Tue, 13 September 2022
I always thought it would be neat to interview someone, that is actually part of the organization that runs the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Most of us have the majority of our retirement savings in ETFs or stocks and so it makes sense to actually have some understanding of the exchanges here in Canada, how they work, and the relationships that exist between the brokerage that you use to actually buy your investments, the stock exchange itself, and the governing bodies and regulators that are there to ensure that investors like you and I are protected.
To help us with this, I have Richard Ho on the show. Richard works for the TMX Group, which is the organization that actually runs the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Montreal Exchange, and other exchanges that we’ll learn about today, here in Canada.
One of Richard’s responsibilities, is leading educational initiatives to help improve investor education, for Canadians like you and I.
One of the educational initiatives that I wanted to really highlight, is that Richard and his team have put together a free to enter competition, with a $10,000 grand prize, and 7 weekly prizes of $500 each. The competition revolves around investing using options.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about what options are, and how they can be used to make money, definitely listen to this episode, but also take part in this free competition as it’s a risk-free trading simulation contest, with a lot of educational resources.
The way that it works is that you have a virtual portfolio of $100k, and the question is: Can you strategize and trade options to earn the highest returns in hopes of winning the weekly cash prizes, a $10,000 grand prize and bragging rights as Canada’s Top Options Trader?
The contest runs for 8-weeks and kicks off on September 19, 2022. You can register for free here.
There’s no entry fee, it’s just good education on the subject, and a way that you can try options as a tool in your investment portfolio, without actually risking any of your own real money.
So good luck, and now let’s get into the interview with Richard.
Our Expert Guest:
I’ve invited Richard Ho, DMS, CAIA, FCSI, Director of Equity Derivatives and Customer Relationship Management at TMX Montréal Exchange, who is responsible for leading educational initiatives and partnerships with brokerage firms to discuss what makes this contest exciting, how it differs from past editions, and the educational component surrounding it.
Richard also collaborates on Option Matters, a Montréal Exchange blog whose mission is to help individuals increase their knowledge of the options market.
More educational resources:
Education on Options: optionmatters.ca
Montreal Exchange Education Resources: m-x.ca/education
Montreal Exchange Equity Derivatives & Options Education: m-x.ca/options
The Montreal Exchange Main Site: m-x.ca/en
The main TMX site (where all the Canadian exchanges are): tmx.com
Direct download: post_auphonic_tmx_group_richard_after_all_edits.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 9:09am EDT
Wed, 10 August 2022
Optimizing Investing Through Your Work - Employer Match, Defined Benefit, and Defined Contribution Pensions in Canada - Featuring Robb Engen from BoomerAndEcho.com
One question that I’ve been getting asked a lot, both from listeners of the podcast, as well as those in my investing course, is how to deal with and optimize any sort of investments through your work.
Typically, in Canada, when you work for a mid-size or large organization, you’ll either be part of a defined contribution pension plan, or a defined benefit pension plan.
We’re going to cover both types of pensions in this interview, and specifically, some of the things we’ll cover are:
We cover all that, and much more in the interview (scroll down for the full list of questions).
Our Expert Guest:
To help me with this, I have Robb Engen on the show, who is one of the most reputable fee-for-service financial planners that I know of in Canada.
He also runs one of the largest and most reputable personal finance blogs in Canada called boomerandecho.com.
He’s regularly quoted or featured in financial media such as the Globe & Mail, MoneySense, the Financial Post, CBC, and Global News. He used to actually work for a university here in Canada, where he had one of those nice gold-plated pensions, but ended up transitioning from that to becoming self-employed, so he had to go through this pension analysis himself first-hand on what to do when you have a pension, and then no longer wish to stay with that employer.
Because of his background, first-hand experience with pensions, and fantastic reputation in this space here in Canada, I thought he’d be a great fit for this episode, as he’s gone through these options and this analysis himself, so it’s not just some theory that we’re going to be talking about here.
