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Team MDJ – The Wealth Builders – Vote for your Favorite!

Since proposing the concept of reader-based net worth updates, my email inbox has been non stop!  I’m happy to see so many readers interested in sharing their story with others and being held publicly accountable for their financial goals.  Initially, I wrote that the team would consist of 3-4 members, but I have decided to increase it to 6 members.  Each member will still post quarterly, but I will post updates on MDJ twice a month.

I have already picked 3 members, which means there are 3 openings remaining . There are simply too many good applicants to choose from, so I need your help to decide.  For “The Wealth Builders” list, the finalists are displayed below, please pick your 3 favourite candidates and hit the vote button.  From the 3 favorites, I will pick one (or more).

If you wanted to join, and did not get picked, stay tuned, I am working on something to get more people involved.

  • Name: Law
  • Age: 28
  • Net Worth: $500,000
  • Day Job: Employed in major Canadian bank.
  • Family Income: $80,000
  • Goals: $3M by 50, mortgage paid off by 35.
  • Notes: Owns a house, rents out the basement.  Most of net worth is in the principal residence.  Owns another rental property with a partner.  No other debt besides mortgage.  Started small portfolio.
  • Name: Bret
  • Age: 29
  • Net Worth: $400,000
  • Day Job: Employed in the oil patch.
  • Family Income: $190,000 (single income)
  • Goals: Pay off mortgage in 5 years ($200k remaining), gain control of spending, determine retirement goal.
  • Notes:  High paying job right out of university, but lifestyle inflation and overspending has consumed a substantial amount of his income over the past 7 years.
  • Name: Blake
  • Age: 29
  • Net Worth: $430,000
  • Day Job: Employed in financial services.
  • Family Income: $150,000
  • Goals: Purchase another business within a year, add more sources of passive income.
  • Notes: Practicing CFP, owns a portion of the business he works in.  Owns rental properties and invests in equities.
  • Name: James
  • Age: 31
  • Net Worth: $480,000
  • Day Job: Plumber, self employed.
  • Family Income: $130,000 (single income)
  • Goals: Pay off $19k in debt by year end, million dollar net worth by 40.
  • Notes:  Owns a plumbing business.
  • Name: David
  • Age: 32
  • Net Worth: $400,000
  • Day Job: Both spouses are employed.
  • Family Income: $117,500
  • Goals: Pay off mortgage by 40, retire at 55 with a low cost indexed portfolio.
  • Notes: Plans to have children, index investor with a portfolio value of $95k.
  • Name: Kyle
  • Age: 33
  • Net Worth: $330,000
  • Day Job: Real estate agent and spouse  is an insurance broker.
  • Family Income: $150,000 (dual income)
  • Goals: Pay off investment line of credit ($45k), financially independence by 40.
  • Notes: Two young kids, two rental properties.
  • Name: Nathan
  • Age: 33
  • Net Worth: $470,000
  • Day Job: Employed
  • Family Income: $130,000 (dual income)
  • Goals: Build emergency fund, pay down mortgage increase income, maximize RESP, start smith manoeuvre.
  • Notes: Nathan is taking a year off to be a stay at home Dad reducing their family income to $63,000.
  • Name: Joe
  • Age: 34
  • Net Worth: $380,000
  • Day Job: Employed
  • Family Income: $150,000 (dual income)
  • Goals: Pay off mortgage by 37, $1M net worth by 40, max out RESP for two kids.
  • Notes: Two kids under 5, both spouses are professionals.
  • Name: Andrew
  • Age: 34
  • Net Worth: $387,000
  • Day Job: Employed
  • Family Income: $125,000 (dual income)
  • Goals: Pay off mortgage by 2017, 500k net worth by 2015, $1M by 2020.
  • Notes: Equity investor and rental properties.  Plans to grow rental property holdings.
  • Name:  Sung
  • Age: 34
  • Net Worth: $420,000
  • Day Job: Employed
  • Family Income: $110,000
  • Goals: $5,000/month passive income, non-registered portfolio value of $1,000,000 by 50.
  • Notes: Primary residence is mortgage free, about to jump into real estate investing.  Fairly new at investing.
  • Name: Jared
  • Age: 34
  • Net Worth: $630,000
  • Day Job: Employed
  • Family Income: $198,000 (dual income)
  • Goals: $10k dividend income in 18 months, maximize RRSP/TFSA, $175k mortgage paid off in 7 years, $750k investible assets in 2 years.
  • Notes: Dividend investor, implemented smith manoeuvre.
  • Name: Deadra (female)
  • Age: 41
  • Net Worth: $460,000
  • Day Job: Employed
  • Family Income: $150,000 (dual)
  • Goals: Save for emergency fund, pay off $34k in debt, and learn to DIY invest.
  • Notes: Beginner in investing, but female breadwinner is also family CFO.
  • Name: Bob
  • Age: 44
  • Net Worth: $800,000
  • Day Job: Employed
  • Family Income: $95,000
  • Goals: Build $500k of investible assets in next 8-10 years.
  • Notes: 3 school age children, spouse is stay at home.  Eligible for defined benefit pension in 12 years.  Meticulous about tracking expenses and saves about 35% of income.

