Quote – Warren Buffett

Don’t do anything in life where, if somebody asks you the reason why you are doing it, the answer is “Everybody else is doing it.” I mean, if you cancel that as a rationale for doing an activity in life, you’ll live a better life whether it’s in the stock market or any place else.

real estate

Price to Rent Ratio – Defined

In an earlier post it showed Canada is the most overvalued place in the world based on the price to rent ratio. In this post I would like to define what the ratio means.

The ratio is calculated using the following inputs:

Price of home/annual rent = price to rent ratio

Rules of thumb:

  • Price-to-rent ratio of 1 to 15 would mean it makes more sense to purchase than to rent.
  • Price-to-rent ratio of 16 to 20 would mean its typically better to rent than to buy, but this is the grey area where a lot would depend on the particular market and situation.
  • Price-to-rent ratio of 21 or higher means its much better to rent than to buy


investing and personal finance, pursuit of happiness

The Importance of Remaining Solvent

A nice short article on the Wall Street Journal on why living below your means and building up a nice nest egg is so important.


I’ve always asserted that wealth to me personally, is the freedom to do what you want, when you want and not to be held down by the your financial situation. For example, staying in a job you hate because you can’t afford a lower paying job that you might actually love.

If you’re locked into an expensive lifestyle, you won’t just suffer financial stress. You may also find it tough to lead the life you want.What is wealth? To me, it isn’t a particular sum of money. Rather, it’s the freedom to spend your days doing what you’re passionate about and what you think is important.

Love your job and earn enough to cover your living expenses? Even if you don’t have much money in the bank, you should consider yourself rich, because you get to spend your days doing what you enjoy.


Pseudoteaching and Real Teaching

I’ve often been told that I am not the greatest of teachers. Now, to clarify I am not a teacher by profession, but like most adults, teaching others is part of my regular life whether through teaching family members such as a younger child, mentoring a new work intern or co op student or any other situation where I hold the knowledge and am attempting to inform another.

The main culprit of my lack of rave reviews is, admittedly, my lack of patience. However, when I am really focused on the task at hand, I’d like to think that my teaching method is effective albeit tough at times. For example, I occasionally raise my voice to get a point across or to point out a mistake, I had an intern point this out to me and I said “ah, but will you ever commit this mistake again?” Probably not. My success rate with interns (in coaching them to get permanent jobs) is 100%, so there is some tangible evidence of the effectiveness of my teaching style. However, I could just be taking credit, and they thrived despite my teaching.

Interestingly enough, I came across the following and thought some of my readers would enjoy it.  In comparing it to myself (most people will say you can’t assess yourself-you’re bias, I’d like to think one of my strengths is my ability to self-assess and be brutally honest with myself) I scored 7 of the RT points. From those interested, it’s from author of the Talent Code, which i wrote about in a previous blog post):

  • 1) PT delivers long, entertaining, inspiring lectures; RT designs short, intensive, learner-driven sessions
  • 2) PT is eloquent and expansive; RT is concise and focused
  • 3) PT addresses large groups; RT connects to individuals
  • 4) PT doesn’t focus on small details; RT is all about details
  • 5) PT is about talking more than watching or listening; RT is about listening and watching more than talking
  • 6) PT is loudly charismatic; RT is quietly magnetic
  • 7) PT is Robin Williams leaping atop desks in Dead Poets Society; RT is John Wooden, teaching his basketball players how to put on their socks properly (no wrinkles, because that causes blisters)
  • 8) PT dismisses questions; RT craves them
  • 9) PT treats everyone the same; RT tailors the message for each learner
  • 10) PT delivers the exact same lecture over and over; RT customizes each session for its audience
favourites, psychology, cognitive stuff and the brain

Flash Cards

I was recently at a preparation course for my strategic leadership program and the instructor had highly recommended the use of flash cards to mentally exercise with during “dead” time. I have never in my life used flash cards (but I have heard and seen other people use them) but since the instructor seem highly knowledgeable and reputable I decided to do some more research online on the merits of flash cards. And what I found surprised me. There’s actually a science behind it AND it is particularly effective when used with spaced repetition.

I won’t spend too much time explaining what flash cards are but the basic premise is that you take cue cards and on one side you write a topic subject or key word and on the other side you write the full explanation. During “dead” time you flip through the subject side and try to answer or que up your responses and see how its lines up with your answers/explanations on the flip side.

Now naturally I began to question, that’s great but any form of repetition will allow you to memorize items to a certain extent. The crux is how do you do it effectively and efficiently. For example, do you review your cue cards twice a day? once a day? every other day? once a week?

This is where I came across something called spaced repetition which allows for the most efficient use of one’s time. The process I have been following involves the use of 5 step intervals. So on day one all flash cards are 1’s, if i recall the subjects successfully, they move on to 2’s. If I am not successful, they remain 1’s. I have chosen 1, 2, 3,4, and 5’s to represent days. The premise I am working with is I only want to recall items often enough to retain it in my long-term memory but not to recall it so often as to “waste” my time or inefficiently use my time when it could be allowed to other items or study topics.

I encourage any readers that are curious to google some examples and read more about the topic.

There are also a flurry of applications you can download that make the tracking and recall much easier but I have decided to go the old fashion route as I prefer physically touching and writing my cue cards/notes.