Monday, June 5, 2023

Investing Tip - RRIF Withdrawal Strategy

Question - I am 67 years old and would like to start drawing down my RRIF. I do not want to wait until 71. I also do not want to be stuck with any pre-set standard tax formulas of 4 or 5% per year or maximum or minimum withdrawals in retirement.
I simply want to withdraw $500 a month, every month. I have $110K. How long will my money last?

Thank you for that more often than not question of how long will my money last in retirement?

All I or we can to is estimate how long this money will last you based on some simple assumptions. Let's assume you earn 7% annual return on the remaining balance after the $500 a month withdrawal. Also assuming you make the withdrawal at the beginning of each month.


Calculate the mo. interest rate then divide by 12.
7%/12 = 0.5833%
as a decimal = 0.005833

Calculate the remaining balance after the first withdrawal then subtract the $500 from the initial balance.
$110,000-$500= $109,500

Calculate the Interest earned on the remaining balance by the monthly interest rate. $109,500* 0.005833 = $638.20 (approx)

Calculate the new balance after adding the interest; Add interest earned to remaining balance.
$109,500 + $638.20

Repeat the above steps 2-4 for the subsequent months until the balance is depleted or reaches a negligible amount.


Based on this calculation, if you continue to make $500 withdrawals at the beginning of each month and earn a consistent 7% annual return, it's estimated that the funds will last approximately 21 years and 5 months.

Please note that this calculation does not account for taxes or inflation and assumes a constant rate of return of 7%. This is simply a rough estimate to show you where you stand now and what you can look forward to.


This money will last you until you're past age 88. Is that long enough? Only you will know for sure. It does go to show you that each individual circumstance is different in retirement. Our income needs are different.

At home we ask ourselves all the time, When should we start living off our retirement accounts so we can better enjoy life. We certainly don't get bogged down in waiting until age 71 when it is suggested for tax purposes.

My wife and I plan on cashing out all accounts at age 65 regardless of amounts and tax consequences. To us it's all about simplicity and using the money you saved a lifetime for to enjoy now while relatively young and healthy.

What are you planning on doing? Hope this helps:)

Friday, April 7, 2023

Consuming Too Much Investing Information


Just a short post today about consuming too much investing information and how that can in most cases influence our investing decisions.

I like to read a lot and do my own investing through a self directed brokerage account and as such pick what I buy and when to sell if need be.

I am usually a net buyer of stocks and rarely sell any investments I've made. I just choose big boring Canadian Dividend Growth Stocks and let them ride to help supplement our pension income in retirement. My wife is still working PT so we have that luxury of having her income at the moment.

My stock choices mainly come from the financial, utilities, pipeline and telco sectors. Why? They just have a history of paying and raising dividends which is my goal in retirement. To grow income through dividend investing. Check the link below for a fantastic read which explains this strategy further.

Income Investing

Traps to Avoid

  1. Buying whatever is recommended by a financial guest on TV without investigating the company on your own.

  2. Trading to frequently based on perceived bad  To Learn Fromeconomic news.

  3. Selling good solid companies because your friend said he heard some negative chatter about the company.

  4. Don't get all tied up in reading about different investing strategies that you have doubts about just because this guy is doing it.

  5. Switching from one form of a plan to another because you lack confidence.

My Mistakes to Learn From

  • Invested in mutual funds 
  • Switched to ETFs
  • Switched to the Permanent Portfolio
  • Switched to the Couch Potato Portfolio
  • Switched to all in one balanced mutual fund
  • Switched back to all in one asset allocation ETF
  • Started to pick my own individual dividend growth stocks
As you can see a lot of changes as the years ticked by. I get asked a lot about what investing strategy is the best. My answer is usually, whatever allows you to sleep at night. Whatever you do pick one and have confidence in your decision. There is no need to jump back and forth because you heard that doing it this way is better.

The above changes and switches in strategy  have cost me thousands throughout the years. No need for you to do this as I've hopefully saved you some time and heartache.

