Build Wealth Canada Podcast

Today we’re going to have a two-part episode. Part 1 will be about the lessons that I’ve learned after being either fully retired, or semi-retired for the past 5 years. I definitely made some mistakes both during retirement and leading up to retirement; things that I definitely would have done differently if I were to do it all over again.

I hope that by sharing these lessons, it’ll help you avoid them on your financial independence and early retirement journey, as well as give you some insights on what it’s been like to actually live off an investment portfolio as opposed to being reliant on a job.

Part 2 of the episode will be some useful information for all the current and future Canadian small business owners out there:

As COVID-19 restrictions loosen in many parts of the country and world, consumers are thinking differently about their needs/wants. During the pandemic, new habits and practices were formed, and altered how people do business.

For small business owners, it also meant many changes along the way. In the interview, we tackle which of these practices are here to stay because they offered a good client experience? What types of businesses and experiences will Canadians seek out in a post-COVID economy? And what about the businesses that launched during the pandemic - what’s next for them?


Join Our Free Live Retirement Planning Strategies Webinar:

The free live webinar and Q&A on Retirement Planning Strategies is on November 24th, 2021 at 1 pm EST. You can sign up for free at

If you’re seeing this after the event has already taken place, you can still go to the link above to get the recorded version of the webinar. 

Definitely join us live though if you can as that way you can get your questions answered, plus we’ll be giving away prizes during the webinar but you have to be on the live webinar to be eligible. 

Excellent Resources for Canadian Small Businesses: 

As mentioned in part two, this RBC page has some really useful education and free resources for Canadian Businesses, and they’ve partnered up with other businesses to get you additional discounts and bonuses. You can access all the information for free here:

Free Assessment Call for Financial Coaching:

The free assessment call mentioned in the episode is available here: This is part of the coaching program that I am currently going through with Enriched Academy.

Our guest today is Arian Beyzaei, the Vice President of Enriched Academy, one of the most successful companies to be featured on the show Dragon’s Den. 

Over the past 6 years he has travelled around the country teaching students and entrepreneurs how to get smarter with their finances. He has presented to over 10,000 people and has been the keynote speaker for several corporations. 

Arian has also been featured on the Financial Post, The Globe and Mail and many more providing personal finance tips and strategies.

What’s really neat about Enriched Academy is that they are definitely one of, if not the largest financial literacy educators in Canada. They have over 100,000 students, so I thought it would be useful for Arian to share some of the top money saving lessons learned, after teaching that many students, here in Canada.

In other words, what can really move the needle for all of us, when it comes to making a dent in our spending?

What are the highest impact savings strategies that we should be focusing on, to really drastically increase the extra cashflow that we all receive month to month?

Questions Covered:

  1. We talk a lot about increasing our wealth through investing on this show but a higher income, or return on investment, is only one component of growing our net worth. The other of course, is saving and not incurring unnecessary liabilities.

    To kick things off, why should finding ways to save money be on our radar? As opposed to us just focusing on maximizing our income and returns?

  2. When it comes to saving money on things that really move the needle in increasing our financial wellbeing, housing and transportation come to mind as the top areas to optimize. Can you give us some insights and advice on these two areas?

  3. While housing and transportation are definitely high priority areas due to their high price, another area that can have a large impact is those smaller but recurring expenses that we sign up for, which end up draining our cashflow on an ongoing basis. Can you give us your thoughts and strategies on those?

  4. While mortgage rates are relatively low these days, they are nevertheless a very large monthly cashflow drain for most Canadians. Can you talk about some of your favourite mortgage tactics to help us save money?

  5. If someone is looking for a little bit of extra income this year, without an enormous time commitment, do you have a favourite go-to’s that you found many Canadians can benefit from?

  6. When it comes to debt, how are Canadians doing vs the rest of the world, and what are your favourite strategies that we can use to lower the interest on our debt?

