Build Wealth Canada Podcast (Investing)

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. 

Resources Mentioned:

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

Questions Covered:

  1. To set the foundation, can you take us through the different exchanges here in Canada. For instance, most of us know about the Toronto Stock Exchange, but what are the other exchanges in Canada? and what do we need to know about them as Canadian investors?

  2. You are part of the TMX Group. Can you explain what the relationship is between the TMX Group, and these exchanges? And where can we go to learn more, for anybody that wants to dive deeper?

  3. Since the exchanges are such a critical component in Canada’s economy and our personal retirement savings, how are investors protected? I imagine there is a lot of government regulation and monitoring?

  4. Options have become a very popular topic lately, yet most of us haven’t been taught anything about them when in school. For somebody completely new to options, can you give us some detail on what options are, how they work, what type of investor they tend to be suited for, and where can we go to learn more about them?

  5. A lot of the investors on the show (myself included) are DIY, passive, total market index investors. Options seem like a tool that we can learn about and have in our arsenal, to use when needed. 

  6. What purpose can they serve for a passive do-it-yourself investor that typically just tries to buy the market as a whole using ETFs? And how much of a time commitment is it to learn how to do it properly?

  7. When it comes to the work that you and your team do, what are your actual goals or mandate? For instance, the TMX Group is a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange, just like other for-profit companies, yet you don’t actually sell anything to DIY Canadian investors like myself, and I noticed that your team also produces a lot of educational content for Canadian investors like optionmatters.ca, and you even do contests and competitions to encourage investor education. How does all that work?

  8. Can you tell us more about the free-to-enter competition that you have coming up?

  9. For anybody that maybe doesn’t feel comfortable entering the competition yet, or is listening to this podcast episode months after the competition has already taken place, where can they go to learn more and access the different free investor education resources that you and the team have put together? 

  10. Can you take us through any basic options strategies that investors can try out, both during the contest and/or in real-life?

  11. Tell us again where we can go to access more of the free investor education tools that you have available, as well as where we can signup, for free, to the Options Trading Simulation Contest.
Direct download: post_auphonic_tmx_group_richard_after_all_edits.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 9:09am EDT

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:

  1. How should a pension factor into how you view your finances/investments? (And again, this is all going to be for both types of pensions, no matter which one you have).

  2. What should your portfolio look like with a pension (i.e. more equity than bonds?), especially depending on the type of pension that you have.

  3. How to factor a pension into an early retirement.

  4. The tax implications of potentially taking a buyout for early retirement (if that's an option)

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.

Resources Mentioned:

Robb's Site:

BoomerAndEcho.com

Robb's Fee-for-Service Financial Planning Page:

https://boomerandecho.com/fee-only-advice/

You can get your free Passiv account here:

BuildWealthCanada.ca/free

My guide on how to redeem your free premium account upgrade in Passiv is here:

BuildWealthCanada.ca/passiv

You can view the stock/equity side of my portfolio (what I invest in and how much of each ETF type I buy) here:

BuildWealthCanada.ca/portfolio

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):

BuildWealthCanada.ca/safe

Questions Covered:

  1. To start things off, can you take us through what the main pension types are for Canadians, and what are the key differences between them?

  2. How should the 2 different pension types factor into how you view your finances and investments?

  3. What should your investment portfolio look like, depending on the type of pension that you have?
    (ie. more equity than bonds if you have a defined benefit pension?)

  4. How do you factor in a pension into an early retirement? (for both pension types)

  5. What are the tax implications of potentially taking a pension buyout for early retirement? (if that's an option)

  6. Robb, you had a defined benefit pension when you worked at the university before becoming self-employed as a fee-for-service financial planner. Can you take us through how you decided between keeping the pension vs receiving the buyout?

    What are the pros and cons of each approach?

  7. When you have a defined benefit pension plan, your RRSP contribution room gets reduced. This begs the question of whether employees with good defined benefit pension plans should even bother with RRSPs.

    Let’s also tackle this question for those with a defined contribution pension too.

  8. Let’s talk about our investment options with the two different pension types.

    For people with defined benefit pensions, do they have any options in terms of how much to contribute, and what that money goes into? (ex. Something environmentally or socially conscious (ESG), something more aggressive, more conservative, etc?)

  9. For defined contribution pensions, you definitely have to pick what the money goes into but it can be overwhelming analyzing and choosing from the different investment options offered by the company that your employer has selected.

    When you speak to a client that is struggling with this, is there a certain process or approach that you suggest to them to help them decide on what investments to pick?

    I’ve gotten asked this a lot by students of my investing course so I came up with a process that I thought I’d share. Robb, feel free to jump in if you have anything to add or if you disagree on anything and that way listeners have a nice step-by-step process from both of us that they can use.

  10. Can you take us through some common mistakes that you see people do with the two different pension types?

  11. Thanks so much for coming on again Robb. We look forward to seeing you at the Canadian Financial Summit again this year as one of the speakers. Tell us again where we can see more of your, content, research, and learn more about your practice?
Direct download: Optimizing_Investing_Through_Your_Work_-_Robb_Engen.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 11:20am EDT

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.

Our Guests:

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!

Resources Mentioned:

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).

Thank You To Our Sponsor: Shopify

A big thanks to Shopify for sponsoring this episode. You can get a free 14-day trial of Shopify here.

Shopify, helps make it easier than it’s ever been to start, run, and grow your own business. There’s no need for you to know how to design or code, and I really love how Shopify makes starting your own business possible for anyone.

You can start selling on Shopify today by going to shopify.ca/bwc where you’ll receive a FREE 14-day trial.

Direct download: Hybrid_Investing_-_An_Improvement_on_Passive_Investing.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 11:40am EDT

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. 

Guest Bio:

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.

Resources Mentioned:

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.

Questions Covered:

  1. Investors place a lot of time deciding how much of their portfolio should go into bonds vs stocks. Yet, when it comes to bonds, there are several different types and they can each behave differently. Can you speak to the different types of bond ETFs out there, and what differences can we expect from them? Especially when it comes to changing interest rates and different economic climates?

  2. When examining all these different types, I can see it being overwhelming for some investors when they do a search and see dozens of different bond ETFs out there from all the different providers. One may begin to wonder whether they should pick and choose individual bond ETFs, or whether they should just hold one large aggregate bond ETF like ZAG which holds all these different types of bonds in a diversified manner. For those struggling with this question, what advice can you give?

  3. Does a rising interest rate environment like we are in now change how we should be thinking about bonds?

  4. Often when I see a model portfolio from a professional in the industry, the bond portion of the portfolio includes a bond ETF that contains only Canadian bonds. ZAG if I’m not mistaken also holds exclusively different types of Canadian bonds. Why is that, when with equities on the other hand, we want international diversification?

  5. One of Canada’s largest bond ETFs (ZAG) is designed to replicate the FTSE Canada Universe Bond Index. Is this index a standard that many other bond ETF providers are using as well? And for us index investors, how can we make sure that the ETF we choose is trying to replicate the correct index?

  6. When evaluating which bond ETF(s) to use for our investment portfolio, we should be looking at the fact sheets of those bond ETFs to get a better understanding of what they are and how they are likely to behave.

    Yet, most of us haven’t been trained on how to read these, especially in regard to what the different terms mean. I was hoping that we could go through a real-life bond ETF fact sheet and you could tell us what some of the less obvious terms mean, and what we should be looking for.

    Let’s use ZAG as an example. Listeners can go to BuildWealthCanada.ca/zag for anybody that wants to follow along:

    Weighted Average Term (year): Can you speak to what that is, and what impact does that have on what you can expect from the ETF?

    I think at the end of the day, a lot of investors what to know, “If I buy this bond ETF now, what kind of interest income can I expect to receive?” When we look at the fact sheet of a bond ETF however, we see three different percentages. There’s the: 
    • “Weighted Average Coupon %”
    • the “Annualized Distribution Yield”
    • and the “Weighted Average Yield to Maturity”.

      What do each of these mean? And how can we interpret the numbers provided there?

      Next, we have two terms that apply to equity ETFs as well, and that’s “Maximum Annual Management Fee” and “Management Expense Ration” (the MER). Can you explain the difference between the two, and how should investors interpret these numbers when they see them on any ETF in the marketplace?

      What would you consider a higher vs low MER?

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:

  • Sector allocation
  • Geographic allocation
  • Maturity
  • Credit allocation

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

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.

Questions Covered:

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.

Yet from my own experience and after interviewing many other early retirees, I've noticed a pattern where most if not all still end up doing some sort of productive work or something that could be classified as “work” even though they don't have to, since they've already reached their financial independence number.

Did you have the same experience as you moved from the accumulation stage to the financial independence and retirement stage, and from your experience what have you found to be a good balance in your own life?

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.

From the research that you’ve done, what have you found to be the best practices to maximize our health and longevity?

    1. Nutrition?
    2. Types of exercise and frequency?
    3. Cancer prevention?
    4. Stress control?
    5. Energy maximization?

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.


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. 

Direct download: Selene_post_auphonic.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 11:42am EDT

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

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.

Questions:

  1. A lot of the listeners of the show are total market index investors, where we just buy the market as a whole using the same core ETFs. What is the advantage of now also adding factor ETFs into our portfolio?

  2. What are the risks of incorporating factor ETFs into our portfolio vs just sticking with a total market indexing strategy?

  3. There are a lot of factor ETFs out there. How do we begin to analyze them as a DIY investors to find out which (if any) are the right fit for us? Are there any educational resources you can recommend?

  4. Would you consider factor investing to be “active” investing?

  5. When I spoke with your team in the past, it was mentioned that BMO believes that it is most optimum to have both passive and active investments within our portfolio. Interestingly, when I interviewed Vanguard in the past, they also had the same viewpoint (I wonder if that’s a common viewpoint among all the major ETF providers).

    Can you share why you think our investment portfolio should have an active component as opposed to just being 100% passive through total market index ETFs?

  6. When factor ETFs get launched, they don’t have a long history where we can, for example, stress test them by seeing how they performed during the 2008 financial crisis or the tech crash in the 2000s.

    If we want to see/simulate how that ETF would have performed in adverse market conditions, how would we go about doing that?

    I suppose we can use this approach for most new ETFs that get launched and that we want to evaluate?

  7. How is using factor ETFs different from just using active ETFs or mutual funds?

  8. Would it be fair to say that we can start with a broad, total market ETF approach, but then we can use factors to fine tune our portfolio for our specific needs?

    (i.e. To either increase potential returns at the cost of risk/volatility, or to reduce volatility/risk at the expense of lower expected returns?).

    Are there things that we should consider other than just looking at returns and volatility?

  9. In one of the BMO white papers I read, it was mentioned how one strategy is to go into and out of factors depending on the economic climate. For example, if we’re seeing slowing vs rising growth, or increasing vs decreasing inflation. However, most listeners of the show (myself included), I think prefer the set-it-and-forget-it approach where we don’t have to follow the economy, the different economic markers, or the markets.

    Instead, we would rather just have the same ETFs to buy every month with a piece of every paycheque, and just hold those ETFs long term until retirement.

    For those types of investors, should they just do total market index investing or can factors still be a smart tool to use, without having to analyze what economic climate we are in?

  10. Can we go through each of the different factor types and explain what they are?

  11. Where can we learn more about factor investing, and where can we get some of your free tools, white papers, and other resources?

Resources:

Free ETF Tools and Resources

ETF Market Insights (Free resources, webinars, and Q&A)

Factor Based Investing ETF White Paper

BMO ETF Lookup, News and Resources: BMOetfs.com

ETF Comparison Tool (for both: Non-BMO and BMO ETFs)

Direct download: How_to_Use_Factor_ETFs_to_Fine-Tune_Your_Portfolio_and_Market_Update.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 12:23pm EDT

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).

Questions:

  1. For anybody that hasn’t read your books or is hearing about you for the first time, can you tell us a bit about yourself, especially when it comes to the world of investing, financial planning, and retirement?

  2. You're someone that has achieved financial independence many years ago and has had to learn how to live off your portfolio indefinitely in a sustainable fashion.

    Just to set the groundwork and for somebody that hasn't read your books before, can you tell us what kind of investments your portfolio consists of that has allowed you to do this and retire early?

  3. Do you have a system or process that you follow to determine how much money you can take out from your portfolio to live off of every year? (with the implied goal that you’re trying to maximize how much you can take out annually, while still having that amount be sustainable so that you don’t run out of money in the future).

  4. There are many withdrawal strategies that one can use to live off their portfolio. Apart from the one that you just mentioned that you do yourself, are there any other ones that you like or have found to work well for others?

  5. What are your thoughts on variable percentage withdrawal approaches? Ex. Taking out 4% of whatever the portfolio value is at the time, instead of more static approaches like the traditional “4% rule”.

  6. Before we get into more questions can you tell us more about your new book called Balance and where can we get it.

  7. When we spoke before the interview, you mentioned that sometimes when pursuing money and financial independence, we can actually fall into a trap and miss the point of why we pursue it in the first place. And in relation to that, in your book, you talk about how we need to be careful about how we define success, and how we need to strive for the goal of life satisfaction as opposed to just a high monetary figure within our portfolio. Can you speak to that bit?

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. 

Questions Covered:

  1. As the new year kicks off and we look for ways to optimize our finances, one important area when it comes to our financial health is insurance coverage and risk management.

    A big piece of this has to do with life insurance. In case somebody is on the fence or not really motivated to look into life insurance, can tell us why this should be on our radar, and what are the consequences of not having this type of insurance when we need it?

  2. Can you tell us more about what the role of life insurance is in financial planning?

  3. I suspect that one of the reasons that looking into life insurance isn’t often near the top of Canadians’ to-do lists, is that it’s perceived as expensive and as an additional cash flow drain month-to-month.

    Can you give us a ball-park range of what life insurance can typically cost us in Canada, and what things can we do (that we have control of), to get the absolutely lowest rates for the coverage that we need?

  4. Is there any innovation around insurance happening in Canada that we should be aware of, especially when it comes to making insurance more affordable? 

  5. I’ve definitely heard of Canadians getting some really slick and persuasive sales pitches to use permanent life insurance as an investment vehicle, in addition to the life insurance coverage that it provides.

    Often large tax savings are mentioned as one of the key benefits. Can you talk about the pros and cons of using a less expensive term life insurance policy to just cover our life insurance needs, vs using permanent life insurance like whole life or universal life to receive both life insurance as well as an additional investment vehicle (please define whole life and universal life insurance for anybody not familiar too).

  6. Of course now, with COVID being the big elephant in the room, I’m sure many Canadians are wondering whether COVID has impacted their life insurance in any way, and if they are in the process of getting life insurance, will they still receive the payout if the insured person in their family passes away due to COVID.

    How can we best ensure that we are covered if we get life insurance now, and for those that already have life insurance, what’s the best way to check that we're still covered?

  7. For anybody listening that does not currently have life insurance, how can we best determine if we actually need it for our particular situation?

  8. Whether we’re shopping around for a policy, or already have one, what kind of analysis can we do ourselves to evaluate the quality of a policy?

  9. Are there certain types of Canadians for which life insurance is especially critical?

  10. Personally, I've always felt a bit skeptical when asking somebody that sells insurance “How much insurance coverage I need?”. I’d think of it like asking a real estate agent how big of a house I need when their commission is obviously higher the bigger the house I purchase. With insurance, I find it often a similar story where the insurance expert that you are speaking to is maybe compensated more depending on how large the policy is that I buy, so there is an incentive for them to paint a story of why you need as much insurance as possible.

    For people like myself that have this concern how can we best determine how much insurance we actually need without having to take advice from someone that is financially incentivized to sell us as large of a policy as possible?

  11. Can you tell us where we can get more of your educational resources and what is a good next step for someone that thinks life insurance is something that should be on their radar, but either doesn’t have any life insurance, or is not sure if they have enough through their employer, or other sources?

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?

Resources:

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 buildwealthcanada.ca/retirementwebinar

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: BuildWealthCanada.ca/rbc

Free Assessment Call for Financial Coaching:

The free assessment call mentioned in the episode is available here: buildwealthcanada.ca/call. 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: http://buildwealthcanada.ca/summit

The free assessment call mentioned on the episode is available here: http://buildwealthcanada.ca/call

The Ultimate Phone Script PDF is available for free download here: https://buildwealthcanada.ca/script

The financial literacy for kids educational program is available here: https://buildwealthcanada.ca/kids

The Mortgage Broker mentioned on the episode (to get your mortgage questions answered for free) is available at: https://buildwealthcanada.ca/sean

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?

Resources:

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 buildwealthcanada.ca 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 buildwealthcanada.ca/moneysense.

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

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

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 mindfulfamily.ca.

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

In this episode, we’re going to cover how you can retire early, or at the very least, semi-retire early so that you have more time for friends, family and recreation.

My guest for this month is Mark Seed, who instead of rushing to achieve some giant investment portfolio number and fully retiring to never have to work again, he is instead taking what I believe, is the more efficient, sustainable and fulfilling approach of fully embracing an early semi-retirement, instead of a full stop early retirement. 

Mark is very much a DIY Canadian investor like myself and has a lot of knowledge when it comes to financial planning here in Canada as he’s actually executing his own early semi-retirement.

We have an absolute blast geeking out on these subjects in the interview, and I truly believe that by you listening in, you’ll get some really great actionable insights on how you can optimize your own financial independence and early retirement journey (to get there quicker).

Questions:

  1. Where are you right now in terms of your financial independence, retire early journey?

  2. I consider you as part of the FIRE movement, but I know that you also have some problems with it. Can you take us through these issues or concerns?

  3. How are you structuring your portfolio for your early semi-retirement?

  4. Once you pull the trigger and quit your day job in a few years, what is the process and structure that you’re going to follow to allow you to live off your investments? (ex. VPW?)

  5. When it comes to living off your investments in full or semi-retirement, you and I are big fans of the variable percentage withdraw method. Can you talk about what that is for anybody that is not familiar, and why do you like this approach over a more static approach like the 4% rule?

  6. There are many different ways to structure a variable percentage withdraw strategy (ex. Using different spending floors and ceilings, incorporating it with a bucket strategy, etc.). How are you personally structuring your VPW process?

  7. How do you plan on dealing with sequence-of-returns risk in your early retirement? And for anybody not familiar, can you define what sequence-of-returns risk is?

  8. The last time you were on my podcast, I think you mentioned about potentially moving away from your dividend stocks in retirement, and focusing on just a total return approach, and maybe migrating your dividends stocks to passive, broad market index ETFs. What are your thoughts about that now?

