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American FIRE vs Canadian FIRE

Images by Ali Tawfiq (left/top) Frank McKenna (right/bottom) on Unsplash
If your FIRE-podcast listening experience has been anything like mine, you've probably learned far too much about how great America is to live for next to nothing, invest with low MERs and buy real estate in. And yet you've probably also heard that they have over a billion different account types making retirement options very complex and of course the elephant in the room: healthcare. Today, we're going to compare these two countries FIRE and see who has an edge on one another. It will of course be a completely biased article since I'm Canadian and I want my country to win :P Okay let's see how we do. Cost of Living (COL)In the US, COL ends up being cheaper for a number of consumer staples, food and gasoline being the two prime examples. Simply put, goods just cost a lot less in the US and us Canadians see the difference everytime we travel south of the border. Even though everything from iPads…
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My Phone Bit the Dust - Another 2-Year Contract??

When Canadians drop their phones in a public toilet and race home to try the rice-trick (and it fails because why would something everybody says works ever work for you!?) they get this compulsive urge to replace the newly coronavirus-ridden device with a brand-spanking new financed phone with a 2-year contract. 
That contract provided a $0 brand new phone... what's not to love?*
It's never zero dollars. You've made a terrible decision.
To give you an idea of how lucrative this cell phone + plan bundling business is, I went ahead and looked at my local mall to see how many stores sell phones and plans. It's a Cadillac Fairview mall so it's quite big with 120 stores (for comparison the Eaton Centre in Toronto is 235 stores and the West Edmonton Mall is 800+). It may (or may not) surprise you that of the 120 locations to be leased, 18 of these locations are betting they can sell you a cell phone + plan, or a whopping 15% of the mall. That's crazy! With retail stores…

How to Calculate your SR (Savings Rate)

** As usual, hello everybody! Blog update at the bottom for my regular readers! **

A Savings Rate (SR) is the act of putting a certain percentage of money into savings or investment account to be used for a purpose down the road in your life, such as retirement or emergencies. This can be a high-interest savings account, an RRSP or TFSA, etc. The higher your savings rate, the earlier you can achieve FIRE. That means everybody in the FIRE movement is obsessed with calculating their SR.

So how on earth do you calculate a SR? Nobody can agree on one formula for some reason:

"Can I include my mortgage payments?" 
"I save money for my kids RESPs so that must count, right?" 
"Do I calculate the gains on my stock options at work?" 
"I didn't get ice cream on the way home from work.. does that count?"
As you can see people have a hard time wrapping their head around a concept of putting money into a piggy bank. The question keeps coming up every other d…

5 Compelling Reasons to Keep the FIRE Burning

Why do you need to stay with the FIRE movement? The same reason you need diet and exercise. It's good for you and you know you should be doing it. Financial literacy and frugality are two important components of any financial success, not too mention your happiness. Below I have 5 reasons you should be staying true to your FIRE dreams.

The Coronavirus is on FIRE!

It goes without saying that COVID-19 sucks. It sucks big time.

People are getting sick with a small percentage of this bunch dying from the virus. Factories in China are being shut down, people are losing their jobs, the illness is spreading across the oceans into North America as we speak, the US economy is getting hit already and that's only the beginning as the giant public companies miss their forecasts and the investors and analysts alike will pummel the share price accordingly. Such is being a passive index investor.

7 Simple Steps to Investing for Canadians on FIRE

You've been thinking about investing for a while but you've been held back by several excuses. Some of these are legitimate (everybody says to do this or that... but is that right?) and some of them are pathetic (I'm not sure right now is a good time to buy.... just look at the news!). I have some very simple advice for you:


Fuck the news and fuck the piles of noise everybody is "adding" to the "conversation." 
It's simple, you already know you need to invest and you probably have the cash sitting somewhere else collecting a garbage interest rate. The more complex you make it, the more easily these websites, robo advisors, banks and mutual fund companies can profit from you. I have nothing to gain from you - so I have this really easy step process because I haven't been bought to make it more complex or sell you additional garbage. No must-use language from advertisers, no paywall and no book. It's almost like I want to do this. You'll see…

The Requirements of FIRE

I don't want to gatekeep the FIRE movement or anything... but.... okay well you'll read this article and realise I really kinda-sorta want to but for hopefully altruist reasons. 

The reason for such gatekeeping is to fix the blurred line between what the FIRE movement is and what is isn't. The blurred line is caused by the mainstream blogs and podcasts and the million niches within them are actually watering down the FIRE movement for their own marketing and branding purposes in an effort to increase their sales. Hard things in life are hard to do so let's lower the bar and make it easier for everybody else who can't achieve hard things and profit as a result. Fun!

With that I would like to dispel a few myths, crack a few heads and position the FIRE movement as a IN or OUT policy without much of a revolving door. While I think everybody has a unique circumstance when it comes to their personal finance and lifestyle optimization, there are easy and hard requirements t…