Avoiding Mediocrity

A fool and his money are soon parted, or so the proverb goes. I can’t think of anyone that has not heard some version of it and yet it surprises me still when I stumble across someone proposing to take you by the hand, leading you from the frying pan into the fire. And so it was that this past week I ran across two post within a day of each other, one advising you that you ain’t got what it takes to pick a stock so buy ETFs, and the other presenting a keeping-it-simple how-to.

When Canadians say “I’m sorry”, it’s followed by the word “asshole” in a pitch only other Canadians can hear — @lloydrang

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OT: Momma Sed …

With my Q2 turning to complete shit, and with nothing but utter respect to Maynard James Keenan, frontman for Tool, A Perfect Circle, and this Puscifer song, I find myself finding some solace here:

Wake up, son of mine
Momma got something to tell you
Changes come
Life will have it’s way
With your pride, son
Take it like a man

Hang on, son of mine
A storm is blowing up your horizon

Changes come
Keep your dignity
Take the high road
Take it like a man

Listen up, son of mine
Momma got something to tell you
All about growing pains
Life will pound away
Where the light don’t shine, son
Take it like a man

Suck it up, son of mine
Thunder blowing up your horizon

Changes come (Changes come)
Keep your dignity (Keep your dignity)
Take the high road (Take the high road)
Take it like a man (Take it like a man)

Momma said like the rain (This, too, shall pass)
Like a kidney stone (This, too, shall pass)
It’s just a broken heart, son
This pain will pass away

It bloody well better pass …

Back to the Fork, or, Plan ‘C’ anyone?

“Erstens kommt es anders, zweitens als man denkt” –German Proverb

Seems like just yesterday that, in a fit of pique, I pulled my personal John Galt and decided to take my intellectual capital and my toys and go home. Having discovered that recent job interviews were mere unpaid consulting gigs to feed junior in-house resources, I took a snit and decided to retire early. Way early. Hence the title of this blog. And in just under a year since the inspiration, and a little over six month since making the move, I find myself “redirected”. I remember my FB entry that day: “Came to the fork in the road; taking it”.

“Man plans, God laughs” –Yiddish proverb

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Repost: Why the Average Mutual Fund Return Stinks

This is no joke! If you understand nothing about mutual funds, understand this:

Why the Average Mutual Fund Return Stinks.

I am myself painfully familiar with mutual fund performance; consistent, long-term underperformance is simply an undisputed fact to me. Baked-in by design. Inescapable. What I have never done is work the numbers, the effect of Canada’s high MER’s on performance. Quoting Jack Bogle, directly from this great post:

Let me give you a little longer-term example. An individual who’s 20-years old today [is] starting to accumulate for retirement…. That person has about 45 years to go before retirement — 20 to 65 — and then, if you believe the actuarial tables, another 20 years to go before death mercifully brings his or her life to a close. So that’s 65 years of investing. If you invest $1,000 at the beginning of that time and earn 8 percent, that $1,000 will grow…to around $140,000.

 

Now the financial system — the mutual-fund system in this case — will take about 2.5 percentage points out of that return, so you’ll have a net return of 5.5 percent, and your $1,000 will grow to approximately $30,000 to you the investor.

Take a minute. Let that sink in. Almost 80% of your money went back to feed the Financial Industrial Complex. And please return to the link above and read the entire post at Confident Investor. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to your kids to steer them away.

Easier Said Than Done

While having only recently come to the decision to document my efforts to retire early and comfortably, I have already frequently made mention of my investment methods designed to keep us from supporting these so-called advisors of the Financial Industrial Complex. Specifically the ones whose MERs exceed our returns; the ones who consistently under-perform the benchmark indices they reference in their glossy propaganda. And in my Continue reading