  9. I’d like to stress to everybody watching and listening that when it comes to living off your portfolio in early retirement or early semi-retirement, there isn’t one silver bullet solution that’s perfect for everyone. So, a good process is that when you are approaching your financial independence number, start learning about all the different ways that you can structure your portfolio for your early retirement, and then pick and/or modify one so that it’s a good fit for you. Then share that with a good fee for service financial planner to get their take, as you really want a professional 2nd set of eyes on something like this before you pull the early retirement or early semi-retirement trigger.

    Do you agree with that approach Mark?

Free 1 Year Subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine:

A big thanks to 5i Research for giving Build Wealth Canada listeners a free 1-year digital subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine (Canada's largest personal finance magazine). 

You can get the free 1-year subscription by signing up for free 30-day access to all of 5i’s investment research (there’s no credit card required, or anything like that). 

When you signup for free, you'll receive access to over 70 company reports (perfect if you like to invest in individual stocks too), you’ll get 3 optimized model portfolios, and answers to over 90,000 investing questions, along with the ability to ask your stock and ETF questions directly to the 5i Research team of Analysts.

The team at 5i don't sell any investments and they don't get any commissions or bonuses from suggesting stocks and ETFs. I've been using them for years as they are one of the VERY few companies in Canada, that are truly unbiased when it comes to their research and suggestions on stocks and ETFs.  

You can get free 30-day access to all their research and resources over at buildwealthcanada.ca/research, and as I thank you for trying them out, you'll receive a free 1-year digital subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine, Canada's largest personal finance magazine.

I encourage you to check 5i out, it's a great place get some truly unbiased insights on your investments (especially if there is a ETF or stock that you’re considering, and you want an unbiased opinion from a professionally trained financial analyst that isn’t there to sell you anything. You get free access for 30 days, and you'll learn an absolute ton.

Top ETFs in Canada Guide & Best High-Interest Savings Account:

In this guide, I go over what I personally invest in, and why I invest in it. The investments that I talk about ​are literally where we have almost our entire net worth (apart from our house), and is what we are primarily living off right now in our early retirement.

At the very least you’ll learn about some great ETFs to consider for your portfolio, and if you are new to ETFs, it’ll give you a nice list of some top ETFs to consider from the thousands that are out there. 

The guide is available for free to any listeners that that use my special link to sign up for a free savings account with the bank that I personally use, EQ Bank

The reason that I personally use EQ bank, is that they have one of the highest interest savings rates in Canada (up to 30 times more interest than other banks).

It’s also free to sign up and keep an account with them, so you’re not paying a monthly fee like you do with many of the other banks out there. You also get unlimited transactions, unlimited Interac e-transfers, can take out your money at any time if you need it, and there are no minimum balances.

Because of those reasons, I’ve been with them ever since they launched in Canada years ago, and it’s where I keep my entire emergency fund and spending money. 

To get the free high-interest account and the free guide on the top ETFs in Canada, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca/eq, open the free account, and once you’re done, forward any email that you get from EQ to bonus@buildwealthcanada.ca and I’ll send you the full comprehensive guide for free. 

Links and Resources

Mark's Site: MyOwnAdvisor.ca

We talked about several free tools that you can use to experiment with the 4% rule, and run analysis to see how sustainable your portfolio is in worst-case scenarios. Here are the different free tools that we talked about on the show:

Cfiresim.com

Portfoliovisualizer.com

Firecalc.com

Don’t miss future episodes, giveaways, and free in-depth guides by signing up for free to the Build Wealth Canada Newsletter.

Direct download: How_To_Structure_Your_Investments_For_An_Early_Retirement.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 9:04am EDT

Today I have Jessica Moorhouse on the show, who is an Accredited Financial Counsellor, an award-winning blogger, the host of the ‘Mo Money Podcast, and the founder of the Millennial Money Meetup. You might have also seen her on CBC News, The Globe and Mail, The Financial Post, and many other news channels and publications here in Canada.

In today’s episode, you’ll learn the highest impact actions that we Canadians can do to really make a dent in increasing our savings.

We cover how to best manage your money and day-to-day cashflows, and the different types of tools and systems that you can use to help you manage your finances. We also talk about investments, and how Jessica actually invests her own money.

Last but not least, I consider Jessica to also be a very successful entrepreneur, and so if you are considering starting your own business, or are looking for ways to take your existing business to the next level, we talk about how Jessica was able to grow her company so successfully, and what lessons we can learn from her, to propel our own Canadian businesses to the next level.

Resources and Links Mentioned:

  • Check out Jessica’s site and valuable resources over at: Jessicamoorhouse.com

  • Get Free Tickets to the Canadian Financial Summit

  • The top personal finance and investing tools guide mentioned on the episode can be received for free by signing up on the main page over at buildwealthcanada.ca.

  • The how to invest videos mentioned during the show can be found at buildwealthcanada.ca/invest. That’s also where I can answer your investing questions.

  • You can get your financial planning questions answered for free for 30 minutes by speaking with our resident financial planner John Kalos.

  • You can get your mortgage questions answered for free by setting up a free call with our resident mortgage broker, Sean Cooper.

  • Canada’s Top ETFs Guide & Top High-Interest Savings Account: In this guide, I go over what I personally invest in, why I invest in it. The investments that I talk about ​are literally where we have almost our entire net worth (apart from our house), and is what we are primarily living off right now in our early retirement. At the very least you’ll learn about some great ETFs to consider for your portfolio, and if you are new to ETFs, it’ll give you a nice list of some top ETFs to consider from the thousands that are out there.

    The guide is available for free to any listeners that that use my special link to sign up for a free savings account with the bank that I personally use, EQ bank.

    The reason that I personally use EQ bank, is that they have one of the highest interest savings accounts in Canada. At the time of this writing, they are anywhere from double, to over 30 times higher than most of the banks in Canada.

    It’s also free to sign up and keep an account with them, so you’re not paying a monthly fee like you do with many of the other banks out there. You also get unlimited transactions, unlimited Interac e-transfers, and can take out your money at any time if you need it, and there are no minimum balances.

    Because of those reasons, I’ve been with them ever since they launched in Canada years ago, and it’s where I keep my entire emergency fund and spending money.

    To get the free high-interest account and the free guide on the top ETFs in Canada, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca/eq, open the free account, and once you’re done, forward any email that you get from EQ to bonus@buildwealthcanada.ca and I’ll send you the full comprehensive guide for free.

Questions Covered:

  1. As an Accredited Financial Counsellor, I'm sure you deal with many Canadians that are either struggling financially or would like to really amplify their savings so they can invest more, and eventually retire early.

    What would you say are the highest impact actions that us Canadians can do to really make a dent in increasing our savings, whether it's to pay off debt, save to buy a home, or have more to invest for retirement?

  2. When it comes to financial management and managing your day-to-day cash flows, what sort of system or process do you personally have in place and use?

    Is that a good starting point for those that are looking to gain more control over their finances? Or is there something simpler you recommend for those just getting started?
  1.  We all know that we should get our finances in order, optimize our investments and manage our money carefully, but we're all busy and it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks.

    When it comes to staying organized in your personal life, finances and business, are there any tools, systems and workflows that you depend on and that work really great for you?
  1. How do you personally invest your money and what's your thought process behind that decision?  (ie. Robo vs asset allocation ETF vs individual ETFs vs something else?)
  1. I notice you've done a fair bit of work and teaching with students. Student debt is a big concern for many so when someone is debating between paying off student debt vs saving for a home vs investing in their TFSA or RRSP, what's your stance and thought process on how they should decide which to focus on? (let’s do this from a qualitative and quantitative angle)

I definitely see you as a successful entrepreneur, so let’s shift gears a bit and talk about your life as an entrepreneur, for anybody that wants to eventually work for themselves like you, or have a side-hustle to generate some extra income.

  1. As an entrepreneur, I find it’s really easy to take on too much and get burnt out. Reading your blog, I noticed you’ve run into this issue too. Do you have a daily routine that works well for you to balance business with personal time so that you don’t burn out?

  2. As a successful entrepreneur, I noticed that you work with a lot of big brands in your business. For somebody looking to start or grow their existing business, how do you personally approach such companies and close these deals?

    It’s obviously easier to do this once you’re established, so would your strategy change if someone is just starting out vs already having an established business?
  1. When it comes to partnering with the different companies/brands how do you determine what to charge them and what to offer them?
  1. You are in a lot of different channels and seem to have a pretty wide array of revenue streams for your business. What channels or projects have you found to be the best return on your time invested?
  1. How do you prioritize which projects/opportunities to work on?

  2. Thanks for coming on the show and where can listeners learn more from you?

Don’t miss future episodes, giveaways, and free in-depth guides by signing up for free to the Build Wealth Canada Newsletter

 


Today we’re going to cover how you can best automate the management of your investment portfolio, while still paying the lowest possible fees. We also share best practices when it comes to sticking to your investment plan.

To help us discuss this, I have Brendan Wood on the show who is one of the founders of Passiv, a Canadian fintech company that builds tools for DIY investors.

I’m a long-time user of their tools and they've saved me many hours of tedious work when managing my portfolio. So, I thought it would be great to have him on the show especially since Canadians can now get the premium features of the tool for free.

Questions and Discussion Points Covered:

  1. I’m excited to share how I use Passiv because it’s saved me many many hours at this point and makes checking up on my investments super convenient. But, I’m curious to hear from you how others are using it. Are there certain features or use cases that you see being used most often?
  2. What are some of the new features that we now have access to and how should we best use them?
  3. Using limit orders vs market orders when buying investments?
  4. What's important to look at when examining the performance of your investment portfolio?
  5. Dealing with different currencies when investing. What is the cheapest way to convert currency if we want to buy US-listed investments?
  6. What is dollar-cost-averaging and your thoughts on using it, especially when the markets are volatile?
  7. The impact of COVID-19 on investors. What have you noticed?
  8. Investing during down markets.
  9. Speculating on markets vs specific companies, and what to do when getting a "hunch" as to where the markets are going.
Direct download: Automating_Your_Investment_Portfolio_and_Sticking_to_Your_Plan.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 6:59am EDT

There’s been a lot of new programs and initiatives put in place by the Canadian government due to COVID-19 to help you financially. In this episode, I’m going to take you through what’s out there so that you can make sure you don’t miss out on some free money or benefits that can really help you during this difficult time.

I’ve actually gone through everything that I could get my hands on at the Canada Revenue Agency site, so this is all coming right from the source, and this episode’s intention is to save you a lot of time by helping you quickly learn what’s out there, whether you’re eligible, and help you make an efficient decision on which benefits to apply for, and which ones to make sure you receive.

The 2nd part of this episode is going to focus on mortgages, the drastic changes in the interest rate that we’ve seen (which can of course heavily impact your mortgage payments and decisions), what’s happening right now as far as the real estate market is concerned, if you can take advantage of these lower interest rates by renewing your mortgage. We’re also going to cover the subject of deferring your mortgage payments, if for example you’ve lost your job and fear that you may not be able to pay your mortgage while we are all in lockdown due to COVID-19.

Links & Resources Covered

Chat with Sean for free to get your mortgage questions answered by entering your email at buildwealthcanada.ca/sean

Check out Sean’s best-selling book, Burn Your Mortgage: The Simple, Powerful Path to Financial Freedom for Canadians.

New Tool: Get Your Credit Score Checked for Free

A big thanks to Borrowell for sponsoring the show and for building such a great free tool that we can use to check our credit score. It has saved me a lot of time when I want to quickly check the status of my credit score (for example, to ensure there has been no fraud or identity theft on my accounts). 

You also obviously want to make sure your score is as high as possible for any mortgages or other loans that you end up applying for (to ensure you get the lowest rate and get approved). 

Even if you aren’t looking for a loan, I encourage you to at least pull your report for free to help ensure that there are no unauthorized transactions on your accounts. As a best practice, you should be doing this kind of check at least annually

Thanks again Borrowell for building a tool where we Canadians can finally get access to this data quickly and for free.

Resources from the Episode:

Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): All the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 

Canada’s Top ETFs Guide & Top High-Interest Savings Account: In the guide, I go over what I personally invest in, why I invest in it. The investments that I talk about ​are literally where we have almost our entire net worth (apart from our house), and is what we are primarily living off right now in our early retirement. At the very least you’ll learn about some great ETFs to consider for your portfolio, and if you are new to ETFs, it’ll give you a nice list of some top ETFs to consider from the thousands that are out there. 

The guide is available for free to any listeners that that use my special link to sign up for a free savings account with the bank that I personally use, EQ bank

The reason that I personally use EQ bank, is that they have one of the highest interest savings rates in Canada (they are currently offering 2% which is more than double what the major banks are offering).

It’s also free to sign up and keep an account with them, so you’re not paying a monthly fee like you do with many of the other banks out there. You also get unlimited transactions, unlimited Interac e-transfers, and can take out your money at any time if you need it, and there are no minimum balances.

Because of those reasons, I’ve been with them ever since they launched in Canada years ago, and it’s where I keep my entire emergency fund and spending money. 

To get the free high-interest account and the free guide on the top ETFs in Canada, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca/eq, open the free account, and once you’re done, forward any email that you get from EQ to bonus@buildwealthcanada.ca and I’ll send you the full comprehensive guide for free. 

Don't miss future episodes, giveaways, and free in-depth guides by signing up for free to the Build Wealth Canada Newsletter


A lot has been happening with the significant stock market declines and coronavirus, so I’ve been getting lots of questions such as: How am I adapting our portfolio and investment strategy to these declines? Should we be buying into the market at these low prices or selling? Should we be waiting out for the market bottom and then buying? What are the other experts that I listen to and trust saying?

With this episode, the goal is to answer these top questions for you.

Now, of course, the health and the safety of your family is more important than the temporary performance of an investments portfolio, so that should be the priority. But since I’m not a doctor or medical expert, it doesn’t make sense for me to try to give you medical advice. So instead, let’s focus on what I do actually have expertise and experience in and shine some light on the investment and financial planning side of things. Enjoy the episode.

New Tool: Get Your Credit Score Checked for Free

A big thanks to Borrowell for sponsoring the show and for building such a great free tool that we can use to check our credit score. It has saved me a lot of time when I want to quickly check the status of my credit score (for example, to ensure there has been no fraud or identity theft on my accounts). 

You also obviously want to make sure your score is as high as possible for any mortgages or other loans that you end up applying for (to ensure you get the lowest rate and get approved). 

Even if you aren’t looking for a loan, I encourage you to at least pull your report for free to help ensure that there are no unauthorized transactions on your accounts. As a best practice, you should be doing this kind of check at least annually

Thanks again Borrowell for building a tool where we Canadians can finally get access to this data quickly and for free.

Resources from the Episode:

Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): All the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 

Canada’s Top ETFs Guide & Top High-Interest Savings Account: In the guide, I go over what I personally invest in, why I invest in it. The investments that I talk about ​are literally where we have almost our entire net worth (apart from our house), and is what we are primarily living off right now in our early retirement. At the very least you’ll learn about some great ETFs to consider for your portfolio, and if you are new to ETFs, it’ll give you a nice list of some top ETFs to consider from the thousands that are out there. 

The guide is available for free to any listeners that that use my special link to sign up for a free savings account with the bank that I personally use, EQ bank

The reason that I personally use EQ bank, is that they have one of the highest interest savings rates in Canada (they are currently offering 2% which is more than double what the major banks are offering).

It’s also free to sign up and keep an account with them, so you’re not paying a monthly fee like you do with many of the other banks out there. You also get unlimited transactions, unlimited Interac e-transfers, and can take out your money at any time if you need it, and there are no minimum balances.

Because of those reasons, I’ve been with them ever since they launched in Canada years ago, and it’s where I keep my entire emergency fund and spending money. 

To get the free high-interest account and the free guide on the top ETFs in Canada, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca/eq, open the free account, and once you’re done, forward any email that you get from EQ to bonus@buildwealthcanada.ca and I’ll send you the full comprehensive guide for free. 

Direct download: Market_Declines_How_to_Deal_With_Coronavirus_Impact.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 6:13pm EDT

I recently realized that I haven’t really provided an update on our early retirement story and more importantly, the lessons learned from it so far.

Therefore my goal for this episode is to share with you what we did wrong and what I think we did right, that allowed us to achieve financial independence by the time I was 32.

Please don’t interpret this episode as some sort of showing off, bragging, or an ego boost. I absolutely hate arrogance and hubris (it’s actually ones of my biggest pet peeves). Instead, the whole idea behind this episode is to give you some actionable insights based on our failures and successes over the years, so that you can hopefully learn from our experiences, apply them to your own financial independence, retire early journey and hopefully cut down the time that it takes you to get there. That’s it.

New Tool: Get Your Credit Score Checked for Free

A big thanks to Borrowell for sponsoring the show and for building such a great free tool that we can use to check our credit score. It has saved me a lot of time when I want to quickly check the status of my credit score (for example, to ensure there has been no fraud or identity theft on my accounts). 

You also obviously want to make sure your score is as high as possible for any mortgages or other loans that you end up applying for (to ensure you get the lowest rate and get approved). 

Even if you aren’t looking for a loan, I encourage you to at least pull your report for free to help ensure that there are no unauthorized transactions on your accounts. As a best practice, you should be doing this kind of check at least annually

Thanks again Borrowell for building a tool where we Canadians can finally get access to this data quickly and for free.

Other Resources:

Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): All the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 

Canada’s Top ETFs Guide & Top High-Interest Savings Account: In the guide, I go over what I personally invest in and why I invest in it. The investments that I talk about ​are literally where we have almost our entire net worth (apart from our house), and is what we are primarily living off right now in our early retirement. At the very least you’ll learn about some great ETFs to consider for your portfolio, and if you are new to ETFs, it’ll give you a nice list of some top ETFs to consider from the thousands that are out there. 

The guide is available for free to any listeners that that use this link to sign up for a free savings account with the bank that I personally use, EQ bank

The reason that I personally use EQ bank, is that they have one of the highest interest savings rates in Canada (they are currently offering 2.45% which is more than double what the major banks are offering).

It’s also free to sign up and keep an account with them, so you’re not paying a monthly fee like you do with many of the other banks out there. You also get unlimited transactions, unlimited Interac e-transfers, and can take out your money at any time if you need it, and there are no minimum balances.

Because of those reasons, I’ve been with them ever since they launched in Canada years ago, and it’s where I keep my entire emergency fund and spending money. 

