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Ask the Readers: Favorite Topics?

I don’t usually post on the weekends because most of the time the readers are out doing other things besides reading personal finance blogs.  However, last Saturdays post about your thoughts on sponsored reviews generated a bit of feedback, so I’m going to ask another question today.

What are your favorite personal finance topics that you like to read about?  Not just on Million Dollar Journey, but on other blogs as well.  Personally, I enjoy reading about investing, stock trading, super frugal saving strategies, and ways to generate more income.  I also enjoy reading net worth postings and articles that show the personal opinion of the blogger.

I look forward to hearing your opinion in the comments.

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FT About the author: FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • FrugalTrader July 14, 2007, 2:50 pm

    .. I can see the tumble weeds passing by ..
    :)

    tumbleweed

  • Jon / BlogThot.com July 14, 2007, 4:02 pm

    Well, it’s a Saturday, and I’m reading a personal finance blog! It’s raining, so that’s my excuse for not going out and doing other things.

    I don’t know if this falls quite into the personal finance category, but my favorite topic to read about is how someone’s made it big. It can be the Google guys, Facebook, or many others, but I find them more inspiring than less exciting articles about how to pick the stock that is 0.0001% better than all the others.

  • Daniel M, July 14, 2007, 7:30 pm

    These days I like reading about building houses, especially green options to building a house. If you encounter links that makes financial sense to go green it would probably interest your readers.

  • FrugalTrader July 14, 2007, 8:42 pm

    Great idea Daniel. As we’ve been doing research while building this home, we have thought up some ways to be more “green” and save some cash at the same time.

  • Q Cash July 14, 2007, 10:03 pm

    FT

    I am taking the plunge into “leveraged investments”.

    I had the bank update my HELOC amount (something I should have probably done last year, but because of my 2006 returns, they haven’t questioned my employment income significantly :-)

    The reason I am taking this approach is because there are a lot of income/cash flow funds I want to get into, but because of the way the market has faired, I am going to take a huge capital gains hit when I transfer my funds around. To counter this, I suggested to my wife that we buy the stocks/trusts/funds we would have bought had we sold all our other funds.

    This way, we won’t miss the boat on the funds we want to buy while waiting to sell our other funds next year.

    If you could post some more topics on leveraged investments, cash flow and income trusts, etc. I would appreciate it.

    Thoughts?

    Q

  • FrugalTrader July 14, 2007, 11:27 pm

    Q, are you sure you want to get into leveraged investments at this stage of your retirement? I would think that retirement is the time that you would want to get out of leveraged investments. What kind of tax bracket will you be in to justify using leverage for the tax break?

  • Q Cash July 15, 2007, 8:22 am

    I will give you an example.

    One of my accounts has some growth funds, higher MERs that I would like, but has made decent growth. My capital gains hit if I sold it all now to swap for the ETFs and Income Trust I want would be about $70,000.

    I would rather hold onto those assets, buy the ones I want with borrowed money now and then spend the next couple of years selling off a little a time to minimize the hit.

    My current assets have allowed me a decent cash flow, but I could be doing better on the cash flow side without spending more money (i.e. switching some to REITs, a couple of income trusts, etc…).

    Besides, as I told you before, if I make a significant mistake, it is better to do it now when I can get back into the workforce if need be :-)

    But I look at it this way:

    Let’s say I want to buy $200,000 worth of securities right now that match my needs. If I borrow the money to do it, and I need to get the money later, I can sell some of the others to do so.

    This is not buying on margin, this is simply borrowing against what I have to buy what I want.

    I am going to work on it gradually.

    Q

  • FrugalTrader July 15, 2007, 9:16 am

    Q, I have no doubt that you know what’s best for your situation. After all, you’ve built up a huge net worth at a very young age. :)

    Another thought, instead of leveraging and purchasing all your ETF’s at once, how about purchasing the ETF’s as you receive the funds from selling off your mutual funds slowly? That way, you’ll pay off your capital gains slowly, but avoid the exposure of leverage at a rising interest rate environment. But that’s just me being cautious. :) Let me know what you decide, I think we can all learn something from your experience.

