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Held Back by Debt

Held Back by Debt

Part 6 of our Back to Basics Series. Is this you? You want to make progress toward your financial goals, but you find yourself constantly held back by debt. Not only is your consumer debt a problem, but you also have no structure or direction to help overcome your debt. This can be paralyzing and you don't know what to…
Only Spend the Money You Have

Only Spend the Money You Have

Part 5 of our Back to Basics series. Let's face it, we all get distracted by the latest and greatest gadget, style, or trend. Does this scenario sound familiar? We go to the mall, get pulled into a store, see something we "need," and without hesitation take it up to the counter and put it on our credit card. After…
Cash Flow – Blessing or Curse?

Cash Flow – Blessing or Curse?

Part 4 of our Back to Basics series. Cash is the root of the financial goals that we set. How's that for a blinding flash of the obvious! More specifically, cash flow is the blood that brings life to your financial goals. The biggest problem is a lack of clarity regarding your cash flow. You may not know where your…
Progress Shift

Progress Shift

Part 3 of our Back to Basics series. True story. I was at a conference in Santa Monica with my dad a few years ago and we took the time to visit the testosterone centre of the universe: "Muscle Beach." While watching one particular muscle-bound man repeatedly banging his forehead into a wooden post, I was reminded me of an…
Dealing With Financial Overwhelm

Dealing With Financial Overwhelm

Part 2 of our Back to Basics series. We have all been frustrated at some point in our lives, often feeling stuck and unable to act or move forward. This is often caused by overwhelm or lack of progress and direction. As a result, you are not moving ahead in your life or on the things you want to achieve.…
Why?

Why?

Part 1 of our Back to Basics series. Have you ever wondered why you were doing something? For example, why are you planning on retiring? Is it because society has told you so or do you have a purpose for retiring? We often plan for financial goals without actually knowing why. This leads us to pursue unmotivating and unfulfilling goals…
Back to Basics Introduction

Back to Basics Introduction

Does this sound familiar? One day you think: "I really need to start planning for "X" financial goal or situation." All you really want is to reach that goal but you know that you need a plan. So you dive into the infinite spiral of knowledge and information known as Google. Aside from being distracted by cat videos and memes…
Be a Truth Teller

Be a Truth Teller

On April 30, 2009, near the bottom of the massive global credit crisis, Chrysler LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to renegotiate its debt and other obligations. The result was that most of its assets were sold to a new company, Chrysler Group LLC. Although several groups cooperated in the reorganization, the leadership for Chrysler's return to profitability came…
What Gratitude Means to Us

What Gratitude Means to Us

There is a phrase that we use a lot in our family: "We stand on the shoulder of giants." To us it means that so many people came before us and by their blood, sweat, tears, and sacrifices we are here today. This all comes down to the principle of gratitude. The biggest enemy working against gratitude is independence and…
Will the Money Last?

Will the Money Last?

You have been saving your money diligently over the years, but one question remains: "Will my money last?" You have no clear answer. You are unsure if you will have enough money to maintain your lifestyle and it's is making you anxious, worried, and overwhelmed. You don't know what to do, and have no clear direction, so you are not…
TFSA or Taxable Investment?

TFSA or Taxable Investment?

In a perfect world, we all want a great investment return without paying any taxes! Because it is so rare to get a perfect tax break, people are often suspicious of the Tax Free Investment Savings Account, or TFSA for short. We run the danger of neglecting a very valuable tool that could save us a fortune in taxes over…
Deciding Whether to Invest Into TFSA or RRSP

Deciding Whether to Invest Into TFSA or RRSP

So you have a bunch of money that you are planning to invest. The problem is that you don't know if you should put it in your TFSA, RRSP, or an investment account. This is leading you to not do anything with this money. Delaying any further could be costing you money! (click here to use our Cost of Waiting…
Taxes and Investment Income

Taxes and Investment Income

We all strive to maximize our investment income in the most tax-effective way. The problem is that in a non-registered account, each type of investment income is taxed differently. Capital gains, interest, dividends and rental income all have different tax treatments. This especially leads to frustration when you could have made a different investment decision had you known the tax…
Calculate Your Income Tax

Calculate Your Income Tax

Ideally, we would like to pay no tax while receiving as many benefits as possible. Since that is impossible, let's use every legal means possible to try and reduce our taxes! Canada's Federal income tax act is over 3000 pages long. Only a team of tax accountants and lawyers can come close to understanding this complexity. This can leave us…
Savings Growth Factors

Savings Growth Factors

You invest money with the intent of it growing, right? There are many factors that impact the growth of your investment that you may be unaware of. This can lead to drastic differences in the future of your wealth. These uncertainties are often barriers to acting on our investment plans. Although you may feel overwhelmed and uninformed by the impact…
Calculate Your RRSP Tax Savings

