Canada's Contrarian Finance Blog



I am Christian Thut from Switzerland.  This is the story of being penniless to building wealth with no contacts, no network, no role models.


What follows are my most important lessons from 12 years of developing one of Canada's most efficient wealth building platform.  With efficiency being defined as value created/time spent creating value.  The one most important rule is consistently and intensely focusing on difficult hard-to-replicate skills that deliver value to people – day in day out.


Merci vielmal (Swiss German for Thank-you) for taking the time to read this.

I was never destined to become "the accountant".  I started programming BASIC with a Commodore VIC20 when I was 11 years old.


I spent my time using the tools at my disposal – analytical math to try to solve problems: I developed mathematical optimization algorithms precisely correct volumes and rates of administration for intravenous medications.  


I began my career at the Swiss global company, Roche and then I worked for the Reformed Church Uster in Switzerland. Reuniting with the Protestant work ethic and virtues was a refresher on my Swiss upbringing which emphasized discipline and responsibility.  When you have nothing, you must trade time for money while you develop useful skills.


Many financial blogs focus on cost-cutting, but the truth is that it's all worthless compared to the big 3: taxes, payroll, and housing.  Focus on those by building a scalable business while optimizing your taxes and your mortgage interest.


12 years later, all our customers are unique, but they share 12 priorities in descending order:


  1. Disciplined and definite people that do the single best valuable thing they can focus on rather than being a Jack of all trades, master of none.
  2. A compelling and focused mission that leverages proprietary technology (skills/equipment) too costly for average people to acquire or learn from youtube.
  3. Ability to scale - fixed costs of creating the output are spread over high enough revenue to have a pricing advantage for their inputs.
  4. Branding
  5. Specifically targetted paid advertising to dominate niche markets before scaling to adjacent markets with more employees and more capital assets (software/equipment).
  6. Minimum 20% pre-tax margins on annual revenues in excess of $400K.
  7. $1M valuation based on a 2.5x-5x earnings multiple
  8. Use their business account (bank/credit card) for expense transactions vs. cash or personal debit/credit cards.
  9. Necessities automatically delivered in a biweekly shipment. "Shopping" is done only once per year - towards the end of the fiscal year to accelerate access to CCA on capital additions.
  10. Abstaining from mortgages, debt, and rental properties before having healthy cash flow from a scalable corporation (not trading time for money). An income property is only considered after the mortgage is paid off on the principal residence. Dividing the net operating income from a rental property by the cost of the property they get the investment yield. From this value, they can determine if it is economically viable to rent out the property or sell it. Having positive cash flow is not good enough to determine economic viability.  In German, borrowing is 'schulden', the same word for sin.  Rent when young and when old make either a minimum 20% down-payment on a home less than 2.5x their gross annual household income. Minimum 30% for a home that costs up to 4x their gross annual household income. 
  11. Living far below their means. Easily done when their after-tax earnings are at minimum 2x-4x the median.  They set aside 50-90% of all the money collected until they can fund their lifestyle entirely with passive income. Then 100% of their active income can go towards riskier investments. Losing $1 million dollars when they still have $3 million is worth the risk when they have the change of being worth $10+ million.
  12. Everyone in their lives is either moving up or out of their lives.  Selectively choosing the people they surround themselves with is essential. All regrets in life involve wasted time. This is the only thing you can never get back so never waste a second on marginal returns, short-term gains and people with no value. They have no sympathy for those who created their own mess. Poor choices = poor character. This eliminates the empty work that plagues regular people and allows them to focus on what really matters. It is amazing how their customer service improved when they focus only on people that like them.  Not a big deal, just not the same interests.   They don’t have a problem with others choices – they just don’t cater to everyone’s needs.





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After 12+ years our blog is still the least influential financial blog on the internet, and our 135 subscribers is a tiny fraction of millions of small business corporations in Canada.  We are not driven by money and popularity, rather we driven by legacy, greatness, and hyper-focused on adding value.



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