Jumping in

In addition to marital relationships, canines, hormones, RVs, condos, Trump and occasionally truck nuts, this pathetic blog talks about investing. And taxes. Assets, retirement planning, balanced portfolios.

It’s shocking how little people know about this. Schools don’t teach it. [email protected] just wants to sell you stuff. Same with your cousin who got a job last year flogging insurance. Or mutual funds. Finding credible, indie info about building wealth and avoiding taxes is almost impossible. As a result most of us just borrow a pile and buy real estate. Or we confuse investing with gambling on the stock market (Mars). Or flee risk to become savers – risking running out of money (Venus).

This confusing world of money is overwhelming a lot of Canadians. The evidence is everywhere. Household debt’s off the charts. RRSP contributions have crashed. Four in ten think their TFSA is just an emergency savings account. We’ve borrowed $300 billion against real estate, plus $1.6 trillion in mortgages. A scary number say they’re just one missed paycheque from doom. People are retiring with unpaid debt. And seventy per cent of us have no corporate pension.

Over the last 11 years this blog has addressed such things with nauseating repetition, about 80,000 dog pictures and endless emails from people who truly, deeply, madly need help. But, sadly, most Canadians will never come here, and continue to make near-fatal mistakes with their dough.

Included will be legions of Millennials who have matured into Class A skeptics, trusting algos more than they do actual people. This has led to the rise of robo advisors like Wealthsimple. Now the banks are into it, with SmartFolio at BMO and InvestEase at the Royal Bank, for example. The appeal is obvious – put money into a computer-generated portfolio that buys negotiable securities, automatically rebalances and is cheap.

The robos first appeared a decade ago and there are now 100 of them in over a dozen countries managing about two trillion dollars. That sounds like a lot, but it’s actually 1% of the wealth management business. In Canada WS has about 150,000 clients with an average of $30,000 invested.

This week there was interesting news. RBC launched its robo last year. Given the size and clout of the bank it was expected to quickly attract a mess of moisters eager to grow their tax-free savings. But, nope, didn’t happen. The bank’s head wealth-management guy admits “only a small portion” of the population is interested. “We haven’t see Canadians run to it,” Doug Guzman says of the robo business. “Maybe it’s not as big a proportion of humanity as we once thought.” Bank of Montreal, which has been roboing for three years now, is believed to be in the same boat. TD is also in this space, but no word on how that bank is faring.

Why is robo a bust?

Maybe Mills don’t have enough money to seed portfolios. Perhaps they’re too indoctrinated into buying condos and swallowing mortgage debt. Maybe they’re a jaded bunch of emerging socialists who think a sharing economy with more government is the antidote to Boomer-dominated capital markets and the mindless pursuit of mammon.

But, nah, I doubt it. They love money, too. It’s more a matter of knowledge.

Financial illiteracy is the disease that may hobble Canada. Why would the robos – which offer a no-hassle, low-cost, no-frills, no-advice, eight-clicks-and-you’re-done investing experience – be wilting? Because most people (and especially the kids) have no idea what investing means. Eighty per cent of all TFSA money is in cash or GICs. People in their forties are lugging around student debt. Young adults hobble themselves with mortgages and condo fees when they could rent for half the cost and be building liquid assets. Couples pay more tax and increase risk by not combining their finances or investing together. And everyone buys high, chasing stuff that goes up, while selling low in fear.

Robos are fine. If you have a modest amount of money, then jump in. It’s better than getting stuck with a few bank mutual funds or seeing your money rot in a HISA. It’s a step up from throwing your cash at some wonky weed stocks, getting into crypto or striving for real estate you can’t really afford.

For those with a few hundred grand, life is probably more complex and you could use advice on tax avoidance, retirement strategies and how to escape the consequences of rampant financial ignorance. They’re coming. A fee-based financial advisor (with a fiduciary responsibility) is not for everyone. But this blog is. So next time, bring your kids.

105 comments ↓

#1 Dolce Vita on 08.01.19 at 3:35 pm

“Maybe they’re a jaded bunch of emerging socialists who think a sharing economy with more government is the antidote to Boomer-dominated capital markets and the mindless pursuit of mammon.”

“But, nah, I doubt it. ”

You really should read PM Justin Twitter devotee comments more often Garth.

…and from the Twitter cohort for Comrades Horgan and Rachael.

Those devotee cohort Twitter profile pictures all have Pink Hair, like Planet Claire.

——————————

I liked it how in your above quotation you strung together a lot of words yet managed to make it read concise.

I liked that a lot (and that you used “jaded”, I’ve always liked that word).

#2 Yeah on 08.01.19 at 3:37 pm

Seen market movement and came to your blog. I thought today’s blog will be about that guy again. Happy to read about Robo.

#3 everyonegetshacked on 08.01.19 at 3:41 pm

Garth, you have the advantage of the beard: the dudes at wealthsimple look too inexperienced and besides: the nobel prize winning algos of robos can get hacked. Why would people trust this?

#4 JB on 08.01.19 at 3:43 pm

Young adults hobble themselves with mortgages and condo fees when they could rent for half the cost and be building liquid assets.
……………………………………………………
Not to worry only stupid people pay Condo fees. Its like shoveling cash down the stinky trash shoot. Been there, done that and now I’m an smart educated consumer.

#5 Dusty on 08.01.19 at 3:45 pm

Thanks Garth, reading your blog will help me retire the way my parents did, with money to spare rather than living under the lions gate bridge.

#6 Marcus Tatum on 08.01.19 at 3:50 pm

I think a lot of the “eat the rich” crowd are generally unaware of just how fantastic ETFs are – the means of production are now on sale to the public in little bite-sized pieces that the average person can afford, if they’re so inclined.

I also like to give my fellow liberal friends advice on how to pay less tax – the first step to ensuring that the rich are paying their fair share is to ensure that you yourself are not paying more than you’re legally obligated to.

#7 Almost There on 08.01.19 at 3:51 pm

A few years ago I discovered this blog. Unlike the advice I was given, when I sat in front of either bank or independent advisors, what I read here made financial sense and I felt that the advice was in my best interest not theirs. It isn’t complicated and it isn’t high risk. It’s sensible. This should be part of the mandatory curriculum for all students.
This blog was instrumental in helping to make our decision to sell our house, rent and in building our financial independence.
I just sent today’s blog to my kids.
Thanks Garth

#8 Platform on 08.01.19 at 3:51 pm

Have you tried any of the banks Robo-Offerings? complete junk, they are not attracting any clients because if you are going that direction, and are knowledgeable enough to know that the product is out there, you are going with Wealthsimple not the Big 5.

The underlying algorithm’s may be sufficient but the portals/presentation are not.

#9 Penny Henny on 08.01.19 at 3:55 pm

#103 D G on 08.01.19 at 2:36 pm
I’m glad Donald Trump is putting another 10% tariffs on Chinese goods. This way they will have to feel financial pain.

The tariff is paid by people buying the goods (Americans) not the people selling them (Chinese). I bet you have a nice MAGA hat, too. – Garth
/////////////////////

So why does China retaliate by placing tariffs on American goods? Wouldn’t that hurt the Chinese?

When does a war make sense? – Garth

#10 Dolce Vita on 08.01.19 at 4:02 pm

#5 Dusty

…or other YVR bridges where junks of rusted bridge fall upon your head whilst dining at an outdoors table.

——————————

Let the bullets fly Garth, but in reference to my prior Comment:

FIRST.

There. I’ve always wanted to say that superfluous, brain dead, Grade 1 Arithmetic, “jaded”, laconic of a Comment.

Note I avoided the Hipster trying to be cool but unsuccessfully so, Philistine: “Phirst”.

#11 Gen X Confessions on 08.01.19 at 4:02 pm

I had no idea that rbc launched a robo. I think the problem is simply a failed advertising-communication plan. But yes, I would love to see financial literacy in schools. I think this could seriously help with poverty rates.

#12 Sask to AB on 08.01.19 at 4:04 pm

Great post Garth. Thanks.

