Whiskey Sour Cocktail Bar Recipe Jordan Maas Money Investing

When life gives you lemons…Make a Whiskey Sour (or two).

I finally took the leap and decided to start experimenting with egg whites in some of my cocktails.  I also had a bag of lemons I needed to use – so naturally my first thought was – what kind of cocktails can I make.

The obvious choice was a Whiskey Sour.  I’ve noticed in my city – it’s tough to find places that make a solid Whiskey Sour.  Some places are great – others not so much – but when done right- they are a delicious treat – with my favorite spirit – BOURBON.

Since this was my first attempt at using egg whites in a drink, I wanted to make sure I got it right – so I followed the recipe from the Death & Co Cocktail book. ( An Amazing book for anyone who enjoys cocktails & spirits).

The recipe calls for:

2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon

.75 oz Lemon Juice

.75 oz Simple Syrup

1 Egg White

The ingredients are all added to a cocktail shaker & dry shaken.  Then ice is added, and shaken again.

The first one I made  I strained into a rocks glass over ice(pictured above), the second one I made I double strained into a coupe. (picture below).

WhiskeySour2

Now that I am confident I can make a Whiskey Sour as good as most restaurants I’ve tried – I will refrain from ordering these while I am out.  My big concern now is that my budget for eggs & lemons may be going up substantially this year!

Cheers!

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Well that was easy…How a 1 hour bank appointment will save me over $20,000

On Friday I had an appointment at the bank, it last just over an hour – and it will easily result in savings over over $20,000 over the next 10 years (or less).

How is this possible?  It’s actually a lot simpler than you would think.  All I did was follow through on one of my goals for this year.  I finally decided to transfer my high cost RBC mutual funds to my direct investing account.

At the time of transfer I had the following 2 funds:

RBC GLOBAL DIVIDEND GROWTH FUND

RBC CANADIAN EQUITY INCOME FUND

The RBC Global Dividend Growth Fund was my very first Mutual Fund I ever purchased.  I’ve owned this fund for over 10 years.  This fund has been pretty terrible for me (10 year return of 5.3%) AND has really high fees (2.14%).  Truth be told I’ve been unhappy with this fund for years, but just kept putting off doing something about it.  Now that I am taking things more seriously, and have this website to hold me accountable I finally did something about it.  I plan on replacing this fund with an International/Global ETF.  I am currently trying to decide which low cost fund to replace this with.  So far I am leaning towards one of the funds below- although I plan to do some more research this week:

VANGUARD FTSE GLOBAL ALL CAP EX CANADA INDEX ETF (0.27% MER)

ISHARES CORE MSCI ALL COUNTRY WORLD EX CANADA INDEX ETF (0.22% MER)

Even if I end up choosing the Vanguard fund with a slightly higher MER – I would be paying 1.87% less per year in fees than I currently am.  With my current portfolio amount this would result in yearly savings of  $1215.50.  This savings amount would continue to increase each year as my portfolio increases – but even if we assume I don’t contribute to this account ever again, and it returns 0% for the next 10 years, that means in 10 years I will have saved $12,155.00.  The crazy thing is that this ETF outperformed my high cost mutual fund by close to 4% over the last 3 years as well so not only will I be saving money in fees each year, I should be getting a better return as well.

Truth be told, even with the high MER (1.92%) – I’ve been really happy with the Canadian Equity Income Fund.  It has a 10 year annualized return of 10.4%, and currently pays me a monthly dividend of over $200.  I did a little bit of research and found out that RBC offers Series “D” funds for people who use direct investing.  This is the exact same fund – but with a lower MER.  I decided to transfer this fund to a series D fund rather than liquidate my position.  This will reduce the MER from 1.92 to 1.04.  This is a reduction of 0.88% per year. Based on my current shares this will save me: $572 this year (and even more every following year as my portfolio increases).  Even if I never put another cent into this fund – and it returned 0% for the next 10 years – this would result in savings of $5720 over the next 10 years.

While I was at the bank I also finally set up an RESP for my kids and increased my spousal RRSP contributions by $100 every 2 weeks.  I normally hate these appointments – but I’d say that was a pretty good use of an hour.

If anyone has any recommendations on any low cost global/international ETF’s I’d love to hear them so I can research them this week.  Thanks in advance!

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*Off Topic* My Bar

You may have noticed a new heading on this site this week titled “My Bar”.

