a few meetings with the trustees of the Vancouver School Board I managed to convince them to allow me to give classes to grade 10 students. The course is once a week for 8 weeks. This will be a mandatory part of their Career and Personal Planning (CAPP) program that all students must take to graduate.

Okay. So the first 4 classes will be focused on learning how to use margin accounts to increase stock returns. For example, I started using 2.5 times leverage with margin debt in 2011. By 2014 I showed how my portfolio had doubled in value (100% gain.) This would not have been possible with cash savings alone.

Continue reading »

Mar 302017
 

Recent Purchase – Yellow Media Ltd

Although most of my investments are in blue-chip dividend paying companies, it can be fun sometimes to speculate on smaller companies as well. It’s kind of a risky play, but I recently picked up 120 shares of Yellow Media (TSE:Y.) I paid on average $8.14 per share, plus commission.

The stock is trading at 0.61 Price/Book ratio, so its net assets are worth more than the company. The forward P/E ratio of 11.8 is also quite attractive. The phone book industry is dying, but Yellow Media is transitioning into the digital world. The reason I decided to buy now is because the company just hired a new CFO and the stock has started to go up again. 🙂 It has greatly reduced its debt over the past several years. Although its print business is suffering, it plans to organically grow its digital revenue between 5% to 8% a year. Yellow Media already owns a lot of online content and gets tons of internet traffic. 🙂

I first came across Yellow Media when I read Nelson’s post on The Fool last month. He analysis appears to be sound. I believe (Y) has potential to come back from its current lows. But it’s far from a guarantee. The stock currently trades at about $8/share. In 1 year from now, Yellow Media stock will either grow to over $12/share (50% gain) or drop to something like $6/share. I’m investing because the upside potential outweighs the possible downside for me.

Continue reading »

Mar 272017
 

In a World of Abundance

Over the last couple of weeks I have indulged in many pleasant gastronomic experiences around the city. Below are some pictures of events I attended and the food I enjoyed. And here’s the kicker. 😀 Everything was free!

food events mostly found through eventbrite

 

Free Food is Everywhere 

Why would companies hold events to give away food to the public? Usually it’s because they have something to sell. Most of the presentations I attend are sponsored by financial companies that want to push their investment products. I was given wine, bread, and cheese at a Raymond James event. Private market company Pinnacle served pasta and pizza at a fancy Italian restaurant. Yum. 🙂

Even technology companies such as Realm, which develops mobile apps, gave away pizza and t-shirts. So I got a free meal that evening, and free clothing. Yay! Whenever I wear my new Realm t-shirt I’m essentially giving them free publicity.

The companies try to raise awareness for their brands, sell their services, or recruit people into their community. That’s why they host these events. I can ramble on. But enough teasing. Let me reveal how you can get free food!

Search and Execute

There are 3 steps that anyone in the developed world can use to acquire free food.

Step 1: Live in or near an urban area.
Step 2: Sign up with event management organizers.
Step 3: Search and register for upcoming local events using filters such as “free” and “food.”

Continue reading »