Welcome to the sixth post of my blogger interview series. I interviewed Tawcan. Previous interviews were with Roadmap 2 Retire, followed by Amber Tree Leaves, DivHut, DivGro, and BeSmartRich.
If you read blogs in the dividend investor space, Tawcan is probably already known to you. He’s an inspirational blogger who already shares a bunch about his personal life. Hopefully he saved a few new stories for us in this interview. He also has a great sense of humor, so be ready for some silly answers. For example, I didn’t know he was a professional Polar Bear rider.
Where do you live?
I live in Vancouver Canada where my house is made out of ice and I go to work every day riding a polar bear.
What are your hobbies?
I love photography and cooking, both of them have turned into a side business for me. I also enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, skiing, and kayaking. Polar bear riding is becoming a hobby of mine in the last few months as well.
Which countries or major cities have you lived in or traveled to?
I have lived in Taipei Taiwan, Taichung Taiwan, Vancouver Canada, and Hannover Germany so far.
I have been very fortunate to be able to travel extensively growing up. I have been to 9 Canadian provinces and 1 territories (missing Newfoundland, Northwest Territories and Nunavut) and 44 US states (missing New Mexico, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and West Virginia). Outside of North America I have been to Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Vatican City, Cuba, China, Taiwan, Japan, and Kong Hong. One of my dreams is to go to all 7 continents one day.
Which sports or teams are your favorites?
I follow NHL, NBA, and NFL closely. I also follow major tournaments like World Cup or Euro Cup. My current favourite teams are the Vancouver Canucks which shouldn’t come as a surprise.
What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken?
The best vacation I have ever taken was our Italy honeymoon trip. My wife and I spent relaxing two weeks in Italy exploring different Italian cities. The best part was definitely sitting on the patio of our Manarola apartment, sipping wine and eating delicious Italian treats while enjoying the nice ocean view.
When you were a child, what profession did you want to be?
I was fascinated by submarines when I was a child. I wanted to work in a submarine and explore the mysterious seas.
What is your career today?
I’m a mad laser scientist working for Dr. Evil.
What is your primary motivation to reach financial independence and retire early?
My primary motivation to reach financial independence is to have more freedom and choices in my life. Working for Dr. Evil means he dictates my weekday schedule (and sometimes weekends when I have to travel for work). I can’t just take a 6 month vacation to travel around the world. I also want to spend more time with my family and see my kids grow up.
At what age are you planning on retiring?
According to the early retirement/financial independence calculator spreadsheet that I created, we should be able to reach financial independence in our early 40’s, or roughly in 10 years. But we’re not really set on a specific date. If we can reach financial independence in 10 years, great. If it takes shorter time, that’s great; if it takes longer, that’s totally fine too.
What’s the first thing you’ll do when you retire?
Celebrate with my wife and my kids by popping a bottle of champagne. The kids can drink juice. I’ll then resume my regular everyday life.
If money were no object, but you had to have a job what would you do for a living?
I would love to become the general manager of a NHL hockey team. I think it would be really cool to build and construct a professional team. Another dream job would become a travel writer and/or restaurant reviewer.
If you could go back in time, what investment advice would you give to your past self?
I recently wrote about 10 lessons I would give to my 23-year-old self, but it’s hard to pin down one single advice. If I have to pick one, it would be take advantage of the economic downturn. I definitely wished I had taken advantage of the financial crisis in 2009 and purchased more dividend paying stocks.
If you could only use one metric to evaluate a stock, which one would you choose?
It’s extremely difficult to evaluate a stock based on one single metric. However, one metric that is very important to dividend growth investors like me is payout ratio. Payout ratio gives you a quick overall on how safe the dividend payments are. For general stock picking, I like to look at the PEG (PE to growth) ratio to see how much future growth the company has.
How do you stay the course when markets are down?
Since our investment timeline is very long, I really don’t care about the day-to-day, month-to-month market movements. All I care is that we continue adding new capitals in our investment portfolio so we can generate more dividend income.
What’s your favorite aspect of blogging?
I love expressing my ideas creatively. I get to write down crazy ideas in my head. I also really enjoyed connecting with other like-minded bloggers & readers.
Why should people read your blog?
My blog is not your traditional investment tip type of blog. While I do share some investment tips here and there, my blog focuses more than just money and becoming financially independent. I also share thoughts and tips on creating a joyful life. While becoming financially independent is a dream of mine, I realized that I must improve myself as a human being as well. Having all the money in the world wouldn’t matter if I can’t enjoy my life.
Which 5 blogs do you visit the most?
My Own Advisor
1500 Days of Freedom
Budgets Are Sexy
Go Curry Cracker
What’s your best source of traffic to your blog?
Dr. Evil’s minions.
Why do you blog?
Because I love writing down ideas in my head. I also see it as a way to express my creativity.
What’s the name and URL of your blog or blogs?
Tawcan (http://www.tawcan.com), named after myself.
I told you Tawcan is an interesting guy. What I like most about his blog is that he writes a lot of thought provoking posts. He also shares stories his life lessons and his financial journey. And he seems to do a lot of fun things. The image I stole from his blog is of him at the top of a mountain. He’s also written cookbooks, and is a darn good photographer. My favorite Tawcan post is Do the choices in life make you a happier person?.
Tawcan can be found on social networks. Here are links to his social pages:
How do you like this interview series so far? Are there better questions I should ask? Do you want to be interviewed?