Hi, I’m Bob Lai. I’m from Vancouver Canada. Tawcan.com is a personal blog dedicated to chronicle my quest for joyful life and financial independence. Why joyful life and financial independence? I realized early on that having all the money in the world doesn’t mean anything unless you are happy and at peace with yourself. Hence, this blog focuses on both personal finance and creating joy and happiness in life.


A Little About Me

Growing up, money has always been a topic that my family and I discussed openly. Raised by frugal parents, I have learned the long-term benefits of being frugal and having money working hard for me. When I was younger, I did a lot of weird things to save money. I demonstrated my extreme frugality while working in Germany for 8 months. Despite the low monthly income, I managed to travel all over Europe. I learned a lot of things about myself and what I wanted to do in life from this experience. I started investing when I was in my early 20s. Back then I didn’t have much investing knowledge, so I invested in mutual funds or stocks based on other people’s advice and hot tips. The returns never matched the fund performance reports that I received semi-annually and the stocks always performed poorly. Then I realized the high management expense fees (MERs) were eating into my returns – I had to pay the high MERs regardless of how the funds were performing! I wish I had known about these 10 lessons back then! After my financial epiphany, I decided to take charge of my own finances. I started reading books on personal finance and investment topics to increase my knowledge. I also started my own self-managed dividend portfolio while focusing on being as tax efficient as possible. As a dad to two young kids, I plan to teach them about personal finance and continue to openly discuss any money topics. My goal is to raise them to be financially responsible individuals.


My Plan For Financial Independence

Financial independence retire early is not an unfamiliar concept to me as my dad retired in his early 40’s, one of my cousins retired in his early 40’s, and another cousin reached financial independence in her mid-40’s but decided to continue working. Looking back, I really appreciate that my dad had the time to attend a lot of my school and sports functions. In the summer time, the whole family was able to go on several 2-months long cross-continental road trips. My love for travel was born. To me, the term early retirement means sitting on the beach drinking pina colada or playing golf all day. Full leisure is not something I want to do, I would get bored pretty quickly. Rather, I am aiming to reach financial independence where our passive income exceeds our monthly expenses. When I am financially independent, I can continue to work because I choose to, not because I have to. This is the power of being financially independent. Through frugality, dividend stock investing, and other passive income streams, I am targeting to reach financial independence in 2025 or earlier (in my early 40’s). My wife and I want to become financially independent to gain more freedom and choices in life. When financially independent, I plan to continue working. My ultimate dream is to one day travel around the world and live in different countries for extended periods of time to learn about the local culture and explore the surrounding area. Want to follow my quest for joyful life and financial independence? And all the cool updates that I post on this blog? There’s no better way to do that then sign up for the newsletter. I’d be thrilled if you’d join in by filling out the form below!

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What Is Tawcan

Tawcan is a name I invented when I first started using the internet in the 90’s. It stands for Taiwanese Canadian. Since nobody uses this username, it just stuck with me ever since. 🙂


My Mission

When I started this blog I simply wanted to share my knowledge on personal finance, investing, and life philosophy. I also wanted to chronicle my financial independence journey and keep myself accountable. After 2 years of blogging, I have managed to connect with many like-minded people and received many encouraging emails from readers. My mission for this blog is to show that financial independence is indeed possible and provide support and guidance to all my readers. As a millennial, I am here to share my knowledge but also to learn from my peers and readers.


Learn More About Me


Get In Touch!

I would love to hear from you. Here are some ways to get a hold of me. Email me at [email protected] Follow me on Twitter at @Tawcan Follow me on Facebook at Tawcan Disclaimer: All content posted on this blog represents my personal opinions and views. I am not a licensed investment advisor. I am also not a life coach. You should do your own research and consult with a professional before you make any decisions that may impact your life.


  • Reply
    August 14, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Cool! Welcome to the world of personal finance blogging! If by west coast you mean Vancouver, that’s where I am too.

  • Reply
    October 2, 2014 at 9:38 am

    West coast, best coast!

    Heading off to read more!

  • Reply
    Dividend Hustler
    March 26, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Thank you for starting this blog Tawcan. I always have a good time visiting your blog. It’s very informative. Keep doing what your doing inspiring others and bettering your lives and others. Take care.

  • Reply
    Mr. FSF
    April 18, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Based on your blog, you do seem like an all-round nice guy 😉 Will have to do some more reading to catch up! Impressive dividend growth as well, congratulations, hope that you can keep that up.

  • Reply
    Our Next Life
    June 4, 2015 at 5:39 am

    Hi there! Found you through Rockstar Finance, and looking forward to delving into your blog more. We’re fellow skier/outdoor types seeking FI, just a bit south of you. 🙂

  • Reply
    June 11, 2015 at 2:12 pm


    I enjoyed your easy on the eyes “about” page. Your mentioning of family and friends in several different ways is beautiful. You have your priorities set and straight. I look forward to following your journey to financial independence where you, obviously, already have a strong foundation built.


    P.S. I hope you do not mind my adding you to my blogroll — if so, please let me know.

  • Reply
    Dividend Freedom
    August 19, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Great blog Tawcan!

    I am about the same age married and with kids. So already there we have a lot in common 🙂

    Best of luck in future, I will definitely follow you in the future.

    Stay in touch.
    Dividend Freedom

  • Reply
    October 9, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Awesome, sounds like we have a lot in common!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Early 30’s and a dad… both characteristics that are very close to myself. Happily married, late 20’s, no kids yet but hopefully in the near future. It’s nice to see a lot of the same attributes in other bloggers that are trying to achieve FI. It makes things much easier and shows that it is doable. We are not quite at the 5 figure dividend income like yourself but we are certainly pushing ourselves to get that as quick as possible. It’s a fun journey for sure!

    You definitely have a reader for life. I look forward to following your journey over the years.


  • Reply
    August 28, 2016 at 5:33 am

    Quite enjoy your fine city, though I can’t imagine navigating its real estate market! Ouch! I’ll take the Canadian prairies for now, though we do like to visit the west coast ;). I’m looking forward to learning more about your take on PF and Investing.

  • Reply
    Money Miser @ Money-Miser.com
    December 15, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Nice to see another Vancouver FI blogger, you’re the first I’ve seen! It’ll be interesting to see your approach to financial independence whilst living in this unbelievably expensive city!

  • Reply
    Team CF
    January 2, 2017 at 3:24 am

    Hey Bob, impressed that you decided to put your name and photograph out there. You have more guts than I/we do. Hope it helps your brand! Best of luck.

    • Reply
      January 3, 2017 at 1:57 pm

      Hi Team CF,

      Thanks, for me it was the right thing to do. 🙂

  • Reply
    Route To Retire
    January 9, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Hi Bob, nice to put a face with all the great articles! I hope to do the same at some point down the line once I am able to quit the 9-5.

    — Jim

  • Reply
    January 26, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    HI Taw can,

    There is a news about you on http://www.moneysense.ca.
    A portfolio that pays $12K a year

    Great! keep it up

  • Reply
    January 26, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    I mean an article about you

    • Reply
      January 26, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      Thanks, I know about that. Hope you enjoyed reading it. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 23, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Hi Bob, your site has been incredibly helpful. I use your google spreadsheet but I can’t seem to get the new yahoo formulas to work. Do you have a link to the spreadsheet with yahoo formulas in it? Thanks again

  • Reply
    Alain Guillot
    March 23, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Hey, Nice to meet you. I am a personal finance blogger and podcaster based in Montreal Canada. I am also an amateur photographer. I am looking through your archives… We have a few things in common.

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