December 12, 2018

Stressed Out by Performance: Choose Efficiency Instead

Corporations and our so-called modern society put a lot of emphasis on productivity and performance. But fed-up out-of-breath individuals are questioning those values more and more.

The secret may be to lean towards efficiency instead. Efficiency doesn’t only focus on results but also considers effort and methodology.

By definition, being efficient is more than doing the right things (being effective), it’s doing things the right way.

In that sense, efficiency can take out some stress out of performance. To resume what we’re trying to expose here, being efficient means performing as well as possible with as little effort as possible.

Efficiency Can Make Life Easier

Efficiency can allow you to swiftly tackle on each of your tasks, using up less time and effort.

Because efficient people do things the proper way, they usually manage to achieve their assignments with minimal efforts and without undue delays. And since they use less time and effort, efficient beings also typically feel less pressure.

In that sense, adopting an efficient frame of mind can be a great way to relieve pressure and make everyone’s life easier.

December 03, 2018

12-Minute Balance (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 May 12, 2012

Many believe that one of the most important keys to happiness is balance. Sadly, many lives equate to a never ending juggling act struggling in search of that so elusive concept.  

The 12-Minute Approach offers you simple yet powerful ways to achieve that so precious balance in your life.

Let’s hope that, by focusing on rhythm, order and harmony, these 12-Minute Ideas help you strive toward that balance so essential to your happiness and well-being.

Equal Balance between Needs and Activities

In order to stay happy yet still be effective, your life should be equally balanced between your needs and your activities.

November 24, 2018

The Impact of Climate Change on Stocks

Despite what many people think like some in power south of the border and others closer to home, global warming has started to greatly affect our planet and already too-many lives consequently have suffered from it. Unfortunately, global warnings are not enough to fight global warming.

Social media and live news probably amplify our exposure to it but you cannot deny that catastrophic events sure are more frequent and violent. Luckily for us, significant disasters have spare our family so far. Nevertheless, we have felt Mother Nature unleashing its power in the form of extreme heat, stronger winds and rain.

We know that human lives have no cost and should be treated with respect and dignity. In the current circumstances, everything within our power should be put in place to save and help as many human beings as possible.

That being said, we are even more worried about the profound impact climate change could have on our economy. If our economic system collapses because of it, we won’t be in a position to help anyone anymore.

We have been reflecting on it for a while and so far, are not reassured. A lot of troubling questions arise and for now, we have failed to find adequate answers. Here are some on those questions.

November 12, 2018

Portfolio Update November 2018



With Halloween just behind us, once more, it’s time for another DIY Portfolio update after that scary season. As now customary, you can expect our next update in about 12 weeks, in February 2019.

You can also access our earlier portfolio updates here:


Speaking of scary, what happened especially in the last month can be preoccupying. We had several days where we had a taste of what a major market correction may involve. With markets that fell more than 10% from their high, we are now by definition, in correction territory. Can this be the long announced big market downfall? We can certainly feel that panic could easily settle in.

The increasingly polarized positions and resulting frictions between our powerful and sometimes ill-tempered neighbours are also concerning. Particularly when their colorful leader continually fuels them.

Even though we don’t approve, he would still probably appreciate it because we are talking about him again. His eventual departure or exit also bring a lot of uncertainty to the table. You can bet it won’t be a smooth process but rather will involve a loud bang like his presidency. At times, we think of selling everything to secure our holdings before suffering those potentially disastrous consequences. Then again, we would miss out on all our profits meanwhile. Turbulent periods like recent ones will always occur and we are far from being advocate of doomsday or black swan scenarios.

So today, after looking at why Canadian stocks have been noticeably lingering as of late, we will talk about how we try to keep a long-term investing focus. We will conclude by sharing some of our latest investment reflections.

November 03, 2018

Housekeeping 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 April 12, 2012


Living in a clean environment can contribute to your well-being and happiness but proper housekeeping takes time.

So, here are some 12-Minute Ideas to keep your house neat and tidy. Hope this helps make your home more peaceful, relaxing and inspiring.

October 24, 2018

Stop Wasting Time Looking for Better Short-Term Rates


For merely a decade, Canadian interest rates flirted with historically low levels before the Bank of Canada finally started to gradually raise the prime rate in 2017. Almost immediately, many banks consequently increased their mortgage rates. As expected, they still took a while longer to offer better rates on savings account. So, for an extended period, so-called «high-interest» savings accounts were paying negligible interest.

Competition, especially from their virtual counterparts, now has forced even traditional financial institutions to offer improved rates. But, in the end, does this really matter?

We just don’t think so.

