Yes it was June of 2018 when I left the job that I truly enjoyed at Tangerine Investments and moved to my new life-work stage. You can call it semi-retirement or freelance writing and blogging. The main distinction is that that I work for myself and no longer have to drive to ‘the office’ in the morning.
I did write on this in May of 2018 when I had handed in my resignation. Here’s Saying Goodbye to your pay cheque, it ain’t easy. In that article for Seeking Alpha I discussed that growing trend of retirement by design. We can design our own life and how we even make monies. We don’t have to sprint to the retirement finish line, we might slow down a few miles before the end of that marathon and stroll the rest of the way. We might even keep a nice balance of work with a purpose in concert with plenty of leisure time through most of our retirement years. We don’t have to stop ‘work’ just because we ‘retire’. Yes most everything needs to be in quotes or have an asterisk when we design our new life.
And certainly, this is not my first foray into the freelance writing world, though Cut The Crap Investing is certainly my first personal blog. In many periods as a writer and creative director during my advertising years, I would often move to freelance writing and consulting. I have always put family time and health ahead of the almighty dollar, or as Jackson Browne wrote ‘the struggle for the legal tender’.
Do I now wish I had hung in there for more of those big pay cheque years? Sure, I’d appreciate a more generous semi-retirement portfolio. But in balance I have no regrets, I would not trade those Summers on the sailboat and the time with family for some larger dividends from Bell Canada and Telus. There’s that quote or thought that no one on their deathbed has ever offered that they wished they’d spent more time in the office.
All said, work hard enough, save enough, invest enough. Protect your family and financial future. Do enough things right on the personal finance and money fronts. That creates financial freedom.
Is Cut The Crap Investing a success?
Can I write yes and no? Let’s start with the positive(s). Most importantly, I’m still here, still writing. Most blogs and bloggers give it up real quick. It’s not easy to build an audience. Robb Engen of the more than popular Boomer and Echo blog had told me that he’s seen so many bloggers give it up early or around that 6 months stage. Hey, if 80% of success is just showing up give me a big gold star. And I’m working on that other 20%.
And I’ve had lots of help. Once again Robb has been so gracious and has offered help, offered advice and has allowed me to introduce myself to his readers. One of my writing heroes is Jonathan Chevreau. Jon has been an incredible help and mentor, and friend. A highlight of the year was being invited to be a panelist for the MoneySense Best ETFs in Canada for 2019. That was an incredible learning experience, and obviously that was great for my site and for my personal profile. Mark Seed of myownadvisor and Mike, The Dividend Guy, are also always ‘there for me’. A supportive personal note from Preet Banerjee was greatly appreciated.
On the big events in my first year I’d have to include being a panelist at the Inside ETFs Canada conference in Montreal. That was an incredible opportunity to meet so many of the thought leaders and innovators in the ETF space. It was so encouraging to meet many ‘big hitters’ who offered that they read my blog and they really appreciate the message and the site. On the Inside ETFs Canada invite I have to thank my friends at BMO.
On that experience please have a read of From inside the Inside ETFs Canada conference – the state of the ETF nation.
I have made many friends who work with the leading Canadian Robo Advisors. I’ve seen support from popular journalists such as Clare O’Hara of the Globe and Mail and Ellen Roseman of the Toronto Star. Thanks. I’ve seen help from ETF providers such as Horizons and Vanguard and BlackRock and more.
I continue to work with Tangerine. I have contributed to their wonderful blog. Money Sitting in Savings? Now What? Yes, I need to do more writing for Tangerine and that will come in year 2. I have to set my priorities.
David Toyne of Steadyhand has been a wonderful sounding board and has offered some more than useful advice on disclosures and the ethical considerations of running an investment blog.
Larry Bates released his wonderful book, Beat The Bank, just over one year ago. I’ve likely linked to that book and my review of that book more times than I can remember. I’ll continue with that theme and practice. We continue to work together. We’re on the same mission on the same team. And that’s ‘the thing’ with all of the above mentions, we’re a part of our version of Team Canada with a goal to help Canadians live better financial lives.
What went wrong?
Ha, don’t me started. On LinkedIn I wrote My One Year New Business Anniversary. Life’s Greatest Lessons Are Mistakes.
I do a lot wrong on the technical front. As per that LinkedIn article I have meandered without focus. But that’s OK. I can fix that in year 2 and beyond. I have purchased my new web host. The site will have a new look, better everything. I am ready to take things to the next level.
But always at the core will be the reader and that clear mission.
Thanks for the support of my readers and followers on Cut The Crap Investing, Twitter (I’m at 67_Dodge) LinkedIn and on Seeking Alpha. And of course, most importantly, I have to thank my lovely wife who supported the move in every way. She was used to me regularly cutting my pay cheque in half, but cutting it to near zero, that required an extra level of trust and support.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for spreading the good word. We’re winning.