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The Investor Next Door: Brendan Y

Posted by Massimo Satira July 25, 2019 • 4 min read

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Investing is a journey. There’s a goal that you set out to achieve and a path you navigate to get there. Everyone’s goal is different and the path you take to get there is unique. In our Investor Next Door series, we talk to everyday Canadians about their investment journeys.

Today we’re talking to Brendan Y, a self-directed investor so obsessed with optimizing his investments that he helped create an app to do exactly that. We sat down to talk to him about his investment journey.

Questrade: Hi Brendan, thanks for your time. Let's start with, how would you describe yourself as an investor?

Brendan: Given that the majority of my money is invested in index funds and a handful of stocks, I would describe myself as an index investor with a small appetite for stocks. I think there’s a terminology for this type of investor, which I believe folks in the finance world call it “core and explore”. You could say that I’m a very aggressive investor because I hold no bonds at the moment. I’m very young (at least I consider myself to be) and so my mindset is that I can afford to take more risk.

Questrade: Why do you invest? What is your goal?

Brendan: I’m investing mainly to save for retirement because I want to have a sizable nest egg by age 65. If you’re looking for a fixed number then let’s just say that I’d be happy when I cross $1,500,000.

Questrade: What’s the reason you moved to Questrade?

Brendan: Before I moved over to Questrade, I was previously investing in mutual funds through my bank. I knew their fees would add up if I stayed invested with them throughout the rest of my career and so I waited until I had $10K saved before switching over.

At one point, I considered switching over to a robo-advisor but felt that the same rationale for leaving my bank’s mutual fund applied to them as well. For me, I felt that I’d be able to retire with more if I just had a brokerage account, a handful of ETFs, a spreadsheet and some discipline.

Questrade: How often do you trade?

Brendan: I trade about 7-10 times a year but that’s mostly to re-invest my dividends, buy a few stocks and invest any spare cash that’s lying around.

Questrade: What does a typical trading day look like in your life?

Brendan: Actually quite boring, which is fine by me. Because I’m invested for the long term, it does not matter to me if the markets go up or down. Maybe when I’m 15 years from retirement I’ll pay a bit more attention to things. Outside of index funds, every quarter I take a look at the fundamentals of the individual companies that I’m invested in. That’s mostly to do a quick check to see if they are still on a good path.

Questrade: Where do you get your ideas from?

Brendan: I get investment ideas from following industries I’m interested in, talking with friends and sometimes I’ll do some research on companies that are recommended in some of the free stock picking newsletters I’ve signed up for.

Questrade: What was your best/worst investment decision?

Brendan: Not investing when I was younger and being more diligent in terms of setting money aside when I was at a higher paying job.

Questrade: What investing lesson do you wish you’d learned 5 years ago?

Brendan: Time in the market is more important than timing the market. Even if you invest right before a crash (by accident, of course), in the long run it doesn't make a big difference.

Thank you Brendan for giving us a peek into your investing life.

Brendan and his colleagues have created an easy way for investors to keep their portfolio balanced. The app, Passiv, links to your Questrade account to easily maintain your portfolio’s target allocation and to automate your investments. For more information, visit

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The information in this blog is for information purposes only and should not be used or construed as financial or investment advice by any individual. Information obtained from third parties is believed to be reliable, but no representations or warranty, expressed or implied is made by Questrade, Inc., its affiliates or any other person to its accuracy.

The information provided by Brendan Y. does not constitute advice or recommendation by Questrade, Inc. (“Questrade”) with respect to investment in financial instruments. Questrade does not recommend the use of, nor endorse any of the material presented through Brendan Y. Questrade, Inc. is a registered investment dealer, member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (“IIROC”) and a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (“CIPF”).

Questrade has an exclusive partnership with Passiv and has an interest in referring you to the referee.

Any information or testimonials relating to past performance of securities through investment in certain products, industries, or sectors does not guarantee future performance.