Happy 2020! I hope you had a relaxing holiday and got to spend some time with your family. I don’t know about you but I am excited for this next decade. If we look back to the 1920s, America’s wealth more than doubled in the years between 1920 and 1929 (leading into the Great Depression but I digress). Whether or not we see a recession in this decade remains to be seen, but by following sound financial advice you will be prepared either way.
The Top 10 Posts on Money Sensei in 2019
On March 6, 2019, this blog was launched and since then 2,259 visitors have found this blog from 88 difference countries viewing 3 posts each with 33 posts being published (plus one guest post on Money After Graduation). I’m excited to say that each month had more visitors than the month before so I appreciate everyone taking the time to read this blog. That being said, here are the most-read posts on Money Sensei in 2019:
With low rates and limitations on transactions on most high-interest savings accounts, most people write-off trying to get a higher rate. However, there are a lot of great options out there with rates higher than you might expect that are perfect for saving for a rainy day, for a vacation, or for building an emergency fund. Whatever your financial goals are, having the right high-interest savings accounts can help you get there.
If you’re like me you hate debt. The word mortgage literally means ‘death pledge’ in Latin. That doesn’t sound pretty especially since you most likely bought a home for somewhere to live. It should be a positive thing right?
Only if you can afford it.
Founded in 2014, Wealthsimple manages over $3 billion CAD of assets and has over 100,000 clients throughout Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. As an automated investing service, often known as a robo-advisor, they construct investment portfolios using low-cost, index-based exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which means your investment is divided into many different assets to maximize return and reduce risk. Fees start at 0.50% per year for balances up to $100,000, which is on the high side for robo-advisors but still about half the cost of a traditional financial advisor with arguably better results. Whether you want to invest or save, they offer a number of services that include their Smart Savings account with up to a 2% interest rate and their new Wealthsimple Trading platform with zero commissions. Here’s everything you need to know about Wealthsimple’s features, investment style, and fees.
We all want to make more money. With adulting and all the responsibilities that go along with it, it can be hard to find the time for a side hustle not to mention if you have a demanding job or a family. This article is going to focus on apps you can use to make money with minimal effort. I mean if you can’t make money watching Netflix then is it even worth doing? (kidding). Unlike other money-making app lists, this one is focused exclusively on apps that allow you to make money while sitting on your couch.
“The things you own end up owning you.”
– Tyler Durden, Fight Club
One of the biggest trends recently is the minimalist philosophy as seen with the popular Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo along with her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I’ve watched her show and read her book and love the simplicity of her system, and it’s led to thousands of people either selling or giving their things away. But why do so many of us struggle with letting go in the first place? Psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman identified this as loss aversion, which refers to our tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains. Putting it simply, we prefer to hold onto our possessions rather than see them go. How can you get past this mental roadblock to simplify your life, generate cash flow, and avoid making a costly purchase mistake? It’s not easy but here are a few tips.
Why start this blog? That is a question I’ve been asked by my friends and family. Truth be told, there are countless other financial literacy blogs on the web and a lot of them offer great advice. So what makes this blog different from the rest? It boils down to wanting to empower people; to give them confidence over their finances, and to make a positive difference in people’s lives that I feel that other blogs are lacking. Some give generic advice, while others give the wrong advice. I feel that this blog is different because everything I write about is things I have personally used or experienced and I am not being influenced by companies to make a buck.
The hard part of writing a book is not getting published, it’s the process of getting there. As the author of Kicking Financial Ass, I can tell you that sitting down to write is the biggest challenge. There is an infinite number of ways to describe something and I am constantly tweaking, re-reading my writing, editing, and shaping what I wrote. Doubts enter my mind when I question if what I wrote is good enough for the public, but I push through that doubt by writing, writing, and more writing. The most important quality in writing a book is to develop a habit to write. Out of the thousands of words that eventually land on the page, I might keep a fraction. But without going through that process you never get to where you want to be. In this article, I talk about what I went through and how you can use what I learned to write a book yourself and bring in extra income.
It’s hard to believe but owning a single investment can be all that you need to retire. Is it really that easy? Yes! Investing for retirement does not have to be a complicated endeavour and in fact, by making it more complicated than it is can be detrimental to your returns.
So what should you invest in? I’m a big advocate for ETFs (exchange-traded funds). They provide you with the lowest fees and diversify your investment across dozens if not hundreds of individual companies. Furthermore, Warren Buffett also believes that unless you have the time to research individual stocks, buying an ETF is the best way to maximize your returns while keeping your investment decision simple.
This is the million-dollar question. A lot of advice has been written on the subject and so to avoid beating a dead horse the answer to how much you need to retire on is it depends. Everyone has different life circumstances, different levels of income, and different retirement goals. For example, if you’ve reduced your expenses to the bare essentials and only have yourself to take care of your goals will look different than wanting to travel the world and retire by age 40 with your spouse. And again this looks different if you have kids and is dependant on which country you live in. However, there are two rules to abide by to have a rough idea of how much you need to retire and then you can adjust accordingly. These are the 4% and Multiply by 25 rules.
Credit cards when in the right hands are a useful tool for your financial goals. There is nothing better than earning points towards your next vacation by using your credit card for your day to day purchases. The trick is to pay the balance in full every month, otherwise, any benefit is overridden by the high interest rates.
After researching every travel credit card on the market here are the top Canadian travel credit cards whether you travel solo, with a family, or looking for a no-fee card that is guaranteed to earn you the most points for purchases you already make. It’s time to kick some credit card ass.
I hope you have a healthy and financially prosperous 2020!