#13 NotLegalAdvice on 08.01.19 at 4:08 pm

Like a lot of mills, My Father brought me here about 10 years ago. I hated it. I hated reading about financial stuff. But as I got older, I realized if you don’t understand financial literacy, you will live a very difficult life. 3 years ago, I came back to this blog, myself. Been reading everyday since. Thank you!

#14 crowdedelevatorfartz on 08.01.19 at 4:08 pm

@#15 Almost there
” this should be mandatory advice for all students”
******
Total agreement.
The last year of public schooling ( grade 12 or 13) should have an entire year devoted to preparing kid-dults on the horrors of compound interest, loans, investing, etc.
Perhaps social awareness/ PC indoctrination could take a back seat for a year?

#15 n1tro on 08.01.19 at 4:18 pm

The kids I work with didn’t know what a “dividend” was until I explained it to them.

I haven’t seen RBC’s robo advisor but I know WealthSimple’s platform is built on Element UI and 1-2-3-4 workflow steps with a lot of flat people graphics.

The same company that did WealthSimple’s site did part of ours. The thought process of the UX is to make it visually appealing with small wins for every little thing done within the site (ie. the 1-2-3-4 workflow)….seems they are trying appeal to young children that are easily distracted and need a ribbon for every little thing….I wonder which group of people that may be?!

#16 Damifino on 08.01.19 at 4:22 pm

I’m afraid it’s all a bit too ‘mathy’ for most folks. It’s never been popular and likely never will be.

I love math but I’m not very good at it. Few people would say that. I was good enough to be a firmware engineer, but very far out of the league of some co-workers I knew who ate calculus for lunch. Really.

The reason I love math is because of what it’s done to raise humanity from the muck and mire. And also because, even if (like me) you can’t integrate or differentiate worth crap, you can still understand mathematical concepts intuitively and philosophically which helps to shed light on practical matters.

Even better news: you don’t need university level math to get a usable handle on money matters. Not even close. Most of us were supplied with everything we need in junior high.

#17 Karl on 08.01.19 at 4:27 pm

Why get a Roboadvisor when any guy (or gal) with a spreadsheet can keep a balanced 3 ETF portfolio (with Canadian, US and international equities and bonds) at a fifth of the cost? And, bonus, Questrade, doesn’t charge a dime when you buy. To make things even easier, Vanguard and BMO now has a one-ETF portfolio that balances itself, at a fraction of the cost as robos.

#18 Damifino on 08.01.19 at 4:29 pm

#1 Dolce Vita

(and that you used “jaded”, I’ve always liked that word).
—————————-

Jade is green. The color of envy.

#19 Captain Uppa on 08.01.19 at 4:47 pm

I am 35 and use WealthSimple for a 60/40 TFSA and growth RESP. I really, REALLY like it.

I only seriously starting learning about investing about four years ago and have been interested ever since. I don’t agree with everything Garth says, but this blog has helped me understand investing and economics better.

I’m not sure how well my cohort is doing regarding investment knowledge, but I know younger generations than me do not care too much for it. The ones that do are in mutual funds (facepalm).

#20 APF on 08.01.19 at 4:59 pm

I onced look at the BMO smart portfolio. The thing was costly and it had strange fine print like the fact you need to invest a minimum by quarter to not be slapped by inactivity fee on a robot!

Then I understood, Wealthsimple at least had a transparent offer. The other robots, you had to read the fineprint to understand the h*** going on.

No wonder Wealthsimple seem to be growing fast while the bank offering seem to stagnate.

#21 Another Deckchair on 08.01.19 at 4:59 pm

“So next time, bring your kids.”

They’re already here. (hi guys! Phone home sometime!)

#22 Ron on 08.01.19 at 5:01 pm

So I found out this week that my elderly uncle’s RIF account has been grossly mismanaged by his Big 5 Bank adviser. It was a mess of high fee mutual funds and individual stocks, including oil exploration companies and SNC Lavalin !

First thing’s first, I had him open a self directed account and transfer the assets there , where I’ll help him build a balanced portfolio.

Question is: do we have any recourse against this negligent adviser?

I can’t imagine how common this situation must be.

#23 jess on 08.01.19 at 5:02 pm

ah the culture … “elite”

https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/01/politics/navy-seals-collin-green-service-members-misbehavior/index.html

“SEAL boss to force: ‘We have a problem’
By: Meghann Myers and Carl Prine   55 minutes ago
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2019/08/01/seal-boss-to-force-we-have-a-problem/

https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/legal-expert-trump-order-to-rescind-eddie-gallagher-prosecutors-medals-was-highly-inappropriate/

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2019/08/01/seal-boss-to-force-we-have-a-problem/

“I knew he was going to die anyway,” Scott said. “I wanted to save him from waking up to what had happened next.”

After the verdict, Trump congratulated the Gallagher family and said he was “glad [he] could help!”

Recently 18 Marines and one sailor were arrested at Camp Pendleton, California, over allegations on human smuggling.
Gen. David Berger, the new Marine Corps. commandant, said he was “troubled by the extent to which drug abuse is a characteristic of new recruits and the fact that the vast majority of recruits require drug waivers for enlistment.” He also said over the last ten years more than 25,000 Marines were dismissed from the service for misconduct, and drug and alcohol offenses.”troubled by the extent to which drug abuse is a characteristic of new recruits and the fact that the vast majority of recruits require drug waivers for enlistment.” He also said over the last ten years more than 25,000 Marines were dismissed from the service for misconduct, and drug and alcohol offenses.

SEAL boss to force: ‘We have a problem’
Following more high-profile SEAL scandals, the head of Naval Special Warfare is calling for a gut-check.

Internal report exposes cocaine abuse, lax testing, inside SEAL Team 10
By: Geoff Ziezulewicz   July 22

#24 Unhinged Trader on 08.01.19 at 5:13 pm

I’m financially ruined.

t. invested in Canadian energy

#25 Dave on 08.01.19 at 5:31 pm

Trump is slapping more tariffs on Chinese goods. Will keep doing this do that the Federal Reserve has to keep on lowering interest rates.

#26 Shawn on 08.01.19 at 5:33 pm

That was fast. Fed officials are already calling for another rate cut.

Soon the BOC will capitulate.

Incorrect. – Garth

#27 Linda on 08.01.19 at 5:33 pm

Love the dog photo of the day!

Does anyone know just why investing skills are not taught as a matter of course in school? Seems to me that it should be part of the math curriculum & would be far more useful to the majority of the population than calculating how fast two objects are passing one another. After all, not every child is going to pursue a STEM career path but the expectation is that all children will eventually have to rent or purchase accommodation, negotiate a loan, apply for a credit card, pay bills, open a bank account & in the era where most have no pension plan other than CPP arrange their affairs so that when they reach the age of retirement they can 1) retire & 2) be able to pay for their needs & hopefully have $ left over to enjoy their ‘golden years’.

It is in no way a benefit to society to have increasing numbers of financially destitute citizens expecting ‘the government’ to take care of them. That scenario never ends well.

#28 Howard on 08.01.19 at 5:40 pm

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/toronto-set-for-record-apartment-surge-after-rent-control-lifted-1.1286320

Toronto set for record apartment surge after rent control lifted

Toronto’s apartment crunch is finally easing as new supply hits the market and the removal of rent controls leads to record units on the drawing board, according to a new report.

The vacancy rate rose to 1.5 per cent in the second quarter, the highest since 2015, when research firm Urbanation began tracking the data. Rent increases eased to 7.6 per cent from 10.3 per cent last year, bringing the cost of an average-sized unit of 794 square feet to $2,475 ($1,894).

Conditions eased as nine buildings totaling 3,078 units began occupancy in the 12 months through June, a 25-year high for annual completions. While construction has taken a step back, the number of units proposed by builders reached a record 44,093 units in the second quarter, Urbanation said Friday.

“The growth in purpose-built rental applications follows the provincial government’s recent removal of rent control for new buildings,” according to Urbanation. Other programs to encourage new rental housing such as deferrals for development charges and the expansion of low-cost construction loans from Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. also helped, the Toronto-based research firm said.

