Weekend Reading: Back To The Grind Edition

Holiday’s over. Back to the grind. We spent an amazing 10 days exploring the wilderness on Vancouver Island. It was a much needed break, both for the family and for me personally to recharge my batteries and get the creative juices flowing again. I’m coming back full of ideas to share on this blog and to put into action on some of my other projects.

I read a couple of books on vacation including The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. The book is 10 years old now and some of the content is dated, but the concept of untethering yourself from your 9-to-5 life to follow your passions still holds true.

I’ll admit there’s something I find cringeworthy about Ferris’ schtick but nevertheless the parts that spoke to me pushed the right buttons and got me thinking of ways to accelerate my financial freedom goals. The trouble is that my main sources of income all require my active involvement (writing, consulting, planning) rather than providing passive income streams. It’s not scalable.

That said, I have some ideas around creating a course that solves some financial planning basics such as budgeting and cash flow, debt management, investing for beginners, and a pre-retirement checklist, all templated with spreadsheets and tutorials so that my ongoing involvement is minimal. Stay tuned for more on this project in the near future.

As for our holiday, one of the goals for this trip was to get our kids accustomed to travel. I’m so proud of how our kids handled the flights, car rides, and long hikes through the wilderness. I’m 100% confident that they’ll be perfect travellers on our next big trip to Ireland and Scotland in 2019. I just hope they didn’t get too spoiled by their little taste of luxury travel.

Weekend Reading Back to the grind edition

Plaza Premium Lounge (YVR)

Promo of the Week:

I’ve been using the American Express Cobalt Card for almost a year now and while this card entered the market with a big splash I’m not sure it’s getting deserved consideration as one of the best rewards credit cards on the market.

First of all, you get 5 times points on eats and drinks. That means big earnings on groceries, dining, and at the liquor store. You also get 2 times points on travel and transit, and 1 point everywhere else.

I use it predominantly at grocery stores that accept Amex – so at Save On Foods and Safeway – plus anytime we eat out, and of course when I pick up wine at the liquor store. 5% adds up in a hurry and I like that I can use Points for Purchase to simply erase any travel purchase made on the card (1000 points = $10).

Finally, new sign-ups can earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points in a year when you spend a minimum of $500 per month (2,500 bonus points per month). Use my referral link to sign up and I’ll earn 5,000 Membership Rewards points too!

This Week’s Recap:

On Monday I wrote about boosting retirement savings during your final five working years.

On Thursday I explained how new spending patterns in retirement might impact your plans.

Our Facebook following is growing! Make sure to follow along and join nearly 7,000 Boomer & Echo fans. We’re also on Twitter and Instagram.

Weekend Reading:

The Bank of Canada hiked its key interest rate again by 25 basis points – the fourth such increase since last summer. Time for HELOC borrowers to reign-in and pay down their balances.

Speaking of which, here’s Rob Carrick with a rising rates guide to mortgages, HELOCs, GICs, savings, and more.

Downtown Josh Brown explains the nine essential conditions to commit massive fraud.

Nick Maggiulli shares a brilliant look at how event order and intensity shapes our memories:

“The question is: what beginning, end, and peak market experiences do YOU have and how might they bias your investment decisions in the future?

In the latest edition of the Canadian Couch Potato podcast Dan Bortolotti interviews the Globe and Mail’s Rob Carrick, who has been covering personal finance and investing for 20 years.

PWL Capital’s Justin Bender has put together several sample ETF portfolios for various accounts, along with a step-by-step guide to get started.

CFP Jason Heath explains the right way to unwind your locked-in retirement account.

Is Kylie Jenner a self-made woman? Regardless of what you think, the fact is this 20-year-old built a $900M fortune in less than three years.

Why Australians can’t get enough of Scott Pape, the Barefoot Investor.

Ellen Roseman says, don’t underestimate how long it can take to apply for or renew a Canadian passport.

Finally, I chose experiences over stuff when I decided to book a whale watching tour for the family last week. But it wasn’t just the $500 price-tag that didn’t sit well with me. Click and scroll this Twitter thread for the gory details:

Enjoy what’s left of the weekend, everyone!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Owen @ PlanEasy.ca on July 16, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Looks like an awesome trip! We want to take a family vacation in 2019, maybe out east, and I was ready to sign up for the Chase card but just realized our local grocery store (Metro) doesn’t accept Amex. Without that grocery spending it will actually be hard for me to hit that $500 monthly spend 🙁 I’ll have to look for a workaround.

  2. Gayle Clow on July 17, 2018 at 8:29 am

    If you and your family have any interest in flying hawks, the highlight of our last Ireland visit, you can do it at the 800 year old Ashford Castle, near Cong just north of Galway. Worth every penny. We stayed at the Old Schoolhouse self catering house on the grounds, not the the $800 plus castle hotel.

    • Robb Engen on July 17, 2018 at 9:15 am

      Hi Gayle, incredibly we just saw a video of this posted on Facebook by my wife’s former employer, who’s there with his family. It looked spectacular! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Gayle Clow on July 17, 2018 at 9:28 am

    And you can go on trail rides and shoot skeet and and try out archery and go fishing…just a great place. And Cong is a sweet village – lots of places to eat and ruins to explore. Be sure to have a look at the monks fishing house on the river.

Leave a Comment

Join More Than 10,000 Subscribers!

Sign up now and get our free e-Book- Financial Management by the Decade - plus new financial tips and money stories delivered to your inbox every week.