Going through school, the last thing I would consider myself was a writer. However, starting this blog in 2006 changed things where I discovered that I enjoyed sharing my thoughts, and surprisingly, for an audience.

As time went on, I’ve played around with the idea of writing a book related to personal finance, but the timing was never right.  As I’ve written about taking baby steps towards financial goals, I’ve taken a baby step towards writing a book by contributing to one!


The book “The Beginner’s Guide to Saving & Investing for Canadians” has just been released and is authored by a team of personal finance bloggers.  The authors include:

So what is the book about?  It’s all about the basics of personal finance and it’s written in an easy to understand manner (about 100 pages in total).  What section did I write?  I covered one of my favorite topics, that is, dividend investing for beginners.

The outline of the book is as follows:

  1. Making a Budget – net worth, goals, debt repayment, saving money, emergency funds.
  2. Where to Save Your Money – why save money, saving for retirement, rrsp vs. mortgage, rrsp vs tfsa, resps.
  3. Investing Wisely – risk and return, investment plan, cash, stocks, currency hedging, reblaancing, sample portfolios.
  4. Dividend Investing – basic concepts, tax advantages, ETFs, dividend growth, living off dividends.
  5. Buying the Right Insurance – how much do you need, types of life insurance, disablity and critical illness.

This book is written by 5 individuals who live, eat and breath personal finance. I must say that Dan Bortolotti did a great job editing and bringing the pieces together.  I’m very pleased with the final product and recommend it to all people starting out on their personal finance journeys.

Want a Free Copy?

We are offering readers the chance to win 5 free copies of the book.  Here is your chance to get multiple entries.

  1. Tell me your best personal finance tip for beginners by leaving a comment in this post. (+1 entry)
  2. Sign up for the free Money Tips Newsletter (+1 entry).
  3. Like MDJ on Facebook (+1 entry).
  4. Tweet about this post, make sure to include @FrugalTrader (+1 entry).

The Details:

  • Only one comment entry per person (valid email addresses only please – privacy policy).
  • Only one tweet per twitter account.
  • Only those with a North American mailing address may enter (publisher rules, sorry).
  • Contest will end Fri 5pm EST August 10, 2012 and the winners, drawn randomly from all entries, contacted shortly after!


  1. Ken on July 29, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Great advice on your site. I’ve started to really watch what I spend, applied for the right credit cards for my lifestyle and now starting to look into investments. Thanks!

  2. Jon on July 30, 2012 at 2:16 am

    Pay yourself first! Take a percentage of your pay (as high as you can realistically afford) and have it automatically moved into a savings or investment account. You won’t miss the money if you don’t have access to it in the first place!

  3. Be'en on July 30, 2012 at 3:40 am

    Everyone must learn to budget to make sure you spend less than what you earn. Everything else comes later!

    Would love to read this book to see what it has to offer.

  4. SST on July 30, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Best personal finance tip for beginners?

    Enter a LOT of contests to win FREE stuff! ;)

    Other than that…educate yourself on what you are buying, be it a condo or stock or vehicle or RRSP contribution, etc. Remember the old saying, “Time is money” — spend some time to understand (if not fully then at least a solid grasp of the basics) where you are putting your money. The more knowledge you have, hopefully, the less likely you are to get burned and the more likely you are to prosper.

    And don’t forget the contests.

  5. James on July 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Pay yourself first and live within your means.

  6. Elbyron on July 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Avoid consumer debt like the plague, and ALWAYS pay off the full balance of your credit cards.

  7. Bill on July 30, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    How to pay yourself first (automatic savings/investments)? Look at your regular daily and monthly expenses (phone, cable, car insurance, gym, daily coffee); what can be reduced or even eliminated? Those regularly occurring expenses tend to be invisible month-to-month but add up enormously over the years!

  8. the.salivator on July 30, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    My best personal finance tip is to forget the big banks and open online bank accounts, especially with PCfinancial. You get the benefit of a brick and mortar bank through CIBC for ATM deposits and withdrawals and the benefits of an online bank with higher savings rates and no banking fees.