October 12, 2018

Still Preparing to Invest Big Money

For some years now, I’ve been gradually working less and swiftly heading to semi-retirement. Technically, it’s even better than that as in 2020, I should be working no more than 2 days a week! Full retirement will come just a couple more years afterwards! Hence, the accumulation stage of our investing plan is almost over and, mainly for fiscal reasons, we also started to phase out of RRSPs.

Despite all those facts, we are still preparing to manage and invest an extra 15-30K$ annually for the next 6 years. How could this be?

It’s true we will soon stop putting new money in. Yet, old money indirectly put aside years ago will start pouring in our investment accounts. A big chunk of our preretirement plan, currently tied up in other investment vehicles, will be released soon and we will have a chance to manage it ourselves. Some of our earliest RESP contributions are also similarly locked out. Since Lady C will (already!) start her post-secondary education, some portions of those RRSP funds will also become available for us to control.

We kind of just recently realized it, but all this means a lot of money, probably even more than in most typical accumulation years, will become available for us to invest and acquire stocks.

To some extent, let’s see how we intend to go about all this.

October 03, 2018

12-Minute and Your Schedule (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 March 12, 2012

The 12-Minute Approach can be applied tons of ways to your schedule. We will submit you some ideas here but the possibilities are almost endless.

Why 12 Minutes

Using the 12-Minutes Approach will allow you to be more efficient; doing something different only 12 minutes every day can produce surprising results.

If you break down your day in 12-Minute Periods, you’ll find that there are 120 such Periods:

1 day = 24 hours x 60 minutes =
24 hours x 5 x 12-Minute = 120 x 12-Minute


September 24, 2018

Act for We Not Only Me


In our relentless quest for happiness, thinking about others and acting for the greater good is probably an essential key. It can make you feel wonderful by giving you an amazing sense of purpose and fulfillment. Yet, having the greater good in mind, as with staying calm when your portfolio goes down, is easier said than done. It may become a challenge in the practical scheme of things as everyone can have a hard time coping with the struggles of every day life.

Some of you may find it odd that a DIY investor aspiring to financial independence and early retirement talks that way. Accumulating money may appear like a very selfish thing but in the end, it can also generate extra free time and give better means to take care and help others.

As with many positive individuals out there, we greatly believe in the evolution of Humanity. Maybe things are a tad slow and sometimes appear to go sideways or even backwards but we are still optimistic about general improvement over time.

In the same sense, we profoundly believe in the power of the collective, working together for the benefit of all, instead of just for you. We think you surely will have more success if you fundamentally have good and pure intentions. And you probably won’t achieve much if you are just trying to make more money.

Let’s have a look at our point of view, unique as always, on how to act well for the collectivity.

September 12, 2018

Reverse Marketing Scheme to Spend Less, Save More

When it comes to spending money, especially on big ticket items, we personally like to throw our brain a curveball. This twist also works on recurrent expenses. The trick is to convert all your purchases to measure their impact over your lifetime.

For instance, the cool-giant-flat-screen TV on special at only 3K$ can effectively cost you a little more than 49K$ (for 48 years @ 6%) over your lifetime. If you manage to get a 12% long-term portfolio performance like we do, that single purchase could represent more than 690K$! A lot of dough just to enjoy a groovy TV for a few years...

In the same matter, paying an extra 20 bucks each month on your iPhone plan translates into a corresponding amount between 66K$ (48 years @ 6%) and about 615K$ (48 years @ 12%) over your lifespan.

Analyzing expenses that way sure puts things into perspective and should spur up your frugal nature if you happen to have one.

September 03, 2018

Workout 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 February 12, 2012

Whether you want to lose some weight or be in better shape, a simple solution exists:

Add a 12-Minute Workout to your daily routine!

Taking an extra 12 minutes a day or 1 hour a week to work out can greatly improve your figure and your general health.


August 24, 2018

Treasure Your Freedom

In our world, a lot of people take freedom for granted. Many of us consider it a given right. But it’s also a privilege and we don’t always realize or remember how lucky we are.

Every day, we live as free men, enjoy freedom of speech, have access to wealth and have the enviable opportunity to make choices. So, be grateful and appreciate what you have because…

Many Just Don’t Have That Chance

Some of our neighbors, now closer in this shrinking world, will get imprisoned, beaten or even killed because they are different or if they speak their mind. Other fragile people just lost their mind or never seem to get healthy enough. Other honest folks are not fortunate to get their hands on a little money or a decent job.

Freedom is priceless. Appreciate it while you can and before it’s suddenly unexpectedly taken away from you.

