Feb 162017
 

A survey done a few years ago found that 34% of people rely on winning the lottery as a legitimate retirement plan. 😐 #smh. I’m no financial expert, but when it comes to aggressively planning for one’s retirement, playing the lottery more frequently probably isn’t the best strategy.

But of course some people can get very lucky, like Jane Park, who lives in the U.K. When she was 17 years old she bought her first lottery ticket and won the jackpot of £1 million. That’s roughly CAD $1.6 million, or USD $1.2 million. What did she do with her new found wealth? First, she spent £4,500 on a boob job. 😄 Then she purchased some properties, a Louis Vuitton handbag, and a chihuahua, because why not? 🙄

But it appears her lucky situation had unintentional consequences. At 21 years old today, Jane explains that winning the lottery has actually made her sick. That is to say, “sick of shopping for designer goodies.” She is also “struggling to find a genuine boyfriend who isn’t after her money.” Jane says that despite her wealth people don’t seem to understand her stress of being a millionaire. She says despite her material possessions her life feels “empty and without purpose.” Damn. Poor girl.

“I thought it would make it ten times better but it’s made it ten times worse. I wish I had no money most days. I say to myself, ‘My life would be so much easier if I hadn’t won.’” ~ Jane Park

But don’t feel too sorry for her just yet. Jane is currently thinking about suing the lottery company for giving her the money and ruining her life. She claims that the company should not be selling lottery tickets to 17 year olds because someone at that age can’t handle so much money. Again, I’m no expert. But if money caused her to feel empty and without purpose in the first place, then I’m not sure suing for more money is going to help her situation. 😄

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Random Useless Fact:

There was record snowfall this year in parts of Canada

This is what Vancouver looked like a week ago.

Feb 222016
 

Who Would You Tell?

Awhile ago you guys were asked who you would tell if you won the lottery.  Here are the results. Thanks to everyone who voted. 🙂

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Roughly a quarter of readers said they will keep the secret to themselves. I happen to be in this category as well. But I would tell my spouse if I had one. I think she would eventually find out sooner or later. Half of the people polled feel the same way and would tell their immediate family members. Only 4.6% would post it on Facebook and don’t mind if all their friends knew. We all have our reasons for how we voted. I personally think nothing bad will happen if nobody knows you’re rich. 🙂 But you can obviously put money to good use anytime.

Last month 3 tickets split the record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot in the U.S. The winners have 60 days to make a decision on whether they want to take the lump sum payment, or the annuity payments spread out through 29 years, a dilemma most people wouldn’t mind having.

Option 1: Lump Sum

  • Divided among the 3 tickets, each cash lump sum will be $310 million.
  • The winner would get their money right away, but pay 40% in taxes. (The IRS taxes lottery winnings like income tax)
  • After tax lump sum will be $187 million for each winning ticket.

Option 2: Annuity Certain

  • Winning ticket holders will receive 30 payments over the next 29 years.
  • The first payment of $7.5 million will be made immediately, and slowly increase with interest to about $31 million on the final payment, with a combined total of $529 million.
  • If the winner dies the annuity payments will continue and go into his or her estate to be passed on to any heirs.
  • Powerball invests the entire cash value of the annuity in various U.S. government securities. The winner won’t be taxed on investment income within the annuity because Powerball will be the entity investing the money.

I would probably go with option 2 and choose the annuity over the lump sum just for the tax savings. 🙂 Which would you choose?

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Random Useless Fact

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By the way, I’m currently on vacation in the Caribbean right now and won’t be back until next week so I won’t be very active on the blog in the meantime. 🙂

Jul 142014
 

Somewhere in the world right now there’s a person who is working 10 hours a day doing manual labour and making minimum wage. He realizes his life could be much better so he saves what he can to build the future that he wants. He believes that he can change his circumstances in life by working hard, and having a solid plan. He tries to start his own business but fails. But he tries again and again, sacrificing his time, savings, and energy to make it work. Eventually his company turns a small profit, which grows every year, and ten years later he is a millionaire 🙂

Meanwhile just down the street from the first person lives another man who just won the lottery and becomes a millionaire over night. He doesn’t think about how to use the money wisely. He just knows he’s rich now and believes he will stay rich forever, without considering that his circumstances might change over time. He starts to buy fancy cars, make friends with other people who also like to spend lots of money. He eats out almost every meal and becomes fat and lazy. He continues to buy lottery tickets hoping he would win again, but he doesn’t. Ten years later he realizes he has spent all of his money and is now broke 🙁

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Which type of person are you? By making it on your own you can appreciate the ups of success because you’ve experienced the downs of failure. It can be tempting to immerse yourself in the bliss of good fortune, but enjoy it responsibly to make that feeling last 🙂 Circumstances in life can always change; people who don’t think their finances in the future can get better or get worse are not being honest with themselves. It’s important to understand where your life currently stands, where you want it to go, and how you’re going to make that happen. If the current circumstances around you suck, then find a way to change them 😀

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Random Useless Fact:
Somebody made a ridiculous bet on the Germany vs Brazil World Cup game. Either that person can predict the future, or is just extremely lucky.

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Feb 202014
 

In a recent poll commissioned by the Bank of Montreal, 34% of Canadians say they are planning to fund their retirement by winning the lottery. That has to be the most optimistic retirement plan I’ve ever heard of 😆

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Most personal finance experts will probably tell you that buying lottery tickets is a waste of money and isn’t worth your time. And they would be right, if for financial reasons only.  After all, the odds of winning the jackpot is something like 1 out of 14 million (O_o)

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Continue reading »

Jan 102014
 
Retiree Wins Lottery – Then Gives it all Away

What would you do if you won the lottery? Tom Crist, retired CEO of an electrical wholesale company who lives in Calgary, said he’s giving away his entire $40 million Lotto Max prize. He lost his wife to cancer 2 years ago. He now plans to put the lottery winnings into a trust fund to be given out over the years to charities such as the Canadian Cancer Society. “I don’t really need that money.” He said. Faith in humanity restored 😀

 

Weak Loonie

The Canadian dollar fell to just 92 cents USD lately. This is the lowest our currency has been since 2009. Fantastic news for manufacturers and exporters 🙂 If you are American this is great news for you too because Canadian goods are now more affordable for you. Last year when we were at parity I suggested Canadians should buy U.S. assets like stocks or currency. I wrote about buying Google, Qualcomm, Starbucks, and Disney when the $CAD was still high.  Now the tides have turned, our Loonie’s value has dropped, and I’m reaping the rewards 😀

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Every Major Marvel and DC Movie Release Until 2019

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2014 Movie Releases

Speaking of Disney (DIS), they have several Marvel blockbuster movies coming out this year. Each one is expected to make huge profits. Disney shares are up 43% year over year! How can anyone possibly resist investing in this globally diversified, money printing company? 😀 Anyway, here are a list of popular movies that are coming out this year 🙂

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TFSA Participation Fail

A recent ING DIRECT survey revealed that 53% of Canadians still don’t have a TFSA.

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Not having the money to contribute is the main reason they haven’t opened a tax free savings account yet. If you are currently in school and have $50,000 of student loan debt and no income yet, then it’s understandable that you have no savings. But for most people who can put some money away the TFSA is one of the best tax saving vehicles there is. We have a perfectly legal way to not pay any taxes on our investment gains, yet less than half of us are actually using it? ( ಠ_ಠ)

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Video of the Week

Caterpillars in Hawaii have developed hunting skills

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Blog roundup – Below are some finance and other articles from around the web this week.