#29 The Wet One on 08.01.19 at 5:41 pm

“Financial illiteracy is the disease that may hobble Canada. ”

Err…

Pretty sure that no one else in the world (including Americans) is particularly financially literate either. The ignorance of which you speak probably hobbles literally everyone in the modern era except those who aren’t financially illiterate, which is relatively few of us.

In Canada it has a propensity to turn into tax hikes. We are subsidizing those who fail at financial independence at an increasing pace. – Garth

#30 Kingdom of Vancouver Island on 08.01.19 at 5:46 pm

Two questions based on having 1.3M invested:

Fees at the rate of 0.75% to 1% would be 10 to 13 grand – every year! Is there a model where one could use a robo or self balancing ETFs and then pay an advisor a grand an hour a couple of times a year to discuss estate planning, tax strategies and changes to investments??

Since the advisor is just giving advice and not controlling the funds would the whole fee be tax deductible rather than just the amount apportioned to non registered funds??

Or am I just being cheap:)

Cheap. (By the way, portfolios over $1 million command lower fees, much of the cost deductible.) – Garth

#31 SunShowers on 08.01.19 at 6:01 pm

“Why is robo a bust?

Maybe Mills don’t have enough money to seed portfolios.”

This is correct.

The real median hourly wage has gone up something like 5% over the last 40 years. It’s pretty easy to spot the problem.

#32 jess on 08.01.19 at 6:05 pm

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/01/lowes-lays-off-thousands-of-workers.html

The Fed lowered interest rates 25 basis points on Wednesday but did not signal it was entering a deep easing cycle.
Oil plunges the most in 4 years after Trump’s new China tariffs raise fears of a global slowdown

#33 Doghouse Dweller on 08.01.19 at 6:13 pm

Business Insider
Jul 1, 2019 – Hedge funds are failing left and right and billionaire investors say the carnage has only gotten started. …
——————————
These guys have the best quants, algos, and insider info money can buy
and they struggle or lose megabucks and fold. So what`s a BMO bargain brain dead algo going to do for the little fish ? Fry them nice and crispy !

#34 tccontrarian on 08.01.19 at 6:19 pm

DELETED

#35 Andrew on 08.01.19 at 6:20 pm

2008 jaded millennials for good. They know the underlying assets of robo advisors are still the companies and people they do not trust (whether they are right or wrong).

Maybe the only thing left for them to trust is something that is trustless (bitcoin).

Maybe some Darwinian instinct has kicked in and they are getting ahead of future debt jubilees (maybe I’m reaching).

Maybe bitcoin will be to millennials what stocks and bonds were to boomers in the early 80s. A gift of an opportunity for those who are able to capture it.

It’s hard to see now but slowly a new world of investing is in its infancy. Where fractions of fine art are investable, shares of individual apartments. Eventually individuals will sell shares of themselves and their future earnings.

Am I saying this will be a golden era of innovation and wealth for many. Maybe, maybe not. Maybe three generations under one roof will become the norm. New opportunities bring new trade offs.

The one thing I am certain of is that millennials and the generations after them won’t buy into the systems that have been. We are in transition and there is no amount of levers or tools or brute force that is going to return all the norm.

Bitcoin is a call option on a new system. I’m not claiming it will be the new system of the centre piece of a new system. But it’s going to play a role, it’s here to stay and it demands serious consideration as part of a balanced and diversified portfolio.

Sure we’ve had boom and busts in the business cycle for centuries now. I’m not claiming the end is nigh. I am however confident a 60/40 global portfolio is insufficient on a generational timeline though. Even a 60/35/5, the 5 being stores of value aka bitcoin, will likely preserve what one has into the future.

The end of this credit cycle is approaching one way or another. Position yourself accordingly. Never all in and never all at once. Don’t be clever by half! Thanks for reading my rant

#36 Bezengy on 08.01.19 at 6:22 pm

Please keep hammering away Garth, as painful as it is, the kids need you. Personally, I’m not a big fan of robos, as I fear the algorithm, (any algorithm), but I think the kids should be signing up. Pay yourself first! It’s so easy. $50 bucks off your check and your done. This especially applies to those kids working the gig economy.

#37 Basil Fawlty on 08.01.19 at 6:30 pm

Please provide a prior alert the next time you discuss truck nuts. Canadians appreciate some afternoon culture, with their Slurpees.

#38 SimplyPut7 on 08.01.19 at 6:31 pm

Why is robo a bust?

Maybe Mills don’t have enough money to seed portfolios
—–

When it comes to money, millennials, like most people, don’t trust robots. Money can bring out the worst in people, all investors like hearing from a real person for their personal gut check. The millennials with money, like the human advisors they have now or have enough knowledge to do their own investing and save on the extra management fees.

Also, the market has been going up for the last 10 years, as long as you didn’t do something stupid like put all of your money in weed stocks, cryptocurrency or fake meat stocks, you probably didn’t lose money.

Maybe the robo advisors will be more helpful in the next downturn when people will be able to see if their portfolios were diversified enough to withstand a serious downturn.

#39 Non-Robo Millennial on 08.01.19 at 6:42 pm

“We haven’t see Canadians run to it”

Well c’mon Doug! 0.5% on top the the MER on the underlying funds is a lot to ask.

Us kids are either:
– not interested, and won’t invest no matter what. You can lead a horse to water…
Or,
– interested at least a bit, in which case we can spend a few evenings and a weekend reading a few blogs/books, then build your robo-portfolio ourselves and pocket the 0.5%

What part of this result is surprising?

#40 Patricia on 08.01.19 at 6:46 pm

My 8 year old wanted to invest rather than buy anything so we put her saved $$ into a wealthsimple account. It’s perfect for her small amount of money and means she can already see the difference between having it invested vs sitting in a piggy bank. And all this learning with little to no effort or fees.

#41 Nonplused on 08.01.19 at 7:12 pm

I think part of the problem is that the way the majority of people save & invest is through their work RRSP plans. You know the type, where you put in up to 5% of your salary and the company will match a certain portion.

Those plans usually only have a small selection of funds from which you can chose. You can still get a sort of balanced portfolio if you know the concepts but the options are limited.

What consistently amazes me is how many people do not maximize the employee contribution because they do not feel they can afford to make their part of the contribution. You are leaving free money on the table. If you have an employer match program rule #1 is to maximize it.

Also frustrating is how cheap some employers are with these programs. I’ve seen them as low as 2%, which is token at best. Who on earth is going to be able to retire saving just 4% of their earnings? You have to really be relying on CPP for a significant portion of your retirement income in that case.

Also working against the young is the way they think. Most of them place far more value on a trip to hike the mountains of Peru than they do on retirement planning. Perhaps they are right, youth only lasts so long and there are some things you probably just won’t be able to do when you are 65.

Another problem discovered in psychology that prevents people from saving is that it is hard to conceptualize yourself as an older person, to the point where the brain does not even recognize future you as the same person. Future you is a stranger, and there is no point putting aside money for someone else.

Thus, it will probably always be the case that the vast majority of the people who save for retirement are going to be the ones that luckily have more money coming in than they have a desire to spend. That is not going to be many people, because most of us set our standards as to what we “should” have by looking at our neighbors. If they have a fancy new car, why shouldn’t we be able to have a fancy new car? Living within your means is just not the way it is done in our society and all one has to do is look at the total personal debt & mortgages outstanding to prove this point.

Today is always very much more real than tomorrow, especially if tomorrow is a long way off. Thus, we “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die” and “give no though for the morrow, for the evils of the day will be sufficient unto itself”. How can we expect people to save when the very religion of western society advises against it? I know society has become much more secular, but a lot of the old ways are still ingrained in us.

#42 Craig Wright on 08.01.19 at 7:13 pm

The Federal reserve is using the Trump tariffs as an excuse. They lowered them to 0% back in 2009 to 2010 so it does not matter.

Actually, tariffs should actually increase interest rates because it raises inflation but central banks with their fake economy, money printing, bond buying don’t care. They want low interest rates at the cost of the responsible and prudent and reward debt and losers in debt.

