Aug 252013
 

This post explains how to quickly build up net worth without feeling deprived. If I can help it I simply don’t start a routine (which costs money) that is hard to quit.  Below are 4 categories where I spend less than the average person. The reason I appear to be frugal in these categories isn’t because I want to save money, but it’s because I’ve never developed a desire for these consumer goods to be a part of my life in the first place.

Eating Out: The average Canadian household spends about $40 per week on restaurant food. I spend $5. This isn’t about the money. I just find it faster and more convenient to prepare my own food at home because most dishes I make take less than 15 min to prepare.
Coffee: The average adult consumes about 2.7 cups a day. A weekly cost of maybe $15. I spend $0 because I don’t drink coffee. I just don’t like the taste. Coffee is bitter *ick* 😐 It’s not about the money because I wouldn’t drink coffee even if it was free.
Alcohol: The average Canadian household spends about $858 a year in this category. I spent about $20 last year. A $16 weekly difference. I don’t like how alcohol makes me dizzy. Plus I haven’t developed a taste for beer yet. Again, bitter doesn’t agree with my taste buds.
Cable TV: $30 per month is on the low side of what people pay for TV. I pay $0 because I don’t have cable. I’m not trying to be a hipster. Even if I got 250 channels for free I still won’t watch TV because there are better things I can do with my free time 😀 Besides, all of my favorite shows can be legally streamed online for free anyway >^_^<13_08_adsupovertime

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Feb 062013
 

I think one financial problem that has plagued many people is losing their wallets. Some people put a lot of stuff in their wallets and when they lose it they have to replace multiple credit cards, Costco, Safeway, other membership cards or identifications, etc.. It’s a big hassle (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻  But when I look at the pile of cards I have myself I realize that I don’t even use most of them on a daily, or even weekly bases. In order to simplify my life I have decided to always leave my wallet at home when I go out 🙂

I only bring what I need with me. That means on Mondays to Fridays I bring my driver’s license, a credit card, and a few banknotes with me to work.  These items hardly take up any space and is very inconspicuous in my pocket. When I go shopping on the weekends, I might only bring some cash for example. Most places I go to buy food don’t even accept credit cards so there’s not much incentive to take my cards with me (^v^) The point is to plan ahead and bring only what I need for that trip.

leave wallet at home

Leaving what I don’t need at home greatly reduces the risk of losing them, and also decreases the risk of identity theft. Not to mention, it deters impulse shopping, which not only saves money, but can also help me make those tough lifestyle decisions.  Oh look, buffalo wings for only $8.99. But I didn’t bring enough money today. Never mind, I’ll just go with the milk and eggs as planned >^_^< 

My friend got his wallet stolen at a gym before. Somebody broke into his locker. It’s no surprise that public changing rooms aren’t the safest place for personal belongings. If only he left his wallet at home. Even leaving the wallet in the car, and only bring his gym membership into the building would have been safer. At least there are security cameras in the parking lot and he has insurance if someone breaks into his car. We all know the saying don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Investors shouldn’t put all their money into one stock. So by extension I think neither should we put our personal identity and all our spending money into one foldable case, and then expose it to the outside world every day. I may have 99 other problems, but losing my wallet ain’t one 😀

Dec 072012
 

Read an interesting article from the Huffingtonpost about how gay Americans are financially more secure than the average American. When I was in high school many years ago, students, especially the boys, called each other gay when one of them did something not very manly. It was a form of playful insult :0) But according to this study, being called gay could now mean you have a better chance of making more money 😀

gay people make more money than the average American

According to the survey of more than 1,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people by Prudential, a financial services company, the average GLBT household earns $61,500 annually, which is more than $10,000 higher than the average national household income. Only 7% of respondents were unemployed, compared to the 7.9% US national average. But we all know it’s not about how much people make, it’s about how much they can save. Well gay households save on average $6,000 more than the national average 🙂 Not only that, but they also have $4,000 less in debt. Pretty impressive. But I guess it makes sense to save more money if you make more money. No wonder why so many gay celebrities are rich and awesome.

gay people like Neil Patrick Harris are better at managing their money

Why do gay people tend to earn more money and are better at managing their debt than the national average? I don’t really know ಠ_ರೃ   Of course this is only one study and results may vary by different States, but it’s a pretty cool study I think. Now I’m interested to see a survey like this for Canadians 😀 I wonder if the findings will be similar or different. Have a nice weekend folks.

