Weekly Linkfest #33

Weekly Linkfest #33

Finally, an excuse to put up a Patrick Roy picture. My favorite memory of him was definitely when he sent his kid out to fight some other kid during a junior hockey game. So crazy. I love it.

Junior hockey used to be absolutely bananas. That was only 10 years ago! The younger Roy was charged in the incident, but got away with a slap on the wrist. He had quit hockey at that point to pursue a singing career in the United States, which probably had something to do with it.

I just listened to one of his songs on Youtube. It’s not terrible.

This was a fun little rabbit hole. Kind of like when I used to click random on Wikipedia until something interesting came up.

I recently acquired a new television for my basement, a second-hand unit that only has a mere 720p resolution. Since the majority of my TV watching will be video from the internet and the occasional PS3/SNES/NES Classic video games, this isn’t a big deal.

Our current upstairs TV is a 32 inch beast from about 10 years ago. It had two appeals when I first got it — the unit had a built-in DVD player (which is super convenient for the three times a year we pop in a disc) and it was free. It has served us well over the years.

I just instructed the wife to hug the TV for being so good to us. For some reason she’s opposed to this.

The new TV is 42 inches, and it seems absolutely MASSIVE in comparison. I’m sure there’s a lesson in expectations in there or something but for now I’m just enjoying watching Jonathan Roy music videos while talking to you guys.

Time for Links

The only good thing about waiting so long between these link roundup posts is it’s a lot easier to come up with a bunch of good stuff. I’ll even sneak in a little bit of my own writing from other sites too.

1. Let’s start things off with my new favorite genre of article, those that shit on your local 35-year old’s retirement dreams. I continue to say that striving to save as much as you can is admirable goal, and there’s nothing wrong with making life changes to maximize your free time if that floats your boat. I’ve done exactly that. I just hate that we call it “retired” and there are hundreds of “retired” bloggers who make millions collectively selling that dream.

2. If you’re on Twitter and I notice I’ve liked something, chances are you’ll see it here. Either that or someone’s posting excerpts of some interesting-sounding book. On that note, here’s probably the most scathing book review I’ve ever read, absolutely eviscerating Ray Dalio’s Principles. I’m just happy I wasn’t the only one who hated it.

Seriously, what a boring book. Don’t waste your time.

3. Let’s pivot to something completely different. Here’s Value Stock Geek admitting his struggles with alcoholism. This is a brave post that takes more intestinal fortitude than I have to write. One of the reasons why I don’t touch the sauce is because I know something like that could very well happen to me.

4. One of the reasons why I didn’t venture to Toronto for the recently concluded Canadian Personal Finance Conference was because the theme of “pushing the boundaries of personal finance” didn’t really do it for me. I still have no idea what the hell that’s supposed to mean, and listening to a former Hudson’s Bay exec talk about personal finance doesn’t seem like something worth my time. Anyhoo, here’s Million Dollar Journey opining on the same topic, and he concludes pretty much what I do — that there aren’t really many personal finance topics that haven’t already been fully analyzed.

5. My Money Wizard might be the best personal finance blog you’re currently not reading. Or maybe you are. He profiles Orville Rogers, a retired pilot who used smart investing and a long lifespan to amass a crapload of money. It really can be that simple guys.

6. The Stronach family is currently suing the crap out of each other about what else — money. Currently, dad Frank and brother Andrew are upset with Brenda, the former politician/lover of Peter McKay. We’re talking some pretty serious money here; the dad’s lawsuit is for $250 million. Now I’m kinda bullish on Magna and I’m so happy none of the family is still actively involved in the company.

This is a good set of links. One of my better collections lately.

7. Let’s sully things up with a little bit of my own writing. I told millennials how they can generate a $10 million TFSA by investing well over a long period of time. It really isn’t that hard. I also wrote about why I recently added Canadian Utilities to the ol’ portfolio.