Why I Like Dividends

  • getting paid regularly
  • it's fun
  • watching the dividend income grow
  • participating in stock splits
  • no fees other than buying premiums
  • allows for dividend reinvestment
  • allows you to hedge against monthly bills

These are just some of the reasons I enjoy doing my own investing and collecting dividends. This shouldn't be stressful and you don't need to doubt yourself by buying anything you know nothing about.

I just prefer to buy my own companies and not the whole market through mutual funds or ETFs. You might like this approach but it's not my jam.

In Sum

I find it just best to avoid listening to financial TV and buying the top picks of some investment advisor. Really? People do this. Ya, they do. How many picks a show multiplied by how many shows in a year. That's a lot of different picks. Are they all winners? Are they right for you?

I suggest turning the TV off, reading a lot of books on investing at your local library. Put in the work and have confidence in knowing there is no need to jump in and out of different strategies because you doubt your choices.

You can always sell that company if you want to but selling the whole portfolio and switching to something else will be very costly.

Consuming too much financial and economic news can be deadly to your financial if you act on it. Control yourself and enjoy the rest of your life. We are not professionals using other people's money. We have to be smart and take good care of our own cash.

Further Reading

Salary for Life

Your TFSA Compounder

Wednesday, September 22, 2021


This question was asked of Brent from Santiago Capital by Daniella Cambone.

Where would you invest $100K right now if a client handed it to you?

His Breakdown;

Cash - $20K

RE - $20K

Gold - $20K

The Dow - $20K

FI - $20K

He didn't give  specifics other than that. Diversify and use this as a guideline. I have no idea what his fixed income allocation would it be relative to bonds or pref shares.

He is big on diversifying and risk management of assets. All things you would expect from a professional money manager. They all treat client's money with risk management at the fore front and that's what they should do.

Retail investors are not bound by the same constraints but we should think about risk and protecting our downside.

I personally don't buy any fixed income products or buy bonds. Not now or ever. My hedge or inflation protected asset is in old silver coins and Bitcoin.

I've never really thought much about gold because it is really close to it's all time high whereas silver is still 60% away from it's ATH.

To me if you want portfolio insurance then the better buy would be silver. NOT silver or gold stocks but the actual physical metal. Again, less risk.

I am also building cash looking to buy in November when the stock loss selling season is getting underway in earnest or any crash before that.

I hold very little U.S. assets due to tax considerations and for me right now prefer investing in Canadian Dividend Growth stocks for retirement income.

I consider my DB pensions enough fixed income so my investments are all equity.

I am currently looking at investing in a Nasdaq or S&P ETF for equity diversification.

At least Brent gave out some free investment advice when asked the question. Most wouldn't.

Where would you invest $100K today?

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Happy 2021


What a year that was. I didn't feel much like writing after the virus hit and who knows 2021 might bring more of the same. It will get worse. January and February along with the weather will be brutal.

Vaccine coming but molasses slow. Better days ahead?

What Can We Do?

Well I'm going to make sure my PFs are as tax efficient as can be. They are and have been for years. Max out your TFSA and RRSP as soon as you can because you can expect many changes to the tax structure after the spring budget.

Taxes are going up as the government will be looking everywhere to offset the massive spending plan they have planned for 2021.

I will be adding some silver coins and maybe some bitcoin to offset our portfolios of dividend growth stocks.


Simply as a hedge against this massive devaluing by central banks of our currency. Nothing more than 1% of our total net worth. I think this is prudent in todays climate.

Interest rates are in the ditch and as long as they are I believe a small diversified position is warranted. Even my dividend guru Tom Connolly has some old Canadian silver coins in his possession. I do too along with some physical bullion.

I don't know much about bitcoin but I'm becoming a believer. I need more study and just how to buy and where to store and keep it. Nothing crazy just a little at a time.

What's Trending?

I need to do more of this as there is more than one way to make money in this world. Would you buy coca-cola stock today? I am not Warren Buffett so the answer is no. He has lots bought when it was a thing. It's NOT anymore. I wouldn't even drink it or any soda out there. It's just shit.