Round Two - Pick your Top 3 Candidates!

View Results

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  1. Debra on July 8, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Nothing here interests me. All big six figure incomes. No challenges. Typical G & M type profiles. Not realistic.

  2. debt debs on July 8, 2014 at 11:06 am

    A little disappointed that most of your candidates are all younger, Frugal Trader, Did you not get any other entries from the 50+ age group except mine? ;-)

  3. Stompie on July 8, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Agree with Debra. Theirs no-one here I can identify with. Are people aware half the families in Canada bring home less then $105k a year combined (my estimate based on statscans median income of around $76k after tax)?
    I realise those only just making ends meet aren’t really the target audience but some from bottom half come here for the education and are steadily increasing their networth. I felt that the last list had much more variety.

    One other thing I’m concerned about is how much of the net worth listed above has come purely from real estate gains in the last 10 – 15yrs while homes have been going up significantly.
    If that’s the case it might make interesting watching as all markets ebb and flow but I find it a foundation of lucky market timing.

    Looking forward to some hopefully varied contributors not a mutual admiration society.

  4. Debra on July 9, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Me again, not sure why you want to take this task on? You’re going to find it boring and tedious after a while. Now that you’ve reached your goal it seems that the whole blog idea doesn’t have a purpose now and you’re struggling for ideas. Maybe the blog ran it’s course. You were trying to get to a million net worth and you did it. Blog over, sorry to say.

  5. Michael on July 9, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    I think you have really good website with a lot of great material we can all learn from. I hope you keep it going. Another different idea for you might be to hear from people who already have finished their million dollar journey and how they did it. It is nice to hear from people actually on their journey, but it could be neat to hear from people who have finished their journey. They have met the goal, they have done it in different ways, and they have learned strategies/lessons/tips they could share with us.

    You’d probably have to frame it, for example: Who has made a million in investable assets by the age of 35 and how was it achieved? The more detail someone is willing to share, the better.

    • Leo T. Ly on December 23, 2016 at 6:28 pm

      @Michael – I’ve achieved the goal of reaching a million dollar in net worth. There is actually no secret formula for achieving this. The important thing is to be disciplined with your savings (maximize your RRSP annually, use the tax refund to maximize your TFSA), borrow money to invest instead of consumption, understand the available tax deductions and use it to your benefit. I used the a version of the Smith Maneuver too, but a bit more aggressive. Instead of just using the principle amount when I pay off my mortgage, I refinance my mortgage with the current market’s appraised value of my house and take out a larger mortgage than my original one and lock my mortgage in at a low five-year fixed rate (2.59%). I then use the proceed to buy property and invest in an income generating stock portfolio.

      In addition, continuous learning about personal finance, increase your investment skills and knowledge, and adapting your investment strategy as you progress through different stages of your life. If you want to read about my million dollar journey, I’ve documented on my blog and you can click on my profile to reach my site.

  6. FrugalTrader on July 9, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    I wish there were more applicants in that age range Debs. If there were, then they would likely be on the list.

    As well, the previous voting list are the beginners who would have more challenges.

    @Michael, great idea. We do have some stories and I am in contact with others who have had success financially.

