Lesson #12 Fee’s, Fee’s, Fee’s!

Hello, my fellow Ontarian’s,

So? Provincial election aftermath… good or bad? I’m sure that I just struck a cord with a few people, but don’t forget one simple lesson: Ford was elected by voters, so for everyone who thinks he will be a horrible Premier of Ontario, many think the opposite. Let’s not get into any fist fights over this, Ontario will survive!

I’ve been so busy these past few months, that I’ve been neglecting my blog. I would like to apologize to my 11 followers! I’m back with a *short one because this keeps coming up on many of my social media feeds and I can no longer stay silent.

I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts lately and these seem to be all people talk about these days: Robo-advisors & Low-cost ETF’s. These advertising campaigns are ridiculous because they are telling society that everything we’ve always done is no longer good. It’s like telling someone that their grand-mothers apple pie is no longer the best… I pity the fool who talks about my granny’s pie!

Most of you savvy enough to know that you can invest your money in many different ways. Some cost more than others, and yes, those costs will obviously affect performance over 30 years, but that’s also like saying you’ll be richer if you stop drinking coffee every day. Some investments are more volatile than others and some are outright insanely risky (look at crypto-currency). I don’t know about you, but I’m in it for the long haul. If I want risky, I’ll take a trip to the Casino.

Unfortunately, while people are debating which way to go and do all this research before making a decision, they are not investing. Every second person I run into, that are coming up to their 40’s, have yet to invest a dime. I’m seriously losing my mind over here! So, I’m going to break this down simply, so people can get into the game already. This is your financial future…wake up!


Robo advisor

Easy, online portfolio investing. These are low-cost solutions and they like to promote that they have a formula that will make all the decisions for you. Now, I’ve looked into these so-called Robo advisors and they all have 1 thing in common: who is actually doing the advising? Our industry is being severely regulated, but it doesn’t seem to affect this business all that much. Why? Also, If I want to talk to someone about my portfolio, I get a call center person. I’m sure everyone has a call center story…enough said! They are very inexpensive to purchase and manage, but the more trades you do, the more fees you’ll pay. As your golden egg gets bigger, they will continuously increase the fees. If you are going to go this route, you better know what Exchange traded funds are and how they actually work.



Everyone knows a winner or a sure thing when they see it right? In my experience, people who dabble in stocks are just like bingo ladies… you only hear about the ups and never the downs. I’m a big believer in trusting the experts. If my mechanic says I need to replace a part, I listen. When my doctor sends me for tests, I go. When it comes to stocks, everyone seems to be an expert! You can open an iTrade account with every major bank and do it yourself. Of course, BNN, Youtube, Podcasts & Google will totally make you an expert. (sarcasm!) The smart way is to put your trust in the experts and let a licensed, experienced and qualified broker do the investing for you. Now, this service does not come free! This person went to school, stays up to date with the new trends and must follow very strict government compliance rules. You gotta pay to play this way! Disclaimer: stocks can be extremely volatile and they have no guarantees! Do not be that person who checks the markets every morning either or your mental health might take a hit.


Mutual Funds

In Canada, we have some of the highest fees in the investment world. They are essentially these massive pools of money that are being managed by teams. Their job is to essentially research companies, publicly traded and privately held, find good investment opportunities and buy and sell. They are extremely diversified investments, therefore there are not as volatile as other investments. This day and age, you get what you pay for!

Segregated Funds

I’m a segregated fund guy because of I live for the guarantees they provide, but it comes at a cost. What appeals to me the most is the creditor protection they provide and the fact that the money will get paid to my beneficiaries and bypass the estate, should the unthinkable happen. They mimic mutual funds (most segregated funds have and Identical Mutual Fund), but again, all these bells and whistles come at a cost. These types of investments are only available thru life insurance companies and life licensed agents. Be mindful of captive agents! Better to deal with a broker.


Index funds

This is a type of mutual fund but on cruise control. They typically cost less than a regular mutual fund and they are managed internally, meaning that any moves of changes will be handled by the fund managers without any client consultation. It’s a leave it and forget it approach that kinda makes me nervous. I knew that when I got married that I would be handing over control of 80% of my life, but I’m not sure if I’m comfortable giving that level of control over my retirement money. These funds are built to match and track components of the market index and are said to provide broad market exposure, low operating costs & low turnover rate. To me, that just sounds like a way for you to keep your money in the same place for longer period of time. Sounds like something the banks came up with!



Do-it-yourself investing sounds like the way to go, but most people have absolutely no idea what they are doing when it comes to managing money. Most people who preach about this practice are either very well educated on the matter, have had many years of experience and success or they are simply trying to sell you their system or brokerage. Bottom line is the stats don’t lie. Those who seek expert advice grow their portfolios by almost 4x than those who tend to use the DIY method. What’s important though, is that you get some skin in the game and you feel comfortable with what you are doing. If this stresses you out, don’t do it yourself!

Let’s recap, in today’s lesson I learned:

  1. Every investment has its advantages and disadvantages
  2. Know your risk tolerance and the investments volatility before investing
  3. Fees: you get what you pay for!
  4. Just Pick one already and start planning for retirement now.


I had horrible financial role models growing up. Since I’m such a smart guy, I didn’t want to end up without a dime to my name once I hit retirement age. I knew, even before getting into finance, that I needed to plan 30-35 years ahead of time. It takes time to grow a nest egg. I just started following Steve Adcock. This guy managed to accumulate enough wealth to retire at 37 years old. He isn’t wealthy, but he has enough to provide him and his wife a nice comfortable life. Anything can be achieved if you set goals and put a plan in motion to hit those targets. I’m starting late, but I’m hoping to buy my financial freedom by the age of 50.

*I guess it wasn’t such a short blog post after all…lol

I’ll learn ya!










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