To get the free high-interest account and the free guide on the top ETFs in Canada, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca/eq, open the free account, and once you’re done, forward any email that you get from EQ to bonus@buildwealthcanada.ca and I’ll send you the full comprehensive guide for free. 

Direct download: Our_Early_Retirement_Story_and_Lessons_Learned.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 5:55am EDT

Today we’re going to cover some of the top financial questions asked by Canadians, including the number one question, “Am I saving enough for retirement?”.

The way we came up with these questions, is that as you may know, the fee-for-service financial planner that I use is John Kalos, and on my site, I have a page where you can sign up for a free 30-minute consultation with him. 

And so, lots of the listeners of the show have met with John for free to get their questions answered and he then took the ones that were being asked most often, and we decided to do this episode on them so that everyone can benefit from them. 

The top question was definitely “Am I saving enough for retirement?”, but he also addressed other top questions like “What investments should I be buying for each account (RRSP vs TFSA vs taxable accounts), and how much should I be buying of each?”.

Enjoy the episode, and definitely feel free to ask him your own questions one-on-one over at buildwealthcanada.ca/john. When you sign up through that page, I’ve also set it up so that you’ll be automatically emailed a guide that I made on the top questions to ask your financial planner. 

This can help you whether you’re looking for a new financial planner, or to test out your existing financial planner to make sure that there is no conflict-of-interest and that they really are as competent as they claim to be. 

This is something that he’s making available on an ongoing basis so even if you are listening to this episode years from now, you can still go there to get some of your top questions answered, privately, and for free. Enjoy the episode.

New Tool: Get Your Credit Score Checked for Free

A big thanks to Borrowell for sponsoring the show and for building such a great free tool that we can use to check our credit score. It has saved me a lot of time when I want to quickly check the status of my credit score (for example, to ensure there has been no fraud or identity theft on my accounts). 

You also obviously want to make sure your score is as high as possible for any mortgages or other loans that you end up applying for (to ensure you get the lowest rate and get approved). 

Even if you aren’t looking for a loan, I encourage you to at least pull your report for free to help ensure that there are no unauthorized transactions on your accounts. As a best practice, you should be doing this kind of check at least annually

Thanks again Borrowell for building a tool where we Canadians can finally get access to this data quickly and for free.

Other Resources:

Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): All the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 

Canada’s Top ETFs Guide & Top High-Interest Savings Account: In the guide, I go over what I personally invest in and why I invest in it. The investments that I talk about ​are literally where we have almost our entire net worth (apart from our house), and is what we are primarily living off right now in our early retirement. At the very least you’ll learn about some great ETFs to consider for your portfolio, and if you are new to ETFs, it’ll give you a nice list of some top ETFs to consider from the thousands that are out there. 

The guide is available for free to any listeners that that use this link to sign up for a free savings account with the bank that I personally use, EQ bank

The reason that I personally use EQ bank, is that they have one of the highest interest savings rates in Canada (they are currently offering 2.3% which is more than double what the major banks are offering).

It’s also free to sign up and keep an account with them, so you’re not paying a monthly fee like you do with many of the other banks out there. You also get unlimited transactions, unlimited Interac e-transfers, and can take out your money at any time if you need it, and there are no minimum balances.

Because of those reasons, I’ve been with them ever since they launched in Canada years ago, and it’s where I keep my entire emergency fund and spending money. 

To get the free high-interest account and the free guide on the top ETFs in Canada, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca/eq, open the free account, and once you’re done, forward any email that you get from EQ to bonus@buildwealthcanada.ca and I’ll send you the full comprehensive guide for free. 

Direct download: Are_you_saving_enough_for_retirement_and_other_top_questions.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 9:24am EDT

In this episode, we talk about how we can set our investments up so that we can live off them in retirement (whether it’s a traditional retirement or early retirement).

We also cover the important subject of how to stress-test our investment portfolio so that we can help ensure that we don’t run out of money in our retirement.

You can also use these tools to see (approximately) if you actually have enough to retire now (or to see how much more you need).

New Tool: Get Your Credit Score Checked for Free

A big thanks to Borrowell for sponsoring the show and for building such a great free tool that we can use to check our credit score. It has saved me a lot of time when I want to quickly check the status of my credit score (for example, to ensure there has been no fraud or identity theft in my accounts). 

You also obviously want to make sure your score is as high as possible for any mortgages or other loans that you end up applying for (to ensure you get the lowest rate and get approved). 

Even if you aren't looking for a loan, I ecourage you to at least pull your report for free to help ensure that there are no unauthorized transactions on your accounts. As a best practice, you should be doing this kind of check at least annually. 

Thanks again Borrowell for building a tool where we Canadians can finally get access to this data quickly and for free. 

Other Resources from the Episode:

Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): All the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 

Canada’s Top ETFs Guide & Top High-Interest Savings Account: In the guide, I go over what I personally invest in and why I invest in it. The investments that I talk about ​are literally where we have almost our entire net worth (apart from our house), and is what we are primarily living off right now in our early retirement. At the very least you’ll learn about some great ETFs to consider for your portfolio, and if you are new to ETFs, it’ll give you a nice list of some top ETFs to consider from the thousands that are out there. 

The guide is available for free to any listeners that that use this link to sign up for a free savings account with the bank that I personally use, EQ bank

The reason that I personally use EQ bank, is that they have one of the highest interest savings rates in Canada (they are currently offering 2.3% which is more than double what the major banks are offering).

It’s also free to sign up and keep an account with them, so you’re not paying a monthly fee like you do with many of the other banks out there. You also get unlimited transactions, unlimited Interac e-transfers, and can take out your money at any time if you need it, and there are no minimum balances.

Because of those reasons, I’ve been with them ever since they launched in Canada years ago, and it’s where I keep my entire emergency fund and spending money. 

To get the free high-interest account and the free guide on the top ETFs in Canada, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca/eq, open the free account, and once you’re done, forward any email that you get from EQ to bonus@buildwealthcanada.ca and I’ll send you the full comprehensive guide for free. 

Roger's Amazing Educational Resources:

Roger's Rock Retirement Club (applicable to Canadians)

Roger's Main Site: Retirement Answer Man

Roger's Podcast: Retirement Answer Man Podcast

Free Monte Carlo Simulation Tools:

To help ensure that you have enough to retire, we talked a lot about Monte Carlo analysis. Below are three tools that I use where you can run Monte Carlo simulations for free:

cfiresim.com

firecalc.com

portfoliovisualizer.com

Questions Covered:

  1. Let’s say you created a comprehensive financial plan with a client. You give them the green light to retire and they do so. A year later, we run into a 2008 scenario, or a large stock market decline. When you do your annual/semi-annual review with the client, what’s the process that you go through to determine if they are still okay, or if they need to make some adjustments?

  2. I’ve noticed that you’re a heavy user of Monte Carlo simulations to stress-test whether someone has enough to retire. For somebody that hasn’t heard of this before, can you explain what it is?

    There are free tools out there like Firecalc.com and cfiresim.com that let people run their own Monte Carlo simulations to see if they have enough to retire. Do you have any advice when using tools such as these? For example, are there any common mistakes that you see people do when using them?

  3. I noticed that not all financial planners and financial planning software do Monte Carlo stress-tests like do. The most common alternative that I’ve seen, is that in the financial planning software, the financial planner just enters what rates of return they expect the client to receive for the different years when doing the retirement projections. When using this alternate method, how should listeners of the show ensure that their financial planners are stress-testing their retirement projections to ensure that they still have enough to retire, even if they hit a major recession shortly after retirement? (i.e. They get hit by a bad sequence of returns)

  4. After listening to your podcast for years, I got the sense that you are a fan of the bucket strategy. Can you explain what it is, and can you talk about the default bucket strategy that you like to start with, and then how do you adjust it depending on the client?

  5. Do you subtract dividends/interest from that “annual expenses” figure when determining how much cash/fixed income to have?

  6. Do you have some sort of rule/process when it comes to refilling the buckets. For example: “If X happens in the markets then I’m selling off equities to generate cash to live from. If Y happens then I use a cash cushion or the bond portion and I refill it when markets are up by a certain percent”?
  7. How would your bucket strategy differ when dealing with a traditional retiree (ex. Age 65), vs an early retiree (ex. Age 30s or 40s)

  8. Do you have a preferred way(s) of helping clients deal with sequence risk? (please define it too for those that are new to this) 

  9. When you’re working with clients and strategizing on what should be in the fixed income/safe portion of their portfolio, how do you determine how much they should put into bonds vs a high-interest savings account vs GICs (GICs are the US version of CDs)? Are there certain rules or processes that you like to follow to determine this?

  10. A lot of the listeners of this show are do-it-yourself investors, and you’ve built a really great on-line community of do-it-yourself retirees as part of your Rock Retirement Club. Can you tell us more about the Rock Retirement Club, as well as a bit more about your podcast and where we can learn more from you?
Direct download: How_to_Live_Off_Your_Investments_and_Stress_Test_Your_Portfolio.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 12:32pm EDT

Today we have insurance industry insider, Laura McKay on the show, who reveals some of the top tricks and tactics used in the insurance industry, to keep us overpaying. 

She covers what to look out for, and what we can actually do on our end to make sure that we get the best rates possible, and aren't overpaying for insurance that we may not even need. 

Laura used to work as an actuary, and is now the Co-founder and President of PolicyMe, which is a great tool for Canadians that you can use for free to see how much insurance you actually need.

It also tells you if you are overpaying for insurance, or if you are underinsured and taking on a lot of unnecessary risk in case something was to happen to you. I also really like how it lets you comparison shop different insurance providers without having to fill out countless insurance forms for each individual insurance company that you want a quote from. 

Enjoy the episode. You'll learn a lot of actionable insider information that can potentially save you thousands of dollars long-term.

Resources from the Episode:

PolicyMe's free tool to find out how much insurance you need and find out if you are overpaying or are underinsured. The tool also lets you easily comparison shop between different insurance providers to ensure you get the lowest rate.

Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): All the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 

Canada’s Top ETFs Guide & Top High-Interest Savings Account: In the guide, I go over what I personally invest in and why I invest in it. The investments that I talk about ​are literally where we have almost our entire net worth (apart from our house), and is what we are primarily living off right now in our early retirement. At the very least you’ll learn about some great ETFs to consider for your portfolio, and if you are new to ETFs, it’ll give you a nice list of some top ETFs to consider from the thousands that are out there. 

The guide is available for free to any listeners that that use this link to sign up for a free savings account with the bank that I personally use, EQ bank

The reason that I personally use EQ bank, is that they have one of the highest interest savings rates in Canada (they are currently offering 2.3% which is more than double what the major banks are offering).

It’s also free to sign up and keep an account with them, so you’re not paying a monthly fee like you do with many of the other banks out there. You also get unlimited transactions, unlimited Interac e-transfers, and can take out your money at any time if you need it, and there are no minimum balances.

Because of those reasons, I’ve been with them ever since they launched in Canada years ago, and it’s where I keep my entire emergency fund and spending money. 

To get the free high-interest account and the free guide on the top ETFs in Canada, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca/eq, open the free account, and once you’re done, forward any email that you get from EQ to bonus@buildwealthcanada.ca and I’ll send you the full comprehensive guide for free. 

Questions Covered:

  1. Can you tell us a bit about your story and experience as an insider in the insurance industry, and what caused you to leave that standard insurance career path?

  2. One of the most common tricks that I’ve seen insurance providers use over the years, is making it sound like everybody needs life insurance, no matter what.

    What I found different about you guys, is that you actually do a great job explaining why not everyone needs insurance. Can you take us through what kind of person or family would need life insurance, and when they wouldn’t?

    Also, when can we get rid of life insurance so we can save some extra money every month?

  3. Another trick that I’ve heard about is companies telling young people to get life insurance even if they don’t really need it yet, because the younger you are, the lower your rates will be. 

    This can sound appealing as it’s a way to lock-in those low rates for decades. Can you talk about this strategy and is it worth it?

    For example, would someone be better off just taking the money that they would be paying to insurance, and instead investing it in their TFSA, RRSP, or paying off debt?

  4. One of the types of insurance that I see people get talked into is permanent life insurance. But, out of all the personal finance experts that I’ve talked to, I have yet to hear anybody recommend it (unless they sell it, in which case they do suggest it because they get paid a commission from it).

    Can you talk about permanent life insurance vs term insurance, what each of them are, along with the pros and cons of each one.

  5. One of the arguments that I’ve heard for permanent life insurance is that it invests some of the money that you pay them, and that money is able to grow tax-free. This sounds appealing as it starts to sound a little bit like a TFSA. How is this different though, than investing in a TFSA?

  6. When investing through a permanent life insurance policy, how do the fees and rates-of-return compare to instead doing index investing using low-cost ETFs or using a robo-advisor?

  7. One of the tricks that I’ve noticed you bring up on your site is how many insurance providers us the “x times income” rule. Can you explain what that is, and how you can end up paying for more insurance than you need if you let a provider use this rule?

  8. Obviously there are a lot of things that we can’t control that impact how much we pay for insurance, like our age. But, what are the things that we can control that can lower our rates?

  9. Under what conditions would someone’s premium change? For example, if somebody develops a heart problem after the person has already become insured. Would it be adjusted based on this new information?

    Should you disclose such things to your insurance company if it happened after the policy is already in effect?

  10. Another common trick I see, is companies not telling us when we no longer need that higher coverage. This makes sense of course as the larger our coverage, the more money they make from us.

    In what cases should we actually lower our coverage, and what’s the best process for doing so? (i.e. Kids out of the house, no more mortgage, No debts, other?)

  11. If you are a couple, what are the pros and cons of buying one joint policy vs buying two individual policies?

  12. Can you tell us a bit more about your tool and what you factor in when making those recommendations on how much we actually need?

  13. When you pull the rates from the different providers, how many different providers do you actually pull the prices from? 

 

Direct download: Insider_Look_At_Top_7_Insurance_Tricks_That_Keep_You_Overpaying.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 8:51am EDT

Our guest today is Jason Heath, CFP who has been providing fee-only, advice-only financial planning since 2001 and is one of Canada’s best-known fee-only financial planners.

He is currently a personal finance columnist for the Financial Post, MoneySense and is also a regular contributor to RetireHappy.ca.

I’ve been reading his insightful financial planning articles on MoneySense for years, so I thought it would be great to have him on the show to discuss how we Canadians can optimize our investment portfolios. 

We cover both phases: Before retirement when you're in the growth phase trying to retire early, and after retirement, once you’ve hit your number and want to make sure you don’t run out of money.

Questions Covered:

  1. What do you think is the best way for do-it-yourself investors to determine their asset allocation in terms of what percentage of stocks vs fixed income to hold in their portfolio?

    Does the answer change depending on whether someone is working towards an early retirement vs already being retired?

    I find asset allocation questionnaires are far from perfect, as people's emotions and feelings about the answers can really change depending on when you ask them and how much they already know about investing.

    For somebody that is in or approaching an early retirement or traditional retirement, do you also base the percentage of their fixed income on some spending related rule? For example: That common advice to hold five years of living expenses as fixed income as that should ride out most recessions.

  2. When you're working with clients and strategizing on what should be in the fixed income/safe portion of their portfolio, how do you determine how much they should put into bonds vs a high interest savings account vs GICs? Are there certain rules or processes that you like to follow to determine this?

  3. For those that are retired, what are some of your favourite ways to manage the cashflow in retirement so that the retiree doesn't run out of money. For example, do you use some sort of bucket strategy? ex. Having equity, bonds, GICs and cash buckets then rebalancing and refilling those accordingly?

  4. I find that many investors who are new to investing, or are switching to do-it-yourself investing to save on fees, sometimes they get intimidated by now having to rebalance their investments.

    For anybody new to this, can you define what rebalancing is and what rule or rules do you have for yourself (and your practice) that determines when you rebalance?

  5. What are your thoughts about the increasingly popular Asset Allocation ETFs where the rebalancing is done for you?

  6. Are there any negatives about Asset Allocation ETFs that you think should be considered?
  7. What accounts are they best suited for?

  8. For somebody that is already retired and needs to use their investments for living expenses, how do you determine whether to sell off equities vs sell bonds or use cash or GICs?

  9. Do you have some sort of rule/process like if X happens in the markets then I'm selling off equities to generate cash to live from. If Y happens then I use a cash cushion or the bond portion?

  10. What are your thoughts on the 4% rule and are there any variable spending strategies that you like instead of using the 4% rule?

  11. If you could go back to when you first started investing, what advice would you give yourself?

Resources from the Episode:

Free tickets to the Canadian Financial Summit:

I’ll be speaking again at the Canadian Financial Summit and I have free tickets for you. The entire event is online so you can watch it from anywhere, and it’s Canada’s largest personal finance conference.

I’ll be there together with over 25 Canadian personal finance experts, and in my talk I’ll be speaking about how we optimized our investment portfolio before we retired, and after we retired. This way no matter where you are on your financial independence journey, it’ll at the very least give you some insights on ways that you can optimize your own investment portfolio so that you can retire early, or at least hit your financial independence number quicker.

To get your free tickets for a limited time, go to:
https://kornel–canadianfinancialsummit.thrivecart.com/2019-all-access-pass/

 

Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians):

All the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 

Canada’s Top ETFs Guide & Top High-Interest Savings Account: In the guide, I go over what I personally invest in, why I invest in it. The investments that I talk about ​are literally where we have almost our entire net worth (apart from our house), and is what we are primarily living off right now in our early retirement. At the very least you’ll learn about some great ETFs to consider for your portfolio, and if you are new to ETFs, it’ll give you a nice list of some top ETFs to consider from the thousands that are out there. 

The guide is available for free to any listeners that use my link to sign up for a free savings account with the bank that I personally use, EQ bank

The reason that I personally use EQ bank, is that they have one of the highest interest savings rates in Canada (they are currently offering 2.3% which is more than double what the major banks are offering).

It’s also free to sign up and keep an account with them, so you’re not paying a monthly fee like you do with many of the other banks out there. You also get unlimited transactions, unlimited Interac e-transfers, and can take out your money at any time if you need it, and there are no minimum balances.

Because of those reasons, I’ve been with them ever since they launched in Canada years ago, and it’s where I keep my entire emergency fund and spending money. 

To get the free high-interest account and the free guide on the top ETFs in Canada, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca/eq, open the free account, and once you’re done, forward any email that you get from EQ to bonus@buildwealthcanada.ca and I’ll send you the full comprehensive guide for free. 

