Sunday, September 30, 2018

Financial Freedom Blueprint Gets You There Faster!

Financial Freedom Blueprinting! LOTS to think about!

Do you ever wonder if you are on the right track? 

Do you ever question your past decisions? I do!

Recently I partnered with a company that creates professional Financial Plans.

Working out the first draft of my financial plan took a lot of pondering, discussion, questions, answers, assumptions, frustration, and so forth.

Once all data has been gathered and finalized, we entered it into the financial planning software.

The program ran through hundreds of calculations and applied a few algorithms to project the value of our estate, upcoming tax obligations, assets, liabilities, cash flow, savings, etc. for years to come.

Within seconds, I got to see:

  • how much money I'll have when my kids grow up
  • upcoming periods of cash surplus and shorfalls
  • the size of my future estate 
  • my future TAX liabilities!! 
Amazing! The Financial Plan instantly gave me a visual summary of my financial future. It also helped me assess my progress towards my goal to be Financially free.

Just to give you a taste - below are some sample charts I pulled out. This is using dummy data.

What Will my Net Worth Be?

Here's a sample graph that shows a Net Worth forecast.

Red bars show liabilities. Black bars are total assets.

What will my Estate be when I turn 80?

Here's a sample estate summary  - you can see it for any point in time!

Analyzing Financial Plan

The next step is to review the initial outlook. Analyse it. Consult with experts, run through a few scenarios, and create an action plan.

The biggest and most obvious issue in my personal financial plan is insufficient liquidity.

Most of our assets are hard assets. Therefore, our long term plan shows that we should work on a strategy to acquire liquid assets, and focus on creating additional streams of passive income, as well as converting some of the hard assets into liquid.

This is not a surprise! In fact, we are currently approximately 66% done with our original passive income goal, so there's definitely room to improve. 

However, it was surprising and rewarding to realize the long-term effect of our efforts so far. Even though there's still lots to do - the plan shows that we've accumulated a lot of value, which will continue to grow with time.

Financial Freedom Blueprint

I'm so-so happy to continue to work with the Financial Planning team to build out a few scenarios for the future and incorporate upcoming actions: acquisitions, re-finances, exits, addition of new asset types, and so forth.

There are a few forks in the road when it comes to building wealth. 

Each of the scenarios we've prepared shows me a different path forward. 

So all of these scenarios together become a part of my financial freedom blueprint. 

Having an accurate and validated plan adds a LOT of clarity to my action plan. 

There's no reason to constantly question myself - the road ahead is clear.

Plumbing 911!

Oh-oh! Plumbing 911!
Over the past couple of weeks, I had to deal with a few plumbing issues. Just wanted to share some pictures, so that you can see how simple or extensive a plumbing problem can get!

Urgent yet Easy Plumbing Issue

Our tenant called on Friday evening. Their basement was flooded. Every time they used a toilet, the water would back up in the basement. Urgent help, please! - tenant really needed help. It's unpleasant when you can't use the bathroom.

We called a few plumbing companies and were placed in their priority queue. We called and called! Trying to expedite the resolution. However, no one was available and most companies didn’t even return our calls. Thankfully, our tenant was quite understanding. We did our best to get help as fast as it was possible, but no luck until the end of the weekend.

It helps when you have good local connections in the area! 

This is one of the reasons why I’m working towards gradually shifting from self-managing all units towards partnering with a property manager.

Finally, we got an appointment scheduled for Monday morning.

Fortunately, it turned out that the issue itself was easy to fix.

The plumber cabled approximately 45 feet to clear blockage, finding it approximately 32’ in the drain line at the front of house. When he retrieved the cable, we found roots on the line.

Roots Blocked a Pipe

Non-Urgent yet Difficult Plumbing Issue

We recently acquired a duplex (the one we've split up into two units). During pre-purchase inspections, we identified two problems that needed to be solved:

1) Sewer stack rusted and needed to be replaced
2) After each rain, rain water mixed with sewage backed up into the basement.

The two issues were not urgent and didn't create too much inconvenience for the tenant - he knew we'd find a good solution and was not rushing us.

Our tenant recommended an outstanding local plumbing company! 

Two technicians visited us and did a lot within just a few hours:

replaced the old stack with new ABS plumbing
cleared sewer lines, removing calcium build-up and roots
fixed broken plumbing under the utility tub in the basement
replaced P-traps and some old sections of the lines
cleaned floor drain and put a back trap on it
there was only one section of the lines (6-7 feet) that could not be snaked and inspected with a camera.

Now, the first issue was resolved.

Next, we had to wait until it rained, to find out if the basement would flood.

Flooded! Not Again...

There was a big storm over night! Unfortunately, the basement still got flooded.

The plumbing company let me know that most likely the problem comes from the city lines.

However, we had to inspect the last section of our pipes, to make sure everything is in order on our end. Without this, the city would never start looking into the problem.

The plumbing team came prepared to inspect the last bit of hidden lines. Take a look at the pictures below to see what it took!

Now, we know that all of the plumbing under our house and up to the City line is in good shape.We'll wait for a rainy day to find out if the basement would still get flooded. Fingers crossed...

Getting ready to dig!

