3 Steps to a More Secure Retirement

3 Steps to a More Secure RetirementEven though many of us are still decades away from retirement, it’s a constant worry. Nobody wants to run out of cash during their golden years. With record housing prices, higher food costs, and increasing financial commitments despite stagnant salaries, saving for retirement is tougher than ever. And with interest rates hitting record lows, it’s hard to get decent returns–especially from fixed income. Investors don’t have to fret about obligations decades away….

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How to Reduce the Risks of Investing in Stocks

How to Reduce the Risks of Investing in StocksInvesting in stocks historically gives higher returns than placing money in bonds, GICs, or savings accounts. With higher return comes higher risk. Here I will talk about two risks that come with investing in stocks and how to reduce those risks. 1. Risk of capital loss You can buy and sell stocks on major exchanges easily through your bank or through a trading platform. However, the flip side of this…

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GICs – The Problem With Playing It Safe

GICs - The Problem With Playing It SafeThe Problem As a 59-year-old training administrator for a mining company, Heather is a member of her company’s defined contribution pension plan. She’s also mortgage-free. But in 2008 she suffered a 40% loss in her stock portfolio and has since slowly sold off all her high-fee mutual funds, putting her 100% in cash. “I have to pay more attention,” says Heather, who has started managing her own finances. After reading…

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Confusion Aside a TFSA is Still The Best Tax Shelter in Town

Confusion Aside a TFSA is Still The Best Tax Shelter in TownFive years after their introduction, there still appears to be rampant confusion about tax free savings accounts. Not just about the cumbersome rules on replacing withdrawn funds, but about the very nature of the TFSA itself. Newcomers often end up in default TFSA plans offered by the nearest financial institution, believing they can hold nothing but interest-bearing vehicles like GICs. Since interest rates have been pitifully low over the five-year…

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RRSP Ages and Stages

RRSP Ages and StagesEveryone knows it’s RRSP season, but what’s less obvious is how to best direct your contributions over the years. Different ages and life stages call for different strategies. There’s an overarching theme, though: anything you can put toward your retirement is a good thing. “When it comes to contributions, it’s a journey, not a sprint,” says ?Wade Stayzer, vice president of retail banking and investment services at Ontario’s Meridian Credit…

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Canadian Investors Keeping Cash Within Our Borders

Canadian Investors Keeping Cash Within Our BordersBlame it on Olympic fever. It seems nothing is immune to the wave of Canadian pride sweeping the nation, not even how we choose to invest our money. A new poll from CIBC Asset Management found the majority of Canadians, though primarily interested in long-term growth, remain reluctant to stray too far from home when it comes to investing our retirement portfolios. Indeed, 68 per cent of Canadians surveyed said…

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Canadians Just Dont Understand TFSAs

Canadians Just Dont Understand TFSAsTax-free savings accounts (TFSA) may be increasingly popular, but they also have a lot of Canadians scratching their heads. Forty-eight per cent of Canadians have a TFSA, up from 23 per cent in 2012, according to Bank of Montreal’s recently released Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) report. However, there’s confusion surrounding the details: the poll found that just 19 per cent of Canadians know the annual contribution limit, 10 per…

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Keep the Taxman out of Your Investments

Keep the Taxman out of Your InvestmentsIf you are a novice investor in Canada, our tax system can make it very difficult to get the most after-tax growth out of your savings. This is because all of our income is taxed at different rates and, due to our progressive tax system, the more you make, the more they take. When saving to increase your financial security down the road, you need to have a very good…

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If You Have 10 Years Before Retirement

If You Have 10 Years Before RetirementThe November issue of Money magazine contains a bunch of retirement articles. It must be their retirement issue. I am planning to evaluate each article one at a time to see if I agree with their position. The first article is about preparing for retirement with a checklist for you to compare to at 10, 5, and 1 year out. Let’s do the 10 years out scenario today. Saving Money…

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How to Make the Most of Your Tax-Free Account

How to Make the Most of Your Tax-Free AccountAlmost half of all Canadians have opened a tax-free savings account, according to a survey released last week by CIBC. That’s a remarkable take-up considering that TFSAs haven’t even been around for four years. That’s the good news. The bad news is that about half of those people aren’t actively contributing. According to the survey, 47 per cent have not put any money into the plan this year. What’s more,…

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