#43 Sandra Keaton on 08.01.19 at 7:23 pm

When does a war make sense? It makes sense for central bankers and government, corporations, individuals that have so much debt that tehy get money for free.

The war on savers and financial responsible, prudent people that did not drink the koolaid going into debt with hundreds of thousands of dollars, student loans, lines of credits, credit cards etc. They also did not buy leverage investing and margin investing.

There has been a war on the responsible for decades and handouts for the corrupt and debt ridden society of decay we now call the world. Post this or not but reality can’t be ignored and this will not end well for all of us.

#44 Get in line ! on 08.01.19 at 7:39 pm

Trump administration says Americans will be allowed to buy cheaper drugs from Canada. Canadian Pharmacists Association warns a potential shortage of domestic supply

https://globalnews.ca/news/5706699/americans-cheaper-drugs-canada-trump/
——————–
US is such a good country, maybe they can get in line 10 american to 1 Canadian to get their meds, maybe in Nova Scotia.

#45 NoName on 08.01.19 at 7:51 pm

Now that robots were mentioned, definitely press play, robot song buy my two favorite girly girls rebellious nonconformist.

https://youtu.be/Vls1qMmutrw

And if y are not into slavic music here are red hot chill peppers and their robot song.

https://youtu.be/HI-8CVixZ5o

And best ever (funny est me thinks) robot scene.

https://youtu.be/JzF5VawGgiA

#46 Blair on 08.01.19 at 7:58 pm

Would I be correct that this blog discriminates against cats?

#47 Shawn on 08.01.19 at 8:01 pm

When oil goes into the $40s the BOC will cut.

#48 Shawn on 08.01.19 at 8:12 pm

& $CAD goes through 70 cents

#49 DantheMechanic on 08.01.19 at 8:13 pm

I am well versed in investing and can easily do the ETF thing myself. So why am I paying more to go with a robo-advisor? Simple…it protects me from myself. I want to keep tinkering, optimize, slowly adding more risk and doing non optimal things that eventually compound and lead to much worse outcomes. Paying a low fee to guard against my worst instincts is a great bet and a from of insurance against my own worst inclinations.

#50 mills on 08.01.19 at 8:15 pm

It’s hard to save any money when you make 20 bucks an hour and half goes to housing. That’s the simple reality for most canadians under 40. Most people probably have token sums in a TFSA or a HISA. Sure they could invest it but what’s the point? They’ll need it anyway when they lose their job and have to find another one. Which happens about every 5 years.

Face it Garth, the perspective you make these posts from is skewed and gone. We are facing historically difficult economic times for all but the 1%.

#51 tbone on 08.01.19 at 8:27 pm

I work with a bunch of engineers , smart guys , and when I asked them if they are investing in their tfsa they didn’t have a clue of what I was talking about .
I realized why after a few more questions that they all had no concept of investing.
Its because they all had young families and big mortgages and didn’t have any money to invest , so why would they bother educating themselves about investing.

#52 Shawn Allen on 08.01.19 at 8:34 pm

Does China pay the tariff?

The tariff is paid by people buying the goods (Americans) not the people selling them (Chinese). I bet you have a nice MAGA hat, too. – Garth

*********************
That is true, at least in theory. In practice Chinese exporters to the U.S. might cut their prices 10% sot that Americans keep buying and so in that case the Chinese indirectly cover the cost of the tariff paid by the American importer.

Other possibilities are that the American importer finds a local American supplier and no one pays the tariff. Or finds a supplier in say Canada where the extra 10% does not apply.

So far, the duties on the Chinese goods do not appear to have shown up in higher prices / inflation for American consumers, have they?

#53 Shawn Allen on 08.01.19 at 8:38 pm

Tariff War

Trump may very well want a tariff war. He’d like to maintain and grow the mentality of regular Americans against the world and himself as the leader who is on the side of the America people.

Sadly, it might get him re-elected.

He needs to get re-elected since once out of office he may go the jail for, let’s see, income tax fraud, sexual assault, obstruction of justice and probably others.

#54 Mike on 08.01.19 at 8:42 pm

It’s not only north americans that financially illiterate, most europeans are even worse not because they are ill-educated but because they surrendered any personal responsibility for their well-being to the state. Even financial or business news is minimal compared to N. America.

#55 yvr_lurker on 08.01.19 at 8:47 pm

And then there are those who have concerns that if they “entrust” their life savings with financial advisor there is a chance that they will get caught up in a situation where they are a victim of fraud in whatever form that takes (Earl Jones, etc…). A good friend of my aunt lost 200K with him in Dorval. Having enough
trust with strangers with your hard-earned $$$ is a very tricky concept. As much as a financial advisor might be beneficial, I would feel safer learning the ropes as best I can from taking continuing ed classes, reading books, and then doing it through robo or on my own.
For sure, I understand much more the debt side of the equation and being frugal (being really careful on the expense side) and in raising extra $$$ from side jobs and
being disciplined. I have much more problems with the trust side.

He was not an advisor, but an imposter. – Garth

#56 Work and Tumble on 08.01.19 at 9:12 pm

Garth I have learned so much over the years reading your advice.
Was in Lunenburg early summer had my photo taken in front of your new office, because of your blog i have lots working so i don’t have to work so hard in my fifties

Thanks for all you do.

Next time knock on the door. – Garth

#57 Justin will ... on 08.01.19 at 9:21 pm

#44 Get in line ! on 08.01.19 at 7:39 pm
Trump administration says Americans will be allowed to buy cheaper drugs from Canada. Canadian Pharmacists Association warns a potential shortage of domestic supply
——————————————————
Build a wall and get America to pay for it.

#58 mark on 08.01.19 at 9:23 pm

*Kingdom of Vancouver walks in the door*

Adviser: Hi Kingdom of Vancouver, haven’t seen you for 6 months, let me just hit the timer here so I can start charging and we’ll take a look at your portfolio.

*bing*

Adviser: Oh wow, this is, hmm should have harvested some gains there four months ago and rebalanced… oh well we’ll see what we can do here… btw anything else i can clean up for you in the next 57 minutes?

Fee-for-service (by the hour, no investment activity) is usually not a great choice. And not cheap. – Garth

#59 Yanniel on 08.01.19 at 9:29 pm

Incidentally before reading the GreaterFool today I was checking a robo-like service south of the border: Betterment.

These services are becoming more sophisticated and flexible by the day and there’s more to come. The one above offers various strategies; but what I found to be novel is the ability it gives to the investor to deviate from their custom made strategies.

#60 Glengarry Girl on 08.01.19 at 9:34 pm

#35 Andrew

I agree with your rant and at 52, we have no faith at all in the current system. We cashed out completely just before 2008, house and investments. We have no regrets about “missing out” on current bubble investments. I have no idea where the chips will fall, but it certainly won’t be business as usual. We are in unchartered territory, no normalcy, there are very few significant clues in past cycles as this is unprecedented. The current systems are bubbles, ponzi schemes, rackets, unsustainable beaurocracy. Yup, this is harsh and doomey, but I’m not wrong. Most people and Countries are in so much debt there is no hope of recovery. On a bright note, we are also living the best life of any generation. Live Simply, travel, smell the Rose’s, enjoy your Health, Family and Friends. YOLO. We are in the Tribe of those Nomads you read about, adventuring full time. We might settle down again one day when there is some Stability and Faith restored in the Systems.

#61 Long-Time Lurker on 08.01.19 at 9:46 pm

#95 fraud helps drives up RE on 08.01.19 at 12:59 pm
https://globalnews.ca/news/5463766/organized-crime-knows-fraud-is-the-way-to-go-former-rcmp-financial-crime-expert/

That’s a well-written article interviewing an expert. It’s not just real estate fraud.

#62 TurnerNation on 08.01.19 at 9:55 pm

Well Dogs shall we just say Nasdaq 8000 was a top and be done with it?

This is scariness. Cash flow is not an issue to them

https://torontolife.com/real-estate/condos/whos-winning-toronto-condo-market/

#63 Tom G. on 08.01.19 at 10:23 pm

Mills, you have not learned to live in the real world. I have only a high school diploma and some hospitality, restaurant training, experience which have worked 18 years in 2 different restaurants. I make currently $19.55 an hour+ overtime, small dental, optical, medical benefits paid by the employer.

