GST/HST Home Rebates – Lost Money?


With soaring home prices and concerns over affordability, it’s unlikely even the casual news observer goes a day without hearing something of the red-hot Canadian housing market. For today’s installment, I offer up something of a niche topic falling under the broad housing market umbrella: HST/GST rebates available on purchasing a “teardown” home.  Working and living in the Greater Toronto ... Read More »

Embracing Investment Performance

fund performance

For all intents and purposes the success or failure of personal investments hinges on four factors: Savings rate Fees paid Return on investment Taxes paid Taxes become much less of a factor when investments are held in non-registered accounts such as RRSPs and TFSAs. In terms of importance, I would rank in order presented but have come across many persuasive ... Read More »

Pension Annuity Advice – Part II


My September post introduced the basics of life annuities (and simply “annuities” from here forward) and some of the more talked about upside and downside to ownership. You can read the post here. As a quick refresher, in its simplest form an annuity involves handing over a lump sum of cash to an insurance company in return for a recurring, ... Read More »

Pension Annuity Advice

annuity retiree

The aim of this post is to explain what exactly a pension annuity entails and lay out the upside and downside of ownership. In October’s post, I’ll provide an opinion on the viability of annuities and drill down on a few key characteristics. In its simplest form (and for purposes of this post), an annuity involves: Handing over a lump ... Read More »

Questrade Review – Online Investing Made Easy

questrade logo

PRODUCT: Questrade® PRICE: Free to sign up, Free ETF trading, all other $4.95-$30 per trade WEBSITE: MY RATING: 9.0 out of 10 Questrade, Product Overview Questrade is a Canadian online brokerage firm that allows any individual to quickly sign up and manage their own investment portfolio or have their portfolio managed using online wealth management services. Since starting in ... Read More »

Top 5 ETF Funds

Top 5 ETF

ETFs (exchange traded funds) are a strong alternative to actively managed portfolios and have been gaining a lot of momentum over the past ten years. The pros of ETFs are there low costs/fees and the broad diversification one can achieve by holding one fund. In an earlier post we talked about how a passive/dormant approach to investing often wins out ... Read More »

Smart Passive Investing – the Winning Choice for the Retirement Saver

passive investing

The active vs. passive investment debate has gained considerable traction over the last five years or so. A big reason being the emergence of exchange traded funds (ETFs), a smart passive investment approach, as an alternative to mutual funds. A closer scrutiny on fees and their impact on net returns (i.e. end cash in an investor’s pocket) have also helped ... Read More »

What the Greek Crisis Means to your Portfolio

Greece Worry

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same” “If” – Rudyard Kipling It’s a sunny Monday morning and during my drive to work a news update told of the desperate economic situation in Greece. For the last few weeks Greece has been attempting to obtain additional loans for funds to pay their ... Read More »

Dividend Portfolio Update

dividend growth investing

Being financial independent means you are able to generate enough passive income to cover your expenses. Typically, we tend to view this milestone as the day we retire after working 40 plus years. If you genuinely enjoy your career, you’ll have no problem with this traditional arrangement, however, for a good portion of the population this will seem like more ... Read More »

Robo-advisors: may beat the status quo


Already established in the US, so called “robo-advisors” have started to make a splash here in Canada. In a nutshell robo-advisors are simply online portfolio management firms. Their target market seems to be those investors looking to keep fees down through passive index investing (typically cheaper than actively managed mutual funds) but who aren’t ready to take the plunge into ... Read More »