Welcome to Steps to Early Retirement! My name is Ernest, I’m in my 40’s, married with no kids and from Toronto Canada. My wife, Alicia and I, have recently retired from the rat race and are slowly traveling around the world. If you want to follow our adventures you can check out Alicia’s blog at The Wandering Asian Couple.
I’m creating Steps to Early Retirement to share with you my investment philosophy and some of the lessons I’ve learned the hard way. This blog is also a way for me to track my thoughts and investment and trading ideas. I have worked in the financial service industry for almost 20 years and most recently worked closely with Portfolio Managers, Actuaries and the sales team from both Institutional Investment Management and Retail Mutual Funds and ETFs. I’ve worked for one of the large big 5 Canadian banks as well as one of Canada’s largest Insurance companies, in their Wealth Management Division, and have seen the inner workings of these institutions. I’ve seen how the ‘smart money’ thinks, their processes and their constraints.
I was born in Burma, now called Myanmar, and came to Canada when I was two years old. My parents came to this country with four young children, very little money and no language skills. Their only knowledge of Canada was that it was COLD (they were right, it’s really cold in the winter here) and that it would provide their children with more opportunities (they were right again!). Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money but there was always enough food on the table and clothes on our backs. However, it wasn’t until I was a little older did I realize we didn’t have a lot of money. I often joke, we got the four stripe Adidas.
As soon as I was able, I got a part-time job while most of my friends were able to concentrate on school. It was at this point I knew money was important, I just didn’t know how or what needed to be done.
In high school, my economics teacher talked about a book called “The Wealthy Barber” and how following its principals would allow you to be rich one day, that night I purchased the book. I remember reading The Wealthy Barber at school one day, friends laughed at me and asked if I was going to be a barber (btw… there’s nothing wrong with being a barber). This economics teacher started me on my journey to learn more about money and eventually early retirement. Fast forward, in September 2018, one week before the completion of an MBA (bucket list item) I retired from the corporate world.