Note that this section of the website is not particularly active; I hope to publish about one personal finance article per month.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Why 60/40?

One of the stronger "rules of thumb" for investing was to have a "60/40 Portfolio": holding 60% equities (stocks), and 40% bonds. This portfolio allocation is aimed at providing good long-term performance with acceptable risk. In this article, I explain why the 60/40 allocation is reasonable - the tilt towards equities should provide higher returns, but the allocation allows for considerable uncertainty in future investment returns.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Book Review: Investing From The Top Down

In Investing From The Top Down: A Macro Approach To Capital Markets, Anthony Crescenzi lays out the case for "macro" investing. Instead of trying to pick securities by scouring over company reports, one looks at the trends in the macro economy and markets. The advantage of this approach is that it requires less of a time commitment, and if one is successful, it will be easier to sidestep crises that are blundered into by those who myopically focus on what is happening to particular companies. Although billed as being useful for institutional as well as retail investors, it is not too complex and so I view the true audience as being retail investors or people who have entered finance without a background in economics.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Peak Oil And Personal Finance

Resource limits hang over the long-term outlook for societies - often summarised as "Peak Oil" or "Peak Food". In order to make a personal finance plan, it is a factor that ought to be taken into account. Unlike other macroeconomic trends, how you structure your portfolio probably matters less than how you structure your spending. This article provide a high level summary of my views on this topic, which will filled out in later posts. Correspondingly, I will give the justification for these arguments in later article.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Book Review: The Strategic Dividend Investor

The book "The Strategic Dividend Investor" by Daniel Peris provides an introduction to dividend investing. The book provides a lengthy explanation of the motivation why focussing on dividends matters; the stock market is apparently less efficient than theory states. The irony is that this inefficiency is partly the result of financial theory that is based upon the premise that the market is in fact efficient. He then gives an overview of dividend investing strategies, but this part of the book is probably too brief.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer Schedule

Summer is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, and I will be dropping my blog writing schedule to a target of one article a week. These articles will be mainly on my main website (, although I hope to put up an article or two on this personal finance section (

I am writing blogs as a means of developing myself as an author - the blogs act as a form of a first draft, and it creates a public presence for myself. I have plans to write a few short books about economics and the bond markets, and do not expect to turn to writing a book about personal finance for at least a few years. As a result, I did not expect to write too many articles on this personal finance section; publishing roughly every 2-3 weeks.

Unfortunately, I injured my hand awhile ago, and my writing productivity dropped. My hand is getting better, and I am now using voice recognition software. But this meant that my writing about personal finance was dropped. With my hand recovering, I hope to start producing personal finance articles at a slow, steady pace once again in August or September.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Strategic RRSP Planning

In this article aimed at Canadian readers, I briefly explain what a Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP's) is, and the strategic principles of why you would want to use them. My discussion is aimed at readers who are relatively far away from retirement. (There are similar savings vehicles in other countries which may have similar principles, but the details depend upon the specifics of tax laws.) I discuss why arguments that RRSP's will face tax disadvantages because "governments are broke" are questionable.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Book Review: Tax Planning For You And You Family

Tax treatment is an important driver of the returns on your portfolio. If you are implementing your personal finance plans yourself, you will need to understand the tax consequences. But even if you have professional advice, you should have a reasonable understanding of what is behind the advisors' recommendations. In order to do this, you will need some good resources explaining the tax system. In this article, I discuss "Tax Planning for You and Your Family  (2014)" by KPMG, which is aimed at Canadians. I start off with some introductory remarks for non-Canadian readers.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Blogging Tip: Adding A New Blogger Blog As A Subdomain

One of the advantages of blogging as form of writing is that you can focus on a highly specialised subject, which makes it easier for readers to find particular information. The downside of specialisation is that it is difficult to produce content only within a narrow field. One solution is to launch a new blog on another topic. And if this new blog is placed within a subdomain of your original domain, it will start off with the same search engine recognition as your original blog. I explain how I did this using the blogger blog platform. Note that I am mainly covering the steps I followed at a high level, as some of the details depend on who hosts your custom domain.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why You Should Consult With A Financial Planner - Or Not

One of the first decisions you have to make about your financial plans is whether to outsource your planning to a professional financial planner. Alternatively, you end up with a do-it-yourself (DIY) financial plan. Although my site is necessarily aimed at people interested in DIY, outside advice is probably a good idea for many people, and appears to be a necessity before undertaking big financial moves.

But even if you do seek professional help, you should understand enough about finances so that you can independently evaluate the advice your are given.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Your House Is A Liability, Not An Asset

Although your home is an investment, it is very different from financial assets. Housing is an investment that loses money every year, up until the house is sold. It is better classified as a liability rather than an asset.

Bond Economics Personal Finance Hub Launched

I have split off the personal finance section of to the Personal Finance Hub - This was so that readers can narrow down the topics of my writings. The Personal Finance Hub has a separate feed, so you have more control over what you subscribe to. Of course, I would like it if you subscribe to both feeds.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Dangers Of Investing In What You Know

There is a risk associated with investing in areas that you are closely associated - your investments may end up being hurt by negative factors that also hit your employment prospects at the same time. There is considerable amount of analysis of the financial benefits of diversification of the types of investments you own in your portfolio (e.g., owning both stocks and bonds). However, you need to also keep in mind the importance of diversification of your overall risks in life, which is harder to measure. This uncertainty means that one should stress diversification within your financial portfolio.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hello World (Blog Under Construction)

This blog will become the personal finance hub for It will go live some time before 2016 (how's that for an ambitious deadline?). I will have to format the blog, as well as move the URL to be a subdomain of

This is the link to the existing personal finance component of my web site.

Have a nice day,
Brian Romanchuk