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Bias For Clarity

Bias for action. Gets things done. Go-getter. Traits companies big and small look for. And for good reason, you're being hired to do things! However, action is a secondary step that often overshadows the primary step, direction.   Clear direction is the foundation that enables our actions to takeoff. Without it, we're stuck in the mud.  Striving for clarity is an underrated skill. Having the courage to ask ( seemingly ) obvious questions, and to check in, making sure we're all on the same page. "O bvious " questions are a low risk, high reward way to add value. At worst, you'll add confidence to our actions. At best, you discover a misalignment that saves us from a dead-end.  The more people, the more clear we need to be. The bigger the initiative, the bigger the risk of reaching the finish line, only to realize expectations were off.  Success is always uncertain. But we can be certain about what we want and what everyone's job is. Things that can be clea


So you've landed an awesome job. Good on you! You skim over the package and see a retirement savings program. Even better! In Canada, these plans typically come in two shapes. A Group Registered Retirement Saving Plan (RRSP) and a Registered Pension Plan (RPP), aka a Defined Contribution Plan. Let's see how the two compare.  Starting with the similarities: Employer contributions and employee matching. This is w hy we love these benefits . Employers will contribute a percentage of your salary automatically to your account. On top of that, they will match a portion of your contributions. Who doesn't love free money? You'll also get a choice in what to invest in - though within the constraints of the plan provider. They'll unusually have a small menu of funds. Try to find the lowest fee option that meets your needs.   Onto the differences: The tax treatment is actually the same...but different. Both plans allow you you grow your money tax free. The difference is in ho

The Price Of Admission

Self-driving cars, NFTs, AI, SPACs - what a time to be alive. With so much excitement and promise, investors are jumping in to invest in seemingly world-changing projects. It's a fun time to trade. Endless options, big gains, compelling stories. Even I've been tempted to join the fun.  The lack of fun is the cost of admission when you choose to index. Speculation is taken off the table. You'll never get rich quick. Volatility will be limited. Never will you double your money overnight. Swings of about 10% is as exciting as it gets and these days are few and far between. You'll never have amazing stories about how you were able to successfully buy the dip of a EV stock that has since tripled. You'll never be able to brag about buying Amazon at 10 bucks. You'll never play visionary by yoloing into Bitcoin because you knew it was the future.  Active and concentrated portfolios lead to great stories (good and bad). Passive and diversified ones lead to snores. No one

ELI5: Why Are Bonuses Taxed So Much?

It's that time of the year. Bonus season! You got a great review and the numbers to match. You've already made big plans for it. Then the day comes. What?? It's half what I expected. Why are my taxes so high?  This sticker shock is very common. Don't be alarmed, it's not a mistake. Just standard payroll practices. It's important to remember that taxes are truly only assessed ( and paid ) once a year - when you file. All the other times you're " paying taxes " is just your payroll friends pre-paying for you. Payroll withholds from your paycheck to make sure you don't get a giant tax bill come filing time.  Payroll can only estimate your annual earnings. They have no idea how much you'll make throughout the entire year. So their software will treat every paycheck as if this is how much you'll make every period ( wouldn't that be nice ). Your bonus is probably multiples of your regular paycheck and this puts you in a much higher tax br