Let’s talk a little about your own personal experiences clouding your investment decisions.

I’ll start with one, which probably wasn’t what Peter Lynch had in mind when he was urging housewives to use their personal experiences to shape their stock picks. My local Tim Hortons is 14 different kinds of terrible and I refuse to buy Restaurant Brands (TSX:QSR) stock because it’s so damn bad.

Highlights of the my trip last night include:

  • The cook looking up from the kitchen, making eye contact with me, and then going back to work without telling someone there was a customer waiting
  • Watching the person responsible for serving customers come around the corner, see people waiting, and then grabbing a cloth to clean down a counter before coming over to serve us
  • The restaurant only having 2 out of a possible 5 soup choices in stock (3 if you count chili)
  • Half the eating area was closed down for “cleaning” despite there being nobody over there with anything
  • A terrible donut selection
  • Taking four minutes to grab a hot chocolate despite only having one person ahead of me in line

It’s like this every time I go, btw. The worst is when I used to go for lunch. I’d show up, wait five minutes in line because drive-thru gets 90% of the labor, and then have to wait an additional ten minutes while the one cook took his time making 14 sandwiches before my chili. It’s right there! Just serve it!

And then they give you the world’s worst bun to go with it. It’s all crust. It isn’t heated up or toasted or anything. It’s just thrown in with as much care as the napkins. You take two bites and it slices open the top of your mouth. Oh yeah. That’s what I’m talking about.

Now they have chicken strips. Have you seen those things? They are the worst fucking chicken strips I’ve ever seen in my life. I could pull better food out of the garbage at any other fast food place. They come in frozen, get heated up in the microwave, and cost $5.49 for the three of them. I can go to Dairy Queen and get superior chicken strips, fries, a drink, and a g.d. mini blizzard for $1.51 more.

I want to know who at Tim Hortons authorized this decision. I’ll promote them so I can immediately fire their sorry ass. That way the dismissal will be even more embarrassing.

Links I liked

1. Let’s start things off with one of the best investments you can make. No, it’s not stocks. Or real estate. Or giving a child money so you can see their eyes light up with anticipation of all the potential they have. Especially not that last one. No, I’m talking about Lego, which has beaten bonds, large stocks, and gold over the last three decades.

Lego. How awesome is that. BUT YOU MUST NEVER TOUCH IT.

2. Apparently Charlie Munger, at age 95, still skims most every book that mentions Berkshire Hathaway and will randomly call up authors to give them tips on how to improve. I’m equal parts impressed and horrified by this — doesn’t Charlie Munger have better things to do? — but it does allow me to segue into the story when Jim Rogers emailed me to correct a story I wrote about him. (I called him a billionaire. It turns out he’s a mere one-hundred millionaire.) It was a thrill to hear from someone that famous.

3. Let’s pivot over to Ian Bezek, who wrote out his investment strategy statement over at Seeking Alpha. It’s good stuff. And after approximately 93 weeks of promising the same thing, Ian’s piece will finally inspire me to write my own. It will not be whatever I throw against the wall, like at least four of you think it is.

That joke is funny because like hell I have four readers. My wife, dad, and mom are the only three and my cat can’t read.

4. I don’t normally post book reviews (if it sounds good I’ll just go read the underlying book), but this review post by My Own Advisor is pretty much perfect. It introduces the concept of pensionizing your nest egg and explains the easy way you can turn a lump sum into a monthly income stream.

Annuities don’t get a lot of positive press in the personal finance world, but there are millions of Canadians who should probably embrace them over a portfolio of dividend paying stocks or GICs. They might give up a little money but in exchange don’t have to worry about their investments.

5. For whatever reason I’m fascinated with retail arbitrage, which is buying stuff at a regular retailer with the plan of reselling it on Amazon and Ebay. People actually make a living doing this. I’m constantly amazed and want to try it if I wasn’t so lazy. This article interviews a couple of guys who not only do it but also make videos about it on Youtube. I’m guessing the videos are the main part of the business plan. That business scales forever. Flipping stuff from local Wal-Marts doesn’t.

6. Want to become a great real estate investor? This older piece from The Private Investment Brief lays out the keys with a story about a displaced orphan in post-World War 2 Europe. Like a lot of things in life it seems simple but it’s not easy to pull off.

OH BABY THIS IS SHAPING UP TO BE THE BEST ONE OF THESE IN WEEKS. AND THEY’RE USUALLY PRETTY GOOD TOO.

7. Let’s keep the party going with Rob from Passive Canadian Income who reveals how lucrative his solar panel investment has been over the last year. I won’t spoil the result; you’ll have to click and check it out for yourself. I just love it when people use their brains and make unorthodox investing choices.

8. I liked this post by Tawcan, reminding folks that after a certain point you don’t need more money to enjoy your life. There comes a point where it doesn’t make sense to keep pushing forward just for the money.

9. Freedom 35 Blog tackled that same debt survey that got me so pissed off the other day and came to pretty much the same conclusion. I’m glad we fought back against that b.s., even just a little bit.

10. Jordan over at Money Maaster is a far better investor than speller. I think we view a lot of investments the same way, so if you enjoy my stuff on investing you’ll love his latest on an interesting small-cap name.

11. Time to sully up this linkfest with some of my own writing. Here’s a post outlining some of the big mistakes Canadian investors (including this guy, at least before) make, and this one highlights a couple good REITs I’d look at buying if I was looking to start a nice real estate income stream today.

12. And finally, let’s wrap this up with a needed message from My Money Wizard. If you’re a U.S. federal government employee who is one missed paycheque away from hitting the food bank, the problem isn’t the GUBMINT. It’s you.

Stay tuned for next week when I tackle my investment plan, reveal the stocks I bought in January, and much more!

The exclamation mark was a little much, wasn’t it?

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Tell everyone, yo!