BlueNote's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Mon Mar 28, 2016 5:38 pm

Excited

As mentioned in previous posts I recently applied for a job. I talk about it pretty openly here because frankly the odds of someone from this forum recognizing who I am from these posts are pretty darn low.

The head hunter called me back this morning to query me on my response to the question "What is your greatest weakness". He was a little bit worried because the potential employer was interested in me but was worried, essentially, about how honestly I answered the question. I had actually pre-planned my response and decided to answer frankly because if they didn't like it then they wouldn't like me as an employee anyways. I realize that the competition probably had some fluffy answer prepared about how they work too damned hard or some such. My answer was that I tend to become extremely focused on one task to the expense of everything else. It's sometimes hard to get my attention when I am in this mode and people can walk up to me and put their head right up next to mine and I won't know they are there. I often get jolted when people try to grab my shoulder when I am in my super focused mode. My sense of time becomes warped in this mode and hours can seem to pass extremely rapidly, I guess you could call this 'flow'. This typically happens when I'm doing some computer programming because it takes a lot of time and mental cycles to make something like that. I don't like to change gears all day, I like to get into high gear and stay there. As an old friend once described me I am like a super high powered car, operating best in high gear in a straight line. Anyways I explained this in the most favourable way I could to the nice people interviewing me and said that it was a strength in some circumstances and a weakness in others and that I felt the job was a really good fit for me.

So I guess they were worried I was going to just sit in the corner and not talk to anyone so I set the record straight that I currently work in a highly open (no walls office) collaborative environment now and that I am fine with that.

The headhunter things he'll be coming back with an offer in the next couple of days so I am excited.

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:47 pm

Resignation

I gave my boss two weeks notice today because I got the job! The process was amazingly quick, I am already setting up my security and orientation for my new job.

My boss was adamant about coming up with a counter offer. I told him that it might make things awkward if I were to accept something like that because I'd be considered a constant flight risk. He said not to worry about it and not to talk about my resignation yet. I told him my two weeks notice stand but I wouldn't tell anyone about it. He told me that he's had people resign before and he simply refused to accept the resignation and made counter offers that kept good people in the company. He came back to me a little later and said that he talked to some VP's and that a counter offer would be forth coming. I told him that my head hunter advised me against accepting any counteroffers. I also said that the head hunter is obviously biased and that I am open to looking at a counter offer but there was a significant chance I would turn it down. He was ok with that....I definitely wasn't expecting this to happen but I guess it's a good problem to have. My boss is a sales guy (salesman/sales trainer/sales manager) at a company known for producing some of the best sales people. So he's used to overcoming all objections but ultimately I'll likely turn down any counter offer because I shouldn't have to resign to get my worth. I don't want to have to go through something like this again just to get a market rate salary.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 5442
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by jennypenny » Thu Mar 31, 2016 8:46 pm

Congratulations!

User avatar
Miss Lonelyhearts
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:53 am

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by Miss Lonelyhearts » Thu Mar 31, 2016 10:58 pm

Just jumped in the thread, although I read back to October of last year. I just wanted to chime in with the suggestion to keep an open mind when listening to the counter offer from your boss. I can relate to the innate suspicion/mistrust you're feeling, but my advice is simply to remember that it's business and not personal, and not to let emotion enter overmuch into your thinking. Think of your employer as Mr. Market visiting you for the past ten years of your career and offering you $X, and you accepting. Now a new company has entered the picture and offered you 115% of $X; suddenly Mr. Market realizes his offer will have to be more substantial. The analogy is not perfect, but I hope it gets the point across. Of course this doesn't apply if your workplace is otherwise miserable or miserly, but if all things are equal and a bidding war begins, it's to your advantage to take the highest bid (assuming it's substantially more than the new company is offering, to make up for the hassle of interviewing then reneging, etc etc.) And if there are other opportunities at the new job you're excited about, now would be a good time to bring them up to your boss.

