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Recently, I was having lunch with one of my former colleagues, from when I worked in the corporate world as a Commercial Banker.

He was my Analyst when we worked together. Now he’s managing a portfolio of clients… many of which were my old accounts.

He’s 13 years my junior, but we have a lot in common and we get along very well.

I took him to lunch to congratulate him on his recent engagement.

The conversation quickly centred around his frustration with him and his fiancé not being able afford a house… at least not the type of house they want, in the area they want.

As far as career and lifestyle go, his path has been very similar to mine…

  • Comes from a good middle class, immigrant family
  • Good job right after graduating University
  • Earned a professional designation
  • Getting promoted quickly

The running joke when we worked together was that he needed to stop copying my life and find somebody a whole lot more successful than me, to follow.

And although this was a joke… there’s a whole lot of truth to that statement. He does need to copy somebody a lot more successful than me!

Because from a financial perspective, by doing exactly what I did, he won’t be able to have what I have.

Take the house for example… It is significantly more difficult for him and his fiancé to save for a house, than it was for my wife and me.

It’s really not fair. This kind of just snuck up on him.

Up until recently, he thought he was doing all the right things. No school debts, getting promoted at work, saving money by living at home with his parents, investing in RRSP’s etc.

Unfortunately, the rug kind of got pulled out from underneath him, and it almost seemed as if the game (the financial game, that is…) changed over night.

Take a look at this chart from National Bank:

The standard of living in Canada has been dropping since 2022.

This means less wealth and material comforts for Canadians.

We’re not getting ahead; in fact, we’re worse off.

Inflation has really taken a beating on us over the last several years.

Prices shot up fast, and did not come back down.

And for most people, salaries haven’t seen anywhere near that level of growth.

The average Canadian is falling further behind.

All of this is pretty consistent with what my ex-colleague is experiencing.

Blindly following the traditional rules of personal finance won’t get you ahead.

Income producing assets, side-hustles, owning a business… that’s what’s going help you get ahead.

That’s all for this week.

Best Regards,

P.S. Surrounding yourself with the right people, is also a way to get ahead. Feel free to reach out to me, or somebody on the team, if you ever want to chat further about your personal finances.