My weekly net pay is $1,125.37 a week working 55 to 60 hours a week, 5 or 6 days week.It alternates how busy it is. We just got married 2 years ago and we have a son 1 year old. She stays home takes car of our son so no massive daycare bills and it is better for our family and does some part-time work when I am home during certain hours. She makes between $275 to $325 a week net depending on Hours. We are both 37 years old.We both have a no personal debt except a mortgage payment of $2,135 a month. We bought out in Pickering/Ajax area.

We have 1 car used paid off we own and we share, no car loans, no credit cards, no crazy high rate debts period.The bottom line is she came into the marriage with no debts $95,000 in savings, investments, I came in with $150,000 in savings, investments.

We worked hard, had our fun and some time off when we were younger and now it is time to be adults and stop blaming others. Strong work ethic, intelligent and wise use of our time and money and not keeping up with the Jonses is what we knew was the right choice to do. We had no financial help from family or friends either.

We are sticking to our 3 part smart financial family plan, $15,000 a year in RRSP contributions maxing that out, $12,000 a year for our TFSA contributions maxing that out , $4,500 a year income tax RRSP refund to pay down our mortgage at year end principal payment.

We already have a 24 month mortgage expense reverse savings account of $47,000 so if we lose a job, temporary sickness, illness, disability etc. we will be okay for a good while. Our E.I. will pay for all our other living expenses for almost a year before we have to tap in other savings. We have a 20 year $450,000 term life insurance policy for both of us which is not that expensive which covers 80% our current mortgage balance.

I think Canadians today are too distracted with other life pursuits and take on too much debt from schooling, education to getting credit cards living a lifestyle they think they deserve but never could afford it. This puts them in a financial hole and life that is hard to dig out and they can’t understand why there life is so hard. Choices have consequences and not learning from your mistakes will cost you for the rest of your life if you don’t admit the problem exists and how to fix it.

#64 Shawn Allen on 08.01.19 at 10:32 pm

Too Much In Cash?

Eighty per cent of all TFSA money is in cash or GICs.

****************************************
Of course, any individual can move their money from cash into into a balanced investment fund.

But, perhaps interestingly, for the population as a whole it is impossible to move much or really any cash to other investments.

Why? Well, bank loans are very high. And, check any bank balance sheet, the loans are offset on the other side of the balance sheet by deposits. That’s the “cash” of the depositors including all that TFSA cash and GICs. Right, it does not exist as cash in the vault. But the depositors consider it to be their cash and GICs.

For one investor to use cash to buy shares, another must sell shares and ends up with cash in some bank or broker account. Net cash held by the population is unchanged.

Total cash held by the population must rise as loans rise. So, until loans are repaid there has to be massive “cash” balances. That’s no excuse of course for any individual to hold excess cash. But the population as a whole simply can’t help it.

#65 TRUMP on 08.01.19 at 11:01 pm

OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM IS ULTIMATELY CONTROLLED BY THE RICH!!!!!

Employers make deals with colleges and universities to ENSURE they are taught specific subjects that will benefit the company.

The employer then hires those students and the schools advertise how beneficial it will be to take that program at that school. They are guaranteed a job they tell prospects. Word gets out and all of a sudden students and parents alike are knocking down the college door to get in.

NO EMPLOYER wants their employees to learn how to be an entrepreneur and quit and go on their own.

NO EMPLOYER wants their employees to learn the rules of personal finance, once your in debt your a SLAVE to the company.

The Whole system is created by the wealthy for the wealthy, just like the TAX system, just like the RE system.

They know what their doing…….. the middle class are just too damn GULLIBLE.

#66 50 YEARS OF MAPLE LEAF INCOMPETENCE! on 08.01.19 at 11:02 pm

99 DAYS WITHOUT A LOSS!!!!!!!!!

Toronto and the Make Believes are WORLD CLASS!!!!

#67 TS on 08.01.19 at 11:10 pm

Garth, you know the answer to own question. The only demographic with cash to invest is too wrinkly to be into robos. Everyone else post boomer is either a) putting every dime they make into their mortgage and calling that a retirement strategy or b) too poor to even get on the home ownership ladder and spending every dime on rent, food, and iphones.

#68 LIVING IN AB on 08.01.19 at 11:20 pm

Hi Garth, what’s your thoughts on blackstone funds. Seems fees are ok but they tend to invest in 500+ companies.

#69 Jesse Wierzbowski on 08.02.19 at 12:28 am

Roboadvisor? Is that a new crypto?

#70 Smoking Man on 08.02.19 at 12:33 am

I get my balls busted on here for being un Canadian just because I love orange mans policeys.

I love Canada and Canadians but I cant live in a country of sheep and doub down over schooled self hating idiots.

There has zero credit growth but debt keeps going up ‘ helocks

Why. The average Canadia pays 44% of their gross income to tax.
T2 and his band of thieves dont think you’re paying enough.

Like everything a saw this shit coming long before anyone did. Made plans and split to commie California where you pay 1/2 the tax on double what you make in Canada.

44% income tax is discusting. No wonder no one can afford to invest.

http://www.iheartradio.ca/610cktb/news/canadians-spend-44-of-income-on-taxes-1.9604499

#71 Ponzius Pilatus on 08.02.19 at 12:38 am

#40 Patricia on 08.01.19 at 6:46 pm
My 8 year old wanted to invest rather than buy anything so we put her saved $$ into a wealthsimple account. It’s perfect for her small amount of money and means she can already see the difference between having it invested vs sitting in a piggy bank. And all this learning with little to no effort or fees.
————–
She must have lots of friends on playground.
Bad parent you are.

#72 Smoking Man on 08.02.19 at 1:52 am

Living without risk taken is a boaring road to death with out fun.

Dr Smoking Man
PhD Herdonomics

#73 Lizard Man on 08.02.19 at 3:06 am

Why did robots wilt? Simple, they serve up the same regurgitated garbage that EMT zombies have been spewing up since the 70’s. The death of the robo-advisor is why the best stocks went up like a rocket yesterday while the overall index looked like another day in hell.

I’ll leave it to the diligent dogs to ferret out the winners, any filter will do, but more than a dozen top performer issues on the TSX and Dow broke over new highs. Big winners appeared early on great earnings reports across all sectors. I had the good fortune to see several TSX stocks gain from $3 to $4 per share representing more than 10% moves on the day. What’s my secret , 40 years as an analyst/strategist. But seriously, anyone who works at market research ten hours a day can do my job. I’m at poolside, still working.

Great stocks will always outperform a basket of mostly dogs. I have decided to come out of retirement again and restart my subscription service which I once only serviced persons in the entertainment industry. Garth my first issue has your name on it because in all honesty I think a column on stock picks would greatly enhance your returns.

#74 short horses on 08.02.19 at 4:10 am

#50 mills on 08.01.19 at 8:15 pm

> It’s hard to save any money when you make 20 bucks an hour and half goes to housing. That’s the simple reality for most canadians under 40.

The simple reality is the financial illiteracy that this blog entry discusses. At $20/hr a full-time gig should still net you over $30,000 after contributing to the JT colorful sock fund. Spending half of that on housing is living beyond your means.

When my starting salary, with two university degrees, worked out to about $20/hr, I rented a basement apartment and rode the bus for an hour to work: 25% for an apartment and bus fare (and a bicycle in nice weather), 50% for school loan repayment, and 25% for fun stuff like movie tickets and groceries. When the salary went up, and all debts were paid off, the amount I could contribute to investments shot up to 80% (plus slightly more set aside for fun and groceries).

What’s *hard* is sacrificing pleasure today for comfort down the road.

#75 maxx on 08.02.19 at 7:04 am

Financial literacy taught at schools from a very early age (first grade) would benefit most every Canadian and by extension, greatly improve Canada’s economy.

Learning to trump avocado toast in favour of paying what you owe, saving and learning how to spend effectively should occupy at least the first 4 years of a program lasting from K to uni.

