How To Ditch Your Pricey Mutual Funds

how to ditch pricey mutual funds

By: Mark Seed (If you’d like to contribute to CBB please contact me.)   GET PERSONAL WITH YOUR INVESTMENTS SO YOU KNOW EVERYTHING   Over the last few months, I’ve received a few emails from readers that go like this… I’ve been with my investment company for over 10 years now. I’d like to stay with them because I like them but I keep hearing that high fund fees are bad for your portfolio. Is that true?  Should I switch? If so to what? I like your blog a lot and I’m envious about how you managed to get out of your high-cost mutual funds into low-cost Exchange Traded Funds and some stock investing. Where do I start? What should I think about?  Readers, I sense your frustration.  I’ve been there so I know how you feel.  I feel my biggest investing mistake to date was investing in pricey mutual funds for far too long. Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results – Albert Einstein. Today’s post will share my background in investing, why pricey mutual funds will hurt your portfolio and what you can do about it.   My background and mutual funds 101   […]

Does Your Property Listing Use Frosted Marketing Language?

DOES YOUR PROPERTY LISTING USE FROSTED MARKETING LANGUAGE(1)

BUYING A HOUSE IS MORE THAN JUST SWEET BUTTERED WORDS   How confident are you about every property listing you choose to visit that the house description will be 100% accurate? Probably not that confident and I don’t blame you. A property listing may be close to accurate but it may also be buttered up just a bit to motivate you to put an offer in on the house. Real Estate trends seem to be important big-ticket accessories for buyers and sellers but even then what is being sold should be what is depicted in the property listing. Have you really fallen prey to these marketing tactics in the real estate industry? Probably because they’ve been used for years because there’s no standards apart from, “Sell that house” as fast as you can. Does granite in a bathroom or kitchen turn on your buyers excitement? Make sure the granite counter-top that you may end up owning and paying big bucks for is the real deal! Buyers remorse is a sad place to be especially when you should be excited about your new home purchase. I read an excellent blog post that every real estate agent and private seller should read- […]

Let UFile Online Do The Hard Work at Income Tax Time (Review and Giveaway)

UFile Online Tax 2015

UFILE WITH A VIRTUAL ACCOUNTANT EXPERIENCE   As the first portion of the year starts we prepare ourselves to file our taxes for the previous year. I’m the guy who is in charge of filing our 2015 tax return for the family and this year I was lucky enough to review UFile Online. Today I’m going to share the results with all of you. With the income tax deadline of on or before April 30, 2016 (June 15, 2016 for self-employed) looming for taxpayers it’s time to finish up the 2015 year and file with Revenue Canada. Our 2015 income tax return has been completed and submitted. Now, we can relax and get on with life until next years tax season rolls around. I have learned a few things about filing an income tax return online this year with UFile and I hope you enjoy this review of what I consider to be one of the best tax return software for Canadians. When I came to Canada filing your taxes was all a little new for me since I had never filed taxes before. Filing your taxes for the year was unheard of as the tax system in the UK […]

Property Tax Bill-One Bill You’ll Never Burn : February 2016 Monthly Budget Review

budgetupdatepost2016

THE TAX MAN HANGS AROUND FOR LIFE   In February like clock-work we get a letter in the post from the city about our new tax rate along with payment dates for our property tax bill. Whether it’s paying for income tax, property tax, product tax or anything that says tax you know you’ll never get away with dodging it. Which is why there are two certainties in life: death and taxes Every year the property tax bill gets higher and higher but that’s expected I suppose since it goes to pay for various things in the community such as municipal services, police, fire, transit and so on. I received an email from a young couple in the process of buying their first home and they wanted to know what the best way was to pay for their property tax bill. Dear Mr.CBB, My wife and I are just finalizing the sale of our new home and were wondering how we should pay for our property tax bill in order for our budget to balance. What else is there that we need to know about our new property and our tax bill? Thanks for any tips. -Chris and Angela If […]

This Simple Living Concept Allows Us To Save Thousands

simple living concept 2

MOTIVATE YOUR FINANCIAL VENTURES BY MOVING FORWARD   Simple living doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy all the frosting that life has to offer in order to live a better today for an amazing tomorrow. You can! Just about everything we do today will in part affect the outcome of our financial future and some people worry about whether they have done enough to get them to the finish line. I’ve blogged for a few years now and ever since the beginning there has been one simple living concept that I have encompassed our entire financial path around because it works, a budget. The concept of budgeting for us revolves around this saying which I created years ago which is also pasted on our refrigerator door. It’s not about how much money you make it’s how you save it – Mr.CBB I received an email from a reader who is looking for some insight about investing and her financial future and motivation about not finding this blog earlier. Dear Mr. CBB, About 9 yrs ago I moved from Europe to Canada. It was always a big dream for me to live abroad and when I turned 30 I realized my […]

Why You Should Never Trust A Real Estate Listing

why you should never trust a real estate listing(1)

DON’T MISS THE OBVIOUS WHEN LOOKING TO BUY OR SELL REAL ESTATE   Whether you are buying or selling a house with a real estate agent or for sale by owner (FSBO) NEVER trust a real estate listing. I’ve invested in real estate since I was 21 years old when I bought my first house and a second at age 24. I’m not in the game of real estate to become a monster property millionaire but what I do know is that not all real estate listings are created equal. Finding the best real estate agent that will work for you isn’t an easy task but when you do remember that none of us are perfect and mistakes can happen. As a homeowner or buyer beware of any errors that could cost you thousands of dollars over the long haul once you move into your new home or sell your house. The last thing you want is your house sitting on the market for months because of en error no one is catching but potential buyers. If you want to add value to your house either you lower the price to gain attention or you add renovation/unique home perks to […]

