Sony e-reader, Kobo, iBooks, iPad, iPhone, Stanza, Bluefire (OS & Android), Kindle and in PDF format for various Personal Computers. Go to Trafford.com here to order. Kindle version is from Amazon.com here.
Wanted to share a nice review on the Amazon Kindle site today about the new US edition of Findependence Day.
Here’s what Rob has to say:
A unique and well-written book that is doing something important….. it is teaching you more about becoming financially independent than anything else out there. The narrative story is easy to follow for those who would never read a financial book and a nice format change for those who would. Well worth it – enjoy.
Some may wonder why if I celebrated my Findependence Day and 60th birthday party over the weekend (see previous blog), then why on earth am I still going to work to engage in the stressful job of putting out a worldclass personal finance magazine.
My answer ran today on my sister blog housed at MoneySense.ca, which we call the Financial Independence blog.
Here it is in its entirety.
The Kindle edition of the new American edition of Findependence Day is now available at Amazon.com, along with a free sneak preview of the new foreword by Garrett Planning Network’s Sheryl Garrett, plus the first two chapters.
Tonight is the official launch party for the new U.S. edition of Findependence Day. The two main ingredients of the cover are fireworks and balloons, and here they are ready to be unleashed. It also happens to be the actual day I turn 60. I’m billing this as the world’s first Findependence Day party. Since we coined the term, we’re entitled to make that claim, right?
Does this mean I’m now financially independent enough not to show up to work on Monday at MoneySense magazine? In theory, yes, since in Canada you can collect the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) as early as age 60. In practice, however, it will be business as usual. But as I say in the book, the key point about Findependence is that you may choose to keep working, but because you want to, not because you perceive you must.
With many North American baby boomers turning 60 and 65 in the coming months and years, I expect there to be many Findependence Day parties — at least if the term catches on and the US edition of the book gets any traction. Here’s how you can help: please use your social media to spread the word, especially if you have American friends you think would benefit from the book if they just knew it existed.
And exist it does, as you can find elsewhere on this site. The paperback and hardcover editions are now available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Trafford. An e-book edition selling for $3.99 will be released in a few weeks. And of course, the first or “Canadian” edition is also available directly from me by clicking on the Buy Canadian edition button.
Initially, you can get the new book in paperback or hardcover form from the three sources listed in the link below:
These include Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and the publisher, Trafford.com. The e-book is not yet out but will cost just under $4 when ready, hopefully a week or two from now.
Here are the key differences from the first (2008) edition, which was originally a North American edition but which I now call the Canadian edition:
1.) Brand new cover and back cover, actually closer to the original concept I had to illustrate Findependence Day.
2.) Completely Americanized, with all Canadian financial content removed and plenty of new material on American IRAs, Roth plans, Social Security and so on.
3.) Reset entirely in the United States: primarily Chicago, Boston, New York and Florida
4.) The technology subplot now features a Twitter-like fictional “Chirper” rather than the discussion forum in the original (Twitter had only just launched when the first edition came out)
5.) End-of-chapter summaries of what Jamie and Sheena learned. This does break the “fictive dream,” but is more useful for those more interested in the financial literacy content than the story, and helpful in recapping the lessons learned.
6.) New glossary of terms.
As any investor is well aware, keeping up with global politics, macro-economics, regional currency fluctuations plus the vagaries of sectors and individual stocks is almost a full-time job. The wealth of digital sources available on the web and through iPads, smart phones and the like is both a blessing and a curse.
Of course, if you’re strictly a purist “index” investor, you can largely ignore the noise as it relates to making individual portfolio adjustments, apart from occasional rebalancing of asset classes. However, based on the feedback MoneySense got from Preet Banerjee’s article on Core and Explore investing, I suspect more investors — even occasional indexers — are much more active in making tactical portfolio adjustments.
Bottom line is most of us need to make some effort to keep up with economic and financial developments around the world. But I’ve found the very ubiquity of information and technology can be harnessed to our advantage, no matter how busy we are. In my own case, I have a commute of almost an hour in each direction, much of it on the subway.
I’ve found that various financial audio (and video) podcasts downloaded to an iPhone (and most other devices) is a useful way to absorb information while commuting or exercising, or even waiting in the many lineups life can subject us to over time. Here’s a rundown of some daily and/or weekly podcasts I find useful:
BBC World Service Global News: This is a handy global affairs roundup of 20 to 30 minutes that is available every 12 hours.
BBC World Business Report: a less frequent podcast of different durations more focused on economics, business and investing.
BBC Documentary Archive: long (25 to 40 minutes) audio documentaries that are indepth on a single topic (a recent one was on Hillary Clinton)
Bloomberg on the Economy: Usually single-source summaries of between 5 and 20 minutes with various economic and investment experts around the world. Alternative is Bloomberg — All Podcasts.
FT Money Show: Weekly 20-minute podcast from the Financial Times
The Economist All Audio: 7 to 15 minutes most days often on single world political events and occasional financial topics. Those who subscribe to the iPad edition of the Economist can also download audio of the entire weekly magazine: good for absorbing world events on long walks or treadmill sessions!
60 Minutes Podcast: Weekly 45-minute full-audio podcast of the famous TV show.
Jim Cramer’s Mad Money; 45-minutes daily in the week: full video of Cramer’s manic but often insightful take on (primarily) the U.S. stock market. This guy is the “anti-indexer” but does sometimes recommend ETFs outside the US market. He’s been preaching diversification and lately has been positive on both gold (the GLD ETF) and Canada broadly.
