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Things Everyone Should Know how to Do

When referring to life’s basic skills I often hear the excuse “oh I’m not very good at that kind of thing”. Really? What that says to me is either:

1. You are extremely lazy and/or
2. You have peaked mentally and have no ability to learn anything new.

Here’s my list of must knows:
1.Change a Tire
2.Build a Retirement Portfolio
3.Cook at least 2 meals that are better than average
4.Run 3 Miles
5.Use a screwdriver
6.Backup your computer
7.Do your own taxes
8.Typing (insane if you use a computer everyday and don’t know how)
9.Setup and Connect home electronics
10.Basic Time Management
11.Basic Carpentry
12.Critical Thinking
13.Jump Start a Car
14.Put together Ikea furniture
15.Basic Plumbing
16.Understand the basics of how the internet works
17.Change your Oil
18.Convert a fraction to a percent
19.Fix Basic Computer Issues

Did I miss any?

Division of Labor

As a macro concept I agree with the specialization and the division of labor. Economically, it makes a lot of sense. Businesses that specialize can usually offer higher quality products at lower prices. I think this is especially true in food production and manufacturing industries. A factory dedicated to one task whether it’s assembling cars, canning corn or producing pencils is going to be able to do it immeasurably faster and cheaper than an individual or small business could.

So at the macro level I’m on board. Where I have a problem with specialization is on the micro or individual level. I think the trend toward specialization has gone too far. We now live in a society where even seemingly basic tasks are being specialized and outsourced. I know many people with relatively successful careers who seem to lack any ability to think or function outside of their chosen field of specialization. I don’t see any reason why individuals can’t be good at more than one thing. Just because y…

Do You Like Your Job?

Has anyone ever asked you do you like your job? If you answered “no I hate my job” this is an easy question. The question becomes more complicated if you answered yes.

For those of you that answered “yes I like my job” that’s great. Now let me ask you another question. If you didn’t need the money would you do it for free? If you answered yes to this than boy am I envious. Well what about this one - would you do it full time for the next 30 years?

You see I like my job but I don’t love it and I definitely wouldn’t do it for free. Even if I did love my job I know I definitely wouldn’t want to do it for the next 30 years. Actually, I don’t think there’s anything in the world that I’d want to do for 40hrs a week for the next 30 years. I like doing lots of things fishing, reading, investing, hiking, hunting, watching movies, oiling up super models but I wouldn’t want to “have” to do any of them for 40 hours a week for the next three decades. Even if I got the elusive swimsuit model oiling…

We’re Old

Well it’s official as a planet we’re getting old.  According to the US Census Bureau sometime in the next 4 years the global population over 65 will surpass those under 5. Obviously the ratio of old to young will be greater in developed countries where the birth rate is much lower than in developing countries. Take these examples:
In 2016 in Canada for the first time there were more seniors (65+) than there were children 14 and under. Roughly 16% of the population is 65+In the United States it’s around 15%Japan 26%Germany 21%Greece 21%France 19%Sweden 20%Switzerland 19%United Kingdom 18%Well you get the idea... Here’s a short list of some companies that should benefit from the wave of seniors who like the rest of us keep getting older.
Pharmacies
Walgreen (WAG)
CVS Caremark (CVS)
Loblaws (L)
Pharmaceuticals
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
Pfizer (PFE)
Glaxo (GSK)
TEVA (TEVA)
Merck (MRK) Medical Devices
-Stryker (SYK)
-Medtronic (MDT)
-Boston Scientific (BSX)

Housing
-Chartwell Retirement Residence…

Retirement Portfolio Net Worth – As of May 1- 2017

- 2922 Days until Retirement -
The goal is an investment portfolio of $1,000,000 and an annual passive income of $40,000. We are currently mortgage free but won’t be including the value of our principal residence or cottage as we have no plans to sell either. We have also omitted the value of our workplace defined benefit pension plans and RESPs.
ASSETS: April Contributions: $0
Retirement Portfolio: $476,479 (up $3,862 - stock market gains)

LIABILITIES:
Investment Loan: $41,102 (down $1,305) Retirement Portfolio Net Worth: $435,377 (up $5,167)
* Dividends Received (year to date): $4275 (up $1,190)
We didn’t make any new contributions this month as I’m currently in the process of closing on my first rental property. I want to keep some powder dry to in order to fund some improvements before renting it. Next month I’ll be including the new equity/debt and cash flow of the new rental. 


Importance of Leverage

One mistake I made in my 20’s when I started investing was having a strong aversion to debt. While I was comfortable being 100% invested in equities I wasn’t comfortable leveraging my investments. I also made it a priority to pay off my mortgage. Which in retrospect wasn’t the optimal way to use my extra cash. As I got into my early 30’s I realized that although it’s far from a fatal mistake investors should be actively using leverage from as soon as they can responsibly afford to. Which in my case would have been around age 24. I was a little late to the game and didn’t start borrowing to invest until my early thirties.

There are multiple benefits to using debt to invest. The first being the tax advantages. If you borrow money to invest in either real estate or stocks/bonds than the interest paid on the investment loan is a tax deduction. You do have to be careful though because any stocks/bonds that you purchase with an investment loan have to generate income such as dividends or in…

Credentialism and Educational Inflation

Has anyone else noticed that jobs that historically didn’t require any formal education now often require post-secondary credentials. Jobs that required grade 10 now require a High School diploma, High School diploma jobs now have College or University requirements and basic jobs that used to require a University degree now require a Graduate degree.
This rampant credentialism has caused 4 things to occur:

1. On average people are entering the workforce older than they used to.
2. The debt level of students has skyrocketed. The average Canadian post-secondary student now graduates with over $25,000 in debt. While in the United States the average student debt comes in at just over $37,000.
3. Grades have been inflated A- is the new C+. So basically the quality of the programs has been watered down over the years to accommodate the demand.
4. Jobs that don’t actually require post-secondary now do. Post-secondary programs are being developed to accommodate every area of the economy rega…