Resources Mentioned In the Episode:

The free tickets to this year's Online Canadian Financial Summit are here:

The free assessment call mentioned on the episode is available here:

The Ultimate Phone Script PDF is available for free download here:

The financial literacy for kids educational program is available here:

The Mortgage Broker mentioned on the episode (to get your mortgage questions answered for free) is available at:

Direct download: How_to_Save_Money_-_Top_Lessons_From_Teaching_100000_Canadians.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 9:36am EDT

Today we’re going to focus on how to best track your investments, as well as your net worth.

This is of course critical, as you need this data to determine:

1. How much more do you need to be financially independent and retire?

2. Whether you are trending in the right direction
(i.e. Is your net worth actually growing to get you closer to that early retirement and financial independence number?).

Tracking your net worth and investments is no longer something that you have to do manually, by tediously entering your numbers from all your different accounts into a spreadsheet. You also don’t have to do that boring data entry over and over again, every time that you want an update.

So for this episode, I brought on the creators of two free tools available to Canadians. The first is a net worth tracking tool called Wealthica. While the second is an investment tracking and automation tool called Passiv (which I’ve already been using for years to manage, automate, and get reports on my investment portfolio).

Questions Asked:

  1. We’re going to be talking a fair bit about tracking our net worth in this interview, and how we can automate it. But before we get into that, how should we be defining “net worth”, and how do each of us actually benefit by tracking it?

  2. It used to be that in order to track your investments and net worth, you’d be stuck with whatever your banking or investment provider gave you, and oftentimes you had to use a spreadsheet to get a holistic view of all your accounts. It seems that now, we are transitioning to more open banking where that is no longer necessary. Can you speak to what’s been happening in regards to this, specifically here in Canada?

  3. For anybody that hasn’t heard of your tools before, can you each take us through what it does, especially when it comes to saving Canadians time, and helping automate some of the more tedious parts of being a do-it-yourself investor, and net worth tracking.

  4. Looking at your sites, there seems to be some overlap in terms of what you each provide. Can you take us through the differences between Passiv and Wealthica? Is there a specific type of investor that each tool is more suited for?

  5. One of the big developments that many of us have noticed is that your tools are now integrated with each other. Can you take us through what that means for us the end users? And how does that helps us be more efficient and save more time with our investments and net worth tracking? 

  6. Brendan, when I spoke with your team offline, they mentioned that users get more functionality if they use one of Passiv’s brokerage partners like Questrade. Can you speak to what users can and can’t do depending on which brokerage they are currently using?

  7. Some of us get nervous about using tools where we need to enter our login credentials for the different companies that we bank with or do our investments through. Can you talk about the technology that’s being used here to keep everything safe? And are we potentially breaking the terms of service with some of these institutions we bank with by entering this private information?


You can click here to open up a free Passiv account (Questrade members also get the free upgrade to the Elite Member Plan. 

You can sign up to Wealthica for free here.

Free tickets to the Canadian Financial Summit: Sign up anywhere for free on to get free tickets to the digital event once they are ready (the annual event is on September 22, 2021).

Your Mortgage Questions Answered: Since it's real estate season here in Canada, we also mentioned our resident mortgage expert who can answer your mortgage questions for free. You can sign up for a free call here (there is no cost and no obligation to select any of the lowest cost mortgages that he's able to find in from the 60+ lenders that he monitors.

Investing Course: The investing course was also mentioned in the intermission, which you can try risk-free for 60 days here.

If you liked the episode sign up for free to receive all new episodes as they get released, news on giveaways, and the free guide on the Top 5 Personal Finance and Productivity Tools.

Direct download: How_to_Be_Your_Own_Money_Manager_-_Passiv_and_Wealthica.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 12:07pm EDT

Today we're going to cover the top ETFs in Canada, specifically for Canadian investors.

These findings are based on 8 experts in this field who are part of the Best ETFs in Canada Guide which is published annually on MoneySense and written by the one and only Jonathan Chevreau.