8. I wrote a portfolio update over at Canadian Dividend Investing, which is where you want to go to see what I’m investing in these days. I might merge CDI with FU at some point but I also realize the people who read my investing stuff might not want to read my PF stuff. And vise versa. I dunno. Voice your opinion in the comments if you have strong feelings about what I should do.

9. Cold and Rich offers a alternate solution for your emergency fund — putting the cash to work in preferred shares, which yield 5%+. If I was liquidating my portfolio and needed cash I’d turn to the bonds/preferred shares first. Hell, bonds only exist in my portfolio to eventually be invested in stocks. I just don’t need the cash right now.

10. Dale Roberts from Cut The Crap Investing offers a piece of investing advice I wish I followed 15 years ago — buy the bank stocks, not mutual funds. I owned both TD and BMO at much lower prices than today, picking them both up as a much younger man. I remember TD shares being worth $27 each when I bought them. They’ve split since then and are now worth $72. Sigh.

11. Mortgage rate comparison site RateHub recently announced it was acquiring MoneySense, a decades-old institution in Canadian personal finance. It’ll be interesting to see the direction they take their new acquisition; if RateHub itself is any indication, look for a lot of posts on why you need a new credit card.

12. Boomer and Echo listed their 2019 goals, including such major milestones as continue contributing to a TFSA and spend some money on a vacation. It highlights something we should all know but us bloggers don’t focus on because it’s shit for pageviews — good financial goals should be boring. The outlandish stuff just doesn’t get done.

13. And finally, here’s Rob from Passive Canadian Income, who’s contemplating buying a rental property. An interesting look at the mindset of a first-time real estate investor. These days my real estate investing is limited to REITs, but it’s fun to read about someone else’s experience.

14. One more before I go. Here’s David Chilton talking about how he invests. It turns out it’s not just gold-plated scissors all the time. Get it? Because he’s the Wealthy Barber? WHATEVER I’D LIKE TO SEE YOU COME UP WITH SOMETHING BETTER.

How about David Chilton encourages investors to cut their investing fees by putting their money to work in low-cost alternatives?

Damn you.

And that’s about it. Have a good weekend, everyone.

Weekly Linkfest #32

Weekly Linkfest #32

My favorite story of the week was definitely Jacob Wohl and his bombshell accusations against Robert Mueller. On Tuesday, Wohl used his Twitter account to announce he had sworn testimony from a woman who had been repeatedly sexually assaulted by Mueller. Almost immediately holes began to form in Wohl’s story, including the fact the investigative company who contacted him about the alleged assault was, in fact, owned by Wohl and the contact number was his mother’s cell phone.

Oh, it gets better.

Wohl promised he would reveal all during a big news conference planned for a Holiday Inn in Arlington, Virginia. Because hey, what major news story hasn’t been formally announced at a Holiday Inn conference room? True story: that’s where NASA first announced we landed on the moon. George W Bush confirmed 9/11 at a Holiday Inn. Look it up if you want, but there’s no reason to. I am 100% certain I’m right.

The news conference was scheduled to start at 11. Wohl didn’t take the stage until nearly 12. He spun a tale about a woman named Carolyn Cass who was repeatedly and violently sexually assaulted by Robert Mueller. Or maybe her name is Caroline Cass. Or Carolyne Cass. It turns out all of those names were used at some point.

His lawyer then took over, addressing the crowd of assembled reporters — with his fly undone. The. Whole. Time. He had high praise for Jacob Wohl though, at one point calling him a “child prodigy who has eclipsed Mozart.”

You have to read the whole story. It’s absolutely hilarious.

You might remember Jacob from 2015, when he made headlines for being a 17-year old hedge fund manager. This worked out rather poorly for him, including an SEC investigation and a lifetime ban from the securities industry. He then shifted his attention to politics, becoming a vocal Trump supporter.