    You can use your PC online account to do anything your standard online bank — write cheques, pay off bills, transfer money to other high-rate online banks accounts, like Ally (which are more troublesome to deposit/withdraw money from).

  9. Bas on July 31, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Best personal finance tips:
    1) Im 42 and havent used a credit card in over 12 years. I highly recommend going through the exercise of not using your CC, ever, no matter what, for at least 2 whole years. You will gain priceless life lessons that are both about money and not about money. You will feel amazing about yoursel and esp. about life. Ultimately you will come to realize cards are quite unnecessary except under special circumstances (and I dont mean buying stuff on special!).
    2) Never underestimate the power of compounding capital gains, dividends, stock investing.
    3) Make a frugal monthly budget that includes a small savings portion, and RESPECT it. Why? A documented budget actually protects you by keeping you out of all sorts of danger and makes you a stronger individual. Frugality in spending is simple and a surefire method of effortless, stressfree living,
    3) Dont carry a heavy heart

  10. JT Money on July 31, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Live within your means and pay off your credit card in full every month!

  11. Margaret on July 31, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Pay yourself first and everything else will fall into place. It’s one of the most popular responses because it works! Budgets are great for tracking expenses and ensuring that you spend no more than what you make, but it’s those automatic transfers to your savings/investments that will make you wealthy in the long run.

  12. Jamie on July 31, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I’d just started getting serious about personal finances and I’d say the immediate first thing to do is to track your spending and know where all your money is coming from and going to, before thinking about anything else.

  13. Stephen on July 31, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Try to figure out a new way to save money, my personal favoirte is homebrewing beer and wine. When done correctly, quality easily matches or exceeds commercial brands. Startup equipment costs are around $100 new and a decent wine kit from your local brewing store (don’t cheap out on this, and don’t bother with the costco kits) runs about $80 for 30 bottles of wine. Age for a few months then enjoy saving ~$10 a bottle everytime you have people over for dinner.

  14. TJ on July 31, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I tend to spend savings which accumulate in a savings account on a big ticket item. Better than borrowing right?
    To discourage me from doing so, I’m thinking I might just buy GICs with the accumulated funds-probably get more interest than a savings account and be less of a temptation to spend it on something which could wait.

  15. Scott on July 31, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Using credit cards wisely is very beneficial. They allow me to travel for free, I can’t imagine paying for flights and hotels when they can be free. They credit card on its own card is not a bad thing, how it is used can turn out to be a bad thing for irresponsible people.

    Purchase used vehicles from the USA, do your research on the vehicle similar to any major purchase. Never buy a brand new vehicle.

    Leveaged investing works if you are in it for the long haul (20+ years) and if you have an expert picking your stocks / funds.

  16. A.M on July 31, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Best personal finance tip for beginners? Avoid all life insurance policies except term life.

  17. SST on July 31, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    @Scott: “Never buy a brand new vehicle.”

    Very true (well, for all us average people).

    Just bought a used car (1999) for 20% of the original sticker price.
    However, it has only ~20% of the expected lifetime milage.
    It’s 13 years old but pretty much brand new!

    Another valuable lesson: shop around.

  18. Jo on August 1, 2012 at 10:36 am

    My favorite money tips are the same ones that I apply in the fitness program I follow almost daily (Because for me, health is the most important asset in life. It’s way more important than money!)

    1. Set yourself some realistic objectives (Like your own Million dollar objective)

    2. Monitor what you’re doing to get to these objectives (I LOVE http://www.mint.com for that particular reason… it tells me where my money is going without any bullcrap and it never forgets anything… and best of all, I don’t have to think about it, it’s all automatic)

  19. Charles on August 2, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    1) Start saving early! Even if it’s only a small amount, it adds up really quickly!

