Paul's Prose February 2020

Feb 19, 2020 | Paul Monette


Financial Education

Why is this important now?

  • Household Debt – It is simply out of control in Canada – in fact the highest in the world according to a new study by the OECD*
  • Inheritances – Over the next decade or so it is estimated that over $400 Billion will be passed to the next generation

Perhaps younger Canadians know about the second point so they don’t care about the first! Unfortunately that is not usually the way it works – the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Not a good long term strategy for society.

So with that said, RBC, McGill University and the Globe and Mail got together to try and do something about it – they have set up a fantastic financial literacy program, which can be found here.

Many of those fortunate enough to be holding Paul’s Prose in their hand are very likely not too concerned about either of the above points. Most of you, if you hold debt at all, it is very much under control and as far as managing your wealth – well, you have me J

But we all know people who can use some help –close to 50% of Canadians are barely getting by from paycheck to paycheck.

It is never too early to get the basics of financial literacy under your belt. If you can think of someone who may use some Financial Education, please direct them to this fabulous resource through McGill – “The McGill Personal Finance Essentials” is a free online course that is a must for anyone between 18 and 30 – well, actually anyone could benefit.

*OECD Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development OECD Economic Outlook Volume 2017 Issue 2


The Markets

As each year goes by we talk about the great returns or the bad returns of the year that was.

It is natural to feel that after a good year you want to brace yourself for a bad one – human nature. Our feelings are very real and very predictable and very dangerous when it comes to making investment decisions.  Emotions belong with a box of Kleenex watching “Old Yeller” or “It’s a Beautiful Life”.

Discipline is the key to any investment strategy – no matter how smart we think we are – we are not! Take profits, re-balance, diversify, buy quality companies across a variety of sectors and regions and relax – Life “is” Beautiful.


Paul's Top 10 List of Things to Do in 2020

  1. At least once a month, sing a song or dance a jig.
  1. Eat a vegetable you have never tried before.
  1. Review your will and powers of attorney or better yet, get me to do it.
  1. Spend money on something you always wanted but didn’t think you could afford. Trust me, your kids will buy it with their inheritance.
  1. Read a biography of someone you have never heard of.
  1. Assume the person who just cut you off did it by accident or was just having a really bad day. (I’m not guaranteeing that I make this assumption!)
  1. Stretch – a lot!
  1. Realize that 99.643% of the time you worry –  it’s for nothing. A 94 year old client taught me this when my kids started driving.
  1. Decrease the amount of time you read/watch the news by 81% and spend that time writing a letter to a friend or playing a game with someone you love.
  1. Go back to # 10 and do the other one!


Personal Thoughts

  • Well, Rosanna, my wife, seems to have the retirement thing figured out! She is off golfing in Florida with her buddies this week – getting ready for the upcoming season. She has also taken up drawing – wow – I have known her for 38 years and never knew about this innate talent. Perhaps I have a bias, but I love the stuff she has been drawing/painting!
  • Brad and his partner, Paris (this is a huge step in their relationship – she is being mentioned in Paul’s Prose!!!) have taken the plunge and bought  a townhouse together. Now both my kids are homeowners and enjoying the world of mortgages! Better get them set up on that McGill Financial Education Course!  Brad is also writing his Mutual Fund exam this week – good luck!
  • Leah continues her research in the lab – had a great first semester in her Masters program. Throughout the Christmas holidays she had to go give her cells some TLC in the lab – seems to have worked! Perhaps she should focus on the Coronavirus for now!