If you'll accept just another word of unsolicited advice: you're in the driver's seat with your company and boss right now, which is an unusual and uncomfortable position to be in. If you let it marinate for a little while and consider what exactly YOU WOULD WANT that would make it worthwhile for you to stay, you can make this negotiation more productive for everyone. Could be 175% of your previous salary, extra week's vacation, or the individual re institution of the sabbatical program you mentioned. If they can't/won't do it--who could blame you for walking?

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:57 pm

@JennyPenny

Thanks!

@Miss Lonelyhearts

Those are good points about the job market and it is an unusual and uncomfortable position to have the power , even if for a brief moment.

Considering reversing my resignation

What a day!

I get sent to headquarters for a meeting with a VP. He sits me down and explains that he likes me, likes how I handle myself and then lays out the counter offer. My jaw almost dropped, it amounts to a 30-35% raise (putting me in the top 10% of incomes in Canada) and a promotion to do nothing other then stay and continue on doing what I have been doing. Prior to the meeting I had a little pow-wow with a family member who is a CFO. He said the main thing to ask about wasn't the pay but to find out how they were going to get a grip on ensuring I get adjustments to the market curve in the future. The VP isn't my boss but would be my future boss when I come off of the large project I have been on which should happen in the summer. He explained that at our company he can only talk to the area he is in control of, let's call it corporate accounting. In that area he is in touch with head hunters and keeps tabs on all his people and their potential market value regularly. He said that he has been in my shoes before (resigning and then accepting a counter offer) and that only a few VP's and my references know about my decision and that nobody else would find out. Its should be noted that there is very low turnover among the credentialed accountants in his department and I've never known him to be anything but a man of integrity. So I am believing his offer...

I'm now leaning towards re-neging on the new job and staying at the old one. I'm amazed at how well they managed my resignation, almost everyone else I know who quit just left and were given a respectful farewell, no counter offers.

I'll use the weekend to come up with a decision...

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:44 pm

Not Resigning

I rescinded my offer with the new company and accepted the counter-offer.

The counter offer was handled extremely well, almost like it should be made into a little training movie for other corporations to follow.

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:19 pm

60%

Now that all the job negotiation excitement is over I figure that I can get to a 60% savings rate without doing anything else. This brings me closer to my early retirement goal of retiring at age 45-46 (9-10 years from now).

Investing evolution

I have two portfolios that require active management and one that is a single fund and is on auto-pilot. I basically forget the auto-pilot fund is even there most of the time. I think I am going to stop contributing to my two active funds soon and start contributing to another simple buy and hold portfolio. The active funds require me to look at them and make decisions, the fun of investing for me is the research and discovery. The trading part isn't nearly as fun or interesting for me but it does build discipline. I trade once a month and used to trade at the end of the month. Being a corporate accountant this was very inconvenient sometimes. Therefore I am moving my trade point to the middle of the month. I am looking for an appropriate buy and hold portfolio for my next portfolio.

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Sat May 07, 2016 8:28 pm

Tomatoes

I seeded some tomatoes today.

Image

I was looking for something that tasted great but was easy to grow. Supermarket tomatoes taste like slightly tomato flavoured watery cellulose. The best tasting tomatoes are usually an heirloom variety which is difficult to grow. The easiest to grow varieties usually don't taste any better then super market varieties. However a little research showed that there are people making hybrids that combine heirloom flavour with hardiness and high yield. My seeds came from the University of Florida Horticultural Sciences Dept. If you make a $10 donation they'll send you some seeds. Unfortunately any saved seeds from the plants won't be the same as the specially selected hybrid fruit (at least that is my understanding).

I am trying to grow two indeterminate "garden treasure" plants and two new hybrids which are determinate. Hoping for fruit from July to Sept.

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Mon May 16, 2016 6:49 pm

Tomatoes

So far my tomato growing experiment has been 75% successful. It looks like a couple of seedlings didn't sprout but I have 6 seedlings that have sprouted now so I am hoping I can get at least two of these plants to the fruit bearing stage.

