How to Optimize Your Investments to Pay the Least in Tax, for Canadians (Featuring Brendan Wood from Passiv)

How to Optimize Your Investments to Pay the Least in Tax (for Canadians) Brendan Wood r

Today, you’re going to learn how you can save money on your investments, by having the right investments, in the right accounts so that you pay as little tax as possible here in Canada.

For example, if you hold Canadian stocks, or ETFs that hold Canadian stocks, should you put those in your RRSP? Your TFSA? Or your taxable account? Which one of those is the most tax efficient?

What about your US and other international ETFs and stocks? What accounts should they go into so that you pay the least foreign tax on those investments?

For us Canadians, different investments are taxed differently depending on what those investments include, and what investment accounts you put them in.

It’s essentially an optimization puzzle that you can solve, by putting the right investments in the right accounts to pay the least Canadian and foreign tax, on those investments.

If you choose to optimize to this extent like I do, you can essentially reap the benefits of these tax savings for the rest of your life, since those savings will compound over your investment lifetime, and can accelerate your net worth, since every dollar saved in taxes on your investments, is a dollar that stays invested, and continues to grow and compound for you.

Resources Mentioned:


A Big Thanks to Our Sponsors:

ETF Market Insights and BMO ETFs

Catch the latest episodes on YouTube Here.

There are so many opinions on how to invest your money today, but it can be hard to find credible voices to rely on in the world of finance and investing.

One resource I turn to every week is the ETF Market Insights YouTube channel, led by today’s episode sponsor, BMO ETFs.

Market Insights brings in industry experts and their weekly episodes cover the hottest themes like inflation, infrastructure, healthcare, and more. Tuning in helps me stay up-to-date on what’s happening so I can be a smarter investor. You can also submit your own ETF questions, to be answered on the show.

Do yourself a favour and subscribe on YouTube to ETF Market Insights, or visit so you can be notified when future episodes go live.

BMO Asset Allocation ETFs:

Asset allocation explains over 90 per cent of the variation in a portfolio’s quarterly returns, so it’s no wonder Canadian investors are turning to these ETFs!

Today’s sponsor, BMO ETFs, offers these innovative all-in-one solutions with the BMO All-Equity ETF (ZEQT), BMO Growth ETF (ZGRO), BMO Balanced ETF (ZBAL), BMO Conservative ETF (ZCON), and more. BMO developed these to help provide investors with ETFs that offer broad diversification and are also low-cost and simple to use.

These ETFs invest in a number of underlying index based ETFs and are rebalanced automatically back to your set asset allocation or mix of stocks and bonds. They offer a hands free approach to investing that is built on disciplined weights to provide exposure to different geographies and sectors all in one solution.

BMO actually offers eight asset allocation ETFs. Learn more at


Start hiring NOW with a ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR SPONSORED JOB CREDIT to upgrade your job post at Offer good for a limited time.

  • Indeed is the hiring platform where you can Attract, Interview, and Hire all in one place.
  • Instead of spending HOURS on multiple job sites searching for candidates with the right skills, Indeed’s a powerful hiring partner that can help you do it all.
  • Indeed’s hiring platform helps you easily schedule and conduct virtual interviews all in one place, and streamlines hiring with powerful matching tools that find you matched candidates, fast.
  • On Indeed, over 85% of employers find quality candidates, whose resume matches their job description, the MOMENT they sponsor a job, according to Indeed data, CA.

One of the things I love about Indeed, is that it makes hiring all in one place so easy because the moment you post a job on Indeed you get a shortlist of quality candidates whose resumes match your job description and you can even invite them to apply right away.

Start hiring NOW with a ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR SPONSORED JOB CREDIT to upgrade your job post at Offer good for a limited time.

Questions Covered:

  1. Let’s go through what investments to hold in each account for maximum tax efficiency, both in terms of how to pay the least Canadian tax, as well as foreign withholding tax.

  2. What are your thoughts on actually not being 100% optimized all the time, so that we have the flexibility of having different ETFs in different accounts when living off our portfolio?

  3. How can listeners set up Passiv to have it help rebalance their portfolio in the most tax efficient manner? and can you tell us where listeners can go to get a free premium account in Passiv?


This podcast presentation is for informational purposes only. No part of this presentation may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, without the written permission of BMO Investments Inc. or BMO Asset Management Inc. (collectively, BMO GAM) ).

For greater certainty, no part of this presentation may be provided to investors and/or potential investors without the written permission of BMO GAM. The information contained herein is not, and should not be construed as, investment advice and or tax advice to any individual. Investments should be evaluated relative to the individual’s investment objectives and professional advice should be obtained with respect to any circumstance. This communication is intended for information purposes only. Any statement that necessarily depends on future events may be a forward-looking statement. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Although such statements are based on assumptions that are believed to be reasonable, there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially from expectations. Investors are cautioned not to rely unduly on any forward-looking statements. In connection with any forward-looking statements, investors should carefully consider the areas of risk described in the most recent simplified prospectus. BMO GAM undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking statement or information whether as a result of new information, future events or other such factors which affect this information, except as required by law.


  • Barett

    Reply Reply July 27, 2023


    I recall you mentioning that you now hire an accountant to help determine the most tax efficient method of decumulation in retirement to maximize your government benefits including child tax benefit. I believe you also stated that you tried to use the software yourself but found that you need to be a tax software expert to get the most out of the software. Would you mind posting what software you were using to do this calculation?



    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply July 28, 2023

      Hi Barett. The software that I used was great and easy to use. It was TurboTax. However, the challenge that I encountered was when I was trying to run different what-if scenarios. The software was designed to make tax filing fast and easy, and not to run multiple complex what-if scenarios and see which one is best. Hence, me resorting to an accountant.

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field