I’ve decided to add a new section to the site chronicling my journey into learning more about spirits, liqueurs and cocktails.  As with the rest of the site- this section is basically for me to use as a reference, and a diary – however if anyone else is able to enjoy it all the better 🙂

I plan to use this new space to include recipes, reviews of different spirits, and to show some of the recent concoctions I’ve tried to create.  I’ve already thrown up a few of my my favorites and will be adding more as I create them at home.

Today’s newest addition: Manhattan

Manhattan

I decided to use Knob Creek 100% rye for this variation, as I haven’t had it in a while and wanted to see how it would blend in a Manhattan.  I also used Cinzano instead of the normal go to Martini branded Vermouth as I already had an open bottle.  Truth be told I recently bought a bottle of Dillons Sweet Vermouth which I have been really wanting to try – but decided against opening it until my current bottle of Cinzano was empty.

Ingredients:

2 oz Rye Whiskey (I used Knob Creek 100% rye small batch pictured above)

.75 oz Sweet Vermouth (I used Cinzano)

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Garnish with 2 Cherries

Directions: 

Add all ingredients to mixing glass filled with Ice, stir for 10-15 seconds.  Strain into martini/cocktail glass & garnish with a cherry or two.

Overall it was pretty tasty – and very boozy.  You will feel a buzz after a sip or two.  I’m not a huge fan of Cinzano- so I’d like to try this again once I replace my vermouth with Dillons or Martini again.

You can follow my cocktail journey with this recipe and more HERE

Flipped 3 Penny stocks for long term holds.

In November I decided to put just over $2,000 into 2 different Marijuana stocks, knowing full well this was a short term play/gamble.

I purchased 7100 shares of LGC Capital ($LG) for .14
I purchased 4000 shares of National Access Cannabis ($NAC) for .20
I had also previously purchased 2500 shares of Nutritional High ($EAT) for .25

Total cost of purchasing all 3 including commission: $2448.85

This week I liquidated all 3 holdings for a total of $7816.41 after commission.

Total Gain after 2 months of holding: $5367.56

Although these are obviously great gains especially in such a short period of time – I actually got a bit greedy and should have sold earlier – as I could have made an extra $3000 if I had sold LG a few days prior.  I was originally very interested in holding LGC Capital for the long haul, but after reading a bit more about their chairman, as well as seeing his antics on twitter, I ultimately decided against it as he seemed to be more worried about the stock price, and less worried about the future of the company.

Now I have almost 8k I can put towards some long term holdings, specifically ones that will add to my yearly dividend income.  Over the past few weeks I’ve been doing some research on a few different stocks, and narrowed it down to the following 5:

Northview Apartment Reit ($NVU.UN)

I have had my eye on this stock for about 3 years.  I first started looking at this stock when it was trading around $14-15 dollars and thought it was attractively valued.  It is now trading over $24 and I still think it is cheap.  With a P/E of 7.4 and a payout ratio of under 50% I feel both the stock price and the dividend still have room to grow.  The other REIT’s in my portfolio are commercial/industrial so I’ve been looking to add a residential REIT as well.  The stock currently yields 6.58%.

Interrent Real Estate Investment Trust ($IIP.UN)

This is one of the cheapest residential REIT’s I have been able to find.  With a stock price under $10, this is currently trading with a P/E of 4.4.  The yield is very low for a REIT (2.84%) and has a very low payout ratio as well which makes me think we will see some dividend increases over the next couple of years.  One concern I have with this stock is the lack of diversification (all properties are in Ontario).  Due to its extremely low valuation – this stock seems like a prime candidate for a buyout by one of the larger REIT’s.

Cascades ($CAS)

This company reminds me of one of my recent purchases (Intertape Polymer).  It is a boring, reliable company that continues to show strong profits, but has recently been beaten down by the market for no real reason.  The yield on this one is extremely low(1.17%), as is the valuation.  The 52 week high is $18.20 and it is currently trading just under $14.00.

Western Forest ($WEF)

The lowest priced stock on my list (trading at $2.68) this is a B.C wood producer that has shown consistent profits and has increased revenue over the previous 3 years.  The dividend hasn’t grown in 5 years which is a slight concern, although with a payout ratio under 40% there seems to be some room to grow it in the future as long as revenues keep increasing and they can control their costs.

Power Corp ($POW)

This is another one of those buy and hold forever type of stocks, and also another I’ve had on my watch list for some time.  Currently trading at a P/E under 10, while also paying a generous 4.45% yield makes this especially attractive right now.  Power corp is the holding company of Great West Life (one of the largest insurance companies in Canada and I believe the largest employer in my hometown of Winnipeg).  Power Corp has also maintained a dividend for 20 years, and has increased it’s dividend for 3 consecutive years.

