Monthly Archives: June 2015

How “Findependence” differs from “Retirement”

Road signs to savings and financial independenceHere’s my latest MoneySense Financial Independence blog, titled How ‘findependence’ differs from retirement.

This is of course the ongoing theme of the Financial Independence Hub, aka FindependenceHub, and the reason it’s not called the Retirement Hub.

For convenience and one-stop shopping purposes, the piece can also be found below: Continue Reading…

7th Eternal Truth: Don’t say no to free money from the Government

Uncle Sam on a white background offering stacks of bills

Today in the Financial Post and online are the seventh and final installment of my series on the 7 Eternal Truths of Personal Finance. The headline and online link is Eternal Truth No. 7: Don’t say no to the few offers of free money from Ottawa.

That applies to Washington to, of course! Either way, and as the article points out, truly free money from Government is a rare thing, since money is really flowing in the opposite direction in the form of taxes.

Still, there are ways to minimize the tax burden in either country, and you shouldn’t say no to them when they’re on offer.

Here’s a summary of the entire series, with links to each of the seven Truths.


You think accumulating wealth was hard? Try this.

By Doug Dahmer, Emeritus Retirement Income Specialists

Special to the Financial Independence Hub


How you deploy your accumulated assets to fund the second half of your life is much harder than how you built them up in your accumulation years.

Read this again if you need to, but be sure you get this point.


First build an asset pool under the spell of “Dollar Cost Averaging over the long-term” — the favorite aphorism of the investment management salesperson. For the 30-odd years of your prime saving and accumulation years this mantra encourages you to keep giving money to them, disguises bad performance and promises you future success. Given enough time, however, let’s hope you have more than when you started.

That’s the easy part.

The hard part: making it last a lifetime

Continue Reading…

Weekly Wrap: Eternal Truths # 5 & 6, Home Buyer’s Regret, Debt

Depositphotos_73781057_originalThat’s six Eternal Truths down, one to go.

Today, Saturday, the Financial Post ran instalment number 6 in my 7-part series on The Eternal Truths of Personal Finance: Don’t turn down free money from your boss (employer).

On Wednesday instalment number 5 ran at the FP and on the Hub: Be an Owner, Not a Loaner (although they used a different headline).

The seventh and final instalment likely runs next Wednesday.

Home Buyer’s Regret

Boomer & Echo ran a piece this week riffing off Globe & Mail personal finance columnist Rob Carrick’s Facebook page, with readers stating how big a priority it is for them to reduce debt. It’s certainly always been one for me and I continue to declare that “the foundation of financial independence is a paid-for home.” But clearly, young people these days face different circumstances: home prices are sky-high, especially in Vancouver and Toronto, but balancing that are historically low interest rates that seem destined to stay low for as long as the eye can see. (“seem” being the operative word.) Continue Reading…

Templeton Growth manager overweight Europe, has zero Canadian exposure

James Harper photo_2015
James Harper, Templeton Growth Fund

I’ve always enjoyed interviewing the managers of the Templeton Growth Fund (TGF), one of the most famous global mutual funds in the world and the basis for the famous “Mountain Chart” (shown below.)

TGF also happens to be one of a handful of mutual funds our family still owns, along with numerous ETFs and individual stocks, so when Franklin Templeton brings in its fund managers for its annual media lunch in June or July, I’m always happy to take advantage of the access.

On Wednesday, I taped an interview with the new portfolio manager of Templeton Growth, British-born James Harper, normally based in Nassua and a veteran of 22 years in the business, the last eight with Franklin Templeton. He took over the fund on April 21st of this year. Like his predecessors, Lisa Myers and George Morgan, Harper has a refreshing take on the valuations of stocks around the world.

Fund underweight U.S. stocks: “becoming fully valued”  Continue Reading…