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Reflections on 15 Years

So I started writing this Blog 15 years ago (March 17, 2005). It has been interesting and thanks to it, I have met many wonderful writers and personalities. I have also had many kind comments and queries, and for that, I thank my readers as well. It is an auspicious day to be celebrating given the current Pandemic conditions and it being St. Patty’s day.

I think I have learned a great deal about SEO (mostly what not to do), a fair amount about money and investing (mostly I don’t know what I am doing, and need help) and mostly about life. I have written through:

Reflections 15 years
That’s a lot of writing

It has been an interesting 15 years, and I don’t think I am going anywhere, I will keep writing. I am meaning to write more, but we shall see whether I ever return to writing 5 articles a week.

Thank you all for reading along, and all my best.


Post Number 2500 Holy Cow

“Never has so much been written, that made so little sense, and read by so few, about such an important subject.”

— Big Cajun Man 2014 (with apologies to Sir Winston Churchill)

By my official count this is (around) post number 2505 of my illustrious (ignominious?) writing career. Why the heck have I been doing this for so damn long? I really have no idea, but I am still here about 9 years of doing it (given my son was the reason I started doing this, and he turns 9 years old next month).

What are my favorite posts over the years? That’s a very good question I’ll give you a few that I enjoyed writing and some that hurt but needed writing (remember this site is really more cathartic for me, than it is informational for you):

  • Go and look in my RDSP menu item because that is the reason I write really
    • To make some extra money to help with my son’s needs
    • To help other folks who might not be lucky enough to get all the help I have received over the years.
  • My dad passed away a few years ago, I still mention him here but I’m an Adult Now is a raw bit of writing I did about his passing (and the fear it instilled in me).
  • After getting laid off from Nortel in 2008 I wrote a few posts about it but On Being Laid Off is me talking about it publicly for the first time. A year ago, is me looking back after a year of being laid off (I got my new jobs a week after that).
  • Sometimes I write knowing full well I am poking the bear (figuratively) and I am a Civil Servant really is one of those (I grew tired of the constant jokes about how rich we all are).
  • One of my fun favorite writes was recalling a parable my Dad told me about money in Advice: Best Financial Advice Ever Given.
  • I am honest in my writings as well as pointed out in Top 5 Investing Regrets in My Life, yes I have made plenty of mistakes in my financial life.
  • At the end of it all my most popular post continues to be A Script for Customer Retention Deals which I only wrote because I had just got a good deal for my wife and I wanted to remember how I did it (next time).
  • One of the fastest written articles I have done was Ten Things I have said that Have Saved Me Money, I think I wrote it in 5 minutes, yet it remains one of my most read as well.
  • I do still read over some of my more humorous (attempts) and my favorite of those is Gifts Your Shouldn’t Get Your Kids (ever), well worth revisiting that list as well.

Hard to believe that it all started with this Introductory Post (well it didn’t it started with this First Post).

I’d also like to thank my wife (a contributor to this site) and my children for allowing me to use them as examples in my posts and for having the patience of Job, while I string together this string of very odd prose.

Send More Coffee!!!

Send More Coffee!!!


More Thoughts on Financial Blogging

A while ago, I wrote a post about  Some Thoughts on Financial Bloggers. I was a bit crass about my fellow financial bloggers (although it was interesting enough that I got a comment from Squawkfox (and then she got mad at me for not putting it up fast enough)). After spending an entire weekend in a room with many Financial Bloggers, I can revisit my concepts a little.

Rakuten Kobo Canada

The most interesting observation I can make about CPFC13 (Canadian Personal Finance Conference 2013) was that there was only one segment solely on Finance (a panel I chaired on Investing). There is a great need to learn how to write articulately if you have a Financial Blog. I had fun chairing it, but I didn’t get to do my full Kermit the Frog Financial Blogger imitation (it involves a great deal of arm waving).

Another interesting point was that Personal Finance (as a writing topic) is a dull subject. There is a great need to differentiate yourself from the thousands of other voices that are out there. I somewhat agree with that message. There are countless outstanding Financial writers out there, but what makes folks read their content? What differentiates a great deal between these writers is that their content is rock solid and very useful, and while sometimes it’s a bit dry, the topic itself is not always exciting either. I do not have the talent of these writers. My way of being different is by writing in a personal style and talking about things in my life (mostly).

