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You had your best-laid plans and then COVID-19 came along and hammered the entire economy. But you’ve got this – if you have the right information. Join Rob Carrick and Roma Luciw on Stress Test, a podcast guiding you through one of the biggest challenges your finances will ever face.

Rob: [00:00:01] Welcome to Stress Test, the Globe and Mail podcast that looks at how the rules of personal finance have changed in the pandemic for Gen Z and millennials.

[00:00:10] I’m Rob Carrick, personal finance columnist at the Globe and Mail.

Roma: [00:00:13] And I’m Rome Luciw the personal finance editor at The Globe.

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[00:00:20] 2020. I mean, Rob, what a year, who would have ever forseen anything like it?

Rob: [00:00:25] I was thinking back 12 months ago, we were cruising into a new year, looked like the most routine year ever. The stock markets were good, housing was good. Everything looked very, very comfortable and settled. And then the bottom fell out in March.

Roma: [00:00:37] The global pandemic has really upended everyone’s lives in ways that nobody could have imagined. Many of us are working from home. There’s been many people that have lost their income. Small businesses have suffered. We can’t travel, can’t eat at restaurants. We can’t hang out with our friends. One of the biggest issues for me has been that we haven’t really been able to travel. And I really look forward to that.

Rob:[00:01:00] Yeah, me too. You know, when I look at the pandemic, I think that it’s possible that the financial side of things might be the great unifier. We’ve all been affected for the better or for the worse by the pandemic. It’s touched us all in a financial sense.

Roma: [00:01:13] Now, you’ve covered this quite a bit. There’s been a real divide between how the pandemic has impacted people based on their individual situation.

Rob: [00:01:21] Well, of course, some people have been just slammed, lost their job, lost their income. They got deferrals on their debt and they expired towards the end of twenty twenty. And they could be facing a financially bleak twenty twenty one until the economy can get back into a higher gear with vaccinations take place and the economy gets freed up to to operate more normally.

But a lot of people have done pretty well. It’s the quiet secret of the pandemic is that it’s made some people better off than they ever dreamed of. Their houses shot up in value? Their stock portfolios recovered brilliantly after the market crash. They’re sitting on a pile of savings. So we have this two sided coin and two sides could not be more different.

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Roma: [00:01:59] I will tell you the big thing that I see, and this is, again, for the people that are lucky enough to still be employed, they just can’t believe how much money they have saved. Now, big one for people with kids is you’re not paying for daycare. That’s just huge. Right. And of course, no one’s traveling. Right. So all of a sudden, people are opening up their bank accounts and looking in there and saying, oh, my God, look at all this money I have saved up in my savings account.

Rob: [00:02:22] Today, we have a special episode of Stress Test for you, and it’s all about personal finance goals for twenty twenty one. We’re going to provide the New Year’s resolutions we think you should consider. That’s right after the break.

Commercial: [00:02:35] This podcast is brought to you by CPP Investments Take Comfort knowing the Canada Pension Plan Fund will be there for you. We invest to help ensure the CPP fund remains resilient over the long term. Sustainable and secure for millions of Canadians. Learn more at CPP Investments Dotcom.

Rob: [00:03:00] Welcome back. This time of year, we in personal finance journalism tend to get quite a few PR e-mails about this topic. Roma, how soon do you start getting those New Year’s resolution emails in your inbox?

Roma: [00:03:12] They start landing shortly after a Remembrance Day and American Thanksgiving and they really pick up steam and to the end of December. Now, most of the resolutions are all kind of the same. They’re boilerplate. They don’t change from year to year and they’re quite general. Right? I mean, save more. Who doesn’t want to save more? But the problem is that doesn’t give you any specific action in terms of what you can take to actually save more. And on that note, we’re going to do something a little bit different with our resolutions, right, Rob?

Rob: [00:03:43] Yeah, we are going to try to weave smart personal finance with lessons we’ve learned in the pandemic to give you something that you can really take hold of and use to put yourself in a better financial position for twenty, twenty one.