  7. Andrew on July 9, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    Yessss, last place! I guess I’m vanilla. Oh well.

    Joe and I are basically the same on this list and he’s got double the votes. You should just combine our vote tally!

    Anyway, I would think that there’s probably a lot more “story” behind each of these individuals who have more to share that could be valuable to the community.

  8. Stephen on July 9, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    @Debra, I think you need to take a minute and breath lol. There has been so much more fantastic information and idea sharing in this blog than FT’s updates, and my gut tells me we are in for a lot more!

    I really like this idea, but I to am hoping some people with less starting worth step up to the plate. Very much looking forward to updates with any of the candidates however.

  9. mit on July 10, 2014 at 11:52 am

    just curious about percentage of miss ( ladies ) want to know about finances.

    probably you get more responses from miss to join team MDJ but is that my observation or fact that miss are more interested in spending then saving ..

    do we need to start campaign for only ladies …. how to save money for self ??

    your reply appreciated.
    thanks in advance

  10. Blake on July 10, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    @ Andrew

    I hear you! Second last right here! lol I wonder if it would help if people knew I was also a Journeyman Baker, or had a child, or I bought my first house second year university, or paid for my vehicles and wedding with cash lol That is much more interesting then what is above hahaha

  11. James on July 10, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Vote for me! I’m just an average joe. Blue collar job, nothing fancy. I just had my first child. I have completed the canadian securites course and the certified financial planner courses. I just want to learn more about investing in stocks and real estate, and share my learnings with others. I think this would really boost my determination to achieve my goals.

    Vote for me !!!!

    Thanks again

  12. Jared on July 10, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Thought I would give some more information about me and answer a few questions that have been put out there.

    1. Net Worth that is a result of Real Estate boom – Almost nothing. I list our house at purchase price for our net worth calculations. The sale of our first condo was about a gain of $20K over original purchase price, so not a lot of gain there.

    2. Yes, my wife and my combined income is high but it wasn’t always that way. Our medium term goals are to get to a place where we can make changes in our careers that will mean less time working and not be reliant on high employment income.

    3. We also made a lot of mistakes along the way on the investing side and it was only after the crash that we started making better investing decisions and implementing any king of coherent plan and even then it took a few years before we really had a plan in place.

    4. Our journey benefited greatly from the crash making us realize that we had no idea what we were doing and that we needed a plan. Getting to that current plan was deeply influenced by MDJ, which taught me a lot and made us think about finances a lot differently. Since we benefited so much from the articles and, even more so, the comments, I just wanted to give back to the community.

    5. Two kids under the age of 5 a Bungalow house and no pets, as my wife is allergic.

    If you have any questions you want answered, just fire away.

  13. Cherie on July 10, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Are there any candidates located in Vancouver? I would like see candidates from Vancouver since both the housing price and cost of living are one of the highest in the country

  14. Michael Kohn on July 11, 2014 at 8:01 am

    I’ve place my votes and 2 of them are in top positions.
    I hope that lifestyle expenses will be exposed, because I believe that some have to spend a lot of money to defend their status resulting by a six-figure income.

  15. Jared on July 11, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Lifestyle Expenses are an interesting item. There certainly are expenses that go with higher income in certain cases. In a sense, you have to spend money to make money. At least from my point of view, there is a lot of excess spending that the majority of people do that isn’t necessary.

    I have a number of examples from my life of things where expenses were forced to go up as part of reaching higher incomes. Two quick examples are cost of clothes for work and eating lunch out. There are ways to reduce the increase by being smart about it, but further success would be limited without accepting these higher expenses.

  16. Kyle on July 11, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks to everyone that voted for me. Keep them coming. I hope if I get the nod I can help other people in similar positions as me. (100% Commissioned Based Sales) I have huge pay swings which make budgeting month to month and year to year quite difficult. 8 Years in and I’m still trying to fine tune it. I also don’t make a s*%t ton of money like some have stated earlier as I have large expenses that are always running regardless if cheques are coming in.

    Thanks again to everyone! I hope that this opportunity to work with the frugal trader works out and changes my life so I can teach others the ins and outs!

  17. Andrew on July 16, 2014 at 11:05 am

    good luck on your journey’s

    see you there in 2020

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