Hobbies: Do you need to go all-in?

touring bicycle

My Wise Friend The other day I was talking to a friend of mine whose husband wanted to learn to play the guitar. Wisely, instead of just buying him the guitar, she instead got him a rental one and some lessons so he could decide if he actually liked it. He did and then he bought his own. My Unwise Friend Or, I had a friend a few years ago who was buying a bike.…

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What I’m Selling: ADRE, What I’m Buying: VEE

emerging markets

ADRE: Lingering for Years ADRE is an emerging markets ETF that I’ve had lingering around my portfolio for years and it was actually one of the first things that I bought. Why ADRE is not a Fabulous Emerging Market ETF (for me) In recent years, I’ve discovered Vanguard and their fabulous line of ETFs, with the cheapest expense ratios in the industry. In addition, thanks to Andrew Hallam’s book, The Global Expatriate’s Guide to Investing,…

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Know What you Don’t Know

confusing pension

Last night, I had one of my coworkers ask me about pension plans in Korea because I think she assumed I would know since I wrote a book about finance for ESL teachers: The Wealthy English Teacher: Teach, Travel, and Secure Your Financial Future. There of course is a wealth of misinformation floating around on Facebook and other online forums, as well as expat bars. This is compounded by the fact that the official information…

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All-In Digital Entrepreneur when I Go Back to Canada: Crazy?

all-in

Canada: What to Do I’ve talked about moving to Canada in previous blog posts, and it’s now less than a year away (March 2016). I’ve started preparing in numerous ways such as gathering information about how to get the cats and my stuff back to Canada and also giving away/selling lots of my stuff that I wasn’t really using that much. How Can I Make Money in the Great White North? But, the really big…

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Setting up an Email List with MailChimp

mail chimp

What Was I thinking? All the gurus out there in the Internet marketing world such as Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income talk endlessly about email lists and how, even though email is kind of going out of style in favor of other forms of social media, it’s still huge. I think it’s maybe because it’s something that gets delivered directly to your audience instead of them going out to find the content and…

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Making Change is Hard

change

Money Diet March Opened My Eyes These days, I’ve been trying to make some positive changes in my life as a result of Money Diet March. Basically, by keeping close track of all my expenses that month, I was shocked to discover just how much money I spent on eating out and drinking, and that was while I was trying not to spend that much. The Changes I’m Making So these days, I’m trying to…

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Writing an Ebook, #3!

Amazon Affiliate One way that I make passive income is through the Amazon affiliate program, where I link to products that I think my readers might like and if they buy something after clicking that link, I get a commission of around 5-8%. It’s a pretty simple thing to do and I earn $10-30/month on this for essentially very little work. Speaking Activities that Don’t Suck The one single product that I sell the most…

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The Ethics of Making Money Online

scrubbing toilets

A Person with Skills Scrubbing Toilets The other day, I ran across a blog post from a trans lady living in Canada in a Facebook group that I’m a member of. She was lamenting the fact that before her transition, she was a highly sought after print journalist, but after, she had a hard time finding a job scrubbing toilets. “I couldn’t Imagine Making Money!” It was evident from her blog that she is a…

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Am I Crazy? What actually makes me feel happy

old t-shirt

What Makes Most People Happy Retail therapy. It’s called this for a reason-most people get a little bit of a rush or endorphin surge when they buy something that they want. Then, every time they put on that new shirt or drive that new car, they have this kind of happy feeling about it. While the effect does wear down over time, there is always more and more stuff to buy so you can live…

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Reviews of The Wealthy English Teacher

wealthy English teacher

So far, people seem to like my second book which I published a couple of months ago: The Wealthy English Teacher: Teach, Travel, and Secure Your Financial Future. Here’s what people are saying from a post over on my other blog: Reviews of the Wealthy English Teacher. Check ’em out and for even more good stuff for ESL teachers trying to figure out their finances, go to the website: The Wealthy English Teacher.

