RRSP or TFSA? Sorting out an investor’s dilemma

If you build up the money in your TFSA while you’re working, you can draw from it tax-free any time

RRSP or TFSA? Sorting out an investor’s dilemmaK.M. wrote to ask if she should stop making registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contributions and instead focus on her tax-free savings account (TFSA). With a little personal information from K.M., we decided it would be best for her to focus on her TFSA. Here’s why: K.M. works in a job she’s likely to leave…

The secret to enjoying a Christmas that’s easy on your wallet

Whether tough times force your hand or you just want to start January without a credit card bill, you can still enjoy a glittering, happy holiday season

The secret to enjoying a Christmas that’s easy on your walletWhat if I told you that ‘cutting corners’ can transform Christmas from a hectic, stressful money drain into a joyous, energizing experience? I understand if you are skeptical, but let me show you how it is possible to save money at the same time you enjoy a sumptuous, all the trimmings holiday season. The secret…

Canadian economy will stall in 2020

The next two years will probably bring feeble increases in GDP, in line with 2019’s uninspiring performance. Job creation is likely to decelerate

Canadian economy will stall in 2020As the clock winds down on 2019, it’s time to ponder what the coming year may have in store for the Canadian economy. To provide some context, 2019 hasn’t been a great year for the economy, with inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by around 1.6 per cent. This was less than growth in both…

Understanding and comparing investment returns

Keep in mind that, despite new disclosure rules to increase transparency, the fee shown on your investment report may not be the total fee you paid your adviser

Understanding and comparing investment returnsWhen comparing your investment returns to that of others or those you see published, selection and timing are two critical issues. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples: that you’re weighing similar investments. Each investor has their own risk tolerance and objectives. What’s right for your friend, neighbour or family member may not be right for…

Do you need mortgage insurance?

It depends. As with all financial planning questions, no one answer fits every situation

Do you need mortgage insurance?“Did I need to take the insurance the bank sold me when I got my mortgage? Do I need mortgage insurance at all?” C.P. wrote and asked. I’m often asked this and the answer is usually the same: That depends. As with all financial planning questions, no one answer fits every situation. The simple answer in…

How to be an adult, one sound financial decision at a time

Many people take a long time to launch on adult life because they've never been taught to spend less than they make

How to be an adult, one sound financial decision at a time“The first responsibility of adulthood is paying your own bills,” according to Jamaica Finance Minister Peter Phillips. That country has worked hard to wean itself of dependency on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is in a position to stand on its own feet economically. Paying your bills is a definition of adulthood that applies…

Should you defer collecting CPP and OAS?

Can you afford to hold off and increase your payments later? Will you need more CPP and OAS later in life? And how long do you expect to live?

Should you defer collecting CPP and OAS?Most people know they can start collecting their Canada Pension Plan (CPP) at age 60, even though they’ll get smaller monthly payments than if they waited until 65. Many people just want the money now and don’t care about any added benefits to delaying CPP and Old Age Security (OAS). The standard CPP and OAS…

Do you have a financial plan or an investment plan?

A financial plan is a six-step financial planning process that starts with having an initial meeting with your prospective planner

Do you have a financial plan or an investment plan?Many people don’t understand the difference between a financial plan and an investment plan, and often assume that they’re one and the same. They’re not. An investment plan is focused solely on your investments and the return on those investments, which is important. But that’s only part of the story. What happens to your investment plan…

Protect your business from the unexpected realities of life

Seek professional help if your financial plan doesn't protect you from the four Ds: death, divorce, disability and disaster

Protect your business from the unexpected realities of lifeYour financial plan should provide you with as much protection as possible from the four Ds: death, divorce, disability and disaster. While you can’t totally protect yourself from any of these events, you should at least have a good plan in place in case something does happen. Death is the only D that can’t be avoided,…

Moral investment constraints too onerous for pension funds

Never mind that reducing the choices available to a fund manager can result in negative consequences for pensioners

Moral investment constraints too onerous for pension fundsSome Canadian institutional investment and pension funds have faced scrutiny recently because they owned or own shares in American prison-management companies GEO and CoreCivic. That criticism is unwarranted and unfair. These firms operate prisons, detention centres and rehabilitation facilities in the U.S. Given that the U.S. incarcerates more people than anywhere else in the world,…