Weekend Reading: Pursue Your Passion Edition

I’ve argued before that doing what you love won’t necessarily pay the bills and so the best way to pursue your passion might be on a freelance basis or as a side business while you maintain a regular day job. This blog is a perfect example. It started out as a hobby and an outlet to discuss topics that I’m passionate about – personal finance and investing – which led to paid writing opportunities, brand partnerships, and a part-time fee-only financial planning business.

The hours spent blogging, freelance writing, and financial planning take place outside of my day job – during the evenings and on weekends. It’s a nice part-time gig and gives me a great sense of fulfillment that I just couldn’t get from my day job.

But I’d be fooling myself to think I could quit my job to blog full time and still meet all of our financial obligations. We have a mortgage to pay and a young family to raise. The extra income earned from my side business allows my wife to stay home full time and look after our two kids, and gives us the ability to save more towards our goal of financial freedom.

That’s not to say I don’t daydream about quitting my job and becoming a full-time online entrepreneur. In fact, this article about the logistics of quitting your ‘real’ job and pursuing your passion got me thinking. The author offered three different approaches to take:

  1. Stay in your real job, and set aside time each day to work on your passion, until your passion can replace your real job.
  2. Scale back expenses, so that you can do your real job part-time and your passion part-time.
  3. Save money until you have enough to support yourself for a period of time, quit your real job, and jump feet first into your passion.

I’ve got another eight years to go before I hope to reach financial freedom. That plan hinges upon being able to earn and save enough money to pay off our mortgage, max out my RRSP, our TFSAs, and kids’ RESP.

Right now that outcome is achievable based on the combined efforts of my day job and side business without making any crazy or unrealistic assumptions about income growth. The work load is also at an acceptable level so the risk of me burning out is small. So I guess I’m taking approach #1 – staying in my day job, setting aside time to work on my passion, and eventually it might replace my “real” job in the future.

This week(s) recap:

Last Monday I wrote about how mortgage brokers and alternative lenders are offering zero-down mortgages.

Last Wednesday Marie looked at how impulse buying might be setting back your goals.

Last Friday Marie explained how to stress test your investment and retirement plan.

On Monday I compared two of Canada’s leading robo-advisors: Nest Wealth and Wealthsimple.

On Wednesday showed why emergency funds are still a necessity.

And on Friday I looked at the link between money and happiness.

Over on Rewards Cards Canada I reviewed an upgrade to the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard.

Weekend Reading:

Canadian Couch Potato blogger Dan Bortolotti answered an investing question that has come up a lot this year: Is it time to hedge currency?

A Wealth of Common Sense blogger Ben Carlson looks at another form of market timing: spotting the bottom of the market.

8 years ago Warren Buffett famously bet $1M that the performance of an S&P index fund would beat a group of hedge funds over the next 10 years. So far Buffett is handily winning, with a cumulative return of 65.67% compared to the hedge fund picks which have returned 21.87%.

The U.S. is much further along than Canada in making a fiduciary duty the standard for financial advisors, but the arguments used by opponents (i.e. the financial services industry and some Republicans) are similar to what we hear north of the border from the mutual fund industry. Perhaps the biggest lie is that somehow conflicted advice is better than none at all.

Helaine Olen takes a shot at another lie – that the Obama administration is coming after personal finance gurus like Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman with its plan to expand the fiduciary standard.

Global News listed the top 10 scams of 2015 and what to watch out for this year:

The term of an average new car loan has grown to 72 months. Here’s the problem with this trend, according to the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada:

“Many car buyers are still getting a new vehicle every four years or so, even when they haven’t paid off their current car. They roll what is owed on the earlier vehicle onto the loan for the new one.”

Michael James explains the economics of fixing a furnace.

Bell told its staff to downplay the new $25 skinny basic TV package ordered by CRTC.

Tech blogger Peter Nowak says skinny basic TV leaves egg on CRTC’s face.

A look at investment broker misconduct revealed that bad brokers don’t leave the business; they just move on to a different firm.

Nelson Smith at Financial Uproar muses about the financial planning affordability paradox. As we shift to paying up-front for advice, the ones who might need the most help are in the worst position to pay for it.

A man who sold his website for $3 million says there’s a smart money habit even the laziest person can adopt.

Speaking of smart money habits, you can join Stephen Weyman’s money saving challenge, which starts on March 15th.

Here’s a story about how a Millennial jumped into investing with the help of a robo-advisor.

Rob Carrick argues the case for a TFSA-first approach to retirement planning.

This article explains how to turn your RRSP into a cash generating machine.

Finally, the Globe’s Scott Barlow explains five ways human psychology can wreck your portfolio.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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  1. Michael James on March 13, 2016 at 7:47 am

    I think it’s better to consider the ultra-skinny cable package for $0 per month. Thanks for the mention.

  2. Stephen Weyman on March 13, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Thanks for giving the Save Money Challenge a shout out Robb. I hope to motivate lots of people to start cutting their costs one challenge at a time.

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