My Richer Journey

by Jeff Kennedy, CIM

This is a little different then my usual blog.  I thought I'd have a bit of fun and share my personal journey into investing and all the people who influenced me along the way...

My Story 

I guess you could say I've always loved money (who doesn't right?).  

My cousin Diane saw the signs at an early age...

When I was a young boy, we played a board game called Scruples.  Diane suggested I was a bit too passionate about money (based on my unscrupulous answers).  I can't remember the exact question, but it likely had something to do with trading one of my sister for cold hard cash...an easy choice ;~). (You know which one you are sis).

 The sales tag line for this game should be "Scruples, Don't play with Diane cause she never forgets!!!"

The sales tag line for this game should be "Scruples, Don't play with Diane cause she never forgets!!!"

An Early Start

 Regina Transit System Bus, 1969

Regina Transit System Bus, 1969

My interest in money started with coins.

My Grandfather Ted started out as a bus driver for the Regina Transit System (RTS).  Unfortunately he lost an eye due to infection and couldn't drive a bus anymore.  So he worked at the bus depot's money center where they process all the coins that came in from the buses.  He would collect the interesting coins during his shift (and coworkers would help too).  At the end of the day he'd buy them for his collection.  

One of the most interesting was the 1943 Tombac Nickel.   (It was the Second World War and they were low on materials).  So they made a "nickel" that wasn't made of nickel.  It was a 12 sided coin made of a type of brass called Tombac.  I always thought this coin was SO cool because of the history. 

Grandpa unfortunately passed on.  Afterward, Grandma and I sorted through his collection together and talked about grandpa and the coin collections history.  

 Grandma with my daughter Jazmine in 2012

Grandma with my daughter Jazmine in 2012

Occasionally when I would visited Grandma, she would give me a few dollars, but always with the condition that I put it in the bank.  Teaching me the value of money at an early age.

Mom & Dad

Oh course mom and dad had a big influence on me,

Back when banks actually paid interest, my mom and I would go to the bank where I'd make a small deposit and they'd print it in my bank book.  She'd make me review it and understand the interest being paid.  I guess you could say my Mom taught me about compound interest as a very young boy. 

 Slightly older than the books I had...but you get the idea!

Slightly older than the books I had...but you get the idea!

I also remember borrowing a small amounts of money from my parents for University.  My mom kept a journal of what I owed her down to the $0.18.  When I paid her back, she said I could keep the $0.18.  (I reached into my pocket for the $0.18...I was scared of the compound interest in case she changed her mind later on!).  I guess she taught me about compound interest and bookkeeping during the same lesson!  

My dad got me started on my interest in investing (pardon the pun).  He suggested my first book on the subject.  Dave Chilton's Wealthy Barber.  Dave's book was an interesting first read.  I truly enjoyed it.  Dave tells a simple but informative story with practical advice for your everyday person.  It's in a story form and it's a great read.  

Dad and I have also had many hours of discussions about the stock markets over the years.

"Professional Advise" on Stocks

As I got older, I had my first experience with a professional advisor.

My first exposure to a full service broker was my last.  The company I was working for at the time had a defined contribution plan and partnered me up with a broker.  He suggested a few stocks.  Within a few short months, I had lost nearly 1/2 the value of my portfolio.  It was actually the biggest favour he could have done for me.  Fortunately the lesson I learned wasn't a hugely expensive one.  I figured I didn't have much to lose by doing it myself!  I promised myself then and there to become a self managed investor. Thanks Crappy Investment Advisor!

Real Estate Investors Club 

Later in my career, some guys from work and I formed an informal investors club.  Robin, Glen, Dipak and Venkata to name a few.  It was a fun get together.  There were a lot of laughs and great discussions in those luncheon meetings and I learned a lot from them.  I tried to talk about stocks, but the guys had passion for one thing...Real Estate.  From it, I bought my first real estate property (that I still own today).  Those guys taught me to not be scared to take risks.  Thanks boys!

