Save. Spend. Splurge.

End of 2015: My current investments and allocation portfolio

So just to recap, my current net worth is:


Of that amount, I have approximately 58% of it invested and the rest in cash.


Half of it is actual cash in my personal accounts and the other half is retained earnings (….cash) in my business that I treat as cash because I can withdraw it at any time if I am in dire need & pay personal taxes on it.

Out of that retained earnings I have to pay for fees for the business, taxes and anything to do with work. It never takes the entire pot of saved money (hence..retained earnings), so I treat it like my super emergency fund, so to speak.

I also had planned on buying a condo in cash, so I started stockpiling liquid money into savings accounts, but when that fell through I plowed half of it into investing (see below) and kept the rest in cash.


As it stands, at the start of December 2015 this is what my portfolio in investments looks like in general:


It looks totally random when you look at it in a chart:




Oil is so low. Like. SO LOW. Who has ever heard of $40 a barrel!?!?!?

The big question is: Are we going to give up our dependence on oil any time soon?

That’s a moot question because if you knew how much the world consumed and if you just look at how often you (have) to use your car to get to work, this is an easy answer.

If we had to, we could move to electric cars but this is not the case as of today and unlikely to be true until doomsday (when oil disappears completely) is upon us.

I have a third of my portfolio in oil as a mid-to-long-term bet. I’m betting in the next 5 years, oil will go back up and I’ll sell my stake in it, plow it back into country index funds and wait for the next cyclical oil dip.

If it doesn’t go up in 5  years, I can wait 10, 20, even 30 years.

BUT IT WILL EVENTUALLY GO BACK UP above the levels I bought it at (around $11 – $13 per share).

In the energy section this is how it breaks down by stock:

(Note: XEG.TO is not an actual “stock” it is an Exchange Traded Fund or ETF which is the iShares index fund for Energy)


WHY SO MUCH IN XEG (iShares S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index ETF)?

I am heavily invested in XEG because the MER is 0.55% and it is made up of these companies:


My reasoning is simple:

In Canada, our gas prices are at $1.05 – $1.19 and oil is at $40 – $45 a barrel.


The last time gas was at $1.19, oil was at $80 a barrel I think.


It was freaking definitely not $40 or even $50.

There is some major profit being made and taken and it is the gas companies (Suncor, Imperial Oil for instance) who is just reaping in the $$$$$.

A lot of consolidation will happen in the industry if prices continue to be depressed.

The small companies will go out of business, sell equipment at a lost and end up being taken over by the big ones, all of whom are represented in that chart above.

Hence.. my heavy investment.


My baby is backing me too. I can’t go wrong.

He is barely 2 years old and he is 100% invested in XEG.TO and the U.S. index fund. I think almost an even 50/50 split.

If prices stay below $12 after January 1st, he is plowing another $2500 into XEG.TO.

Then we’ll sell it together (look, a family activity!), reap the rewards and sit on the money plotting our next move.


Just a few shares in a stock I ought to divest of but am curious how it will turn out (if it will yield at all).

No biggie.


More than a few shares in a stock for sugar, bought mostly for dividends but in a turn of bad luck, the company has been floundering.

Like oil, the world is fuelled by sugar.

It hasn’t been returning much or doing much but it’s not such a huge amount that I feel sick and the need to divest of it completely.

I’m sort of curious how it will turn out.

I won’t die if I lose all the money which is why I haven’t divested yet.


Europe is not doing well but I need some sort of exposure outside of just the U.S. and Canada.

I refuse to invest in Asia and have steered clear of that entire continent.

I am looking at Brazil though. Rich and abundant in natural resources, it looks like a good bet.


I have learned early on that the U.S. is the key juggernaut for the world.

Most of my investments are in the U.S. and a significant chunk (50%) is actually in $USD.

It looks like this:


This has been one of the key factors in why my portfolio has not been tanking so terribly lately because the CAD to USD exchange rate has been hovering around 30%, as in every $1 CAD = $0.70 USD.