Image

Image

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Sun May 22, 2016 10:28 pm

Tomatoes again


I planted two tomato's per pot but I wanted to cull them as seedlings so I had one per pot, or 4 tomato plants. All the tomato plants have sprouted their first set of real leaves and in some cases the second set is coming out too. I gave them their first taste of a highly diluted liquid fertilizer tonight. I'll need to make sure not to over fertilize. I also made some de-chlorinated water by boiling the water for about 20 minutes. Apparently chlorine will build up in the soil so people recommend rain water or something without the chlorine.

I made a stupid mistake and forgot to label which variety I put in each pot. Unfortunately one variety is indeterminate and will grow into a rather large plant, and will keep growing until it dies in the winter. The other is determinate and will probably not grow very much but produce a denser patch of fruit. I only know the species of one pot (because I planted it after the first batch). It's basically impossible for me to determine what the varieties are because they all look the same now. I guess I'll find out in a couple of months :lol:

Image

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:55 pm

Financial Progress

I'm not big on fancy graphs and whatnot. My spreadsheet is designed to efficiently consolidate all my financial information and give me a few key numbers.

May 2016 year-to-date savings rate is: 71%

I expect that number to go down to ~62% by the end of the year if my expenses from last year are any guide. So far I have lower expenses then I did over the same duration in 2015. I am also making a lot more money now. My employer is still providing free breakfast and lunch, this will likely stop at some point in the summer which will push my expenses up more. I am already working on some tactics to reduce the food bill so that I can hopefully end the year at a 70% savings rate.

Investment strategy

I'm an inveterate investment strategy switcher. :? :oops:

I switched strategies again and now 92% of my investments are in simple (mostly vanguard) index funds. 60% world stocks and 40% Canadian fixed income.

The remaining 8% of the portfolio is invested in berkshire hathaway which I buy when it falls below 1.35% of book value.

How do I know that I'll stick with this strategy? Well I was already indexing the part of my portfolio that was matched by my employer (a target date fund) and it was so boring that I never checked on it much. That portfolio never caused me any stress and I slept fine at night with it. As my portfolio gets bigger I have noticed an increased desire for safety. The 60/40 allocation is what I'm comfortable with given my current risk tolerance.

I also didn't like my previous trending strategies (dual momentum and 200 day moving average) requirement for monthly updates and somewhat frequent trading.

Tomato Progress

They've been growing rapidly over the last week or so:

Image

I have been exposing them to direct sunlight with the window open to harden them for when they go to the balcony.

They've become surprisingly thirsty in a very short span of time.

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:25 pm

Tomato Plant Pictures

I have created some "self-watering" planters for my tomatoes.

My basic design is as follows:

My 5 minute thumbnail design sketch:

Image

The final product:

Image

Water is funnelled into the pipe until the it comes out of the overflow hole. Water is wicked up the soil and creates a gradient of water that is wettest at the bottom and driest at the top. The water level in the soil is controlled through the wicking action thereby preventing over and under watering (as long as there is water in the reservoir).

This design has the following strengths:
  1. It is very water efficient, I could only water once every two weeks right now, probably once a week once the plants are bigger
  2. The planters fit easily on my balcony ( I have no land)
  3. materials are easy and cheap to find
  4. labour is low skilled
  5. Prevents over/under watering
It is based on other successful designs so it's not an original idea at all but just a version of the idea I cooked up with the tools and other resources I had at my disposal. There are many variations of this design , search google and youtube if you want pre-made designs. Rather expensive Off-the- shelf turnkey solutions are available too so you don't have to use a few tools or think too much, you can substitute money instead :roll:

Investing

It's still a boring 60/40 world stocks/domestic bond portfolio and I am sleeping well at night.

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:01 pm

Meetup


I attended a Toronto ERE meet up for the first time recently.

I had a great time and it was great to meet everybody face to face.

We should do it more often, maybe bi-yearly instead of just yearly when Rube makes his yearly visit.


Three years

It's been about 3 years since I started writing this journal about my journey to FI.