Calculate Your RRSP Tax Savings

With day to day expenses and the cost of living in general, it can be difficult to save money for your retirement. The underlying difficulty here is finding cash flow to support your savings. After you add up the expenses and taxes, there may not be any money left at the end of the month. Often, there's a lot more…
Understanding Your RRIF

Understanding Your RRIF

You have saved diligently for your retirement through your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). You have retired or are anticipating retirement and may be planning on or have already opened up a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). You want to know how much money you can take out each year and how long your RRIF will last. You may also…
Calculating Your Retirement Income

Calculating Your Retirement Income

Retirement is a phase in life that we often spend many years working and dreaming for. You want your retirement to be secure and free of unpleasant surprises. The problem is that you may be uncertain about what retirement will look like. You may not know if you have enough to retire, if you will need to continue working during…
Understand Your Net Worth

Understand Your Net Worth

Whether it be a number to track financial progress, being able to call yourself a millionaire, multimillionaire, etc., your net worth is an important number to know. After all, net worth is a great measure of all your hard work to date. Net worth is a “snapshot” of what you own vs. what you owe. This helps to create a…
Understanding “Real Rate of Return.”

Understanding “Real Rate of Return.”

Everyone wants to get a high return on investments, but there is a double-whammy in your way! Taxes and Inflation have a serious impact on your investment returns! It is frustrating to come to the realization that the money you have diligently saved and invested is not worth as much as you thought. While taxes are a necessary evil and…
Understand the impact of the fees you pay

Understand the impact of the fees you pay

Most investors are willing to pay a fair fee for the financial and investment advice they receive in pursuit of their goals and dreams. There comes a point though when the impact of excessive fees outweighs the value received. An advisor should be aligned with helping to achieve a clients' dreams, not sabotaging them. We all know that building wealth…
Understand the corrosive effect of inflation

Understand the corrosive effect of inflation

We all want to be able to support our lifestyles both today and in the future, whether we are still working or when retired. However, there's a silent enemy working against us. Its name is "Inflation." Inflation is like dry rot. We know it's a problem out there but we don't see it in our own lives until we open…
Understand the high cost of waiting to invest.

Understand the high cost of waiting to invest.

We know that a solid investment plan is important in achieving our long term goals. The big problem is in the waiting for perfection. We continue to put off till tomorrow what we know deep down we need to do today because we're waiting for the perfect solution. The longer we wait, the deeper our discouragement gets. We cannot get…
Cash Flow Confidence

Cash Flow Confidence

Everyone wants to get ahead financially by saving for the important goals in life and by paying down debt. Many others want to get ahead by convincing us we should buy everything they offer! The result is that we take the bait and open our wallets too often! Our expenses become greater than our income and we risk being consumed…
Don’t Let Your Fear Outweigh Your Faith

Don’t Let Your Fear Outweigh Your Faith

We spend our lives either pursuing pleasure or avoiding pain. Obviously, pleasure is a far more desirable outcome than pain but I would like to focus on the acts of pursuit (guided by faith) and avoidance (guided by fear), as they will determine our outcomes. Faith and fear are both necessary and it's status quo when they're both in perfect…
Always Create More Than You Consume

Always Create More Than You Consume

While listening to a podcast by Robin Sharma on “Why So Few Succeed,” one passage profoundly struck me: We live in a civilization of consumers. Buy this, eat this, do this, consume this. But the top 5%, those who play in the rare air of world class are not consumers, they’re creators. Let’s be clear. Consumption is not evil! We…

The Power of Volunteering

The Power of Volunteering

A good friend of mine once told me that most people are not born volunteers. However, we are hard wired to help others when asked. I’m asking. The world needs you and you need it. We are all built for community! The United Nations Volunteer site says it well: "People the world over engage in volunteerism for a great variety…
The Mortgage vs. Savings Dilemma

The Mortgage vs. Savings Dilemma

After all the bills are paid, we sometimes find ourselves with a surplus of cash and wondering how best to use it. Your options for available cash fall into three categories: spend it, invest it, or pay down debt. Trying to balance saving as much as possible while still trying to pay down a mortgage can be stressful and somewhat…
Do Nothing With Your Inheritance – for Now.

Do Nothing With Your Inheritance – for Now.

Occasionally, we may receive a windfall - a large, unexpected sum of money. In most cases, these windfalls come from inheritances, usually from parents or grandparents. The fact is, the money usually comes as a result of hard work and a series of prudent investment choices over time. This gift implies a level of responsibility to honour the legacy of…
9 Retirement Lies People Tell You

9 Retirement Lies People Tell You

Have you heard about the Silver Tsunami? Like a real tsunami, you often don't see it until it's washing over you! Here are a few facts to consider: The leading edge of the Boomers turned 65 in 2012. On average, 1,250 Canadians turn 65 years old every single day. No wonder the OAS office is so busy! The fact is that…