Since I’m Canadian…. there you have it.

Easy pickings.

If the $CAD ever equals the $USD again or comes close, I am converting 50% of my net worth into $USD and holding stocks in $USD.


I have a little skin in the game here, but our Canadian fortunes are also quite tied to the U.S., so when I invest in the U.S., it’s like investing in Canada indirectly as we are very large trading partners.

I should put more in here but a lot of my $$$ is tied up in energy now.

I will rebalance it once oil goes back up.

I am not so keen on Canada at the moment but prices ARE low so it’s a nice time to buy a little more in my country.


Very little here too.

Not too concerned because I have about another 30-ish years before retirement.

I am very unconcerned about this section because as you will note above, about 42% of my net worth is in pure cash.

That’s as good as bonds. It’s pretty conservative if you look at my net worth as a whole.

Still, in the next coming 10 years, I’ll start re-balancing it slowly each year to have it move back to bonds or at least have it as a higher and higher percentage.

I’ll put another $15,000 maybe $20,000 in here over the course of the next 10 years to kind of make it a more conservative portfolio but I am 99.99% in stocks at the moment.

I’m thinking in 2016 I will make it 5% bonds. Maybe in 2017.


In the next 5 years (or at the end 0f 5 years), I’ll buy my condo in cash of which I will need $300,000 for.

This is partly why my cash reserves are a little high as well.. I had planned on buying a condo in cash and I stockpiled around $200,000.

In the next 10 years, my net worth will be something like this, maybe around $750,000 (?):

  • 40% = Condo
  • 20% = Cash / Bonds — I like hefty emergency funds, hate debt and borrowing money out of principle not logic.
  • 40 % = Stocks

I do plan on working a lot but I am not in charge of this particular fortune. It all depends on contracts and clients and I could be out of work for the next 10 years as well. :\

Anyway, the optimistic plan is: WORKI A LOT and as much as possible except for precious European family vacation time.

I think I can expect that in 10 years I will add another $250,000 comfortably to my net worth which I think is reasonable.

My secret goal is to have a million dollar net worth in 10 years.

My uber secret goal is to do the same thing but in 5 years instead.

Maybe I ought to try and focus on THAT as a goal, like saving more money and tracking it obsessively like I used to when I paid down my $60,000 debt in 18 months, but this time in reverse?




  • Ak

    I am bookmarking your page. Oil is all low, I am in calgary and really can feel the heat right now.
    Are you a free lance consultant ? How many years you worked before getting in freelancing ?
    I wonder if you worked with MBB’s before getting in this business.
    Thanks for writing this blog, Its all great information.

  • Lisa

    I am book marking it! Such a great post, thank you!

  • InvestingGrasshopper

    Just found your site and love it. As a new investor, hope you don’t consider these questions too naive: this is a question about your Energy investments, ECI and XEG are both Canadian, is there a particular reason why you put such heavy allocation in CAD energy companies, and not US or other countries? Do you follow any X%-Canadian, Y%-US, Z%-Intl kind of pattern when allocating your investments.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      No question is too naive.

      1. I am Canadian and buy in CAD, so that also helped flavour what I buy and why, otherwise if I had $USD lying around, I’d pick up USD index funds.

      2. Reasoning:
      ECI.TO = They pay good dividends, I like this stock for energy, I picked it up for around $9 – $10, and it’s trading around $15 and I may divest of it but I like it for its dividends. Not because it was any particular strategy of mine to be in CAD energy companies.

      XEG.TO = Again, I am Canadian.. so I picked a CAD energy / oil stock:

      Holdings as follows; which looked good to me:
      ENCANA CORP. ECA.TO 4.66
      ARC Resources Ltd AETUF.TO 3.13
      Husky Energy Inc HUSKF.TO 2.70
      Tourmaline Oil Corp TRMLF.TO 2.34

      I do not follow any X% or Y% pattern for these individual / industry-specific stocks.