Jason’s Site and Financial Planning Practice:https://objectivefinancialpartners.com/

Jason’s Articles on MoneySense:
https://www.moneysense.ca/author/jason-heath/

Vanguard’s Asset Allocation Tool/Questionnaire:
https://www.vanguardcanada.ca/individual/questionnaire.htm

Vanguard’s Asset Allocation ETFs:
https://www.vanguardcanada.ca/individual/indv/en/product.html#/productType=etf&assetClass=balanced


Today we have Meghan Chomut on the show who is a financial planner specializing in real estate for both your primary residence and rental properties. She has also personally done property flipping before so I thought it would be great to have her on the show to teach us some lessons and best practices that we can apply to both our primary residence (whether we are an existing or aspiring homeowner), as well as learn more about what to consider and look out for when deciding to invest in a rental property, or flip houses.

I’m a former rental property owner and former landlord as well so we both share some of our lessons learned and give a realistic preview of real estate investing so that you can better decide whether it’s the right fit for you.

Resources from the Episode:

Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): All the top tools and sites that I've personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They're also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we're paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 

Have a mortgage question? Looking for the top mortgages in Canada? Get a free call with our mortgage expert Sean Cooper (you'll also get a free guide on what to look out for when choosing a mortgage).

Canada's Top ETFs Guide & Top High-Interest Savings Account: In the guide, I go over what I personally invest in, why I invest in it. The investments that I talk about ​are literally where we have almost our entire net worth (apart from our house), and is what we are primarily living off right now in our early retirement. At the very least you'll learn about some great ETFs to consider for your portfolio, and if you are new to ETFs, it'll give you a nice list of some top ETFs to consider from the thousands that are out there. 

The guide available for free to any listeners that that use my special link to sign up for a free savings account with the bank that I personally use, EQ bank

The reason that I personally use EQ bank, is that they have one of the highest interest savings rates in Canada (they are currently offering 2.3% which is more than double what the major banks are offering).

It’s also free to sign up and keep an account with them, so you’re not paying a monthly fee like you do with many of the other banks out there. You also get unlimited transactions, unlimited Interac e-transfers, and can take out your money at any time if you need it, and there are no minimum balances.

Because of those reasons, I’ve been with them ever since they launched in Canada years ago, and it’s where I keep my entire emergency fund and spending money. 

To get the free high-interest account and the free guide on the top ETFs in Canada, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca/eq, open the free account, and once you’re done, forward any email that you get from EQ to bonus@buildwealthcanada.ca and I’ll send you the full comprehensive guide for free. 

Meghan Chomut's Site: A big thanks to Meghan for coming on the show. You can reach out to her and learn more about her over at www.meghanchomut.com.

Questions Covered:

  • When deciding to purchase a property whether for personal use or as an investment property, what components should we be factoring in that are critical when crunching the numbers?

  • How should we do be doing the math on the mortgage amount to take? (instead of taking the top amount our mortgage specialist or bank says that we can afford)

  • What are things that Canadians often forget to calculate? (on both home and investments properties that they are considering)

  • When saving for a downpayment, where do you suggest Canadians keep that money (ex. High-interest savings account, GIC, and ETF, etc.)

  • You’ve actually flipped a house before. Can you tell us about that experience, what did you learn, and what are the pros and cons of this approach to making money?

  • What are the top mistakes Canadians make when it comes to flipping homes?

  • To help reduce the chance of unexpected surprises when purchasing a home or investment property, what type of due diligence do you recommend Canadians do?

  • How is the due diligence required different between a rental property vs a home that you actually live in?

  • Many Canadians view the home that they live in as an investment. Is this the right way to think about it?

  • What are your thoughts between going with a fixed vs variable mortgage and what analysis do you do to determine the right one?

Direct download: Buying_a_House_a_Rental_or_Flipping_Houses.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 7:05pm EDT

Today we have Kristy and Bryce on the show who are Canada's youngest retirees.

Kristy retired at 31 while Bryce was 32, and today I pick their brains on how they pulled it off, how they invest, and how they structured their investment portfolio to ensure that they never run out of money.

Kristy and Bryce also just launched a book on how they retired early, and in it they share a repeatable step-by-step plan on how anybody can retire early. It's a very practical book, ​I ​really enjoyed it, and wish it was around when I started my FIRE (financial independence, retire early) journey. 

The​ir​ book is called Quit like a Millionaire and I have some copies to give away to you as well.

If you want to sign up for free to be entered into the giveaway, just click here and enter your name and email so I know how to reach you if you win.

Questions Asked:

  1. Tell us your story and how were you able to retire in your early 30s?

  2. Tell us about your book. What's it about, who is it for, and how do we Canadians benefit from reading it? 

  3. What analysis did you guys do to determine if you have enough to retire and won't run out of money?

    • Let's talk about the Trinity Study/4% rule. First, for anybody that hasn’t heard of it yet, can you explain what it is?

    • What was your thought process around the 4% rule right before you quit your jobs to give you the courage to do so? (i.e. There are certain caveats, objections, etc. How did you deal with them mentally?)

    • Now that you’ve been retired for several years, have your thoughts on the 4% rule changed in any way?

  4. I recall you guys writing about how you also use the FireCalc or FireSim calculators (which I’m also a big fan of). Can you explain to the listeners what those are and how you used them?
    • These tools let you adjust certain variables. Are there any adjustments that you made that you think would be useful for Canadians to know about when they run their own calculations? (to get more realistic/accurate results)

  5. In your retirement, you use what you call “The Yield Shield” strategy. Can you explain what that is to everyone?  

    • I got the impression that a lot of the others in the FIRE community who have pulled off an early retirement don’t focus on the yield the way that you guys do. The most common strategy seems to be to not focus on yield, and instead just withdraw 3.5-4% of their portfolio per year, by selling off investments when needed, as that’s what the Trinity Study proved to be sustainable (If I'm not mistaken, I believe Jim Collins, MMM and Justin do it this way for example). 

      What made you decide to create this Yield Shield strategy instead of just going for the simpler 3.5-4% withdraw rate and not worrying about the yield?

  6. To pull off the Yield Shield, you guys chose to invest in a few ETFs that aren’t as commonly talked about in the FIRE community. I’d love to get your take on why you chose those specific ETF and their weights:

    • Let’s start with REITs. Why was your reasoning for adding these into your portfolio (5% weight)?
    • What made you choose the ETF: XRE to get this coverage?

  7. What made you decide to add a Canadian Preferred Shares ETF into your portfolio (20% weight)?

    What made you choose the ETF: CPD to get this coverage?

  8. What about choosing corporate bonds (10% weight) with XCB?

  9. Lastly, what made you choose the Canadian Select Dividend (5% weight) with XDV?

  10. How did you change your portfolio from pre-retirement to retirement (if at all)?

  11. When did you start making that transition? (i.e. The day you retired, a year before, etc.) 

  12. Let's say we had a 40% downturn, something like another 2008. What would you do in that situation?

  13. Would you still withdraw some of your principal because the 4% rule factors that in? (Your yield would also likely decrease in this scenario so how would you address that?)

  14. What changes would you make (if any) within your investments?

  15. Your blog Millennial Revolution is easily one of my favorite blogs. How is your book different than the blog, where can everyone go to pick it up, and where can we all learn more from you guys?

Links and Resources Mentioned:

Quit Like a Millionaire Book Link

Book Giveaway

Top ETF Guide for Canadians (sign up for free at buildwealthcanada.ca/eq and send any email from EQ to bonus@buildwealthcanada.ca)

Michael Kitces and Mad Fientist Podcast Episode on 4% Rule

Our Favourite Retirement Calculators:

FireCalc

FireSIM

Yield Shield Article

Direct download: Canadas_Youngest_Retirees_-_How_They_Did_It.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 7:01pm EDT

House hunting season has officially begun, so I thought it would be a good idea to have an insider from the mortgage industry on the show to learn some tops tips on getting the lowest possible mortgage rate, whether you are looking for a new mortgage, or have one that you’ll need to renew soon.

In the interview, we also look at what else you should look for in a mortgage, in addition to just getting the lowest rate possible. In other words, what are the different clauses or contract terms that you should look out for, when getting a new mortgage, or renewing your existing one.

And, our industry insider and mortgage expert will tell us what sales and marketing tactics and tricks we should look out for from the banks and other mortgage providers.

Last but definitely not least, we discuss the pros and cons of the different ways that you can get your mortgage. For instance, do you use a mortgage broker? Do you go directly to a bank or credit union? Or do you just use one of the many mortgage comparison sites out there?

About the Guest: Sean Cooper

Sean is the bestselling author of the book, Burn Your Mortgage: The Simple, Powerful Path to Financial Freedom for Canadians

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.

Before we dive into the interview, Sean has offered to answer for free, any questions that you, the Build Wealth Canada listeners have.

I’ve set up a special page for him so all you have to do is go to buildwealthcanada.ca/sean, enter your email, and Sean will be in touch with you and will be able to answer any questions that you may have.

He’s a licensed mortgage broker too so I definitely also encourage you to reach out to him if you’re looking to get a new mortgage or if your mortgage is coming up for renewal, as at the very least he’ll be able to provide you with a short list of the best mortgages that he’s been able to find across all of Canada.

None of this costs you anything, and there’s no obligation to get your mortgage through him or use any of those suggested mortgages.

At the very least, you’ll get some good education on the top mortgages available in Canada, you’ll learn what to look for when choosing your next mortgage, and you can always decide later whether you’d like him to help you with the process, or if you want to do it all yourself. It doesn’t cost you anything regardless.

As a bonus, I’ll also email you the Mortgage Checklist, which is a guide on the top things to look for and consider when choosing a mortgage.

So, that link again to get in touch with Sean, get your questions answered, get the free mortgage checklist guide, and get that research on some of the best mortgage in Canada is buildwealthcanada.ca/sean.


A common problem that holds some Canadians back from paying the lowest possible fees in investing by becoming a DIY (do-it-yourself) investor, is that it does take a bit of learning and practice. Also since we’re not taught this in school, it can be intimidating.

Even those that aren't intimidated by it can at times become annoyed with all the manual administrative work that is required when it comes to being a DIY investor (myself included).

For example, whether you're a new or an experienced investor, you still have to go through the hassle of individually buying the ETFs on the exchange, doing the calculations to make sure you buy the right quantities, and rebalancing your portfolio periodically so that you don’t accidentally end up taking on too much risk.

You also have to keep tracking and checking when your dividends came in so that you can quickly invest them to maximize the compound growth in your portfolio.

This is why I’m really excited to have Brendan Lee Young from Passiv on the show along with Stephen Graham from Questrade, as they have teamed up to automate these time consuming and sometimes intimidating elements when it comes to managing and optimizing your own investment portfolio.

I’ve been using the tool very heavily myself, have integrated my wife and I’s entire investment portfolio with it, and I encourage you to try it for free as it will save you a ton of time (just like it has for me).

You can grab your free account over at buildwealthcanada.ca/passiv. I am absolutely hooked on using it, and it's great to see this kind of innovation taking place in Canada.

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_Automate_Your_Investing_without_the_giant_fees.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 11:58am EDT

Today I have the creator of the TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account) on the show who shares his best TFSA tips and strategies, while also discussing his initiative to enhance financial literacy in Canada.

His name is Kevin McCarthy, and while working in Ottawa, Kevin was responsible for the financial literacy file for Minister Flaherty and helped launch the federal government’s Financial Literacy Panel.

He played a key role in the development and naming of the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), the single most important personal savings vehicle since the introduction of the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).

Kevin has since joined a great organization called Enriched Academy which focuses on teaching financial literacy here in Canada.

Get Your Free 1-Year Subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine

Lastly, don’t forget to claim your free 1-year digital subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine (Canada’s largest personal finance and investing magazine).

The magazine features Canada’s top experts on personal finance and investing, and is a great place to learn best practices, and stay up to date on changes that will impact your investments and financial situation for years to come, specifically here in Canada.

To get that, all you have to do is open up a free savings account with my favourite bank (and the bank that I personally use, EQ bank).

The reason that I personally use EQ bank, is that they have one of the highest interest savings rates in Canada. In fact, over all the years that I’ve been with them, I’ve seen them consistently be almost double the interest rate compared to other online banks, and well over double the interest rate compared to the major brick and mortar banks that we have here in Canada.  

Plus it’s free to sign up and keep an account with them, so you’re not paying a monthly fee as you do with many of the other banks out there. As a bonus you also get unlimited free Interac e-transfers every month!

Because of those reasons, I’ve been with them ever since they launched in Canada years ago, and it’s where I keep my entire emergency fund and spending money.

To get the free account and a 1 year free subscription to Canadian MoneySaver magazine, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca/eq, open the free account, and once you’re done, forward any email that you get from EQ to bonus@buildwealthcanada.ca and I’ll send you a coupon code that gets you a free one year subscription to the magazine.

Enjoy, and thanks for supporting the show!

Links and Resources:

Financial Literacy Training at Enriched Academy

Kevin's LinkedIn Profile

EQ High Interest Savings Account with Bonus

Questions Covered:

  1. To start things off, tell us a bit about yourself and your background in government, as well as your transition to promoting financial literacy by working with Enriched Academy.

  2. Why did the government decide to introduce the TFSA and what was your involvement in that?

  3. For anybody just getting started learning about RRSPs and TFSAs, can you explain what they are, and share your best practices on how to use them?

  4. I find that definitely one of, if not the most common questions that Canadian investors have, is how to decide for any given year whether they should be putting their savings in their TFSA, RRSP, or a combination of the two. As someone who helped create the TFSA, what would you say to someone asking this question? 

  5. What are the most common mistake you see Canadians making with their TFSA? 

  6. What about the most common mistakes Canadians make with their RRSP? 

  7. When it comes to financial literacy, what would you say are the biggest misconceptions, or things that Canadians just don't know about that are holding them back and limiting their net worth? 

  8. I find we Canadians sometimes get worried about the changes that the government might do which can impact our financial futures. In particular, there definitely seems to be some worry about the large percentage of the Canadian population retiring, and about there not being enough young people to support them from a tax revenue perspective.

  9. Should we be concerned?

  10. Based on your extensive experience in the government sector, how do you see things playing out when it comes to this challenge?

  11. What changes to our government benefits do you think may take place?

  12. For anybody that won't be retiring for another 10+ years, how can we best prepare ourselves for this uncertainty of how much income from the government we'll actually end up receiving in the future?

  13. I'd love to get your perspective on the Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP). It’s something that is relatively new, created by Minister Flaherty when you worked with him, and it helps families with disabled children but I find it isn’t that well known. 

    Can you give a brief explanation of the RDSP, tell us know why it was created and what people should know about it? 

  14. You recently joined Enriched Academy to help you with your mission of increasing financial literacy for Canadians. Can you tell us about Enriched Academy, and why you decided to join them?

  15. It was great seeing Enriched Academy be so successful when it appeared on the show Dragon's Den. Can you tell us what it's been like having the Dragons as investors and advocates for Enriched Academy, and tell us a bit more about how Enriched Academy helps improve Financial Literacy here in Canada.

  16. Where can we hear and learn more from you?

  17. Bonus Question: Let's talk about using the RRSP vs TFSA when saving for a home. The RRSP has the Home Buyers Plan, but the TFSA is more flexible as there are less rules surrounding it. What is your preference and what should we be considering when choosing to use one vs the other.  

In Closing:

If you enjoyed the episode, please take a moment to leave an honest review and rating on iTunes by clicking the “View in iTunes” button at this link.

If you have any tips, suggestions or comments, please be sure to leave a comment in the section below. I read all the responses and look forward to hearing from you.

Also if you liked the episode please share it using the social media buttons on the left, and sign up for free below 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 here in Canada!

I looking forward to hearing from you.

Kornel


RRSP season is upon us (the last day is March 1) and to help you avoid the top RRSP mistakes that Canadians make, I've brought back the financial planner that my family and I use, John Kalos.

We had a live webinar where we went over these top mistakes, and it gave everyone a chance to get their questions answered live. 

What we cover in this episode:

•How to use RRSP season to save you thousands in taxes (it ends March 1st!)

•How to make RRSPs work for you to boost your net worth, instead of just making it profitable for the banks (at your expense)

•The top tricks that the banks use to get you to invest with them
(revealed by an ex-banker).

•What you can do right now to maximize your tax return, by properly using your RRSP.

Download the webinar recording:

You can download and stream the webinar recording by going to the show notes at: Buildwealthcanada.ca/53

Ask John Your Questions:

Even though you missed the chance to ask John your questions live during the webinar, you can still chat with him 1-one-1 for free for 30 minutes and get your questions answered by going to buildwealthcanada.ca/john.

Get Your Free 1-Year Subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine

Lastly, don’t forget to claim your free 1-year digital subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine (Canada’s largest personal finance and investing magazine).

The magazine features Canada’s top experts on personal finance and investing, and is a great place to learn best practices, and stay up to date on changes that will impact your investments and financial situation for years to come, specifically here in Canada.

To get that, all you have to do is open up a free savings account with my favourite bank (and the bank that I personally use, EQ bank).

The reason that I personally use EQ bank, is that they have one of the highest interest savings rates in Canada. In fact, over all the years that I’ve been with them, I’ve seen them consistently be almost double the interest rate compared to other online banks, and well over double the interest rate compared to the major brick and mortar banks that we have here in Canada.  

Plus it’s free to sign up and keep an account with them, so you’re not paying a monthly fee as you do with many of the other banks out there. As a bonus you also get 5 free Interac e-transfers every month!

Because of those reasons, I’ve been with them ever since they launched in Canada years ago, and it’s where I keep my entire emergency fund and spending money.

To get the free account and a 1 year free subscription to Canadian MoneySaver magazine, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca/eq, open the free account, and once you’re done, forward any email that you get from EQ to bonus@buildwealthcanada.ca and I’ll send you a coupon code that gets you a free one year subscription to the magazine.

Enjoy, and thanks for supporting the show!

Kornel


Today we have author and Canadian investor, Larry Bates on the show. Larry is the author of the book “Beat the Bank”, where you shows (specifically for Canadians), how you can build a larger retirement nest egg by switching from high-cost mutual funds to more efficient, low-cost investment products. He also explains how you can do it in just a couple of hours per year.

He talks about some of the secrets in the investment industry that many Canadians don’t know about, he decodes some of the mystery that is prevalent around investing here in Canada, and he provides a simple, step-by-step guide to investing. Just like me, he believes that you don't need to be an expert to start investing successfully...you just need to know the basics.

