November 12, 2019

Portfolio Update November 2019


For a little over 4 years now, we have been reporting our DIY Portfolio progress every 12 weeks or so. And despite the fact the entire process was quite fulfilling by keeping us accountable and fueling our reflection, enjoy these reports while they last because they might stop coming sooner than you might expect. In fact, we have been thinking a lot lately about our blogging career and are at least considering an extended break.

So, if you can’t live without these reports or any other part of our blog, show us some love! 

Because the cold hard facts are that we simply may not have the will to continue on our own.
Let’s proceed for now. Hopefully not one last time…



You can access earlier portfolio updates here:


In the last few months, many signs have been pointing in the direction of a recession. The blow-in-our-faces economical alarms seem to be ticking louder and more often. We can be worried that some of our leaders (I can at least think of one in particular) won’t be able to effectively handle potentially fast approaching crisis. Could the next major recession be also environmentally driven? In many ways, this could be remarkably painful.

We still have a strong belief in the long-term perspective of stocks and won’t bother too much about short-term gyrations. We can only focus on putting measures in place to profit from amazing opportunities colossal market noise may provide.

November 03, 2019

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 12, 2019

Becoming Serenely Efficient


In my early years, without knowing why, I was naturally drawn towards things done correctly or with what I now know, efficiently. At that time, I didn’t realize how amazing that frame of mind could eventually make me feel. I now relish the calmness and peace of mind that come with being efficient or more efficient I should rather say. My hope is that one day, others might at least catch a glimpse of the enviable serenity of the efficient.  

To bluntly summarize our actual way of thinking in that regard, our motto has been to accomplish as much as possible with as little as possible. For instance, despite the fact we are willing to work hard, we are always looking for ways to minimize our efforts to still obtain good results. These efficient longings have tainted our actions for a long time now.

To be frank, at a young age, I probably aimed more for perfection. My attention to details got a lot of work done but annoyed quite a few. After some time, I realized trying to become perfect was a fool’s errand because being perfect is simply impossible for us mere humans. Over time, I learn to set free form perfectionism.

Yet I never stopped craving for things done correctly and I slowly found out efficiency was the answer to my prayers. Still young, I naively thought nobody would be against things being done right.

But the more I got exposed to the real world, the more I understood it was not that simple. Many are afraid of people who mostly do things right. They are not willing to change. They wrongly think effective methods will only mean higher standards and hence, more work for them. They don’t see that in reality, it’s quite the opposite.

October 03, 2019

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 12, 2019

Psychologically Managing Extended Time Off

Just a few years back, I was the last person to think that psychologically handling retirement could be a challenge. For me, it was a non-issue and talking about it seemed a waste of time. How could you feel bad being on vacation all the time?

Now with a couple leaves of absence under my belt, I must admit that to my complete surprise, my mental wellbeing has been somewhat put to the test. A lot more than expected because to be honest, I anticipated zilch, nothing, no problem at all. With experience, I now know better. It’s kind of ironic because many know me as the one that plans everything. But I did not plan what may be considered obvious.

I have to confess it has been much more trying than I thought. Again, during this year’s extended time off, I mostly battled with guilt and having too much time to think. It may appear silly but, choosing what to do with all that free time can become a burden. You probably won’t feel sorry for me and I know, another great problem to have…

September 03, 2019

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 12, 2019

Portfolio Update August 2019


Despite being on overly relax mode for a while, we are still glad to bring you our latest DIY Portfolio developments. As it has been the case for the last few years, you can expert our next update in about 12 weeks, in early November 2019.

You can also access our earlier portfolio updates here:


Granting things have been somewhat quiet on the markets since our last report, we’ve still experienced the usual ups and downs. In fact, it was more down followed by up this time around, as after a rough patch around May, most stocks resumed their climb up on a slightly slower yet steady pace.

As we eluded to on our last report, we are in a cleanup mode and high market values were a good fit, at least sell wise. Buying replacements was more difficult to accomplish as interesting opportunities rarely materialized. As some of you may have predicted, we adopted a decisive yet patient approach in that context. To sum it up in a few words: decisive to sell and patient to buy.

August 03, 2019

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 12, 2019

Jump Start Change with Only 12-Minute

It’s kind of odd that a lot of people rather dream about being millionaires than actually doing something about it.

But the great thing is that you can start fundamental change with just 12-Minute to spare. In fact, 12-Minute can be the easiest answer to that widespread psychological hurdle that many never seem to surpass. So, if you can’t seem to get things going, remember that you can accomplish anything and everything starting with only 12-Minute.

So, start doing something about it, 12-Minute at a time. The truth is, beginning by investing only 12-Minute, can be a huge first step for improvement for the rest of your life. It’s impossible to accomplish everything all at once so take an easy step, the first step, now!

The long-haul recipe to success and happiness can be quite simple: just think about going forward in the next 12-Minute.

Action Out of Too Much Reflection

I must admit l can be the first to reflect too much. It’s not a crime to think about what you’re going to do. In fact, any accomplishment begins with someone thinking or if you prefer, dreaming about it. Too much reflecting only becomes a problem when it freezes up action.

