Interests
neilgalloway.com

Interests

Travel

I have been fortunate enough to have gone a number of places the past few years. In 2004 I spent 2 months in southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and South Korea). In 2005 I was in Cuba on my honeymoon and in the summer I was in Ecuador and Peru for a month. 2006 saw us in Africa (Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, and Kenya). You can check out some of our photos in the Photo Gallery.

I am undecided where we are going next, but I'm sure we'll know soon.

Sailing

I have completed a couple White Sail courses (Canadian Yachting Association) at the Glenmore Sailing School here in Calgary. A great and cheap way to learn and get some sailing time. I don't know where I will take it from here. There is a navigation course and ideally I would like to own a little cruising boat in the future to do some weekend trips on. You can check out the Glenmore Sailing Club if you want as well.

I am undecided where to go from here. There is a navigation course that looks interesting, but I don't own a boat at this point.

Photography

I can't claim I am into this too much. I bought myself a digital SLR camera (Nikon D70s) and have enjoyed learning a bit more about taking photos. Travel photography is what I'm interested in primarily.

If you are interested in photography yourself, you can read below to see what I have. Also, the website DPReview is fantastic to read about the latest products and get detailed reviews. I also picked up the book "The New Manual of Photography" by John Hedgecoe. Great read for the novice.

Below is a picture of my camera and if you care about specs, my other equipment is listed below. I'm learning with photography that it is a slippery slope in terms of equipment. There is always more toys to buy and they are expensive. The next thing on my wishlist is the Sigma 1.4X teleconverter.

My camera body is the Nikon D70s. This is a 6MP digital SLR.
I purchased the Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 wide angle lens at the same time. Takes some very cool shots. Great for scenery and tight situations.
I later added a used Nikon 50mm F1.8 lens for a hundred bucks. It is very handy and takes shots in low light and portrait situations very well.
I just received my Nikon 18-200mm VR lens. Simply put, an awesome lens. This is one of the most useful, versatile lenses you can buy for an APS sized sensor SLR camera. Does wide angle to decent zoom and includes image stabilization. If you are going on a trip and can only take one lens this would be it.

Finance

I completed my Canadian Securities Course a few years ago and have had many a discussion about financial planning with anyone and everyone. The first thing you learn is that EVERYONE has their own opinion on how to do this. It doesn't matter what you are talking about. Savings accounts, GIC's, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, universal/term life insurance, housing prices, rental properties, employee benefit plans, tax strategies, interest rates, mortgages, investment loans, lines of credit, personal budgets, good/bad debt, appreciating/depreciating assets, RRSP's, RSP's, RESP's, discount/full brokerages, banks, cash flow, rates of return, inflation, buying vs. leasing vs. financing, buying new/used vehicles, property insurance, retirement goals, active/passive income, personal businesses, etc, etc, etc... All in the effort to make the most efficient use out of their dollar, which in my opinion, is all completely relative to who you are talking to anyways.

A friend of mine has said that if you are at least talking about these subjects and picking an option based on your own logic then you are probably ahead of the game, because you are not blindly doing nothing. I would have to agree. If I argue with you over whether it is better to pay off my mortgage, invest in an RRSP, buy a rental property, or who knows what else with my money, that is better than just wasting it away on something else.

I am sure I can recommend to you what I think is right but the only real advice I would give you is to have a financial planner. Someone to talk to about these types of things. Even if you don't do them, at least you are aware. Don't just go get one at random either. Interview several of them. The one you feel most comfortable will probably be your best bet.

neilgalloway.com