According to this Twitter user, Wohl also strode into a merchant bank after being barred from the securities industry and asked for $25 million to start a new fund. When they refused, he went and tried the same tactic on the competition.

Jacob Wohl is my new favorite person. Such a crook. I love it.

Links I liked

1. Let’s start things off with Cold and Rich, a value investing blog that focuses on Canadian companies. He recently profiled Pizza Pizza, which is a big holding of mine too. With shares at a 52-week low of $8.50 each as I write this, I agree they’re probably a pretty good buy right now.

2. Next up is Money Scrap, who points out financial independence will not make all of your problems go away. This is a valuable lesson many early retirees realize after they’ve been away from the workforce for a few years. Sure, all of your career problems go away, but they’re replaced with different things.

3. Susan Brummer, who profiles a stock each weekday, recently took a closer look at a new holding of mine, Molson Coors. She concludes it’s probably a pretty decent value here, although shares have shot up from below $80 each to more than $90 this week.

4. Spruce Point Capital, a prominent hedge fund that primarily shorts stocks, recently issued a pretty damning report on Dollarama, a former market darling that’s down about 30% from its peak. Here’s what I wrote about the company a few weeks ago over on the ol’ dividend investing blog.

I should probably update that thing, huh? I even have new positions to report.

5. It looks like this is going to be a mostly investing version of the ol’ link dump. New (to me, at least) blog Old-School Canadian Value Stocks is no fan of Sleep Country Canada stock, even going as far as considering shorting the thing. He’s got me convinced; I’ve long known the worst kind of hell is shopping for furniture while some commissioned sales guy is licking his chops in anticipation.

6. Did you know heavy oil from Alberta currently sells for less than $20 per barrel, while the benchmark price for crude in North America is well over $60 per barrel? Divestor explains why the spread exists and why the situation is very bad news for investing in the sector.

7. Mark Leonard, the CEO of Constellation Software, is equal parts elusive and fascinating. There’s almost no information known publicly about the guy despite him being a billionaire and the leader of a TSX 60 company. His only communication to shareholders is an annual letter. The Globe and Mail tried to profile him a few years ago, but didn’t have much luck.

8. Tired of paying too much income tax? Yeah, we all are. Dale Roberts has you covered over at Boomer and Echo. It’s always fun when two of my favorite writers get together. I like to pretend we’re all friends.

Like you have friends. 

(A single tear slowly rolls down my cheek) Whatever, Italics Man. Your words don’t bug me.

9. Mr. Tako Escapes has something like $600,000 in cash. No, that’s not a typo. He really is sitting on a half mil, which isn’t doing much. He explains why he takes such a conservative position and why it works for him.

I’ve decided I like FIRE blogs that don’t talk so much about how great FIRE is. Mr. Tako is great at this.

10. Artis REIT cut its dividend 50% on Thursday, which will knock a couple hundred bucks off the ol’ Nelson passive income report. But I do like its strategy to buy back undervalued shares. Jordan from Money Maaster has the deets.

11. Apparently there are rumblings the TFSA limit could go up to $6,000 in 2019. That’s more exciting than that time I found a quarter in my couch cushions. FREE MONEY BABY.

12. And finally, time for something completely different. Here’s the worst called ball of the 2018 MLB season. You’ll like this one, I promise. Unless you hate baseball, that is.

Have a good weekend, everyone. See you on Monday.

Weekly Linkfest #31

Weekly Linkfest #31

Has anyone else noticed how I call these “weekly linkfests” and they’re really more monthly? DON’T ANSWER THAT.

Let’s talk a little about the greatest fast food sandwich of all-time, the McRib. Oh baby I miss the McRib. I could easily eat five a sitting if shame didn’t stop me.

Oh baby. Just get those trash pickles off that and I am in gluttony heaven. I don’t know what it is about the sauce but it’s the greatest thing ever. I want to guzzle bottles of it. I love that sauce so much I would lick it off your mother’s ass.