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Roma: [00:03:55] We’re also going to hear from some of you about what you’re thinking for twenty, twenty one. Last year we did a call out on Rob’s Carrick on Money newsletter to find out what goals our readers were setting for themselves. Here’s the first resolution a newsletter reader sent in.

Submission:[00:04:09] I’m trying to save up to have an even larger emergency fund, maybe nine or 12 months for uncertain times like these.

Rob: [00:04:17] I think this has to be tops on anybody’s list of resolutions for twenty twenty one, create or top up your emergency fund. Emergency funds, our personal finance 101 stuff. And prior to 2020, no one really listened. They all thought I got it. Emergencies don’t really happen that much. Twenty twenty was a lesson in a catastrophic emergency. And the people who had emergency funds and then had an interruption in their job or their income, they were the ones who had a security blanket.

Roma:[00:04:47] That’s right. So emergency fund is the amount of money that you’ve set aside somewhere where you can easily and quickly access it to pay for things like a mortgage payment. In case you have no money coming in, you need to pay your rent. You need to eat, you need to pay for groceries. You need to pay your monthly bills. So traditionally, sort of the approach was that you needed three to six months. You know, that was the you know what with the.

Rob: [00:05:12] But how many people, Roma, how many people do you actually think had three to six months.

Roma: [00:05:16] Absolutely no one. I mean, I think the big transition we’ve seen over the years is people relying on their home equity line of credit in the case of an emergency and renters. I you know,

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Rob: Their credit card.

Roma:Yeah, their credit card. And, you know, these are people that really, really we covered this in season one when we did our gig economy episode. Right. People that have precarious employment and no one has suffered more in the pandemic than that swath of people. A lot of them are younger. People really need an emergency fund. What do you think’s a realistic an emergency fund?

Rob: [00:05:48] Anything is better than nothing. So you came to me and said, all I can put together is five hundred dollars for my emergency fund. I say, great, that’s five hundred dollars. That will help you in tough times. And it’s sure better than having an empty bank account. But I think we really need to start thinking about months. How many months of expenses can I string together? Start with one work up to two three. We heard from our reader about creating a bigger emergency fund? We’ve talked about a minimum three to six months. This reader is talking about nine to 12 months. And I think that really makes a lot of sense. If you work in the gig economy, I think it is not out of line to even imagine. Do I have a year’s worth of expenses? Now, that is an idealized goal. You are not a failure. If you fail to reach that one month is better than nothing. And that’s where I would start.

Roma: [00:06:30] Yeah. And one thing I don’t know, we’ve talked about this as well in your newsletter and some of the coverage that we’ve had. The emergency fund suffers from a branding issue. It is a snoring, boring name. So one of the things we should do is try to think of other ways to convince people that they just really need to have that money sitting aside their so they can access that whenever they want. I’m open to calling it something else, anything that catches people’s attention.

Rob: [00:06:53] Yeah, I had a financial planner suggest calling it a contingency fund, which sounds a bit businessy, but I like it better than emergency fund. Emergency fund is bad branding. It’s very old fashioned and it sure isn’t resonating. So anyway, in future episodes of Stress Test, we would be happy to discuss better names for the emergency. But meantime, let’s get on to our second resolution. Roma, take it away.

Roma: [00:07:15] Oh, this is one that’s close to my heart. Get ready to be a smarter food shopper. Now 2020 - big year. That’s changed the way we all eat. Restaurants were closed. I mean, takeout was still open, but we all had time on our hands. And I think that we all did a bit more splurging when it came to the eating department. So my idea for 2021 is to make it the year you learn how to make a few Keiller dinners like, you know, something simple and tasty doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy, but some things that you can make that are easy and that are on hand. Food prices, as we heard in our last episode, are only going to keep rising. What do you think, Rob?