Robb's Fee-for-Service Financial Planning Page:
You can get your free Passiv account here:
My guide on how to redeem your free premium account upgrade in Passiv is here:
You can view the stock/equity side of my portfolio (what I invest in and how much of each ETF type I buy) here:
The account that I use for the safe part of my portfolio is here (I use the high-interest savings account, but they also do GICs if you are willing to lock in the money for a bit to get a higher rate):
Direct download: Optimizing_Investing_Through_Your_Work_-_Robb_Engen.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 11:20am EDT
Tue, 5 July 2022
Long-time listeners of the show know that I am always on the hunt for personal finance and investing tools that actually work for us Canadians. Too often we hear about some great tool or resource and then it turns out that it’s only for those in the US.
With that said, I wanted to bring on two CEOs today. The first is from a tool that I’ve been using and been hooked on for years now, which essentially automates any rebalancing that I have to do in my portfolio (so I don’t have to do the tedious data entry into a spreadsheet anymore to calculate how much of each ETF I have to buy every time that I have some money to invest).
One thing that I recently noticed is that I almost never log into my Questrade account anymore, because I would much rather just buy the investments right within one tool for all our accounts, whether it’s my account, my wife’s account, or our kids’ RESP, instead of having to log in and out of each account and doing the trades and calculations manually.
The tool and company that I’m talking about is Passiv. The CEO and our 1st guest today is Brendan Lee Young, and you can actually use Passiv for free, over at BuildWealthCanada.ca/free. They integrate with different Canadian Brokerages out there like Wealthsimple Trade for example, but if you’re a Questrade user like me, you actually get their Premium account for free, so that you can do the trades right within the tool and make your portfolio more tax efficient right from within Passiv.
Our second guest CEO is Alex from Global Predications which is a tool that I just recently heard about that is now available in Canada. I’m in the process of trying it out now. Some of its main functionality is that it can help find risks and problem areas within your investment portfolio, give suggestions on how to improve your portfolio, and let you visualize your net worth using all your assets (instead of just your investment portfolio). And, if you want to check them out, their Canadian page where you can get a free account is here.
I thought we could have an interview to discuss some of the tools available to us Canadians, and as a bonus, what’s really neat is that Passiv actually has a way for you to share what investments you’re holding with others, so in this episode, I also provide a link to my portfolio in Passiv so you can see exactly which ETFs I buy, and what my asset allocation is in terms of bonds vs stocks, and in terms of geography (so how much I have in Canada vs US vs International).
I hope you enjoy the discussion!
You can learn more about Passiv and get a free account here.
You can also see my asset allocation and what ETFs I buy using Passiv here.
Here is the Global Predictions page where you can get free access, specifically for Canadians. FYI, this page is specifically for Canadians so you'll find it more relevant than just going to globalpredictions.com (which is the US version).
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Direct download: Hybrid_Investing_-_An_Improvement_on_Passive_Investing.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 11:40am EDT
Tue, 21 June 2022
When learning how to invest, we are consistently told to conduct our “due diligence” on the investments that we’re considering buying. Yet, almost all of us haven’t actually been trained on how to analyze the investments that we’re considering, so that we choose the ones that are right for our particular situation.
To help remedy this, I thought it would be good to give listeners a bit of a training on how to actually interpret the figures and terminology that we see used here in Canada, when we’re considering purchasing an investment.
Now this is obviously a very large topic as there are many types of investments, so I thought we could start with learning how to understand bonds (especially bond ETFs).
We’ve definitely seen some drops in the market recently and I suspect many investors are wondering about holding bonds, if they are holding the right types of bonds, and how to actually interpret the data that you see when you’re looking up information about a bond ETF.
To help me with this, I have Danielle Neziol back on the show. Danielle and her team actually created and continue to manage the largest bond ETF in Canada (and in case you’re curious, that ETF is ZAG from BMO ETFs which now has over $5.8 billion in net assets).
Danielle is the Vice President over at BMO ETFs, and I thought it would be great for us to actually get some training from her on how to interpret the facts sheets that we all see when we look up any type of bond ETF, no matter who the provider is.