In this episode, we're going to talk about what the findings were with the creator of the guide, and one of the top Analysts from the panel. We will actually give you the ticker symbols of the top ETFs according to the panel of experts, and we will discuss why those particular ETFs were chosen, and go into detail about some of the nuances so that you can better choose which ETF is better for your situation.

Each category has several finalists so it's important to know the caveats of how they differ so that you can choose the one that's right for you.

This interview expands on what you will find in the text version of the guide, so use this interview as a supplement to the MoneySense written guide, which you can find at

If you liked the episode sign up for free to receive all new episodes as they get released, news on giveaways, and the free guide on the Top 5 Personal Finance and Productivity Tools.

Direct download: The_Best_ETFs_in_Canada_for_2021.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

More than half of Canadian adults don't have a will which can cause additional legal costs, family conflict, and unnecessary legal battles. 

Unfortunately getting a will done is very easy to procrastinate on as it can be a hassle to set up meetings with a lawyer, ask those difficult questions and be involved in all the back and forth that's required when setting up a will the traditional way by meeting with a lawyer face-to-face. 

As many long time listeners of the show know, I'm a big fan of technology companies that help automate or at least make it a lot easier to do some of the more tedious but important things that we need to get done. 

So in this episode, I'm excited to bring on Daniel Goldgut, a former tax and estate planning lawyer here in Canada, who together with his team over at has created a tool that you can use to get a will created in as little as 20 minutes. It's also a lot less expensive than what I paid to have our will done with a lawyer years ago before this tool existed. 

We cover what the top mistakes are that Canadians do when creating a will, as well as how and when to properly update it when different events occur in your life. 

We also cover designating a power of attorney and how to ensure that your will is actually legally enforceable here in Canada.

If you want to check out the tool that Daniel and his team have built you can go to, and Daniel's been kind enough to also provide Build Wealth Canada listeners with a $20 discount if you choose to use the service. To get that just use the promo code BUILDWEALTH20.

There's no affiliate or commissions for me on that, it's just a straight $20 off for all Build Wealth Canada listeners.

Questions Covered:

  1. To start things off, why is having a will important, and what are the main negative consequences that we may encounter if we don't have one set up correctly?

  2. What are some of the most common or most critical mistakes that Canadians make when it comes to their will? and how can we remedy them?

  3. Before we go any further, for anybody that hasn’t heard of you or Epilogue before, can you give us a bit of a background on what you do?

  4. I saw an article on your company in the Financial Post about how Epilogue is the first online will platform to give its customers the option to include their RESPs in their wills (Registered Education Savings Plans). Can you speak to why that is important?

  5. I noticed you recently launched a free tool to create a Social Media Will. Can you talk about what that is, why it's important, and where can we go to have one created for free?

  6. When we hear about wills, we often hear about also designating a power of attorney. Can you explain what that is, and are there any other elements like the power of attorney that we should be aware of?

  7. When we set up a will, how can we ensure that it's actually legally enforceable, in case somebody ever challenges it in court?

  8. In what scenarios should we be updating our will? And what's the best way to do that?

  9. Whenever we do update our will, how can we ensure that the newest version of the will is what will get enforced?

  10. What are the pros and cons of using a tool like Epilogue vs hiring a lawyer directly?

  11. Are there any clauses that you think are especially critical to have in a will to prevent issues and conflicts in the future?

  12. How important is it to use an actual Canadian lawyer or service like yours, as opposed to using something from the US or another country, or one of those “create your own” will packages that we may see in a store or advertised on TV or online?

  13. How long does it actually take to create a will using Epilogue, and for anybody that doesn’t have a will or needs one updated, how can we get started?

If you liked the episode sign up for free to receive all new episodes as they get released, news on giveaways, and the free guide on the Top 5 Personal Finance and Productivity Tools.

Direct download: How_to_Get_Your_Will_Done_in_20_Minutes_and_Why_Its_Critical.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:03am EDT

Whether you’ve already done your taxes for the year or not, I wanted to dedicate this episode to the tax optimizations that you can do to save tax not only this year, but for future years as well. 