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Rob:[00:07:53] I think that this is all part of a goal people are going to need to start thinking about to make themselves smarter food shoppers, smarter consumers of food, because we’ve all been spending more on certain aspects of eating in the pandemic, not going to restaurants, but ordering groceries. And there’s a price premium on that. We’ve been doing a lot of takeout. We’ve been spending more at the grocery store treating ourselves. And I think that once we go back out into the economy, we start going to restaurants again. We’re going to find that we’re spending a lot of food. Then you layer on top of that, this idea of food inflation, the price of doing your week by week and month by month grocery shopping is projected to rise by about seven hundred dollars next year for a family. I think we’re all going to need to economize on food. As a guest on one of our episodes on food says the era of cheap food is coming to an end and that is going to have implications for families.

Roma: [00:08:44] OK, I’m going to state the obvious here, but I’m going to make a huge plug for making enough food so that you have plenty of leftovers. I live for leftovers. I pack them into the kids lunches. If I’m busy working, I run down and I eat them back. When I was working in the newsroom, I would pack them in and take them to the office and eat there as well. So if you’re going to bother cooking, if you’re going to make a few good things, make sure that you make enough that you can take them into the office. Now you were also bring your sandwich to work kind of guy, weren’t you?

Rob: [00:09:14] Well, back in the day when I did go into the office. Yes, I did bring my lunch, my thinking on leftovers. I hated them as a kid. I was an adult. They are timesaver money saver and I agree make more than you need.

Roma: [00:09:27] My kids live for them. They love them, which is so great. The other thing that I will say is my resolution in the food department for 2021. I have just recently been inspired by our food episode to try online grocery shopping and I have to say I’m absolutely loving it. So what of the things that’s great about? It is you can line up all of the I don’t know, for instance, let’s say paper towels or tomatoes and, you know, look at the prices and see what’s on special. And it’s so easy to see how much you’re spending. I thought I would be that person that wants to go in and pick my own strand of broccoli. But it turns out I don’t really care. So I’m looking forward to exploring what the best option for that is in twenty twenty one.

OK, why don’t we listen to our next reader submission?

Submission: [00:10:07] After a decade of renting in Toronto, I’m interested in finally buying my first home somewhere in the GTA in 2021.

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Rob: [00:10:14] If you’re interested in home buying, you should give a listen to our episode three from season one called What You Should Know Before You Buy a Home.

Roma:[00:10:21] This reader resolution lines up well with our next one, Curb your enthusiasm about home buying. Despite what you might think to the contrary, the Canadian housing market really defied expectations in the pandemic. And in many parts of the country, housing is more expensive than ever. Now, there is some value in the condo market, but in many, many places, housing prices have gone through the roof. We’ve all spent a lot of time in our homes. So of course, we’re thinking about where and how we want to live. But if you’re looking to buy a place, be careful about how much you want to spend. Think about what kind of a life you envision yourself having and make sure that you buy the home that suits that as opposed to buying the house and then trying to wrap your life around it. Rob, what are some of the issues that we’ve seen many, many times over the years with people buying too much house?

Rob: [00:11:11] Before the pandemic, there was this growing trend. Not much talked about but definitely there about financial household stress. And basically people were nervous feeling anxiety about how their personal finance was going. And very often it resulted from a feeling of being overwhelmed by expenses. And the House is a primary culprit here. It just costs so much. It’s not the mortgage alone. It’s property taxes. It’s maintenance. It’s the social pressure to create this perfect living space. So you’re constantly making improvements. It’s a heavy load. There’s a lot of crosscurrents in the economy in 2021. There are super low interest rates. It could be a best in lifetime opportunity to lock in a great rate. Houses in some cities are still quite affordable, but they’re shooting up in many cities and in the expensive cities like Toronto and Vancouver and Montreal and Ottawa. They’re getting up there and I think young buyers are going to be really hard pressed to buy some of the homes are going to have their eye on and think that they’re going to live a balanced life of saving for retirement and comfortably affording daycare and having car loans and traveling and all that sort of stuff.

