Double your money

If you put $C ($500,000) into investments that pays r% (2.5%) each period, then after n (30 years) periods the amount of money will be P ($1,048,784). (Example is italicized)

P = C (1 + r/n) nt

where
    P = future value
    C = initial deposit
    r = interest rate (expressed as a fraction: eg. 0.025)
    n = # of times per year interest in compounded
    t = number of years invested

Most people are fooled by bigger returns on a mutual fund leaving them exposed to fragility (read all of Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s books esp: Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder. Unknown downside (could lose everything) don’t make decision based on the past.  Limited upside.  Instead take Taleb’s barbell approach 90% with no unknowns, and 10% with unknown but unlimited upside (entrepreneurial decisions in your business).

Knowing 90% of my cash is safe, it allows me to focus on what really matters: doing the best work I can possible do.

How much difference can half a percent in additional MER fees make?

If you are paying half a percent in extra MER fees, this could lead to nearly as much money paid in fees as your total contributions over your working life.  $1 million lost in fees over 40 years on a $1 million of contributions.  If the fund is giving returns that are less than or only meet the S&P 500, there is no reason to pay the extra fees.  If you are doing it right, you will double your money at 2.5% while maximizing your CDIC coverage.

Recommended actions

  1. Get out of your mutual funds
  2. Maximize your CDIC coverage for everything you can not afford to lose. 5 year GICs under $100K each paying 2.5%.
  3. Invest in yourself and in YOUR business (unlimited/exponential upside) – stuff that increase your productivity and will help you make 7-figures.
  4. If you really don’t have anything you can invest in your own business, than a low-cost index fund is still better than a mutual fund.
  5. Avoid leveraged real estate investments unless you are doing it right: if you can flip it for 50% increase on your purchase price after putting 25-33% down  and doubling or tripling your investment in fixing it up.  (Buy a distressed property for $500K with $125K down and an open mortgage. Spend $125K fixing the place up and sell for $750K.)
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