To help me with this, I’ve brought on accountant Neal Winokur on the show. Neal is a Chartered Professional Accountant here in Canada, and he’s the author of the of the book, The Grumpy Accountant. You might have also seen some of his writing over at the National Post.

He has been an accountant here in Canada for over ten years so I thought it would be great to pick his brain on what all us non-accounts can do to save money on taxes for this year and for years to come.

You’ll also learn what we can all do, to ensure that we aren’t missing out on any credits and benefits that we are eligible for from the Government of Canada.

Changes happen every year to the different credits and benefits that the government offers, so how can we ensure that we don’t miss out on any of the ones that apply to us, and that we aren’t leaving money on the table?

So enjoy the episode, thanks for tuning in, and now let’s get into the interview.

Questions Covered:

1. To kick things off, let’s start with the question on everyone’s minds, “How can we pay less in taxes?”. And more specifically, what are the tools that we Canadians can use, to pay less in tax?

2. For this episode, I primarily wanted to focus on how we can reduce our taxes on an ongoing basis (not just for this year), but before we do that, considering that taxes are due at the end of this month, is there anything new for this year that we need to know about, when filing our taxes by the end of April?

3. One of the things that I’m sure many of us wonder about every year, is “Are there some benefits, tax credits, and/or exemptions that we’re missing out on, resulting in us either receiving less money from the government, or paying more than we have to in taxes”.

4. What's the easiest way to screen the different credits and other Canadian government benefits to make sure we're getting all of the ones we’re eligible for?

5. How do you keep up to date on changes in tax laws? Is there something that we non-accountants can do to be informed as changes occur so that we can determine if they actually impact us? (i.e. any favourite resources)

6. Speaking of good resources, can you tell us more about your book and what we can learn from it?

7. Is there any low hanging fruit in terms of tax savings that you find Canadians sometimes miss?

If you liked the episode sign up for free to receive all new episodes as they get released, news on giveaways, and the free guide on the Top 5 Personal Finance and Productivity Tools.

Direct download: How_to_Save_On_Taxes_in_Canada.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 2:26pm EDT

With fixed mortgage rates finally beginning to increase in Canada, many Canadians are wondering whether they should be locking in their mortgage rate in case interest rates continue to climb.

We also cover whether you can lock-in a mortgage rate now, and then have the option to renew at the lower rate if the interest rates continue to climb.

And, while it’s easy to get fixated on mortgage rates whether you’re an existing or future home buyer, it is worth mentioning that the penalties for breaking a variable vs fixed-rate mortgages can be drastically different, and can also vary significantly from provider to provider.

Which types of lenders tend to have the largest penalties?

What can we expect in fees depending on the lender and mortgage type that we choose?

We cover all that and more in this month’s episode.

Also, the spring real estate season is now upon us with lots of Canadians looking to buy and/or sell their homes. Our resident mortgage expert takes us through what you can expect, and how COVID is impacting the real estate market in Canada.

About Our Guest:

Sean is the bestselling author of the book, Burn Your Mortgage. He bought his first house when he was only 27 in Toronto and paid off his mortgage in just 3 years by age 30.

These days, Sean’s helping others burn their mortgages too, as an independent mortgage broker.

Sean has offered to answer for free, any questions that you, the Build Wealth Canada listeners have.

Links & Resources Covered:

  1. Free private Q&A with Sean
  2. What's your passive investing style? (Stream Kornel's talk from the Canadian Financial Summit)
  3. EQ Bank (The bank that I use with savings account interest rates up to 30x higher compared to other Canadian banks). If you sign up through this link, email me any confirmation that you receive from EQ to and I'll email you my guide on the top ETFs in Canada, with an explanation of what I personally invest in and why.