How To Find The Best Real Estate Agent For You

HOW TO FIND THE BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT TO WORK FOR YOU(1)

THE REAL ESTATE MARKET IS FLOODED WITH AGENTS READY TO SERVE YOU   Finding the perfect fit real estate agent to work for you and your housing needs is not a task to take lightly. You want a real estate agent that knows all about the latest real estate trends and who will guide you in the right direction. Find a real estate agent who will be just as excited as you are to see a Sold sign as they are to close a deal. A happy client who sends referrals and returns as a customer in the future means the agent went above and beyond. You want this real estate agent working for you, but how do you find them? Whether you are a first time home buyer or have had your feet dipped in the real estate market don’t rush to find a real estate agent. Taking the time to hand-pick the best real estate agent in your area that works best with you is key to your buying and selling success. Not everyone wants to hire a real estate agent as they choose to go it alone with for sale by owner or buying a house privately. […]

Buy the least expensive house in the most expensive neighbourhood

neighbourhood house for sale

BE PICKY WHEN HOUSE SHOPPING   Typically we like to buy quality when we shop which included shopping for our home. This is why we scoured every available neighbourhood around our city for the best deal. The only thing we don’t like is paying full-price which meant we had our work cut out for us. Thankfully, it worked out in our favour. When buying a house you want to make sure that if you are buying a $400,000 house that the neighbourhood matches the price tag or you might struggle to sell as fast as you’d like down the road. This is why we hear over and over not to over-renovate but then again a smaller house in a bigger neighbourhood might have more luck finding a buyer than a house that costs far more than smaller surrounding homes. Today I have an email from a guy who is a first-time home-buyer with his wife and wants to know if they should spend the money and get the biggest house they can or a smaller house but in a more expensive area. Note: If you have a question for me please send me a detailed email similar to below so […]

Is It Better To Buy Life Insurance or Fund Your Retirement?

An Important Choice-Buying Life Insurance

WHICH CHOICE IS BEST FOR YOUR SITUATION?   There is only so much money to go around right? We all have things competing for our hard-earned dollars. Often we have debt, medical expenses, food, shelter, kids, and a hundred other things that all require some amount of money to keep them afloat. But when it comes to protecting yourself by buying life insurance or funding a retirement that is 30 years away, the decision on which is choice makes more financial sense deserves some deeper thought.   Buy Life Insurance Or Invest For Your Future?   If you have kids, a spouse, a mortgage, or other financial commitments you need to ensure that money is available in the event that you unexpectedly die. Where would this come from? Well, a life insurance policy is the best choice if you are under the age of 50 and don’t have liquid money to cover your debts and care for your loved ones. Perhaps the best way to consider the need for life insurance is actually based on your age. For this reason we will go through some typical stages of life, and determine what if any, life insurance should be purchased. You […]

Saving almost 50% of his Gross Income is no longer a dream

gross income(1)

YES THAT’S BEFORE TAXES   In my February 2015 net worth update post I mentioned I was saving approximately 50% of my gross income – my goal for 2015 is 45%. The reason I set this goal is my expenses in life right now are likely the lowest they will ever be for the rest of my life (not married, no kids, modest house), so it’s important to focus on savings while the going is good. I suspect that my salary will increase at a modest rate for the next few decades; however, my expenses will increase at a higher rate. The key thing about my savings rate is a lot of it is a result of preemptive planning. Below I’ll tackle each piece of my expenses and discuss tips and ideas on how you can trim these down in your own budget.   Government deductions   The government seems to always have his hand in our pocket. This expense is without question my largest, which requires some careful planning to ensure I’m not needlessly paying too much. The main focus of any budget conscious taxpayer should be to legally minimize taxes in a cost-effective manner. As a chartered accountant […]

Statistics and Traps Every Investor Needs to Know

statistics investing

Statistics and Pitfalls for Investors   In the second part of this two-part post on independent investing, we will look at 3 critical investment statistics and the 3 biggest pitfalls to individual investing. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, jump back to post one to learn about what investing on your own can do for you. When selecting between the various investment options there are a few key metrics or statistics that are important to keep in mind. These form the foundation for any good comparison between investment assets. Personally, I like to use the filter tool available through my online trading platform to sort by the statistics below. Doing so helps me gauge what appropriate values are and to immediately weed out the less attractive options. Metric #1 – Expenses & the Expense Ratio (Mutual Funds and ETFs)   Possibly the most important investment metric or statistic is the expense ratio. Expenses directly eat into your return each and every year. The expense ratio is the easiest way to determine how much extra you are paying to own an investment.  Any mutual fund or ETF will have a specific expense ratio that shows how much […]

Great investors know the best financial advisor is YOU

Investors

A Beginning Investors’ Story   Investing on your own can seem scary. The world of finance appears to be, at least in the beginning, a complex maze of numbers and movements, leaving new investors wary of going at it alone. I used to think of the finance world as a bunch of slick-haired Pat Riley types yelling ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ across a crowded room. Heck, even a stock ticker bar has confusing hints of the matrix if you don’t know what you are looking for. The good news is, becoming an investor isn’t half as scary as it seems with a bit of education and a splash of gumption. The really good news is that investing on your own can save you a ton of money over the course of your lifetime without adding additional risk. In a post-pension world there may not be anything more worthy of your time. So in this two-part series we will cover what investors need to know before they start, the 3 most important investment statistics, and 3 critical pitfalls to avoid, but first a quick story. When I began investing on my own I was only 13 and had yet to develop that […]