      Note: This is a small amount invested versus what I have in overall market / country funds (by U.S., Canada, etc) so if you want to look at it that way, I usually do something like 50% U.S. index funds, 25% CAD 20% (Europe / Australasia) and 5% Super risky.

      It has been all out of whack as of late however, just because I have been plowing all my $CAD in my RRSP, TFSA, Margin accounts into XEG.TO mostly, buying and buying and buying what seems to be a never ending bottom

      ($35 a barrel!? I DIE. I DIE…. )

      When the TFSA comes up for renewal next year at $10,000 I will be plowing more into oil. Basically I am overweighted in oil for the short-term (5 years), and once oil goes back up, I sell it all and re-balance it back to index funds as noted above.

      Did that help?

      • InvestingGrasshopper

        Thank you SO MUCH, this really helps! I’ve also been thinking of Buying Buying Buying because the CAD etfs such as XEG are so cheap, but when I look at how much CAD % I have compared to my US % and Intl %, I feel that it’s so much more overweght. (I’m currently at 50% CAD). Would you advice that I ignore the % for now and keep accumulating CAD equities / etfs? I want to buy US ETFs too but when I compare the prices, I just want to go for the cheaper one….

        • save. spend. splurge.

          If I was in your position, I’d consider what you want as a portfolio at the end and stick to that strategy.

          If it is 50% Canadian equities, then stick to it.

          In general:
          For me, I am overweight in U.S. as a country and will continue to be, because I am betting (this is a risk I am taking) that the U.S. will continue to grow (they just raised interest rates recently, so we’ll see how right I am) and they are the most stable economy that drives the world to date, although China is another big player and are far more volatile. I have concerns about the U.S. succeeding when Asia seems to be receding.

          They are right now just rebounding, and as a country have only raised interest rates by 0.5% which is a puny amount but shows that they think their economy is going up.

          They will raise interest rates more and more as the years tick on if things get better and better, so I’d say that this point is the “bottom” of the U.S. economy of where it could be.

          It’ll just get more expensive in the future.

          Basically, my point is to think about it and make what you think is the best choice for your portfolio.

          You can’t just say that because it’s expensive now, you don’t want to buy. It’ll cost more in the future so you might as well buy it now, a little at a time rather than dumping all your money into it at once (to take advantage of dollar cost averaging).

          All that said, if you are talking just about XEG.TO versus the american equivalent of XEG.TO, you are talking about investing in the oil sector specifically, not let’s say investing in the U.S. as a whole (e.g. S&P 500 index funds); and investing in oil specifically, that’s another discussion of how long these depressed prices will last. It could be 5 years, 10 years.. 20 years, or forever.

          I’m betting on 5 years but I am not betting the farm on it, only 25% of my net worth. The rest of it is in cash or in COUNTRY index funds, not industry ones like XEG.TO.

  • Julie

    i’m curious to know why you don’t buy individual stocks and choose ETFs instead?

    • save. spend. splurge.

      ETFs are single stocks that track a range of individual ones. I could replicate a portfolio with buying one of Suncor, one of Imperial Oil and one of Husky but to build it to the point where it is properly balanced by weight, etc.. takes a lot of money & patience. Neither of which I have.

      The MER is very low and it is easy to just buy an ETF instead.

  • tomatoketchup

    Do you have the USD to CAD conversion backwards? I thought the US dollar was relatively strong right now.

  • Leigh

    My goal is to have a net worth of a million dollars and my mortgage paid off by my thirtieth birthday. It is both possible and possibly a bit of a reach goal. I’m at about $600k now and I have about 3 years to go.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      You’re impressive. Actually.. you’re probably MY role model. 🙂 I’m the older, spendier version…

      • Leigh

        @save. spend. splurge.: Thank you!!! You’ve really been catching up to me in the net worth department this year! I think I started following your blog sometime in 2011/2012, at which point your net worth was ahead of mine. (I graduated college at the end of 2009.) I hit $200k in late 2012 and since then kept leaping ahead of you until now when you’re catching up again! It’s been fun watching you catch up again.

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