June 12, 2019

Despite Widespread Belief, TFSAs Can Stay Liquid

A few weeks back, we were kind of stunned when we discovered someone in the family (Ray not to name her) had a lot of money in a savings account but did not register it as a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). Interests gained in that account resulted in a juicy tax bill for her. Unnecessary because she still had plenty of TFSA contribution room available.

The money was not put in a TFSA because it was primarily used for emergencies and to pay for imminent renovations and Ray thought funds in a TFSA were not easily accessible. We checked with other members of the family and again, to our surprise, a lot of them believed TFSA money was not liquid at all. For many, TFSAs and RRSPs are all the same…money stashed there won’t be accessible till…far away retirement. So, many folks have the impression that TFSA money is tied up in some way that would prevent immediate access to their funds. But in fact, this is not true.

It’s sad because despite our financial knowledge and a lot of effort, money remains a taboo subject for many in the family. It seems like the more you are successful with money, the more people get shy and the less they are willing to talk about it. We try to remain humble about all of it, but it appears our glow still scares quite a few. These poor folks (no pun intended) prefer to keep things as anonymous as possible and give their trust to alleged advisors.    

So, another one greatly handled by so-called expert advisors. In this case, with no commission in play, the «expert» simply did not bother.
 
The Frozen TFSA Asset Misconception

Somehow, many people think TFSA funds are frozen and not easily accessible. And, despite the fact we love Disney, we are not talking about Frozen starring Anna & Elsa. And in reality, your TFSA might be more like Olaf, the chill snowman that loves and dreams about summer.

June 03, 2019

12-Minute and Your Career (Revisited)


The 12-Minute Series was originally posted in 2012.



We’ve decided to republish it integrally because we believe it can still help as everyone aspires to make things better.

Let’s hope it stirs up the discussion and stimulates you to change the world 12-Minute at a time!





This article was originally posted on November 12, 2012


The 12-Minute Approach offers you a multitude of techniques to improve your job and career.

Here are some ideas we hope will inspire you on the way to becoming real happy and efficient professionals in your respective fields.

Achieve A Little More Each Day

A quick and easy way to start improving right away is to take 12-Minute to accomplish one simple extra action each day.

May 12, 2019

Portfolio Update May 2019


Time to report our DIY Portfolio progress has come again. Unsurprisingly, you can expect our next update in about 12 weeks, in August 2019.

You can also access our earlier portfolio updates here:


After a tough patch in late 2018, markets are still growing strong and have been on an impressive roll for about the last six months. Many investors currently rejoice. We are also glad about our significant gains. But as usual, we remain cautious and expect the unexpected as far as what the future of stock markets holds for us.

May 03, 2019

Magical Number 12 (Revisited)

The 12-Minute Series was originally posted in 2012.

We’ve decided to republish it integrally because we believe it can still help as everyone aspires to make things better.

Let’s hope it stirs up the discussion and stimulates you to change the world 12-Minute at a time!









This article was originally posted on October 12, 2012

The more we look at it, the more Number 12 appears Magical!

In its original stages, our research revolved more around number 15.
But, as soon as we dug deeper, 12 evidently became the front running candidate. 

For one thing, a dozen always fits way better in a box!

More seriously, remarkable Twelve as deep roots throughout History; 
it even has some kind of mystical character associated to it.

The Number of Nature

April 12, 2019

Exploring Better Alternatives to RRSPs


Lately, a lot of our analysis and writing hovers around retirement and RRSPs. We started with a brief post about Not Blindly Contributing to your RRSP a few months back and continued in March with more elaborate one explaining how we were Dealing with Complex Retirement Considerations. Today we persist with some profound thoughts on the never-ending RRSP versus non-registered debate. You’ll still note our research is not exhaustive as it particularly refers to our personal situation.

Some people feel RRSPs are a government scam to take more of their money thru taxes. Many angry retirees almost consider RRSPs as evil when they realize how much tax they owe at withdrawal. They just forgot all about the juicy tax refunds they received when they deducted their RRSP contributions in the first place. Over the years, these RRSP deductions helped fund a great portion of their retirement stash.

We can view RRSP tax refunds as a loan the government allows you to make to yourself. You only have to remember that you’ll have to reimburse it with interest some day (at withdrawal). If you are in the same tax bracket, the interest rate of that artificial loan will be equivalent to your investment return. If you now fall in a lower tax bracket, good for you, you’ll pay less «interest». Similarly, if your tax bracket is higher, tough luck, you’ll end up paying more «interest» via income taxes.

April 03, 2019

Investing The 12-Minute Way (Revisited)

The 12-Minute Series was originally posted in 2012.

We’ve decided to republish it integrally because we believe it can still help as everyone aspires to make things better.

Let’s hope it stirs up the discussion and stimulates you to change the world 12-Minute at a time!






This article was originally posted on September 12, 2012

Keep It Simple

You should only use financial products you understand. So, stick to the basics. Complex and complicated products often only serve those who sell them.

Same goes for stocks, only invest in solid companies you know and understand.

In this great Internet/Information era, it’s relatively simple to get data on any public company. To stay effective, we recommend you only take 12-Minute when you first analyze a potential candidate for your portfolio or watch list.