About Vigilant Trader
Welcome to Vigilant Trader, I’m 28 years old and live in New Brunswick, Canada. My beautiful wife and I have plenty of pets to keep us happy in our modest home. I have no formal training in finance or investing, anything I’ve learned has been self taught or learned from mentors. I’m very grateful to have mentors so I hope this blog may help guide beginners to personal finance and investing. Before taking any actions with your own accounts it’s always wise to consult a professional. Finding the right financial planner can take some time and patience but if you find a good one willing to work the way you want to, it’s worth it. I do all my own self-directed investing but that doesn’t mean I don’t ask for help when I need it.
Below I share my own personal finance and investing goals. Studies show that goals are more likely to be achieved if you write them down or in this case, type them out:
Short term goals
1. I always try to make it a personal goal to reduce my spending. Any money I give to someone else means I was subjected to some kind of marketing and gave in to the want. I don’t mind spending money on needs because right now I don’t grow my own food or make my own clothes so I have to part with that money. The fastest way for me to reduce spending would be to quit smoking cigarettes. Yeah, you heard right, I hate spending money but am addicted to cigarettes…irony. It is what it is though, I’m working on it. Ideally I will reduce spending until my savings rate is 20%. It’s currently 12.7%.
2. Max out spouses TFSA. Mine is maxed out so naturally the next step is to max out my wife’s TFSA contributions as well. The more tax sheltered capital I have saved and invested the better.
Long term goals
1. Stay debt free forever. I’ve been there and done that. Had the credit card, line of credit, car payment and mortgage. I paid it all off and I’m not going backwards to have a bank own an object that I enjoy the use of. Anything I buy will be mine and fully owned. My RBC shares collect me dividends, most of that money comes from people all around the world buying things they can’t afford through some kind of credit. They can out spend me and have all the nice stuff, I’ll collect my dividends thanks.
2. Achieve a portfolio worth $1 500 000 by age 50. This is what I need to sustain the lifestyle I want at 50 until we die.
3. My goal as a trader is to become an accredited investor in Canada at some point in my life. This means having $1000000 in liquid assets. This status opens the doors to other investments that I can’t currently access.
– Increased investing rate by 25% in 2017
– Maxed Out TFSA in 2017
– Maxed Out RRSP in 2016
– 13 Oct 16 became officially debt free
Our Current Savings Plan
Our current savings plan is very modest. We currently save 6.5% of our net income for emergencies and 6.2% for our retirement investments. As we continue to cut our spending, these rates will increase. I think the highest percentage I would ever raise our overall savings rate to is 20% to still maintain quality of life. I do have grand ambitions for our financial future but at the same time I don’t want to completely sacrifice our lifestyle now.
Honestly at this point our lifestyles don’t suffer at all from not spending our savings, we’re used to it. It’s a great amount right now to build our savings without suffering for it. We pay ourselves first, I’m sure many of you have heard of this age old strategy and thats because it works. It’s the idea of taking your savings contribution from your pay check before paying everyone else. A portion of our savings goes into an emergency fund which is held in cash and a portion goes into our investing account where it is invested in stocks, this transfer happens automatically so we don’t even notice.
Once that money is in our investing account, that’s where the real work is done, researching current events, following companies and making trades. I’ve been investing since I first started making money, mostly in GIC’s and mutual funds but only started to experiment in the stock market in 2015. I fell in love instantly after I made 10% on my first trade. This small win made me feel amazing and I’ve been trading ever since.
After a few mistakes and successes I’ve learned some lessons to get my portfolio to the point it’s at now. I know that we aren’t going to get rich overnight with our contributions but do I ever love the process. I spend my spare time looking into CEO’s, reading over financial statements and my favourite is technical analysis. My readers will be kept up to date on my portfolio and progress. Hopefully you can learn something from me and I can learn something from you.
Disclaimer: All thoughts on this website are just opinion. I am not a professional, please consult a financial advisor or investment advisor before making any financial decisions.