Weekend Reading: Money Like You Mean It Edition

Weekend Reading: Money Like You Mean It Edition

Erica Alini quickly became one of my favourite personal finance writers when she joined Global News as a national money and consumer reporter. Her columns and Money123 newsletter tackle a breadth of financial topics and are must-reads each week.

That’s why I was excited when I heard that Erica planned to write a book. I was even more excited when Erica reached out to me to help contribute to chapters on earning more income and on retirement planning.

The end result is a personal finance book designed to help young Canadians navigate their way through an ever-changing world. Money Like You Mean It: Personal Finance Tactics for the Real World is not your parents’ personal finance book. 

It tackles money management and the new ways we can get into debt, not just from excessive borrowing but through behavioural traps like Buy Now, Pay Later and insidious monthly subscriptions.

Erica discusses Canada’s sky-high housing prices and offers readers a framework to help people decide whether to rent or buy. She writes about the stigma of receiving help from the bank of mom and dad, but also how these monetary supports can perpetuate wealth inequality.

The topic of earning income often gets ignored in personal finance books. This is a mistake, and in Money Like You Mean It Erica looks at the issues of working in the gig economy, whether side-hustles are worth the effort, how to negotiate a raise, and why job hopping might lead to better pay raises.

On retirement, Erica says it’s time to let go of the old-fashioned concept of retirement. Instead, she says, “retirement is becoming less and less of a black-and-white pivot from work to non-work.

Increasingly, retirement is more of a slow and gradual downshifting from working all the time to working less. Perhaps that means trading the office for some freelance consulting, giving you longer vacations and more time to smell the roses while still earning an income.

Erica also looks at what she calls nest-egg inequality for women and people of colour – a topic that does not get enough attention in personal finance.

I enjoyed the investing chapter as it aligns with my views on keeping your portfolio simple with low cost index funds or ETFs.

Young parents will get a lot out of the chapters on how to manage finances as a couple, as well as saving for a baby.

The best part of the book is how Erica took a journalistic approach to writing it. The book is incredibly well researched, and I don’t recall ever reading a personal finance book with so many expert quotes on such a wide range of topics.

Money Like You Mean It is a fantastic read. I think Erica did a tremendous job putting together a comprehensive and entertaining guide to managing your finances. It will make a great stocking stuffer for the young adults in your life.

Pre-order a copy today. The book will be officially released on December 9th.

This Week’s Recap:

I’ve updated some of my most widely read articles on CPP to keep the numbers fresh and up-to-date:

Last week I also shared my 2022 financial goals.

Promo of the Week:

I moved my RRSP and TFSA from TD Direct Investing to Wealthsimple Trade in 2019 to take advantage of their commission-free trading platform. Unlike the meme stock investors that have flocked to the app during the pandemic, I use WS Trade to simply buy more units of Vanguard’s VEQT and hold for the long-term.

Related: Exactly How I Invest My Money

Their latest promotion will give you two free stocks to trade when you sign up and join Wealthsimple

It sounds like a stock trading gimmick, but in reality you’ll get the cash equivalent of two random stocks (ex. I got Clover Health, Capstone Mining, and Blackberry – but really just got $43.65 deposited into my account). Do with it what you will. 

The stocks, and therefore the cash equivalent, will have a value between $5 and $4,500, with an average of $15. Around 95% of people will receive less than $50 based on the stock value at the time of selection.

Again, use this referral link, open and fund a new Wealthsimple Trade account, and your cash bonus will be applied within 24 hours: 

Weekend Reading:

Our friends at Credit Card Genius share the best credit card offers, sign-up bonuses, and deals for December 2021.

My Own Advisor Mark Seed shares his financial independence update.

Michael James on Money shares a conversation about wealth inequality.

An interesting debate on whether it’s smarter to buy a vacation home or stick to short-term rentals

Millionaire Teacher Andrew Hallam explains why you may be happier buying less stuff:

“If you’re tempted to buy something unnecessary, ask yourself if you would still buy it if nobody else could see it.  If the answer is yes, go ahead and buy it.  But be ruthless with this assessment. Most people buy things, in part, to be seen having them.  And the truth is, nobody will love you any more or any less based on the stuff you own.”

Here’s a great podcast interview with author Ramit Sethi on how couples can make peace over money.

Of Dollars and Data blogger Nick Maggiulli explains how difficult it can be to have a truly objective point of view if you never escape your own bubble.

Something I’m getting asked about more and more lately by parents of young teens. Jason Heath explains how to invest as a teenager in Canada.

Active fund managers have a long history of underperforming their benchmarks, but in a pack of laggards Canada’s active managers have been the worst.

Finally, we know that managing longevity risk can be a challenge in retirement but these new products aim to close the retirement income gap.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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  1. Gin on December 4, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    RE: Increasingly, retirement is more of a slow and gradual downshifting from working all the time to working less.
    I often read this perspective and would be interested to see the stats of how many retirement age people manage to transition to working less in their field.
    In general, corporations do not like to offer part-time work or part-time contracts (unless skills are scarce), and not every job / person is a good pivot to becoming a consultant.
    In other industries, ageism can come into play, like technology or screen related media.
    If you truly want to work part-time, no doubt it is possible. A previous work colleague went from technology manager to a part-time barista earning minimum wage. The search for a consulting gig only resulted in a rare part-time contract being offered, which on closer scrutiny, typically turned out to be more of a full time workload squeezed into a part-time job.
    Likely, there are many examples of folks who have successfully transitioned to part-time consulting but wondering what % they represent of the overall retiring population.

    • James R on December 5, 2021 at 5:10 am

      I wonder about this in a lot of other fields as well, and my own. There’s a whole host of careers / jobs where part time work is highly unlikely – policing, firefighting, factory work, corporate sales, etc.

      In my own career, I do plan on approaching my employer about working as a coach and mentor, helping colleagues overcome challenges, but I’m pretty sure I know the answer will be, “ how about this six-month, full time project instead?”

      I laughed at the part-time barista – I hope they build a lot more Starbucks!

      However, I’ve also contemplated dog-walking, house sitting, and some other task oriented jobs. I completely agree with Mike Drak and the notion that I’ll need something to do. I think the difficulty will be finding an opportunity that meets the challenges we’re accustomed to without getting sucked into another 40+ hour workweek scenario.

    • Robb Engen on December 5, 2021 at 6:46 am

      Hi Gin, I don’t have the stats on this but I can tell you anecdotally from my clients that this so-called downshifting from full-time to part-time is the dream for many of them. Several have managed to do it, moving to 2-3 days a week. I realize this isn’t possible in some professions but it certainly was where I worked in the public sector.

      More realistic is an encore career doing something interesting. That’s doesn’t necessarily mean consulting back to the industry you came from, but it could mean starting your own part-time business or indeed working at Starbucks, Chapters, the golf course, the garden centre, etc.

      I think the point is that the traditional definition of retirement is changing (or maybe it was a myth all along).

  2. Carmen P on December 5, 2021 at 5:55 am

    Wealth simple hotlink not working.

  3. Lotar Maurer on December 5, 2021 at 10:31 am

    Wealthsimple Trade has one very huge limitation for me (and many others?) — no RRIF. My RRIF is 35% of my portfolio, my spouse’s RRSP, due to become a RRIF in just over a year, is another 25%. It doesn’t make sense to split my portfolio among two brokerages. I’ve been anxiously awaiting Wealthsimple’s inclusion of RRIF accounts in their Trading platform, but they keep telling me they have no intention to do so.

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