  • Rod Payne July 15, 2007, 4:22 pm

    I like reading about how “regular folks” are succeeding. I read Fortune and they regularly do profiles about the top echelon of success stories. However, I prefer to see how mainstream Canadians are building their nest eggs. People who know how to get more use of their dollar (without rinsing baggies, thank you very much) are my role models.

    Thanks to web message boards and blogs, I’ve learned how Joe-average Canadian is using income trusts and the Smith Maenouvre. I’ve seen examples of people who are working a long term plan, either in Year 1, Year 15 or Year 45.

    I don’t need to read about people who are succeeding by working 80 hours per week – the way I figure it, anyone working 80 hours per week would have to put effort into NOT suceeding. Canadian Business profiled a couple that paid off a mortgage in something like 3 years. Good for them, but why bother? It’s not a realistic plan for most people.

    No, show me the people who are earning typical livings, who are massing decent nest eggs, and who are making wise decisions to grow those eggs. That’s what keeps my interest.

  • tom July 15, 2007, 4:43 pm

    I like reading about asset allocation, which economies/sectors are the next area of interest, economic cycles/market timing etc. Tax saving strategies and other money saving tips are always good!

  • Gates VP July 15, 2007, 8:56 pm

    I guess that I’m the weird one here.

    I like to hear about what the heck we’re doing to make money, how we’ve come to our decisions about our lifestyle and how we aligned our beliefs with our lifestyle with our money.

    For example, I love my job, if I won 10 million dollars tomorrow, I’d still be doing “something like it”. And there are lots of reasons behind that. I like hearing about theese “alternate lifestyles” b/c I like hearing about how people have made their lives “happy”.

  • The Financial Blogger July 16, 2007, 7:52 am

    Whoa! another post on a Saturday! FT, you will create expectations if you continue to post on the weekend ;)

    I like to read about different ways to make money. I really like to read about opinion on theses different techniques as well. I find quite interesting to learn about how people make money.

    As Rod says, I do not need to know how a person works 80 hours a week, I rather find out how people that are working regular hours find sideline projects to make more money.

  • Ed Rempel July 19, 2007, 1:52 am

    I love to read about financial myths – things that most people believe that are not actually true. Even better is when the opposite is actually true! This is why I wrote about Ken Fisher’s book.

    It’s about figuring out what strategies really work, instead of those that just sound like they should work.

    Ed

  • Ed Rempel July 19, 2007, 2:04 am

    Rod,

    Just a comment about your post: “I’ve learned how Joe-average Canadian is using income trusts and the Smith Maenouvre.”

    This is an example of how “Joe-average Canadian” is doing things really inefficiently and will lose their next CRA audit.

    I can never understand why most people want to get distributions from their investments in the Smith Manoeuvre. I can only assume it comes from not understanding the SM.

    Having an income trust pay you a dividend is the OPPOSITE of the Smith Manoeuvre. If you don’t pay 100% of the dividend onto the investment loan (eg. you pay some onto your mortgage), then you are converting your tax deductible loan into a NON deductible loan. With the SM, we are trying to do the opposite – convert non-deductible debt into deductible debt.

    Done properly, you can usually cover all interest costs by readvancing the principal from your mortgage payments, so having any income at all coming from the investments is unnecesaary. The huge SM benefit comes from compounded growth which you only get by reinvesting 100% of the dividends and distributions.

    Oops.. I guess this is not the topic of this blog, but I was just shocked by your comment, Rod.

    Ed

  • FrugalTrader July 19, 2007, 11:21 am

    Ed, just to clarify, using purely dividends to pay down the non-ded mortgage will not, to my understanding, convert the deductible loan to a non-ded loan. However, if the distribution includes a ROC portion, that’s where things get tangly.

  • Rod Payne July 19, 2007, 11:40 am

    Sigh….he perils of the internet. Ed, you mistook what I meant. I just pulled those two examples out of my head, without intending to link them. I probably should have written it as “how people are using income trusts and how people are using the Smith Maneouvre”.

    All the same, even the way it is written, why would you assume that after saying that I learned how people are using those two items would you assume I intended a positive link betwen the two and not a negative link? As you’ve pointed out, proper use of the Smith involves staying away from income trusts. Remember, I did say I _learned_.

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