Roma:[00:12:18] Now, I know that we’ve covered this a bit on our podcast, and I’m certainly going to be interested to see what happened to all those people that went ahead and bought places in 2020 in sort of destinations that they wouldn’t normally have considered. So we saw people making big moves in the real estate market last year, buying homes further away, leaving the downtown core, really making big moves in the pandemic. And so I think that 2021 will give us a good view in terms of how that will play out. Will they be happy in these locations? Will they be able to have the lifestyle that they want and what will happen if and when we need to go back to work?

Rob: [00:12:53] I’m predicting a huge adjustment period. It’s probably run from 2021 through 2022 when all the decisions and changes and shifts we made integrate back into our normal lives, where we’re going back into the office more and the economy more. And we’re spending more on travel and clothing and concerts and bars and all that sort of stuff. And how does it all mesh together. I think it is a giant open question and I know it’ll I’ll be getting a lot of columns out of it.

Roma: [00:13:19] That brings us to our next resolution. And it’s about the renter. Go for it, Rob.

Rob: [00:13:24] Reassess your rental situation. The pandemic has been kind of a gift for renters in big, expensive cities. Rents have fallen. They’re just fewer people who want to rent a place. The landlord leverage is easing. There’s more power to the renter. And I think here’s a great opportunity to find something more affordable. Maybe you can negotiate your rent lower, maybe you don’t even bother. Maybe you just check the market and go and find a better, cheaper place. Rent has been a huge problem for Millennials and Gen Z in the expensive cities. It’s taking up too much of their income. I think there’s a chance here to roll those expenses back a little bit.

Roma: [00:14:00] I’ve never seen so many for rent signs in our West Toronto neighborhood. I certainly never saw any in previous years during the fall months, and I’m seeing continuous postings go up. So to my mind, what that means is that people are being proactive about their renters situation, they are looking for new places, they’re renegotiating the deals they have, I think a lot of good will come out of sort of this loosening that we’re seeing in the rental market for the renter.

Rob: [00:14:29] There is one caution, though. I think some people are renting out homes they decided not to sell just now. And I wonder if there’s going to be a lot of 12 month leases and then sayonara, basically people finding a really nice place to rent. And then in a year, the landlord says, holy cow, the housing market’s jumping again, or I can sell my condo. I wasn’t going to get a good price in late 2020, but in late 2021, it’s all good. I want you out. So I would say that when people are finding new rentals, you’ve got to pay a lot of attention to how long will I be able to stay here?

Roma:[00:15:01] I mean, I think even in the meantime, if you can negotiate yourself a better rent situation, you can take that money that you’re saving from lower rent, build your emergency fund, or if your ultimate plan is to buy, you can take it and start saving for a down payment.

Rob: [00:15:15] I think the bottom line here is that if the pandemic has done anything good in the housing market in terms of affordability, it’s for renters.

Roma: [00:15:22] And by the way, our next episode of Stress Test is going to look at the rent versus buy dilemma, how you can avoid the pressure to buy something you can’t really afford and how to set yourself up for financial success as a long term mindful renter.

Moving along. We’ll hear our next reader resolution right after this.

Commercial: [00:15:42] This podcast is brought to you by CPP Investments at CPP Investments, we never lose sight of the long term. We invest the Canada Pension Plan Fund to help provide financial security for generations of Canadians. We diversify the CPP fund across geographies and asset classes to access the best investment opportunities and generate sustainable long term returns.

The fund is now more than 400 billion dollars. To learn more about our investment performance for Canadians, visit CPP Investments dot com.

Roma[00:16:17] Welcome back. Let’s get to our next resolution that was submitted.

Submission: When I want to buy something other than essentials. I’ll put it on the list and wait for 30 days and see if I still want to buy it. I expect most of the time the answer will be no.

Roma:[00:16:32] I think that makes a lot of sense and it brings us to our next resolution. Reward yourself, but by local or make it yourself. Sometimes I feel like all the money advice, all personal finance advice is about sacrifice and saving. But personal finance is also about spending well. 2020 was a bit of a kick in the teeth and we’ve all spent so much time at our homes. I think a good idea is to make at least one small change that will brighten your space or make your day-to-day life better. And when I look to do that over the holidays, I tried to buy local or to do something small, like make it myself. I mean, I have one friend who had more time on her hands and went back to her painting roots, bought herself some supplies and canvas, and her apartment has some beautiful art pieces. In our neighborhood. I’ve seen people splurge on many things that have made a big difference, things like new gardens or backyard lights or some nice workout clothing. What kind of things did you see people buying and spending on over the holidays Rob?

