About Jake

Hi, I’m Jake . Thanks for visiting the blog!

I’m a frugal 30-year-old Canadian born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I started this blog for two reasons: 

  • (1) While managing people, I became frustrated after witnessing preventable financial stress deteriorate individual well-being.
  • (2) I  high-fee mutual funds erode the wealth of hard-working Canadians.  

I love investing, learning, human behaviour, and fitness. This blog is how I use my passions to help others.

 

Motivation

While leading people as an operations manager, I witnessed preventable financial problems induce stress, restrict freedom and reduce well-being.

I then learned that money is top stressor in the U.S and Canada, exceeding health-related stress, job stress, and relationship stress.

For example, 59% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. In addition, 45% of Canadians between 18-34 report that money has led to mental health issues.

I don’t find this surprising, given the mix of:

  • Low financial literacy
  • Strong tailored advertising pressures
  • A culture that measures success based on material wealth
  • Amplified comparative pressures due to social media
  • Inflation

To add to my frustration, 85% of actively managed mutual funds underperform their benchmark (source). These high-fee investment products cost Canadians hundreds of thousands of dollars over their investing lifetime (learn how). 

Theory and evidence make it clear that low-cost index investing is the ideal approach (but it doesn’t earn commissions for advisors). There are many ways that financial professionals can add value, but selling high-fee investment products is not one of them. 

I BelIEve

Life is hard enough without money stress. Having your personal finances in order can reduce stress, free up time and conserve energy.

With your newfound capacity, you can better navigate life’s hardships. Once you are strong, you can help those who are not. 

The technical parts of personal finance are 15% of the challenge: control expenses, pay down debt, build an emergency fund and invest in low-cost index funds. 

The remaining 85% boils down to your behaviour – the hard part. I believe knowledge of psychology can help you delay gratification and build strong financial habits. 

EDUCATION

Here is my educational background, listed in order of relevance to this blog:

  • Experience: I have over 15 years of frugal living experience and eight years of investing experience. In addition, I’ve learned most about human behaviour during six years of leading sections of people in operations and projects as a military officer. 
  • Books: I love non-fiction books. Learnings from these books are laced throughout this blog. It is my opinion that knowledge from books is of more value than knowledge gained from formal credentials. 
  • Professional Financial Advisor: Technical knowledge, practice development, regulatory compliance, and ethics. Delivered by the Institute for Advanced Financial Education. 
  • Engineering Physics Undergraduate Degree: Influenced my problem-solving approach and capacity for independent thought. I learned to apply core concepts to numerous unique situations. This is helpful since personal finance is personal.
  • MBA. Improved understanding of businesses and economics.