Million Dollar Journey

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Building Wealth through Saving and Investing

Working after Retirement, Minimalist Principles, Amazon Student Prime, and more!

In his ‘best of’ series for the summer, The Blunt Bean Counter discusses about the One Big Happy Family – Until We Discuss the Will.

It is likely that at least a few retired people will want or need to return to the workforce at some point; Canadian Finance Blog writes about How to Go Back to Work if You’re Already Retired.

Canadian Couch Potato demonstrates the significance of knowing your investment risk tolerance through Do You Really Know Your Risk Tolerance?.

Sustainable Personal Finance offers multiple reasons for Why You Should Consider Adopting Minimalist Principles.

Clutter is probably a concern in many homes. Michael James on Money touches the topic through his post on Stuff Tax.

Practice makes perfect is an adage; Boomer and Echo shows How Automation And Habit Combine To Produce Amazing Results.

The Retire Happy blog highlights why Teaching kids to save with a piggy bank is bound to stand them in good stead.

Maybe, you have wondered whether an Amazon membership is useful; Young and Thrifty arrives with timely help for students by asking: Amazon Student Prime – Is It Worth It?.

Canadian Dream took a pay cut but found that the take-home pay only diminished nominally: 10% Less Pay, But $8 Less on My Paycheque.


Ending the Mortgage Paydown vs. Investing Debate

This post is from Mark Seed who runs My Own Advisor.

A huge debt can kill your retirement plan.   This is not news.   While servicing debt, you can’t save very much money.   You can’t invest what you don’t save.  Taking on a mega-mortgage could be very stressful for young Canadians.  I should know.   We took on a hefty mortgage when we purchased our current home.

I’ve also read some recent counter-arguments to paying down the mortgage.   Mortgage rates are cheap right now and have been for years, this implies debt is “easy” to pay back and you don’t need to rush to do it.  Folks in favour of investing tout you can earn a better rate of return from investing than the guaranteed rate of return that comes from making your mortgage payment.

Here’s our approach – we do both – we kill debt and save for retirement, every month.


I have no idea what the future holds.

On reducing mortgage debt

  • We are being fiscally responsible, with our biggest liability.
  • We are reducing risk of our human capital, that is, should we lose any ability to earn an income.
  • We are taking advantage of low-borrowing costs, which may not always be available.

On investing today for tomorrow

  • We are maximizing one of the greatest assets the investment world offers, time in the market.
  • We are leveraging our current human capital, to make investments in our future selves.
  • We are increasing our savings, for any unexpected events.

As far as I’m concerned, we’ll have much more financial flexibility when we’re debt-free.   Being debt-free will also remove any emotional burden I feel owing our bank money, something that’s difficult to quantify.  Diversification principles are also important to me, which means I prefer using Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs), Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), and other accounts to build wealth instead of locking up all assets within these four walls.   I have a financial philosophy of trying to do a few things, very well, instead of focusing too much on just one thing.  I think most Canadians would benefit from killing their mortgage debt while investing for the retirement.

In closing I believe most sound (and successful) investment portfolios are a balancing act of managing risk for reward.   Most Canadians would be best served by managing risk (reducing debt) and striving for reward (building retirement savings), becoming proficient in each.

What’s your take on the mortgage vs. investing debate?

 About the Author:  This post is from Mark Seed who runs My Own Advisor.  You can join the 2,500+ Twitter followers of My Own Advisor here and join the 40,000+ monthly visitors by subscribing to Mark’s site



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Recent Comments

  • SST: Clutter is also cognitively exhausting, thus perhaps resulting in poor investment decisions = even more money...
  • My Own Advisor: @Ed, no cop-out here. What I’m saying is, I don’t feel there is a clear winner for most...
  • Michael James: Having to go back to work after retiring sounds scary. It seems highly unlikely I would make as much...
  • Cashinstinct: Math cannot be shown 100% sure because you cannot know: 1) FUTURE interest rates on residential...
  • SST: “My point is – don’t you think it is better to do the planning than just to say “do a bit of...
  • Ed Rempel: Hi Mark, Don’t you think it is a cop-out to just say “do both”? Isn’t that like a...
  • S: I also discount 7% off each real estate asset for sales commission and sales cost in calculating net asset value....
  • Brian: Not sure if you’ve updated this on any newer pages; however, clients can email Questrade...
  • My Own Advisor: @SST, thanks for the links above. I would agree, many underestimate the cost of mortgages and home...
  • SST: re: “If a person is not a disciplined investor or is not comfortable investing in the stock market, then...

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