2021 Reader Survey Results + Good reads from the PF community

Although I created this blog to chronicle our financial independence journey and share things that we learn along the FI journey, I wanted to write and share content that people want to read and help them to gain new knowledge.

So last December I asked readers to fill out a survey. I wanted to learn how I can help serve you, my readers, better and understand what topics do interest and do not interest you.

A total of 726 of you took the time and filled out the survey. From the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you!

thank you

Let’s dive into the results, question by question with some commentary shall we?

2021 Reader Survey Results

Where do you live?

Over 90% of the 726 readers that filled out the survey are from Canada. Given I write mostly Canadian-related content, it makes sense that this blog attracts Canadians.

#1 Where do you live

4.1% of the readers are from the US. There are also readers from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Asia, and even Africa! I wonder when I will get readers from Antarctica.

What’s your age range?

Interestingly, 46.8% of you are in your 30s and 40s. Since I’m in my late 30s with a young family, I’m assuming that my writing attracts readers in similar age groups and the same stage of life as us.

#2 What's your age range

A few of you are in your 20s (5.1%). Sadly, no readers are under 20. This is probably because I don’t write too many articles like how to get out of debt and budgeting that might attract younger readers.

48% of you are in your 50s and older. This shows me that personal finance, investing, and FIRE are important topics across all age groups.

Your gender identity

Most of you are male.

#3 Gender

What is your martial status

The majority of you are married or common law, which I expected.

#4 martial status

If you’re married/common-law, how do you handle your finances

I made the mistake of allowing you to enter your own answers so there were lots of different answers. For the most part, looks like those that are married or common-law handle finances together as a team.

Quite many of you also answered that you have a mix of joint finances with some separate accounts, especially when it comes to investments.

#5 handle finances

If you’re married or living with a partner, you are…

The majority of you are dual-income families with kids. 42.7% of you have no kids (can we send our kids over? Ha!).

#6 kids or no kids

When it comes to financial independence, having a dual-income should accelerate the FI journey. However, let’s not forget there are many benefits of having one parent working and the other parent staying home with kids.

If you have kids, how many kids do you have?

Most families with kids have one or two kids. For those of you that have more than 3 kids, I would love to know what you do for vacations. What’s your seating arrangement on planes? Do you book multiple hotel rooms? What do you do to minimize your trip cost?

#7 how many kids

If you have kid(s), do you plan to pay for the post secondary education?

46.6% of you plan to pay for your kids’ post-secondary fully and 40.1% plan to support your kids partially.

#8 post secondary education cost

I was very fortunate and grateful that my parents paid for my post-secondary education so I could graduate from university without having debt. On the other hand, Mrs. T graduated from the master’s program with a small amount of debt. She believes there are benefits to having kids partially fund their post-secondary education.

As of now, we plan to fund both kids’ post-secondary education partially. If we can, we’d love to fully fund it.

Where are you in your financial journey?

Like us, 58.2% of you are still on your FI journey. 9.7% of you are figuring out your finances and creating a FIRE plan. If you are one of the 9.7%, please let me know how I can help you. Perhaps you may want to consider having a coaching call with me.

#9 FI journey

What caught my eyes is that 29.7% of you are already financially independent or retired. If you are already financially independent or retired, I would love to feature you in the FIRE Canada Interview series. Please either leave a comment or contact me.

How knowledgeable are you with personal finance and investing?

I believe I am always learning something new on personal finance and investing. This is why I write on this blog, to share the knowledge I’ve learned and help others so they don’t make the same mistakes as me.

#10 knowledge with personal finance and investing

How are you investing your money?

There was a LONG list of “other” answers for this question so I decided to capture the top answers only. As expected, most of you are investing in dividend growth stocks or index ETFs, and some of you are doing a hybrid approach like us.

#11 how are you investing

I created the “hide money under my mattress” answer as a sarcastic joke. I laughed out loud when I saw that 17 of you picked this option. I appreciate your sense of humour.

Many of you admitted that you invest in high fee mutual funds. I’d highly encourage you to switch to a low-cost index ETF, or even consider one of the all-in-one ETFs.

What do you prioritize spending money on?

#12 priorities

Like us, most of you prioritize your spending on food, travel, and experiences. Is it wrong to prioritize spending money on material things? No, I don’t think so, because personal finance is personal.

What’s the important lesson here? Do prioritize spending money on things that you value!

Are you currently experiencing or have experienced career burnout and looking for a way out, hence for FIRE (financial independence retire early)?

