Weekend Reading: Half-Marathon Edition

Two years ago I decided to get serious about my physical health and so I took up running. My wife was already a fitness junkie and avid runner. It was time for me to get moving. I downloaded one of those ‘Couch to 5K’ running apps for my phone and started running three days a week. Since then I’ve entered a couple of 10K races, and this year I decided to step it up and enter my first half-marathon race.

I’ve trained for the past 16-weeks, logging nearly 570 kilometres along the way. I know all the hard work has already paid off with improved fitness and health. I’ve also finally ‘caught-up’ with my wife so we’ll get to run the same distance for the first time at a race. Our goal is to finish the race in 1:50:00 so we’ll be pushing each other to get our personal best times.

We’ll find out this Sunday at the Calgary Marathon where we’ll be competing in the Centaur Subaru 21.1KM at 7:00 a.m. Wish us luck!

Echo Runner

You know I’m taking this new hobby seriously because I’ve started a new blog – Echo Runner – to share everything about my running addiction and, like with this blog, to hold myself accountable to achieve my running and fitness goals. I even managed to sneak in a money-related post on how much running costs (because of course I did!).

I’d love it if you’d follow along, whether you’re into running and fitness or just want to check out another side of your favourite personal finance blogger. I’m also on Twitter @EchoRunnerBlog.

Weekend Reading: Half-Marathon Edition

This Week’s Recap:

On Monday I shared my financial freedom update and was pleased to see that I’m still on target for freedom 45.

On Wednesday Marie listed five ways to prepare your executor before you die.

And on Friday I shared how I manage to find the time to work 9-5 and run a successful side business.

Over on Rewards Cards Canada I explained why you don’t want to leave home without first getting travel medical coverage.

Weekend Reading:

Karen Wallace at Morningstar explains exactly how a 25-year-old with no savings and making $40,000 per year can end up with $80,000 by age 35. It can be done, folks.

I also liked how Des Odjick broke this down at Half Banked. She smartly says you can’t just save your way to retirement. You need to invest your way to retirement.

Investing trump savings thanks to the power of compound interest. Million Dollar Journey explains how compounding returns make you rich. I noticed this in my own portfolio as market returns beat my savings contributions for the first time.

Real estate investing is a subject we don’t often tackle on this blog, mainly for lack of first-hand experience. Here’s how blogger Paula Pant has built an eight-home rental property empire.

How are millennials countering a precarious job market and the dreaded office cubicle? The latest trend has them buying franchise businesses.

Larry Swedroe applies these poker playing lessons to investing:

“When it comes to investing, there are no clear crystal balls. Just as in poker, the best we can do is put the odds in our favor and invest (bet) accordingly.”

Here are some intelligent examples on when to look at the big picture and let retirement planning take a backseat to more urgent financial issues.

The whole concept of a financial market exists on the basis that taking risk can result in financial gain. Here’s PWL Capital’s Ben Felix on how much risk you should take with your investments:

Michael Batnick shares some great examples as to why you should never begin with the end in mind when it comes to investing:

“When we buy a stock, a few biases instantly kick in. We value it more than we did before we owned it (endowment affect), we look for reasons to support our purchase (confirmation bias) and perhaps most pernicious, we anchor to the purchase price.”

Here’s CFP Jason Heath on what today’s savers can learn from today’s seniors about retirement planning.

Jonathan Chevreau just turned 65 and shares how he plans to make the transition into retirement.

Michael James says you could be making a fundamental mistake with your asset allocation by not thinking of your RRSP as partially belonging to the government.

Ben Carlson from A Wealth of Common Sense answers a popular reader question: Do long-term investors need bonds?

No one can explain how cryptocurrencies work, but that aura of mystery seems to attract new money and investors. Robert Shiller explains why none of this is new, and, as with past monetary innovations, a seemingly compelling story may not be enough.

Rob Carrick says we need to stop blaming the mortgage stress test for killing the housing market.

The ‘holy grail of shipwrecks’ has finally been discovered: a Spanish ship that sank with $17B in gold.