Larry is a former banker turned investor advocate. He spent 35 years in banking, has since retired from that, and now spends his time increasing financial literacy for Canadians, specifically in the area of investing.

Book Giveaway!

To kick things off on a good note for 2019, I’ve arranged a book giveaway with Larry where you can enter for free for a chance to win one of 3 signed copies of Larry’s book. This is obviously for a limited time, the giveaway ends at the end of February 2019, so be sure to sign up now for a free chance to win.

To enter the giveaway, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca/beatthebank

Get Your Free 1-Year Subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine

Lastly, don’t forget to claim your free 1-year digital subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine (Canada’s largest personal finance and investing magazine).

The magazine features Canada’s top experts on personal finance and investing, and is a great place to learn best practices, and stay up to date on changes that will impact your investments and financial situation for years to come, specifically here in Canada.

To get that, all you have to do is open up a free savings account with my favourite bank (and the bank that I personally use, EQ bank).

The reason that I personally use EQ bank, is that they have one of the highest interest savings rates in Canada. In fact, over all the years that I’ve been with them, I’ve seen them consistently be almost double the interest rate compared to other online banks, and well over double the interest rate compared to the major brick and mortar banks that we have here in Canada.  

Plus it’s free to sign up and keep an account with them, so you’re not paying a monthly fee as you do with many of the other banks out there. As a bonus you also get 5 free Interac e-transfers every month!

Because of those reasons, I’ve been with them ever since they launched in Canada years ago, and it’s where I keep my entire emergency fund and spending money.

To get the free account and a 1 year free subscription to Canadian MoneySaver magazine, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca/eq, open the free account, and once you’re done, forward any email that you get from EQ to bonus@buildwealthcanada.ca and I’ll send you a coupon code that gets you a free one year subscription to the magazine.

Enjoy, thanks for supporting the show, and now let’s get into the episode.

Questions Asked During the Interview:

  1. Tell us your story and what your new book is about?

  2. What inspired you to write the book?

  3. Now that you’re retired, what do you personally hold in your portfolio? 

  4. Let’s talk about doing passive index investing through ETFs vs selecting individual stocks. What do you see as the pros and cons of these approaches and what do you personally do?

  5. When it comes to evaluating individual stocks, a common concern that investors have is what if the stock they are considering is overvalued, and they end up overpaying for it. What precautions, due diligence and research do you personally do before investing in any particular stock?

  6. If you were instead doing a much earlier retirement, like in your 30s or 40s, how would you tweak that strategy?

  7. For the bond portion of your portfolio, what kind of bonds do you recommend? Long vs short term? Canadian vs international?

  8. What are your thoughts on the criticisms of the S&P TSX (i.e. The Canadian Index).

    For index investors, should we be adjusting our portfolio for the shortcomings of this index? (i.e. The sector concentration).

    Adjusting for this inherently adds complexity to our portfolio, so is it worth it?

  9. What are your thoughts on using bonds vs GICs vs a combination of the two, particularly for those in traditional retirement and early retirement?

  10. What are your thoughts on the 4 percent rule and safe withdraw rate for traditional retirement age retirees vs early retirees?

  11. Going back to your book, one of my favourite parts was how you broke down investment portfolio optimization to just 6 core areas to focus on. Can you talk about each of those?
  12. Where can we get your book, and how can we learn more about you and see more of your work?

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_Beat_the_Bank_with_Larry_Bates.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 3:19pm EDT

This is part 2 of our episode on the only 4 ways to invest, where we discuss the pros and cons of each method, so that you can make an informed decision on the investing type that is best for you.

Ultimately, this decision on which of the 4 ways you pick has an enormous impact on your net worth and how early you can retire, as it can easily save and earn you an extra tens of thousands of dollars long term, and even hundreds of thousands of dollars for many investors through reduced fees, proper financial advice, and tax optimization.

In case you missed part 1, you can listen to it by going to buildwealthcanada.ca/50

Now after the last episode launched, we had a lot of listeners sign up for the free 30 min consultation with our expert financial planning guest John Kalos. One of the links that I had on the site to book the free appointment with John wasn’t working, but that has now been fixed, so if you had any trouble signing up for the free call with John, then definitely try again by going to buildwealthcanada.ca/john.

And if you haven’t booked a call yet, then definitely feel free to do so as there’s no obligation, it’s free, and it’s a great way to get some of your financial planning and investing questions answered by someone that has spent decades in this industry, and isn’t trying to sell you some high fee mutual funds or investment product, just because they get a commission or bonus out of it.

John doesn’t sell any investments, so he’s a great way to get custom advice specific to your situation, from someone that doesn’t have that conflict of interest from also trying to sell you something.

So that link again to book a free 30 min call with John is buildwealthcanada.ca/john, and when you sign up you’ll also get my PDF guide on 'How to Find the Right Financial Advisor in Canada', and the top questions to ask them.

Of course, don't miss future episodes, giveaways, and free in-depth guides by signing up for free to the Build Wealth Canada newsletter over at buildwealthcanada.ca.

And lastly, don’t forget to claim your free 1-year digital subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine (Canada’s largest personal finance and investing magazine).

The magazine features Canada’s top experts on personal finance and investing, and is a great place to learn best practices, and stay up to date on changes that will impact your investments and financial situation for years to come, specifically here in Canada.

To get that, all you have to do is open up a free savings account with my favourite bank (and the bank that I personally use, EQ bank).

The reason that I personally use EQ bank, is that they have one of the highest interest savings rates in Canada. In fact, over all the years that I’ve been with them, I’ve seen them consistently be almost double the interest rate compared to other online banks, and well over double the interest rate compared to the major brick and mortar banks that we have here in Canada.  

Plus it’s free to sign up and keep an account with them, so you’re not paying a monthly fee as you do with many of the other banks out there. As a bonus you also get 5 free Interac e-transfers every month!

So because of those reasons, I’ve been with them ever since they launched in Canada years ago, and it’s where I keep my entire emergency fund and spending money.

To get the free account and a 1 year free subscription to Canadian MoneySaver magazine, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca/eq, open the free account, and once you’re done, forward any email that you get from EQ to bonus@buildwealthcanada.ca and I’ll send you a coupon code that gets you a free one year subscription to the magazine.

Enjoy, thanks for supporting the show, and now let’s get into the episode.

Direct download: Part_2_The_Only_4_Ways_to_Invest__Their_Pros_and_Cons.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 12:19pm EDT

Canadian investors are having a pretty eventful time in the markets right now, as the legalization of marijuana is happening today as I record this episode. Also, let's not forget the hit that the markets took last week.

For a long time now we've seen very little volatility in the markets, and it's been a relatively smooth and enjoyable ride. Well finally, last week, we finally got to experience how markets can behave (in the negative sense), and I think how you felt during this period is a good sample of how much you can stomach volatility, and stay invested, when you have some media making it look like the sky is falling.

We can and will experience drops even worse than that in the future, but I think it's a good self-discovery event where you learn if for example, that 100% stock, 0% bond portfolio allocation is something that you really can have and still sleep well at night.

Because of the marijuana legalization and the recent dip in the markets, I thought it would be great to have another Investing Tips Episode like we did last month, where I speak with 5i Research's CEO, Ryan Modesto about what him and his research team are seeing in the markets with the recent declines, as well as address the subject of marijuana stocks and investing in that industry.

Future episodes, giveaways and guides:

Of course, don't miss future episodes, giveaways, and free in-depth guides by signing up for free to the Build Wealth Canada newsletter over at buildwealthcanada.ca. There you'll receive some exclusive educational content that's only available to Build Wealth Canada newsletter subscribers, there's never any spam, and it's totally free.

It's also the best way to ask questions that you want to be answered on future episodes of the show, and suggests any guests that you'd like to come on the show. That link again to sign up for free is buildwealthcanada.ca.

Bonus: Free one-year subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine

Alright now before we start the interview, today's guest, 5i CEO Ryan Modesto is also offering a 1-year free digital subscription to Canadian Moneysaver Magazine (Canada's largest personal finance magazine) when you sign up for free 30-day access to 5i Research.

There you'll receive over 70 company reports (perfect if you like to sometimes invest in individual stocks), three model portfolios, and answers to over 75,000 investing questions, along with the ability to ask your own directly to Ryan and his analysts.

Ryan and his team at 5i don't sell any investments, and don't get any commissions or bonuses from suggesting stocks and ETFs. Because of this, I've been a long time partner with them as they are one of the VERY few companies in Canada, that are truly conflict-free and unbiased when it comes to their research and suggestions on stocks and ETFs.

You can get free 30-day access to all their research and resources over at buildwealthcanada.ca/research, and as a "thank you" for trying them out, you'll receive a free 1-year digital subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine, Canada's largest personal finance magazine.

I encourage you to check 5i out, it's a great place get some truly unbiased insights on your investments (whether it's stocks or ETFs), and you'll learn an absolute ton.

Questions Covered

  1. Let's start off with a market update. The markets have clearly been hit pretty hard lately. What's the 5i Research team seeing, and should we be worried?
  2. With the legalization of marijuana in Canada, the industry is expected to experience rapid growth. For investors interested in investing in this industry, what should they be looking out for?
  3. I sometimes hear investors say things like “I think industry x is going to grow in the future, so I’m going to invest in it”. For example, the cannabis industry, or AI, robotics, etc. What is the error in using that reasoning as your sole decision to invest in an industry? (i.e. the potential growth already being factored into the price)
  4. What is the difference between common and preferred stocks, what should an investor consider when choosing between the two, and should a company offer both?

Resources Covered:

  1. The marijuana industry report mentioned is available by signing up to the free 30-day 5i access over at buildwealthcanada.ca/research. As a bonus, you'll also receive a 1-year free digital subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine.
  2. The preferred shares article mentioned can be found at https://www.5iresearch.ca/blog/are-preferred-shares-the-worst-of-both-worlds
Direct download: Investing_Tips_-_Market_Declines_and_Marijuana_Stocks.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 11:01am EDT

This is a special episode of the show as we are adding a new series of episodes specifically for investors.

The show will continue to go on just like it has, but in addition to the types of episodes that you're used to, I'm going to publish another new episode every month which will benefit you in two ways:

First, it's going to keep you informed on what is currently going on in the markets with your investments, and the investing world in general.  

We hear a lot of doom and gloom in the media, there's a lot of misinformation, and it's very easy to become worried about your investments when you hear all the negativity and speculation. Without the right information, it's easy to become emotional, and maybe make a rash decision based on some news we hear, only to regret it later.

Therefore in this episode series, the goal is to be the voice of reason and tell you what you need to know, with no biases or conflicts of interest (we're not selling any investments here), so that you can make an informed, rational decision that serves you best.

The 2nd purpose of this new series of episodes, is to answer listener and reader questions from Canadian investors.

I know I get more questions than I can possibly get to from the show, and as you may know I partner with 5i Research and they've literally been asked  thousands of questions over the years and so I thought it would be great for us to answer some of the listener and reader questions that we receive on both our sides.

If you'd like to ask a question, just go to buildwealthcanada.ca and sign up for the email newsletter right on the main page. You'll get a free gift when you do this, you'll be informed when new episodes are released, and when you sign up you'll get an automated email from me so all you have to do is reply to that email with your question and we'll do our best to have it on the show.

Now I do want to set the expectation with this new series, that despite us talking about the markets, and about the topics that are currently on the minds of investors, and answering questions, this isn't going to be a series about timing the markets, or day trading, or completely speculative get-rich-quick investing. Instead, it's meant to keep you educated and informed on what is happening in the markets, so that you can be an educated and informed investor, with a long-term outlook on your investments, while hopefully getting some of your investments questions answered too.

My co-host for this series is Ryan Modesto. He is the CEO of 5i Research which is an investment research company that provides unbiased research on Canadian stocks and ETFs. Ryan holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation (CFA) and is frequently featured on The Globe and Mail, the Financial Post, and you've probably seen him on TV as he's frequently a guest on BNN too, providing his latest research and insights. Ryan and his team have also answered over 75,000 investing questions from Canadians across the country, through their Q&A service, and I'm thrilled to have his expertise on the show.

As a listener of the build wealth show, you can get full access to all of Ryan's and his team's research for free, for an entire month.

You’ll get full access to all the stock and ETF recommendations, all their model portfolios, as well as their database of over 75,000 answered investing questions. I definitely encourage you to check it out as at the very least you’ll learn a ton and it’s all free anyway.

And if for some strange reason that’s not enough, I’ve also arranged for build wealth Canada listeners to get two extra bonuses:

The first, is that when you sign up for the free trial, you’ll also get a 1 year, paid digital subscription to Canadian Moneysaver Magazine, absolutely free.

This is the exact same magazine that you see at Chapters and other stores all over Canada, it's the largest personal finance and investing magazine in Canada, I actually write for it too, and you get the entire subscription, for free, for an entire year, no strings attached, just for signing up for the free 30 day access to 5i.

The 2nd bonus, is that you’ll also get 1 questions credit for free, on the 5i Research site, so you can actually ask 5i’s Research Team your most pressing investment question and they’ll answer it for you, using the knowledge and investment tools that you and I simply don’t have access to.  

Enjoy, it’s all free, you’ll learn an absolute ton, and you can get it all by going to http://www.buildwealthcanada.ca/research.

I also have some exciting news as my favourite bank that I've been using and recommending for years has agreed to sponsor the show, and you can now get one of the highest savings rates in Canada for free, by going tobuildwealthcanada.ca/eq.

So the reasons that I've been recommending EQ Bank to anybody that's asked me is because over the time that I've been with them (which is ever since they first started in 2016 in Canada), they have consistently had one of the highest interest savings rates compared to all the other banks. It’s also totally free to join with no monthly fees, and as an extra perk, EQ Bank will give you 5 free Interac e-transfers every month.

And just to put things in perspective, at the time of this recording, their Savings Plus Account automatically gives you 2.30% interest while the online banks in Canada are offering a maximum of 1.25% and if you're still banking with one of the larger banks, then you're getting less than 1%. In other words, by using the bank that I use, you're going to almost double the interest you get from your chequing and savings accounts, for free, and this is why I've been using and recommending them for years to anybody that's asked, and even before they became a sponsor on the show.

Now even if you love your current bank just for regular day-to-day use, why wouldn't you at least keep your emergency fund and any extra cash that you're not investing in your savings account over at EQ? That way you're at least earning over double the interest on your chequing and savings accounts compared to your current bank. And that's actually what I did when I first started with them years ago, and since then, I've actually transitioned to them now being our primary bank.

So, I definitely recommend that you sign up and take advantage of this for free by going to buildwealthcanada.ca/eq. You'll get one of the highest interest rates in Canada, and have my sincere gratitude for helping support the show, at no cost to you. So that link again is buildwealthcanada.ca/eq.

And just as an aside, they've also recently launched their own GICs where you can actually get up to 3.52% interest, which at the time of this recording is also one of highest rates available in Canada for GICs. So if you're willing to lock-in your money for a bit, you can actually get that even higher rate of up to 3.52%. And to learn more about that, go to buildwealthcanada.ca/gic

Direct download: Investing_Tips_-_Market_Update_and_QandA_-_Episode_1.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 4:38am EDT

Today, we’re going to tackle the debate of whether you should focus on growth vs dividends when it comes to your investing. Dividends are of course very popular. Everybody likes having that passive cashflow show up in their accounts, but are we limiting our net worth if we focus too much on dividends, as opposed to choosing a more balanced and growth-oriented portfolio?

In this episode, we’ll also talk about how to best withdraw money from your investment portfolio, and how to decide if you should be withdrawing from your equities, your bonds, or your cash cushion instead.

We also talk about changing interest rates, and the impact that you can expect them to have on your portfolio, as well as some tips on what to choose for the bond portion of your portfolio.

For this episode, I'm excited to have Ed Rempel back on the show, who is one of the top financial planners that I go to whenever I have questions or need a second opinion about my investments, financial planning or on how to minimize my taxes. He's been a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Professional for over 22 years, and he’s been a professional accountant for over 33 years with a CPA and CMA designation.

Personally, I found that when I ask him questions, his decades of experience as BOTH a financial planner AND a professional accountant really helps me feel secure that he has all the bases covered, as he has a holistic view from both of those worlds due to all that experience. He’s also written nearly 1,000 financial plans for Canadians over that time so he's truly as experienced as it gets in this field, and he has extensive knowledge on some of the higher-level investment strategies out there.


Today I’m excited to have Edward Kholodenko on the show who is the CEO of Questrade.

If you’re a long time listener of the show then you know that I actually use Questrade to buy all my investments. So, when Questrade reached out to me about interviewing their CEO I thought it would be a great opportunity to ask him the questions that I have, and that I know a lot of the listeners have about their brokerage.

I currently save at least $480 per year in fees by using Questrade so needless to say I’m a big fan, especially since they let me purchase ETFs for free. At the time of this writing, they are the only brokerage in Canada that I know of that offers this.

It’s worth mentioning that this episode is not sponsored by Questrade, or anything like that. I’m simply a big fan of what they offer, have been using them for years, and thought this would be a great opportunity to ask their CEO some top questions that you should know the answers to, when choosing a brokerage for your investments.

Links & Resources From the Episode

  • Open a free account to receive a $25-$250 bonus here. This is part of the refer-a-friend bonus which you can learn more about here.
  • Learn more about the Build Wealth Canada Investing Course Here
  • Get the latest unbiased investment research by signing up for a free 30-day trial of 5i Research. You’ll also receive a free 1-year digital subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine (Canada’s largest personal finance magazine).

Question’s Covered

1. One of the reasons that I chose to use Questrade for all my retirement accounts is because you let your customers buy ETFs for free (or almost for free if we include ECN fees). Is the ability to buy ETFs for free through Questrade something that you see your company offering long term, or is this more of a short to mid-term offer that’s temporarily being used to attract new customers?

2. I imagine you get your fair share of potential customers that are reluctant to keep their investments at an online discount brokerage like Questrade, vs at one of the largest brick and mortar Canadian banks. Can you speak a bit about the security that Questrade uses compared to some of these largest banks?

3. What if there was a scenario where Questrade got hacked, or if somebody’s account got hacked because their password was compromised (through no fault of Questrade). What kind of protection or insurance is provided in those scenarios? Would the $10 million in private insurance cover the customer in these cases?

4. Can you give us an overview of the state of the online brokerage space in Canada? In particular, what trends and developments are currently happening, where do you see things are heading in terms of technology and innovation, and what can consumers expect in the coming years? Are there certain things that Questrade is really prioritizing for the coming years as one of Canada’s largest discount brokers?

