About

 

About – short version

Welcome to Profit Moose! My real name is Brendan Ferguson. I am a 28 year old male from Edmonton, Alberta. I have a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and work for a large construction company. I am obsessed with learning and realized in 2014 that I knew very little about personal finance. After finishing my formal education I began learning how to invest. Unfortunately my new skills also gave me the knowledge that my friends and family are making poor financial choices. This site is both a place for me to organize my ideas and a resource to teach whoever is willing to listen. Join me in blazing a trail through the financial forest like the majestic moose!

You call that a harness??

Hey that’s that cliff in China!

About – long version

I first opened a bank account at the age of 7. And by that I mean my parents gave me $10 and put it in the bank under my name. A month later I discovered that the bank paid me for having money. It was a magical thing to learn that money could be used to make more money. Growing up I saved a lot, always mesmerized by watching the interest accumulate in my account and baffled as to why my friends bought so much candy, clothes, and games when there was profit to be had!

Attending university I continued my frugality, and limited my spending to when I knew it would directly affect my happiness. With this attitude, along with engineering internships in my summers, teaching assistantships, and receiving tuition support from my wonderful parents and grandparents, I managed to graduate debt free.

Despite spending 19 years of my life in school I realized I never learned anything about financial planning beyond “get a good job and save money”. I was doing both those things but the money was just sitting in that same savings account from age 7. The monthly interest amount was increasing but I was now painfully aware that my interest was barely 1% and inflation was 2%. Effectively I was losing 1% of my life savings per year!

This would not stand, so I asked my friends and family what I should do and the prevailing answer was “get mutual funds”. My parents had already gotten me started with mutual funds years prior using inheritance money from my grandfather. I took their advice and met with Investors Group and promptly gave them the keys to my financial future.

I felt good to be finally investing and I was expecting 5% returns, much better than -1%, but there was a nagging voice in my head that kept saying “you can do this yourself“. I googled “investing for beginners” and the learning began.

Within 6 months I closed my account at Investors Group (taking a hefty penalty of back end fees) and opened a do-it-yourself trading account at a discount brokerage. The moose is loose! (Sorry, that’s the last moose cliche I’ll ever use)

“Yea but….” As a single male in my late twenties with an engineering salary I understand that my financial situation is different from the majority. I don’t have an expensive family, debt, low paying job, or <insert other financial obligation>. However this doesn’t mean that my advice isn’t relevant or credible! If I had children and a lower paying job I would practice the same strategies with less money.

On Debt

I’ve never had high interest credit card debt or student loans, and I don’t have a mortgage right now, so I’ll just say this. ALWAYS pay down high interest debt first (>7%, I’m eyeing your credit card debt) but it may not be necessary to pay down low interest debt (<4%) immediately. With proper investing you should be able to earn a 7% return for a profit of 3%. In between those debt numbers is that strange land where you decide for yourself.

Why is your site coloured black?

Do you enjoy staring at bright lights? Yes? Weirdo. No? Me neither. Every time I encounter a dark website my eyes thank me, and yours will too. Just because the world started reading on white paper doesn’t mean our computers have to look like paper!

No room for Brendan huh? Fine! I’ll go build my own website! With blackjack! and hookers!

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 Posted by at 3:45 pm

  3 Responses to “About”

  1. Great step to take responsibility to learn about personal finance and share with friends and family. Regaredless of your young age, as long as you have the knowledge you can teach. I was standing in front of the classroom full of students some of them twice my age, and I tell them how to act with patients. 🙂 how to act to each other. 🙂 heheheh keep it up, bro!

     
  2. This site is so good!
    There is someone else that you could thank for helping you to get through university debt free. Grandma. She values a good education and every year she gave us money towards the RESP account and the Canadian Government gave us $400. 00 if we put the maximum amount of $2000.00 into the RESP. Grandma gave us $2000.00 for several years.

     

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