“Calling All Investors,” Shouted the Stock Exchange

You have heard the same news I have about retirement, saving for your future and making wise investments to support yourself when you “one day retire”. Yes, everyone is “calling all investors” to take a gamble on your future, or be left behind. There are mutual funds, GIC’s, IRA’s, RRSP’s, TFSA’s, LIRA’s, savings, compounds, stock markets, exchanges, and now Cryptocurrencies. Its all a bit overwhelming. So, I am told to go get a Financial Advisor, to assist in sorting out the details.

In my early twenties, I really got into the Stock Market, and trading stocks online through E*Trade or some version of a company like it. I was committed to following the daily fluctuations of certain companies such as Microsoft, Apple, General Electric, Home Depot, Safeway and many others. A close friend and I, would discuss the market, how it was moving up and down, how it fluctuated, what events caused financial adjustments and tweaks on our accounts.

We were both self-taught with very little experience, except we understood there was a price to pay to own and a price to receive when you sold.

ID Company Stock Symbol Current Share$ Market
1 Loblaw Companies Ltd L 69.33 (CAD) TSE
2 Mastercard MA 167.19 (USD) NYSE
3 Magellan Aerospace Corp. MAL 21.06 (CAD) TSE
4 Motorola MSI 96.76 (USD) NYSE
5 Netflix NFLX 250.29 (USD) NASDAQ
6 Newell Brands Inc (rubbermaid) NWL 31.65 (USD) NYSE

In my twenties, I never looked long term. Long term wealth to me, was the next 5-years. I never thought, I would make it to my mid-forties. Too much of a good time or too many bad decisions with a misspent youth.

By my late twenties, I sold everything, my furniture, clothes, radio system, truck, bedding, computer, laptop, dish wares and my stocks, to buy a plane ticket for a once in a lifetime move to Australia, to attend University.

Now, here I sit twenty-something years later thinking about my retirement, those investments, I had made and wondered why the twenty-something James, didn’t plan for his future? Why would he? He wasn’t taught to save. He was taught that liquidity could be anything as long as he invested his energies into it. And the forces of nature took over, as he began to travel and explore the globe.

Yesterday, while reading the Edmonton Journal, there was a full page advertisement for “mogo.ca/bitcoin” to “become a MogoMemeber today to be one of the first in line to access our upcoming bitcoin account”. I sat there staring at this full page advertisement wondering what the heck “mogo” is? Who are these people? And why should I invest my time in what they are selling? Was it another stock symbol sitting on the global internet? Could these people help me build my retirement? Or is it the same old gimmicks as before? Hidden fees, helping someone else’s bank account? I soon jumped on their website and read, line after line, drinking their Kool-aid and thinking is this for me?

ID Company Stock Symbol Current Share$ Market
6 Apple AAPL 177.04 (USD) NASDAQ
7 Aurora ACB-T 14.79 (CAD) TSX
8 Boralex Inc. BLX 24.57 (CAD) TSX
9 Calloway ELY 14.47 (USD) NYSE
10 Canadian Tire CTC.A 170.92 (CAD) TSE

Frankly, back in 2012 when I was hired onto my current company, as soon as I was able to start contributing to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), I jumped head first into it. Placing aside a small and comfortable amount of money, to give me the buying power required to purchase Mutual Funds. It’s taken a handful of years of deliberately setting aside money for investing, several discussions with anyone who would lend an ear and reading through several Dave Ramsey wealth building books about getting out of debt. It took all of this to change my personal views on investing for the future and retirement planning. And if you haven’t started doing so yourself, you really should, no matter what age you are at, or how far along your career path you have driven. Today’s investments will make you happier in your engagements as you journey through life.

~ James Curtis