Thursday, January 28, 2010

Let's get going

This is my opening post for Canadian Diversified Investor.  Why this blog?

I am a geologist from Calgary Alberta who semi-retired and lately 'un-retired'. I teach geology courses to the oil and gas industry and now I am back working in Cyclical Steam Stimulated heavy oil wells or whatever else the forever changing North American oil industry throws at me. During my 30 year plus career, I have trained many junior geologists - something I always enjoyed.

Whether you start or restart a career you need to do a lot of planning. What am I going to do with my life? How am I going to achieve that?

My experience, and many others can attest to that as well, is that you should try to visualize yourself 25 to 30 years from now. Fill in the picture as to where you want to be. Do you want to have a happy family with a nice house and a condo in Hawaii? Life can provide that. So visualize what you want and then...  start working towards it. You may be amazed at how close you can come to realize that dream.

Part of the travel towards your life vision includes having a career plan, a lifestyle plan and a financial plan. Here on this blog, I wish to address the latter. I know that what we discuss here works, because I did it. I am now semi-retired. I call it semi-retired because sitting in my home-office and watching out of the window into a nice backyard you can do only so long. Unless you are Tiger Woods (and it seems even he gets distracted), playing Golf 7 days a week may be too much. So, I do teach, consult and now I have started my second career: yep, I enjoy investing in real estate and recently I became a licensed Realtor.

But real estate, however interesting is only one of the many forms of investing one can do. I truly believe that you should not put all your eggs in one basket. Some investors like to work exclusively in stocks and bonds . As day-trader or as a buy-and-hold guy or gal. Others prefer real estate. Quite often these tastes are mutually exclusive so you hear the stock investor say:" A diversified portfolio is 10% in Cash, 60% in Stocks and 30% in Bonds". Yeah, but what about real estate? Investing in recreational properties or rental properties or in your own residence?  Adding that to your cash, stocks and bonds and you are even more diversified.

So I am a hybrid investor for me a diversified portfolio includes stocks, bonds, cash and various forms of real estate, commodities such as gold, bonds and maybe an orange here and there. So that is what I want to do here, talk about diversified investing from a Canadian perspective. Please, join in and let me know of your ideas and plans.

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