Most people can’t calculate the amount of lost wealth in their lives due to financial ignorance. I see couples earning 2 government or professional salaries pissing away wads of cash on crap.

So many haven’t got the first clue.

Every day, totally painless and invisible habits (which could have been taught at school) are not employed which would ensure millions more retiring comfortably – without stress, thereby reducing needless draw on health care as well as social programs.

Tragic. So easy to start and so effective. After only a few years, balances start to matter and motivation grows. The methodology from then on becomes increasingly refined and perception of money more sophisticated.

At the moment, most of Canada is in the financial gutter.

Government waste is at an all-time high with central banks permanently on their back foot.

We haven’t yet learned to combine sound financial behaviour with the modern tools at our disposal. Each is largely impotent without the other.

Just being debt-free and a great saver can lead to greater things than most can imagine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0NawB8j2q0

#76 keluaran syd on 08.02.19 at 7:05 am

DELETED

#77 mills on 08.02.19 at 7:22 am

>The simple reality is the financial illiteracy that this blog entry discusses. At $20/hr a full-time gig should still net you over $30,000 after contributing to the JT colorful sock fund. Spending half of that on housing is living beyond your means.

When my starting salary, with two university degrees, worked out to about $20/hr, I rented a basement apartment and rode the bus for an hour to work: 25% for an apartment and bus fare (and a bicycle in nice weather), 50% for school loan repayment, and 25% for fun stuff like movie tickets and groceries. When the salary went up, and all debts were paid off, the amount I could contribute to investments shot up to 80% (plus slightly more set aside for fun and groceries).

What’s *hard* is sacrificing pleasure today for comfort down the road.

-spending 15k on housing based on your model is 1250 a month. That won’t even get you a basement apartment in Toronto. You’re completely out of touch with the current cost of living.

#78 maxx on 08.02.19 at 7:35 am

@ #40

All of you, move to the front of the class.

She will be a MM one day, all because her brilliant parents taught her how painless and motivating saving really is. She may also very well help others achieve financial independence too.

#79 dharma bum on 08.02.19 at 7:35 am

It is the responsibility of parents to educate their children on the subject of investing and the importance of acquiring financial acumen.
It is actually the responsibility of parents to educate their kids on just about everything that is important for their long term survival.
Trouble is, most parents are stupid too.
A confederacy of dunces.
Perpetual generations of the blind leading the blind.
They are the 99%ers.

#80 Another Deckchair on 08.02.19 at 8:15 am

Hey #50 Mills:

“It’s hard to save any money when you make 20 bucks an hour and half goes to housing. That’s the simple reality for most canadians under 40.”

Been thinking about this for a bit. An old idea maybe should make a comeback. Boarding houses. Had a step-aunt(?) who ran one in Montreal when I was a kid.

From Wikipedia:

“In the 1930s and 1940s, “rooming or boarding houses had been taken for granted as respectable places for students, single workers, immigrants, and newlyweds to live when they left home or came to the city”

Food was supplied by the person running the boarding house, so was inexpensive and (I presume) good.

Thoughts?

#81 Laura on 08.02.19 at 9:14 am

Is there any way that children under 18 can invest their own money (birthday gifts, etc and once they turn 14, income from jobs)? What are the options for them other than a joint account through the fruit guys?

#82 n1tro on 08.02.19 at 9:19 am

#49 DantheMechanic on 08.01.19 at 8:13 pm

Paying a low fee to guard against my worst instincts is a great bet and a from of insurance against my own worst inclinations.
————————–
You do know that using a robo or real person doesnt guard against losses right? What’s a better life lesson….losing money as you tweak your portfolio while learning stuff from this blog or losing money from a robo that you have no control over?

#83 TalkingPie on 08.02.19 at 9:47 am

#76 mills on 08.02.19 at 7:22 am

“spending 15k on housing based on your model is 1250 a month. That won’t even get you a basement apartment in Toronto. You’re completely out of touch with the current cost of living.”

You are aware that most of Canada doesn’t live in Toronto, though, right? And if you’re talking about a $30k income, you don’t need to. My 640 sq ft apartment in Montreal (St Henri) was right on the Lachine Canal, concrete build, top story with a great view, brand new when I moved in, professionally managed, air conditioned and with an indoor garage space for $1,255 when I moved out last year. And it was considered “luxury”; there’s lots of stuff available within the metro area for even as low as $700. A friend of mine in Verdun has the top floor of a duplex that’s big enough for him to throw house parties in. He pays, IIRC, under $800.

I’m sure that other great cities like Halifax or less urban areas are similarly priced.

Or you can stay in the expensive parts of the country and complain about how terrible life is.

#84 Sail Away on 08.02.19 at 9:57 am

#76 mills on 08.02.19 at 7:22 am

>The simple reality is the financial illiteracy that this blog entry discusses. At $20/hr a full-time gig should still net you over $30,000 after contributing to the JT colorful sock fund. Spending half of that on housing is living beyond your means.

When my starting salary, with two university degrees, worked out to about $20/hr, I rented a basement apartment and rode the bus for an hour to work: 25% for an apartment and bus fare (and a bicycle in nice weather), 50% for school loan repayment, and 25% for fun stuff like movie tickets and groceries. When the salary went up, and all debts were paid off, the amount I could contribute to investments shot up to 80% (plus slightly more set aside for fun and groceries).

What’s *hard* is sacrificing pleasure today for comfort down the road.

—————————————————————-

-spending 15k on housing based on your model is 1250 a month. That won’t even get you a basement apartment in Toronto. You’re completely out of touch with the current cost of living.

—————————————————————–

This is strange- I went on Google and found pages on Toronto one-room rentals between $750-$1250.

So… does this mean the strategy works? Or maybe I’m out of touch as well.

Complaining is, of course, always the easy route.

#85 IHCTD9 on 08.02.19 at 9:58 am

#41 Nonplused on 08.01.19 at 7:12 pm

Thus, we “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die” and “give no though for the morrow, for the evils of the day will be sufficient unto itself”. How can we expect people to save when the very religion of western society advises against it? I know society has become much more secular, but a lot of the old ways are still ingrained in us.
___

Just a bit of context for those verses:

“eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die” – the beginning of this verse reads: “If the dead are not raised,” – meaning, if there is no life after death, no reward for our toil on Earth, and no power higher than ourselves, then why are we not bringing ourselves pleasure every day? A hypothetical philosophical question, not really an instruction.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – This is about fearing the future, not about tossing your cares to the wind. (“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”). A teaching on faith, perspective and priority. And an epic piece of stoic philosophy that is essentially time-proof. This kind wisdom really needs driving home these days, where every other dude you see is jacked up on Xanax.

Lots of teachings in the Bible for being prepared, on good stewardship, the pitfalls of greed and debt, the frailty of wealth, growing wealth a little at a time, giving of your wealth, benefits of hard work, priorities, perspective, and wisdom.

The rules for gaining wealth, and handling it with decency were the same back then as they are today. I think the actual problem – is that many folks just aren’t following any of it.

#86 Shawn Allen on 08.02.19 at 10:11 am

#79 Another Deckchair on 08.02.19 at 8:15 am

Boarding Houses?

************

Good idea. Part of the problem may be regulations have made it onerous?

And/or it just became socially unacceptable.

And/or the advent of the old age pension and supplement meant that there were not enough single older women (often widows) who owned houses but had no income and were more or less forced to take in boarders.

When housing gets more and more expensive, some form of more occupants per house can be part of the solution. We have gone the other way, fewer occupants per single family home certainly.

#87 Dee on 08.02.19 at 10:38 am

Where can you rent for half the cost? Ludicrous, not in Toronto. My mortgage is less than $1300 to rent a 3 bedroom
House with parking would cost close to $3200

What equity do you have in the property? Condo fees, property tax, insurance, mortgage and maintenance equal what monthly or annually? When do do a true cash flow analysis, renting usually wins. – Garth

#88 Smoking Man on 08.02.19 at 10:39 am

Haha.

What were they thinking when they allowed a chic who hates men make commercials that attacked their primary market.

