Is Your Money Protected?

What protection do you have if your financial institution fails?

Do you know what would happen to the money you have invested with an investment advisor or in your savings account at the bank if the institution were to go under? Chances are this isn’t going to happen, but you just never know. Large banks and investment firms have gone insolvent in the past and will in the future. The good news is there are forms of coverage out there to protect you and your money in the unlikely event that this does happen. Today we’re going to look at what protection is available to you across five different sectors […]

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10 Steps to Organized Finances

Maybe you’re sitting there looking through credit card statements and bank transactions wondering how the heck you got yourself into this financial mess. Or maybe you think you’re on the right track but not quite sure what you need to work on next. Today I’m going to break your finances down for you into 10 steps, so you have a coherent plan (and a fun little infographic) to follow. The system is straightforward, but I’m not going to tell you it will be easy. Paying off debt, saving money and applying for insurance require you to do some work and […]

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Should You Dip Into Your RRSP?

Is it a good idea to withdraw money from your RRSP to cover debt?

Life is anything but predictable, and sometimes a curveball will come flying out of nowhere. Maybe you’re coasting along quite nicely when, all of a sudden, your furnace bites the dust or your dog swallows a tennis ball and needs emergency surgery. Whatever it is, you are now stuck with a big bill and aren’t sure how you’re going to cover the cost. The question you might be asking yourself is whether or not you should consider withdrawing money from your RRSP.  Short answer…No. Don’t worry, I’m not going to just assume you’ll accept the short answer so, long answer time.  […]

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What to do with Windfall Income

What to do if unexpected income comes your way.

You’re going along, living your life, and then all of sudden something happens, and you find yourself with extra income you weren’t prepared for. This can occur for a variety of reasons, some great (bonus from work) some horrible (a loved one passing away). Whatever it is though, you should take the time to plan your best course of action and know any tax consequences that might be coming your way. Inheritance Let’s get the hardest one out of the way first. If you are getting an inheritance it means that someone close to you has passed away, so not […]

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Fixing an RRSP Over-Contribution

What to do about an RRSP Over-Contribution

 RRSP’s can be a valuable tool when saving for retirement, not only do they give you a tax refund when you contribute, they also allow your money to grow tax-free until you withdraw it. I’ve talked more about the details of RRSP’s both here and here.  As a quick recap, every year that you work you earn contribution room. The amount works out to 18% of your annual income up to a maximum amount set by the government; for 2017 it is $26,010. If you don’t use your room, it does carry-over for future use. To figure out how much […]

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Treat Hiring a Financial Advisor Like Buying a House

How to Find the Right Financial Advisor for You

Many people have a negative impression of the financial industry, and of financial advisors in particular, but how bad is the situation? There have been numerous reports circulating recently (examples can be found here and here) about people getting scammed by high fees and improper sales tactics at their financial institutions, but there are things you can do to help protect your assets.    You might be thinking that you are better off just going it on your own, and with the uptick in robo-advisors and discount brokerages, this is easier (and cheaper) than ever before. I’m not here to […]

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Investing: Fake it ’til you Make it

Scared to lose money by investing? Try a practice run first.

Investing can be terrifying…seriously! I’ve been working in finance for a while, and the actual picking and choosing of investments has never been (and likely will never be) my thing. Need to know the ins and outs of RRSP’s, TFSA’s, pensions, whatever….I‘m your girl but want to chat analyst reports and company fundamentals, and you can keep right on walking past my office. Here comes the but though….investing is important, and if you really want to hit your long-term saving goals then you better go and make it your best friend (or we’ll settle for acquaintance). Saving up your hard […]

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What CRM2 Means for Your Investment Statements

Your investment statements are now required to show fees and performance.

I’ve been a little MIA lately so first off let me apologize for that! December is always a busy month, and we are hosting Christmas this year which means I’ve got a long list of things to do before next weekend. I was also flattened by a bad cold last week and am just now feeling human again. Basically, I’ve had zero motivation to do anything but lie on the couch and watch Law & Order SVU on Netflix. Enough for my excuses, let’s get to a real post!    There’s a pretty good chance you’ve never heard of CRM2, […]

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Are Group RESPs a Good Thing?

Should you consider a group RESP to save for your child's education?

I’ve talked on the blog about RESP’s before (you can find that here), but one thing I haven’t discussed is whether or not you should do your RESP saving through one of those Group RESP programs that are floating around. Short answer…not so much, but let’s talk about why.    The basic premise (aka the sales pitch) actually sounds pretty good. You invest your money with a whole bunch of other parents who have children born in the same year, and you’ll get a share of the investment when your kid ends up in post-secondary. The perk comes from any kids […]

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Compound Interest: The Reason to Start Early

How Compound Interest Will Get You to the Finish Line Faster

You’ve probably heard (over and over again) that you should start saving for retirement as early as possible but do you actually know why? It’s a little thing called compounding interest, and it will make a BIG difference in the amount of money you can save up in the long run. Let’s take a look at why this is the case.  The basic theory behind compounding is that the more dollars you have available the more growth can happen, as long you are getting positive returns. Why is this? Well, as long as your funds are growing there will be […]

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