First of all, I wish everyone is enjoying a great holiday season. I’m in the midst of a much-needed 2-week break from my full-time job. Surprisingly, this was the longest vacation I’ve taken all year.
It has been a very strange year. The global pandemic hasn’t ended, a lot of restrictions are still in place, I have worked from home all year, and haven’t stepped foot on a plane for over 21 months. One thing Mrs. T and I are very grateful for is that both kids returned to in-person school in September and both kids have thoroughly enjoyed school. We are also very fortunate that there haven’t been any COVID exposures at the school. We are hoping this trend will continue for the rest of the school year. However, given what’s going on with the omicron variant, I would not be surprised if we go back to some sort of remote learning for a short period in the new year.
The biggest thing we’ve learned this year is to relax a bit when it comes to spending money on convenience. It has been a hard and challenging year for all of us. All the restrictions, precautions, and limited social interaction have all taken a toll on us mentally. So we found ourselves relying on takeouts more when both Mrs. T and I are completely drained before dinner.
Despite the challenges and uncertainties the pandemic has caused, we feel very fortunate and blessed that we are doing well financially. If anything, our $115k stock purchases throughout 2020 have expedited our financial independence journey. I still have a full-time job and I am enjoying what I do at work and feeling challenged every day; Mrs. T is enjoying her doula work and helping other pregnant ladies.
More than ever, we believe it’s important to provide a helping hand to those in need. Donating money to local charities is a great way to do that. If you have stocks that have appreciated in value, donating securities to charity might be a good idea too. Just before Christmas, we sponsored a family through the local Christmas bureau by giving the family gift cards to purchase food and presents for the kids. We’ve been sponsoring a family every Christmas for many years and it has always been a heartwarming experience. If you can, I would highly encourage you to provide a helping hand to those in need.
Amazingly, I have kept up with my goal of posting an article every Monday. In other words, I have posted 52 articles for this year (actually more since I have published more articles outside of Mondays). Here are some articles that I really enjoyed writing:
- Five lessons I’ve learnd as an investor
- Have I failed as a father?
- Does market timing works? Absolutely but with a catch!
- Living off dividends. My $360k per year dividends part 1
- Living off dividends. My $360k per year dividends part 2
- Our early withdrawal strategies – how to keep more money
- Best Canadian monthly dividend stocks
- How to get rich quickly in stock market
- Canadian dividend calendar
- Early withdrawal strategies – A reader’s discussion
- Best US dividend stocks
I want to thank all the readers for you throughout 2021. It’s great to be able to connect with so many like minded people and provide support throughout each of our FIRE journey.
Good Reads From The PF Community
There are a lot of personal finance blogs on the internet and I try to read as many blogs as I can. Here are some articles I have come across that I really enjoyed reading.
Chrissy and her husband M have officially reached FIRE! I’m so happy for them – “It does hurt our FIRE sensibilities to walk away from a good job and good income. But with our core values in mind, we have zero doubts that retirement is the right decision. That makes it less hard (but still not easy!) to walk away.“
Jim at Wallet Hack asked Are you ready to retire? Having “retired” after selling his first blog, Jim continued to “work.” He believes that working on projects that challenge him mentally and physically is extremely important – “I believe the same happens with our minds. If you aren’t challenging yourself, working towards something, and growing – you’re going to lose it.”
Dividend Growth Investing & Retirement (DGI&R) shares a MASSIVE post on 100 Canadian Dividend Yield Charts: 25-Year Low, Average & High Dividend Yield Charts – “If high yield indicates undervaluation and low yield overvaluation, then the average yield suggests fair value. You can use these 25-year average yield charts to come up with an estimate of fair-value.“
Leif and Jacob at Physician on Fire believe we should all Live like you’re already retired. I totally agree, that’s why I practice being financially independent despite not FI yet – “The benefits of hobbies go far beyond simple enjoyment. Hobbies are associated with a variety of physical and psychological benefits, such as lower blood pressure, better fitness and reduced stress. One study even suggests the outdoor exposure and physicality of gardening increases longevity.”
Piggy at Bitches Get Riches said we should Stop Over-Apologizing at Work. There’s a difference between being polite and taking charge. Sure, we Canadians say “sorry” a lot one must draw a line at work – “Over-apologizing creates a negative loop that diminishes your esteem with yourself and your credibility with others. On the other hand, expressing gratitude performs the opposite function, with greater precision and better results. It gives you an opportunity to indirectly compliment your coworker, focusing both of you on the positive aspects of your working relationship.“
What’s coming on the blog?
I’m very much looking forward to 2022. I have a few posts scheduled where I deep dive into the simple concept behind dividend investing and whether one should invest in high yield dividend stocks. I will also share our 2021 numbers.
Have topics that you want me to write about? Feel free to contact me.
Thank you everyone for reading this little blog of mine. I really appreciate your readership and support.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Happy new years everyone!