    2) Track all your spending, avoid using cash as it’s an easy cash sink without no audit trail. With that being said, a good credit card with a reasonable limit will do wonders!

  20. Richard Lussier on August 3, 2012 at 11:54 am

    My oldest just turned 17 and started her first job a few months ago. My wife and I are trying to teach her good money management skills. A book like this would be a valuable tool for her.
    My advice, build a budget and track expenses.

  21. Brian Akerley on August 3, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for the chance


  22. chad on August 3, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    live with in your means.
    Stay away from high interest rates ( money stores and credit cards)
    If you cannot afford to pay for it in 6 months do not buy it.

    gl to everyone saving.
    30 something chad

  23. Christopher Dunlap on August 3, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Best personal finance tip for Beginners? Here’s a couple.

    – Start saving and investing NOW! The practice becomes habitual and the power of compounding will really make a huge difference.

    – Create a budget and live within your means. Pressure from your peers and the media will cause you to believe you need the latest….. or that you need (and deserve) a nice vacation. Don’t buy in unless you’ve saved for the item or trip you want to buy.

  24. Brad on August 3, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    My best tip is to never carry a credit card balance.

  25. Sandeep on August 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    – Your savings is your income
    – Make a plan and stick to it.
    – Give up short term profits for long term gains

  26. Douglas Murray on August 3, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    1. Plan my purchases
    2. Track all my transactions (I use MINT. COM)
    3. invest regular amount to a TFSA (start small, $25 / pay)
    4. When I have $ left in my account by the new pay, I transfer it to my largest balance credit card.

  27. Sabrina on August 3, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    My best tip as a 30 yr-old homeowner is track your spending and work your goals from there!

  28. Paula T. on August 3, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Know where your money goes! Track it! Give 10%. Save 10%. Live Simply and enjoy your life!

  29. Manette @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance on August 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Automate your savings account, where at least 10% of your income should be directed.

  30. Jane sue on August 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    1. Do not spend more than you make!
    2. Set financial goal.
    3. Learn how to invest

  31. Eric on August 4, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Savings must be done automatically, save at least 10% of your income and do not invest in assets you do not understand.

  32. Joel on August 6, 2012 at 12:48 am

    basic savings tip…. spend less than you make

  33. ThePaperboy on August 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Be willing to learn as much as you can when it comes to personal finance as well as being able to apply what is learned even if that means altering your current lifestyle (ex. saving money by brown-bagging it at work)

  34. sean on August 8, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Educate yourself by reading blogs like Million Dollar Journey.

  35. Neil on August 9, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Don’t give into the desire advertising creates to buy the latest gadget. Life is already full of wonder and living in a wholesome manner is certainly financially friendly too.

  36. Josh on August 9, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    I’ve just begun learning about investing and came across your site. Your blog and the user comments have been very informative, thank you.

    As a beginner, I have maxed out my TFSA, but It looks like I have a lot more to learn before i get into other investments.

    I look forward to reading your book

  37. Tiago on August 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Hey, I just arrived in Canada and I’m glad I’ve found this blog. Back in my country, Brazil, I’m used to do several types of investments, but here I’m just getting familiar with the investment process which is way different from Brazil. Yet, I’m eager to start investing in the canadian market.
    Before that, I take a good read at the beginner’s guide.

  38. Jerry on December 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Love it – more dividend investing (for Canada) articles please :)

  39. Bonjoy on December 12, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    FT, Love your blog! Informative, well organized, and best of all, Canadian.

    My advice:
    Educate yourself. Increase your Financial Intelligence. Nobody gives a damn about your money as much as you do.

  40. bill on December 15, 2012 at 11:10 am

    The most important investment that anyone can make is not, which stock, dividend, reit, bond or any other type of investment vehicle out there but it is to invest in yourself first. A mere 10% from each pay cheque will direct you on your way to financial freedom. As you’re saving this mere 10 cents from every dollar you are bringing home, you can read up on how to invest that money on websites such as this one

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