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Cash Cows, Pigs and Jackpots The Simplest Personal Finance Strategy Ever

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-10-09
  • Publisher: Wiley

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A contrarian and controversial look at personal finance, and a super simple strategy for making-and keeping-more money Traditional financial wisdom persuades us to grow our net worth and build our assets. But traditional financial wisdom is often wrong. In Cash Cows, Pigs and Jackpots: The Simplest Personal Finance Strategy You'll Ever See, author and Chartered Accountant David Trahair challenges everything we think we know about managing our money, suggesting that that we follow the lead of the financial institutions that are leading us down the path to financial ruin. The banks, brokers, and investment companies of the world make enormous sums of money because they know that cash is king and they know how to guarantee cash flow from their clients on a continual basis. They aren't making the bulk of their money from investing in the stock market-they're leeching it from regular people like you, every minute of every day. Cash Cows, Pigs and Jackpots turns the tables, showing that the biggest cash cow we have is ourselves. Instead of chasing a dream that will never come true, it presents a financial plan so simple even a 10-year-old could understand it. Explains why the common consensus about making money is inherently flawed Presents an incredibly simple, easy-to-follow plan for really making and saving money Exposes the dangers of trusting money to a bank or broker Helping you break asset addiction, get out of debt, and increase your personal cash flow-and your wealth with it, Cash Cows, Pigs and Jackpots explains how bringing more cash into your life and watching carefully where it goes will allow you to save more, live the life you want, and avoid as much risk as possible-a great strategy going into the stormy financial years to come

Author Biography

David Trahair is a Chartered Accountant who operates as a sole-proprietor, offering a broad range of accounting and tax services to a variety of businesses and individuals. He is a frequent speaker, appears regularly in the media, and is the author of several books, including Enough Bull and Crushing Debt. He is also a previous director of Credit Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people deal with credit problems.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xii

Introduction 1

Cash Is Not King 2

Cash Flow Is King 2

Who Gets Rich Off You 3

It's Not Just Them, It’s Us 3

Want to Get Rich Quick? 3

Back to Basics 4

Chapter 1—The Cash Cow Strategy 5

Cash Cows 5

Cash Pigs 6

Cash Jackpots 7

This Is Not a Philosophy; It's About Cash Flow 8

Cows and Pigs Can Change 8

One Person's Pig May Be Another Person’s Cow 9

Cash Cow, Pig or Jackpot? 9

A House or Condo 10

Gambling 11

Personal Debt 11

Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plans 12

Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security 14

Kids 14

A Bigger View: Government Debt 15

Why Don’t People Follow This Basic Strategy? 16

Chapter 2—Taking Care of Your Biggest Cash Cow 17

Your Biggest Cash Cow Is  17

How to Protect Your Biggest Cash Cow 19

Is Your Body Trying to Tell You Something? 19

Are You Eating Well? 20

How Much Exercise Do You Get? 22

How Much Sleep Do You Get? 22

The Value of Hard Work 23

Summing up Healthy Living 24

Chapter 3—Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? 25

What Is "Rich"? 25

Net Worth Is a Lousy Measure of Wealth 25

Mixing Pre-Tax and After-Tax Amounts 26

Ignores Cash Flow 26

Many "Wealthy" People Are Living a Mirage 28

Why I Don’t Want to Win the Lottery 30

Going Beyond the Numbers 31

Does Money Buy Happiness? 31

What Causes Happiness? 33

"The Happy Movie" 33

Happy for No Reason 35

My Take on Happy 38

My Secret to Life 39

Million Dollar Wrap-up 41

Chapter 4—The Trap: Why You Aren't Getting Rich and They Are 42

How the Banks Make Money 43

Plug the Cash Pig Leaks 43

The Mutual Fund Fee Monster 44

Borrowing to Get Rich: It Can Work, But Don't Bet on It 45The Wealth Effect Is the Enemy 46

Sometimes People Are Their Own Worst Enemies 47

Paul's Story 48

Closing the Trap 54

Chapter 5—The Dream of Home Ownership 55

The Wealthy Barber Weighs In 56

How Much Home Can You Afford? 57

Rent Is Not a Four-Letter Word 60

An Example—123 Any Street, Hometown 63

123 Any Street: The Assumptions 65

Don't Forget the Closing Costs 66

A Word About the Down Payment 69

CMHC Changes 71

The Key Points That Most People Miss 72

The Opportunity Cost 72

The Ongoing Cash Costs 74

Consumer Debt Warning 74

Compounding Confusion 75

123 Any Street: The TFSA Results 77

123 Any Street: The RRSP Results 80

Playing with the Inputs 81

Housing Prices Increases 81

House Price 81

Interest Rates 84

Beware Those Trying to Sell You Something 84

Beyond the Numbers 85

Long-Term House Prices 85

Repairs and Maintenance 86

Renovations 87

The End Game: Can You Sell? 87

Conclusion 87

Chapter 6—The Condominium Conundrum 89

Condo Basics 90

Defi nition of a Condominium 90

The Legal Details 91

Condominium Regulations 91

The Fees 92

Who Pays for What? 92

Insurance 93

Renting Out the Unit 94

Condo Costs 94

The Purchase Price 95

The Monthly Costs 95

Running the Numbers 96

The Toronto Condo: Results 97

Playing with the Inputs 100

Further Analysis Required 101

Buying a New Condominium 102

Buying a Re-sale Condominium 103

Condos: What Could Go Wrong? 104

What You Can Do to Manage Condo Risk 106

A Word about Rental Properties and Income Tax 107

Condo Wrap-up 108

Chapter 7—Infl ation: Monster or Myth? 110

What Is Infl ation? 110

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) 111

How the CPI Is Calculated 112

Historical CPI Rates 114

Percentages versus Actual Cash Flow 116

An Infl ation Example 117

Where Will Infl ation Be in the Future? 119

Defl ation May Be the Bigger Monster 120

Stagfl ation: The Two-Headed Beast 121

Why the CPI Matters to You 121

Chapter 8—Maximizing Your Canada Pension Plan 123

CPP and OAS Overview 124

CPP: The Basics 124

CPP: The New Rules 126

CPP Contribution Rate 130

Is the CPP Plan Solid? 130

The CPP Investment Board (CPPIB) 131

The Chief Actuary of Canada 133

Can We Count on the CPP? 134

Is the Canada Pension Plan a Good Investment? 134

How Is the Maximum CPP Pension Calculated? 137

CPP and QPP Maximum Amounts 138

How Will My CPP Pension Be Calculated? 139

The Child-Rearing Provision 139

Should I Elect to Start My CPP Early? 141

Infl ation Effect on the CPP Retirement Benefit 143

The CPP Disability Benefits 143

Summing Up the CPP 145

Chapter 9—Can We Rely on the Old Age Security Cash Cow? 146

The OAS Details 146

Guaranteed Income Supplement 147

OAS Clawback 148

OAS and GIS Amounts 149

The Proposed OAS Changes 150

OAS Wrap-up 152

Chapter 10—Cash Flow for Life 153

What Are Your Cash Cows in Retirement? 154

CPP and OAS 154

RRSPs: How Big Does Yours Need to Be? 156

RRIFs: The Details 157

Annuities: The Details 159

Cash Flow Finale 161

Chapter 11—The Inheritance Jackpot 162

The Great Wealth Transfer Is Going to Be Inefficient 163

How to Talk to Your Parents About Death 164

The Problem with Death 165

Is There Tax on Death? 165

Getting Ready: A Simple Checklist 165

Conclusion 167

Index 169

About the Author 177

Supplemental Materials

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The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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