Build Wealth Canada Podcast

Today we have another financial independence case study to learn how a real-life couple here in Canada were able to reach their financial independence number by the age of 34.

We talk specifically about the practical tactics, strategies and mindset that you can apply in your own life, to help hit your financial independence number quicker. Or, if you’re already at financial independence, these tactics can further help solidify and enhance your net worth and that extra financial cushion that’s always nice to have, when you’re living off your portfolio. 

Our guest today is Kyle Prevost who I have run the Canadian Financial Summit with for the past 2 years. What makes Kyle unique with his financial independence story, is that he and his wife were able to get there on two teacher salaries. 

Oftentimes when we hear these stories of couples who have achieved financial independence early, they are often engineers, programmers, or other high paying professions which makes achieving that early retirement number easier. In Kyle’s case, they were able to do it on two teacher salaries instead, so we’re definitely getting a nice unique perspective here.

This interview and presentation that Kyle prepared was actually one of the bonuses that we offered to Canadian Financial Summit attendees who bought the All-Access-Pass so you’ll hear him reference his slides at a few points during this talk, but don’t worry, all the lessons and advice still make total sense without the slides. 

Enjoy the interview and presentation!

Resources from the episode:

The live Retirement Planning Workshop on November 29th at 1pm EST is over at

The Canadian Financial Summit mentioned on the episode is over at

You can see more of Kyle's writing over at

Questions from the episode:

1) Kyle, for those not familiar with you, let’s just start with the usual first question in a job interview - “Tell us a little about yourself”.

2) You recently reached financial independence - tell us about what that term means to you, and what your plans are in terms of work going forward.

3) Tell us what you think your keys to financial success were.

4) How did you and your wife Molly earn money after leaving university?

5) Let’s peak inside your portfolio, and tell us how you invest.

6) To wrap up, just to give folks a broad overview on what the financial independence by 34 road map has looked like for you and Molly, can you sum up how you two were able to do it?

Many Canadians tend to dabble in at least a bit of active investing, picking individual stocks, even if they consider themselves primarily total market index investors. As long-time listeners of the show know, I personally only do total market index investing through ETFs, but I think it’s important to stay educated and hear the other perspective of how and why active investors choose to invest the way that they do. 

This episode is going to be a bit of a hybrid because our guest today, Braden Dennis, is an active stock investor who owns an investment research platform called He’s also the host of the Canadian Investor podcast, and with these two companies, it appears that he’s already hit financial independence at a really young age.

So, in addition to asking him about how one should research companies if they want to buy individual stocks, we also get into one of the ways of reaching financial independence and early retirement quickly, which is by starting your own business.

Interview Questions:

  1. What would you say is your investing style and what made you pick that over total market index investing?

  2. When I speak to a passive vs an active investor, one of the main things that they seem to think differently about is the efficient market hypothesis. Can you explain what that is for anybody not familiar, and what is your take on it?

  3. Bonds have really taken a hit lately, making many investors wonder whether they should instead do GICs, stay the course, put more into equities (despite those falling recently as well), using a high interest savings account, or using some other investment vehicles. What are your thoughts on bonds and fixed income, and what do you personally do in your own investment portfolio? If you were 5 years away from retirement, would your answer be different?

  4. As someone that is very active in the investing and personal finance field, I imagine you have things pretty planned out and optimized when it comes to the most efficient way to get to your financial independence number. What are you personally doing in your investment portfolio, personal finances, and life to get to that financial independence number as quickly and efficiently as possible?

  5. What keeps you going since it sounds like you can technically just fully retire now and never work again?

  6. One of the ways that I’ve seen you move to your financial independence number quicker is by starting your own businesses, which I see are there to help you and other active investors like yourself. Can you tell us more about the tools and businesses you’ve developed?

  7. I noticed that you’re able to search for index ETFs in Stratosphere too. Does your tool do anything for ETF investors or is it primarily for those that want to research individual stocks?

  8. If somebody wants to do some stock picking, even if it’s just for a small portion of their portfolio, where do you suggest they go and learn? Where did you learn?

  9. Which investment account would you recommend Canadians use if they are going to do any stock picking?


Today we have a case study of someone that was able to pull off an early retirement (we get to learn how he did it, and apply those lessons to our own life). He also wrote a book that I personally consider life-changing, in particular when it comes to financial independence, early retirement, and achieving happiness. 