Naturally, I was over the moon when I first heard McDonald’s was bringing back the McRib for a limited time. But there was no information about the sandwich’s availability in Canada. With baited breath I reached out to the McDonald’s Canada Twitter robot and asked.

How. Dare. They. I have never been more upset. You’re not passing along anything either, social media person. You couldn’t care less about my needs.

So now I’m faced with a dilemma. The nearest American McDonald’s is in Great Falls, which is a full six hours away from my house. I don’t want to drive the better part of a day just for someone to make me a damn sandwich. That’s why I got married! HEYO!

And that joke is why I got divorced! HEYO! Hey, who gave my wife my WordPress password?

I like taking the odd road trip to America. There are plenty of other reasons to go too, like going to Great Falls’ Kmart. That’s where hope goes to die. God, what a depressing store. I love it. I also like going to witness the miracle of alcohol in grocery stores. This works? Are you people sure? We could never have such a thing in Canada.

Great Falls also has a lot of parks and whatnot. It’s a pretty nice place overall. It reminds me a lot of Canada, actually.

Still, I probably won’t go. So American readers please eat a McRib for me. BUT NOT TWO. That would be excessive.

Links I liked

1. I often forget some of the people I follow on Twitter have websites. So some of these links will be new to you readers, but not so much to me. Let’s start off with Value Stock Geek, who has a nice review of an interesting book about America’s new oil boom called Saudi America. Note that the author, Bethany McLean, also wrote The Smartest Guys in the Room about the Enron fiasco.

2. Ian Bezek is investing $1,000 a month into a basket of high-quality U.S. stocks with the hopes of turning it into $1 million by 2041. It’s a great resource for investors just starting out or for guys like me who have a little U.S. Dollar cash to put to work. Plus, Ian doesn’t just talk about huge stocks like Facebook or Apple.

3. Speaking of sources of investing ideas, Mr. Tako Escapes is back with his monthly investing ideas post. He includes a Canadian stock or two most of the time in there, which he does specifically to make me happy. He hasn’t confirmed this, but I’m 99.98% convinced it’s true.

I like the monthly ideas post so much I think I’m going to steal it.

4. Canadian Value Stocks has some thoughts about the asset management business, and specifically about the half dozen or so stocks in the sector he holds. While I’m not nearly as bullish about the sector as he is, Tyler’s thoughts are always worth a few minutes of your time.

5. As inspired by my Suze Orman trolls early retirees post (at least I’m assuming), Mark from My Own Advisor points out the ridiculousness of saying you need at least $5 million to retire. It turns out you only need $4.5 mil to retire early. What a relief!

Or something like that. Click the damn link. Help these people out.

6. An interesting question over at The Rational Walk. Would you rather have success early and coast through your latter years or have to wait until you’re 40 (or older) to have any major accomplishments? Personally, I’d be quite content to ride early success into the sunset, but I can see how most people would want to keep pushing.

7. Another week month, another Asset-Based Life mention. This week’s post is a reminder that minimizing mistakes in life can be much better than maximizing wins. It’s a great timeless lesson that comes with a free book recommendation, which is always the key to my heart. Wait, my rumbling stomach is telling me food is the actual key to my heart.

(Googles ‘can a stomach eat itself’)

8. Hot damn are there a lot of good personal finance/investing blogs out there. I barely even know where to begin anymore. It’s an embarrassment of riches. My Money Wizard is another fantastic website. This week he delves into a topic that always inspires a good debate — is being rich all it’s cracked up to be?

9. Dale Roberts over at Cut the Crap Investing shares some predictions made by Alexander Graham Bell back in 1918 about how life would be like in 2018. He actually nailed a lot of it. It turns out the guy who invented the phone was pretty smart. The post then morphs into one of the more interesting link roundups you’ll read. It’s a lot better than this filth, anyway.

10. And finally, the Globe and Mail is finally tackling an issue that matters. Here’s the best way to attack an all-you-can-eat buffet. Basically, it boils down to avoiding the carbs. But they’re delicious!