Heres a summary of my performance so far:

2013: started writing this journal

End of year Net worth = 2% of total needed to be FIRE

2014:

savings rate 53%

End of year Net worth = 7% of total needed to be FIRE

2015:

Savings Rate 59%

End of year Net worth = 14% of total needed to be FIRE

July 2016 Year-T0-Date

Savings Rate 62%

Mid year net worth = 24% of total needed to be FIRE

Estimated Retirement Age for 3-4% SWR

Image

July YTD 2016 Expenses

Image

Relative to others on this forum I spend a lot on vacation. Hoping that when my wife and I retire we can eliminate most of that expense by making travelling more of a lifestyle then a luxury.

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:17 pm

65%

I project that I will save 65% of my take home pay after taxes in 2016.

Taxes

I am running out of government tax shelter room in my investment accounts (RRSP and TFSA) rapidly.

I have begun to take a serious interest in the personal tax systems of Canada and the province of Ontario.

So far I have started building an elaborate spreadsheet tool that calculates my estimated future tax liability up until I am 100 years old.

Features that I hope to include are:

- Federal and Ontario employment related taxes that are accurate, under the current laws, to within $200 of the actual amounts (this is mostly done).
- Inflation adjustments (easy to build in)
- Tax credits for eligible dividends
- Tax credits/deductions for children
- Tax credits for being old (the Age credit)
- Various government subsidies (OAS, GIS and CPP) with the ability to easily run scenarios showing what it's like with and without these subsidies.
- Withdrawal Scenarios to get an idea of the most tax efficient way of drawing down my money.
- A design that allows one to easily tweak the settings and run scenarios.

I might add more stuff but that's already a large order.

Man down!

This tomato plant tipped over during a storm and managed to take out the better half of another tomato plant. Oh well, they were getting really blighty and my best plants survived unscathed.

Image

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:36 pm

The Spreadsheet that ate Manhattan

Let's go through the list of features I wanted in my spreadsheet with an update as to where I am on those features:


- Federal and Ontario employment related taxes that are accurate, under the current laws, to within $200 of the actual amounts (this is mostly done). The amounts being generated are fine for my purposes now
- Inflation adjustments (easy to build in)built in, was easy
- Tax credits for eligible dividends Needs to be added
- Tax credits/deductions for children Needs to be added
- Tax credits for being old (the Age credit)included
- Various government subsidies (OAS, GIS and CPP) with the ability to easily run scenarios showing what it's like with and without these subsidies. half done
- Withdrawal Scenarios to get an idea of the most tax efficient way of drawing down my money. This is designed and partially built
- A design that allows one to easily tweak the settings and run scenarios. There are a lot of variables which I have built to be easily manipulated

I'm hoping to have this thing done by the end of November. My own personality gets in my way because I like to have a very comprehensive model but in reality I need a model that is good enough for the decisions I have to make. Therefore I end up making the model too complicated because I don't feel comfortable unless I look at all the angles.

Other stuff

I visited the state of Florida and had a good time. I secured a nice rental for a couple of weeks and it only cost me $1k CAD which is a steal.

Image


Savings rate is still 65%

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:53 pm

This Journal

I have enjoyed writing this journal because it helps organize my thoughts and allows people to share their perspectives. I enjoy many of the other journals here and some of them are like mini-blogs with excellent writing, regularly occurring updates and other blog-like content. My journal isn't quite up to snuff compared to those journals but I never intended it to be.

My Blog

I've been seriously toying with the idea of starting a blog for awhile. I want to contribute more to the PF and FIRE space while continuing to organize my thoughts and share perspectives through the medium of writing. I might even want to try different mediums, like a podcast.I have no expectations that I'll develop a significant following or be able to make money doing this. I've never been good at selling or marketing, if I were I would have left my salaried job to start my own business long ago. My blog will be a labour of love with the payoff being the satisfaction of contributing something new and useful to my readers. So I've got a domain and have been tinkering with Wordpress. I've even got a couple of posts written. When I am ready to unveil I will post the URL in this Journal.

