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Showing posts from February, 2021

2021: The Year of FOMO

2021 has been one hell of a year so far. As a savvy FIREwalker, I’ve watched mostly from afar the complete shit show that is the stock market. It’s like a wrestling match with Reddit on one side and hedge funds on the other. The rich gal hosting the fight is ARK ETF’s fund manager and all us index investors are just chilling in the premium lounge over the raging crowd of FOMO investors. But then out of nowhere, Bitcoin jumps into the fight with the steel chair!? What the fuck is going on?? It’s only February! Okay, that metaphor is more funny than it is truthful but you get my point. What a wild ride. Volatility is 100% part of investing in the stock market but who knew the ride would take such a visual and personal turn in 2021 (and beyond). This will continue to be the case in the future, simply because more forums like /r/wallstreetbets will pop up and retail investors will continue to get news coverage as wild swings happen. The next generation is ready to buy tickets to the next m

Losing Friendships to Your FIRE

Okay, so it goes something like this. You discover FIRE. You poke around different blogs, podcasts, mainstream news articles, etc. You’re pretty pumped. Look at all these people optimizing! You’ve never learned this much about investing. ETFs are the future. A few days, weeks, or months pass. “Whoa, who knew phone bills could be this cheap? You’ve got to tell your buddy Gagandeep! And Melissa would love this too, she’s always complaining of ‘never enough’ money. I bet they want to learn all the things I’ve just learned! I have so many resources! I’m so much happier optimizing, I’m sure they will be too. I can’t wait to tell them so we can all get better at the same time!!!” And so you’ve crossed the line with that very statement. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to you at the moment, your friends are actually going to be highly repelled by your helpful information for the following reasons: Your personal growth is not for them to actually care about; they’ll nod approvingly and say things l

After the Job

“Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions. An overachieving perfectionist who travelled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress. When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be able to be happy and to do what he loved most – music. He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness. He could now not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace. Tim was not made for the business machine he found himself.” Tim Bergling, better known as Avicii, died in 2018 by suicide. Above is the family’s public address concerning media reports of his death. When optimizing your life using FIRE, you’ll eventually be caught in a tangle of culture-shattering beliefs and loneliness. Why? Because what we in the FIRE community don't realize is that the job we hold or the career we’re snubbing is a much more important factor in our lives than we’d like to admit.* Tim used his talent for making music in o

The FIRE Power of VEQT

If you’ve read my translation of JL Collins ‘The Simple Path to Wealth’, you’ll know I highlight several funds that mimic his advice but for Canadians. The last fund I recommend is VEQT or its bond holding brothers and sisters (VGRO, VBAL and such). For the purposes of simplicity, I choose Vanguard funds for myself and everything I write about when talking investments, but feel free to replace VEQT with XEQT (Blackrock iShares) or VGRO with ZGRO (BMO). It makes no difference to me. I will say that until Vanguard showed up, BMO and iShares had dramatically higher MERs on ultra-similar funds with different names. They only created those funds out of competitive necessity, not to offer their customers a better deal. They are followers (and not leaders), and for that reason I choose Vanguard. Home Bias Makes Sense When thinking about VEQT, I want you to forget the holdings and think of the broader, longer-term picture. According to Vangaurd's informed* opinion, a Canadian investing in