Financial Planner

I met with an old school friend that is a financial planner to discuss some available investment options. Currently I manage my own investments across different asset classes and re-allocate based on market trends and imbalances. I look to sell overvalued assets and reinvest in undervalued yet fundamental alternatives.

My primary hesitation with using an advisor is the commission structure and limited available asset options. I would be happy to pay an advisor a high fee for their time and advice on as regular basis but not on a commission of total invested assets. Commissions based on invested assets causes several issues, one being because the available investible assets are a subset of what I am interested in they are disincentivized to help allocate towards assets they don’t sell. Secondly the commission fees are disproportionately high when investing a retirement level of assets.

In my case I plan is to grow my assets and place one million dollars in index stock and bond funds and use the expected four percent yearly return as backup income to cover my cost of living. My current living expenses are around twenty something thousand dollars per year making my monthly draw about two thousand dollars. If I was to have a financial advisor invest one million with a 1.5% commission that works out to be $1250.00 a month. With a drawdown of $2000.00 a month to live that is a high percentage considering that the alternative is a $25.00 fee for managing my own investments through an online broker. Note that each of the stock index funds have a commission fee attached that applies weather they are self directed or managed through an advisor.

Ultimately I want to make my own decisions for where to invest and have the responsibility to research opportunities and learn from the experience.

 

 

 

 

Being Sick

Through the past several years I have been sick fairly frequently and each time it would play out the same way, soar throat, sinus, joints last about two weeks and completely incapacitate me during that time.

This was common for many years. I assumed there was nothing I could do about it but I have made some progress this year. I think major contributing factors were stress and diet.

A friend of mine mentioned to me that they drink water with apple cider vinegar mixed and that helps. I tried it when I was sick and noticed a significant reduction in the symptoms and length of time that I usually get knocked out for.

Rest and vitamins didn’t make as much of a difference as apple cider vinegar. I also consumed a decent amount of almond milk and I found that this aggravated sickness and made it worse so I reduced my consumption.

I’m just recovering from a head cold now of the same type but this one lasted two days instead of two weeks and it was a lot less unpleasant. I am able to be up and go out to run errands which I would not have been able to previously.

The last time I was sick a few months ago I watched youtube videos on health and wellness. One branch of that was on a raw diet. Since then I started eating raw but gradually introduced cooked foods because one, i’m not a good cook and the foods I could make raw are boring and I found that I have cravings for cooked food and the feeling of fullness that it gives me. My experience eating raw is a much better feeling both mentally and physically but I still have a strong addiction to warm comfort food. When sick raw food does help me recover from illness but my impression is that the largest health effect is staying healthy not recovering when sick.

The other significant contributor to recovery from sickness is meditation. I wrote a previous post here on the details of the meditation I use. For me this practice is something that I find easy to do and causes a relaxed, calm almost trance like state that lasts for about twenty four hours after a thirty minute session. This reduces the discomfort of a cold sinus and join pain far better than Advil or Tylenol.

Because I don’t have to work any more on a fixed schedule I don’t feel stressed about resting for a few days to recover. When I had a nine to five job my sickness would always last two weeks of which the first I would take off work and then worry about balancing taking more time or getting sicker.

Update: 3 weeks later. 

So It took a long time for me to recover after that one. While I was able to reduce the level of discomfort the cold lingered. One possible issue that I’m looking into is the water in my building. When I moved in four years ago I started getting a soar throat and swollen glands regularly. I picked up a water filter and that made an immediate difference. This past week I noticed that the water in my bathroom sink that I use to brush my teeth smells bad so I started brushing with filtered water instead of tap water. My remaining swollen throat went away within a couple hours and I have been find since. I just have to avoid the tap water. This could be a coincidence of timing but that would explain a lot of sickness over the years.

Life Insurance and Emergency Prep

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Here is a summary of some plans and strategy i’m using for general life related insurance and risk hedging.

I have a twenty year old adopted daughter living with me while she originally moved back in with me to finish school but she dropped out and is just working. Unfortunately for her she isn’t able to earn enough to live in this city so I subsidize her housing and food. If something was to happen to me she would have extended family to help her if she needed and she would inherit my assets and be financially ok. My current concern in that scenario is that she wouldn’t know how to manage or maintain investments and loose the benefit of financial independence. I will impart what I can over time but ultimately her choices will be up to her.

I also have two small dogs that come from a past relationship and I love them. They have been by my side for ten years are the most important part of my life so I want to make sure they are safe and healthy. I bought a Nest Protect smoke detector because it has a feature that will notify me if there is a fire. This would at least give me a better chance to rescue them if I was out but nearby.

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I’m in the process of also putting together supplies for an earthquake or other emergency. This includes food, water, lights and a bag with warm clothes, and cash that I can grab if I need to leave in a hurry.

It’s always a good idea to maintain and check the coverage details of your property or rental insurance policy.

If you have dependents and don’t have financial independence levels of equity and depend on income that would disappear if you died it’s probably a good idea to look into a life insurance policy. Be sure to shop around because there is a big difference between offerings.