Work

Lately I've been coming home from work feeling very exhausted. I think the reasons are as follows:
  1. I don't ride my bike to work anymore because I'm 'temporarily' on a huge ERP project which is located very far away and I'd need to bike on a highway to get there. I used to rely on my commute for my daily exercise and I haven't been good at scheduling bike time since I've been on the project.
  2. The project is under -resourced but I am still expected to deliver my requirements. I have become a trainer, writer, system analyst, accountant, project manager and computer programmer at various points during the last 2 years. I am the youngest and least tenured person on the team so it's been a great experience. The variety and workload has made things interesting but on the other hand it's like I'm expected to be this ERP Jack-of-all-trades because the company can't afford to spare more resources.Attempts to pre-emptively solve problems often fail due to lack of resources and accountability. In order to get resources we often have let something publicly fail so that everyone can see there really is a problem.
  3. The company has been on a cost cutting bender and has not been filling positions after people leave. There are now situations where one person is doing a job 3 people used to do only 3 or 4 years ago. I think that they're taking the approach of seeing how far they can push the system before it blows up. Typically no manager in a large organization wants to lose a resource even if they don't need it which is classic empire building and politics of budgeting behaviour. I can see the logic here because the only way you really know who is necessary is by what happens in their absence.
  4. Everyone is really stressed out and it's affecting my mood. It's tough to stay optimistic when everyone is under so much stress because they've been given objectives and deadlines that are basically unattainable.All the project performance data goes through a communications team before it gets to upper management so it's always been cleaned and massaged so the expectation is always there that we're going to achieve things that were decided long ago as part of some initial strategic planning process. People are becoming burned out and prone to outbursts, conflict, passive aggressiveness and other bad behaviours.
  5. Petty office politics. Several people I work with have suddenly decided that they're going to unilaterally assign work to me because they're too busy to do it. I then end up expending energy trying to help or stop them. When you're near the bottom of the totem pole you sometimes have to just play the hand your given and accept that shit rolls downhill.
Investing/Taxation inside baseball ( maybe useful if you're a Canadian)

Savings rate is still 65%

Within a year I'll have burned through all my tax sheltered account space and I'll have to invest in normal taxable accounts. This is definatley a first world problem but I accept your pity anyways ;) . I've been looking at ways of investing in a tax efficient manner. In Canada preferred shares produce an average yield that is about 5%. The yield on preferred is much more reliable then common shares because the companies that issue preferreds are required to pay the advertised dividend (not necessarily on schedule though) and they are required to pay the dividend before the common shareholders see any disbursal. Preferred shares are therefore a hybrid between bonds and commons shares. In Canada the interest on bonds is treated as normal income for tax purposes, this is the worst tax treatment possible. With bond yields being so low right now the after tax yield is usually less then inflation. Preferred shares OTOH pay in dividends which is subject to favourable tax treatment and the yields are, in aggregate, a lot higher then bonds due to the risks. I am thinking of establishing a significant preferred share allocation in my taxable fixed income portoflio so that I can't take advantage of the tax treatment. When it comes to fixed income I weigh more importance to the variability of income then the variability of price so it's a twist on MPT (modern portfolio theory) . MPT equates risk with return variability which includes price variability. Income variability is easier to predict and is more relevant than price variability in the drawdown phase IMHO.

I didn't expect this post to be so long.

Cornerman
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 1:46 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by Cornerman » Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:56 am

Your work environment is all to familiar for me. Work needs to be finished faster with fewer people and most of the time the scope is way too big. Even experienced people will say it's madness. As with a lot of things it's a race to the bottom. Which is bad very bad in the long term.

Nice perspective in income and price variability, I haven't gotten in debt with it. Just focused on expanding the portfolio at a reasonable price.

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:22 pm

Cornerman wrote:Your work environment is all to familiar for me. Work needs to be finished faster with fewer people and most of the time the scope is way too big. Even experienced people will say it's madness. As with a lot of things it's a race to the bottom. Which is bad very bad in the long term.

