Hey. It’s Christmas Eve. What exactly are you doing here? Does your family not love you or something? It’s okay, I get it. Nobody quite understands how it is to be a constant disappointment more than Nelly. It’s all my family can do to not vomit all over the place when they think of me. Nice try, blaming it on the cat. I’m onto you people.

Anyhoo, the blogging world tends to slow down at this time of year, and this blog is no exception. So instead of actual content, here are the best twelve posts I did this year, separated out by month. It’s probably been a while since you’ve read some of these, and considering how the average person remembers about as much as a football player after a Grade IV concussion, it’ll be just like reading new stuff again. So be excited, dammit!

January

The case for working backwards to retirement

Too often, us personal finance-type people think the world can be easily fixed with cliches, rules-of-thumb, and other such nonsense. We tell people to save 10%, 20% or whatever of their earnings without any thought of what their retirement goals might be.

I propose a different thought process. What if we started with the retirement goal and then worked backwards?

February

Stop making money a gender issue

If I had a nickel for every finance article targeted at women that just repeated the same old crap that applies to everyone equally, I’d have enough to fix the (almost imaginary) gender wage gap. The fact is 99% of all money issues apply equally to both genders. So why do we make something that’s so obviously not a gender issue into one?

Oh, and how come we never see male-specific personal finance advice?

March

Focus on the big stuff

There are a few big things and thousands of tiny things that can have an effect on your finances. And yet, we spend, collectively, many multiples more time talking about the little things. I say to ignore all that, and focus on the things that will make you serious money.

A promotion or successful side hustle will improve your life exponentially more than switching to generic brand garbage bags.

April

Forget retirement; Embrace selfish employment

This is one of my favorite posts I’ve ever written. Over the years, regular readers know I’ve taken a few shots at the retire-early-at-all-costs folks. This article condenses all my feelings about the matter into one piece, and gives a simple yet elegant alternative. Instead of quitting a job you hate for nothing, become rich and then do something you like.

That post got me in trouble with the folks at the Early Retirement Extreme forums, btw. For some reason they didn’t like it. I can’t imagine why.

May

A message to 2015 graduates

Besides trying to poison a veteran each Remembrance Day, writing a message each year to college and high school grads is my favorite annual tradition. Because hey, nothing beats talking down to some self-righteous little snotbag recent graduate. Those people are the worst people in the world.

June

The best ever?

No, we’re not talking about my writing skills or the quality of this here blog, which both remain mediocre at best.

This post makes fun of literally the two stupidest indebted people on the planet, a couple that banks keep throwing money at for some reason. Because they can’t help themselves, they spend it all and then some. Plus, Timmy, a little boy with no hands or feet makes an appearance. He’s fun for a double peg leg.

July

Why you need to hold bonds in your portfolio

So many blog posts focus on what the stock market will return over x number of years. But nobody focuses on owning bonds, mostly because they’re all but guaranteed to return less than stocks. Besides, nobody ever impressed anyone by talking about their bond portfolio. When the shit hits the fan though, bonds are very valuable, and in a couple of different ways too.

August

The easy way to create your own real estate empire

Being a landlord is great. Getting paid each month to basically do nothing is as sweet as it gets. But up here in cold, cold Canada, the rental yield on the average property is more dismal than outside in January. Plus, property managers eat up a big chunk of that small profit. I have a better solution.

September

What would you do with $100,000 in cash?

This post is a little different. I tried to crowdsource some differing investment ideas by presenting a hypothetical situation. If you were sitting on $100k and couldn’t put the money into the usual choices (stocks, bonds, real estate, or paying down debt), what would you do with it? I got some interesting ideas, some of which are definitely worth investigating further.

October

Did boomers really have it that much easier than millennials do now?

My three biggest pet peeves are unwanted pickles in my sandwich, pants, and millennials bitching about how much easier boomers had it back in the day. What a glorious waste of time.

These days, the favorite activity of millennials seems to be complaining about how much easier boomers had it, especially when it came to buying a house. But is that really the case? As is the answer with most things, it’s hardly black and white.

November

An insider’s look at Canada’s mortgage fraud problem

I was a mortgage broker from 2007 to 2010. I wasn’t particularly good, but I did see my share of dishonest and unethical things that went on in the industry. As much as we’d love to see less of it, I think people trying to screw the system is a reality of a world where people are compensated by commissions.

December

Paying off the mortgage in 3 years: smart or foolish?

I still contend this wasn’t a smart move. I don’t think many people agree with me though.

And that’s it

Thanks for reading and have a good holiday season. Happy whatever it is you celebrate. As always, thanks for reading. See you in a week for the entries for the 2016 edition of the stock picking contest.

 

 

Tell everyone, yo!