Other than that it’s always a good idea to keep an up to date will or let an emergency contact know your wishes should something happen to you. Now let’s hope nothing bad does happen.

Meditation

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Years ago I was reading an interview of a guy named David Wilcock. David is an author and has a cool website at https://divinecosmos.com. When he was younger he worked in a mental health institution providing care to people with various types of handicaps. I gather is was a stressful environment for everyone involved.

One takeaway from the interview was about how the behaviour of the people at the hospital changed simply by him holding an idea of love and forgiveness in his mind. David would think about and repeat the two part phrase ‘I love you, I forgive you’ internally in his mind. He Just put his attention on the idea of love and forgiveness and the level of anxiety and stress the patients exhibited in the hospital dropped.

I thought that would be really interesting if a mental activity or state that you hold inside your mind could have a noticeable affect on others around you. So I tried it.

On the first occasion I laid down on my bed and relaxed for a few minutes and begun with a low level of effort or intensity the phrase ‘I love you, I forgive you.’ with a pause over and over. On each iteration I put my focus on my solar plexus / abdomen to represent myself and I would visualize virtual hands to point. Almost immediately I felt what I would describe as a trance like state that was calming relaxing and left open a space for me to continue with the process.

After about thirty minutes within the trance state I started to feel really good almost euphoric. I continued this for about two hours over the next few days and I got to a point where I had to stop because the feeling of trance and euphoria were so strong that it was making me nauseous like I had been riding a rollercoaster for an extended period of time.

During the process something interesting came up while repeating the ‘I forgive you.’ portion. Memories from my past all the way back to my childhood of either things that I had done that were embarrassing or hurtful to others. Because I was in a trance state they played like in a dream and popped up in front of me from nothing. Most of these issues that came up I was able to reconcile them and appreciate why I did them and how they changed me in a way that I can let go of. But there were a few in particular that were not easy to actually forgive myself for so I just accepted that I can’t address it right away and then let all thoughts go for a while and came back to it later. I feel like I am ok with all of the issues that came up previously and I haven’t had any new ones show up for a while now.

One effect that I noticed as a result of this right away is that when I am sick with a cold or other illness this will reduce the recovery time by about four times easily. I now often do this through the day for five minutes in addition to longer times when I can lay down.

I have tried other forms of meditation with other very unique experiences in the past but this one has been the most consistent in terms of effects. I wanted to share this and see if anyone else has the same experience.

This is more of a how to based on my experience. Additionally I believe this has had a lot of interesting results magically manifest themselves in my life that I will continue to experiment with and write about later.

Test Drive – Mclaren 570GT and Audi R8

I was fortunate enough to be able to test drive two cars thanks to Silver Arrow here in Victoria. They are an exotic used car dealership and have very unique cars in on a regular basis. I didn’t buy but i’m looking for something exciting. Here are my thoughts on these cars.

First was a 2017 Mclaren 570GT, which is like the baby of the product line but I haven’t driven any others to compare. In summary this car is like a very luxurious spaceship. With 560 HP it pulls really hard when you step on it which I love.

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The paddle shift is natural and intuitive to pick up. When you slow down it will automatically down shift so you don’t have to worry about stalling it which funnily makes me miss standard.

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The doors open out and up easily and it’s no issue getting in and out for me any way.

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Some things I didn’t like, one visibility to the rear side only works through the side mirrors which makes merging and parallel parking nervous. The front pumper hood looks odd in my opinion. Also when I got out my left let had pins and needles because of a miss aligned seating position. It’s both a firm and comfortable ride but you have to adjust it to get the one you want. The other critical complaint is the price, at 240K cad + a 25% tax the price is high. While the quality is there I would be happy with half the car for half the price.

The second car was a 2012 Audi R8 with a manual transmission. This car is very elegant and indistinguishably just as fast as the Mclaren with over 500HP. It is very spacious on the interior with lots of headroom. One thing that can’t be conveyed in words or even a sound clip is the sound of the engine, it is a musical instrument both from the outside and in. The sound is amazing, you feel it and it’s not obtrusive in the cabin. I can see why people rave over the engine, it’s worth the price alone.

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Driving the R8 felt natural and easy to get comfortable with. There is a price premium on the manual and they were asking for 140K. It checks a lot of boxes but i’m not sure I love it.

These cars are luxury purchases and here are a few thoughts on how I think about financing. Any money that would go to a car in this category would be excess from an amount I need to live off of the interest at a 4% return per year. I’m not looking to lease even though it means paying tax up front and 95% of customers go this route.

In addition to the purchase cost I will set up an investment of stock index funds so that a 4% return on the principal will cover the cost of insurance, regular maintenance and fuel. For an Audi R8 this looks like $2000.00 insurance, $3000.00 fuel and $4000.00 maintenance for each year. This means I would set aside $225K in diversified stocks and bonds just to hold to cover the costs of owning the car. The value will depreciate but I could keep the car or decide to sell it at it won’t cost me any additional capital. All of this depends on having investments that return my cost of living from a 4% estimated return. Personally I wouldn’t buy a car if I didn’t have twice a living savings because there are so many opportunities for investments now.

I will probably post more if I take a look at other cars later in the year.