Are you in a cult?

 According to the media, most of us are!

Everyone has a different spin on, or view of the world. Recently, a writer in the Globe and Mail has been fairly transparent in promoting renting homes as a lifestyle, investing money in areas other than into property, and otherwise telling Canadians to rethink home ownership.

I realize that headlines are written to grab the attention of potential readers and therefore tend to gravitate to the controversial. One of the latest is "Why Canada’s cult of home ownership is in trouble" ( )

By calling something a "Cult", there is an inference that what is ‘so-called’ is both non-mainstream and nefarious. Adding the inference that this is a Canadian born negative way of thinking, suggests that a broader global society leans against this idea. And with changing economic times, that phenomenon is not only in danger, but is changing. It says that an unscientific, single classroom questionnaire shows a trend to renting as a young adult, and that people would rather do that. And as the title hints, when looked at in the context of the latest series of articles by The Globe, that home ownership in Canada may not be a smart idea anymore.

When you look at recurring events of the past, you can get a broader sense of current events
beyond the "keyhole vision" of one class's survey results, or one community's news articles.

The desire to own your own property, and in a sense, your own destiny is hardly new, hardly Canadian,
certainly not limited in nature, and finally not an undesirable goal.

  1. The idea of land/home ownership has been around as a part of human culture for a millennia.
    The Western Hemisphere's development was borne out of the desire of people who felt oppressed and restricted from the "Old World". This desire continues with current migration of individuals who want more in a sense of both freedom and security.
  2. Many immigrants to Canada come with the hope and dream of owning their own property and business. Many immigrate entire extended families and eventually the family owns many properties.
  3. Most adherents to wealth accumulation assert that asset ownership is essential. Renting and/or
    leasing is a sure recipe for long term financial disaster.

Maybe those who would rather rent than own have a different sense of goals and dreams. That is often
the case in one's idyllic teens and twenties. By the time family starts to enter into the picture, perspectives change. The adage "settling down" often takes hold.

There has been a lot of press surrounding the widening of the gap between the influential and the non-influential. Perhaps we should be more diligent in teaching Canadian youth the realities of history and how they still apply. The less long-term assets one owns, the less wealth accumulation and, those who are willing to buy and rent to someone else increases the owners’ wealth - not the renters'. This is not to say buy a home before you have the financial wherewithal to do it, rather to say that when you are able and have the choice - consider ownership a frontrunner.

Home ownership requires sacrifice; letting go of some carefree lifestyles. Instead of owning the new
$80,000 BMW, Mercedes or decked out 4x4 pick up, consider looking to own a starter house. I ask you, would you rather be 75 and living in your $80k car because your landlord just sold their rental property you were living in, or driving a "beater" with no debt, and the security of home ownership.

As any financial advisor will tell you, start investing today.

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