 Predicting the Crash

I worked with a friend named Richard.  He worked in finance, but also had an interest in Real Estate.  Richard shared an interesting story with me about a friend who had concerns about over leveraged subprime loans (he told me the story before the 2007/2008 market crash.).  He basically described the issue before it happened!  I still wonder what happened to Richard's friend (was he swimming with the fish in the bottom of the Pacific or what?).  

Anyways, those early warning were enough for me to start pulling out of the market.  Thanks Richard.

2007/2008 Fiscal Crisis

The subprime loans crisis was one of the many major crashes in the stock market (I talk more about others in this blog if you are interested...

It was a time that I poured over articles and text books looking for answers.  It seemed to me that the big banks and billionaires controlled the system (and I wanted to understand it in detail).  

What would happen when the US government printed trillions of dollars and pumped it into the economy?  Would it work?  Would it be hyper inflation?  Why or why not?  How would this impact millions of investors?  How can I protect myself and loved ones from this type of crisis?  I needed to know.

Bonds 

It was 2007/2008 when I worked with Doug.  I always thought he had a cool job managing a large municipal bond fund.  He got to watch the action on the computer and get paid for it!  I'd pop over and bug Doug on a regular basis with lots of questions.  He was always nice about it.  

 Old Fashion Bond Certificate with the Coupons Still Attached below the Residual.

Old Fashion Bond Certificate with the Coupons Still Attached below the Residual.

The subprime crisis hit right then.  One day, Doug pulled me over to show me how the major banks were paying large returns due to the credit crunch.   I researched it further and then took my first steps into the bond market.  It turned out to be great advice.  Contrarian thinking...jump in while everyone else is jumping out!  Thanks Doug for taking the time for me.

Gold in them Hills

Everyone was scared that the US economy was collapsing.  It was around this time that Darren and I started talking about Gold.  When the governments are devaluating the currencies, their is nothing like holding something solid in your hands.  Plus its light enough to carry when you head up the mountains during coming the 2028 Alien Invasion (I called it first).

Formal Studies

A friend and coworker, Vik, has been a very successful businessman and investor.  We talked several times about doing the Canadian Securities Course (CSC).  After some back and forth I finally decided to take the plunge (Vik continued to do very well in the Real Estate world among other investments...Vik is the guy Donald Trump calls for advice on Real Estate).  

The CSC isn't a very forgiving course.  It has a 50% drop out rate and a 50% failure rate.  It's 200 hours of study and I am happy to say I passed with high marks both exams on the first attempt.  

I had a great teacher in preparing for the exam, Larry Stubbs.  He was strict, but knowledgeable and enjoyed his lectures.  He had a great depth of knowledge and was an interesting speaker.  Larry helped me realize I made a good decision in taking the CSC.  Thanks Larry.

More winters came along (and I needed to keep busy to fight the winter blues).  Several more classes and exams later, I had my Canadian Investment Manager (CIM) Designation.

My Wife

Donnah and I have always had similar views on spending and saving.  From early in our marriage, we've tried to keep a lid on spending and plan carefully for our futures.  She's been a great partner.  Our current home, has been a smart investment and that is thanks to her...(not to forget a great place to raise our two lovely kids Jazmine and Clark!)

Donnah has also support my plans for forming Richer Journey right from the start.  Thanks honey!

Richer Journey

Years ago, I talked with two friends Jenny and Robin about teaching financial investing.  I wanted to share my knowledge with others in a subject I had so much passion.  Things were always busy in my career and it took many more years to finally do it.  But in 2016, I am happy to say I formed my 2nd company Richer Journey.   

Thank You All

I just want to thank everyone who encouraged me along the way.  All the talks, input, all the ideas and the dreams.  I wouldn't have formed this company if it weren't for all of you...thank you all and may you all have a Richer Journey!

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About Richer Journey, Inc.

At Richer Journey's we work with you to translate your financial goals into reality.  We work with you to create a structured plan, educate you on investment options and teach you practical negotiation skills.  All our tips are focused on increasing your returns.  We do not sell products or offer to manage your money… our focus is solid education.