I am really shocked to see that 53.7% of you have or are experiencing career burnout and looking for a way out. Maybe I should spend more time writing about this serious issue.

Career burnout is real and we must pay attention to it. It is important to get help and not see FIRE as the escape route and the magic pill that’d make you happy.

#13 career burnout

How long have you been reading tawcan.com

It’s really amazing to know that there are so many readers that have been following this blog for two years or longer. Thank you!

#14 how long reading Tawcan

How did you first heard about tawcan.com, if you remember?

It’s pretty neat that many of you heard about this blog through other blogs. We bloggers are very supportive of each other. Many of you also indicated that you were referred/recommended by a friend or family member, which I thought is very neat.

#15 how you found Tawcan

How often do you visit tawcan.com?

Those of you that choose to complete the survey visit this blog quite regularly. I chuckled that 4.1% of you claimed that you practically live & breathe Tawcan.com.

#16 visit frequency

How do you know there is a new post on tawcan.com?

The majority of you check out new posts via the newsletter or RSS feeds. I was really happy to learn that 20.5% of you know that I publish a new post every Monday. Having a regular posting schedule is paying dividends!

#17 new posts

How do you prefer to consume personal finance and investing content?

Most of you prefer reading. I am still toying with the idea of creating Youtube videos.

#18 consumption

Do you read comments in each blog post?

I didn’t realize that over 60% of you read the comment section. For the most part, I think comments are civil and I do my best to filter/block out trolls and offensive comments. Some of you pointed out that I should moderate comments more than what I do currently. This is well noted.


What do you like most about tawcan.com? What is about tawcan.com that keeps coming back to read more?

Here are some common responses:

  • Personal stories and very relatable
  • Canadian content and perspectve
  • Simple and detailed explaintions
  • Easy to understand, laid-back approach
  • Transparency & honesty
  • Dividend and ETF investing approach
  • Writing on things that you’re actually doing (i.e. walk the walk rather than just talk the talk)

I really appreciate all your support over the years and for allowing me to connect with like-minded people.

What would you like to see more on tawcan.com

It was interesting to see that readers want to read more investing-related topics with more numbers and more charts. I believe most of you enjoy my qualitative analysis.

#20 topics

Some of you also pointed out that you want to read more advanced topics and non-money related topics, like life philosophy, gardening, and travels.

Many of you simply told me that I’m already doing a great job and just keep writing on topics that I enjoy. I appreciate this feedback.

What topic(s) would you like to see covered in future blog posts?

This question was related to the previous one. Many of you wanted to see more topics on decumulation, fundamental analysis, when to sell, tax strategies, stock analysis, and investing mistakes. Many people loved Reader B’s $360k per year dividend interview series. I really enjoy interviewing Canadians that have already achieved financial independence, retired early, or living off dividends and sharing their stories. The main difficulty is finding people to interview. If you are one of these people, please please please, do let me know. I’d love to interview you.

Interestingly, some want to learn more about gardening. Perhaps I need to get Mrs. T to write a few posts about gardening in the future.

Blogs you read other than tawcan.com

It was interesting to see what other blogs you are reading other than this one. As expected, many of you read the same blogs that I read and follow regularly. These blogs included:

Are you an email subscriber?

Most of you that filled out the survey already subscribed to the newsletter.


Is there anything I should change on the blog?

Mimicking previous responses, many of you simply said that I should continue doing what I have been doing. Some of you suggested ordering the comments so the newest comments are at the top so it’s easier to follow. This is something I have changed already.

Anything else you want to let me know? Don’t be shy. 🙂

Most of you left comments like…

  • Nope
  • Keep up the good work
  • Thank you for sharing your knowledge and the great content

However, some of you have provided some valuable feedback that I have taken to heart.

Once again, I really appreciate all of you that took the time to fill out the survey. I have found your feedback extremely valuable.

Good Reads From The PF Community

Switching gear, here are some articles from the personal finance community I really enjoyed reading.

Mark over at My Own Advisor had a great interview with Matt about How to Beat the TSX – “I welcome the dividends vs. indexing debate. Listening carefully to the criticisms of dividend investing made by intelligent indexers has made me a much better investor. Frankly, there are a lot of dividend investing myths that have been perpetuated, ideas that sound good in theory but don’t stand up to scrutiny. The irrelevance of yield on cost is one that comes to mind. I believe in evidence-based investing. There is a ton of evidence that index investing is incredibly effective at capturing risk-adjusted returns. It is also so simple and easy that almost anyone can do it, thereby avoiding high MERs and advisor fees. On the other hand, we also have over 30 years of evidence to support Beating the TSX. There’s room for both.” Some of you may remember my interview with Matt on travelling the world with 4 kids.

