Dare I suggest—How Much Money You Need for Happiness?

Scott Burns is one of the world’s best personal finance writers.

He’s the originator of the brilliant couch potato portfolio concept—showing how regular folk can beat the investment returns of Wall Street by devoting less than five minutes a year to their investments.  And he continues to offer regular gems to the reading public, the latest of which, I’d like to share with you.  If you’ve ever wondered how much money you’ll require for maximum happiness (both now, and in retirement) check out his latest article.  It’s eye-opening, instructive, easy to understand and very wise.

It’s 2012—Do You Know Where Your First Million Is?





Andrew Hallam

I’m a financial columnist for Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail, as well as for AssetBuilder, a financial service firm based in Texas. I’m also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School (2nd Ed. Wiley 2017) and The Global Expatriate’s Guide To Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat (Wiley 2015). My mission is to educate, motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and best practices for investing, using evidence-based strategies. I’m happy to comment on your questions. However, please read the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and the Comments Policy.

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2 Responses

  1. Sam Vimes says:

    Hi Andrew,

    I have been an overseas teacher for about a decade now, and i don't have plans to return to Canada for another 15 years or so. I've never been into money and finance much, but my wife and I have always been good savers. We let our financial advisors make the decisions, and just forked the cash over to them. Ouch.

    The most brilliant part of your book for me was the 20 year project that the NYTimes started, and then stopped after 7 years. I didn't need much more proof after that to convince me to change my ways. After digging deep into Burns, you, Bogle and more i have calculated how much i have lost in the last 10 years to fees etc. Very depressing….Thanks for that…;)

    My question for you (and your savvy readers) is in regards to my options for investing as an expat. I've combed through your blog and the "financialwebring" and a few others and have seen nothing for my exact situation. Maybe my question could help others in the same boat.

    I live in the Middle East in an area where there are no real options beyond sending the money home or to an offshore institution. I've narrowed things down to TD Waterhouse or Internaxx. Both will take me on as an investor. Internaxx has much higher fees, but TDW may create tax issues for me.

    Cost per trade: TDW: 9.99 Cdn, Internaxx: ~60.00 Cdn

    Additionally, Internaxx charges 0.05% "custody fees" per quarter to babysit my assets. (!!!)

    I've asked around and have had accountants give directly opposing answers as far as my tax vulnerability if i invest with a Canadian brokerage. So, any ideas where i should dive in to set up my couch potato portfolio, considering i'll be starting with about $100K, and investing an additional 10-12K per quarter?

    Thanks for your book, your blog, and Happy Canada Day.

  2. Very cool article. I liked the Index.

    I still think $1 M is a bunch of money. If invested in dividend paying stocks and dividend ETFs, that money would churn out about $30 K per year for decades, regardless of where the economy and U.S. Treasuries are at.

    The $1 M said, there is a limit to how much happiness money can buy. I think once we have our fat mortgage paid off, we'll feel pretty good 🙂

    Thanks for sharing Andrew. I trust everything is well with you?

    Cheers,

    Mark

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