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The Cost of a YOLO Account

Core and explore. A popular approach to investing that allows for a sensible portfolio with a hint of recklessness. The strategy is simple. Keep most of your holdings in a risk-appropriate portfolio and reserve a small portion (up to 10%) to go nuts. Whether that be mushroom stocks, Bitcoin or GameStop. Your cheat meal to an otherwise healthy diet.  Trading is tempting. The thought of finding hidden gems or leveraging up your returns is exhilarating. It's the skydiving to indexing's drying paint. Having some "play money" is a good way to scratch this itch without putting your entire financial well-being at stake. The downside is the cost of entry. It's entirely possible you'll hit a few home runs. However, odds are you'll come up short over time. These losses compound and become a huge drag on your lifetime returns.  Trading is addicting and time consuming. You'll be constantly checking your account and stressing over your next moves. It's a toll o

ELI5: What's SPAC?

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies. A mouthful, luckily we can just call them SPACs. SPACs skyrocketed in popularity in 2020, raising over $50 billion dollars. More in a single year than in all the preceding decade. 

Waiting For The Bottom to Invest?

There's nothing like finding a good deal. You feel like an absolute winner tracking one down. Purchases feel more special as they're paired with a sense of accomplishment. Food tastes better. Clothes look sharper.  The opposite is also true. A bad deal feels foolish and taints all that's associated. No one wants to get ripped off. As investors, this aversion can make us hesitant to invest during a bull market.  Today's market feels frothy. The market is constantly rising and bubble talks dominate the airwaves. To invest right before a market crash would be devastating. The ultimate rip-off.   "I'll wait for things to settle down" is a common sentiment. The problem is, no knows when that will be. Meaningful pull backs are few and far between. Unlike retail, deals don't happen on a schedule. Waiting on the sidelines means risking significant growth. All time highs are typically followed by more all time highs. Missing the best market days can be costly. 

ELI5: Billions & Trillions

When we think wealthy people, we think millionaires. When we think big companies, we think billion dollar market caps. With powerhouse countries, we think trillions in GDP. Millions, billions and trillions. In our heads, we think of these numbers as neighbours. With a billion just a step away from a million, and a trillion an arms reach from a billion. In reality, these numbers are worlds apart.  When numbers get this big, it's hard for our brains to fathom. Let's use a couple examples to get a better sense of scale.  Example 1: Time Is Money If you saved $100 a day:  You become a millionaire in under 30 years. Pretty reasonable. Takes work but achievable over a lifetime. To be a billionaire, you need to save for 27 thousand years. A huge jump. We go from achievable to needing to be a vampire. A trillion is 27 million years. The length modern humans have been around...times 135. Example 2: Stacking Paper Stack a million $1 bills, it would be 358 feet tall. About the size of a

March 2020 In Hindsight

As the year comes to a close, the S&P 500 finishes up 16%. A solid return all things considered. 2020 was a decade in a year - we had market euphoria, panic, then euphoria again. March was the standout month of a standout year. It was peak panic and the market showed it by crashing 30%. The drawdown was agony but as with all pain, there's a lesson to be gain. Most millennials have only known a bull market. Never experiencing anything close to a crash. March was the perfect stress test of what we thought our risk tolerance was.  For me, March stung. No one likes to lose money. But I was largely unbothered. I had no plans to abandon ship. I didn't lose sleep. I was fine. Part of me was actually happy buying cheap. My demeanour was confirmation that I was in the right portfolio - for me.  On the other hand, if you sold, it's a sign your portfolio might be too risky for your tolerance.  Conventional risk assessments center predominantly on timeline. The later you need the