Trevor Abes: Writer

Hale

Young Canadian Investor #31 — Why You’re Not Invested Yet

Learning about stocks and bonds and investing in them aren’t necessarily conducive to each other because one of those options doesn’t require you to put up any money. Safe to say that, as young people, we’re not necessarily swimming in it as a whole. I get it.

There’s a lot to learn, and getting to the point where you’re comfortable buying shares of investment funds on your own is a tall order once you’re tasked with delivering on it, even if you know a globally diversified stock portfolio has made about 7% per year over the last two decades.

The ghosts are learning how to regularly invest for your future. The box person is this article’s intended audience.

It’s always difficult when you start from knowing nothing next to nothing about a subject, but I think there are common hurdles to getting invested that, once removed, should make the process of opening an RRSP/TFSA, choosing funds, buying them regularly, and selling them to fund your financial goals seem less daunting than it should.

Here’s what may be holding you back.

Investing is scary. To spell this out in a more specific way, the fact that stock prices go up and down every day, often with no discernible reason, makes the stock market seem like a less than ideal place to store money. 

Here’s the antidote.

The global stock market fluctuates in the short term but goes up over long periods of time. The Canadian stock market alone has returned about 9% a year over the last 60 years and the U.S. market has returned close to 10% per year over its history. You can buy funds that own the global stock market, or a collection of stocks that replicates it, and pay a very cheap yearly fee as you add to it over the long term. The same goes for the global bond market.

The stock market feels like gambling. This is a thing people say. Mostly because there are plenty of people who use financial instruments as a way to make bets as opposed to invest. The nice thing here is you can choose to be an investor and ignore those rolling the dice with their dollars.

It’s gambling to buy shares of Shopify because you think it will beat estimated earnings for the upcoming quarter causing the stock to pop. But there’s no 20-year period in history in which owning a diversified stock portfolio has lost money. Stocks, as a whole, have a positive expected return. This a casino cannot say. Shopify could miss estimates, fall by 10%, and leave you wondering whether you should hold or sell.

Investing feels like it won’t make a difference to your quality of life. This one is 100% true in the present moment and for the foreseeable future. Why? Because it takes decades for investing to work, for the money you make to stack on top of itself and grow in spite of the normal daily fluctuations and pandemics and major shipping lane clogs we all have to deal with.

You’re not investing for who you are now, not completely anyway. It’s mostly for who you will be 20-30 years from now. Sure, there are financials goals you have now, things you want to make of your life that you need to save for. Your dreams are an essential reason to invest. 

You also need to remember, though, how easy it is to forget how different you are from 16-year-old you. And I don’t mean this superficially. Your view of the world, of what has value and serves your purpose, has changed so much since then to the point of being unrecognizable.

I wanted to be in the NBA when I was sixteen. I report on Canadian business news now. The road between the two isn’t logical except to me and what lights me up inside and out, just like your journey. 

What will the vibe be 10 years from now? Who knows. All I know is that I will probably want as much breathing room as possible whenever I decide I need a change, which will surely happen, change being the only constant on this rotating rock of ours. Investing regularly is how I guarantee that peace of mind.

Putting money away takes away from living in the present moment. Yes, this is technically true. Money invested is gratification delayed to get more out of that dollar at a later time. But there’s no black or white here. It’s a balancing act between enjoying yourself now and building toward getting yourself to a place where you don’t have to worry about money.

I like concerts and plays, weekend getaways, and patio brunches just as much as the next person. I’ve enjoyed my fair share of $20 plates of eggs and potatoes in good company and have no qualms about it at all. That hasn’t stopped me from saving half my income over the past three years to minimize the financial ups and downs that come with writing for a living.

If you need to maximize your dollars, as most people do, to give yourself the greatest chance at living with your version of dignity until you’re old and crusty, investing is your only option besides finding a job that pays you enough to not have to.

If you’re interested in getting started and learn best by reading, I have a short instructional e-book (scroll down to the last book on the page) for beginner investors.

There are also 30 past articles in this series you can peruse.

I’m also offering one-on-one investing chats to cover basic knowledge and equip you to invest on your own.

As always, feel free to drop any investing questions in the comments.

 

Everything is Personal

There’s nothing personal about people 

Gatekeeping their lives

Even if you cried at their weddings

Looked after their cats

Shared meals at their tables

Because everything is personal

Like looking with your eyes

And sleeping when you’re tired

Axioms 

It’s what is called a universal lever

A free option you can call in

Soon as you find the strength to do yourself the favour

A lunch tray with aluminum and styrofoam in a quarter-full food court with a city view enhancing the podcast I’m listening to about teasing out patterns I don’t know I’m following

Saturdays Are For Floating

Turnaround

You don’t always have to choose the thinnest paperback

You can fan yourself out and play in caves where shadows don’t obfuscate the exit

You can see them again and prefer to save the effort of pushing through the crowd

Let the dog ears settle before you’re comfortable

With someone kissing on your mind again

The exchange rate from blinders to uninhibited senses is always favourable

Call that commitment instead

No more being stunned like cattle, the drive of genius displaced on people

Who will find the fine print in ride or die when it’s convenient

 

The View Between Your Fingers

I could tell 

All I’d get

Was the foyer of you 

Just kicks

Took each other home like reference only volumes

To maybe feel moved enough by something

To want more of it

Light particles changing costumes

Two verses translated as DNA

Holy water from a pipette

Applied with any style of prim

To feel rosy with a scientist’s trust in empirical evidence

Tops in time-capsule technology

Poetry with other consumable options

Besides quiet splendor 

Like ingestible glow 

Wearable sonorousness

Portable perspective

Draped over our particular frequencies 

Of being in the world

 

Plunge

The people you happen to love only return it in kind if you’re lucky 

It takes a lot of effort to commit to getting that carried away

 

A willingness to face the terror of saying hello

And them saying it back

And engaging the reckoning you seek

Somewhere deep inside there beyond awareness

 

The infinite vulnerability of talk

That’s only small because it carries within

The promise of intention

Of future formation

The kind of story you have to gauge

By how far it lives off the ground

Lest you have to shrink each other 

In your minds to who you were 

The second before whoever

Decided to bail and move

In a different direction

 

All of it hinging on discretion

Your economy of language

Practiced poverty at hiding and deciding

Oblivious to new constituents

In your version of the good life

 

—Liked what you read? Grab a book.

You Owe It All To Yourself

 

A letter of forgiveness to my mind

A letter of forgiveness to my mind

Here on out to be referred to as you

Some days you think like a Windows loading icon

The one with six dots running in a circle counter clockwise

They disappear every other trip round

Reappearing at the next moment

Like a rejected teleportation request

Some thoughts come back to me like these dots

Like someone in the corner of my eye

An IG photo keeping closure from hardening

I forgive you for them all

I forgive you for how they bore

As in perforate

The depth they reach

Taps me back into the factory setting

Boundaries, self-care, self-love

How I was thrown into the world

Thoughts racing, hands shaking

Howling to make music

Of the hardships I’d endured

—Liked what you read? Grab a book.

Respite

—Liked what you read? Grab a book.

New Directions In Doing The Best You Can With What You Have To Work With

A short piece of prose from my short fiction collection, The New Frontiers Of Conceptual Art, about working at Indigo in Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

Print copies thru Amazon.

PDF copies through me.

%d bloggers like this: