Building Wealth And Being Happy

A Practical Guide To Financial Independence

Rent or Buy: The Ultimate Guide

Building Wealth and Being Happy: An Excerpt Should you rent or buy the place you live in? It’s a tough decision with a lot of variables you might not have considered before. In the future, I hope to do some real-life rent vs. buy examples on this blog. In order to understand those examples, you’ll want a good background on things to consider in rent vs. buy scenarios. As such, I’ve […]

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How Much Money Do You Need To Be Financially Independent?

One Rule to Rule Them All You might have heard the rule of thumb that “you should aim to retire with 70% of your pre-retirement salary” or similar. Rules like that don’t take into account your spending and are too vague to be useful. What if you get a big salary bump in your final year, does that mean you need now need to work longer to meet that 70%? […]

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Interview: Tray, 28, On Living With Cancer, Family, and FI

Hi Tray. Thanks for taking the time to do this. Why don’t you go ahead and tell us a bit about yourself? I’m in my late 20’s and I live in Louisiana. Around Thanksgiving I started getting some headaches which I chalked up to seasonal allergy and sinus issues. When they persisted, I went to an ENT to see if I had a sinus infection. I did have a bad […]

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It’s Not Just New Cars That Are Killing Our Wallets, Health, and Happiness

North Americans buy a lot of new cars. Robb Engen over at Boomer & Echo recently posted about Canadians setting a fourth consecutive record year in new car purchases, snapping up almost 2 million new vehicles in 2016. Wow. For a country of only 36 million people including children and the elderly, that’s an incredible statistic. U.S. buyers also set a record, buying 17.5 million new cars. Robb went on […]

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Betterment Raises Fees; Are Robo-Advisors Worth It?

Betterment, one of the biggest robo-advisors, made news a few days ago by announcing they are increasing their fees from .15% to .25%, with no additional benefits or services being offered in return. On a $100,000 portfolio earning 7% a year for 30 years, investors will be left with $30,000 less at the end. That’s got to be worth at least a latte a day. Betterment customers are livid, so […]

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What Is Financial Independence?

What Is Financial Independence? If you’re here, you probably already know that financial independence (“FI”) is achieved when your passive income (e.g. income from stocks, bonds, or real estate) can pay for your spending. You no longer have to rely on an active source of income, like a job, to pay for your expenses. The more important question is, how soon can we get there? The number one thing that […]

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How Much Cash Should Be In Your Emergency Fund?

This is probably one of the questions that I get asked most often. To make sure we’re all on the same page, an emergency fund is: Money, usually kept in a savings account, for use in the event of an emergency. Emergencies could have a wide range of causes, such as finding out that a family of squirrels has stashed the corn that you were using to feed deer in […]

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The One Thing Everyone’s Missing About The Latte Factor

The latte factor

The Disagreement There’s been a little bit of drama in the personal finance blogosphere lately. Rachel Thompson recently wrote an article titled “I’m a millennial, and believe me, coffee is not the reason I’m broke.” Rachel raised some valid grievances such as rising education costs and difficult job markets, but she passed off those grievances as excuses for frivolous spending. One specific paragraph landed her in hot water among the […]

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The 3 Biggest Financial Challenges Faced By (Don’t Call Them Millennials!) Young People

Millennial. I’m not a fan of the word. And if you were born between the early 80’s and mid 90’s, the chances are that you’re not either. I’m not sure if it’s because most headlines that use the word millennial have negative connotations, or if because labelling generational cohorts seems like a super lazy way to make gross generalizations, but something about the word always makes my eyes gloss over.  […]

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Currency Risk And Home Country Bias

I’m getting a lot of questions about asset allocation and the percentage of your equities (stocks) you should allocate to your home country. This is a much bigger question for those of us who live outside of the world’s largest economy but still want to be heavily invested in it. With that in mind, I’m posting an excerpt on currency risk from my book. This is a controversial topic so […]

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Norbit’s Gambit – An Investment Fee Lowering Technique

In Building Wealth And Being Happy: A Practical Guide To Financial Independence, we discussed how even the smallest of investment fees can have a large, expensive impact on your portfolio. Management expense ratios (MER), made up of both operational and administrative fees, are even higher in Canada than they are south of the border. For this reason, many Canadians who are striving for fee-optimal portfolios use a strategy called Norbit’s […]

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Where to put your savings – USA [Flowchart]

If you’ve read my book Building Wealth And Being Happy: A Practical Guide To Financial Independence, you may remember that I had to cut some of the images out because of formatting issues. I promised to include supplemental info, and now I am! Here’s a flowchart that will help you prioritize your savings if you’re American. If you’re Canadian, click here. Emergency fund. Keep 3-6 months worth of expenses in […]

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Where To Put Your Savings – Canada [Flowchart]

If you’ve read my book Building Wealth And Being Happy: A Practical Guide To Financial Independence, you may remember that I had to cut some of the images out because of formatting issues. Here’s a flowchart that will help you prioritize your savings if you’re Canadian. If you’re American, get out of here! Go to your own flowchart.   Emergency fund. Keep 3-6 months worth of expenses in a high […]

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