Nice perspective in income and price variability, I haven't gotten in debt with it. Just focused on expanding the portfolio at a reasonable price.
It's true scope creep is a big problem. Good luck with your portfolio!

Cornerman
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun May 17, 2015 1:46 am
Location: The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by Cornerman » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:52 am

BlueNote wrote:
Cornerman wrote:Your work environment is all to familiar for me. Work needs to be finished faster with fewer people and most of the time the scope is way too big. Even experienced people will say it's madness. As with a lot of things it's a race to the bottom. Which is bad very bad in the long term.

Nice perspective in income and price variability, I haven't gotten in debt with it. Just focused on expanding the portfolio at a reasonable price.
It's true scope creep is a big problem. Good luck with your portfolio!
Thanks !

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:38 pm

2016 Financial Performance

70% savings rate! I never thought I would achieve that but here I am. My goal for 2017 is 75% (Yearly Savings/Take home income).

Free Forever After

I've been devoting some of my time to my blog (www.freeforeverafter.com). I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I don't post frequently but I am trying to craft high quality content.

Home Life

I pay below market rent now because Ontario (Canada) has rent control (basically I'm indexed to inflation). My wife and I are considering moving to a slightly larger unit but it's an outsized bump in rent because we'd have to jump back into a market rate. The building is asking for an above average rate, they're only trump card is that they are careful about screening tenants so the building is mostly nice families.

Investing

Not much has changed I'm still 60/40 stocks/bonds. Stock portion is 20% Canada 40% world. Bond portion is Canadian indexes with a new small twist. I'm investing 2% of my fixed income portfolio with a new P2P lending outfit called LendingLoop. They're the only P2P lending outfit in Canada right now, somehow they got through the very high Canadian regulatory hurdles. They only deal with business borrowers and currently all the loans appear to be un-collaterized high interest type loans. I have to admit that the super high interest rates compelled me to overlook the obvious risks making uncollateralized loans to small business corporations. My back of the envelope analysis, supported by research on P2P lending history in other countries, shows that there is a good chance of making good returns after taxes, fees, defaults and recoveries.

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:41 pm

Not a very good financial advisor

For awhile I thought about switching careers and becoming a financial advisor of some sort. However I don't think I'd be very good at the all important client relations part of the business. I guess I'm blunt and to the point, I also don't think I could deal with all the psychological issues that money creates in people. I think I can identify the issues but I'm not good at resolving them and I don't know if I want to go through the process of getting good.

For example I'm eating breakfast with a guy at work the other day and he mentions that he's looking into a using a Canadian robo-advisor. I told himI'd looked into them and found, at the time , that they were all basically mickey-mouse startup versions of the American variety. He said they were a good idea , I agreed except that in Canada they cost a lot more and provide fewer features then the American systems. I suggested a wait and see approach and perhaps looking into a fee only traditional advisor. He said I didn't understand investing, all advisors try to beat the market and therefore are too risky. I told him that there are advisors who will index his portfolio according to his desires, handle the taxes, optimize his different accounts (RRSP, TFSA, RESP, LIF etc.) , do estate work etc. Registered investment advisor fees are generally tax deductible (in Canada) so the net fee's are often competitive with what a robo offers in Canada right now. It was at this point he started describing some complicated trust scheme he'd cooked up on his own (he's not a financial professional) and I realized that we were not having an intellectual conversation, he felt threatened and was engaging in oneupmanship and I was blindly going along with it. Suddenly I change conversation to a new topic to avoid getting him angry. It must be a rare and valuable skill combination for one person to be able to deal with all these people''s issues and be able to invest the money and do the other financial work competently. Most advisor firms probably have to split to the client relations from the 'real' financial work in order to ensure the requisite skills are available. Outside of the FIRE community there appear to be few who learn all the skills to DIY.

