Mutual Funds: What Are You Actually Paying?

What fees do mutual funds charge?

Mutual funds are still incredibly popular in the investment world, and I’m sure many of you have at least a portion of your investment portfolio in funds (I do). As of May 2017, there was $1,428 billion of assets under management in mutual funds. There’s some hate against mutual funds in the finance community but, in my opinion, they can be a good option, especially for beginner investors or those who are not willing to put in the time researching other options themselves.  Think of a mutual fund as a collection of other investments such as stocks and bonds. Most funds […]

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Government Pensions (CPP, OAS & GIS)

Canadian Government Pension Plans

Last week we talked about the basics of pensions that are provided by your employer so now we are going to focus on the government pensions that are available to you (us Canadians anyways). The most significant is usually the Canada Pension Plan but there is also Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement that can help out retirees.  Canada Pension Plan (CPP) If you work in Canada you most likely contribute to CPP (one of those pesky deductions off your pay cheque) and that means you will be eligible to receive a CPP payment in retirement. The norm is to […]

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The Basics on Workplace Pension Plans

Workplace pension plans

Pensions are kind of the golden ticket in retirement planning as they have such a huge impact on how much money will be coming in the door after you retire but not all pensions are created equal. Today I’m going to break down the basic kinds of pensions that may be offered through your employer. This doesn’t include government pensions like CPP and OAS; we’ll tackle those another day.  Defined Benefit Pension Plans DB plans are the real winners in the pension world, and when most people think of a pension, this is what they’re thinking of. A DB pension will […]

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Estate Planning Basics

How to create an estate plan and make things easier on your family.

No one ever likes to talk about death, but today we’re doing it. It’s not exactly a subject that comes up at the family dinner table every often, but it is a conversation that you need to have with your loved ones, just in case a tragic event strikes. It is always better to be overly prepared than be forced into a situation where you have to make life or death decisions with no background information.    When you’re young (and you know, invincible) the last thing on your mind is what would happen to your assets if you passed […]

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Why NOT to Get Mortgage Insurance

Why you should turn down bank offered mortgage insurance.

If you have (or have ever had) a mortgage, you’ll know that the bank will often push mortgage insurance on you when you’re signing on the dotted line. Now to be clear, this is the additional insurance your bank will offer you when you get a mortgage and not the CMHC insurance that is required when your down payment is less than 20%. Sometimes the bank will even go so far as to assume you’ll get the coverage and you’ll actually have to opt-out. They’ll throw out some small premium amount that will just get tacked into your mortgage payment, […]

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Credit Cards: Best Bang for Your Buck

Which credit card is the best for you?

A couple of weeks ago I talked about whether or not using cash or credit cards was a better option. As you know from that post, I’m not against using credit, as long as you pay off your balances in full each month. A big perk of plastic is that many cards have added features that get you cash back or travel rewards to save you money. Today we’re going to look at a few of the available credit cards that have some of the best bonuses. You’ll first want to decide which category will work best for you. If […]

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Your Investment Options

What investments options are out there? And which is right for you?

Investing can be overwhelming for beginners, especially when it comes to deciding what type of investments will work best for you. You’ve likely heard terms like mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and maybe even ETF’s, but do you know what each one is and the differences between them? Before buying anything with your hard earned dollars, you need to understand it and how it can benefit you.  If you are just starting to save money the first thing you want to do is save up an emergency fund. That will cover you if any unexpected expenses come up and will prevent […]

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Cash vs. Credit

Should you use cash or credit?

I’m going to go ahead and assume that at one point in all our lives we’ve been given the advice that we should only use cash and avoid credit cards at all costs. Probably the advice came from an older relative or a personal finance pro like Gail Vax-Oxlade, but is it actually that helpful? Well, I would argue that both have a time and place. If you are fighting to get yourself out of debt and have a problem with spending then yes, cash is likely the best solution, but credit cards can provide you with cash back or […]

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5 Ways to Earn Extra Money Right Now

Need cash fast? Try one of these 5 tips.

Everyone would be happy to have a little extra money in the bank, but you usually have to put in at least a bit of effort to bring in money. Sure, you might win the lottery but let’s be real…that’s not going to happen! Increasing your income means putting in the work, but there are some relatively simple ways to bring in a few extra bucks that don’t require you taking on an extra job or selling your soul.  In this post, we’re going to talk about a few ways you can earn some extra money. Maybe you have some […]

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Let’s Talk About RESP’s

Registered Education Saving Plans

If any of you have gone to college or university, you know that it is crazy expensive. I graduated from university a little over six years ago (uh, that’s a long time) and even then it was upwards of $2,500 per semester just for tuition. Add a few hundred bucks for textbooks and all the other expenses that come with being on campus (bad food and too much beer), and it’s shocking anyone can afford to go to school. I was able to live at home while in university so saved on living expenses, but even with working part-time during […]

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