August 12, 2018

Portfolio Update August 2018




After a hot streak on the markets followed by a torrid start to the summer weather-wise, we are glad to present you our latest DIY Portfolio update. As usual, you can expect our next update in about 12 weeks, in November 2018.

You can also access our earlier portfolio updates here:


Last time, we talked about many possible opportunities looming. Well, some of them materialized but kind of quickly went away after the markets significantly surged in June. In those circumstances, the end result is often that you will grab some but miss others. We’ll elaborate on a particular one we failed to detect in advance.

August 03, 2018

12-Minute Basics (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 January 12, 2012

Help To Change 

By suggesting simple methods and unique ideas, the 12-Minute Approach will help you implement change and improve.

For exemple, for most people, the optimum concentration period is only 12 minutes. That is, the time they can really focus on a task.


July 24, 2018

Handling Bad Decline Days

Here’s a typical scenario to test you and your resolve as an investor. Right in the middle of the day, you have a free moment and decide to take a look at your holdings. Because stock info is virtually instantly available these days, after a few clicks, you quickly find out your precious portfolio is down and showing a big loss!

Your reaction may well determine how you will fare as a long-term investor. Your initial sentiment may be a little sluggish and it’s ok as long as you don’t panic and sell. If it makes you feel dizzy and you get sick, maybe stock investing is simply just not for you.

So, the relevant question would be. On paper, would you be willing to deal with a 1000$ loss for the current day? We would, and we are as it often means we will be making much more in the long run.

Our reaction seems easy and simple, but it may not be the case for most investors. Maybe it would be a good idea not to look if you can’t manage your emotions and don’t have the stomach for it. Roller coasters can be a lot of fun for some people but a nightmare for others.

July 12, 2018

12 Suggestions to Reduce Telecom Expenses

In this digital era, where everything now seems to be connected one way or another, we profusely consume telecom services. For most of us, they are a given of our modern life. We pay for them little by little or systematically get charged every month. So, without really noticing it, these convenient connected services can cost a lot of money.

Because we often incur recurring monthly fees to enjoy them, the financial impact of telecom services may even be more important than you think. As we already talked about, Reducing Recurring Expenses is A Great Strategy to Save. In fact, it could immensely help you build wealth. As previously mentioned, saving only 10$ each month could translate into a couple hundred thousand (not just a couple 100$ or 1K$ but rather, a couple 100K$) dollars more in your pocket over your lifetime. Just imagine the impact of a monthly saving of 25$, 50$ or even 100$.

In the end, this type of simple recurring savings could even make you a millionaire or prevent you from becoming one. That’s why we believe trying to reduce your monthly recurring telecom bill is a great idea for your long-term financial wellbeing.

We don’t have all the answers about it. We will try to stir up the discussion or help start your reflection by providing and commenting a list of ideas to deflate your telecom costs. There sure exist a lot of different opportunities to save or avoid unnecessary expenses in the telecom realm. Note that the list is not exhaustive and is presented in no particular order.

July 03, 2018

12-Minute Principles (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 December 12, 2012

There's more to the 12-Minute Approach than great number 12. Some principles and premises also inspire this revolutionary method.

They are exposed here with some brief explanations:


1-Realize Your Dreams  

Having dreams is essential. Dreams give life a meaning. They give you a purpose and a sense of direction.

Planning to realize your dreams is also important. By setting goals and making plans, you’ll move closer to your dreams.

Your unconscious and intuition will guide you thru the venture even if you don’t possess all the details right now.

June 24, 2018

Financial Freedom Insouciant Mindset

A couple months back, after Preparing for it, we took our first steps Out of RRSPs. Since then, our focus has been more about Minimizing Taxes instead of Maximizing RRSP. To briefly remind you, one of our main strategy has been to keep my taxable income just under the lower tax bracket upper limit.

Many details around the whole process, like the first transfers and withdrawals, made me realize my salary wasn’t essential anymore and that I could stop working whenever I wish from now on. It felt like I literally was at the doorstep of financial freedom.

Strangely, a completely different mindset quickly set in. I deeply felt like everything was now cool and okay. Furthermore, it seemed like it would always be alright. That freedom was a relief and a wonderful feeling. To some extent, the burden of many financial obligations was finally off my shoulders.

But there was another odd side to it. I felt invincible, almost indestructible and some kind of carelessness settled in. It’s tough to precisely describe it. You could call it detachment, nonchalance, disinterest, insouciance…with an added touch of selfishness. In short, I didn’t care about other people and what they thought of me. Having enough money kind of made me feel like I didn’t need others anymore. In that insouciant mindset I became somewhat negligent. With that financial security, I now felt like I could get away with anything.