But there are other ways to make money, increase income and build wealth. We know this truth yet are paralyzed to use different tools out there and leave our comfort zone.

So, one of my commitments to my investing self is to pay attention to trends and where the psychology of the market is taking money higher. I like to buy things when they are down and on sale in all walks of life.

When dividend paying stocks like the PIPELINES are down like now that is a place to look. I already own ENB, TRP and PPL.

I like but don't own IPL and KEY.

Telecom stocks are also data pipelines. They are a necessity and an essential service that is now getting government backing to have it installed everywhere humans live and congregate. These stocks are a must in any dividend portfolio. I own BCE, Telus and will be adding Shaw very soon. 


With income generated by growing monthly and quarterly dividend paying stocks I am going to look at some different ways of deploying and protecting our money. I will also try and pay attention to what the youth of our day spends money on and what trends seem to be appearing on the investing landscape.

It is only arrogance that let's us ignore and dismiss other ways people use to make money investing.

What Buffett did and invested in 50 years just is old and tired today. He missed the tech boom because he didn't understand it. He bought Apple 15 years later but he eventually got on board. That's OK all I'm saying is for me is to pay attention. What's trending is my 2021 mantra. 

Seek out those trends and explore if they are investable like marijuana stocks in 2003 when the government of Canada legalized it. Lots of easy money was made but not by me. I'm at a different head space now. Pay attention!

To sum up, most bloggers recommend more balanced portfolio nonsense or those new fangled one asset portfolios. Owning one asset is not a portfolio. You can keep costs at zero by buying individual stocks. I hate this balanced strategy.

I don't own bonds and would never buy any. They're just garbage in my opinion. Buy things that are down, trending up and pay you to own them. Keep searching and never stop.

Hedge with small positions in gold, silver and some bitcoin to protect purchasing power and your wealth. 1% of my net worth is my goal.

I hope 2021 is a roaring investing success for you!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

CPP Early or Late?


The ongoing should I take my public pension money now or wait debate rages, on all sorts of financial blogs. Take it early or defer? The opinions vary across the spectrum. This is just my opinion piece on the subject that I promise is light on math.

The pandemic is changing everything in a matter of months. There was a time when all people did was buy government bonds and GICs to comfortably fund their retirement. Low interest rates paying close to zero have pretty much nixed that strategy. 4-5% safe yields no longer exist.

They used to recommend that you take your age and that's how much you should have invested in bonds. 60% for a 60 year old and 70% for a 70 year old. You used to get a livable return on your money doing that.

Well, those days are long over.

Bonds are low yield plays of 0.5%-1% and GICs are your go to going broke safely choice. We are now being recommended lower bond exposure with more growth dividend paying equities. Yup, hold the same stuff in retirement as when we were working. Some even recommend preferred shares for their favourable tax treatment and higher yields. Usually made by insurance salesman and paid financial planners. Not for a DIY investor like me.

After all you don't want to run out of money in retirement. That's what would happen with a 60-70% bond/GIC exposure portfolio. It's a risk you really need to consider. 

So, I'm sure you've asked yourself and maybe some friends too; should I take my CPP early or wait for later?

Most surveys and the financial experts combined with the government want you to defer your public pension as long as possible. That way you get more money when you mature and prune up. It's a safe decision and it pretty much guarantees it keeps up with the ravages of inflation. 

Guess what? most to almost nobody does it in spite of the free advice spewed for free online or by youtubers.

Over 40% of us elect to collect at 60. Another 30% wait until 65 and only 1% defer all the way to 70.

Lots of amateur mathematicians with a blog out there bragging about how taking your CPP at 70 is what they will do and the best thing to do. 

They actually try and make you feel small and bad for even thinking about taking it early so you can buy some of the comforts of life with your pension money.

They prey on your financial illiteracy and lack of social smarts.