5. Can you talk about the lack of financial transparency when it comes to fees that Canadians are paying on their investments? There have been rules that have come out (CRM2) to help with this but is there more that Canadians should know?

6. As far as I know, Questrade doesn’t provide some of the more ultra safe investment options such as GICs. For those that want that high level of safety (despite the lower returns), what options do you suggest for them?

7. You probably hear a lot of myths from potential customers about online investing. Can you share some of the most common and critical misconceptions that Canadian have?

8. Please tell us a bit more about where we can learn from you, and learn more about Questrade.

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_Number_1_Place_to_Buy_Your_Investments.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

This is part 2 of the series on how to execute an early retirement, with financial planning veteran John Kalos.

In this episode, we use our financial plan as a case study so that you and other Canadians can get some insights on how to execute an early retirement.

The goal is to give you a better understanding of what a financial plan should include, what it can do for you, and give you some insider tips from a real ex-banker on what to look out for when you encounter a financial planner or advisor trying to sell you a service like that.

If you do have some questions for John (the financial planner we used), or if you'd like to discuss potentially having him take a look at your financial situation too just like he did with my family, then you can sign up for a free consultation with him by going to buildwealthcanada.ca/john. It's totally free, and there's no obligation or anything like that.

Links and Resources Covered

  • Receive a free consultation with John and have your questions answered at www.buildwealthcanada.ca/john.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest
  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 

Questions Asked During the Interview:

  1. You and I went through the entire financial planning process together, with you as our financial planner. After you created the financial plan for us, one of the insights that came out of it, which goes against what we hear in the media a lot is that if you were to retire or semi-retire right now, you don't necessarily always need a 1 million dollar or more investment portfolio to pull it off.For example, our portfolio wasn't at $1 million and all the numbers supported that we still have enough for a full retirement right now. Why do you think we often hear in the media how you need that $1 million dollar portfolio, and why is this not necessarily always the case?
  2. To give everyone listening some actionable things that they can do when searching for a financial planner that's right for them, what are the red flags to look out for when meeting with a financial planner/advisor?
  3. I really like the process that you and I went through when you did our financial plan, and I think it's a really good example of what the process should be like. So now that we've talked about the negative things to look out for and what we don't want, can you give us a brief overview of your process?. I know this is something you've been optimizing for 20+ years so can you also highlight the critical pieces in the process that everyone should have when working with a financial planner?
  4. When you did my plan there were several critical components that you made sure you factored in that could really make a huge impact on whether someone can retire early or not. For anybody looking to do an early retirement, what were these key components that can really shorten the number of years that you need to work?

    Also, let's break this question down into 2 parts. First, let's talk about the controllable factors (ex. Spending, part time work, etc.) which we can all focus on that have the biggest impact on how early we can retire.And then after that, let's talk about the factors that we can't directly control, but that absolutely need to be factored into the financial plan, no matter who your financial planner or advisor is, because they have such an enormous impact on our ability to retire early (ex. Inflation, CPP and OAS).
  1. What I really liked in particular was the summary page that you produced where it talked about things like what's the most we can spend annually and still have enough to stay retired? And how much we actually need to retire? Using our actual numbers and financial plan as a real life example, can you speak to what the results for us were in the context of, what are the answers that we should have from our financial planner when getting a financial plan like this done>

Early retirement execution questions:

  1. Now that we have all the numbers we need from doing a financial plan, let's switch gears and talk about how to actually execute an early retirement or semi-retirement once you know you have enough in your investments.To start, how should our portfolio change when we move from an accumulation phase (where we're working full-time, saving and investing), to the decumulation phase where we're not working at all or only working part-time.
  2. When in retirement, should Canadians tweak their portfolio to generate more yield and try to live off that? or do you suggest just selling-off a percentage of the portfolio every year during good years and keeping a cash cushion during that bad years so that we're not selling our investments when the markets are down?
  3. For the fixed income portion of our portfolio how do you decide between using bonds vs doing a GIC ladder?
  4. What size of a cash cushion do you suggest for people in retirement or semi-retirement?
  5. How should early retirees deal with moving money out of the RRSP early?
    (Explain what the basic personal amount is here too please)
  6. What type of investments should you keep in each of your accounts to help minimize your taxes?

 


In this episode, we use our financial plan as a case study so that you and other Canadians can get some insights on how to execute an early retirement.

The goal is to give you a better understanding of what a financial plan should include, what it can do for you, and give you some insider tips from a real ex-banker on what to look out for when you encounter a financial planner or advisor trying to sell you a service like that.

If you do have some questions for John (the financial planner we used), or if you'd like to discuss potentially having him take a look at your financial situation too just like he did with my family, then you can sign up for a free consultation with him by going to buildwealthcanada.ca/john. It's totally free, and there's no obligation or anything like that.

Links and Resources Covered

  • Receive a free consultation with John and have your questions answered here.
  • Kornel's investing course: Free Sample Lessons
  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on that page for all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 

Questions Asked During the Interview:

  1. You and I went through the entire financial planning process together, with you as our financial planner. After you created the financial plan for us, one of the insights that came out of it, which goes against what we hear in the media a lot is that if you were to retire or semi-retire right now, you don't necessarily always need a 1 million dollar or more investment portfolio to pull it off.For example, our portfolio wasn't at $1 million and all the numbers supported that we still have enough for a full retirement right now. Why do you think we often hear in the media how you need that $1 million dollar portfolio, and why is this not necessarily always the case?
  2. To give everyone listening some actionable things that they can do when searching for a financial planner that's right for them, what are the red flags to look out for when meeting with a financial planner/advisor?
  3. I really like the process that you and I went through when you did our financial plan, and I think it's a really good example of what the process should be like. So now that we've talked about the negative things to look out for and what we don't want, can you give us a brief overview of your process?. I know this is something you've been optimizing for 20+ years so can you also highlight the critical pieces in the process that everyone should have when working with a financial planner?
  4. When you did my plan there were several critical components that you made sure you factored in that could really make a huge impact on whether someone can retire early or not. For anybody looking to do an early retirement, what were these key components that can really shorten the number of years that you need to work?

    Also, let's break this question down into 2 parts. First, let's talk about the controllable factors (ex. Spending, part time work, etc.) which we can all focus on that have the biggest impact on how early we can retire.And then after that, let's talk about the factors that we can't directly control, but that absolutely need to be factored into the financial plan, no matter who your financial planner or advisor is, because they have such an enormous impact on our ability to retire early (ex. Inflation, CPP and OAS).
  1. What I really liked in particular was the summary page that you produced where it talked about things like what's the most we can spend annually and still have enough to stay retired? And how much we actually need to retire? Using our actual numbers and financial plan as a real life example, can you speak to what the results for us were in the context of, what are the answers that we should have from our financial planner when getting a financial plan like this done>

Early retirement execution questions:

  1. Now that we have all the numbers we need from doing a financial plan, let's switch gears and talk about how to actually execute an early retirement or semi-retirement once you know you have enough in your investments.To start, how should our portfolio change when we move from an accumulation phase (where we're working full-time, saving and investing), to the decumulation phase where we're not working at all or only working part-time.
  2. When in retirement, should Canadians tweak their portfolio to generate more yield and try to live off that? or do you suggest just selling-off a percentage of the portfolio every year during good years and keeping a cash cushion during that bad years so that we're not selling our investments when the markets are down?
  3. For the fixed income portion of our portfolio how do you decide between using bonds vs doing a GIC ladder?
  4. What size of a cash cushion do you suggest for people in retirement or semi-retirement?
  5. How should early retirees deal with moving money out of the RRSP early?
    (Explain what the basic personal amount is here too please)
  6. What type of investments should you keep in each of your accounts to help minimize your taxes?
Direct download: How_to_Execute_an_Early_Retirement_-_Secrets_of_an_Ex-banker.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 5:39am EDT

Today’s guest has written over 1,000 financial plans for Canadians and is truly as experienced as it gets in this field. He has extensive knowledge on some of the higher impact investment strategies that can really help accelerate our returns such as the Smith Manoeuvre and how to use an RESP properly. We also cover how to structure your investment portfolio and what investments to buy.

Links and Resources Covered

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest

Questions Covered:

1. To start things off, tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into financial planning.

2. One of the strategies that I wish I knew about back when I was younger was how to make your mortgage tax deductible. Our friends in the US are able to easily deduct their mortgage interest against their taxes, whereas this is generally not allowed in Canada. However, you suggest a strategy called the Smith Manoeuvre for Canadians which when properly structured and deployed, lets Canadians deduct their mortgage interest as well.

Now you’ve set this up for many Canadians within you financial planning practice. Can you start off by taking us through what the Smith Manoeuvre actually is, how it makes all this possible, and how much money can actually be saved by doing this. In other words, is this actually worth our time to look into?

2.1. I get the impression that Canadians use this with their primary residence a lot, but what if somebody has their mortgage paid off or has a rental property. Is it highly beneficial to use this strategy then too? (ex. taking out equity from the home using a HELOC and using it for leveraged investing?)

3. I’ve researched the Smith Manoeuvre a fair bit and a common theme seems to be that you have to be very careful with how it’s set up so that the Canada Revenue Agency doesn’t flag you and treat this as tax evasion where you end up paying all sorts of fees. Can you talk about what to be careful of, and what the common mistakes are when Canadians try to set this up?

4. A lot of Canadians hear about the free money you can get from the government if you put money in an RESP. I remember when we had our daughter I got numerous calls from companies that were trying the “help” us with setting up an RESP.

To kick things off, can you explain what an RESP is, and is this something that we need a company to set up for us?

When you work with clients, at what point do you advise them to start moving the investments to something less volatile like bonds once their child starts approaching the age when they start their post-secondary education?

Do you start with a diversified, all stock portfolio, and then use a formula to know how much to move into bonds every year?

5. Let’s say you had to retire tomorrow with a $1,000,000 portfolio. You have no debt, a paid off house, but no work pension. How would you structure your portfolio and what investments would you buy so that it would last you indefinitely?

Would you change your investments and portfolio structure at all once you hit 65 (assuming that’s when you choose to start receiving CPP and OAS from the government).

6. Traditionally, the general accepted rule has been that the older you get, the more you should put towards bonds to keep your portfolio less volatile. You wrote a very interesting article talking about how loading up too much on bonds isn’t actually the sustainable thing to do. Can you talk about your findings and research.

7. Tell us more about where we can learn more from you?

8. What are some of the most common questions and problems that you tackle for your clients?

Direct download: Maximizing_Returns_Using_High_Impact_Investment_Strategies.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 1:16pm EDT

Today I’m excited to have Mark Seed on the show, who runs the popular Canadian blog, My Own Advisor. On the blog, Mark documents his journey and lessons learned as he invests towards achieving an early retirement, and works on growing his portfolio to 1 million dollars.

What’s very interesting about Mark, is that he is a hybrid investor meaning he doesn’t just invest in one particular way (for example, he doesn’t just buy the index with ETFs). Instead, he uses ETFs to hold US and international companies, but when it comes to the Canadian portion of his portfolio, he holds individual stocks of strong dividend paying companies instead of just holding a single ETF that captures all the major companies in Canada.

This is a bit of a different strategy than what I’ve been doing, so I thought it would be great to have Mark on the show to broaden our view by seeing how others invest, learn why he invests in that way (the pros and the cons), and see if maybe it’s a good fit for the way you invest.

Links and Resources Covered

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest

Questions Asked During the Interview:

  1. What made you decide to be a hybrid investor instead of just sticking with index investing or just dividend investing?
  2. What is your process you take for selecting which dividend paying companies to buy?
  3. Once you’ve done your due diligence on the company, what analysis do you do to determine whether now is the right time to buy? For example, how do you decide whether a company is currently overvalued or undervalued?
  4. How do you deal with the risk that you are investing in individual companies? As opposed to hundreds or thousands of companies through an ETF. For example, let’s say you’re holding CIBC. How do you deal with the worry that something might happen at that particular company and it could potentially never recover back to its previous stock price? (ex. Nortel, Blackberry)
  5. What made you choose to buy individual dividend paying companies vs buying something like the aristocrat ETF?
  6. Once you choose to retire, how do you plan on changing your asset allocation, if at all? (i.e. Going from an asset accumulation stage, to an asset decumulation phase).
    1. What if you retired early?
    2. What if you did a traditional retirement where CPP, OAS, and your pensions kick-in right away (or almost right away).
  7. If you did a much earlier retirement where CPP and OAS don’t kick-in yet, would you move all or most of your investments to stable Canadian dividend payers partially due to the dividend tax credit?
  8. Speaking of asset allocation, what are your thoughts about using bonds as part of your portfolio, especially in retirement? Many Canadians are feeling reluctant to use them due to their low returns, and are expecting their prices to drop due to their fear of rising interest rates here in Canada. What’s your take on this?
  9. A common criticism against the Canadian index is that we as Canada are too concentrated in just a few sectors (i.e. energy, financials, materials). I imagine you run into the same challenge with Canadian dividend investing. Do you do anything to offset this in your portfolio? Have you come across any good solutions?
  10. Do you have any other advice for dividend focused investors? (or investors in general)
  11. Tell us more about My Own Advisor and what’s the best way to hear more from you?
Direct download: How_to_Invest_in_Dividend_Paying_Stocks_in_Canada.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 3:20pm EDT

Today we’re going to take a deep dive into the world of real estate, and we’re going to approach it from 2 sides:

First, we’ll talk about real estate as an investment (i.e. If you’ve ever thought about investing in a property and renting it out).

Now if you’ve listened to past episodes of the show, then you know that it can actually be really hard to get the numbers to work when buying a home and trying to rent it out as an investment. Today’s expert, however, is going to share some strategies with us that she uses to actually successfully invest, and make the numbers work, despite the high prices of real estate that we’ve been seeing.

Next, we’ll shift focus and talk about the different home buying tips, and expensive mistakes that you can avoid when buying a home for yourself. Even if you’ve bought a home in the past, I still recommend that you tune-in as the real estate market has likely changed since you last bought a home. Join me in welcoming today’s guest, Limor Markman, as she shares the latest money saving tips and ways to protect yourself, whether you’re buying a home for personal use, or as an investment.

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 
  • Have a mortgage question? Ask our own in-house expert, Sean Cooper over at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/sean
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest
Direct download: Real_Estate_Investing_and_Buying_Your_First_Home.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 12:09pm EDT

On this episode, we cover some of the top financial mistakes Canadians make, as well as common misconceptions that may be holding you back in accelerating your investments and net worth.

Links and Resources:

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • The Canadian Financial Summit is available at CanadianFinancialSummit.com
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest
Direct download: The_Top_Financial_Mistakes_Canadians_Make_-_Kyle_Prevost.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 12:09pm EDT

In this episode, we talk about what a robo advisor is, and how it can be a lot less expensive than the traditional approach of investing in high-fee, actively managed mutual funds.

I find robo advisors to be the easiest way to invest in Canada, but this does result in higher fees than if you were to just buy the investments yourself (which is actually really easy). 

I personally just buy the investments myself to get the lowest fees and pay the least tax possible (You can see exactly how I do it over at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest.)

With that said, I realize not everybody wants to learn how to actually be a passive investor and get the lowest possible fees, and so robo advisors can be a good option if you value simplicity of fees. 

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest

Questions Covered:

1. For those just getting started in investing, can you explain what a robo advisor service is, and especially why we as Canadians should care?

2. When you build investment portfolios for Canadians, why are ETFs such a core part of your portfolios? (perhaps explain what an ETF is first for all the listeners just getting started with this)

3. Nest Wealth mentions that you manage the money based on proven investing principles and Nobel Prize-winning theories. Can you elaborate on the Nobel Prize-winning theories component?

4. One thing I noticed on your Nest Wealth site, is that you actually list all the ETFs you buy (which is nice, I really like that transparency), but if I’m just a regular Canadian, why don’t I just buy the ETFs myself through a discount brokerage (especially since some discount brokerages let me buy ETFs for free) and then save on the fees that Nest Wealth charges?

5. Anybody following the financial services industry knows that there are a LOT of robo advisor services out in Canada. What sets Nest Wealth apart from all the rest?

5.a. One of the things that really intrigued me when I first heard of you guys is that you have a flat fee model. For those not familiar, can you explain what that is and why it’s actually a pretty big deal?

5.b. You mention that your portfolios are “custom built” unlike your competitors. Can you elaborate how this works and why it’s so important?

6. I imagine that a big concern Canadians have is that with all these robo advisor companies out there, it’s totally conceivable that not all of them will survive long term. Because of this, it wouldn’t surprise me if some Canadians are holding back from investing because they are afraid of losing all their money if something was to ever happen. Can you speak to this concern?

7. What customer support do you offer? Ex. If somebody has questions while going through the automated portfolio building process?

What about after all is set up?

8. One of the other things that intrigued me was that on your site you mention that as a client you get your own portfolio manager that you can speak with, text or call. What types of things is a Portfolio Manager ideally suited to help you with? And what types of question are beyond the scope of a Portfolio Manager like this? (I’m trying to gauge what kind of other professionals you need on your team apart from Nest Wealth).

10. I went through Nest Wealth and had it build a portfolio for me. I noticed that there were different goals that you can select, and I assume Nest Wealth will optimize your portfolio, depending on your goal correct?

How does Nest Wealth change what portfolio it recommends depending on whether somebody is savings for retirement vs is already retired and now needs the income instead of growth?

What about if they’re saving for something like a down payment on a home or post-secondary education for their child? What’s the strategy behind those types of portfolios?

11. I noticed Nest Wealth will build your portfolio based on your questions, but it won’t actually tell you whether you will be able to actually retire by an age you specify, and whether your income in retirement is sustainable. Is that because that is an area where you actually need a financial planner to do a more in-depth, 1-on-1 personalized analysis with you?

12. How is the MER absorbed? Is that covered by the monthly fee? What about other fees?

13. To close things off, who is Nest Wealth not for?

ex. Those with credit card debt?

13. Who is Nest Wealth ideally for? What type of person benefits most from what your service?

Direct download: Should_You_Invest_with_a_Robo_Advisor_in_Canada.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 2:40pm EDT

Today I’m excited to have Sean Cooper on the show. There’s a good chance that you’ve already heard of Sean whether it’s on the radio, TV, or the internet as Sean is the guy that bought his first house when he was just 27 and paid off his mortgage at 30 in 3 years.

