5 Steps To Take To Jump-Start Your Financial Success

5 Steps To Take To Jump-Start Your Financial SuccessLacey Hamilton hopes to attend the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea to cheer on the Canadian athletes. To save for the trip, the 22-year-old Mississauga resident drops spare change and $5 bills into a 0.9-litre mason jar that she empties into a savings account when it becomes full. “I live on a cash diet as much as possible,” she says. “I find that’s the best way for me…

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The TFSA Cap will Stay at $5,500 for 2017

The TFSA Cap will Stay at $5,500 for 2017The annual TFSA dollar limit will remain frozen at $5,500 for 2017 and, in fact, may be stuck at that level until at least 2019, as a result of years of low inflation and the unusual rounding mechanism built into the TFSA limit. This week, the Canada Revenue Agency announced the inflation rate — 1.4 per cent — that will be used to index various personal income tax and benefit…

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5 Things Investors Should Know But Probably Don’t

5 Things Investors Should Know But Probably Don'tCanadian investors love to think they are true masters of their financial kingdom when in practice most studies show many of us don’t realize small insights that could be very beneficial. We’ve uncovered some interesting things, shown below, that every investor should know. What are your thoughts? Have any more? Leave them in the comment section below. By far the cleverest way to save the most in exchange fees when…

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Move Over RRSP, TFSA – 7 Strategies For Maximizing Investment Returns

Move Over RRSP, TFSA - 7 Strategies For Maximizing Investment ReturnsInvestors tend to focus first and foremost on gross returns. Since an investor only gets to keep their net return after-tax, tax should be an important factor when it comes to investment decisions. The most basic example of this is to make the most of available tax shelters. Most people are aware of tax shelters like RRSPs, TFSAs and RESPs, but, if you are self-employed, you can even create your…

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Accelerating Mortgage Payments will Free up Cash for RESP, Retirement Savings

Accelerating Mortgage Payments will Free up Cash for RESP, Retirement SavingsA couple we’ll call Harry, 35, and Tina, 37, are thriving in their careers. Harry, a geologist with a large company, brings home $5,730 a month. Tina, a management consultant in the chemical industry, adds $3,880, for total monthly disposable income of $9,610 a month. They have a two-year-old child. You could say that Harry and Tina are typical Canadians. Their income, though above average, is just enough to get…

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Relief May be on the Way — Tax on Both Sides of the Border

Relief May be on the Way -- Tax on Both Sides of the BorderU.S. citizens living in Canada not only have to file Canadian tax returns reporting their worldwide income, but they also have to file U.S. tax returns reporting the same income. That’s because the U.S. imposes taxes and filing requirements based on citizenship, not residency. To make matters worse, if the U.S. citizen holds a TFSA, RESP or RDSP, these accounts are not recognized as tax-preferred by the U.S. and the…

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Five Things Investors Should Not So in a Bear Market

Five Things Investors Should Not So in a Bear MarketMost markets, and certainly most currencies and commodities, are now officially in a bear market. That’s the arbitrary term for anything that is down 20 per cent from its peak. Of course, many stocks are down 40 or 50 per cent or more, so we might need a new term to describe them — zombie market? That is, dead but still moving? Many investors fear a bear market, because it…

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What Kind of Stocks Should You Hold in a TFSA?

What Kind of Stocks Should You Hold in a TFSA?It seems the conversation of investing in a tax-free savings account (TFSA) becomes quieter and quieter as the months go by in a year, and the conversation is most vibrant at the start of the year. Saving and investing should be a consistent act, so I’m bringing it up again. By investing instead of just saving, you’re looking for higher returns that come with higher risk. Before thinking about what…

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Bump-Up for TFSA in 2015 Doesn’t Have to Wait for the Budget to be Passed

Bump-Up for TFSA in 2015 Doesn't Have to Wait for the Budget to be PassedCanadians are free to top up their 2015 tax-free savings account contribution without fearing any sort of penalty, bank officials said Thursday. The government’s budget released Tuesday increased the annual contribution limit to TFSAs from $5,500 to $10,000 and made it effective to Jan. 1, 2015. Following the announcement there was confusion about whether Canadians could put another $4,500 into their TFSA account right away. The early birds, who were rushing…

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Top 10 Personal-Finance Myths

Top 10 Personal-Finance MythsCommon myths are everywhere: sharks don’t get cancer (not true); the Great Wall of China is visible from space (ditto). They exist in the world of personal finance, too. Myth: I don’t need to worry about our budget or finances because my partner manages the money. Fact: “Even if someone else is in the driver’s seat, you should be an active passenger; not asleep in the backseat,” says Linda MacKay,…

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