I tried Dollar Shave Club. Blades last 3 times more than Gillette at a fraction of the cost.

No coming back for Gillette. Done and good riddance.

https://www.dailywire.com/news/50122/update-hows-gillette-doing-its-toxic-masculinity-james-barrett

#89 IHCTD9 on 08.02.19 at 10:51 am

#50 mills on 08.01.19 at 8:15 pm

It’s hard to save any money when you make 20 bucks an hour and half goes to housing.
____

You Can try thinking outside the box. I work in a small 22K pop. town where you can get a “needs work” ww2 1000-1200 sf house for 95-120K. These are cute as a button when redone. A mortgage on one of these at 3% is 450-550.00/month. Rent for a 2 bedroom apt in the same city is 1000-1200+/month.

The Plan: you can make 20.00/hr in this area doing many different things – don’t get hung up on what. Small business opportunities are growing in landscaping/property maintenance/construction, etc. also if you’re not into being an employee.

Learn how to fix your house up yourself. With the internet, it’s never been so easy to plan out and execute work like this 100% on your own, plus save big on surplus/good used/discontinued materials off Kijiji. Save huge and get paid when you sell.

20.00/hr is ~3466.00/mo gross. Live cheap and dump an extra 1k on the mortgage – if you can do this for 6-7 years, the mortgage will be gone, and now the house belongs to you no matter what happens.

Now you can start looking for a partner that makes about the same as you. Choose carefully, chances of ultimate success are about 50/50.

Now (with luck), you and spouse make 83K / year min with no mortgage/rent payments, while owning a nice house, done in less than 10 years. Your taxes are low, cost of living is low. You should be easily able to dump 2-3K/month into investments to start getting caught up, and still have a little fun too. The reality is you’re likely both making more than 20.00/hr at this point in the game.

Better late than never…

#90 oh bouy on 08.02.19 at 11:24 am

#84 IHCTD9 on 08.02.19 at 9:58 am
#41 Nonplused on 08.01.19 at 7:12 pm

Thus, we “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die” and “give no though for the morrow, for the evils of the day will be sufficient unto itself”. How can we expect people to save when the very religion of western society advises against it? I know society has become much more secular, but a lot of the old ways are still ingrained in us.
___

Just a bit of context for those verses:

“eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you may die” – the beginning of this verse reads: “If the dead are not raised,” – meaning, if there is no life after death, no reward for our toil on Earth, and no power higher than ourselves, then why are we not bringing ourselves pleasure every day? A hypothetical philosophical question, not really an instruction.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – This is about fearing the future, not about tossing your cares to the wind. (“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”). A teaching on faith, perspective and priority. And an epic piece of stoic philosophy that is essentially time-proof. This kind wisdom really needs driving home these days, where every other dude you see is jacked up on Xanax.

Lots of teachings in the Bible for being prepared, on good stewardship, the pitfalls of greed and debt, the frailty of wealth, growing wealth a little at a time, giving of your wealth, benefits of hard work, priorities, perspective, and wisdom.

The rules for gaining wealth, and handling it with decency were the same back then as they are today. I think the actual problem – is that many folks just aren’t following any of it.

___________________________

the stoic verse is particularly poignant for most of the blogdogs on here. you’ve been duped if you value money over time. you don’t need a ton of money to lead a good satisfying life. especially in retirement.

#91 Sail away on 08.02.19 at 11:33 am

#88 IHCTD9 on 08.02.19 at 10:51 am

#50 mills on 08.01.19 at 8:15 pm

It’s hard to save any money when you make 20 bucks an hour and half goes to housing.
____

Now you can start looking for a partner that makes about the same as you. Choose carefully, chances of ultimate success are about 50/50.

—————————————-

IH, you usually give good advice, but you really missed on this one.

Always look for a partner who makes more than you. More.

#92 IHCTD9 on 08.02.19 at 12:20 pm

#90 Sail away on 08.02.19 at 11:33 am
#88 IHCTD9 on 08.02.19 at 10:51 am

#50 mills on 08.01.19 at 8:15 pm

It’s hard to save any money when you make 20 bucks an hour and half goes to housing.
____

Now you can start looking for a partner that makes about the same as you. Choose carefully, chances of ultimate success are about 50/50.

—————————————-

IH, you usually give good advice, but you really missed on this one.

Always look for a partner who makes more than you. More.
______

I don’t like to set myself up for disappointment :).

More is better of course, but for the purposes of not getting slaughtered in divorce court, “about the same” will suffice.

#93 Sail away on 08.02.19 at 12:24 pm

#80 Laura on 08.02.19 at 9:14 am

Is there any way that children under 18 can invest their own money (birthday gifts, etc and once they turn 14, income from jobs)? What are the options for them other than a joint account through the fruit guys?

—————————————————

Laura,

It’s best to be careful when introducing people to investing. One big loss can turn them off forever.

That said, it’s great to learn finances- personal finance first, then investing somewhere down the line. My process with the kids was to invest the RESP in good businesses that they understand- Costco, A&W, Tim Horton’s (QSR), patronize these place with the kids, and let them know that support goes both ways- we support the business, the business profits support their education.

I like to think this helps shape their understanding of investing as a mutually-beneficial exercise rather than boom or bust gambling.

Then when they turn 18, immediately help them set up TFSA and RRSP accounts and give a little seed money and advice. The money will be accepted, the advice might or might not.

#94 legalbeagle on 08.02.19 at 12:44 pm

Garth I was admitted glad to see your comment about Robo’s being fine for those with a few thousand, being one of those millennials who chose to trust the algo rather than the salesman at a firm that shall remain nameless but has similar initials to a commonly used three letter suffix. At the time, given my knowledge base and money available, a Robo seemed like a sensible option.

In fact, engaging the “services” of our soon to be Robo(t) overlords was the gateway drug that lead to me learning more about proper financial planning for my wife and I and our burgeoning family (we simply have no lust left to give to real estate once we’re done using it for natures intended purpose)

In fact, seeking the “services” of a Robo and how to understand investing better is what lead me here so many years ago.

That has helped us with not only with investing, but also with taking over control of our own finances (using a deadly combo of discipline and automated features available to us via online banking), and also has equipped us with the tools to avoid the FOMO (leading to financial suicide) that we’ve seen run rampant over many close friends and family…

For the most part the majority of our friends and similarly aged family members are, for a lack of a better term “house poor”. While that may come off as arrogant or a millennial special “humble brag”, rest assured it is not. Increasingly we have been hearing the excuse “we can’t afford it” when planning trips, dinners, or other event, with friends who previously never had such problems…

Initially I thought it was us… maybe our kid (now kids) were really that annoying… but over time I’ve noticed fewer “vacation” pics, less pictured of food, and also (to connect all this back) more questions about saving, investing, and yes… robo’s – of which I was a proponent when many of these individuals were engaging in bidding wars to their utter vexation (at that time). Interestingly, I’m still getting comments like “I only have [Low Dollar Ammount]” so it’s not worth it to start investing yet” and so they never start. For situations like these, I still believe a Robo is a great tool.

Suffice to say, for me and my family at least – the Robo was a useful (if not essential) tool in setting our finances, and ultimately lives on what we believe to be a financially secure and stable path, which will (in the near future) require us to transfer to an a carbon based advisor.

If our Robo had a heart I would certainly be concerned about breaking it.

#95 Pete Stafford on 08.02.19 at 12:55 pm

Hey Mills, I work 60 hours a week for $21.13 an hour as a full-time manager plus over-time. I am 23 years old and manage to put 30% of my net income into RRSP’s and TFSA’s, savings account, GIC’s. It is $360 a week and currently my net worth is $19,300. No debts, renting right now. My goal is to have $125,000 by my 28th birthday. Small moves makes bigger ones step by step.

#96 n1tro on 08.02.19 at 12:57 pm

#76 mills on 08.02.19 at 7:22 am

-spending 15k on housing based on your model is 1250 a month. That won’t even get you a basement apartment in Toronto. You’re completely out of touch with the current cost of living.
————————
Don’t live in Toronto. You can get a shitty $20/hr in other parts of the country.

