Aloha! We’ve spent the past week in Maui escaping the cold winter back home and taking a much needed break. The past few months have been stressful and anxiety-ridden as I transitioned from a day job + side hustle to full-time entrepreneur.
I’m happy to say that life as an online entrepreneur is going better than expected. I’m getting flooded with fee-only financial planning inquiries and freelance writing assignments. I’ve made a point to stop working at 4pm when my kids get home from school. And three days a week I’ve taken a mid-day break to go to the gym with my wife. Life is good.
The only thing missing has been finding more time to write on my own blogs – both here and on Rewards Cards Canada. I hope to find a more consistent writing pattern as I fine tune my own rhythm and routine.
This trip to Maui has been so helpful because it has allowed me to take a break from the entrepreneurial grind and reflect on how I can spend my time more effectively. I’ve also been taking notes as ideas pop into my head for future blog post ideas. In between pool time, happy hour, and walks along the beach, of course.
It’s our first trip to Maui, even though it seems like everyone from Alberta and BC comes here on the regular. We haven’t been on a tropical vacation since our honeymoon in Mexico almost 14 years ago. First thought – why haven’t we done this before? Second thought – this is absolute paradise!
My personal finance blogger thoughts – Maui is so expensive! We flew here on an Aeroplan flight rewards, and so we only paid a few hundred dollars in fees and taxes. We also rented a car using Aeroplan miles – a first for me. With thousands already saved, we decided to splurge and stay at an ocean-front resort – an Airbnb – for $350 USD per night. Believe me, that was one of the cheaper condos available during this time.
Our flight got in late so we missed an opportunity to load up on groceries at Costco (the wholesale club near the airport is only open til 8pm). I drove 10 minutes to Safeway the next morning to get our groceries and some beer and wine for the week. After the $460 trip I came back cursing the sky-high Hawaiian prices and unfavourable USD to CAD exchange rate.
All good, though. Outside of the Old Lahaina Luau and one trip into town for lunch, we were quite content to spend our days poolside or at the beach, and preparing our own meals at home. It’s easy to see how a Maui vacation budget could quickly spiral out of control if we ate out at restaurants every meal or even once a day.
This was the first six nights of what will be at least 51 days of travel for our family this year. Next up is 18 days in Italy this spring, followed by three weeks in England and Scotland this summer. Finally, we’ve got another six nights booked in Victoria before the new school year begins this fall.
This Week’s Recap:
No posts here from me this week, but I did explain how to get more back on your tax return over at the Young & Thrifty blog.
From the archives: I did the math on your investment fees and the results weren’t pretty.
Over on Rewards Cards Canada – My experience using Airbnb vs. Hotels.
Promo of the Week:
I mentioned using Aeroplan miles to get to Maui and back, plus to rent a car for a week on our vacation. The fastest way to earn Aeroplan miles is typically by signing up for a Aeroplan branded credit card.
Is Canada heading for a recession in 2020? Here are common causes and symptoms of a recession, plus eight ways to recession-proof your finances.
A husband and wife have very different risk tolerances. How can they get on the same page when it comes to investing?
How Millionaire Teacher Andrew Hallam fell for a Ponzi scheme while talking to a stranger:
“We all make mistakes when assessing other people. Defaulting to truth is a weakness. But it’s also a human strength. Perhaps, when making financial decisions, we should let the facts speak louder than the salesperson’s face.”
Tesla stock has been soaring lately and Wealthsimple dug into how clients on its Trade platform bought into the hype.
Interesting, because I switched to Wealthsimple Trade for precisely the opposite reason: to get zero-commission trades for my one-ticket ETF portfolio.
A Wealth of Common Sense blogger Ben Carlson shares some thoughts on young people getting into day trading.
An explosive article in the Globe and Mail last week suggested the robo-advisor model has been a massive flop across North America as assets haven’t flowed in as quickly as experts anticipated. Rob Carrick explains why robo-advisors beat these human advisors – sorry, salespeople – any day.
The Evidence Investor shares a lesson still worth learning three centuries later:
“The South Sea Bubble should stand as a reminder that successful investing is not about chasing the most exciting opportunities. It is actually the opposite: be boring. Diversify, keep your costs down, and let the market do its work over time.”
Sequence risk is the risk that investment returns happen in an unlucky order. It can make or break portfolios and this post shows how to protect against it.
Is it smart to hold a single exchange traded fund in your RRSP? Dan Bortolotti explains how to use an all-in-one ETF portfolio.
Here’s a very interesting post on retirement and the non-smoothing of our consumption of leisure.
Jonathan Clements has devoted his entire adult life to learning about money, but there are some key lessons that only came to him recently. Here are 10 things he wishes he’d been told in his 20s—or told more loudly, so he actually listened.
Finally, here’s John Heinzl with a thoughtful article on preparing your portfolio after a spouse is gone.
Mahalo, and have a great weekend everyone!