I am not an investment advisor.
Let's just get that out of the way at the outset, because I don't want anyone to think I can (or will) tell them which investment vehicles to use to make their money grow.
I can, however, tell you where NOT to put your money.
Almost any investment can be good, given the right circumstances.
But here's the one investment that's NEVER wise:
The investment you don't fully understand.
This is my one, cardinal rule when it comes to putting money aside for the future: never get into an investment if you don't 100% understand how it works.
I got to thinking about this over the past week, with all the excitement around GameStop and the hedge funds being hoisted by their own petard. If you're not familiar with the story, check out this excellent article that explains what happened in layman's terms.
A lot of people who know little to nothing about shorting stock, or stock market investing in general, have jumped on the bandwagon that's...
Every year at this time, I like to take a step back, and do an audit of sorts on my financial activities for the year gone by.
This is something everyone should do at least once per year. It doesn't have to be in December - you could be reading this article at any time of year, and there's no time like the present.
The only requirement is to set aside enough time so that you can properly assess everything. A regular two-day weekend can be sufficient. It's tempting to skim past the uncomfortable parts of this process, but that's where the most important lessons lie. If you don't allow enough time to work through this process, you won't get the full benefit from it.
Here's the simple, three-step process that I follow each year; I hope you find it as helpful as I do!
Did you make any major purchases, such as a house, a car or other large asset? Or did you sell any of these large assets?...
'Tis the season for spending.
It's easy to get swept up in all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday excitement, and spend money you might later regret spending.
We've all done it - but that's cold comfort when you're staring at your credit card bill in January.
Here's a bit of advice from someone who's been there, learned a valuable lesson and mended her ways.
I hope you'll take it to heart.
It’s a great day for retailers – it marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season, and theoretically the day their bottom line turns from red (representing a net loss) to black (representing a profit). Yes, it’s true – most retail businesses only break even and begin to turn a profit in the last two months of the year. They depend on consumers to go on a spending frenzy in those last 34 or so days in order to balance their books.
Their advertising will try to convince you that it’s also a great day for you, the consumer, with sales galore and deals unparalleled at any other time of the year. But the truth is, for many people, it’s quite the opposite. Black Friday brings out the worst in many of us, both in terms of our social behaviour and our spending habits. (And for the purpose of this discussion, I’m including Cyber Monday as well).
At this time of year, we are bombarded with flyers, radio and television ads, not to...
“I need that!”
How often have you found yourself saying this, or some variation of it, when you see some gadget, appliance or toy for the first time, whether it be in your neighbour’s kitchen, on TV or on social media?
But we don’t really mean that we need that item. What we mean is that we want it. Sometimes we are willing to admit this, and we’re using the expression in a joking way. But sometimes, we end up convincing ourselves that it is an essential purchase.
I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted to start drinking celery juice every day, for health reasons (I know – don’t ask). I quickly discovered that making celery juice with a regular blender is a major pain. Suddenly, I needed a juicer. Guess what? That appliance has been sitting on a shelf for the past year, unused, and I’m now looking to sell it. (If you know anyone who’s looking for one, let me know!).
How does this sort of thing happen? Well, I have a couple...
Are you feeling more introspective than usual these days?
It’s been said in various places, including social media, that the COVID-19 pandemic is making us all take stock of our lives, both individually and as a society. For many of us, it’s forced us to slow down the frenetic activity that we pack into our days. Not being able to gather together with our friends and extended families has given us extra time to re-connect with ourselves (whether we wanted to or not!)
For some, this has been a welcome opportunity to go inward, and to really ponder whether we like the trajectory we are on. I’ve heard a number of people say they want to make changes going forward – some minor, but some quite significant.
Spending more time at home is leading some to rediscover the joy of home-cooked meals eaten together as a family. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few new bakeries open up when all this is over, if the amazing photos of sourdough bread, cakes, pies and...
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