My Money Mistakes

February 9, 2006


MyMoneyBlog is hosting a reverse carnival in which personal finance bloggers confess their dirty little money secrets. Here are the skeletons in my cupboard:

  1. I once had tons of in-the-money options in a technology company, which at one point was 70% of my net worth. Let’s just say it ended very badly.
  2. My very first investment was in a venture capital fund, which I bought for its generous tax credits. The fund is down 60% and I can’t even sell it because it has a minimum holding period. Though I bought it at the recommendation of an “advisor”, I should have been more diligent with my money.
  3. Invested money in JDS Uniphase (TSX: JDU) and Nortel (TSX: NT). Enough said.
  4. Bought above-mentioned stocks in my retirement account. Couldn’t even get a capital loss out of the two dogs.
  5. Bought a technology mutual fund at the peak of the bubble because the fund returned around 90% in the previous year. I sold at a 70% loss, but at least I got capital losses out of it.
  6. Researched Apple (AAPL), which was selling at a split-adjusted $7 and almost had that much cash on the balance sheet but did not buy. It is $64 now.
  7. Our sons are six months old and we are only now getting a term-life insurance and a will. We should have done it sooner.
  8. When I first started working, I wasn’t very diligent about saving. My “latte factor” was eating lunch out everyday.

New Year Resolutions

December 29, 2005


As 2005 draws to a close, it is that time of the year to make resolutions (and hopefully keep them). Here are my financial resolutions for the New Year:

  1. Fully fund our RRSP accounts. I have to admit that money has been a bit tight this year (spouse on maternity leave) and we have only contributed 78% of our eligibility for 2005.
  2. Pay down consumer debt. Unfortunately, we had to use our secured line of credit to purchase a family van. Now, I would like to pay it off as soon as possible.
  3. Reduce mortgage debt. Since, money will also be tight in 2006, I don’t see how we will be able to make a lump sum pre-payment on our mortgage. We will continue to pay about $200 more towards our mortgage every month.
  4. Continue to invest wisely. In 2005, my portfolio returned 13.5%. I initiated a small position in a bond index fund and increased my exposure to international markets (by buying EFA). I’ll be looking to initiate exposure to REITs and emerging markets.
  5. Reduce expenses. Despite our decreased cash flow, we plan to spend far less than we earn.
  6. Start and fund an education savings plan (RESP) for our kids.
  7. Increase our net worth by 15%.

Virus Attack!

December 14, 2005


My laptop first got infected with the SpyAxe virus and then with something called the Smitfraud-C trojan. I spent hours and hours trying to clean my computer and finally decided to just reinstall Windows. If it weren’t for Microsoft Money, I would just install Linux and spend my time more productively!