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Random Useless Fact:  Did you know that pugs are extremely versatile animals. They can be made to look like almost anything… (=^_^=)

pugs can look like anything

 

Nov 222011
 

Here’s an extensive research on xkcd about how much things cost, including where government is spending tax payer’s money.  There is A LOT of information in there. Below, I’ve copied some of the more interesting facts to me…

– Median household net income in the States = $104.12 per day (A bit lower than I expected.)
– Cell phone avg monthly fee = $77.36 (Seems a bit high, I pay less than $20 for mine)
– Annual cost of cat/dog ownership = $670/$695 (cheaper than owning a rabbit)
– Typical 2007 CEO income = $5,420 per hour (Yes, PER HOUR!)
– Estimated one-year Hogwarts cost (incl. tuition) = $43,000 (That’s a bargain considering what you will learn there :0)

– Flower cost for William and Kate’s wedding = $800,000 (Imagine planning a wedding of that scale)
– Annual cost to run Wikipedia = $18.5 Million (I had no idea)
– Amount needed to live comfortably off investments = $4 Million (Depends on the individual/household)
– Most expensive car sold (1957 Ferrari 250) = $16.4 Million (Who would pay that much for such an old car?)
– Treskilling Yellow postage stamp = $83.7 Million = (Wish I was a stamp collector..)

– Mona Lisa assessed value = $731 Million (Art is a good investment)
– Mitt Romney’s net worth = $210 Million (I would retire if I were him)
– One F-22 Raptor = $154.5 Million (What an accomplishment for the engineers who worked on these)
– One B-2 Bomber = $2.5 Billion (0.o)

– The US’s 400 richest people have a greater combined wealth than the poorest 50% of the country (But some rich people still think they don’t have enough)
– A human life is valued at $8.4 million (How does one go about calculating this anyway?)
– Size of the derivatives market = $439 Trillion (Scary number, considering how un-regulated derivatives are)
– Total US public debt = $10.2 Trillion (That’s about $33,000 per person)
– Total Canadian public debt = $1.1 Trillion (Also about $33,000 per person, coincidence?)
– Total economic production of the human race so far $2.4 Quadrillion (That’s $2,400,000,000,000,000)

Nov 172011
 
     A government decision has created an indirect benefit to investors. Canada has started to roll out the new plastic banknotes starting with the $100 bill.  I think these are much better than our old paper money because they’re more durable,  harder to counterfeit, waterproof, recyclable, and they look amazing. I guess this gives a new meaning to the term “paying with plastic.” ( ゚∀゚)

The Australians invented these polymer banknotes and many countries around the world  have been using this technology for years. Now it’s our turn. These notes will be printed on a polymer substrate manufactured by Securency International in Australia. Yes, unfortunately we have to import our own currency material. The actual printing of the banknotes, however, will still be in Canada of course.

 

But I think there’s an opportunity here for investors looking to cash in on this transition. The base material for these notes, biaxial-oriented polypropylene, is just a fancy term for durable plastic, and we all know plastic comes from hydro carbons made from oil and gas. So going long in energy companies will most certainly prove fruitful as more of these notes are printed in Canada, and are being adopted by other nations around the world. Large integrated names like Suncor Energy, and Exxon Mobil, produce both oil and natural gas. Pipelines like TransCanada Corp, and Enbridge Inc, are also great ways to ride the energy wave.

10 year Investment Returns
Average Stock Market (S&P; 500) = 13%
Suncor:                                          =206%
Exxon:                                           = 99%
TransCanada:                                =102%
Enbridge:                                       =220%

This isn’t a coincidence. Smart investors have been invested in energy/pipeline companies for decades. Natural resources are a necessity in modern society and the demand will only go up in the decades to come. Invest early and get time on your side.

Disclaimer: I own shares of Suncor and Enbridge, and plan to buy TransCanada soon.