My goal is that this interview gives you the knowledge to be more confident in your investing, and hopefully helps relieve any anxiety that you may feel when it comes to choosing your own investments, or helping ensure that you are in the types of investments that are the best fit for you.
Danielle and her team host free weekly webinars where you can learn more about ETFs, as well as ask them your ETF questions. I've been a guest there several times and it really is a great resource for Canadian DIY investors.
You can view past replays and sign up to attend the upcoming webinars for free here: etfmarketinsights.com
Also, be sure to subscribe to the ETF Market Insights YouTube Channel where you can also see past recordings.
7. ETF fact sheets typically have an annualized performance section where they show how the ETF performed relative to its index. For ETFs that are looking to match the index, what would be considered a reasonable spread between the two vs a concerning number?
8. One page that seems especially critical to evaluate, whether evaluating a bond ETF or an equity ETF, is the “Holdings” page where we see all the investments that the ETF contains. Let’s pretend that you just pulled up a core bond ETF like ZAG and went to its holdings page. What would you look for and how would you analyze and interpret the data that you see there? (for anybody that wants to follow along, you can go to BuildWealthCanada.ca/zag and that will forward you there) and click on the holdings tab.
Areas to cover:
Are there any other areas that you think are critical to look at, and if an investor is feeling overwhelmed by the large amount of bond ETFs out there and is getting into a bit of paralysis analysis, what would you recommend as their next step?
9. Can you speak to the relationship that bonds have with rising interest rates, and at what point do we start to take advantage of those higher interest rates in our bond portfolio to offset the drop in price that occurs when interest rates go up?
10. For anybody looking to learn more, can you tell us more about ETF Market Insights, the YouTube channel, and any other resources listeners may find helpful?
Direct download: Are_You_Holding_the_Right_Bonds_in_Your_Investment_Portfolio.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 2:13pm EDT
Tue, 7 June 2022
Today I’m extremely excited to have Canadian best-selling author, Andrew Hallam back on the show. His first book, Millionaire Teacher continues to be the #1 best seller in the Investment and Portfolio Management category on Amazon.
He is one of the world’s most prolific financial wellness speakers and over the past 16 years, he has given hundreds of talks in over 30 different countries espousing research on financial wellness, sound investing and life satisfaction.
He has been investing in the stock market for 32 years, having built a million-dollar portfolio on a schoolteacher's salary when he was in his late 30s.
In today’s interview with Andrew, we cover the subject of how to achieve balance, and how to maximize your happiness, health, and wealth.
We also cover what to expect and how to maintain balance after having hit your financial independence number. Lots of early retirees in the FIRE movement and traditional retirees continue to do some sort of productive paid work. Why is that, and is it realistic to never work again after you retire?
As you can imagine, generating some minor income after retirement, doing something you love, can drastically decrease how much money you actually need to retire from your day job, potentially letting you leave that job you may dislike or be bored with many years earlier.
Since Andrew is already financially independent, we dissect how Andrew has found that balance in his life between taking on meaningful and fulfilling work, and balancing that with leisure, health, and happiness.
1. When a lot of people, myself included start their financial independence journey, the goal is to never work again and that becomes a major motivator to accumulate all those savings to be able to retire.
2. You've spoken with many other early retirees who I assume had a similar experience in terms of that progression from initially never wanting to work again and live a life of leisure permanently, versus eventually realizing that there needs to be a balance to achieve sustainable happiness. Have you noticed any patterns from those you've talked to in terms of how they were able to find sustainable happiness and what that balance was for them in order to achieve it?
3. After reading your book, it becomes very clear that health and longevity is something that is a high priority for you, and should be for all of us since what’s the point of accumulating all this wealth and retiring if you don’t live long enough to enjoy it.
4. In terms of maximizing happiness in retirement, is there a routine that you follow during any part of your day that works well for you? Or do you take a more fluid, go-with-the-flow approach, where things are more spontaneous?
