Greetings everyone and welcome to the 12-Minute Fellow Blog!
My name is John Daveh and I’ll have the pleasure to be your host in here, where obviously, I’m also known as the 12-Minute Fellow.
Thank you for stopping by!
We look forward to reading all your comments and
your support will always be greatly appreciated!
Even though I don’t really like to do this, let’s talk a little about myself.
I usually like to remain unnoticed; I’ve done a good job when everything runs smoothly and nobody saw anything.
I see myself as an average guy, a simple fellow in pursuit of a childhood vision of a brighter and better tomorrow.
As the youngest child of a family of five, I was always blessed with great women in my life. During a relatively happy childhood, my awesome dad, my brother and I were surrounded by my devoted mother and three sisters. I now enjoy family life with my lovely wife and daughter. Maybe that can explain why I’m a bit spoiled.
I always loved and was good with numbers. Because I also like to teach and help others, I even successfully studied to become a math teacher.
But life had other plans for me! Circumstances first led me into management and afterwards, brought my talents to the vast world of computers. Everyday, I now have many opportunities to solve real-life problems. I really enjoy that aspect of my job, especially when I have the sense that people are getting helped and that the situation is evolving and getting better.
In my twenties, work and friends got me to the greater
area where I still live. Montreal
Through the years, even occupied with more pressing matters, I persistently studied numbers and tried to find ways to improve things.
All that research finally got me to the 12-Minute Approach: a unique and refreshing way to view and tame our fierce world. And as my daughter would wisely say: I’m now hooked on 12!
Beyond my quest using numbers, I also slowly develop a taste for words. I’ve always liked reading but writing, now makes me feel even better.
The Efficiency Bug
You could say that I was stung early by the efficiency bug. Some people might even see this as a problem as they can be intimidated by my perfectionist fibre. As I’m usually good at what at do, my biggest challenge often is to remain balanced and stop trying to do too much.
I now strongly believe that being well organized significantly reduces stress. For me, efficiency simply frees up time for more important priorities like family, fun and sports.
As a Canadian, it won’t be a surprise that I’m an avid hockey fan. I also like football, baseball and tennis just to name a few. But without question, my favorite sport is still golf. I used to be much better at it when I played almost every day during my teenage summers.
With experience and a touch of wisdom, I learned to stop trying to be perfect and simply start making little things better.
A Teenager’s Dream
As a teenager, I stumbled upon the « leisure society » concept. According to it, in a not so distant future, we could easily envision technology helping humans being more productive and freeing up time for leisure of any kind.
That futuristic idea deeply appealed to me: having robots do all the dirty work and have all the time in the world to have fun and play!
As I got older, that dream got shattered to say the least!
The cleaning robot likes picking a fight with the cat more than actually picking up dirt. Technology changed our lives but it also kind of imprisoned some of us in our work: your boss is now only a call, an e-mail or a text away; it seems like he can get a hold of you anytime…everywhere.
As years got by, I sort of forgot that youthful dream.
Lost in My Career
As a young stud on the job market, I was never afraid to work hard and had tons of energy. But the more I worked, the more my life felt out of sink.
Every time I worked too much, lacking harmony and balance, I kinda transformed into a dud. My career then forced me to take turns; oftentimes, not so pleasant ones.
In 2000, after surviving the dreadful Millennium Bug (OK, not so dreadful after all but we still got through it), probably the best thing happened to me: I hit bottom and got fired!
Awful feeling at first: being thrown away like on an old sock. But that pretty humbling experience had the greatest side effect: it got me away from 9-to-5 for a while, in fact, more like 24/7 in the preceding years.
For the first time in my life, a new job offered me decent working conditions. Like a sensible work schedule, overtime that actually got considered and…paid! Or even better, recuperated at time and a half afterwards!
In 2004, that job gave me the incredible opportunity to stay at home for more than 6 months with my newborn daughter. Those were wonderful times that really strengthened our family bound!
Thru it all, I managed my finances fairly well and always had a thing for financial independence and early retirement. My nature inclined me to save as much as possible. I invested my money but without really setting any specific goals.
A New Focus
Back in 2008, my good job had also a lousy side: it made me too comfortable. I cruise through it but still was missing something; I had the sense that I was not making enough difference in people’s lives. Like I was not doing my part to make things better...
So I decided to try Escaping 9-to-5 because I needed more time to fulfill my dreams; more time and better means to help and inspire others.
After some thinking, the main objective became to progressively reduce my average activity-time spent working by half over the next 12 years.
In addition to my great working conditions, some pretty aggressive Investing Goals were necessary to achieve that goal and make the overall plan viable.
Because of my somewhat frugal nature, increasing and maintaining our family’s savings rate over 12% seemed like a walk in the park. But in the long haul, it surely has been a greater challenge than anticipated.
Before, I mainly invested using mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETF). To take the next step and reach a 12% long-term return, do-it investing looked like the only potential path.
With my novice mindset, it looked doable just saving on fees (about 2%) and obtaining the same return as my managed funds (10%). That’s really what they were proudly advertising...
So in 2008, I started my DIY investing career… Boy, did I took a beating…a huge beating!
But over time, staying patient and maintaining the original course of action proved to be the right investing choice.
To this day, my low maintenance Dividend Focused Portfolio is living proof that healthy long-term returns are possible.
My lazy side really serves me well here because one of the secrets of successful long-term investing is to avoid panic and often times to just do nothing. After carefully acquiring quality stocks, you have to remain patient and let them do their thing.
Some Tools of My Own
After determining which stocks would be good for my portfolio, I often had a hard time to actually buy them.
So, being a number guy, I developed an additional tool to help decide when to pull to trigger and pick up shares of my favourite securities. My tool, the Dip Factor helps me quickly compare the relative attractiveness of each item from My Watch List.
Wasting is kind of the cardinal sin for me, particularly when it comes to money. I just really hate wasting money. Many may even consider me to be on the cheap site.
So, I like minimizing fees as much as possible and free tools are always a hit for me, especially if they are effective. Visit My Tools for some services and tools I recommend and use on a regular basis. Most of them are free. I still invest some of my precious money on a few paying ones, as they provide added value and offer quality.
Some Thoughts before Crossing The Finish Line
Please forgive my English. In my mind, ideas are usually pretty clear and vivid but they can sometimes come out awkwardly because my English in not perfect. So feel free to correct me if you notice mistakes here and there. I’m the first to say that there’s always room for improvement.
Despite my shyness, I’m so grateful for the opportunity this blog gives me to write and touch people’s lives.
Let’s hope 12-Minute can also make yours easier and happier!
I’ll leave you with this puzzling enigma:
JD at your service as
The 12-Minute Fellow