About

Hi,

Welcome to Roadmap2Retire and thank you for stopping by. I am a software designer with a passion for personal finance and investing. On this blog, I intend to cover various topics pertaining to personal finance, business, economics, investing and sharing my experiences and thoughts. My goal is to have a comfortable amount of savings and generate enough passive income to fund my retirement.

The goals of this blog are two-part: First is to document my journey towards retirement and in the process, learn from my own mistakes and successes. The second is to share my experiences so others may benefit from it.

A Little Bit About Me

  • I live in Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • I am in my early mid-30s
  • I am engaged and will be getting married later this year (2013). I am married.
  • We are a family of three (we welcomed a baby in April 2016)
  • I work in the tech sector
  • I started saving and investing in 2007

I am a do-it-yourself investor who realized that paying exorbitant fees for professional advice was not the path to retirement and decided to take the matter into my own hands.

I started my journey by investing in mutual funds in 2007 since I did not know much about investing, and the following year started dabbling investing directly in stocks. We all know what happened in 2008….but starting to invest in 2008, I was distracted by all the noise and the mayhem that ensued. I have to admit that it was a bit nerve-wracking and I lost some money, but learned from my mistakes (details here). I realized that I had to do better research before investing in any company instead of listening to the “experts” speculate. I have come a long way since and am well on my way to achieve financial independence.

I am in the camp that does not believe in penny pinching and on a fast track to retirement. I believe in enjoying each stage of my life while socking away part of my earnings. As such, I may address some points about frugality every now and then on this blog, but the main focus is on investing and achieving financial independence by growing my passive income.

Portfolio Composition

Our assets are distributed in the following asset classes.

  • Equities: This includes mostly dividend paying stocks & funds – in other words, mature companies which have a proven record of turning out profits year after year; and more importantly sharing those profits with the shareholders on a regular basis.
    • More recently, starting 2016, I have started branching out from a dividend-only stock focus (see here and here). There are many paths to financial independence, and focusing only on dividend paying companies, even if the valuation does not make sense, is a recipe for disaster, in my opinion.
  • Bonds: We hold short term high grade bonds via bond funds. Current holdings include Canadian government & corporate bonds and emerging market government bonds.
  • Commodities: (Both in equity form and as physical holding) acts as a hedge against inflation.
  • Real Estate: We own a house (although not mortgage free yet). In addition, we invest in REITs which acts a hedge against inflation while providing us with income via distributions.
  • Cash: As part of our emergency fund and to take advantage of any corrections in the market, we hold some cash position.
  • Alternative Investments: Starting in 2017, I have started a small token portfolio in cryptocurrencies (less than 0.5% of our Net Worth at the moment). The crypto space provides diversification from any/all other forms of investments mentioned above.

Net Worth - Oct 2015

We also diversify our portfolio geographically in order to protect us from local recessions and local disasters. We maintain a diversification between:

  • Canada: Residing in Canada, we want some home exposure. Canada is home to some great companies both mature and juniors. Being a resource-rich country, Canada offers great potential for investing in financials, energy, materials/commodities, services etc.
  • US: With the US markets, we get exposure to both the largest economy of the world and truly multi-national companies. The US equity markets provide great exposure to sectors such as technology, healthcare, consumer staples and discretionary which are hard to find in Canada.
  • International: We have a part of our portfolio diversified so that we can take advantage of global growth. We mainly do this via funds to invest in international equities and/or bonds.

For an up-to-date list of our holdings, click here.

Stay up-to-date on our latest transactions, insights, commentary and follow our journey to financial independence by subscribing to the newsletter distribution list. Your email confidentiality is guaranteed and will never be shared with third party spammers. Subscribe here.

I would love to hear back from the readers. So, feel free to leave a comment, send me an email (info@roadmap2retire.com) or connect with me on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.

Sabeel

25 thoughts on “About

  1. Hey R2R,

    Nice blog trhat you have. I am especially attracted to your investment style as it matches my future portfolio state: I also plan to have index funds and a dividend growth part.
    Next to that, I tend to be in teh same camp as you: balance frugality with a current comfortable life style that allows for joy now and once I FIRE. (That being said, we each have our own definition of comfortable life style)

    Amber Tree

    • Thanks for stopping by and and the comment, Amber Tree. I have bookmarked your blog and will be following along.

      Good to know that you like the investment style of combining DGI and index funds. I think index funds play an interesting role and are great to get exposure to the markets requiring minimum amount time – which is why we picked this for my wife’s portfolio. I meanwhile will be focusing on the DGI model – investing directly in stocks.

      Best wishes
      R2R

  2. amilayajr says:

    Thanks for your blog. I read your notes. I’m just wondering if you don’t mind me asking, how much money am I looking to invest to have at least $500 of passive income from dividends. I know it can depends on companies of stock buying into but I wan to get better at this. Mind giving me some answers. Thanks.

    • Hey amilayajr,
      You are right that it depends on what kind of a company you invest in and also depends on the starting yield and the yield on cost – since hte yield keeps rising when an investors holds dividend growing stocks. The more time you stay invested, letting that yield on cost grow, the more those assets generate. While theres no easy answer, a nice approximation one can try is an average 3% yield – so if you have $100K invested, you will be looking at $3K in dividend income per year.

      Hope that helps
      R2R

  3. Hi R2R

    I actually found out that I have been reading your blog regularly 🙂

    You have come a long way, I look forward following your journey!

    Thank you for adding me.