An exciting weekend, and as usual, while the conference topics were interesting, the most exciting part of the weekend was putting faces to names and having conversations with folks to find out who they are and why they write. As I have mentioned before, the question most asked of me was, “How can you write SO much?”, the answer is, I do, but this volume may decrease in the next little while. We shall see.


2012 The Year That Was on Canajunfinances.com

Don’t worry my Random Thoughts will return next week as usual, but I did find a very useful end-of-year report program from JetPack which tells a lot about my site and what has happened over the past year.

If you wish to read the entire Canadian Personal Finance 2012 End of Year Blog Report , I have included a direct link to it here.

I will include excerpts from this report for your perusal

Crunchy numbers

Featured image
Lady Liberty

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform.

This blog was viewed about 120,000 times in 2012.

If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it. Somehow this comparison doesn’t do it for me, now if you were talking about a Metallica Concert or maybe the Rolling Stones, then I’d be impressed.

In 2012, there were 299 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1,795 posts.

The busiest day of the year was July 4th with 1,357 views. The most popular post that day was What does the 4th of July Mean?.

This report only shows data since you connected Jetpack.

Attractions in 2012

These are the posts that got the most views in 2012. You can see all of the year’s most-viewed posts in your Site Stats.

  1. Ten Things I have said that have Saved Me Money 2 comments October 2012
  2. Have you Spoken to Our Customer Retention Agent? 18 comments August 2012
  3. What does the 4th of July Mean? 5 comments July 2011
  4. Sunday Banking and Catsup? 2 comments February 2011
  5. Costco Gas: Now This is Interesting 2 comments November 2011

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2012. Your writing has staying power! That’s nice, or maybe I am past my prime and haven’t written anything interesting lately?

Who were You?

Your most commented on a post in 2012 was I am a Civil Servant

These were your 5 most active commenters:

  1. Michael James 57 comments
  2. My Own Advisor 54 comments
  3. Joe 54 comments
  4. Jeremy @ Modest Money 34 comments
  5. The Blunt Bean Counter 30 comments

I am most grateful for your input (everyone included not just my top 5).

Most visitors came from Canada. The United States & The United Kingdom were not far behind.

How did You find Me?

The top referring sites in 2012 were:

  1. twitter.com
  2. theglobeandmail.com
  3. www.michaeljamesonmoney.com
  4. thesimpledollar.com

Some visitors came searching, mostly for 4th of july pictures, blind refs, melt, ketchup bottle, and tomato sauce bottle.

That is a very weird set of words to find my site with, guess I better work on my Search Engine Optimization!


New-ish Look, Olympic Heartbreak and Sunday’s Best

Welcome to my new-ish look, for the site. I have change the Theme used for the site, but for now it will continue to resemble the old crappy look, until I have time to revamp things a little. The changes will most likely be slow and steady, but stay tuned (I have been using the old theme for about 5 years, so it was time to put that to bed).

My heart goes out to the Canadian 4×100 M relay team, yup, we stepped on the line, but that doesn’t detract from their achievement. There will be other days men, Canadians are proud of you, so don’t hang your heads, you did a good job.

Given how busy I was this week not a lot got out on the Twitter Feed, however, I did manage to get some oldies out for my readers enjoyment:

  • I must emphasize the Importance of a Backup Plan, things go wrong, you better have an idea what to do if things go wrong.
  • One of my favorite “good plan, but bad implementation” stories (as a project manager) is The Good Wine: A Personal Finance Parable, have a read it is funny.
  • Great Canadian Debts outlines some of the bigger debts in Canadian history and how they are getting paid off.
  • I think On Line Poker is a real mugs game, and I think I was proven right given the problems seen the past few years in this area.
  • This Sunday remember Jesus is Watching You, so be careful!

And a happy video to see what videos look like in this new theme, with K-Frog and C-Monster rapping about mysterious boxes:


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