Rob:[00:17:30] I’ve seen big spending. I’ve seen decks. I’ve seen, you know, giant curtains for TVs and big appliances at the end of driveways on recycling day. I think people are rewarding themselves big time, not just with something small or local, but with something big and imported from some exotic country. You know, I’m going to make an argument here now that is your patriotic duty to put a little money into the economy. There’s billions and billions, 90 billion by one estimate sitting in savings. There’s a lot of discussion of what’s going to happen with this money. Are people going to hoard it or are they going to keep it as some sort of a security for future for future pandemics or disasters? Are they going to spend it? Is it going to flood back into the economy? I say put some back in strategically, spend something big, small, I’ll leave it up to you to decide how affordable it is. But I think that we need to help our business people in our economy. One way to do that and to do it locally and to do it nationally is to buy something to strategically spend. I can afford to do this. I’m going to scale it to what your affordability is and put that money to work. It’s paying salaries, it’s paying landlords. It’s putting food on the table for the people who work in that store. And I think we need to think about doing that. Personal finance people never tell you to spend, but here I am telling you to spend in 2021.

Roma: [00:18:47] Yeah, but spend carefully and spend in the right places. You know, maybe instead of ordering your books on Amazon, go to your local bookstore, maybe instead of ordering from like that massive national pizza joint, go to your local place on the corner and see whether you could make a real difference for these small businesses. It’s a lot of power you have as a consumer. And it’s exciting to see people spending it well and spending it wisely. And hopefully that trend is going to continue in 2021.

Rob: [00:19:11] All the spending puts me in mind of another resolution. Get in the habit of giving a little bit to charity. Charitable donations are well down to the pandemic and it’s totally understandable. A lot of people are under stress and they don’t have the money. I’m encouraging people to pick a charity, pick a couple that you support that are in line with your values, that are doing good in your eyes and commit to them, maybe make a monthly donation, maybe commit to giving them money on a semi regular basis. I really like the Canada Helps dot org website. It’s a clearinghouse for a whole pile of different charities you can give through there. They send instant tax receipts. And let’s not forget there is a tax deduction for making charitable donations. Roma, have you reassessed your charitable giving in the pandemic year?

Roma [00:19:55] I absolutely have. And one of the things that we’ve tried to do is get the kids involved in this. We try to sit down and think about where we want to give, why we want to give there, and then we involve them in that process. And I think that for people that are worried that they don’t have a lot to give, it’s not really about the amount.

It’s about the habit of giving and about sort of remembering that that’s part of your annual or monthly financial planning and it’s just part of what it means to be a good citizen. There is other ways that you could also help. You can also volunteer and you can donate clothing or used goods. Lots of ways to get involved. As I said, I think the important thing is to just get in the habit of doing it.

Rob: [00:20:36] Now let’s hear our next leader submission.

Submission: I need to stick to a plan of investing a set amount of cash holdings into the market on specific dates each quarter. I can’t be second guessing my 60 40 balance asset allocation for stocks and bonds.

Roma: [00:20:50] Once you have your plan like this reader does, it’s a good time to bring up our next resolution, which is automate your finances. This is just basic good financial housekeeping. It’s one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself and something that makes your life so much easier. It’s pay yourself first. So put money in your short-term savings and also your long term savings. Doing this once properly is a life saver. Rob, how do you have your automation set up?

Rob: [00:21:18] I have money flowing into many different savings accounts and a couple of investment accounts. TFSAs, RRSPs every payday. Now, if you set it up electronically so it happens automatically, you go into your investment account and you say transfer X amount of dollars every X number of days. I do it on payday and it happens automatically. The money piles up. I never decide. Oh, I think I’ll address this much this week, but oh no, not next week. I don’t think I’ll invest anything because it’s going to be tight because the holidays are coming. If you start making discretionary decisions like that on your saving and your investing, you will talk yourself out of doing it probably half the time or more. That’s why I say automate. What are you automating?