July 03, 2019

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 12, 2019

Despite Widespread Belief, TFSAs Can Stay Liquid

A few weeks back, we were kind of stunned when we discovered someone in the family (Ray not to name her) had a lot of money in a savings account but did not register it as a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). Interests gained in that account resulted in a juicy tax bill for her. Unnecessary because she still had plenty of TFSA contribution room available.

The money was not put in a TFSA because it was primarily used for emergencies and to pay for imminent renovations and Ray thought funds in a TFSA were not easily accessible. We checked with other members of the family and again, to our surprise, a lot of them believed TFSA money was not liquid at all. For many, TFSAs and RRSPs are all the same…money stashed there won’t be accessible till…far away retirement. So, many folks have the impression that TFSA money is tied up in some way that would prevent immediate access to their funds. But in fact, this is not true.

It’s sad because despite our financial knowledge and a lot of effort, money remains a taboo subject for many in the family. It seems like the more you are successful with money, the more people get shy and the less they are willing to talk about it. We try to remain humble about all of it, but it appears our glow still scares quite a few. These poor folks (no pun intended) prefer to keep things as anonymous as possible and give their trust to alleged advisors.    

So, another one greatly handled by so-called expert advisors. In this case, with no commission in play, the «expert» simply did not bother.
 
The Frozen TFSA Asset Misconception

Somehow, many people think TFSA funds are frozen and not easily accessible. And, despite the fact we love Disney, we are not talking about Frozen starring Anna & Elsa. And in reality, your TFSA might be more like Olaf, the chill snowman that loves and dreams about summer.

June 03, 2019

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, 2019

Portfolio Update May 2019


Time to report our DIY Portfolio progress has come again. Unsurprisingly, you can expect our next update in about 12 weeks, in August 2019.

You can also access our earlier portfolio updates here:


After a tough patch in late 2018, markets are still growing strong and have been on an impressive roll for about the last six months. Many investors currently rejoice. We are also glad about our significant gains. But as usual, we remain cautious and expect the unexpected as far as what the future of stock markets holds for us.

May 03, 2019

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, 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. 

February 03, 2019

12-Minute Ways to Have a Better Day (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 July 12, 2012


Here are some simple 12-Minute Ideas to help things go smoothly; to have a brighter and merrier day.

Sometimes, 12-Minute it’s all it takes!

1-Wake Up 12-Minute Earlier

This will allow you to take time to smell the roses and relax before you start your morning routine or
to take a little more time before you embark in a busy work day.  

2-Take 12-Minute to Breathe

Take a break during an hectic day and just breathe!

3-Invest 12-Minute to Plan Your Day

Plan you day early in the morning or the next one late at night.

January 24, 2019

Don’t Blindly Contribute to Your RRSP

Despite my best efforts to plan ahead, everything is kind of happening all at once these days. It’s still pleasant as most of it is positive. The irony is that I will probably have too much time to spare on my leave of absence that kicks off just in a few months. I still wanted to take a moment today to talk to you about RRSPs.

As by all the publicity that we get from financial institutions, it seems like RRSP season is already upon us.

I feel kind of sad when I see a lot of folks rushing to the bank for their last-minute annual RRSP contribution. From my standpoint, here’s the typical scenario. Incited by financial salespeople (I must admit I have a hard time calling them advisors), most people blindly fill up papers to contribute to their RRSP (press hard there’s three copies) because they are told it will be awesome for their finances. A lot of months later (because they take too much time to pay their accountant to file their taxes), they get a RRSP-related tax refund and immediately spend it all away! Ouch!

I think you should at least ask yourself these questions before contributing to your RRSP this year.

January 12, 2019

12-Minute Financial Tips to Immediately Improve Your Situation

One of the main concepts at the basis of the 12-Minute Approach is improvement. In most cases and in most domains, it’s easy to get to ball rolling with only 12-Minute a day or 12-Minute here and there. It’s no different for your finances. Your family’s financial situation can be greatly improved by investing just a little time, 12 minutes, on it. The idea is to start with 12-Minute and build up from there.

Consequently, today we will try to present a bunch of ideas on how to quickly improve your dealings with money. Note that our intention is not to present an exhaustive list. If you have a minute or even better, a dozen, pick one of these and try to implement it. 

January 09, 2019

New Year and Dividend Income Update 2019


As usual, figures have been updated on several pages of our blog to reflect 2018 results.

Among others, these pages have been updated:


The accumulating phase of our investing plan is almost over. Somewhat in maintenance mode, we are also trying to remain as tax efficient as possible.

For instance, this year being a low-income one (thanks to our third leave of absence, a big fat 8 month this time around, hooray!), we will transfer some funds from RRSP to TFSA accounts. It’s never desirable to pay taxes but the tax cost incurred now that way will be a lot less steep than in future higher-income years.

January 03, 2019

12-Minute Meetings (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 June 12, 2012


Sometimes, meetings can be a drag, especially when your boss likes to listen to himself for endless and countless hours. Furthermore, he’ll probably be upset afterwards because you missed some of his points and you lacked time to complete all your work.

Maybe someone could introduce him to the 12-Minute Segment Rule.

Use The 12-Minute Segment Rule

During a meeting, each speech or presentation should be limited to 12-Minute segments because for most people, the optimum concentration period is only 12 minutes. Beyond that, the average person won’t be able to focus and follow explanations.