June 12, 2018

Using Technology to Generate Extra Free Time

Sometimes I feel like technology gobbles up more time than it gives us. Ideally, technology should help us and to some extent, free up some of our precious time. Not the other way around.

For many, having a portable phone or computer only makes them more incline to work. Being available 24/7 can really become a nightmare. In that sense, you can often even become a slave to technology, always connected and reachable for a question that probably could have waited for the next morning or at least, for a more suitable moment in your already hectic schedule.

Be careful not to get hooked up by the latest cool phone. It often comes with its fair share of increased work-related expectations along with a solid dose of distraction. Some distractions can be relaxing but most can only make you waste time. It the end, being distracted will affect your performance and possibly amplify your stress level.

People that view technology as a magic solution and expect it will tackle on all the work for them will be deceived.

Despite these reservations, technology can still be a great tool that can immensely help get things done if you learn to use it the proper way.   

June 03, 2018

12-Minute and Your Career (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 November 12, 2012


The 12-Minute Approach offers you a multitude of techniques to improve your job and career.

Here are some ideas we hope will inspire you on the way to becoming real happy and efficient professionals in your respective fields.

Achieve A Little More Each Day

A quick and easy way to start improving right away is to take 12-Minute to accomplish one simple extra action each day.

May 12, 2018

Portfolio Update May 2018



With this year’s late blooming spring first warm sunny days comes another update of our DIY Portfolio. As usual, you can expect our following update in about 12 weeks, in August 2018.

You can also access our previous portfolio updates here:


After several quarters of what we have called Trump’s rally, markets finally noticeably stumbled. It may be in part due to somewhat artificial and what can look like improvised measures. Markets sure don’t like trade wars or even talks about them. They also worry when you are always picking a fight, especially with the likes of Russia and Iran. Will it all transform into Trump’s bubble? No one can tell.

To be fair, stock markets cannot go up forever. It’s in their nature and healthy for them to take a pause or even meaningfully correct once in a while as it wouldn’t be sustainable for them to only go up for long periods.   

You know we have been expecting a market decline as we have been talking about it for some time. It’s normal and the long-term trend should still continue on its usual way up. In the end, markets going bad is good news. After all that patient waiting, we will, at last, be buying some more stocks as very interesting deals are coming!

In fact, at this point, we have been a little more active than usual and started doing some buying…after some selling.

May 03, 2018

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 24, 2018

Our Wonderful Disney World Holiday Venture (Part 2 of 2)

This is the second chapter of our latest Disney trip report which comes to you with just a few pictures but much more words. You can read the first installment here.

You’re probably eager to hear about all our best Disney advices.

Be patient as we first start by talking about our fantastic once-in-a-lifetime New Year’s Eve experience at Magic Kingdom.

After that, we’ll also get into discovering apparently infinite possibilities always pleasantly surprising us at Disney.

The New Year at Disney World

Spending New Year’s Eve at Magic Kingdom was an amazing experience. It sure gave us the chance to check off one major item from our bucket list.

In fact, I was personally so excited that a had a hard time sleeping and woke up for good at about 4:30 am that morning. I ended up being a little tired after the previous day airplane traveling and shopping at Disney Springs. All that adrenaline still kept me going but I remained a bit out of phase. My two girls laughed quite a lot about it because they are supposed to be the Disney nuts of the family. With retrospect, I would still qualify myself as the Disney planning nutcracker.

Because it is such a busy day, we had to plan New Year’s Eve at our preferred Disney park accordingly.

April 12, 2018

Our Wonderful Disney World Holiday Venture (Part 1 of 2)


As I said on several occasions before, going to Disney World is always exciting and a lot of fun. For us, it was even more special this time around as it was our first visit during the Holidays. My open schedule also allowed for some extensive planning and the freak planner in me really enjoyed the whole process.

Sorry it took a while to write these posts, but it gave me an excuse to continue savoring this magical once-in-a-lifetime trip even more.

We’ll do our best to give you a glimpse and pointers regarding our incredible experiences like our second visit ever to Cinderella’s Royal Table, the remarkable restaurant inside the famous Disney World castle or the fact we were finally blessed to land a dinner reservation at Be Our Guest.

Temperatures were cold, even sometimes freezing which is very rare and atypical for Florida, but it didn’t ruin our pleasure being Canadian and kind of prepared. You can read more about it in the second part of this brief Disney series that will include some of our best strategies and tips to accommodate any vacation at Disney, along with other always interesting Disney related topics.

As usual, we’ll use this opportunity to talk about Disney’s amazing values. In fact, let’s start with one of their most profitable ones.

April 03, 2018

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.