Have a good week, everyone. See ya on Monday.

Saturday Linkfest #30. Or #1. It’s Complicated

Saturday Linkfest #30. Or #1. It’s Complicated

Should we continue numbering these things where I left off back in 2017? Or should we start over? Or maybe I should get a new way of telling these bad boys apart since I can’t count past 48.

Before we get to the links, let me tell you kids about a contest over at the Lowest Rates website. They’re looking for the best piece of personal finance advice you’ve ever received. The best of the submissions will win a shiny new MacBook. That’s some serious swag right there.

I’m not really sure what the best piece of personal finance advice I’ve ever received. I remember my first boss at my very first job (Dairy Queen, REPRESENT!) used to tell me “take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.” I also remember being taught the beauty of having your money work for you as you sleep around the same time. Both pieces of advice seem pretty simplistic now, but they really made a difference back then. It turns out 14-year old Nelson was pretty clueless. Some might argue 35-year old Nelson isn’t much better.

Now seems like a good time to remind y’all about the worst financial advice I ever received.

Alright, it’s time for some links. Let’s do this thang.

Links I liked

1. Let’s start things off with the nearest tab currently open on my laptop. No, it’s surprisingly not porn. It’s a series of networking tips from Tim Ferris, that guy everyone publicly says is annoying but actually they like his stuff. I am no different.

2. I’m a fan of these monthly investing ideas from Mr. Tako Escapes. If you like the way I invest, you’ll probably be interested in Mr. Tako’s takes.

3. Bruce Flatt runs Brookfield Asset Management, which might be the world’s largest asset manager. Okay, not quite, but the company is still a behemoth. It owns everything from real estate to power plants and everything in between. He recently gave a talk at Google about his investing philosophy and about 14 people showed up. Maybe everyone planned to watch it on Youtube after? I dunno.

4. About once a year, Freedom 35 Blog puts together a bunch of negative comments about his blog from various anonymous internet folk. They’re pretty funny. Nice to see he’s got a sense of humor about it all. I know other bloggers who would actually lose sleep over stuff not nearly as bad.

5. A nice post from Paul over at Asset-Based Life, talking about one of the reasons I’d say everyone blogs. We want to leave some sort of legacy. Paul wants a resource about money he can use to educate his kids. I’m firmly on Team No Kids, meaning my target market is bored tech employees doing anything they can to avoid real work. I feel your pain, brother.

6. I’ve been a fan of Dale Roberts’ writing over at Seeking Alpha for years now. His new site, Cut the Crap Investing, is dedicated to helping Canadian investors lower their investing fees while keeping their portfolios simple. Not surprisingly, he recommends a lot of ETFs. He recently came up with a bunch of model portfolios which are definitely worth a few minutes of your time.

7. The New Horizons Mall just outside of Calgary promised to be truly unique. Instead of vendors renting space, they would buy their own individual store. Think of it like a condo, but also a shopping mall. What started out as a great idea has stumbled. The mall has recently opened with a 98% vacancy rate. No, that’s not a typo. What a crazy place. I must visit.

8. Gen Y Money has some interesting thoughts on the ol’ FIRE movement, specifically why she wants a nice cushion before she retires and why many retirement bloggers have just transitioned from full-time work to blogging. Long-time readers might be interested to know I’m beginning to soften my thoughts on the definition of retirement, mostly because I just don’t care anymore.

9. Gonna sneak in a link to the ol’ investing blog here. I found an interesting company that’s buying up strip clubs. Nobody is surprised I wrote about this.

10. Here’s a fantastic discussion from actual small business owners about the new tariffs impacting goods traveling across the Canada-U.S. border.

11. Which Canadian bank has the country’s most popular credit card? Nope, not your bank. Or any other one. It’s actually a grocery store.