Pros and amateur blog dogs sell the story that you will have more cash for life because delaying your pension means payments will get bigger and more inflation indexing will come your way. The wise ones preach that we are all living longer and we need more income as we age in these extra years. Our so called safe investment assets are paying next to nothing so the money is best to come from a deferred pension.

Most planners (people still use these?) say that there are 3 big reasons to cash in early;

  1. You need the money to pay bills and supplement income or you'll end up broke
  2. You will die young based on illness or hereditary family history
  3. Retired early and no longer pay into the plan
The same experts point out that making another 7% in annual increased payments (deferred) is more than you can make if you invested the money yourself. So, it makes financial sense to wait until later. Let the guvmint keep investing and holding your money for you. 

They also want to scare you into using your RRSP money because in the end it saves them money. They want to suck off their share of taxes as you burn through your hard saved up retirement money. Remember this money becomes fully taxable as soon as you tap into it.

To me, the longer you wait the closer to death you are. When that happens they're off the hook. They owe you and your estate nothing. Spouse will receive a survivor's benefit but c'est tout!

So what to do? Collect zero at 60, OAS at 65 and CPP at 70? Is that the plan for your contributions? Experts surmise this would net about $100K over decades of retirement. 

As talked about earlier this is not what the masses do. Are they right?

You're damn straight they are! Early CPP wins!

Grab the cash as soon as you're eligible. No looking back, stop the second guessing. Turnoff the online calculators, no need for more dumb spreadsheets. 

C'mon man you're 60, enough of the listening to cellar dwelling internet experts wiping the chip dust from their chest hair.

You have no idea how long you will live and neither does anyone. Have a look at the virus numbers. Shit happens, take the f'n money NOW!

Live for the now, NOT your future self. 

How do you know what you and your body at 70 feels like? What about all the delayed surgeries and treatments people in their sixties are living through right now. Try to get into the hospital right now. It's a hostile trip. 

Some will make it to that island holiday, others just won't. Feel lucky?

You might be severely disappointed at your 70 year old self. My back still hurts when I hear that word - Tillsonburg!

I've invested in dividend paying growth stocks so my portfolio will grow, throb and expand in retirement. If I'm doing it right and think that I am, I can live off the juice without tapping into the whole coconut. I'll use my early CPP to add to my prepper stuff and booze collection.

Waiting until 70 also risks a higher tax bracket and triggering capital gains selling stuff when you don't really want to. Think of all the money you don't have to pull out of investments if you tapped out early. Take your pension money NOW!

No need to try and be a 1% 'er when it comes to CPP.

My Final Take

I took my CPP 4 years ago. I completely stopped working so money is taxed at the lowest rate possible. My wife continues to work a couple days a week and is not yet 60. We will decide what she wants to do then, but deferring to age 70 will not be an option in our decision.

It's your money, all of it. You funded it along with all the employers you ever worked for. It's personal and different for everybody. 2020 has been a shit show and changed all that. 

A good plan and you should have one changes over time. 

Hopefully we've learned that every day is so unpredictable and to just breathe is a gift. Leave nothing extra for the government.

Tomorrow is promised to no one.

When do you plan on taking CPP? I would be interested in your choice and reasons for doing so.

If you need help on how to generate additional income in retirement, then this book below can help you.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Investor Mistakes and Solutions


We all make them don't we. If you don't well you're just not learning anything. Ever tried to downhill ski? Falling is part of the learning curve and without it you will never learn or become anything close to an accomplished skier. It's part of it so get used to falling down, brushing off and starting over with a new lesson.

You are going to make mistakes when you decided to put money to work. The following are just a few I've made and and how I fixed them. 

Buying What I Don't Know 

I went on a buying spree of epic proportions in the junior silver and gold mining space. I didn't have a clue what or who the companies were. I was just born in Northern Ontario and it seemed like the thing to do because my Dad was also once a miner.

Quickly and rapidly I managed to turn $50,000 into $8,000. I then compounded that mistake with selling all the stocks at a loss instead of waiting for a recovery. I didn't understand the sector or the names I was invested in. I listened to pundits and newsletter writers instead of studying the company myself.

