To celebrate Christmas, let’s go with an amygdala mail. It’s friendly, calming most of the time, and gives the impression of chatting quietly by the fire.

Let’s start with Guylaine, who writes: “I’m always amazed to see the long lines at the various drive-thrus for a coffee in the Tim Hortons or McDonald’s of this world, at all hours of the day. These new lifestyle habits seem aberrant to me both from a budgetary and health perspective. Why not a little coffee at home and a good bottle of water from home for the road? The other day I saw some young parents walking into Costco each with a huge glass of coffee. It would never have occurred to me to go get myself a big glass of coffee before going to Costco! »

I notice the same things as you, and it surprises me as much as you do. I have the impression that part of it comes from mimicry (what others do becomes accepted and in turn defines what is “normal” in our eyes). This also comes from a misunderstanding. Many people think that an expenditure of $20 or less is insignificant, has nothing to do with our enrichment, and does not deserve our attention. Yet two people who each spend $20 per day miss out on $211,000 in potential wealth per decade, as the Rule of 752 shows.

Maybe they are aware, and accept this level of spending. But maybe not.

Until we realize that our dollars can work much harder than us, it costs nothing to hand them over to a restaurateur for a coffee or something else, according to our desires of the moment. We tell ourselves that we’re not a CEO, a judge or a doctor, that we’ll never be rich anyway, so what’s the point?

Which brings us to Réal, who is not impressed by what he reads here. He writes: “Some of your advice is defensible, but…you don’t seem to have a place for people’s quality of life. Remember, safes don’t keep up with hearses… So can we enjoy life a little without feeling guilty? Everyone has their own choices. You are sad sometimes! »

Personally, my life is overflowing with luxuries: excellent housing, reliable friends, intercontinental travel, more pairs of shoes than pairs of feet, half a dozen air bags ready to save my life when I speed down the highway in a car. a 1200 kg metal box to go skiing.

My family and I have collectively experienced nearly 33,000 meals over the past decade and, unlike millions of families, we have eaten our fill in 100% of them.

Our world excels at meeting our needs. He excels even more at creating new ones for us.

Enjoying life can mean spending your entire paycheck plus going into debt for the next 2920 days to drive a new SUV. It can also mean working, having fun, laughing, traveling and no longer needing banks before you even find your first gray hair.

Everyone has their own choices, as you say.

Let’s continue with Sylvie, who is intrigued when she logs into her investment account.

“On my discount brokerage platform, I am given an analysis of growth forecasts for each stock,” she writes. In the short, medium and long term. The problem is that the long term forecast, for example an increase, can become a decrease three days later… Talk about a long term! In addition, stocks rated highly overvalued continue to rise, while undervalued stocks continue to fall… It’s hard to understand! Do you have any logical explanations for all of this? »

Well done, Sylvie. You are experiencing what I very kindly call the investor’s coming of age.

When looked at from a distance, analysts’ growth forecasts for different companies or sectors seem logical. But when we look at them more closely, we realize that these forecasts overall have an atrocious track record. I only have to write the words “Electric Lion” and “Lightspeed” to make my point prevail.

This is why buying the entire market, as I recently explained, is generally a better idea for 99% of investors than trying to pick stocks piecemeal.

I’ve always wondered if analysts who make buy or sell recommendations implement them in their personal portfolios. Part of me thinks that would be a good idea, a bit like a chef who eats the food he cooks. But another part fears the impact it would have on the ability of their investments to grow. Or to exist.

Finally, a reader writes: “The diversified ETFs you recommend seem “cushy” to me. Why didn’t you choose an S index ETF?

Many readers ask this question. The reason why the S

However, ten years is a short time for investment. Over the long term, the Canadian and U.S. stock markets have had comparable returns, around 9% per year on average. It is only since the 2008-2009 crash that US stocks have really taken off. Very few investors saw this coming: the 2000-2010 decade was bad for the S

Such a portfolio will always do worse than one index or the other. But, overall, it gives us the opportunity to capture growth, wherever it comes from.

With that, I wish you a Merry Christmas and thank you for so many of you reading me every week!