5. Do you find that goal setting and trying to achieve growth and improvement in retirement adds to your happiness and fulfilment? Or do you take the approach of trying to just be happy with where you are, living in the moment, as opposed to continuously striving for more?
6. Please tell us again where we can learn more from you and get your latest book.
Direct download: Andrew_Hallam_-_How_to_Invest_and_Spend_for_Happiness_Health_and_Wealth.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 1:04pm EDT
Wed, 11 May 2022
When it comes to the safe portion of our portfolio, we’ve talked about GICs and high-interest savings accounts before, but one option that we haven’t talked about yet, is one that gives you guaranteed income for life, no matter what the markets are doing, and those are called annuities.
So, I thought it would be good for you and me to get some annuities 101 knowledge under our belts, so that we can better understand what’s out there, what are the pros and cons of annuities, and so that we can better determine if they are something that we should look into further, based on each of our particular situations.
To learn more about this, I thought it would be good to get our information from two different sources. The first, would be fee-for-service financial planners who don’t actually create or sell annuities, but are responsible for potentially using annuities as part of a total financial plan.
With that in mind, I’m definitely going to be asking financial planners that I interview in the future about annuities, so that we can get a holistic view and multiple perspectives on the subject.
The other source of information that I thought would be good to interview, is an actual creator of annuities. This way we’re getting the information right from the source about how they actually work, their intent, the pros and cons, and how they can potentially fit as part of a financial plan.
To help me with this, I have Selene Soo on the show. She is the Director of Product Strategy and Development in the area of Wealth Management over at RBC. She has been there for over 17 years, and has been in the industry itself for over 2 decades, so she definitely has a wealth of experience and knowledge when it comes to annuities.
I thought I’d pick her brain so that we can get a solid foundation on annuities, and one question that I’ve been extremely curious to ask someone like her that’s actually in the industry, is for those of us who don’t have a defined benefit pension through our work (for example, those of us that are not government works, teachers, police officers etc.), is there a way that we can get the type of guaranteed income for life in retirement that the government workers get, by using annuities?
We definitely get into that question, plus a lot more. Thanks for tuning in, enjoy the learning, and now let’s get into the interview.
Tue, 5 April 2022
In this episode, we cover the rising interest rate environment that we're currently in here in Canada, and how it can impact you financially.
We also cover how to decide whether you should go fixed or variable on your mortgage in the current interest rate environment.
Next, we cover the subject of how you can take out some of the equity that you’ve built up in your home, so that you can either use it to invest, or deploy it elsewhere (without having to actually sell your home).
We also discuss the Smith Manoeuvre, which is a technique that you can use here in Canada to make your mortgage interest tax-deductible (and be able to invest a bit easier when you pay down your mortgage).
All this and more on this month's episode.
Direct download: 86_Rising_Interest_Rates_Variable_vs_Fixed_Mortgages_and_How_to_Take_Equity_Out_of_Your_Home.mp3
Category:Real Estate -- posted at: 9:47am EDT
Wed, 23 March 2022
On this month's episode, we're going to discuss some of the most frequently asked investing questions that I receive.
The first of these is helping you decide if you should just pick one ETF for your entire portfolio (these are referred to as asset-allocation ETFs), or if you should pick and choose multiple ETFs for your portfolio to fine-tune tune it based on your specific preferences.
We also talk about how to determine the asset allocation for your portfolio (the stock to bond mix), as well as how to determine how risky the ETFs that you're considering actually are.
It turns out that there is an actual standardized risk rating in Canada to help you determine this which I think you'll find really helpful.
Last but definitely not least, we cover socially responsible investing (also known as ESG investing) to help you decide whether ESG ETFs could be a good fit for your investment portfolio, and some things to be careful about and consider, when partaking in socially responsible investing by buying these types of ETFs.
To help me with this, I'm thrilled to have Danielle Neziol back on the show. Danielle and her team actually create some of the most popular ETFs that Canadians invest in.