As you may know, my wife and I also paid off our mortgage early at the age of 28 and 29 (you can learn more about it by checking out past episodes of the show). But what makes Sean’s story interesting, is that he did it in Toronto (which as we all know has some of the highest real estate prices in Canada), and he did it with a single income. That to me is really impressive, so it was fun to pick Sean’s brain about how he did it, and the strategies he uses and recommends to save money and get out of debt.

UPDATE: Since publishing this episode, Sean has become the show’s Resident Mortgage Expert. If you have a mortgage question, you can speak to Sean for free over at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/sean

A bit more about Sean: He’s an in-demand personal finance journalist, money coach and speaker. His articles have been featured in publications such as the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, MoneySense and Tangerine’s Forward Thinking blog.

He makes regular appearances on national radio and television shows to discuss personal finance, real estate and mortgages. He’s also the author of the new book, Burn Your Mortgage, which helps anyone —from new buyers to experienced homeowners — pay down their mortgage sooner and live well while doing it.

Links and Resources

  • Get a free one-on-one meeting with Sean to get your mortgage and home buying questions answered at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/sean
  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest

Questions Covered:

  1. To start things off, tell us your story and the steps you took that got you mortgage free at such a young age.
  2. Tell me about the moment when you realized that you need to write a book. What motivated you to write it in the first place?
  3. With the house prices being where they are, and the frenzy that we seem to be experiencing in the real estate market right now, do you think it still makes sense for millennials to buy a home? (as opposed to renting for a lot less and investing their excess cash flows). Are there exceptions?
  4. Are there some creative ways that you recommend Canadians (and millennials in particular) can get into the real estate market?
  5. Tell me about the internal dialogue that you had in your head, with yourself, when deciding whether you should pay off your mortgage quicker or invest.
  6. Now that you are debt free, are you also financially independent? Tell me your definition of financial independence.
  7. If yes, how do you structure your investments, cash flows, etc.?
  8. What are you doing with the cash flows that aren’t going towards your mortgage anymore?
    -What are you investing in?
    -Your strategy. Reasoning?
    -How are you using registered accounts? Are you using non-registered too?
  9. Have you considered doing a home equity line of credit (HELOC) on your property and using the proceeds to invest?
  10. Are you thinking of buying more rental properties?
  11. What’s next for you?
  12. To finish things off, tell us more about your book and what we can expect to learn from reading it.
  13. Where can we follow you if we want to learn more?

Today we have Susan Daley on the show and we’re going to talk all about early retirement, such us how to pull it off, what to look out for, and some of the most common mistakes that Canadians make when trying to plan this out.

Susan is an Associate Portfolio Manager at PWL Capital in Waterloo, where she provides financial planning and investment management services to a wide range of clients. She’s also an Honours BBA graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University, which is actually where I graduated from too, so it’s always fun to chat with a fellow grad about best practices when it comes to financial planning and investing.

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest
  • You can reach out to Susan at sdaley@pwlcapital.com and she's at www.pwlcapital.com/waterloo

Questions Covered:

  1. For somebody that is saving money for a large purchase like a house, wedding, a car, etc., where do you suggest they keep their money to let it grow safely?
  2. What to consider when deciding between RRSP vs TFSA vs non-registered? 
  3. What if you’re planning to retire or semi-retire early (ex. 30s or 40s where it’s still a long time before government benefits come in). Does that change anything in terms of what accounts you put the funds in? 
  4. Is there any time that you would use a non-registered account before using an RRSP and TFSA?
  5. How to determine if you’ve saved enough to retire early? 
  6. Once you hit that number, what changes do you make to your portfolio since now you’re focused on sustainability instead of growth (changes in terms of asset allocation, and the investment products you choose).
  7. Would the answer be different if the person is in their 60s and about to receive government benefits vs if they are retired much earlier (ex. 40s)?
  8. What cash cushion do you recommend for those in retirement and semi-retirement?
  9. Some advisors recommend real return bonds for those in retirement. What are your thoughts? 
  10. How to decide what accounts to take money from in retirement? (RRSP vs TFSA vs non-registered)

 

Direct download: Early_Retirement_-_How_Much_Do_You_Need_to_Retire.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 6:55am EDT

In this episode, we’re going to continue covering the subject of “How to Not Run Out of Money in Retirement”, specifically for Canadians.

This is from a live webinar that I did for Canadian MoneySaver Magazine so in case you weren’t able to make it, I wanted to provide you with as many tips as possible from that presentation in audio form.

If you missed part 1 of the series, it's the episode right before this one (episode 31).

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest

Bonuses for Build Wealth Canada Listeners:

You are eligible to receive a free 1-year paid subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine by signing up for the free 5i Trial at www.buildwealthcanada.ca/trial.

If you would like more information, just listen to the beginning of the episode or you can learn more about 5i Research below:

In case you’re new to the show, 5i Research is Canada’s only conflict-free investment research network. What that means is that as you know, there is a lot of conflict of interest in Canada when it comes to people telling you what to invest in.  

So let’s say you go to your bank and ask to speak to a financial advisor because you want to invest some money. Well what many of them will do, is try to sell you their investment products like their mutual funds for example.

You’ll get a well-rehearsed sales pitch, but what they don’t tell you is how ridiculously high their fees are compared to just investing the money yourself using ETFs or stocks.

There’s also a conflict of interest because they are incentivised (either through bonuses or getting a promotion at work) to sell you products that make the company the most money, but may not necessarily be the best fit for you and make you the most money.

So here’s the thing, why would you ask someone what you should invest in when that person has a financial incentive to sell you what makes them the most money, as opposed to what makes you the most money so that you can, for example, retire early because you’re not paying ridiculous fees on underperforming investments?

Where 5i Research comes in is that they actually have a team of analysts that do the research, and all the financial math and analysis for you on the best investments to own (whether it’s the top stocks or the top ETFs in Canada), and whether you’re a growth focused investor, or a dividend focused investor. What makes them stand out, is that they don’t try to sell you any investments, so they’re not getting some commission or fee on the back-end, and the result is you getting unbiased investment analysis and insights, where you never have to worry that they are recommending something just because they are getting some sort extra compensation on the back-end.

What’s also neat, is that you can ask them questions, like if you’re considering a particular stock or ETF. Or, maybe you have no clue what you should invest in, and in that case they can recommend some model portfolios for you depending on your risk tolerance, objectives, and whether you want to invest in ETFs, stocks, or both.

They actually already have over 54,000 answered quested in their database, so you can actually see what others are asking too about the stock or ETF that you’re considering buying, and see the answers to those too.

Now as a listener of the Build Wealth Canada Show, you can actually get full access to everything for free for 1 month. In other words, you get full access to all the stock and ETF recommendations, all the model portfolios, as well as 5i’s database of over 54,000 answered investing questions. I definitely encourage you to check it out as at the very least you’ll learn a ton and it’s all free anyway.

And if for some strange reason that’s not enough, I’ve also arranged for Build Wealth Canada listeners to get two extra bonuses:

Bonus 1: The first, is that when you sign up for the free trial, you’ll also get a 1 year, paid subscriptions to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine, absolutely free.

This is the exact same magazine that you see at Chapters and other stores all across Canada, and you get the entire subscription, for free, for an entire year, no strings attached.

Bonus 2: The 2nd bonus, is that you’ll also get 1 question credit for free, on the 5i Research site. This means you can actually ask 5i’s team of analysts your most pressing investment question and they’ll answer it for you, using the knowledge and investment tools that you and I simply don’t have access to.

So enjoy, it’s all free, you’ll learn an absolute ton, and you can get it all by going to www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/trial.

In Closing:

If you enjoyed the episode, please take a moment to leave an honest review and rating on iTunes by clicking the “View in iTunes” button at this link.

If you have any tips, suggestions or comments, please be sure to leave a comment in the section below. I read all responses and look forward to hearing from you.

Have a great week,

Kornel

 


How Much Do You Need to Retire? No matter what age you are, chances are you’ve asked yourself this critical question at some point.

The stakes are high, and there are no do-overs, so how can you best prepare yourself now to ensure that you have enough to live the lifestyle you want in retirement?

Join me as I dive into the best practices and key factors to consider when figuring this out for yourself.

Is there a magic retirement number that you should aim for with your investments?

What levers can you pull to retire early, and sustain that retirement long-term?  

Whether you’re decades away from retirement or are getting close to that big day, join me to learn some of the key considerations to ensure that you have enough to retire.

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest
Direct download: How_Much_Do_You_Need_to_Retire.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 12:42pm EDT

In this episode, I’ve pulled together the newest numbers of what you can expect from your investments. These are based on historical returns using several different highly reputable sources that I personally use and trust.

In other words, this isn’t some subjective opinion of what one person thinks you’ll get on your investments. Instead, it’s actual data, studies, and reports that reputable sources in the industry have put together, and is what I personally use.

I’ve also created a summary where you can see the ranges of possible investment returns based on the different sources (which use different times frames and assumptions). You can get all that by going to the episode's show notes over at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/29

Links and Resources

  • The summary, graphs, and text version of this is available in the episode's page at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/29
  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest
Direct download: Investing_Returns_What_Can_You_Expect.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 9:43am EDT

When it comes to the Build Wealth Canada show, there are 2 questions that I get asked more than any other.

The first is how to actually buy ETFs, so how to actually be an index investor, what tools to use, which ETFs are great ones to consider, and how to actually do it step-by-step. So that’s why I built the course (to basically answer this question). If you're interested, you can check it out at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest

Now the 2nd question that I get most often is from Canadians who are either in their 50 or 60s, are about to retire (or will be retiring in 10 years or less) and are looking learn how to do it properly.

So how do you withdraw from your portfolio properly to pay as little tax as possible? What are some best practices and things to look out for so that you don’t run out of money during your retirement?

Obviously when it comes to retirement planning like this, things gets really complicated, and the risks are ridiculously high since you’re basically at a life stage where you’re going to start spending the money that you’ve been saving and investing throughout your whole life.

So, the stakes are really high. We’re dealing with a lot of real money here, and the terrifying thing is that there are no do-overs.

In other words, if you mess this up, you can’t just hit the rewind button, get all your money back and try again. Because of this, it’s extremely important to get this right as the worse case scenario is basically you running out of money during retirement.

Also if you do run out of money, then going back to the workforce may not be an option due to the physical and/or mental health that you may be in at that time. Employers might also have a preference to hiring someone younger that they can pay less money for, and groom to stay with the company long term (unlike you since you’ll be back in retirement at the first possible opportunity).

Also with all the development in medical technology, now more than ever we are faced with the new challenge of living too long and outliving our money. This makes having a good financial plan that you review with a professional periodically even more important to ensure that you are living the type of lifestyle that you want in retirement, while minimizing the risks of running out of money.

Now I’m not trying to instill fear or anything like that, but I say all this just to help anybody out there realize that this is critically important, doing it wrong can be catastrophic to you and your partner’s life, and so you have to take accountability and responsibility for your financial situation, and not just hope that everything will turn out okay.

So with that said, I’m of the opinion that since the stakes at this stage of life are so high, you need a customized financial plan specific to your particular situations. This is definitely one of those times where you can’t just read a blog post about the top 10 retirement tips and assume that you’re all set, and that some “general” guidance is good enough for you as well.

You simply can’t do this because the stakes are too high (i.e. you running out of money in retirement), and there are too many variables in your life that can change the plan drastically.

For example:

  • The assets and liabilities you have
  • The income sources you’ll have in retirement
  • The dependents you’ll have
  • Your health
  • Your goals and ambitions for retirement
  • Inflation and market returns that you’ve endured in your lifetime
  • The emergency fund you have
  • The lifestyle you want in retirement
  • Family dynamics like marriages, deaths and inheritances
  • Your risk tolerance
  • and the list goes on and on.

To address and help you with this, I’d like to introduce you to Sandi Martin who is a professional fee-for-service financial planner here in Canada.

Sandi has been requested by listeners of the show, and in this interview I chat with Sandi about the top questions that I’ve been asked from Build Wealth Canada listeners, especially those in their 50s and 60s that are nearing or at retirement. So enjoy the interview, and thanks for submitting the questions.

Now just to give you a bit of a background, Sandi is an expert in helping Canadians answer questions specific to their situation such as:

Are you on track to retire? Did you miss something in your analysis?

Are you saving enough for retirement?

What’s the best way to take out income from your portfolio to minimize taxes (based on all your assets and income sources)

How much do you need to save so that you can retire comfortably?

When can you retire? Can you fully retire or semi-retire now?

When should you choose to take your CPP and OAS?

What kind of lifestyle can you expect when you retire based on your current savings?

How can you help ensure that you don’t run out of money in your retirement?

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest

Questions Answered:

  • Listener Question:
    “I would be interested in strategies for withdrawing accumulated assets from RRSPs and TFSAs. Is there an order of preference to save on taxes?”
  • What if a Canadian earns income vs doesn’t earn income during their retirement. How does that affect things?
  • Can you talk about converting an RRSP to a RRIF. What is it? How does it work?
  • What is “sequence of returns risk” and how can we protect ourselves from it?
  • What is an RPP?
  • What is a LIRA?
    • Converting to LIF (Life Income Fund): What is it? How does it apply to this?
    • What is a Locked-In Retirement Income Fund (LRIF)?
    • What is a Prescribed Registered Retirement Income Fund (PRRIF)?
  • What about holding money in unregistered accounts. Can you define what that means and how does it apply to this?
  • When it comes to pensions, what are “defined benefit plans” vs “defined contribution plans”. How does this impact everything?
  • What numbers do you like to use when forecasting returns for stocks and bonds? What are real vs nominal returns?
  • Some Canadians consider purchasing annuities for their retirement. Can you define what these are and what are your thoughts on it?
Direct download: How_to_Withdraw_from_RRSP_and_TFSA_in_Retirement_tax_efficiently.mp3.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 9:13am EDT

Today I wanted to cover the subject of debt consolidation. What is it? Should you do it? and if so, then what are the options available to you?

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest

Questions Covered

  1. What does it mean to consolidate your credit, and in what circumstances should somebody consider doing this?
  2. A common argument against credit consolidation services is that they don’t solve the underlying issue. In other words, somebody might consolidate their debt which frees up space on their credit cards or line of credit, and then they just end up taking on more debt since they haven’t changed their lifestyle and habits to live a debt free life. How can someone prevent this from happening to them?
  3. Since you deal with a lot of individuals that have gotten into significant debt and are struggling to get out, what are the most common mistakes that you see people make that get them in this situation in the first place?
  4. What are you thoughts on the use of emergency funds? Some experts suggest keeping it in cash, while others suggest having a line of credit for emergencies and using any available cash to pay off the debt. Where do you stand on this debate?
  5. After paying off any high interest debt, what are your recommendations on paying off student loans and the mortgage vs investing the money for retirement?
  6. For somebody that wants to see if consolidating their credit is right for them, what is the process that they get taken through with you from beginning to end?
Direct download: Should_You_Consolidate_Your_Debt.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 12:02pm EDT

Questions Covered

  1. For those Canadians new to this type of investing style, can you explain what dividend investing is?
  2. When should someone consider doing dividend investing? (i.e. Is there a particular life stage when it’s most appropriate?)
  3. Is there a type of person that is most suited for this type of investing? (ex. time commitment, personality, etc.)
  4. What are the pros and cons of this investing style vs something like index investing, mutual fund investing, or stock picking for growth?
  5. The idea of investing to “live off the dividends” sounds very tempting to Canadians. How realistic is this? What is actually needed to pull this off?
  6. What are some of the top mistakes Canadians make when investing in Dividends? (ex. Chasing yield)
  7. At 5i one of the things I noticed you do, is that you have sections of the site dedicated specifically for dividend investors, and I noticed that in there you recommend primarily Canadian companies. Can you explain why that is? (i.e. preferential tax treatment, anything else?)
  8. Peter said (in a previous interview) that at 5i you like companies that have a growing dividend. If somebody is researching a company themselves, how can they check if a company is growing its dividend?
  9. What are some good resources for somebody that is considering, or wants to learn how to do dividend investing?
  10. I know you guys offer a lot of help on this to 5i subscribers so feel free to talk about some of the resources that you have available for investors too.

Links and Resources

  • You can get a free 1 month trial of 5i Research by going to www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/trial. As a "thank you" for trying it out and checking out their research, you'll also receive a free 1 year subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine (Canada's largest personal finance and investing magazine).
  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest
Direct download: Dividend_Investing_-_Is_it_Right_for_You.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 6:25am EDT

In this episode, I cover several mistakes and misconceptions that held me back from maximizing the growth of my investment portfolio.  

By sharing my mistakes and what held me back, I hope that it will help you avoid these same mistakes.

Fortunately, things still ended up great, although not perfect, and definitely not the most efficient in terms of net worth growth. These are the lessons about the money left on the table, and what I would tell my younger self.

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest
Direct download: How_I_Lost_16128_by_Not_Getting_Started_in_Investing_Earlier.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 5:13am EDT

This episode covers how to protect yourself from overpaying in hidden investment fees, and how to ensure that you are getting unbiased advice from your financial professionals. 

Did you know that there is a lot of conflict-of-interest that exists with many of the financial advisors here in Canada. We also have one of the highest investment fees in the world. 

While there are ways to bypass these fees, you need to know what to look for so that you can spot if your advisor is recommending a poor investment that is primarily designed to maximize their firm’s profits, instead of growing your net worth.

Join me as we cover some of the most dangerous traps that exist for us Canadians in the investing and financial services industry.

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest
Direct download: Is_Your_Financial_Advisor_Ripping_You_Off.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 7:13am EDT

This is part 2 of the interview with Peter. If you missed part 1, it's the episode right before this one.

Episode Description: Today I’m thrilled to have Peter Hodson on the show who is the owner of 5i Research, the Canadian MoneySaver Magazine, and in his investment career, has managed over $1-billion dollars in assets.

I’ve always wanted to have Peter on the show to pick his brain about investing best practices here in Canada, and see what he learned over his decades of professional investing.

Peter and his team have also been generous in providing Build Wealth Canada listeners with a special offer where you can get your investment questions answered, and learn more investment best practices by getting a free trial membership over at www.buildwealthcanada.ca/trial. As a "thank you" for taking a look at their research, you'll also receive a free 1 year digital subscription to Canadian MoneySaver magazine (Canada's largest personal finance magazine). 