Questions Covered:

  1. When we spoke before the podcast, you mentioned that fixed mortgage rates are finally on the rise. What are the implications of that for Canadians who already have a mortgage, as well as those that are looking to get a new mortgage?
  2. The spring real estate market is coming up. For those looking to buy a home or a rental property, what do we need to know about this particular time of year in Canada?
  3. Seasonality is clearly a factor when it comes to Canadian real estate. Can you take us through what we can generally expect depending on the time of year that we choose to buy or sell a home or rental property?
  4. Anytime interest rates move I’m sure you get lots of questions from your clients on whether they should lock-in their variable rate mortgage, or if someone is getting a new mortgage, whether they should go variable or fixed. Based on the current interest rate environment and the new changes to mortgage rates, what sort of analysis should we be doing to determine the best course of action?

  1. COVID is of course, still very prevalent here in Canada. Are there any misconceptions about COVID and its impact on real estate that you think are worth clearing up?
  2. As we head into the 2021 spring real estate season, would you say that it’s more of a buyer’s market or a seller’s market?

If you liked the episode sign up for free to receive all new episodes as they get released, news on giveaways, and the free guide on the Top 5 Personal Finance and Productivity Tools.

Direct download: Rising_Mortgage_Interest_Rates.mp3
Category:Real Estate -- posted at: 7:26pm EDT

One of my favourite things to do on the show is to interview other early retirees, especially those in Canada to learn how they did it, and really dissect their journey to financial independence and/or early retirement. 

No matter where you are on your financial independence journey, I truly believe that we can all learn from others that have done it, and so I like to view what they did as a case study where we can break down their journey into actionable parts that we can apply to our own lives. 

There are after all many paths to financial independence, and so it’s valuable to know what those paths are so that you can pick and choose the components that are the best fit for you, and that are most aligned with your own goals.

Our guest today is Réjean Venne. Réjean worked in the insurance industry for eight years before retiring at twenty-nine and becoming a full-time parent. Réjean and his wife Danielle, along with their three young children, live in Northern Ontario. They write regularly on topics related to parenting, health, mindfulness, and money. You can follow them at

Réjean recently published 5 Years to Freedom: A Canadian Guide to Early Retirement which documents his journey to financial independence. 

In this interview, he’s going to take us through his early retirement story and how you got there, along with the lessons that he’s learned along the way which you can then apply in your own life to help you retire earlier.

We’ll also cover how he was able to cut $53,000 in spending annually by retiring early, and how he and his wife were able to retire so early despite having three young kids which is often perceived as very difficult, due to how expensive many believe kids are.

Enjoy the episode :)

Questions Asked:

  1. Can you take us through your early retirement story and how you got there?

  2. As someone that’s been retired for 3 years now in their early 30s, what are some of the lessons you learned that could help aspiring early retirees or those that are new to retirement?

  3. Is there anything that surprised you after you became an early retiree? For example, were there any preconceived notions or assumptions of what you thought early retirement would be like, and then it ended up being something different?
  1. I find you and I are pretty unique in the early retirement space in Canada as we both got to early retirement utilizing passive investments like investing in index funds, but we also used rental properties to get us there. For me, passive index investing was a better fit so that’s all I do now, but for anybody that is debating using one of them or both of them, what’s been your experience in using these different vehicles?
  1. Knowing what you know now, if you had to start over to work your way towards financial independence and early retirement, is there anything that you’d do differently?

  2. Are there any mistakes that you made while early retired that we could learn from?

  3. You mentioned in your book that you don’t really budget in the traditional sense. Can you take us through how you managed your cash flows with your wife during the pre-retirement stage, and how you do it now in early retirement?

  4. How do you structure the withdrawals from your investment portfolio (including real estate) so that they are tax-efficient?

  5. Early retirement seems like an unattainable dream to many people, yet it’s surprising how attainable it can actually be when you crunch the numbers. One of my favourite parts of your book, was how you were able to cut $53,000 in spending annually by retiring early. Can you tell us a bit about how early retirement allows you to make such drastic cuts, and consequently how a lot of Canadians may actually be much closer to an earlier retirement than first meets the eye?