    Stay in touch!
    Dividendfreedom

    • Thanks for the readership and the following, DF.
      Even though ive only been blogging for just two years, Ive come a long way in that time…looking forward to sharing more stories and the journey with the readers

      regards
      R2R

    • Hi Michael,
      Thanks for stopping by and the comment. I am glad you are the enjoying the content. We are not the most frugal people – my wife and I…we believe that we need to enjoy life as much as we can, but within reason. We save a good chunk of our income and invest to grow our passive income – which will hopefully grow to be big enough to fund out retirement.

      I will be sure to check out your site
      R2R

  4. Hi Sabeel,

    I just refreshed myself on your ‘about’ section and really enjoyed reading it. I like your diversification graph and the mix of your investments. I see you mentioned you invest internationally, any plans for the Australian market?

    I look forward to seeing how you do in 2016 and beyond. Good luck 🙂

    Tristan

    • Hi Tristan,
      Thanks for stopping by and refreshing on the About page. For now, all of my investments are specifically in N.America but I do pay attention and prefer companies that have international exposure. For e.g., I prefer BNS – which is the most international of Canadian banks, and my investment in BIP and CU.TO have significant exposure in Australia.
      I am limited (based on the type of accounts I use for my investing needs – which are tax sheltered) to N.American markets. So, I look at Australian ADRs listed in US. I am interested in Westpac and BHP, but waiting for better conditions overall. Also, looked at Aussie bonds lately, as you guys have a much higher interest rate, but I cant find the right ETF – since I dont want to buy it in a US-listed ETF in order to avoid CAD$-to-US$-to-AU$ conversion and then back for the returns.

      cheers
      R2R

  5. jordan says:

    Hey There,

    Another early to mid 30’s Canadian here…

    I realy enjoy the site. Just curious what % of your holdings are in your TFSA vs RRSP, vs a non registered account?

    Also – what % of your total value is in funds (etf/mutual funds) vs individual stocks?

    We are very close in age – and very close in yearly dividend income – but I am curious if you are including mutual funds etc that reinvest – or just strictly dividends on individual stocks that you hold.

    • Hi Jordan,
      Thanks for stopping by and saying hi.

      We dont have any investments outside tax-sheltered accounts. All are in RRSPs and TFSAs. Our breakdown is approx 15-20% of the invested assets are in TFSA, and the rest in RRSP accounts.

      As for the stocks vs funds, about 12-15% in funds and the rest are in individual stocks. The reported dividends are all funds received from investments — which eventually get reinvested back into the funds.
      Hope that helps.
      R2R

      • jordan says:

        Awesome. Thanks for the quick reply.

        I think we must have VERY similar portfolios – and we are just about the same age. I just started tracking my monthly/yearly income and for 2015 I broke $7700.

        Good luck this year. I look forward to comparing next year as well:)

  6. Great story and website. I am presently trying to do the same in South Africa. Still early days for me in terms of my site (www.forgetthenoise.co.za) but getting there slowly.

  7. Hi Jordan,

    We have a similar story here. I started my financial education after the 2008 crisis felt screw by the so “financial experts.”

    It was hard to digest but was a bless for my financial future.

    You are talking about geographical diversification of investment, and I think this is a great subject which not many bloggers discuss (if at all).

    I totally embrace it, but on a different level. I hold investments and deposits in 4 different countries in 6 financial institutions.

    I’m always on the guard for financial disasters;

    ~ FIAT currency collapse
    ~ Country default
    ~ Financial institution collapse

    And unforeseen event.

    Maybe we can write an article together on financial diversification (just an idea).

    • Thanks for sharing the viewpoint, Rudy.
      True, geographical diversification is something that is not covered or monitored by most bloggers/investors. Its something that I pay close attention to, although its something that can be hard to keep track of, as investors will have to dig into each holding’s annual report and pull that information.

      Sounds like a good idea, Rudy. I’ll send you an email about the proposal.
      R2R

  8. Ray says:

    Hey there, very interesting read. I too started around 2008, when I realized that only mutual funds were making money off me. I divested entirely and started buying US stocks. Over the last 8 years, my portfolio has grown to over $1m dollars. And I did it quietly, with no fuss and never making vast sums of money – and going through a divorce in ’11.

    I too wish to help others to realize financial independance – and I applaud you for doing this.

    Ray

    • Congrats on hitting that milestone and sorry to hear that you had to go thru a divorce in ’11. That last few years have been great for the stock market, but I remain skeptical of future performance. I am pulling money out of this market and looking elsewhere to invest.
      Having said that, I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. I always love hearing from the readers. If there is anything else you have questions or comments on, please feel free to drop me a line. My contact details are in the ‘Contact’ page.

      Best
      R2R

  9. Tina says:

    Hello,

    I am entirely new to investing and I am just starting to research. It is pretty overwhelming to know where to start, but my thoughts were to start with some drips directly with a company to minimize cost. Of course, than I have to decide which companies and again, so much I do not understand and need to learn.

    Any info / pointers / tips for a newbie with a modest investment budget ($300 monthly) would be appreciated. I just found your site and will of course surf and read all that you have to offer (and I thank-you for this). However, any additional tips / info on where to start would be appreciated.
    Thanks again!
    Tina

    • Hi Tina,
      Thanks for stopping by and checking out the site, and reaching out. We’ve all been there…its overwhelming to start off and read about companies and the economy and learning how to invest. The only way to learn is to read, read and then read some more. Mistakes will be made…there is no doubt, but thats part of the learning curve.
      Having said that, if I had to recommend how to start off investing…go with low cost index funds. Pick a broad index such as Total Stock Market or S&P 500 and start putting money away regularly into funds that track those indexes — there are plenty of companies which have products that track, but Vanguard ETFs are probably the best in the marketplace.

      If you have any other specific questions, feel free to reach out.
      Best wishes
      R2R

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