Feb 2014 – Investment Update

The following is an update of Tim’s plan to retire early.  Please note we are mortgage free, so net worth is no longer tracked as the house equity isn’t part of the retirement plan.

To track my progress I’ve decided to track both my expenses and my investment gains.  So once the investments gains are consistently beating my expenses I’m financially independent and can stop working.  I use a trailing 12 month average on spending (but excluding vacations) and a trailing 12 month average on investment results.


Account (Contribution), [+/- Gain or Loss less contributions]

RRSP $37,700 ($100), [+$1040]
LIRA $13,770 ($0), [+$380]
TFSA $36,010 ($0), [+$740]
Pension $92,790 ($1047), [+$2113]
Wife’s RRSP $55,420($2700), [+$720]
Wife’s TFSA $32,800 ($0), [+$1450]
High Interest Savings Account $2590 (+$600),[$0]

Investment Net Worth $271,680 ($4447), [+$6583 or +2.4%]

(YTD Contribution: $8,594), [YTD Gain: $6616 or +2.41%]

Average Monthly Gain (12 month rolling) $1982


Last Month $1123

Oh, wow, that was my lowest spending month since I’ve been tracking, and ironically includes ~$100 for new bedding.

Trailing Last 12 Month Average $2750


Number of months trailing average spending covered by trailing investment gains: 0.72 {Target 1.0 or higher}

PF Score: 19.7  {Target 32}


Well February was a great month all around.  We hit a new low in spending which was done rather by accident.  We just didn’t need to buy much this month, so that is what my spending looks like if we just pay the bills and buy food.  Nice to know how low we can go.

You might have also noted I’ve now started tracking my PF score in the results section.  I figured it might help offset the spikes I see in my other tracking ratio.

The investment results were excellent (thank you RRSP buying season) and  we sold everything in both RRSP accounts at the end of the month.  Yes, I took out over $90,000 from the market and no I’m not insane.  I’ve been meaning to transfer us out of our current bank to self directed RRSP accounts so we can move from mutual funds to ETF and lower our fees.  A quirk of moving the money over is it is much easier to do as cash (given all the fees involved), so we pull out everything as a nice motivation for me to get the paperwork done and buy back into the market ASAP.  Besides we were both over due to rebalance our holdings anyway.

Any questions?

Feb 2014 Investment

(Click to make bigger)

8 thoughts on “Feb 2014 – Investment Update”

  1. Be prepared to give up some ground in your portfolio if things in Ukraine get ugly… I think markets may be looking for an excuse to correct, and this could be a doozy…

  2. Was spending down due to being cold? I’ve spent sub $1000 ex-mortgage in a couple of cold months in the past. I’d prefer to spend more and be warmer. 😉
    Jon – you never know – depends on what you’re invested in. O&G and gold might do well? Guess we’ll all see this week. Either way, Tim’s timing is probably good!

  3. Well, well… my portfolio is up BIG on this first trading day after the escalation in Eastern Europe. Jacq, you called it, oil and gold are performing well under the threat of war across the Atlantic – and I own a lot of Canadian oil producers and a lesser amount of gold related stocks.

    My “safer” holdings, such as my dividend ETF’s are my only losers so far….

  4. Is your PF score monthly? I have adjusted mine to reflect a 12 month rolling average to minimize fluctuations in monthly spending for trips, donations, gift certificate purchases, etc. While I do have monthly allocations, when a good deal comes around, I jump on it. I am currently grouponing parts of our vacation to Alaska – a rather expensive endevour.

  5. Jon, there’s something about when you really get into investing where you don’t see “events” quite the same way. Or not primarily. The events in Ukraine become: “hmm… how does this impact oil prices? Will people turn to gold as a safe haven? If the ruble gets hammered, how could I make something off the recovery?” Some people really cleaned up after the Cyprus/Greece mess. I couldn’t figure out how to do it that time, but good to know it’s possible. It’s what I did in 2008-9. Sometimes a really good home run makes up for a lot of so-so base hits.

    Michael Burry made a ton off of the World Trade Center disaster and airline/hotel stocks. I was oblivious to investing at the time, so just took advantage of uber-cheap travel rates. Then he turned around and did the same kind of thing with the sub-prime mortgages (as in Michael Lewis’ The Big Short).

    It feels a little morbid to profit off the misery of others though. 🙁

  6. Nice numbers tthis month. I look forward to what you have to say on the ETFs , II just opened my Scotia iTrade account and did a 30K rrsp deposit to get things started. Now to buy some etf shares. I was thinking of doing the Canadian Couch Potato reccomended but scared to pull the trigger. My other holdings are company matched RRSP @ Sunlife in index funds and and everything else is in market exempt stuff .

  7. @Mel – The PF score also uses the 12 month rolling average for spending.

    @Jane Savers – Nope, I’m not saving for a new car at this time. We just got a newer one two years ago so that will be off my plate for a few years. Ironically I used my LOC to buy the car, debt is so cheap right now I’m making more money investing rather than paying off the car.

    @Jacq – Yep, I know what you mean. Your view of the world shifts over time…I’m no where that good yet, but starting to see the edges of it.

    @Chris – I’ll let you know what we buy for ETF. I’m thinking of doing some reading on some good ideas from Dan’s blog.


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