She works for BMO ETFs which is the largest Canadian ETF provider in the country, so we're literally getting this information right from the source here which I'm always a big fan of.
Danielle and her ETF research team have put together a lot of free resources for Canadian DIY investors over the years, and because there are so many of them, I created a resources page where you can see them listed and access them easily.
They're all free, they're not affiliate links or anything like that, and you can check them out and start learning over at buildwealthcanada.ca/bmo
Enjoy, a big thanks to Danielle and the team for putting these together and making them available free of charge, and now let's get into the interview.
Direct download: Your_Guide_to_All-In-One_ETFs_and_Socially_Responsible_Investing.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 12:04pm EDT
Tue, 22 February 2022
Many listeners of the show (myself included) are total market index investors, where we just buy ETFs that are meant to represent the entire market as a whole, worldwide (as opposed to stock picking, or trying to speculate what will go up or down and investing based on that).
After you’ve been index investing for a while though, it’s easy to begin to wonder whether you should customize your portfolio a bit further so that it’s more aligned with your particular situation, or so that it holds more of the types of companies that you want in your portfolio.
When you start looking into this, you’ll quickly come across what is known as factor investing, which can be used to tweak your portfolio so that it holds more companies that contain specific attributes that you like.
In this interview, we talk about the benefits of doing this so that you can better decide for yourself whether it’s worth the added complexity in your portfolio.
We also discuss the risks that you need to be aware of if you partake in modifying your investment portfolio in this way, and we cover how you can analyze factor ETFs to find out which (if any) are the right fit for you.
Of course, we also cover some of the different types of factor ETFs out there and what they mean, so that you can better decide about potentially incorporating them into your portfolio.
Direct download: How_to_Use_Factor_ETFs_to_Fine-Tune_Your_Portfolio_and_Market_Update.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 12:23pm EDT
Tue, 1 February 2022
Today I’m extremely excited to have Canadian best selling author, Andrew Hallam on the show. His first book, Millionaire Teacher is currently the #1 best seller in the Investment and Portfolio Management category on Amazon.
He has been investing in the stock market for 32 years, having built a million-dollar portfolio on a schoolteacher's salary when he was in his late 30s.
Over the past 16 years, he has given hundreds of talks in over 30 different countries espousing research on financial wellness, sound investing and life satisfaction.
We cover a lot of areas in this interview, but since Andrew achieved financial independence in his 30s, I especially wanted to ask him how we Canadians can live off our portfolios long term, without depleting it prematurely (while also maximizing the income that we are able to withdraw).
We discuss what to do when it comes to our withdrawal strategy in different economic environments, and we discuss how one can best use the 4% rule, and how we can modify it, depending on what happens in the markets.
We also talk about one of my favourite topics, variable withdrawal strategies which help us maximize how much income we can take out of our portfolio every year (while not running out of money).
Direct download: How_to_Live_Off_Your_Investment_Portfolio_With_Best_Selling_Author_Andrew_Hallam.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 7:35am EDT
Tue, 25 January 2022
If you’re working with a good certified financial planner here in Canada (a CFP), there are specific categories that they should be helping you optimize. According to FP Canada, which is the organization that issues the Certified Financial Planning designation (the CFP), there are 6 areas that should be covered, as they are critical to your financial health.
For your reference, the pillars are insurance and risk management, financial management, investment planning, tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning and legal aspects.
Today, we’re going to talk about the insurance and risk management pillar to help you optimize that, and my returning guest today is insurance expert, Laura McKay.
Laura used to work as an actuary, and is now the Co-founder of PolicyMe.
One of the things that I REALLY like about PolicyMe, is that they have an incredibly useful tool on their site to help you determine how much, if any, life insurance you actually need.
What I found really sets it apart from the other online calculators that I’ve seen, is that it will actually honestly tell you, if you do not need life insurance.
Direct download: How_to_Make_Sure_Youre_Covered_-_Optimizing_Insurance_in_Your_Financial_Planning.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 11:52am EDT