When purchasing stocks for the long haul,  I like always ensure that I DRIP any dividends and like to have enough shares so that I can at least DRIP a full share each dividend payout.  To ensure I could reinvest 1 full share at the current prices, I would need to invest the following into each of the stocks above:

NVU.UN = $4583

IIP.UN = $4181

CAS = $4685

WEF = $356

POW = $2877

So What did I buy? 

In the end I decided I liked the idea of set it and forget it.  I purchased 200 shares of Power Corp which should give me enough to drip at least 2 shares every quarter.  With the remaining cash I only had enough to ensure I could reinvest in full shares of Western Forest so I purchased 522 shares of Western Forest which should allow me to repurchase 3-4 shares each quarter.  Another reason I leaned towards these 2, is that I already have about 10% of my TFSA invested in REIT’s, and I recently purchased a similar packaging company to cascades (Intertape Polymer).  I feel like all of these would have been good buys, but these 2 specifically help with diversification.

These purchases will add $328.56 to my yearly dividend income (purchased in my Tax Free Account).

I am still very interested in adding the other 3 stocks on my list to my portfolio, but unfortunately it will have to wait until I can inject some more cash into my TFSA.

Curious what the rest of you think with these choices – do you think I made the right choice?  Would you have purchased one of the others on my list instead (or some different stocks altogether)?

Wealthy Barber Canada Blog Investment Dividends Finance Winnipeg Jordan Maas

The “Not So Wealthy Barber” & Some Thoughts On Financial Education.

Yesterday as I was getting my haircut by a nice lady who has cut my hair once or twice before.  She is probably in her late 50’s/early 60’s, and after exchanging the usual pleasantries the conversation took an unexpected turn.  She asked what I did for a living, so I mentioned I work in marketing for a finance company.  She quickly interrupted:

“Like a financial advisor? I am in need of some advice”

I let her know that I am NOT a financial advisor, however I do enjoy discussing investing and have a blog about personal finance.

What she said next – I couldn’t believe.

“My car dealer is offering me a new car for 5.5%, it would be for 7 years do you think I should do it?”

Before I could even mention that 7 years is a long time to finance a car – or that she may be able to get a lower interest rate through a different lender – or ask about her overall financial situation, or determine if she even NEED’S a new car- she continued:

“They said I could trade in my current car for this newer one, and the payments would only be a little bit more since my current car loan is 16%.”

Me:

After explaining that a 16% car loan is INSANE & basically like buying a car on a credit card – I offered some advice about refinancing, home equity loans, debt consolidation and more.

Although I am not sure if she will take any of my advice – it got me thinking about a much larger issue.  Financial literacy/education seems to be incredibly low among the general population – which is crazy considering we are living in a time where there is so much information available to us.

When I was in high school there were 3 types of math you could take.

  1. Pre Calculus
  2. Applied Mathematics
  3. Consumer Mathematics

If you asked anyone in the school (students or teachers) what they thought about each course – this is overwhelmingly how they would respond:

  1. Pre-Cal is a must take – it is required for most university courses – focuses on “algebra and number, measurement, permutations, combinations and binomial theorem, relations and functions, and trigonometry
  2. Applied Math – required for post secondary programs that do not require the study of theoretical calculus.  Topics include: Geometry, Measurement, number relations & functions and more.
  3. Consumer Math (now known as “Essentials Mathematics”.  I kid you not, people used to call this “retard” math. First of all – I hate using that word – but I just wanted to stress how backwards our curriculum and general thinking on what is important/essential.  According to the government of Manitoba website this course is best if you do not require further studies in advanced mathematics. This course focused on: Interest rates, amortization, budgeting, taxes, compounding & more.

Now don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that Calculus isn’t important, or that there aren’t certain careers that will require you to learn these things -but  every single person – in every possible career choice at some point in their life would benefit from taking Consumer math.  The problem is – the majority of students don’t – and are in fact encouraged to take one of the other 2.  When I was in high school I ended up taking Applied Math & Consumer math – and although I think the consumer course was probably too easy it should be a required course for all students (perhaps while also making it more challenging).

I can only hope that things have changed since I was in high school – but looking at the government of Manitoba’s website – it doesn’t appear so.  I am not sure what the solution is, and I am not even sure if this is problem all across Canada or just in Manitoba but I am pretty confident – without a shift in the way we educate children/teenagers on finances, budgets, economics and critical thinking – we will continue to have situations where our hairdressers are telling customers about their 16% interest car loan – and that is quite frankly depressing.

Just curious if anyone has any feedback on the high school’s they went to – or are currently going to.  Have things changed?