About

Welcome to my blog! My name is Ben Rabidoux. I have a passion for all things related to finance and economics. I am a college professor and trained financial adviser. I have a passion for educating people about how money works and how to master it to achieve financial freedom rather than being mastered by it, as so many in our consumer-driven society are.

This blog is where I share advice on how to prosper in the coming tumultuous years. I’m not prone to doom and gloom by nature. Nor do I believe that the ‘sky is falling’. I do believe that there are structural issues with how our economy generates ‘growth’, which I believe is unsustainable.  Much of this growth illusion is built on the false premise of perpetually rising home values out of which consumers draw equity to buy stuff they don’t need.

The inevitable secular shift away from consumerism and debt and towards saving and general frugality will be driven by the unstoppable normalization in house prices.  It will be painful for those caught unprepared, as it will exert great deflationary pressures on the broad economy.  Yet it will present tremendous opportunities to the diligent.  I’d like to see you prepared for those opportunities.

If you’re new to the blog, please check out the primers, which outline the macro factors that I believe will drive the coming housing correction and economic realignment.

Feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or guest posts.  I’ll never claim to know everything, but I’m happy to share my beliefs, which I believe are worth at least double the price of admission.  Feel free to share your own views.  I’d be happy to post them.

benrabidoux(at)yahoo(dot)ca

20 Responses to About

  1. Imran says:

    Very informative posts, read them all.
    thank you..
    God bless…

  2. Thank you and blessings back at you!

  3. mags says:

    Thank you so much. I really appreciate the effort you put into this blog. Pls, pls, keep it up. We need to hear the reality of our situation. People need to stop listening to the MSM and government or they will be completely screwed. It is already very late in the day for many people. I really like your straightforward insights and explanations of fairly complicated financial processes (for the layperson). Thanks again!!

  4. Thank you for the kind words, Mags. You’re very welcome.

  5. Roy Stacey says:

    Dear Ben-
    First time I’ve seen youre blog. After reading today’s installmnent, and your “about”
    section I am impressed! A financial sanity blog. Few of those around either country.
    As a Yank, who once lived in Buffalo, NY and traveled to Canada weekly for my job, I’m always interested in what’s transpiring ‘up north.’ Sorry to glean you may have caught the US housing disease. It is painful to those who bought too much, or too many.
    As a married 59 yr old, with a 13 yr old home 3 cars, all debt free, and a decent nest egg (460K Tax deferred, 75K Tax avoided) I am thinking of retiring at my 60th birthday. At 60, my employer offers me a $24,000 US pension, decent health care, and a subsidiary for what I have earned under our social security system while in his employ (24 yrs) for the 2 years before I qualify for early social security retirement (Aprox $1500 per mo. My wife works earns about $30K per anum. At 60 my retirement would be Aprox 24K + 6K subsidiary + 3% withdrawl from my IRA $500K or 15K. Add in wife’s income we are close to $75K – US a decent income. I expect 19% Taxes overall on taxable withdrawls. Any issues I’ve overlooked? Is this early retirement wise, or should I slog until 62 or FULL retirement at 66 (adds about $1,000 per month)? By the way, I manage my own portfolio, about 60% Bonds 40% stocks Thanks! Professor

    • Hi Roy

      I’ll freely admit that I am no expert on tax laws in the US, so I am far from qualified to make general comments. You’d best seek advice from a reputable fee-for-service financial planner.
      It’s obvious that you are in a far better place financially than many of your peers. Congratulations!

      For what it’s worth, I would take the early retirement if the roles were reversed. 75K of retirement income should be plenty, but it calls into question what type of retirement you plan to have. Do you plan to travel a lot, etc.

      There are other quality of life questions to consider. Do you enjoy your job? Are you both in good health? Do you have hobbies you’d like to pursue in retirement? Etc.

      Also for what it’s worth, do you have any allocation to physical bullion? I am not a gold bug, but I do think a small percentage of your portfolio should be allocated to physical bullion or an appropriate proxy.

      That’s about all the general comments I can give at this point. Not sure if that helps.