Motley Fool Money: Weekly audio show just under 40 minutes: excellent wrap-up of the week’s major events in the U.S. stock market, usually with 3 or 4 guests. Good to listen to while exercising on weekends: most recently I listened to it while grocery shopping!
The Disciplined Investor: Weekly hour-long podcast by Andrew Horowitz, usually with special guests.
NPR Planet Money: 20 minutes or so every few days on quirky topics like “why buying a car is so awful”
The Suze Orman Show: Weekly 45-minute full video of Twitter’s most-followed personal finance guru.
The Dave Ramsey Show; 40 minutes but not having listened to this one yet, can’t comment further.
Mostly Money, Mostly Canadian: 20 to 40 minute occasional podcast by Preet Banerjee and the title aptly sums it up. Various guests, including an appearance by myself.
Financial Post: Various audio podcasts from staff writers from Canada’s daily financial newspaper.
A belated Happy New Year to all readers and a reminder that every adult Canadian can take a big step this week towards their ultimate financial independence. I refer of course to the fact we can all contribute another $5,500 to our Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs), bringing the total cumulative room to $25,500 (going back to the program’s launch in 2009). For the benefit of any American readers, Canada’s TFSA is the equivalent of the U.S. Roth plans, albeit with different rules.
In other words, if you acted at this time each year, you’d have contributed $5,000 in each of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Now that it’s 2013, the annual limit has been raised to $5,500, the first time the limit has been adjusted to accommodate inflation.
Of course, assuming you invested wisely in each of those years, your balance should by now be well north of $25,500, and in some cases may have grown past $30,000.
TFSAs a particular boon for young people
I truly believe that maximizing the TFSA is the single biggest step Canadians can take in their quest for financial freedom. As we noted in Julie Cazzin’s “Make Your Child a Millionaire” feature in the current issue of MoneySense, the TFSA is especially a boon to young people because they have such a long investment time horizon ahead of them.
Unlike RRSPs, which require earned income the prior year, an 18 year old can qualify for the full TFSA $5,500 limit this year (they may need parental assistance to come up with the money, but that’s permitted by the rules. Think of it as a tax-effective early inheritance!). Not only that, but they can contribute to TFSAs well into old age, unlike RRSPs, which end after age 71. You better believe that half a century of maximizing TFSAs and investing wisely will mean multi-millions down the road.
Do this right from the get-go and you may not even have to worry about RRSP contributions, although those in higher tax brackets should probably do both.
But how to invest wisely? For the young in particular, but also older people seeking income, I think equities are the only way to go in TFSAs, especially with interest rates being so low as they are now.
I’m all for international investing but if you already have lots of RRSP contribution room, I’d use the RRSP for US dividend-paying stocks, since the tax treaty shelters Canadians from the 15% foreign withholding tax.
Despite the “tax-free” moniker, TFSAs won’t stop you from being dinged by that tax on foreign securities. For this reason, I like TFSAs for Canadian dividend-paying stocks. Yes, I realize the dividend tax credit makes Canadian dividends a good choice for non-registered (taxable) accounts, since the tax is roughly half what it is on interest income. However, Canadian dividends also result in the annoying “gross-up” calculation come tax-time, and such phantom dividend income can ultimately hurt you on the OAS clawback. And to me, zero tax is preferable to even a “low” rate of tax, especially if you plan to reinvest those dividends.
Canadian Dividend ETFs are my choice
For all these reasons, my personal choice for TFSAs this year are Canadian dividend-paying ETFs. A year ago, when it was part of the Claymore family, I publicly stated that the iShares S&P/TSX Canadian Dividend Aristocrats Index Fund (CDZ/TSX) was a tempting choice, at least for those who already have plenty of exposure to the big Canadian banks. To be included in that index a stock has to be a common stock or income trust listed on the TSE and have increased dividends for at least five consecutive years.
This year, there is a valid new alternative from Vanguard Canada: the Vanguard FTSE Canadian High Dividend Yield Index ETF (VDY/TSX). The management fee on VDY is just 0.30%, half the 0.60% of CDZ. (MER is 0.67%, we don’t yet know what VDY’s MER will be). But keep in mind that VDY amounts to a big bet on the major banks: a whopping 59% of the ETF is in Canadian financials and in fact the top four holdings are all the big banks. CDZ has much less exposure to financials (just 21%) and minimal exposure to the big six banks in particular.
Half and half is one compromise
One way to go might be to split your contribution between both ETFs: say $2,750 in each. Remember, though, this assumes you have plenty of US and foreign stock exposure in your RRSP. Younger people for whom the TFSA comprises the lion’s share of their wealth should strive for plenty of US and foreign stock exposure through similar types of ETFs. We’ll be looking in depth at these in the next issue of MoneySense, currently in production.
As I noted in a recent MoneySense blog, age 62 seems to be the magic age for some prominent Canadian members of the financial industry (banking and pensions respectively) to “retire.” Of course, we prefer to say they’ve reached their “Findependence Day,” since I doubt either BMO’s outgoing chief economist, Sherry Cooper, or Mercer partner and actuary Malcolm Hamilton, will be moving from full-time employment to full-stop traditional retirement.
As I say at the bottom of the blog, more boomers are leaving center stage but I expect many will linger in the theatre for some time yet, whether they embark on writing, public speaking, consulting or shift more to volunteering and charitable work.
So is 62 a “good” age to declare one’s Findependence? As always, comments welcome below.
– 62 –