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The Yield Shield: Corporate Bonds & High Yield Bonds

Continuing on our little mini-series on how we build our Yield Shield (Read up on Preferred Shares and REITs if you missed it), today I’d like to talk about bonds. I’ve been lumping bonds together into one asset-class tracked by a broad ETF like VAB or BND, but the truth is the bond market is a bit more complicated than that. Usually, when people talk about bonds, they’re talking about those issued by the government. These are seen as ultra-safe and unlikely to default, since the government can always raise taxes to pay off bondholder’s interest payments. These are also […]

Do You Want to Be a TV Star?

One of the most memorable experiences, that I haven’t shared with you yet from FinCon last year was that I was filmed for a movie! The “Playing with FIRE” documentary is the brainchild of Scott Rieckens, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, who after listening to Mr.Money Moustache on the Tim Ferris podcast, had a “Harajuku Moment” where he describes his earth-shattering revelation that FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) is the change in his life that must happen and he simply could no longer live without. So distracted was Scott by his new revelation, that he ended up being an hour and half […]

Friday Reader Case: Our Failed Muskoka Dream

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for another reader case! This family of 5 hails from the frozen white North and have just had their Muskoka dreams dashed. How will they get out of it? Let’s find out: “We are a family of 5 plus an au pair that helps with our childcare for our three young children. I am a pediatric critical care nurse and my husband works in technical sales for large industry. We are 33 years old. We make a decent family income of about $180,000, and thought we had things planned out when we left […]

The Yield Shield: Real Estate Investment Trusts

Since FIRECracker started a food fight on Monday by calling out the Toronto Home Boners, today’s article will be about… …the real estate we own in Toronto. Wait, back up a minute. Say what? What I am referring to is, of course, Real Estate Investment Trusts. What Is a Real Estate Investment Trust? A Real Estate Income Trust (or REIT) is basically a corporation that owns and manages investment properties all around the country. Those properties can be office buildings, commercial storefronts, shopping malls, and in some cases residential apartment buildings. The REIT owns the building, takes care of maintenance, […]

The Hard Landing: Toronto Home Prices Plummet

So saw this scary headline the other day. Toronto’s housing market is tanking, Business Insider. Now, as much as people think I’m jumping up and down at the demise of our housing market, let me make one thing clear: I do NOT want a US-style housing crash in Canada. The US housing crash was a cataclysmic black swan event that brought down financial institutions, cratered the stock market, and brought about a global economic recession that lasted for years. I keenly remember what it was like living through that, watching our investments plummet while at the same time fearing a job […]

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