Solution - Buy and invest in what you know a little about. If you know nothing about anything then leave it in savings until you do. Go to the library and study everything you can find on investing. 

Selling Too Soon 

This is an off shoot of buying what you don't know. You are more prone to sell too early when you don't know what you own. I regret just about every selling decision I've ever made in my investing life.

They always go up in price after you sell, don't they? Best to forget it and move on. Try to remember what made you buy the stock in the first place and then ask yourself if there has been any drastic change that would cause you to dump it. Take your time before you make a selling decision.

Solution - have an exit strategy. Do know how much of a loss you are willing to take. For stocks over $5, I allow no more than a haircut of 20%.
Put the money to work in something that is on the way up and something you know something about, like your bank where you keep your money.

Mutual Funds and Index Investing

Getting sucked into the world of modern portfolio theory. These are the experts that spew nonsense like asset allocation, balance, re-balancing and the 60-40 portfolio.
You want to own bonds in this investing climate?
These are people who make money off the people mentioned above. Those that don't know what they own. They dazzle you with company speak and tell you that nobody is smarter than the market just so they can sell you their specific products. I used to own portfolios consisting of nothing but mutual funds or index ETFs. 

I own nothing but individual dividend growth stocks where I can see the dividend income being deposited into my account. The problem with the funds and ETF products is the fees being subtracted from your account on a monthly basis.

Solution - Do your own homework and do your own stock picking and investing. YES you can do this on your own and you must take care of your own investing to have a secure retirement and NOT running out of money. If you continually listen to those who repeat modern portfolio theory you will pay out half of all your gains in fees to advisors. Why would you pay even $100 a month to someone to manage your money. Learn to do this yourself like changing the oil on your car.

My Final Take 

These are just a few of the many investing mistakes I've made and have now learned from. I was once a non swimmer but later became a working lifeguard. I couldn't walk with skis on but soon tackled the moguls and black diamond runs. It just takes time and knowledge.

We all lose money in the learning process. For now most of my money is investing in banks, utilities, telcos and pipelines. Companies that have been around for decades, are boring but consistently pay a dividend that rises in value every year.

I am focused on growing my annual dividend income, NOT paying any fees and adding to companies I already know and use.

Here is a recommendation on a book to help you with your investor education if you need it.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Nibbling on Yield Stocks

One doesn't get a chance to buy stocks at bargain prices very often so is this such a time?


I just like to buy when I have the money. Another area which differentiates me from a lot of others is that I'm buying dividend growth stocks with at least a 10 year record of increasing that dividend yield. I hunt for that yield to help supplement my pension income.

Nothing else really matters.

CIBC is one of the worst performers of Canada's big banks for the last 2 years. It closed yesterday at $103.75. That's a lot of money per share so most investors shy away.

It has a dividend yield of 5.6%

It's 10 year average yield is 4.1%

If we compare that to a utility darling like Emera where investors seem to be flocking to in droves these days we'll find a startling difference.

EMA yields 4.1% today.

It's 10 year average yield is 4.4%

Yes it's yielding less than it did in 2010.

Yield Buys

Hard assets like pipelines in my opinion will do well going forward. I recently purchased PPL Pembina Pipeline and it's 7.9% yield.

I'm already up 18% since purchase and added $504 to my yearly dividend income.

Should you buy it? Dunno

This is a new position to my other pipeline stocks TRP and ENB. I like them for the yield and to carry oil and nat gas as the economy can't run without them at the moment and in my lifetime.


Yup added more Ma Bell. 6% yield

Why wouldn't you buy or own this stock? Are people not shopping more online? Using more data?

Of course we are and these steady yield payers like BCE are not going anywhere.

I buy these for the income. To build up my yearly stream of dividend income in retirement. If I lost half the value it doesn't matter as I'm buying income. This will only increase if the capital price erodes.

In the New Year I will be looking to add to my BNS, ENB, BMO  and CU positions. I believe their yield is still on sale.

If you want to learn more about buying stocks to generate income then you need to buy;