His name is Jordan Grumet, and his book is called Taking Stock, A Hospice Doctor's Advice on Financial Independence, Building Wealth, and Living a Regret-Free Life.

I highly recommend you check out the book. I wish I had it when I first set out on my financial independence journey, and I’ve also found it helpful in designing the lifestyle that we want, in this semi-retired life stage that we’re in right now. 

In addition to the book, in this interview, we also cover:

  • How Jordan was able to achieve financial independence at such an early age
  • How he figured out whether he had enough to retire
  • How he ensures that he’s withdrawing a sustainable amount from his investment portfolio and not depleting it prematurely
  • Tips on how you can reach your financial independence number quicker, and much more.

Questions Covered:

  1. For anybody that is hearing you speak for the first time, can you take us through your financial independence story, the path you took to get there, how things actually changed for you once you hit your financial independence number, and what you’re doing now?

  2. When you were on your way to financial Independence, what is the process that you did to figure out whether you had enough to retire?

  3. Now that you have hit your financial independence number, what is the process that you do or the calculations that you do to ensure that you are withdrawing a sustainable amount from your portfolio every year?
    (ex. variable percentage withdrawal, 4% rule, spending floor and ceiling, etc.)

  4. Are there any online tools or calculators that you like to use or that you found helpful when it comes to figuring out your financial independence number and your sustainable withdrawal rate from your portfolio?

  5. For those that are still working towards reaching their financial independence number, are there any specific tips that you can give them that had a substantial impact on your own life, that helped you get to your financial independence number quicker?

  6. Once you hit your financial independence number, what were some of the mistakes you made that you think could have been avoided knowing what you know now?

  7. One of the fascinating things that I recall hearing from you when you were being interviewed by Paula Pant, is that you actually went through depression once you hit financial independence. I think this sounds very surprising to most as the underlying assumption that I think most people have of financial independence is that once you reach it, you quit your job, and you have all the time and money you need to focus on being consistently happy. What triggered that depression in your case, and what can we all learn from that experience so that we don’t fall into that same trap?

  8. For me, as somebody that is not in the medical profession, being a doctor seems like one of the most meaningful and fulfilling careers that one could have as you are literally saving lives, or at the very least, vastly improving the lives of others in a significant way when conducting your craft. Yet, you decided to move from that to the field of communication via your book, podcasting, speaking and writing about matters relating to personal finance.

    Did you ever feel like you were helping less, or not achieving your maximum amount of positive contribution to society by focusing on personal finance instead of saving lives and healing others as a doctor? (i.e. If we achieve fulfilment and happiness by serving others, wouldn’t the medical field be the way where we can have the biggest positive societal impact?)

  9. In your book, you talk about focusing on enjoying the journey instead of the destination by focusing on “the climb” (striving toward our own unique purpose, identity, and connection). Can you explain what “the climb” is, and how can it be applied by those on their way towards financial independence, and those that are already there?

  10. Speaking of your book, can you tell us more about it, and what listeners can expect to get out of it? 

  11. After achieving financial independence, we have all this time to do what we want and on the one hand, we want to enjoy what we worked so hard to achieve. However, if we just live a life of pure relaxation and hedonism, that ends up being very unfulfilling, and it's easy to start to feel anxiety and potentially depression because we are not achieving our potential, and not living a life where we are working towards something that we find meaningful and fulfilling.

    Have you figured out a way to achieve balance in this regard where you still get to enjoy the fruits of your labour from achieving financial independence (pure fun and relaxation), while also filling your time with challenging activities that bring you joy, fulfilment, and meaning?

  12. How do you deal with any anxiety that comes from opportunity cost while financially independent? For example, the internal dialogue of: “I deserve to relax as I just finished doing meaningful thing X and I should strive for work/life balance, but that means that I’m not working on Y which is a great opportunity, which could be lucrative and would help a lot of people.”

    (i.e. If you take on too much, you end up getting burnt out. At least that’s what happened with me post-FI).

  13. In terms of maximizing happiness and fulfilment, is there a routine that you follow during any part of your day that works well for you? Or, do you take a more fluid, go-with-the-flow approach, where things are more spontaneous? (i.e. Morning routine, and how structured to you keep the rest of your day?)

  14. What have you found to give you the most fulfilment, whether it's pre-financial independence or post financial independence?

  15. As someone that used to be a full-time doctor, I imagine you have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to maximizing one’s longevity. Can you give us some advice on that?

  16. Tell us again where we can find your book, as well as all the other educational content that you produce.