Great investors know the best financial advisor is YOU


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 […]

What are Realistic Investment Returns

This is a contribution by Troy, blogger behind The Financial Economist. What are Realistic Investment Returns? In these days when Bernake rules supreme, the average citizens of the world are left with two choices. Either we can invest in bonds that yield an unbelievably awesome 2% a year, or we can invest our own money and make a meager 12% in this bull market. Tough choice, eh? Such an obvious choice is what draws so many new investors to the market – the chance to make some real money in this next-to-nothing interest rates environment. Unfortunately, too many investors approach this game with the mindset of a gambler – I’ll be real angry if I don’t AT LEAST double my money this year! Of course, you ask these guys how they know how they can make such pathetic returns, and they’ll say “I can just feel it in my bones!” Now you may be laughing at this, but this is a far too plausible scenario. Too many investors jump right on-board the Investment Train without knowing that this train often runs parallel to the edge of the Rocky Mountains. So what kind of returns can an individual investor realistically expect? Like everything […]

Reader Question:Do I Have To Share My RRSP With My Spouse When I Get Divorced?

Another reader of the Canadian Budget Binder blog asked the question, “Do I have to Share my RRSP with my Spouse When I get Divorced”? In Ontario there is the Family Law Act. In simple terms all property acquired after the date of marriage, up until the time of marriage breakdown is deemed to be the property of both parties. The ownership of the property is not a factor. So in short each person is entitled to 50% of the total family property. There are certain exceptions like the family home that was brought into the relationship or received as a gift or inheritance. However to keep things simple we will ignore this. RRSP’s, Stocks, Bonds, Pensions, are all subject to being included under Family Law. So if one spouse had a significant RRSP and the other nothing then the spouse with nothing would be entitled to 50% of the spouse’s RRSP. Note: the courts adjust the value of the RRSP down, by the amount of withholding tax that would be payable if the RRSP were cashed in. So the figure used is less than fair market value of the RRSP. To understand this fully the courts ask each person […]