(Upon further reading, it turns out most of Canada’s most-loved credit cards don’t come from banks. This should surprise nobody.)

12. And finally, here’s Oddball Stocks, who points out that every business is a depreciating asset. If a business doesn’t continue to invest in itself, it will eventually die. Unlike my Italics Man joke, which will live forever.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Weekly Linkfest #29

Weekly Linkfest #29

It was Daylight Savings a little over a week ago, that magical weekend where clocks go back an hour for no good reason and everyone notices what a difference an hour less sleep makes.

I could maybe understand the thought process back in the 1920s when electricity was scarce and light bulbs actually made a difference. But a lot has changed in 160 years, including the ability to do basic math. There’s no need to try to save electricity today. Energy saving measures are already doing that without us.

Which is why I was happy to hear the ruling NDP party in Alberta is considering abolishing the practice and leaving the province on central standard time all year round, which is the same as Saskatchewan. The party plans to vote on the bill soon (which will likely pass), making it two things the NDP has done I like.

The other was banning most door-to-door sales. If those guys keep going, I might have to vote for them.

(Realizes the Carbon Tax is still a thing)

(Shakes fist wildly)

Like I could vote for the socialists. How would I sleep at night? I normally sleep on a pile of money but the NDP wants to take it away.

Links I liked

1. Holy Potato weighs in on the fiasco that is the Home Capital Group fraud case, which a lot of fingers being pointed at CMHC. But as much as I want to see Home Capital fall, and much as Home Capital deserves it, I’m mostly bored of the whole exercise. I want it to be over with. It’s just the same people shouting the same arguments back and forth to each other. There’s more independent thought at a Trump rally.

2. Freedom Thirty Five Blog points out just how much better it is to live in Canada versus the United States. As much as I ideologically like the idea of free market health care, the U.S. is proof such a thing just doesn’t work. Socialized medicine is a huge plus for Canada.

3. The Federal government is getting ready to tax the living hell out of y’all with its next budget, which comes out next week. Potential changes include a 75% inclusion rate for capital gains, taxing stock options differently, higher taxes for small corporations, and more. Garth Turner has all the ugly details.

4. Here’s a story about how a convicted fraudster tricked a small town into giving him a bunch of money for a reality show. I’ll give the guy credit, it’s at least 47% more clever than most frauds.

5. Here’s a great interview with billionaire real estate mogul Michard LeFrak, from my new favorite Youtube channel, Investors Archive. Look for a lot more of these links over the upcoming weeks.

6. It’s not very often I enjoy a book review post, but Paul from Asset-Based Life could write an entertaining post on his grocery list. He reviews a Japanese decluttering book that’s far better than you’d think.

7. Barry from Money We Have asks an important question that needs to be brought up more often. What exactly is your money for? What are you working towards? There’s no point in having a goal if there isn’t a why attached.

8. Roadmap 2 Retire outlines why he recently bought TD Bank on the heels of its sales controversy. I agree with his thinking completely. People have already forgotten about it. It’ll be such a non-issue a year from now.

9. Interesting post from The Rational Walk, which thinks that investors shouldn’t share ideas with each other, saying that good investments are rare and should therefore be guarded. I prefer a hybrid approach, which is buying a full position and then sharing it with you guys.

10. Here’s how Peter Cundill, an extremely underrated Canadian deep value investor, approached investing.

Stuff Nelson wrote

1. A lot of people seem to think you need a minimum of $1 million to retire today. I disagree, outlining how retirees with significantly less can still avoid eating cat food.

2. I also pointed out four reasons why your “can’t miss” marijuana stock investment could turn out very badly.

3. Finally, I wrote about Target, which recently announced a $7 billion investment in its stores. Very little of that cash is going towards its digital business. This is a colossally dumb decision to make in 2017.

Tweet of the week

What am I supposed to do, not make fun of St. Patrick’s Day? What a useless holiday. Screw you and your green beer.

Have a good week, everyone.