Links and Resources

  • Free 1 month trial plus free 1 year subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine: www.buildwealthcanada.ca/trial
  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest

Questions Covered:

  1. Can you start by telling us your background, and your story from your days on Bay Street, to now running 5i Research and owning Canadian MoneySaver magazine?
  1. In Canada it seems that investors fall into one of 5 main categories. They either:
    1. Buy mutual funds
    2. Buy indexes
    3. Buy individual stocks for growth
    4. Buy individual stocks for dividends
    5. Buy a combination of the above.

Can you walk us through these options and how do we decide what type of investing is right for us?

  1. Before we dive into more detail and talk about 5i, what are some key investing lessons that you’ve learned over the years that we can apply to our own investing lives?
  1. Let’s talk about 5i Research. For those Canadians that haven’t heard of 5i, can you tell us more about what it is that you do, and how is 5i different?
  1. You have a model portfolio for growth, and another for income on 5i. Can you explain the difference between the two and how do we know which one to follow based on our situation?
  1. How do we choose between a growth vs a balanced portfolio?
  2. How have these portfolios been performing compared to the index?
  3. Why don’t I just invest in indexes instead of following the 5i portfolio? Is it just because of the potential for higher returns or are there some other advantages or disadvantages? (ex. greater diversification among different industries)
  1. What if I don’t want to be researching and analyzing individual companies. Is 5i still a good fit for me? (i.e. can I just model your portfolio and not do anything else other than re-balance?). Or, do I need to be actively researching the companies you suggest after your initial recommendation to ensure that they are still a good fit?
  2. Is your portfolio just for Canadian companies? If so, what sort of asset allocation do you suggest outside of Canada for diversification purposes?
  3. Would you recommend using the 5i portfolio completely for the Canadian portion of our portfolio, and then use ETFs for international exposure?
  4. ETFs that model a broad market index can now be purchased for free from certain discount brokerages here in Canada. If we are to follow the 5i portfolio, then we now have to deal with paying transaction costs every time that we purchase a stock. If somebody would like to invest a set percentage of their salary every month, what’s the step-by-step process that they should take to do it most efficiently and to minimize fees while still being diversified (which is hard to do if you’re only buying one company or two at a time)?
  5. Would this workflow/strategy change depending  on how much someone has to invest every month? What if we have a lump sum to invest?
  1. Should I use my TFSA or RRSP for the 5i portfolio? What about using an unregistered account? Should I ever be using that instead? (i.e. preferential tax treatment on dividends). Does this vary based on whether I follow your income portfolio vs your growth portfolio?
  2. Your portfolio has done really well. What if we’re concerned that we’ve missed the boat and are now buying these companies when their prices are already at their peak (especially for those companies that have done really well)?
  1. What are your thoughts on asset allocation between stocks and bonds? Do you recommend bonds? If not, what do you suggest?
  2. You assign a letter grade to the stocks in your portfolio too. Is that more if we aren’t following your portfolio and are just picking and choosing stocks?
  3. For our ETF portion of the portfolio, what are your thoughts on more targeted ETFs like small cap ETFs vs just going for the broad market index? The more targeted ones can have higher fees so is it worth it since now your return has to try to offset those?

Today I’m thrilled to have Peter Hodson on the show who is the owner of 5i Research, the Canadian MoneySaver Magazine, and in his investment career, has managed over $1-billion dollars in assets. He's also been called "The Warren Buffett of Canada" by the Globe and Mail.

I’ve always wanted to have Peter on the show to pick his brain about investing best practices here in Canada, and see what he learned over his decades of professional investing.

Peter and his team have also been generous in providing Build Wealth Canada listeners with a special offer where you can get your investment questions answered, and learn more investment best practices by getting a free trial membership over at www.buildwealthcanada.ca/trial. As a "thank you" for taking a look at their research, you'll also receive a free 1 year digital subscription to Canadian MoneySaver magazine (Canada's largest personal finance magazine). 

Links and Resources

  • Free 1 month trial plus free 1 year subscription to Canadian MoneySaver Magazine: www.buildwealthcanada.ca/trial
  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest

Questions Covered:

  1. Can you start by telling us your background, and your story from your days on Bay Street, to now running 5i Research and owning Canadian MoneySaver magazine?
  1. In Canada it seems that investors fall into one of 5 main categories. They either:
    1. Buy mutual funds
    2. Buy indexes
    3. Buy individual stocks for growth
    4. Buy individual stocks for dividends
    5. Buy a combination of the above.

Can you walk us through these options and how do we decide what type of investing is right for us?

  1. Before we dive into more detail and talk about 5i, what are some key investing lessons that you’ve learned over the years that we can apply to our own investing lives?
  1. Let’s talk about 5i Research. For those Canadians that haven’t heard of 5i, can you tell us more about what it is that you do, and how is 5i different?
  1. You have a model portfolio for growth, and another for income on 5i. Can you explain the difference between the two and how do we know which one to follow based on our situation?
  1. How do we choose between a growth vs a balanced portfolio?
  2. How have these portfolios been performing compared to the index?
  3. Why don’t I just invest in indexes instead of following the 5i portfolio? Is it just because of the potential for higher returns or are there some other advantages or disadvantages? (ex. greater diversification among different industries)
  1. What if I don’t want to be researching and analyzing individual companies. Is 5i still a good fit for me? (i.e. can I just model your portfolio and not do anything else other than re-balance?). Or, do I need to be actively researching the companies you suggest after your initial recommendation to ensure that they are still a good fit?
  2. Is your portfolio just for Canadian companies? If so, what sort of asset allocation do you suggest outside of Canada for diversification purposes?
  3. Would you recommend using the 5i portfolio completely for the Canadian portion of our portfolio, and then use ETFs for international exposure?
  4. ETFs that model a broad market index can now be purchased for free from certain discount brokerages here in Canada. If we are to follow the 5i portfolio, then we now have to deal with paying transaction costs every time that we purchase a stock. If somebody would like to invest a set percentage of their salary every month, what’s the step-by-step process that they should take to do it most efficiently and to minimize fees while still being diversified (which is hard to do if you’re only buying one company or two at a time)?
  5. Would this workflow/strategy change depending  on how much someone has to invest every month? What if we have a lump sum to invest?
  1. Should I use my TFSA or RRSP for the 5i portfolio? What about using an unregistered account? Should I ever be using that instead? (i.e. preferential tax treatment on dividends). Does this vary based on whether I follow your income portfolio vs your growth portfolio?
  2. Your portfolio has done really well. What if we’re concerned that we’ve missed the boat and are now buying these companies when their prices are already at their peak (especially for those companies that have done really well)?
  1. What are your thoughts on asset allocation between stocks and bonds? Do you recommend bonds? If not, what do you suggest?
  2. You assign a letter grade to the stocks in your portfolio too. Is that more if we aren’t following your portfolio and are just picking and choosing stocks?
  3. For our ETF portion of the portfolio, what are your thoughts on more targeted ETFs like small cap ETFs vs just going for the broad market index? The more targeted ones can have higher fees so is it worth it since now your return has to try to offset those?

Today I’m really excited to have Rob Carrick on the show, who is the main Personal Finance Columnist at the Globe and Mail.

Rob is also the author of five personal finance books for Canadians, and all in all is easily one of the most respected and well known personal finance experts here in Canada.

Today we’ll cover whether you should be putting your savings in an RRSP, a TFSA, or use it to pay down your mortgage quicker (if you have one).

We also cover:

  1. Where you should be investing your money?
  2. Where to keep your money safe if for example, you’re saving for a downpayment on a house?
  3. What should your priorities be when it comes to debt?
  4. What asset allocation should you go with? (ex. stocks vs bonds mix)

Links & Resources Covered:

Direct download: BWC_018_RRSP_vs_TFSA_vs_Mortgage-_Where_Should_You_Put_your_Money.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 1:43pm EDT

Today I’m really excited to have Bruce Sellery on the show from MoneySense Magazine and Moolala.ca, to tell you all about how to save and invest for your retirement.

Bruce is a bestselling author, and you might have seen him on TV as he’s been on CTV, CNN, BNN, MSNBC, as well as the Lang & O’Leary Exchange with Kevin O’Leary from Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank.

He is also the author of the book “The Moolala Guide to Rockin’ your RRSP” which is a fantastic book that I’d recommend to everyone.

In it, he actually does a great job of inspiring you to take action when it comes to planning and saving for your retirement (which is great if you know this is something you should be doing but just aren’t feeling motivated to do it). He also provides a great step-by-step guide that you can actually implement to pull it all off.

Links and Resources

Questions Covered

1. Why should Canadians even care about saving for retirement through their RRSPs and TFSAs?.

2. What are the top mistakes Canadians make when it comes to their RRSPs, and retirement planning in general?

3. Tell us about the 5 steps in your book that listeners can use to retire early.

4. For someone that is looking to buy their first home: They may want to save money for a down payment inside their RRSP since they can withdraw it when they’re ready to buy using the Home Buyers Plan.

In this case, what should they put their money into? (i.e. bonds, bond ETFs, GICs?) Especially considering interest rates are low and Canadians are worried about getting hurt on bonds if rates go up.

GIC rates are very low too so it doesn’t seem very appealing for most.

What about those Canadians that are getting very close to retirement? Is the strategy different for them?

In other words, what are the best safe options in the current low interest rate environment?

5. RRSP loans: What are they and when is it a good option?

6. How to factor in inflation when doing retirement planning calculations? (i.e. Would you just use the anticipated rate of return and subtract out inflation? Or use some other method?)

7. Is there a way to be able to take some of your spouse’s RRSP contribution room if you’re in a higher tax bracket?

8. Your thoughts on using annuities for retirement? (please define annuities first)

9. Your thoughts on using broad market index funds or ETFs vs buying smaller indexes like small cap stocks or different bond ETFs?

Direct download: BWC_015_The_Guide_to_Rockin_Your_RRSP.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 12:05pm EDT

This is part 2 of the interview on How to Retire Early, with MoneySense Senior Editor Julie Cazzin.

In Part 1 we covered the beginner level questions. In part 2, we take it up a notch and get into the more intermediate and advanced level questions.

If you missed part 1, it's the episode right before this one.

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest
  • Julie’s Articles on MoneySense

Questions Covered:

  1. What are some top tips you can give to Canadians that want to retire early?
  1. How can we figure out if we have enough to retire early?
  1. What are some top mistakes someone can make if they want to retire early?
  1. What are some top mistakes someone can do if they are already retired? (whether it was early retirement or not)
  1. While saving for an early retirement, would you recommend index investing by purchasing broad market ETFs or funds, or do you recommend a different strategy? (ex. dividend investing)
  1. While saving for an early retirement, would your asset allocation be different compared to someone that is planning on retiring early?
  1. What are some of the unique challenges that we have to worry about if we are planning to retire early vs doing the more traditional retirement at age 65. (i.e. Impact of CPP, OAS, and pensions come to mind).
  1. Once we manage to retire early, what suggestions can you make in terms of asset allocation?
  1. Your thoughts on a safe withdraw rate?
  1. How would you suggest using TFSA, RRSP, and unregistered accounts while saving?
  1. How would you suggest using TFSA, RRSP, and unregistered accounts while retired early?
  2. What are annuities and is it possible to purchase annuities here in Canada if we are a young retiree?
Direct download: BWC_014_How_to_Retire_Early_Part_2.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 8:54pm EDT

This is part 2 of the interview on How to Invest in Canada, with author and investor Dr. John Robertson.

In Part 1 we covered the beginner to intermediate level questions. These were perfect for those just getting started on their investing journey.

In part 2, we take it up a notch and get into the more advanced level questions.

If you missed part 1, it's the episode right before this one.

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest
  • John’s Blog: Blessed by the Potato

Questions Covered

  1. Tell us your story and what prompted you to write your book.
  1. What are the most common mistakes you see beginner investors make when they’re just starting out?
  1. What about those in their 40-50s that have been investing for a while?
  1. In your book, you make a really strong case for investing in broad market indexes. For our listeners who are just starting off in investing, can you tell them what this means, and why this is a good way to invest?
  1. What is an “asset allocation” and how would you change the asset allocation for someone fresh out of school vs someone nearing retirement?
  1. You thoughts on investing in stocks versus bonds and on creating an all stock portfolio.
  1. In a low interest rate environment like we are in right now, what are your thoughts on investing in bonds? Especially considering rates are bound to go up eventually which would hurt the existing bond prices.
  1. How are you investing now?
  1. If you could go back to when you made your first investment, what advice would you give yourself.
  2. Over the years in your investment journey, what’s worked for you, and what hasn’t worked so well?
  3. Was there ever a point that you didn’t feel confident about what you’re investing in, and the investment choices you made?
  4. Your thoughts on investing in other indexes like small cap companies instead of just broad market? (many argue that they generate higher returns at the cost of higher volatility)
  5. Thoughts on dividend investing vs broad market index investing.
  6. What is the 4% rule and what are your thoughts on it? Do you prefer a variation of it?
Direct download: How_To_Invest_In_Canada_Part_2.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 9:17pm EDT

Today we are going to learn all about how to invest if you’re living here in Canada.

For all our non-Canadian listeners, we’re also going to cover best practices when it comes to investing so you can definitely start applying those too and get a lot out of the show.

To make this series beneficial to everyone, we’re going to start with answering beginner level questions intended for those just starting out in their investing journey. As the interview goes on, we’re going to progress into more advanced level questions.

This way if you are already investing you’ll still get a LOT out of the show by learning some best practices, and how to optimize your portfolio and save money by eliminating unnecessary fees.

To help me with this, I’m very excited to have Dr. John Robertson on the show. John is a is a PhD scientist, a writer, investor, and he teaches newbie investors on how they can actually start investing.

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest
  • John’s Blog: Blessed by the Potato

Questions Covered

  1. Tell us your story and what prompted you to write your book.
  2. What are the most common mistakes you see beginner investors make when they’re just starting out?
  3. What about those in their 40-50s that have been investing for a while?
  4. In your book, you make a really strong case for investing in broad market indexes. For our listeners who are just starting off in investing, can you tell them what this means, and why this is a good way to invest?
  5. What is an “asset allocation” and how would you change the asset allocation for someone fresh out of school vs someone nearing retirement?
  6. You thoughts on investing in stocks versus bonds and on creating an all stock portfolio.
  7. In a low interest rate environment like we are in right now, what are your thoughts on investing in bonds? Especially considering rates are bound to go up eventually which would hurt the existing bond prices.
  8. How are you investing now?
  9. If you could go back to when you made your first investment, what advice would you give yourself.
  10. Over the years in your investment journey, what’s worked for you, and what hasn’t worked so well?
  11. Was there ever a point that you didn’t feel confident about what you’re investing in, and the investment choices you made?
  12. Your thoughts on investing in other indexes like small cap companies instead of just broad market? (many argue that they generate higher returns at the cost of higher volatility)
  13. Thoughts on dividend investing vs broad market index investing.
  14. What is the 4% rule and what are your thoughts on it? Do you prefer a variation of it?
Direct download: BWC_011_How_to_Invest_in_Canada_Part_1.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 8:43am EDT

This is part 2 of the interview with Justin on how he retired at the age of 33.

In case you missed it, part 1 is the episode right before this one.

In the interview, we talk about everything from how Justin was able to retire at 33, to what he invests in, and we even cover other subjects like how to save money on vacations and how he manages his money so that he never has to work again.

Lastly, Justin gives us some great tips that you can start applying today to retire early.

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.

  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest
  • Justin has a great blog at RootofGood.com where he talks more about how he was able to retire early, and gives more details on the strategies he uses.

Direct download: Retired_at_33_Part_2.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 5:36am EDT

Today I’m excited to have Justin on the show who actually retired at the age of 33!

This is a huge 2 part interview where we talk about everything from how he was able to retire at 33, to what he invests in, and we even cover other subjects like how to save money on vacations and how he manages his money so that he never has to work again.

Lastly, Justin gives us some great tips that you can start applying today to retire early.

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest
  • Justin has a great blog at RootofGood.com where he talks more about how he was able to retire early, and gives more details on the strategies he uses.

Questions Covered:

  1. Tell us your story and how were you able to retire at 33?
  2. How much do you need to make per year to retire?
  3. What did you do during the 2008 crash? How did that affect you?
  4. You bought a lot of equities during and after the crash, how did you know that it was the right time to buy?
  5. What was your asset allocation like before retirement and after retirement?
  6. How are you withdrawing your money during retirement so that you don’t run out?
  7. If you could go back to when you made your first investment, what advice would you give yourself?
  8. Are you an index investor, a dividend investor, or do you use another strategy?
  9. What would you do differently knowing what you know now?
  10. You earned 11 scholarships when you were in school, do you have any tips for students looking to get scholarships?
  11. On your blog you also talk about cost saving vacation strategies. Can you give us some tips on that?
  12. Is there any other wisdom that you can share so we can all retire earlier?
Direct download: Retired_at_33_Part_1.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 4:57am EDT

Today I’m excited to have financial planning expert Carl Richards on the show. Carl has been in the financial planning industry for over 20 years, has a column in the New York Times, the Morningstar Advisor, and he’s even been featured on Forbes.com and Oprah.com.

I thought it would be nice to pick his brain a little bit and pick-up some of that knowledge that he’s gathered over the years. In the interview, Carl shares much of his 20 years of experience, and takes us through the  financial planning process that he does with his private clients.

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments.
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest
  • Carl has a new book called “The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way to Be Smart About Your Money” and you can pick it up from Amazon Here.

Direct download: BWC008.mp3
Category:Investing -- posted at: 9:10am EDT

Welcome to the very first episode of the Build Wealth Canada Podcast!

This episode is all about what you’ll get out of this podcast series and what you can expect in future episodes.

More specifically, the podcast series will focus on:

  1. How to become debt free in the quickest time possible (and how I did it becoming mortgage free at 29).
  2. How to master money management without spending hours entering receipts, cutting coupons, while still taking vacations, going out and enjoying life.
  3. How to invest so you can retire early (or have the freedom to do what you want, when you want).
  4. How to use your favorite hobby to make money on-the-side for guilt-free spending (restaurants, vacations, etc.), to pay-off debt, or save for an early retirement.

Links and Resources

  • Top Tools and Resources for Financial Independence (for Canadians): Sign up anywhere on www.BuildWealthCanada.ca for a free guide on all the top tools and sites that I’ve personally used to help us achieve financial independence in our early 30s. They’re also what we use now to optimize and manage our finances, and ensure that we’re paying the lowest fees while getting solid returns on our investments. 
  • Kornel's investing course with free sample lessons at www.BuildWealthCanada.ca/invest

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