Preet went over how it’s possible to offer commission-free stock trading. I definitely learned a few things from his video.

Congratulations on Craig and his family for reaching financial independence and shifting priorities and earning differently – “So what does this mean? The financial independence number is only a rule of thumb. Hitting FI doesn’t mean I’ve lost the desire to continue building wealth. I’m not ready to flip a switch and start living off of dividends and savings. I want to fortify our financial footings. We may choose to increase our annual spending. Or we may build extra wealth to travel more comfortably, anticipate medical issues, give to charities, or leave an inheritance to our children. I like earning money and intend to continue to earn for years to come, maybe even past age 55. But my primary income source may change. Reaching financial independence brings clarity, confidence, and the potential to reclaim some of my time and pursue more meaningful work. That’s my focus today — leveraging our financial independence to transition away from an unremarkable professional career toward something more rewarding and flexible. The transition has been on my mind for a while.

Brian at Lazy Man and Money wrote a great post on the Myth that No One Ever Got Rich by [X] – “The problem is that these are singular claims. It ignores that your total money mindset is made up of many beliefs and actions. It’s unlikely that you are going to be frugal in just one area. Usually, if you are saving money on coffee by making it at home, you are also the kind of person who brings their lunch to work. It doesn’t have to be every day, but it’s probably going to happen more often than not.”

getting rich

Kitty at Bitches Get Riches will soon walk away from her job (actually more like retirement!). In typical BGR’s brilliant style, Kitty wrote a great and sarcastic post called The Resignation Checklist: 25 Sneaky Ways To Bleed Your Employer Dry Before Quitting – “Delete co-workers you hate. I got one snarky comment from a former manager. “Aw, just when I was about to call you about a job!” Cue stink face. This dude and I haven’t spoken in years. And when I was in his department, he criminally underpaid me based on my age. I’d rather eat ass 40 hours a week than work for him again. So ew! So no! I deleted him.

I really like Joseph Carlson’s straightforward thoughts on investing. He and I share a lot of similarities when it comes to our core investing strategy. Here’s a great video of him analyzing the big US tech companies and why Joseph believes they are undervalued.

Mr. Tako believes that investors like a lot like clams. They’re happiest when the tide is high (aka the market is rising) but they’re less happy when the tide starts going out. Does that make sense at all? “For me, the trick to being a happy investor in all kinds of markets is to simply not get pulled into the panic and fear of a falling market. I find some other metrics to value my investments with. Something other than market price.  There are usually one or two metrics in every business to evaluate, which are entirely independent of market conditions.

What’s coming on the blog

Many readers have asked about the dividend tax drags, so I decided to write a post explaining how do foreign withholding taxes work for dividend stocks and ETFs. I also have written a post to re-examine our financial independence plans.

Have topics that you want me to write about? Feel free to contact me.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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6 thoughts on “2021 Reader Survey Results + Good reads from the PF community”

  1. Great survey, Tawcan. I was happy to participate! Most suprising to me is the age range of your readers. I would have thought most of your readers were in their 30s.

    I think surveys like this are soooo useful for us bloggers. It gives you a great idea of who your audience is and what type of content they may be interested in. Much more useful infromation than what google analytics can offer.

    • I was a little surprised myself too. It’s nice to see there’s a wide age range in my readers and it’s great to hear from them and getting some input. I don’t really pay too much attention with GA. 🙂

  2. Very interesting survey results Bob. It makes sense how a lot of your readers are very much like yourself. People like to read about others that they can relatable to. I’m part of the small slice that’s been reading your blog for 5+ years, haha. I’m curious to learn more about the dividend tax drag as well. Keep up the great work. 🙂

  3. I think a good way to separate one’s emotions from the market is conviction. For example, if you have high conviction in a future cash flow of a company or that you strongly believe after doing months of research that a stock price is severely undervalued, short-term price action probably won’t phase you at all, since you bought with conviction.
    It can go up or down or sideways but as long as your investment thesis is sound, then you’ve got nothing to worry about and you can probably DCA into it even more (either manually or just sell OTM puts).

    I think most people get very emotional about the market is when they have no conviction and just read something on WSB or something and put way too much money in. The resulting stock likely has no fundamental discount associated with it and thus the rise and fall of the stock price severely impacts investors who have a shorter term investment horizon (but short-term prices are quite random so they’ll always be prone to Mr. Market and just have their emotion correlated to price action, which is probably unhealthy).


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