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 […]
Reader Case: Rent or Buy in Spain
It’s been a while since I’ve done a rent-vs-buy reader case, so I thought I’d pick one out of the ol’ email folder and give it a whirl. Or at least, I think it’s been a while. It’s hard to tell the passage of time anymore. Is it March? Is it August? Honestly, if I didn’t have these article deadlines to hit every week, I’d probably lose track of what day it was too. So…yay? Anyway, onto the reader case! Hello Firecracker and Wanderer, I hope you, your family and friends are all doing ok during this pandemic. I would […]
Will COVID Change The Nature of Work Permanently?
“I’ve never been allowed to work from home, but with the pandemic, it’s now mandatory. For the first time ever, as graphic designer, I can work from home full-time! Maybe I’ll move to Barbados and work from there!” “I went to visit my parents in Nova Scotia before everything locked down. After shit hit the fan and businesses started locking down, my Toronto employer told me to work from home. After spending several months here in nature, I’m not going back.” “I’m so glad we moved from Coronado to Bend, Oregon. Our housing costs are much lower and as a […]