May 12, 2020

Portfolio Update May 2020



Another quarter has gone by and it’s already time for a brand new DIY Portfolio report.  For quite a while now, we’ve been doing these about every 12 weeks.

You can access earlier portfolio updates here:


We tried to avoid as much as possible talking about the main thing in all our lives right now. We hear or read too much about it every day. Despite our strong intentions, you’ll see that it won’t be possible to ignore it. At this point, let’s just say that luckily, all our family is doing ok, and we hope yours can also remain safe and well.

So today, after sone comments about the current state of this unparalleled situation, we’ll talk about how our DIY Portfolio fared in these trying circumstances and how we’ve managed it so far during that wild ride. Surprisingly, our portfolio is only down about 3% year to date but the worst of it may still be coming.

You’ll see that despite being well prepared, we probably could have done better buying wise. We’ll also report on our new and recent experience with bonds.

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. 

An Unprecedented Test to Our Resolve

So far, the last few months have been a great test to our resolve. This is a tragic crisis and despite too many losses, Humanity’s resolve is still holding on so far. We are seeing numerous real-life examples of people that have the courage to fight not only for themselves but more importantly, for others. Let’s remain strong and continue combating because we may not see the end of it for another year or more.

May 03, 2020

Magical Number 12 (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 October 12, 2012

The more we look at it, the more Number 12 appears Magical!

In its original stages, our research revolved more around number 15.
But, as soon as we dug deeper, 12 evidently became the front running candidate. 

For one thing, a dozen always fits way better in a box!

More seriously, remarkable Twelve as deep roots throughout History; 
it even has some kind of mystical character associated to it.

The Number of Nature

April 12, 2020

12-Minute Financial Makeover Step 3 - Savour Freedom thru Budget Choices

Our Financial Makeover Series talks about personal finance basics and lets you figure out what applies best to your own unique situation.

In Part 1, we suggested to open a no-fee online checking account. The point is to avoid fees as much as possible, especially the devastating recurring version.

In Part 2, we talked about the pleasures of budgeting and how it can allow you to spend more on things you truly love. We proposed a no-fee savings account as one tool to organize in that fashion.

Today, we’ll talk about how budget choices can make you feel great. We hope you’ll see it can be an amazing way to exercise your freedom!

The Wonderful Power of Budget Choices

For most people, budgets are boring and restrictive. For us, our budget is fun because it helps us make wise and sometimes tough financial decisions so we can realize more of our dreams.

Try to view your budget as an essential versatile tool at the heart of each of your personal finance decisions. It’s the ultimate key to make everything work together. It’s not only about dollars and cents but rather more about dollars and sense.

As clearly as possible, your budget should be a concise representation of your financial reality and should help you manage your financial operations. Many may be afraid to face that reality and suffer from guilt. They prefer to live in denial and stick their head in the sand than to truly find out the extent of the damages.

But a budget can be the most efficient tool to know where you stand and the best way to start doing something to make things better. Your budget can give you the means to improve and help you take back power over your finances.

After retroactively accessing your present situation, an efficient budget will highlight your options to choose and can be the first step towards your financial well-being.

The objective is not to become perfect but rather to have the means to take decisions that can make things better. At worst, you’ll know more about the impacts of your financial choices.

Like we elude to in our last post of this series (Part 2), ultimately, budgeting should and can allow you to spend more money on things we truly love.

The Questionable Anti-Budget Cult

For many people, keeping a budget seems appalling. Some are even utterly against any form of budgeting. They think a budget will only limit their freedom. They prefer to let money flow.

April 03, 2020

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 12, 2020

12-Minute Financial Makeover Step 2 - Enjoy More of Whatever You Like with Budgeting

Our Financial Makeover Series talks about personal finance basics and lets you figure out what applies best to your own unique situation. In Part 1, we talked about avoiding fees and their potential devastating financial pitfall. We also suggested to open a no-fee chequing account to get out of the perpetual monthly banking fee rip-off.

Today, we’ll continue to try to bring excitement to what many consider a tediously boring subject.

Like many, we used to consider budgeting like a restrictive thing. Plainly put, expenses were bad, and income was good. In practice, it mostly translated into trying to have less expenses. At some point, it could also transform into working more to have more income. With that perspective, budgeting was no fun at all.

It was like being on a strict diet all the time. Spending would be like eating. Although some of it is essential to your survival, too much of it is plainly bad. It can either get you fat or poor. With that thinking, discretionary expenses like desserts and treats can be devastating to your wellbeing. In the same fashion, exercise can be compared to income. Regular doses of it can get you in better shape. In the end, this only meant a lot of sacrifice.

Because I liked numbers, I still found some pleasure in it. But to be frank and despite some success, our penny-scratching restrictive budget was a torture that kind of got lost in all the spreadsheets. No insane person would get excited about it. Nobody was really interested to get involved in it either.

Fortunately, our way to budget transformed over the years. It’s now more about pleasure. It’s much more motivating knowing it allows us to get and do more of what we love. We finally realized that, after basic expenses, we could do whatever we liked with the rest of our hard-earned money.

So, to expose our renewed point of view, this post will be about the pleasure of budgeting. We hope you’ll discover how you could enjoy life more with clever budgeting.

Next time, we’ll talk about when we were kind of halfway there with our previous approach that still gave us significant power over our finances thru sensible budget choices.

An Efficient Tool to Boost Your Fun Level

One key to make budgets attractive is to put some spice and fun into it. Wouldn’t it be great if your budget allowed you to have more fun? The great news is that it truly can!

March 03, 2020

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.