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:28 pm

Weight Loss

I've been on a new diet recently. It's high protein and low carb/sugar. So far I'm down about 10 pounds over two weeks (a lot of which is water). The best part about this diet is that I never feel hungry and don't have to count calories or weigh my food. I can eat as much protein as I want.

Head Hunter part 2

If you go back to around last year of my journal you'll see that I wrote about being head hunted, accepting a job offer and then reneging on that offer to accept a counter offer from my current employer. That decision has been great so far and I'm happy I stayed (got another raise today). However the head hunter called me back a week ago to tell me that the original company I reneged on still wants me. They're like a desperate ex or something :lol: . I asked for some compensation numbers and details out of pure curiosity and the head hunter offered to match my current package. I said "no" in such a firm and decisive manner that the head hunter laughed. I guess it's a good sign that I am getting a market rate. I told her to send me better opportunities and I'd consider going for an interview so I can keep in good form.It goes to show how hot the job market is in my line of work in Toronto right now.

Tomatoes

I got a new bed for Christmas. It's a great big king size bed (Novos bed) made of high quality memory foam and I LOVE it. I moved my old bed into the room I was using to grow seedlings. My future child(ren) will use that bed because it's only 10 years old. I ended up outsourcing the tomato seed growing to a guy I work with who is probably better at it then me. In exchange he gets free Klee tomato seeds.

Transportation


I'll be biking part of the way to work again starting soon. My bike chain rusted like crazy and it looks like I need to replace it. I also need to replace the grip shift at some point. I'm thinking of also getting the wheels trued because I can't get the break pads very close to the wheels without rubbing which means I don't have a lot of leverage on the break levers. I'm thinking of doing all this work myself or perhaps selling the bike and replacing it with a better one from craigslist. Not sure how much it costs to get someone else to do this or perhaps there's some lesser known way of getting cheap bike repairs. Wheel truing isn't something that's easy to do without the right equipment from what I understand.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 5442
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by jennypenny » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:10 pm

How did you decide on which mattress to buy? We're shopping now because we're desperate for a new one. DH picked out one that's $5K, so I'm stalling while I shop around for a better price/something cheaper.

User avatar
ellipsis_has_expired
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:19 pm
Location: Hawaii
Contact:

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by ellipsis_has_expired » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:34 pm

@jennypenny
$5K?? Great Buddha!
I spent a couple hundred on one by a company that actually take old hotel mattresses and completely refurbishes them with new stuffing and fabric. Looked brand new to me.

Aside from finding a recycled mattress store, I hear good things about Amazon foam mattresses.

User avatar
BlueNote
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:26 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: BlueNote's Journal

Post by BlueNote » Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:01 pm

jennypenny wrote:
Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:10 pm
How did you decide on which mattress to buy? We're shopping now because we're desperate for a new one. DH picked out one that's $5K, so I'm stalling while I shop around for a better price/something cheaper.
I researched it like crazy on the Internet without ever setting foot in a store to try out the bed. The foam beds sold in B&M stores, in my area, are almost all priced around 2x what you can buy on the net. The thing with beds is that many suppliers don't provide very good information about the materials and workmanship. Much of the bed industry seems to be based on selling the lowest quality bed possible for the highest price (with a warranty full of weasel clauses). It sort of makes sense because it's something most people only buy every 10-15 years so they're ignorant and by the time they realize the beds got issues it's too late or they lost the warranty or didn't even get a warranty. I've yet to meet anyone ,outside of the Internet, who did the level of research I did to buy a bed. It wasn't a lot of time relative to the amount of time I will spend in the bed. I went with Novos bed because they have extremely good ratings and reviews from a great many sources. They offer a decent warranty and will provide a special topper to make the bed firmer or softer if the version you order isn't the right level of firmness. They also clearly indicate the type of memory foams used and how the bed is constructed. They were a tad more expensive upfront but I'm hoping for a lower total cost of ownership. I've heard good things about other online bed dealers as well like Casper and Tuft & Needle but I went with Novos for the overall reported quality level.

Post Reply