Feb 132017

Some psychologists believe that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Whether this is accurate or not, the truth is we are influenced by everyone around us to some degree. This is why it’s important to surround ourselves with positive and highly productive people. Our environment should work for our success, not against it. ūüôā

It’s not that we should trivialize or avoid negative¬†people. We can treat everyone with the respect they deserve. But it would be beneficial to us if we make a conscious effort to spend more time with successful people. For example, to reach my goal of becoming independently wealthy I like to surround myself with friends who have the following personality traits.

  • They can see the big picture.
  • They don’t make excuses and know it’s up to themselves to make things better¬†if it’s important enough to them.
  • They have or plan to have lots of resources, ie: wealth.
  • They are optimistic about the future.
  • They are curious about the world.

This is just my personal list I’ve thrown together. But there are many different definitions for what a high quality or successful person is. Of course if you work in the music industry, then you should surround yourself with “creative” people. We should also be aware of our biases. Being surrounded¬†with too many “like minded” friends may trap us in¬†an echo chamber of similar opinions. Doing so could make it difficult for us to expand our knowledge.

Unfortunately we can’t change the cards we’ve been dealt. But we can make the most out of our situations by developing the best environment for us to thrive. Part of this means choosing the right people to surround ourselves with. We can’t control what other people think, but we can manage our¬†social circle, and choose who to hang out with. ūüôā

Random Useless Fact:

Even though the children below are born from different parents, they are actually siblings, genetically speaking.


Aug 182016

Early Retirement 

For professional skiers the best time to retire is when they start to go downhill. But what about the rest of us? Well for most people the question isn’t at what age we should retire, it’s at what income. ūüėČ People who want to retire early¬†seem to¬†have a clear and consistent focus to grow¬†their wealth so that it can provide them with enough passive income to sustain their lifestyles forever. This¬†can be¬†done through a number of ways such as reducing living expenses, increasing income, and making high investment returns. ūüôā


I recently read a CNBC article that featured a couple, Carl and Mindy, who retired in their early 40s with a million dollars. And they did it pretty much the same way as most other early retirees.

In 2012 the husband-wife duo with 2¬†kids already had $570,000 saved up. But they were inspired to retire early so they set a clear goal to build a portfolio of $1 million and no debt. And earlier this year in 2016, they have accomplished their dream. ūüôā

The CNBC article suggests that “anyone can do the same ‚ÄĒ and you don’t have to be an investment banker raking in millions. All it takes is smart decisions along with intelligent saving and investing.

Here are some steps the couple took to reach their financial goals.

  • Track spending –¬†“My wife and I wrote all of our expenses in a book,” says the husband.
  • Live in an affordable location –¬†¬†The couple resides¬†in a low-cost area in Colorado, and lives on $2,000 a month for the whole family.¬†They mention this would not be possible in San Francisco or Manhattan.
  • Cut bills –¬†“I learned that you don’t need a lot of money,” said the wife. “My quality of life has not changed since we became laser-focused on cutting out our expenses. I don’t need the cable TV. I don’t need a super-expensive phone plan.¬†I don’t miss all this stuff because it didn’t really add to my life,” she said.
  • Invest in appreciating assets – The couple bought a¬†$176,000 fixer upper home that they estimate is now worth over $400,000. They also¬†I bought 2,000 shares at Facebook at $30 a share which is now worth around¬†$120 a share!
  • Consistent savings – They’ve continuously put away $2,000 per month into their investment portfolio.

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Nov 142015

Traits of Successful People

I found the following infographic on pinterest¬†recently. It suggests¬†qualities that successful people have compared to those who are unsuccessful. I think it makes some valid points about how our circumstances depend a lot on how we approach life. ūüôā


Success can often to a subject term. Even within the context of personal finance, becoming successful can mean different things to different people. There are as many definitions to success as there are goals and aspirations. Our objective is to discover what our version of success looks like, and figure out how to get there.

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Oct 292015

The One Simple Rule to Win at Life!

People are programmed to pursue physical, psychological, and emotional security and comfort. However, if we give into our natural tendencies to always take the easy route then we won’t have a very meaningful or fulfilling life. That’s why it’s necessary to do what’s emotionally most uncomfortable.

So if we want to be rich and financially successful all we have to do is follow this one simple rule in life:

Always do the most emotionally difficult thing. ūüėČ

This is a very profound notion and is almost counterintuitive to what our minds are designed to do. But doing the thing that’s the most emotionally challenging in any situation will actually lead¬†to a more prosperous and satisfying life. Of course, most people do the opposite of this and try to look for the most convenient and easy way out. They believe this would give them a pleasant means to live. But ironically the pursuit of comfort and convenience often leads to a mediocre, frustrating and unfulfilled life.


Here are some examples to demonstrate the point:

  • In business, the emotionally difficult thing for us to do is forge on ahead and take calculated risks to grow our company, even if everyone¬†around us is being negative and unsupportive.
  • It can be emotionally hard for partners to talk about their finances, debt, and spending habits with each other.
  • When investing, it’s emotionally uncomfortable to remain disciplined and stick with a plan based on our long term goals and not be tempted to trade in and out of the markets.
  • If we want to become investment associates at ScotiaMcLeod then the uncomfortable thing to do is to attend the proper education in University and study hard.
  • In terms of saving money on food and living a healthier lifestyle it’s psychologically difficult to cook more at home, and eat¬†out less.
  • In personal finance, it’s emotionally difficult to save at least 20% of our income and store it away in a retirement account for the next 30 or 40 years.

All of these examples are choices that we can make everyday. And those of us who choose to do the most emotionally uncomfortable thing in all these areas will experience business expansion, happier relationships, better investment returns, lucrative career opportunities, a healthier body, and an abundance of wealth in retirement. ūüėÄ Wow. So much win for following just one simple rule.

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Jul 122011

1. Make more money than you spend. Continue saving and investing.
2. Make sure your career is interesting and fun to you relative to other jobs. Passion leads to skill which leads to good pay regardless of what industry you choose.
3. Pay off high interest debt, and consolidating your debt.
4. Borrow money to make money. Take advantage of low interest rates. It’s hard to find anyone who has invested in real estate or the stock market indexes for decades and have lost money consistently.
5. Keep your investment fees low to maximize returns. For example consider buying ETFs instead of mutual funds, especially if you live in Canada.
6. Don’t get divorced.
7. Don’t spoil your kids. Support them emotionally, but let them learn the meaning of gratification through hard work by themselves. They will thank you one day when they become independent, and will not feel entitled to ask you for money when you retire.