Finally, grab a coffee and dive into this collection of terrific investing pieces by Jason Zweig.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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  1. Brien Stewart on May 26, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Good luck on your run. I didn’t get serious about running until my 50’s and did 13 marathons (Boston 3 times). I’m 75 now and my knees have told me to stop running. Still do 10 k steps a day and try to walk 18 holes 2 – 3 times a week.
    I’m widowed so can no longer pension income split so loose all OAS to claw back. It’s something you might want to warn high income seniors about.
    I’ve been retired for 12 years and did nuclear engineering consulting after I retired. Folding my company up this year.
    Winter in Florida and life is good.
    Enjoy your articles a lot – keep up the great work.

    • Echo on May 28, 2018 at 3:43 pm

      Hi Brien, wow – seriously impressive! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jordan Vandervelde on May 26, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Saving double your salary does not mean saving $80k by the time you’re 35. Even in her article she says you’ll be earning double that by then – so the goal of this benchmark is saving $160k by 35 not $80k. Did this article just disprove the premise? ‘Savings’ in my opinion is a dumb benchmark – what does that even mean. I know you track new worth Rob – way more valuable that ‘savings’. You could have $100k ‘saved’ and be upside down on a low down payment house with a $500k mortgage plus a wack of credit card debt while the next guy has a small mortgage, no credit card debt and a smaller savings account…

    • Echo on May 28, 2018 at 8:20 pm

      Hi Jordan, I agree 100%. ‘Savings’ is a dumb benchmark and so are these supposed rules of thumb. Keep growing net worth and you’ll be on the right track to eventual wealth.

  3. RBull on May 28, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Hey Robb,

    Congrats to you and your lady on your half. Close to your goal and it was a warm day I’ve heard.
    Good luck on the future training along with all the health benefits mentally and physically. Maybe if you’ve got bitten by the bug a full might be on your radar sometime.
    I can’t do it anymore but sure loved it when I could. I pick away now and the body rather than the mind dictates the distance/pace.

    • Echo on May 28, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      @RBull – thanks! It was a hot one for sure, even with the 7am start. I might do a full one day, but right now it’s tough to even think about it with everything else going on in my life.

      Good for you for staying active in retirement. I was inspired by a chapter in one of Fred Vettese’s books on the importance of maintaining physical health and his dedication to staying fit and active as he gets older.

      • RBull on May 29, 2018 at 8:40 am

        Thank you too.

        Staying physically active is something I always hope to do. For me it’s vital to my mental happiness. I can’t train at 120km/wk anymore or run marathons but accomplish several shorter runs weekly along with gym strength training 5 days/wk and its working for me!

        Fred is a good example and inspiration for people retired and those not yet there.

  4. Ken on May 28, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Congratulations on your first half! I too am a runner and as I read your opening, I thought I would riff on the similarities between running and saving/accumulating wealth.
    1. Both activities are easier and more beneficial when you dedicate time to them consistently
    2. Speed is relative. We all start at different stages and it is irrelevant to compare ourselves to others with envy. Best to look at where we started and how far we have progressed.
    3. There is more to life than just running or watching our finances Make time for other things as well. Health and wealth are means to an end, not the end in themselves.
    4. Training with others is a lot easier than doing it on your own. Peers, rather than experts, can share insights that you can relate to.
    5. Not every run will be great nor will every investment turn to gold. Just remember there is always tomorrow. Bad runs teach us something and if we pay attention, we will learn. Don’t give up running because of one bad run.
    6. If something hurts, its a signal. Take it easy and maybe it will fix itself. If it does’t cure itself, then maybe it is time for intervention. Don’t go crazy and see pros for a quick fix. Similarly, if an investment goes offside, don’t go sell and look for the next can’t miss investment tip.
    7. 5ks are mostly about speed. As the distances increase, more pacing is required. Wealth accumulation is more like a marathon. We need to pace ourselves. Not too fast or we take too many risks. Too slow and we will never finish.
    8. Goal setting needs to be realistic. The world half marathon record is under an hour. Very few runners can do that. It is better to have realistic personal goals that can be pursued.
    9. Medals are great to receive at the end of a race but most end up in shoe boxes. However, the benefit of training, the friendships made and the overall positive impacts of running last a long time. Becoming wealthy is also great but at the end, it’s not how much you have left in the bank but how much you were able to enjoy life that really matters.

    • Echo on May 28, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      Ken, that was awesome! Thanks for sharing. Number nine really resonates with me. It was my wife who inspired me to start running and now that I’ve finally caught up with her we can enjoy the sport together.

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