Weekend Reading: Airbnb Resurgence (and IPO) Edition

Our kids were off school during Thanksgiving week so we took a much needed mini vacation to Canmore / Banff. There were plenty of deals to be found that week and so we splurged on a penthouse condo with a private hot tub (through Airbnb). 

It was so nice to get away from the mundane routine that we’ve found ourselves in over the past seven months. Don’t get me wrong, our daily walk around the community lake is fine but it doesn’t exactly hold a candle to the mountains and lakes in beautiful Kananaskis Country.

Canmore Banff travel

I can see these close-to-home mini vacations becoming more popular in the coming months (years?), and Airbnb is best positioned to capitalize on this trend. I wrote about my experience using Airbnb vs. hotels last year and highlighted my preference to have an entire place to ourselves, with a kitchen and a separate bedroom for the kids. 

Hotels simply aren’t well suited to this type of accommodation, not to mention their other disadvantages for hosting travellers during a pandemic, such as shared entrances, elevators, and dining (forget the breakfast buffet).

Airbnb filed for its long awaited IPO this summer with the intention to go public later this year (rumoured to be in December). After business collapsed for the short-term rental platform during the lockdown stages of the pandemic, Airbnb has experienced a resurgence with weekly revenues hitting new all-time highs. Indeed, Airbnb’s revenues have comfortably surpassed Marriott’s for the first time.

Airbnb hopes to raise $3 billion in its upcoming IPO and achieve a valuation of more than $30 billion. 

While the outlook for the travel industry remains incredibly bleak, the demand for short-term vacation rentals continues to grow and Airbnb stands to benefit the most from this trend.

When you sign up for Airbnb with a referral link, you’ll get up to $95 off your first trip. How it works is you’ll get $75 off your home booking, and then another $20 to use towards an Airbnb experience. An “experience” is an activity hosted be a local expert.

This Week(s) Recap:

I wrote about the growing demand for Green Bonds and RE Royalties’ secured 6% annual return.

In a follow up post from my Canadian Financial Summit interview I addressed the major gaps in your retirement plan.

I’m reading poker star Annie Duke’s latest book, How to Decide. It’s an excellent follow up to her previous work – Thinking in Bets – and is really a hands-on exercise to help you make better decisions in your life. Definitely worth a read.

You can also hear an interview with Annie Duke on a recent episode of the Rational Reminder podcast.

Promo of the Week:

I moved my RRSP and TFSA to Wealthsimple Trade at the beginning of the year. It took some getting used to the mobile-only platform but overall I’m happy with Canada’s first and only zero-commission trading platform.

If you’re tired of paying $9.99 per trade just to buy or rebalance your ETF portfolio then Wealthsimple Trade is definitely worth a look. It’s a no frills platform so don’t expect a ton of performance data and market research. But it works great for me and my one-ETF investing solution (VEQT).

Get a $10 cash bonus and commission-free trades when you open a Wealthsimple Trade account and deposit and trade at least $100. Sign-up today to take advantage of this offer.

You can also read my detailed Wealthsimple Trade review here.

Weekend Reading:

The newly revamped Aeroplan program takes flight on November 8th and the Credit Card Genius team explains what you need to know about the transition.

In a surprising development, WestJet is now offering cash refunds for flights cancelled during the COVID outbreak.

Financial author Farnoosh Torabi explains why and how she plans to die with an empty bank account.

No, seniors aren’t moving out in droves. Jason Heath explains the retirement downsizing myth and its potential impact on the housing market.

Rob Carrick looks at the cost in money, isolation and family stress when seniors choose to remain in their own private homes.

A guest post on the Blunt Bean Counter blog explains the pitfalls of two common strategies to try to avoid probate fees.

Jonathan Chevreau shares strategies for Canadians who are retiring without a defined benefit pension plan.

A great piece from Morgan Housel on why incredible progress that occurs slowly over time is less attention grabbing than a one-time disaster:

“Good news always takes time, often too much to even notice it happened.

But bad news?

Bad news is not shy or subtle. It comes instantly, so fast that it overwhelms your attention and you can’t look away.”

Rob Carrick explains how the cost of playing it safe as an investor is plain as day.

Of Dollars and Data blogger Nick Maggiulli explains why we should own bonds even with rates so low.

Millionaire Teacher Andrew Hallam also shares why you should still invite bonds to your portfolio party.

PWL Capital’s Ben Felix is back with another Common Sense Investing video. This time he shares the truth about day trading and your odds of success:

On that note, can advisors pick winning funds in advance? An overwhelming body of evidence suggests not.

A great idea from behavioural finance expert Shlomo Benartzi about reinventing the employer retirement savings match, framing it as a fixed-dollar rather than a percentage:

“Psychologically, it’s easier to forgo a “6% match” than to pass up “$1,200.” And the fixed-dollar approach could be particularly helpful for lower-income workers, for whom the set amount would represent a larger share of salary.”

Larry Bates explains why the greatest opportunity for retirees to make their savings last longer may be to reduce their investment fees. Indeed, a 2% fee on a $1M portfolio can be a retiree’s largest annual expense.

Most traditional money advice is built on shame, often packaged as tough love and personal responsibility. What if we tried empathy?

Retirement expert Fred Vettese says that since 2003, Canadians would have been better off renting than buying.

Michael James takes a thorough look at variable percentage withdrawals for retirement spending.

Finally, here’s an eye-opening review of a monstrosity known as the 2021 Cadillac Escalade – king of the oversized SUVs.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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3 Comments

  1. Gulamhussein Alnoor on October 24, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    Hi , is there any cost to open or close account? . Thanks. Alnoor

    • Robb Engen on October 25, 2020 at 10:26 am

      Hi Alnoor, which account are you referring to – Airbnb? Wealthsimple Trade? In both cases there is no fee for opening for closing your account.

      • darren john bonk on October 25, 2020 at 10:48 am

        I know its probably not your fault but when I click on Carricks link to the Globe and Mail I have to buy a subscription to read it. Grrrrr

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