Yup, it’s that time of year when we make resolutions; also known as promises to ourselves that we are not likely to keep. I think the key is to make sensible resolutions that are reasonable and easy to keep.
Many will make New Year’s Resolutions that involve personal health. The most popular being lose weight, exercise, eat better, quit smoking, quit drinking alcohol, get more sleep. All very worthwhile ventures. The blog ink.com found this top ten list from a recent survey searching for the top 10 resolutions for 2019.
The most dominant theme is improved personal health; that might be followed by personal fulfillment, that search for greater happiness. These are all worthwhile themes and I think that improved personal health can go hand in hand with improved financial health. And there are many parallels that align with the words Cut The Crap.
#1 on the above list is diet or eat healthier. That starts with cutting out junk food.
Cut The Crap.
If you cut out fast food and processed foods that one lifestyle change might do 90% of the heavy lifting with respect to your personal health. From there, you can simply start going for nice long walks and hopping on the stationary bike a few times a week. Maybe you throw some weights around here and there, or dust off that rowing machine that’s taking up space in your closet.
The key is, don’t be too ambitious. Don’t be too draconian. Don’t be too all or nothing. Make a promise or three that you can keep. And if you ever cheat on yourself, well forgive yourself. Promise yourself you won’t do it again (fingers crossed behind back) and carry on. But don’t leave your sensible resolution/lifestyle change behind. You’re human, that means you’re not perfect.
A few years ago I read this wonderful book Eat The Yolks from Liz Wolfe.
The book might change your perception of what is good food and what is bad food. But at the core, as and with more books on nutrition is Cut The Crap. The crap is what is making us sick. The theme of the book is to put the foods in our body that our body was actually designed to use. Aka, meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, the stuff our bodies were created to use efficiently in that Paleo era. Put the right fuel in the tank.
I started with more of a hard-core Paleo diet. I then started to uh, adapt the Paleo diet. You see when you veer off path it’s called cheating. When I veer off path it’s called ‘adapting’. My Paleo diet became the Daleo diet, but I hold on to much of the common sense truths about food. I don’t eat crap. I eat less of carbs, but I ain’t cutting out bread and pasta. I buy real, good foods, I cook our meals.
Cut The Crap For Greater Financial Health
Financial health comes back to pure common sense as well. Cut The Crap.
- Cut the crap spending.
- Cut the crap debt.
- Cut the crap high-fee investing.
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3. Future you is rich. Oh, you’re welcome.
Cut the Crap Spending.
All of the above is easy to put in play. And again it’s not all or nothing, just embrace a few simple measures. With respect to your spending patterns it’s incredible where you can find a few bucks. Have a read of this article Oh Look, I Just Found $888,000 in Your Coffee.
Now I started with your $2.90 frappuwhatever, and then grazed around to find a few other areas where you might cut back. And no you don’t have to give up your Starbucks or Timmies, you might simply cut back here and there. The key will be to keep track of your spending patterns. Find out where your monies are going; you will be surprised. A few less take out lunches, a few less restaurant dinners, maybe cut that gym membership that you don’t use and go for a walk instead. It will soon add up to real monies.
Keep track or you spending, do that personal cash flow statement. On budgeting tools and more here’s a great article from Boomer and Echo.
Cut The Crap Investing.
Canadians pay the highest mutual fund fees in the developed world. That can confiscate up to 50% or more of your financial wealth over the decades. Imagine being able to make one simple resolution and the result would likely be that you retire twice as rich. I don’t know if I can dangle a bigger carrot. As Larry Bates, the author of Beat The Bank reminds us high fees are wealth destroyers.
I strongly suggest that you go to Larry’s site and use the T-Rex score tool to discover how much you might be giving away over the decades. Here’s how the average Canadian nets out by putting their monies in the wrong pockets. The red line represents the investment returns. The yellow line represents the amount the investor was able ‘to keep’.
Here’s the unfortunate scorecard that you can break away from, with one simple resolution – Cut The Crap Investing.
That’s average. I saw a lot worse when Canadians showed me how they were invested. I was an advisor at Tangerine Investments for over 5 years and conducted hundreds of Portfolio Analysis of clients’ external investments. The unfortunate truth is much worse than the ‘average’. You don’t have to give your money away, there are many simple solutions.
How to invest.
If you want advice and a managed portfolio (there’s nothing for you do to) you might consider the Canadian Robo Advisors and other lower fee options. Here’s my page for lower fee options. Keep in mind that the ‘Robo’ advisors are all quite human and there is plenty of advice and assistance available. You might cut your fees by 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%.
Self Directed Investing
You might consider creating and managing your own portfolio by way of Exchange Traded Funds – ETFs. It’s easy to do and you can create a complete well-diversified portfolio for less than .20% in annual fees. I am happy to help, here’s my ETF Model Portfolio page.
You can also get complete managed and rebalanced portfolios from Vanguard and iShares by way of one ticker symbol. More on that courtesy of Jonathan Chevreau, here’s Gamechanger? Vanguard’s one-ticket ETF solution comes in 3 flavours.
Cut The Crap Debt
This is a no-brainer of course; before you invest you should eliminate any high interest debt, such as credit card debts. You might also be more aggressive in retiring your good debt such as your mortgage.
Simple is as simple does.
Spend less. Invest more. Keep your fees low.
Money can buy happiness. Having a simple financial plan can make us feel good.
Happy New Year!
Dale at firstname.lastname@example.org