      Cheers
      B

    • Roy Stacey says:

      9/30
      Thanks Ben for your kind words-

      No gold. Might add a small slice but not a very large % on any price weakness.
      I’m afraid I missed the opportunity when it was under $1000 an ounce.
      I travel a lot on my job, not looking to do much of it in retirement. I have hobbies, that’ll keep me plenty busy! I’ll make up my mind at 60 whether I’ll actually retire, or not. Gotta get there FIRST!! Even though it’s just over a year off much can change in the span of 15 months….(see real estate, political futures, and the stock markets as examples).

      Roy

  6. Ray says:

    Just stumbled across your blog and found this posting to be a breath of fresh air. I like the tone and balance after some exposure to the more radical writings available on the net. Recently sold “the farm” and now faced with a confusing array of wealth management prescriptions. Must admit I am ill prepared for it. How does one trust the product of many years of hard work (and some luck) to someone you barely know. I have quickly learned that money has a viscosity which makes it stick to any hands it passes through; just changing accounts from one institution to another has cost and loss of interest ramifications due to delays along the way. Anyway I am starting to grasp the basics of diversity and liquidity. Now to see if we can stay on top of it…..Thanks again

    • Hi Ray

      If you’re willing to do a bit of the leg-work yourself, I would advise you seek a reputable fee-for-service financial planner and learn to manage your nest egg yourself.

      You may want to start with the book: The Four Pillars of Investing by William Bernstein. It’s a good one.

      As a follow up, consider ‘The Little Book of Common Sense Investing’ by John Bogle.

      “I have quickly learned that money has a viscosity which makes it stick to any hands it passes through”
      I love that quote! Great way to put it! I may have to use that at some point.

      Cheers and best of luck
      B

  7. John Davies says:

    testing the waters
    On line quiz with this article, 60% said real estate was a bad investment
    Housing prospects ‘dismal’: IMF
    STEVE LADURANTAYE — REAL ESTATE REPORTER
    Globe and Mail Update
    Published Wednesday, Oct. 06, 2010 9:27AM EDT
    Last updated Wednesday, Oct. 06, 2010 10:30AM EDT

  8. John Davies says:

    I know the food poisoning was bad BUT how do I send you $150 for lunch?
    It is my way of thanking you for your blog which I very much appreciate.
    I was finally able to convince my wife to sell this past spring because I have agreed with your views for a couple of years. Now the cash in the bank, I am renting and waiting.
    All I have to do is spread my cash out between banks for the $100,000 account protection from Cdn Deposit Insurance because I cannot afford to trust the banks with my life’s saving.

  9. Annette says:

    do you offer consulting advice for a fee? my husband and I have to decide what to do real estate & financially wise and we have a difference of opinion – can you help?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hello , just found your blog at Garth Turner’s blog..enjoy your thoughtful commentary very much. We sold in 2008, seeing the crash coming, and discovered Garths books and financial thoughts just after. I have noted the two books you recommended by John Bogle and will scan the local library today for them. We are currently renting a small home on a large acreage near a ski hill. The owners are happy with us, as we are with them. Please comment on what you think about investing ALL of our money from sale of home… should we keep some in a ‘safe’ bank account ( capturing 100,000 deposit insurance but little interest) ? or should we have it managed by a fee for service financial advisor…. we are new to this whole process, having always owned ( outright) our own homes in the past…

    • Hello and thanks for the kind words. It’s impossible to make meaningful suggestions without knowing your intended use of the funds, your risk tolerance, and your time horizon. If you want to email me with some more details, I can give you some general advice.

      Cheers

  11. Jon says:

    I work for a provincially owned financial institution and I value your opinion greatly. This blog & newsletter is a refreshing change and I do like when you take on mortgage broker and real estate industry.
    keep up the great work
    Jon

  12. ali says:

    Fantastic, informative blog! thank you:)

  13. Brian says:

    Wow, you have a great blog going on here. Your analysis on the Teranet house price index was very thoughtfull and unbiased. Keep up the great work!

  14. Roy Stacey says:

    Interesting following the Canadian housing market over the past 9 months since finding your site. While the US housing market is mouribound, the Canadians seem determined to follow us Yanks into the tank!! All signs point to a slow, painful grind downwards as interest rates rise. But, WHEN does the air start coning out of the bubble??
    An update on me. Portfolio has grown to a bit over 600K. No debt. On track to retire at 60 at the end of 2011. Pension and investment income should be adequate for a modest retirement, which is all I ask. The US has its share of troubles (self-inflicted) I hope we will still be a viable country. as will Canada.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s