  6. You’re also retired with three kids, and kids are often seen as this massive expense that makes early retirement nearly impossible. Can you talk about how that’s not necessarily so, especially with the Canada Child Benefit that parents are eligible for
  1. Most of the early retirees I’ve talked to and researched built up large investment portfolios with the intention of never working again (myself included). But once they actually reached that financial independence number, they eventually ended up taking on some fun side projects that actually bring in an income.

    Therefore, they didn’t actually need as large of an investment portfolio as they initially thought, and if only they factored that in prior to retirement, they could have retired much earlier.

    Can you share your experience with this as it seems to be extremely common with early retirees, and Canadians can definitely retire much earlier if they actually include some anticipation of future side income like this in their early retirement plans.

  2. Through my research and own experience, I found that getting that sense of fulfilment can actually be a challenge for retirees when they no longer have to work. I know in your book you said that being a dad gives you that sense of fulfilment, but is there anything else outside of parenting that you find really helps in this regard?

    I find this answer might particularly be helpful for those retirees who either don’t have kids, or those who have kids, but the kids are out on their own now, and so they no longer require that large time investment.
  1. What are your goals and plans now? Especially now that the book is written.

Links and Resources

If you liked the episode sign up for free to receive all new episodes as they get released, news on giveaways, and the free guide on the Top 5 Personal Finance and Productivity Tools.

Direct download: Retired_at_29_-_How_They_Did_It_In_Canada.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 2:25pm EDT

Today we have Robb Engen on the show who is the creator of one of the most respected personal finance blogs in Canada over at Boomer and Echo.

He’s been writing about personal finance and investing on the blog for more than 10 years, and he’s also a fee-only financial planner, where he helps Canadians achieve their financial goals through unbiased and objective advice.

In this interview, you’ll learn:

  1. The most impactful financial decisions that we Canadians can make, to set ourselves up for success.

  2. The different components that you should look for when analyzing if there are any critical flaws in your investment portfolio.

  3. What a good investment portfolio structure is for somebody looking to retire early, and what withdrawal strategies to consider so that you don’t run out of money in retirement. 

We cover all that and much more, during the interview.

Links from the episode include:

The EQ RRSP, TFSA, and Savings Account

Robb's Site

What passive investing style are you? (video presentation)

Passiv (the tool that I use for tracking my investments and rebalancing)

Here is the full list of all the questions we covered:

  1. With the new year kicking off, I’m sure many Canadians have a New Year’s resolution of getting their finances in order and optimized.

    What would you say are some of the most impactful financial decisions that we Canadians can make, to set ourselves up for success? 

  2. Which ones can we do ourselves vs having to seek out the help of a financial planner like yourself?

  3. I noticed that one of the things that you do as part of your financial planning practice are investment portfolio reviews. For anybody new to this, what is an investment portfolio review, and what are the different components that you like to look for when analyzing if someone has any critical flaws in their investment portfolio?

    What parts of the portfolio review can most Canadians easily do ourselves vs having to hire a professional like yourself for that extra level of optimization?

  4. For those that are working towards an early retirement, or are already there, is there a particular portfolio structure that you like?

    For example: A type of bucket strategy, or something different (ex. just doing a flat withdrawal from a balanced portfolio, etc.)

  5. When it comes to withdrawing from your portfolio in an early retirement, or a traditional retirement, which approach or approaches due you tend to prefer so that we don’t run out of money in retirement, but also so we don’t have too much money left to spend by the time we pass away (ex. 4% rule, 3-3.5% rule, VPW, something else?)

  6. With the record low interest rates that we’ve been experiencing, many of us Canadians are re-evaluating the fixed-income/safe portion of our portfolio. How do you approach the dilemma of buying a bond ETF for the fixed income portion of your portfolio, vs just putting that money towards a really high interest savings account which can give us higher interest than the bond ETF, plus then we also don’t have to worry about losing money if the interest rates go up in the future.

  7. Where can listeners go to learn more from you or hire you to get their questions answered?


Direct download: Optimizing_Your_Investments_and_Finances_for_the_New_Year_and_Beyond.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 2:40am EDT