April 12, 2019

Exploring Better Alternatives to RRSPs

Lately, a lot of our analysis and writing hovers around retirement and RRSPs. We started with a brief post about Not Blindly Contributing to your RRSP a few months back and continued in March with more elaborate one explaining how we were Dealing with Complex Retirement Considerations. Today we persist with some profound thoughts on the never-ending RRSP versus non-registered debate. You’ll still note our research is not exhaustive as it particularly refers to our personal situation.

Some people feel RRSPs are a government scam to take more of their money thru taxes. Many angry retirees almost consider RRSPs as evil when they realize how much tax they owe at withdrawal. They just forgot all about the juicy tax refunds they received when they deducted their RRSP contributions in the first place. Over the years, these RRSP deductions helped fund a great portion of their retirement stash.

We can view RRSP tax refunds as a loan the government allows you to make to yourself. You only have to remember that you’ll have to reimburse it with interest some day (at withdrawal). If you are in the same tax bracket, the interest rate of that artificial loan will be equivalent to your investment return. If you now fall in a lower tax bracket, good for you, you’ll pay less «interest». Similarly, if your tax bracket is higher, tough luck, you’ll end up paying more «interest» via income taxes.

April 03, 2019

Investing The 12-Minute Way (Revisited)

The 12-Minute Series was originally posted in 2012.

We’ve decided to republish it integrally because we believe it can still help as everyone aspires to make things better.

Let’s hope it stirs up the discussion and stimulates you to change the world 12-Minute at a time!

This article was originally posted on September 12, 2012

Keep It Simple

You should only use financial products you understand. So, stick to the basics. Complex and complicated products often only serve those who sell them.

Same goes for stocks, only invest in solid companies you know and understand.

In this great Internet/Information era, it’s relatively simple to get data on any public company. To stay effective, we recommend you only take 12-Minute when you first analyze a potential candidate for your portfolio or watch list.

March 24, 2019

Coming soon!

Being avid Disney fans, 2019 is a great year as a lot of promising Disney movies are coming out. Among others, a live-action version of Dumbo will be released next week. These live-action remakes seem to be the new trend. Hence, we will be able to envoy bigger-than-life re-creations of Aladdin and The Lion King in upcoming months.

Just to name a few more, this prolific year will also give us many brand-new releases from the Marvel franchise, the long-awaited beloved-among-young-girls animated Frozen 2 and the next installment of the Star Wars saga in December.

Speaking of the popular franchise, looks like Disney will manage the open a little ahead of schedule, its out-of-this-world new Galaxy’s Edge or Star Wars land both in its California and Florida parks. Let’s hope this ambitious project can live up to insane expectations. Early preview looks sure appear very impressive and promising.  

It’s also an amazing year on the personal side as we are going back to Disney sooner before all that frenzy. We will wait till things calm down to visit new Stars Wars installations sometime in 2020.

I’m also on the verge of my next 8-month leave of absence. I regained almost all my motivation at work after recent management changes. It was too late to change dispositions of my upcoming leave, but we hope current negotiations will break through and allow me to continue working on a reduced schedule after that. I would like to have shorter but more frequent time off. Coming back after long leaves like 6 or 8 months can be tedious. Some vacation here and there coupled with 4-day weeks during slower periods would be much more suitable to everyone as the organisation would not have to deal with repetitive not-practical replacements.  

We are glad to announce that all this free time will allow us to work on an exciting project that has been broiling in our mind for a while: our 12-Minute Financial Makeover Series. This series will try to provide simple and efficient guidelines to improve and put your financial affairs in order. Look for it in the next few months.

March 12, 2019

Dealing with Complex Retirement Considerations

As eluded to in our latest Portfolio Update, Boy! is the Canadian retirement system complex. We recently have been doing some research on retirement planning and will now report our findings here. We won’t cover every possibility as we concentrated on our own situation. It should still give you hints on major points to consider. We’ll remain thorough but try not to lose you in all the details. We suggest you pick up all that applies to your retirement situation and refine other pertinent details on your own from there. At least, our exploration should give you a decent head start.

Our main objectives in all those proceedings in to retire comfortably and to try to provide as much money for our kids and grand kids while we’re alive and not only after we die. From the beginning, we thought that minimizing taxes along the way would be one of the best ways to achieve this. As we discovered, it may not be that simple.

March 03, 2019

12-Minute Diet and Meal Planner (Revisited)

The 12-Minute Series was originally posted in 2012.

We’ve decided to republish it integrally because we believe it can still help as everyone aspires to make things better.

Let’s hope it stirs up the discussion and stimulates you to change the world 12-Minute at a time!

This article was originally posted on August 12, 2012

When it comes down to food, the 12-Minute Way can be quite useful to help you manage your diet and plan your meals. 

There’s more to it than the common dozen eggs.

Because approximately 40% of food goes to waste in America, an incredible opportunity for improvement exists in the vast food domain, an opportunity to save precious resources and money.

But also an opportunity to reduce stress and free up some of your schedule because, day after day, food preparation can sometimes be pretty hectic and time consuming.

February 12, 2019

Portfolio Update February 2019

Time flies as we are already due for another DIY Portfolio update. As usual, you can expect our subsequent update in about 12 weeks, in May 2019.

You can also access our earlier portfolio updates here:

There sure was a lot of action on the markets since our last update. We even got a scary wild ride around the end of last year. The US government shutdown and all political uncertainty surrounding it sure don’t help. Are we now getting accustomed to it? One thing for sure, it’s probably not the end of it and more turbulence can be expected. But don’t worry, that’s life on the markets and what we must endure to benefit from greater long-term returns. A small price to pay if you think about it.

All that volatility sure provided plenty of attractive opportunities. Today, we’ll elaborate about some of that buying including that we finally pulled the trigger on Colgate-Palmolive (CL).

We’ll also talk about how in the last few weeks, we got a little deeper in our retirement planning. We found out everything retirement related sure can get complicated.

Once more, I’ll remind you that I am not an investment or tax professional of any kind. The intent of this blog is not to give specific investing advice. Before investing yourself, we suggest you do all necessary research and consult a licensed financial professional if need be.