Victory Lap Retirement now available

Coauthors Mike Drak (L) and Jonathan Chevreau (R).

As the accompanying photograph of me and coauthor Mike Drak shows, the book Victory Lap Retirement has finally come off the printing presses.

It will be a few weeks before it is available in bookstores but it can be ordered and delivered now directly through the web site

The photo was taken Thursday at Mike’s Toronto home. As you can see from our casual poolside attire, we’re trying to live the lifestyle described in the book, and summarized by the subtitle Work While You Play, Play While You Work.

You can also see the yellow book cover is now in rotation on the front page of the Hub, along with the US and Canadian editions of Findependence Day and the summary Kindle ebooks titled A Novel Approach to Financial Independence.

Victory-Lap-Retirement-Book Continue Reading…

How to use a credit card strategically for emergency expenses

Emergency FundBy Alyssa Furtado,

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

You can’t plan for something you don’t know is coming.

Accidents and emergencies are inevitable and a financial cost is often attached to these surprise incidents. So what do you do when you find yourself with an unexpected emergency expense? One option is to use balance transfer credit cards.

Balance transfer credit cards are great tools to help you pay off your debts sooner. They offer a low interest rate (sometimes 0%) for any debts you transfer to the card for a limited period of time. By minimizing interest costs, the money you put towards your debt will directly pay off the amount owing and not go towards fees. While there can be costs associated to balance transfers — like a fee of 1% to 5% for transferring a balance or an annual fee — the interest savings can outweigh the cost of the fees.

So how can you strategically use a balance transfer credit card for emergency expenses? Charge whatever emergency expense you make to a card you already have, immediately apply for a balance transfer card, and quickly transfer over the balance to the new credit card.

There are considerations you need to know before applying for a balance transfer credit card, such as: Continue Reading…

Why you should forget about buying Canadian marijuana stocks



Canadian marijuana stocks offer some speculative appeal — but here’s why we think you should avoid them

AMSTERDAM - AUGUST 26: Candy and cookies with marijuana for sale in the coffeeshop on August 26, 2014 in Amsterdam.

As you probably know, several U.S. states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana use and have begun authorizing legal production and sale of the plant. In Canada, marijuana has been legal for medical use for some time, and we are occasionally asked about Canadian marijuana stocks.

This change in the law is bound to lead to a shift in current and future marijuana production, from the underground economy to the legal economy, where it can be regulated, taxed and invested in. Tax revenues are already starting to roll in, but we haven’t found any Canadian marijuana stocks worthy of investment. So far, most of what we’ve seen are stock promotions.

We advise staying out of stock promotions of Canadian marijuana stocks businesses or anything else. They attract the wrong kind of people. Stock promotion is a take-the-money-and-run type of business. Most successful entrepreneurs value their reputations, and want to build a profitable, sustainable business that can pay off for investors. So they generally go into some other line of work, and stay out of stock promotion.

These days, it’s faster and easier than ever to launch a stock promotion, thanks to the Internet. One recent “penny pot” stock scam almost seems like an MBA-style case study on how to launch one of these frauds online.

We won’t name the penny stock company that is the subject of the promotion campaign, since it claims it’s not involved in the fraud. Let’s just refer to it as “Pot o’ Gold,” or POG for short.

The POG spam emails we’ve seen use the following techniques:

Continue Reading…

Stop believing real estate has magical investment powers

Beautiful view of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Expensive Vancouver, BC

By Steve Lowrie, Lowrie Financial

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

If you found yourself on the high seas, and the captain and crew were battening down the hatches, what would you do? Depending on how fast they were scrambling, you might at least make sure your life preserver was within reach.

If the Canadian real estate market were an ocean liner, recent government words and deeds have sent some pretty solid warning shots across the bow – especially for properties in the Greater Toronto and Vancouver regions. Real estate investors who may have forgotten the essential rules of self-preservation would be wise to consider the following:

In a June announcement, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz warned: “The pace of house price increases in Toronto, and especially Vancouver, is unlikely to be sustained, given the underlying fundamentals.”

Several provincial governments have been looking for ways to manage their real estate markets. For example, this July Globe and Mail article noted that British Columbia was trying to “cool the Vancouver market” by adding a 15 per cent transfer tax on property purchases made by international buyers. Continue Reading…

Is RV Traveling a sound Retirement Strategy?

Living the RV dream. Photo courtesy

By Barney Whistance

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

At some point we’ve all daydreamed about what our retirement might look like. For some, a cabin in the woods might be their dream life. Others may want a condo near the beach or high-rise apartment in the city. Many daydreams also include travel, both in and outside the U.S.

Ample Hollywood movies about the joys and headaches of the retirement life have given nods to the recreational vehicle (RV) retirement lifestyle as well. From ex-CIA man Jack Byrnes’ sleek black Fleetwood RV in Meet the Fockers, to David and Linda Howard’s homier Winnebago in the movie Lost in America, RV living may represent a luxury life of leisure for many Americans.

One former co-worker of mine, shortly after his retirement, sold his home to buy a fancy new RV. While I was able to meet him at his retirement party and do a short quiz on his reasoning, the decision never quite added up for me. I decided to do some additional research to determine if RV-living was a sound and viable financial decision for my own retirement.

Full-time RVers, also known as full-timers, are people who live, work, and play in their RVs. Often they plan their lives and moves well in advance, but they’re also known to pick up and go on a whim, or to follow the weather on a seasonal basis.

However, there are a few considerations when contemplating the full-time RV life. Here’s a breakdown of points to ponder while deciding whether it’s the best lifestyle for your needs.


RVs can be purchased in a wide price range – anywhere from $3,000 to $3 million – which makes them perfect for any budget. Continue Reading…