Roma: [00:21:57] I have a very similar system where every paycheck gets diverted into several accounts and then every once in a while we check in there and we are always surprised. My husband and I tend to do this together. We’ll look in and we’ll say, OK, we have this much in this savings account, we have this much in here. Part of that goes towards one account that we use for daily weekly shopping and then other parts of it are saving for retirement, other parts of it activities. We also have a savings account that we have specifically set up for trip planning and sort of like a fun account. So that’s always feels great when you look in there and you see that that’s not empty. I just can’t imagine having the stress of having to go through and do all of that manually each month or each week. I think this is one of the biggest things that you can give yourself in terms of peace of mind is to just set up your banking properly the first time we do go over this in our Season one episode on how to set up your finances. So if you want to give that a listen, there’s plenty more tips on that front in there.

Rob: [00:22:54] I’m going to jump into our next resolution, and it’s one that hits home for me. It’s review your subscriptions. We have accumulated an awful lot of subscriptions in the in the pandemic, some streaming services, some subscriptions to online content music. And I’m consuming a surprisingly large amount of it. But I think that once things open up and we’re finding diversions outside the home, I’m going to give up a few of these and I’m going to streamline our monthly credit card bill. So what I’m going to suggest to you is grab your credit card bill for a couple of months and go line by line and go over every subscription you’ve got there and think value or no value. And if no value, cancel it and save yourself some money. Roma, what about you? Are you oversubscribed?

Roma:[00:23:37] And I’m not sure. I don’t think that we are. But, you know, famous last words. Right. That’s the thing with those subscriptions is they kind of creep up on you and then you sort of forget about them. I mean, day to day life takes over. You know, prime example was in the spring when the pandemic hit, my husband was paying his gym membership and I think it was paused for some time and then it was sort of quietly restarted and we weren’t really clear on it. And then I remember looking at one of our bills together and I thought, what is this hundred bucks a month for? And then, you know, we had to talk about it and decide whether we wanted to pause it. But this is sort of one of those things that’s just kind of good housekeeping. It’s actually a natural fit for a New Year’s resolution. You know, to set that as a once a year thing that you can do is to sit down and spend a half hour, go through it and, you know, even eight dollars a month for something will add up to, you know, over one hundred a year.

[00:24:29] So it’s eight dollars times, one times, two times three when you add them all up. You know, one thing I think we need to keep in mind is that when you subscribe for something, the company offering the subscription considers you a customer for life. They will renew this every year till the end of time. You have to step in and tell them back off, I’m not doing this.

[00:24:46] You know, as a side note, it’s a worthwhile exercise to do with your bank fees as well. Sit down, pick a time, pick on a quiet hour or two and go over and look at what you’re paying fees on and ask whether you can get a better deal or cancel some of the ones that you don’t need to be paying any more.

Rob: [00:25:01] I was just going to laughingly say that I’m waiting for banks to rebrand monthly checking account fees as a subscription fee for your great bank account.

Roma: [00:25:09] That’s what we have to look forward to in twenty twenty one, huh? Switching gears, let’s hear from our next newsletter reader in terms of what their resolution is.

Submission:[00:25:19] Trust that when the market goes down, it will later go up. I’ve been sitting on cash waiting for a buying opportunity, but I didn’t jump in when the market fell in March, so I missed out.

Rob:[00:25:29] Hearing this read or talk about regrets and their investments puts me in mind of another resolution. Schedule an hour or so to do a full inspection of your investments, find out what’s gone up, what’s gone down, whether you need to rejig things, whether your portfolio’s got a more and more risky than you thought it should be, whether you need to add more money and take more money out, you need to engage. With your investments, take stock, we’ve had a lot of huge up and down gyrations in 2020 and 2021 could be an interesting year as the forces in play in 2020 start to work their way through the economy. Will we see inflation? Will the stock markets keep rising will interest rates rise from where they are? You need to know how that will affect your investments from. Is that something you do with your investments at the beginning of the year?

