Welcome to my favourite “Monthly Reads” for March 2023! These are articles, podcasts, or videos from the personal finance community and elsewhere that I found especially illuminating, entertaining, or beneficial for anyone on the path the financial independence.
If you missed it, feel free to check out my last edition of monthly reads.
In this edition, I share the latest news on inflation, the Silicone Valley Bank collapse, dividend income in the Canadian blogger community, and how one personal finance guru is changing their FIRE path.
Inflation Turning a Corner
The big news this month was that Canada’s inflation rate continued its slow decline last month. Statistics Canada reported that inflation decreased to 5.2% in February, which is the lowest it’s been in over a year.
However, food and groceries continued to experience persistent, high inflation. Overall, food inflation was reported to be over 10% and isn’t declining like most other goods in Canada.
But there could be light at the end of the tunnel. When you look at the monthly inflation data for the past year, you can see that spring of 2022 had especially high inflation.
But like what happened in February, as more of those high inflation months roll off the calendar, we’ll see our annualized inflation rate continue to decline.
The Bank of Canada projects that inflation will be around 3% by mid-2023 and close to 2% sometime in 2024. And if we continue on our path, that projection looks like it’ll come to fruition.
That’s good news for consumers—especially those of us with variable-rate debt—as it means stable or even declining interest rates could be coming soon.
Inside a Bank Run
The other big news story in March was the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the actions taken by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to help protect depositors’ money from being swept up in the collapse.
As an avid Planet Money podcast listener, I really enjoyed their recent deep-dive into the Silicone Valley Bank run.
For about 72 hours, people and companies that had deposited millions of dollars at the Silicon Valley Bank — many of whom were in the tech industry — thought they had lost absolutely everything to a bank collapse.
This eye-opening edition of Planet Money showed how otherwise stable banks can be just a few missteps away from collapsing.
This is a story that we’ll likely hear more of in 2023. There has already been at least one other bank collapse, and with the Federal Reserve raising rates another quarter point in February, there could be more on the way.
Joe is Going Back to Work!
With interest rates at decade highs and the stock market wavering, some in the FIRE (financial independence retire early) community are making some BIG changes.
Until I read his blog, I hadn’t heard of “SAHD FIRE.” I’m not sure if it’s a term he coined, but “stay-at-home dad FIRE” is when a father retires with some financial independence while their spouse continues working in their career.
This is something that’s been working for Joe for quite some time now. But with his son growing up, he won’t be needed at home as much. On top of that, he has some ambitious financial goals—like building a beach cabin in Thailand—that he’d like to pursue.
Overall, his post is a great reminder that FIRE is flexible. And I’m looking forward to seeing what type of job he ends up pursuing.
The Combined Magic of Canadian Dividends
The last thing I wanted to share comes from another Canadian blogger, Vibrant Dreamer, who documents his personal finance and travel journey over at VibrantDreamer.com.
Once a month, he does this really cool blog post sharing the dividend income all the Canadian personal finance bloggers he’s connected with have earned in the previous month.
It’s really cool to see how I stack up against some of the other Canadian dividend bloggers. It looks like in February, I was near the back of the pack, with most of my ETFs not paying anything.
I’ll definitely be checking out his post monthly to see the progress everyone is making.
Thanks for Reading!
I hope you enjoyed this little look back at my favourite reads for the month of March. Was there anything great I missed? Any new blogs I should be following or YouTube channels to subscribe to? I’m always looking for recommendations, so don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments below.
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