Where does this pipe go?

Holly, molly!

New Pipes!

No More Flooding (Hopefully!!)

Cleaning Up!

Instant Return on Investment

Ready for the Winter
The townhouse I acquired with a serious discount last month, came with no heating.

The previous owner removed electric baseboards throughout the house and used a gas stove in the basement as the only heat source. She was saving considerably on the monthly utilities!

My brother-in-law being extremely frugal as well is another person I know who uses a wood stove to heat his entire house!

However, I don’t think I’ll be successful finding tenants who’d be thrilled about a similar set up.

Most tenants would be looking for either baseboards on every level or a gas furnace. I don’t blame them!

Can you imagine starting a wood stove early mornings when it’s 30 degrees below zero?! 

I was debating between installing new electric baseboards or using the opportunity to upgrade to a gas furnace. I decided to get quotes and work timeline for both options and go from there.

My amazing property manager received several quotes from multiple reputable vendors. Now, we knew that the costs would be as follows:

1) Electric baseboards: $6,000
2) Gas furnace including ducts: $9,000.

Instant Return: $9,000 makes $4,000 = 44% ROI

A local appraiser let me know that the price of the property would go up by $15,000, conservatively, once the gas furnace is in place. This is a $4,000 net gain on a 9K investment.

44% return - not bad, eh?

An additional benefit is that the property will look more attractive to potential tenants. Many families prefer gas heating, as it typically costs less than electricity.

This property is a condo town house. I learned from the condo manager that, before making any updates, I am supposed to get approval from the Condo Board.

Getting Board's Approval 

The approval process turned out to be much smoother than I expected. I received an “Alteration / Renovation request Form” form from the Board. Then, completed this form and returned the following to the Board before their scheduled meeting:

1) Completed Alteration / Renovation Request form
2) Photos of the locations where the contractor will core through the brick (with the area circled)
3) Contractor’s WSIB eClearance Letter and Insurance Certificate.

My property manager helped me with all three of these!

The Board confirmed their approval and we now have all the work scheduled.

I am very grateful to my Property Manager and his team. 

Can’t wait to start looking for a tenant! I’m sure they’ll love this home and enjoy being warm and cozy during the winter.

Million Dollar Decision: Spend or Save?

Balancing Act! Spending vs Saving
Recently, I ran across a fantastic company. I loved their business model.

The team their helps Canadians take control over their finances and build passive income. Most of their clients achieve the following objectives:

  1. Pay off their bad debt within about 30 days
  2. Create about a $1,000,000 investment portfolio within 8-10 years
  3. And all this, without sacrificing their current lifestyle. 

I am starting to work closer with this firm, to learn more about the specific software program and approach they use to achieve such tremendous success. I can see how this process will benefit many of my readers.

Wouldn’t you want to have a million dollar portfolio!?

This afternoon, I worked through my own numbers and a couple of scenarios to see how I can use my primary home plus leverage to build up my passive income.

I'd like to share my notes with you. It’s amazing how the decision to hang on to current lifestyle affects the long-term outcome!

The Formula

Step 1) Re-finance your primary residence to extract as much equity as possible. Pay-off all high interest rate bad debt and invest the rest.

Step 2) Repeat step #1 above three times: today, then in 3 to 5 years, and then again in about 10 years.


Below are the key assumptions I made when working through my own numbers. These assumptions are reasonable in my particular case.

Your situation might be different, so please adjust and feel free to post questions below the post:

Property appreciates steadily at 5% a year
At first refinance, my mortgage interest rate will increase from 3.15 to 4.5%
Mortgage interest rate will remain at 4.5% for all future years
I will be able to re-finance up to 75% loan to value every five years
My portfolio will be invested with an average 11% annual return.

Scenario 1: Keeping My Lifestyle

After each re-finance, I’ll spend all of the passive income.

It is important for me to use the extra disposable income right away.


  • Fifteen years later, my net worth will be $770,000.
  • My investment portfolio will be $383,000, producing $42,000 of passive income a year. This income will not be enough to cover my annual mortgage principal and interest payment of $55,000.

Scenario 2: Extreme Frugality

After each re-finance, I’ll find a way to reduce my day-to-day spending, so that all of the passive income goes right back into my portfolio. 

As a result, my disposable income will get smaller with each refinance, yet my portfolio will grow very fast thanks to the compounding interest.


  • Fifteen years later, my net worth will be $1,307,000.
  • My investment portfolio will be $1,001,700, producing $110,000 of passive income a year – more than enough to cover my mortgage payments of 55K. 

Know Your Options - Make Conscious Decisions 

These two scenarios show you the full spectrum of possibilities.

The first scenario best fits those who appreciate today and live in the moment. It shows that with some effort put into making your equity work for you, you can build some wealth while enjoying some extra passive income.

The second scenario emphasizes the importance of being conscious about the impact of compounding interest over a long time. If you can be frugal – be frugal! This will pay off over time and you could be on the road to creating a multi-million-dollar portfolio and hundreds of thousands in passive income!

Whichever point on the spectrum of options you choose, it's extremely important to know yourself well, evaluate the possibilities, and go for whatever plan you believe fits your needs and desires best.