#97 Solution on 08.02.19 at 1:18 pm

Have the parents with the means, on annual basis match your savings. In my youth my parents did this, and if I wanted a $54.00 bike they would match my savings by working on farms or stores part-time.

#98 IHCTD9 on 08.02.19 at 1:53 pm

#94 Pete Stafford on 08.02.19 at 12:55 pm

Hey Mills, I work 60 hours a week for $21.13 an hour as a full-time manager plus over-time. I am 23 years old and manage to put 30% of my net income into RRSP’s and TFSA’s, savings account, GIC’s. It is $360 a week and currently my net worth is $19,300. No debts, renting right now. My goal is to have $125,000 by my 28th birthday. Small moves makes bigger ones step by step.
___

That’s the way to do it, a little at a time, but every time. Pay yourself first. We went into overdraft regularly for a couple years to keep our financial commitments (including investments) on track. Once you get a good chunk on the go, see someone like Mr. T to provide a solid return without getting pounded by [email protected] for a 2.4% MER. As you make more – you have the option of investing more.

Pound it in there while you’re young and win big later when you get sick of working!

#99 jess on 08.02.19 at 2:48 pm

a castle which was in ruin …/money laundering

https://www.dw.com/en/german-castle-expropriated-from-russian-owner/a-44701607

#100 Bruce Allen on 08.02.19 at 4:16 pm

#60:

You took the words right out of my mouth. Well said.

I dropped out of the rat race at 45, sold all the *bleep* I didn’t need, told the bank to take their credit cards and LOC’s and shove it, and decided to retire early and live frugally and simply. I’m DONE with everything. Modern society has gone insane. Batsh!t crazy.

I no longer have any faith at all in the current system, our leaders, the banks, investing or investment firms, etc. It’s all just a big numbers game to me, a gigantic game of Monopoly that borders on a ponzi-scheme that only a select few control. There are no guarantees even. You either win or you lose, like a day spent wasted at the casino. Hell, as far as I’m concerned, Capitalism as an economic model has failed miserably. Take a look at the mess around us. We are surrounded by angry, frustrated people in our daily commute who are caught up in the whole ‘hamster wheel’ effect of debt, mortgages, car payments, insurance, tuition, etc, etc, etc. We ARE living in world that has lost its way (and its collective mind) as as evident by the utter madness and insanity w witness on the news everyday.

My decision to throw in the towel finally came after I realized that I no longer have an emotional or vested interest in any of this garbage; the million dollar home with the three car garage, the trips to Europe, the Caribbean cruises, the never-ending quest to acquire more and more made-in-China garbage that will be rendered obsolete as soon as you unpack it, etc. I said to myself enough is ENOUGH. I quit my job, downsized, and am now doing some traveling. I have never been happier now that I’m no longer a slave to the system, and view money as nothing more than a piece of paper that was invented to enslave most and enrich a select few. When I see how many other people in my age group are so indebted, stuck in unhappy marriages with out-of-control brats that are constantly mooching of them, the amount of stress-related health issues many of my buddies are having, the utter insanity of the cost of everything from groceries to utility to cellphone plans, etc, I don’t regret my decision for ONE minute.

What I’m driving at here is that I’m ultimately fed up and done with modern society, which, aside from slowly driving us all insane, is failing too many people. Never in the history of our nation has the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ been so wide. Life’s too short to get caught up and dragged down by all this nonsense. Stop and smell the roses, slow down, and view life as something to be savoured and enjoyed, a journey. Not something you ‘succeed at because in the end ‘he with the most stuff wins.’ I’ve worked with people who never graduated high school and worked with those who were university graduates with umpteen degrees and diplomas to their credit. Out of those two, guess which group was actually ‘smarter’ when it came to logic, common sense, and problem-solving? Let’s just say there’s a reason why my dad always referred to a certain demographic as ‘book smart, but people stupid.’

We have truly gone bonkers as a species and a society. Is it any wonder why we’re witnessing such a mental health/drug crisis today? It’s a no-brainer why people are cracking up. I expect the next ride down will make the last recession look like a picnic in comparison.

Words to ponder, folks.

#101 oh bouy on 08.02.19 at 5:17 pm

@#100 Bruce Allen on 08.02.19 at 4:16 pm

_____________________________________________

someone has definitely gone bonkers lol.
life is what you make it.
and ‘life’ has never been better/easier for most than it is right now.

#102 Bruce Allen on 08.02.19 at 6:48 pm

#101

Riight… With income disparity, class warfare, and the current drug epidemic? My own father (who’s 75 BTW) said he’s never seen things unraveling so quickly. Every facet of society is becoming unglued and people are becoming unhinged. You gotta be kidding me?

I haven’t gone ‘bonkers’ at all. As I implied, I’m happier now than I’ve ever been since I dropped out the rat race and left modern society behind so I can sit on the sidelines taking notes, while I watch it all slowly implode on itself.

You’re no doubt one of those ‘mary sunshines’ types who wakes up everyday thinking everything is roses and lollipops so as long as the status quo is maintained and the minions on Wall and Bay Street keep the money moving around. Nothing can possibly go wrong, so as long as we trust in our ‘leaders’ and have faith in the ‘system.’

Good for you. I won’t be mopping the floor with my tears when the ‘big one’ hits.

Good luck.

#103 Bo Diddley on 08.02.19 at 8:02 pm

People are struggling to pay rent because there are no affordable rental accommodations. It’s perfectly acceptable to most people to expect others working full time, where most jobs these days are minimum wage with no benefits, to pay all of their wages to rent to some one else who already has all their needs met. With little left over for food. This is the new normal. Reports now that even seniors are turning to food banks in order to help make ends meet. This is unprecedented.

It’s unjust, but of course no one is going to do anything about it because our values as a society are all skewed. The people need to get together to change this-we can not sit around and expect the government, or wealthy “investment bankers” to fix the problem they helped create. Development is all about higher rentals and these same developers jump into the pools of foreign money set aside for “affordable housing investment”, by pretending they are going to add a few “affordable” housing units. This is where they pull the sympathy card; pretending to care when in reality, it’s nothing but a show to milk more money through government incentives.

Complete and utter nonsense.

This has everything to do with greed and leadership institutions that idly sit by and serve corporate interests over people. It’s only going to get worse from here on in. Not only are people competing with others for affordable housing, they are competing with people who treat housing, a fundamental human right, as nothing more than an investment for their portfolio. It’s sickening. Actually compelling to me that we’ve even allowed things to reach this point.

Both my wife and I have surmised that there is something DEEPLY wrong with the way the world is being run right now and the direction Canada has taken in general. It’s like witnessing a slow-moving train wreck in progress and feeling totally powerless to stop it. I’ve NEVER seen anything like this in all my 69 yrs.

We pretend this is acceptable. But why? Solution to this problem? Build actual affordable housing. Make houses for $100,000 that are modest, for average families to afford and raise their kids in. It’s do-able, but the political will is simply not there. Developers and contractors only want big money projects. All these god-awful pretentious subdivisions going up everywhere is proof of that. Greed is simply human nature. The more we have, the more we want, the more desire to screw the ‘other guy.’ The people themselves will pay for it (in case you were wondering “who is gunna pay for it?”), but we need to organize something and soon. I know in and around the London area here, things are getting out of hand. Poverty is increasing, so is drug use and vagrancy. I’ve seen firsthand what it’s doing to people and the implications these issues have had on the downtown core. Ultimately, something is going to give at some point.

#104 dharma bum on 08.03.19 at 8:00 am

#100 Bruce Allen

I said to myself enough is ENOUGH. I quit my job, downsized, and am now doing some traveling. I have never been happier now that I’m no longer a slave to the system, and view money as nothing more than a piece of paper that was invented to enslave most and enrich a select few.
——————————————————————–

I hear ya brother!

Join the club.

Living the dharma bum life.

No job. No commute. No debt. No problem.

#105 Barb on 08.03.19 at 2:56 pm

Warren Buffett’s youtube videos financial advice for kids: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1tElHf1h-MZLRho7b8TQ78zUGQv5XhOT