Roma: [00:26:13] I do. That is a natural also for a January 1st or early January in late December recalibration. We just did that with our kids RESPs. We have them in a direct investing account and we get money from the grandparents for the kids education funds. And so we sat down, we had a look at it. We talked about how it was doing, what we wanted to do, where we were at a worthwhile exercise for anyone, especially heading into more uncertainty in 2021.

Rob:[00:26:40] You know, I think a big thing in 2021 is going to be looking at whether your stock market holdings have risen a lot because the market really bounced in 2020. And I think some people are going to look at their investment portfolios and think well I said I wanted sixty percent stocks and 40 percent bonds, but I now see stocks are up to seventy five percent and bonds are down to twenty five percent. And in that case, that’s more risky than you might want. And I think you might want to do what they call rebalancing. That’s selling a bit of what’s hot in your portfolio and buying a little of what’s cold to get back to the 60 40 or whatever you decided you wanted when you set your portfolio up.

Roma: [00:27:17] Now, Rob, how often do you do this? Once a year? Every three months?

Rob:[00:27:20] But every every three, four months I just duck in and look at how things are going. I have accounts that are pretty much set to run on their own. You have to clap eyes on your investment. Surprises can happen. Things can go sideways on you. And it’s good to catch these things before twelve months have gone by. And you think, well, that’s a lot of damage and I could have really helped if I’d got to it sooner.

Roma:[00:27:39] Oh absolutely. And twenty twenty was a crazy year for the stock market. I don’t think anybody expected what happened to have happened. We saw these huge gains. It’s going to be really interesting to see what this year holds.

That brings us to our last resolution. Visualize a post pandemic reward and save for it. So yay! Twenty twenty one is going to be the year. It’s going to be over. We are all fingers crossed, hoping that covid will be out of the way a year from now. And at that point we will be able to do all those things that make us happy. I, for one, am a big proponent of people saving for goals that will bring them joy, a dream trip, some kind of new kitchen accessory, some kind of new sports equipment, any luxury item that will bring you joy, start saving for it now. The pandemic has made us all think about how life needs to be lived, but what the important things in our life are. I’ve seen it all around me. Hot tubs renovation’s all these things. I suggest that this is the time to sit down and really start thinking about how you want to use some of that money that’s been piling up. Rob, what are you looking forward to doing?

Rob: [00:28:44] I’m looking forward to taking a nice trip outside of the city where I live and where I’ve spent almost all of my time since March. Yeah, I don’t know where. And I’m going to be super flexible. It might be in Canada. We had a trip to summer trip to Newfoundland. We’re going to go hike for two weeks, scheduled for July 2020. That was put on the shelf. Maybe we’ll go back and do that. Maybe we’ll go somewhere outside the country. I don’t know. But that is what I’m putting money away for. Now, a big trip to to just remember that there’s a lot of world out there to explore.

Roma [00:29:18] Super important. And remember, money is something that can bring you joy in. These saving goals are really worthwhile because imagine being able to take trips like this and make these kinds of decisions with financial freedom to know that you’re not going to take on debt doing it. I encourage everyone to pick their goal that’s going to make them happy and start saving.

Rob: [00:29:36] Thank you for listening to Stress Test. I’m Rob Carrick.

Roma: And I’m Roma Luciw. This show is produced and edited by Amanda Cupido with mixing and editing by TK Matunda. Kiran Rana is the executive producer.

Rob: [00:29:49] If you like what you heard, make sure to subscribe to the show, share with a friend or leave a review on Apple podcasts. Cheers to 2021.

Commercial: [00:30:06] This podcast was brought to you by CPP Investments. As a member of the investment management industry. We’re committed to helping drive financial literacy among young Canadians, including providing information about our role in helping ensure the sustainability of the CPP. To learn more, visit CPP Investments Dot Com.

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