Why You Should Never Trust A Real Estate Listing

DON’T MISS THE OBVIOUS WHEN LOOKING TO BUY OR SELL REAL ESTATE   Whether you are buying or selling a house with a real estate agent or for sale by owner (FSBO) NEVER trust a real estate listing. I’ve invested in real estate since I was 21 years old when I bought my first house and a second at age 24. I’m not in the game of real estate to become a monster property millionaire but what I do know is that not all real estate listings are created equal. Finding the best real estate agent that will work for you isn’t an easy task but when you do remember that none of us are perfect and mistakes can happen. As a homeowner or buyer beware of any errors that could cost you thousands of dollars over the long haul once you move into your new home or sell your house. The last thing you want is your house sitting on the market for months because of en error no one is catching but potential buyers. If you want to add value to your house either you lower the price to gain attention or you add renovation/unique home perks to […]

How To Find The Best Real Estate Agent For You

THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IS FLOODED WITH AGENTS READY TO SERVE YOU   Finding the perfect fit real estate agent to work for you and your housing needs is not a task to take lightly. You want a real estate agent that knows all about the latest real estate trends and who will guide you in the right direction. Find a real estate agent who will be just as excited as you are to see a Sold sign as they are to close a deal. A happy client who sends referrals and returns as a customer in the future means the agent went above and beyond. You want this real estate agent working for you, but how do you find them? Whether you are a first time home buyer or have had your feet dipped in the real estate market don’t rush to find a real estate agent. Taking the time to hand-pick the best real estate agent in your area that works best with you is key to your buying and selling success. Not everyone wants to hire a real estate agent as they choose to go it alone with for sale by owner or buying a house privately. […]

Buy the least expensive house in the most expensive neighbourhood

BE PICKY WHEN HOUSE SHOPPING   Typically we like to buy quality when we shop which included shopping for our home. This is why we scoured every available neighbourhood around our city for the best deal. The only thing we don’t like is paying full-price which meant we had our work cut out for us. Thankfully, it worked out in our favour. When buying a house you want to make sure that if you are buying a $400,000 house that the neighbourhood matches the price tag or you might struggle to sell as fast as you’d like down the road. This is why we hear over and over not to over-renovate but then again a smaller house in a bigger neighbourhood might have more luck finding a buyer than a house that costs far more than smaller surrounding homes. Today I have an email from a guy who is a first-time home-buyer with his wife and wants to know if they should spend the money and get the biggest house they can or a smaller house but in a more expensive area. Note: If you have a question for me please send me a detailed email similar to below so […]

Is It Better To Buy Life Insurance or Fund Your Retirement?

WHICH CHOICE IS BEST FOR YOUR SITUATION?   There is only so much money to go around right? We all have things competing for our hard-earned dollars. Often we have debt, medical expenses, food, shelter, kids, and a hundred other things that all require some amount of money to keep them afloat. But when it comes to protecting yourself by buying life insurance or funding a retirement that is 30 years away, the decision on which is choice makes more financial sense deserves some deeper thought.   Buy Life Insurance Or Invest For Your Future?   If you have kids, a spouse, a mortgage, or other financial commitments you need to ensure that money is available in the event that you unexpectedly die. Where would this come from? Well, a life insurance policy is the best choice if you are under the age of 50 and don’t have liquid money to cover your debts and care for your loved ones. Perhaps the best way to consider the need for life insurance is actually based on your age. For this reason we will go through some typical stages of life, and determine what if any, life insurance should be purchased. You […]

Saving almost 50% of his Gross Income is no longer a dream

YES THAT’S BEFORE TAXES   In my February 2015 net worth update post I mentioned I was saving approximately 50% of my gross income – my goal for 2015 is 45%. The reason I set this goal is my expenses in life right now are likely the lowest they will ever be for the rest of my life (not married, no kids, modest house), so it’s important to focus on savings while the going is good. I suspect that my salary will increase at a modest rate for the next few decades; however, my expenses will increase at a higher rate. The key thing about my savings rate is a lot of it is a result of preemptive planning. Below I’ll tackle each piece of my expenses and discuss tips and ideas on how you can trim these down in your own budget.   Government deductions   The government seems to always have his hand in our pocket. This expense is without question my largest, which requires some careful planning to ensure I’m not needlessly paying too much. The main focus of any budget conscious taxpayer should be to legally minimize taxes in a cost-effective manner. As a chartered accountant […]

Statistics and Traps Every Investor Needs to Know

Statistics and Pitfalls for Investors   In the second part of this two-part post on independent investing, we will look at 3 critical investment statistics and the 3 biggest pitfalls to individual investing. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, jump back to post one to learn about what investing on your own can do for you. When selecting between the various investment options there are a few key metrics or statistics that are important to keep in mind. These form the foundation for any good comparison between investment assets. Personally, I like to use the filter tool available through my online trading platform to sort by the statistics below. Doing so helps me gauge what appropriate values are and to immediately weed out the less attractive options. Metric #1 – Expenses & the Expense Ratio (Mutual Funds and ETFs)   Possibly the most important investment metric or statistic is the expense ratio. Expenses directly eat into your return each and every year. The expense ratio is the easiest way to determine how much extra you are paying to own an investment.  Any mutual fund or ETF will have a specific expense ratio that shows how much […]

Great investors know the best financial advisor is YOU

A Beginning Investors’ Story   Investing on your own can seem scary. The world of finance appears to be, at least in the beginning, a complex maze of numbers and movements, leaving new investors wary of going at it alone. I used to think of the finance world as a bunch of slick-haired Pat Riley types yelling ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ across a crowded room. Heck, even a stock ticker bar has confusing hints of the matrix if you don’t know what you are looking for. The good news is, becoming an investor isn’t half as scary as it seems with a bit of education and a splash of gumption. The really good news is that investing on your own can save you a ton of money over the course of your lifetime without adding additional risk. In a post-pension world there may not be anything more worthy of your time. So in this two-part series we will cover what investors need to know before they start, the 3 most important investment statistics, and 3 critical pitfalls to avoid, but first a quick story. When I began investing on my own I was only 13 and had yet to develop that […]

How I plan to retire at 28 using dividend income

RETIRE ON DIVIDEND INCOME   I’m Mr. Captain Cash and yes I have this absurd, unrealistic, or impossible dream by conventional standards of retiring before my 28th birthday on my dividend income.   How do I plan to retire so early?   To retire before my 28th birthday I intend on creating an investment portfolio that will generate $20,000 in annual dividend income covering my annual expenses. Once my annual dividend income exceeds my annual expenses it will mean I’m financially independent and able to “retire.” I used quotations around the word retire because I will not retire by conventional standards. To me the word retire or becoming financial independent means I will be able to spend the majority of my time the way I intend to as I am no longer reliant upon my work pay cheque to cover my expenses. For myself this means not working or only working a couple of days a week when I have kids to watch them grow up or the flexibility to travel for six months. In a nut shell it is to have the freedom to do whatever I want to do each morning I wake up. I always like to […]