Why is the Stock Market Up While Employment Is Down?
This has been a weird year to say the least. Back in January, if anyone mentioned Wuhan, most people would have said “Where’s that?” I miss thse days. It was a simpler time. Now we’ve been hit with a global pandemic, a sputtering economy, closed borders, and rampant unemployment. By any commonly accepted metric, whether it’s GDP, unemployment, or whatever, the economy is still nowhere close to normal. And yet stock markets are actually higher than where we started the year. How can this be possible? How can Wall Street be looking so rosy and optimistic when Main Street is […]
Reader Case: Choosing Between Health and FIRE
Guess what day it is? Friday! (And apparently there’s something called a “weekend” coming up? How do these things work again?) That means it’s time for another reader case! This reader’s situation is tough and something that hits close to home. Remember how we said we came back to Canada due to a family emergency? Well, to date, said emergency is still ongoing, so I could immediately relate to this reader’s situation as soon as I read their e-mail. Without further do, here we go: Hello Firecracker/Wanderer, First, I’d like to say thank you for providing your investment advice for […]
How Does the Zero-Interest Rate Environment Affect You?
The other day a reader emailed me to ask “I’ve read your advice in the Investment Workshop about owning a mix of stocks and bonds, but that was back when bonds actually paid something. With interest rates in the gutter, does that advice still hold?” Great question. Let’s dig into this a bit, shall we? During the last economic downturn in 2008, one of the key decisions that helped save the economy (or rather, prevented it from falling off a cliff even more) was that central banks around the world chose to drop their key lending rate to near-zero. This […]
Let’s Go Exploring! Singapore: Futuristic Foodie Paradise
Note: This was written before the pandemic. We are still in Canada, but I wanted to post this for everyone, who like us, can’t wait to travel again. “C’mon!” Wanderer’s said, tugging at my arm, while I tried to keep my heavy eyelids open. “I have to show you something!” We’d just gotten off a flight and I was crankier than a nap-deprived toddler. My back was killing me, my arms and legs ached, and my head was throbbing. “Can you just let me sit here for a second?” We’d just arrived on a flight into Changi Airport in Singapore, […]
Find Out the Commuted Value of Your Pension
“OMG, You have no idea what just happened!” a friend recently texted us. “What? What?” I texted back. “I did what you suggested, and I just heard back from my HR department. All I can say is: WOW!” Let me back up a bit. Defined Benefit vs. Defined Contribution Pension Over the years pensions in the private sector have largely gone the way of the dodo. Most companies these days, when they offer retirement benefits at all to their full-time employees, do it in the form of a defined contribution, or DC pension. How these work is that basically they […]