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March 2015 Passive Income Report: $696

passive income

March 2015 came it an impressive $695.77, which I’m very happy about since anything over $500 is a very good month for me. The majority of it ($536) was in dividend payments but sales of my Ebooks How to Get a University Job in South Korea: The English Teaching Job of Your Dreams and The Wealthy English Teacher: Teach, Travel, and Secure Your Financial Future were also significant. While my Amazon sales were not huge…

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March Money Diet Final Update

money diet challenge

Money Diet March is now complete, so here are all the details about my spending for the month. I wanted to spend a total of $400 in discretionary spending, but it ended up being $516. It was kind of an eye opener seeing how much money I spent when I was watching all my pennies and I now realize that I generally spend a lot more than I think I do when I’m not paying…

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Offshore Brokerage Accounts: Sketchy?

offshore investing

Are Offshore Brokerage Accounts Really Sketchy? A reader question: My friends wonder if I’m doing something really sketchy when I mention that I’m opening an offshore brokerage account. Is this stigma justified? Is it perpetuated by Tax Authorities to discourage people from opening them? My main two questions that I need answered are: am I doing anything illegal (if the $ is from a legal source)? If it’s such a good idea, why doesn’t everyone…

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Money Diet Week 4 Update

money diet

In case you missed the previous money diet posts, check out: Money Diet Week 1 ($117), Week 2 ($76), Week 3 ($163). Week 4 Money Diet Challenge Update: $141 Groceries: $22 Eating out, coffee, drinking: $14 Transportation (including a tank of gas): $54 Vet bill: $51 Overall, I’m pretty happy with week 4 since I would have been under $100 if I didn’t have to go to the vet. I also could have waited on…

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Make Your Own Luck

luck

Yesterday, I gave a ride to a newbie to Korea in my car who I’d never met before. She was a friend of a friend and the first thing she said to me was, “You’re so lucky to have a car.” Now, I’m not picking on her particularly because she is a nice person but my answer to her was my standard one: “It’s not luck. Anyone can do it.” Sure, it takes a bit…

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Where Retirees Should Invest

tropical island

Where retirees should invest if they are going to live abroad A reader question: “I’ve heard that one needs to consider where they want to retire when purchasing investments. If someone is unsure, but knows it will likely be a nice warm developing country, how might they want to adjust their portfolio?” My Answer: Don’t Worry about it! This is indeed a good question, but it is not something that you should worry too much…

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Swap Based ETFs Explained

swap

A reader question asking about Swap-Based ETFs and whether they are a smart move for Canadians. With a bit of searching around on the Internet, the simplest explanation for what they are and their advantages is here: Canadian Couch Potato- Understanding Swap-Based ETFs. They are basically a vehicle to reduce taxes within an investment portfolio. I myself do not hold any of them, but they seem like potentially a good idea and I plan to…

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Andrew Hallam and Dividend Paying Stocks

dividend stock

I know that many people who read this blog also like Andrew Hallam who writes about expat personal finance and investing. The other day someone who had read, The Wealthy English Teacher: Teach, Travel, and Secure Your Financial Future and had checked out the Dividend Monk’s site wondered why Hallam only invests in index funds and not dividend paying stocks and Hallam was kind enough to message me with his answer: “Great topic for discussion.…

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Money Diet Challenge

money diet challenge

I’ve been doing a money diet challenge for March in order to try to save lots of money in preparation for my return to the extremely expensive motherland that is Canada. Here is how I did in previous weeks: Week 1 Money Diet Update: $117 Week 2 Money Diet Update: $76 Week 3 came it at $163, with $57 of that being spent in a single night out with the girls and then I also…

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ETFs and Dividend Paying Stocks in a Single Portfolio

etf stock

Another reader question today: “Do you combine the 70:30 approach with dividend stocks (I mention a 70-30 approach for investing in my book, The Wealthy English Teacher, where I refer to something like having 70% of your portfolio in stocks and 30% in bonds)? Is it sensible to have a portfolio like the following: 10% HXT Horisons S&P/TSX 60 index 25% Vanguard FTSE Developed Index ETF 30% S&P 500 index 30% Horison’s Canadian Select Bond…

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Why doesn’t Andrew Hallam like Dividend Paying Stocks?

andrew hallam

A reader question: “After reading your book (The Wealthy English Teacher: Teach, Travel, and Secure Your Financial Future) and being on the Dividend Monk’s site I was excited to see what Hallam would say about quality dividend stocks (strong fundamentals, history of increasing dividends, etc) in The Global Expatriate’s Guide to Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat. However it seems like Hallam dismissed them quite quickly, saying that they didn’t earn as well as…

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Giving Stuff Away for Free Makes Me Happy

giving stuff away

Over the decade of so I’ve been living in Korea, I’ve collected a lot of stuff and ever since I moved into a large apartment (about 700 square feet for just me!), it’s been extremely easy to keep getting more since storage really isn’t an issue. Except now that I’ve decided to move to Canada in a year, it’s time to unload. My Unloading Stuff Strategy 1. Sell the stuff that had some value. I…

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