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Thank you for signing up! Your guide on theΒ Top 5 Personal Finance & Productivity ToolsΒ has been emailed to you.

Before you go, are there any personal finance or investing questions that I can help you answer?

I'll do my best to cover them when producing future content, or I'll direct you to the answer if it's already available somewhere on the site.

Let me know by emailing me at kornel@buildwealthcanada.ca and at the very least, I'll do my best to include an answer in a future article or podcast on the site.

I look forward to hearing from you on the questions or topics that you'd like covered.

Talk to you soon,

Kornel

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64 Comments

  • Heather

    Reply Reply September 3, 2020

    Do you have any podcasts directed towards tips on saving taxes in canada on investments?
    Also how do I get access to your free tickets and when is the summit?

    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply September 7, 2020

      Hi Heather. A lot of the episodes cover tips on saving taxes. I’d recommend you take a look at the episode titles, and then for ones that are clearly about investing, there’s a very good chance we cover tax optimizing in those.

      Here’s the list of all the episodes: https://www.buildwealthcanada.ca/blog/

      Regarding the Summit, you can get your free ticket here: https://buildwealthcanada.ca/summit

      Thanks for the question πŸ™‚
      Kornel

  • By Kornel Szrejber

    Reply Reply August 17, 2020

    Hi Ron. The signup page for the free tickets is all done now and you can get it at https://canadianfinancialsummit.com. Thanks for the question πŸ™‚

  • Anna

    Reply Reply May 29, 2020

    Hi Kornel,

    I love your podcasts, they’re very helpful and straight to the point.

    Do you have a bank you would recommend for Quebec residents with a high interest rate, as EQ bank is not available for us?

    Thank you!

    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply September 7, 2020

      Thanks Anna!
      The backup bank that I like is buildwealthcanada.ca/tangerine
      Unfortunately, the interest rate is nowhere close to EQ Bank, but at least they let you bank for free. Hopefully they expand to Quebec soon as the discrepancy in rates is massive in the Canadian marketplace right now.

  • V Robinson

    Reply Reply February 7, 2020

    Hi Kornel;

    I am new to this idea of build I g wealth. I am concerned that as I grow older life will get more difficult and wanted to start putting away something towards retirement. I have a small RRSP and wanted to put away a little more towards it. During your podcast, you mentioned a hypothetical amount of $10,000 and discussed a feasible rate of return based on interest rates by the bank. My question is: if I look at the 10,000 borrowed at a rate of 7% in my RRESP lodged in an establishment such as, for example, Simple Wealth, do you think this would be a good idea? And based on the fact that this can be paid off using my Income Tax returns, how are the returns calculated on INCOME TAX? My fear is that my returns would not necessary be enough to cover the bigger portion of the loan. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you.

  • Nick Totarella

    Reply Reply February 5, 2020

    Can you demystify how taxes work with dividends, reinvested shares and selling stocks ( capital gains )

  • Andy

    Reply Reply December 3, 2018

    Something that I would like to invest in is a REIT that specializes in Timber development. I work in the forestry sector and would like to invest there. However I’m just starting to invest. What would be a good way to invest in this situation?

    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply December 20, 2018

      Thanks Andy. I’m not an expert on REITs but I agree that it would be a great idea to have a specialist on the show to discuss them. Thanks for your suggestion! I’ll try to find a good unbiased source, and in the meantime, if you have someone in mind feel free to let me know and I’ll reach out to them.

  • Darion

    Reply Reply November 4, 2018

    Please discuss segregated funds! Our employeer gave us a choice of funds through Great-West life when we put into a company matched RRSP.

    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply November 28, 2018

      Hi Darion.
      Segregated funds tend to be VERY expensive. Check the MER on them so that you are comparing apples to apples when looking at the options that your employer gives you.

      With that said, if you’re employer is doing a company match, then it’s typically still worth it because if the match is something like 100% up to a certain amount (which is typical), then you’re essentially getting an immediate 100% return on your money since your employer is contributing whatever you contribute.

      Yes the fees are going to be dragging down your returns, but it’s better to endure that in order to receive that free doubling of your money thanks to your employer.

      Usually, they let you pick which fund you want to buy. When I was in this situation in the past with my wife’s work, we picked a passively managed fund that basically mimicked the index. The fee was still higher than what we could get ourselves via Questrade, but, it was lower than the other funds offered by the provider and at least this way we were still getting that 100% company match.

      I hope that helps! Just be sure to look at their menu of options and check what the fees are and which ones are actively managed vs passive. By default, they will likely place you in a high fee actively managed fund so you will likely have to tell them to switch to something lower cost (at least that was the case with us).

      I hope that helps.

      Kornel

  • Simon Renaud

    Reply Reply November 2, 2018

    Some ETF listed on the TSX simply refer to a US ETF.
    An example is VUS.TO which refer to VTI. However, the first one shows a net expense ratio of 0.16% and the second 0.04%.
    Why should we buy VUS.TO compared to the low fee VTI? Or am-I missing something?

    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply November 28, 2018

      Hi Simon,

      VTI is traded on the US exchange meaning that you need US dollars to buy it. VUS is on the Canadian exchange which means you can just buy it with Canadian dollars, and not incur currency exchange fees. VUS is also hedged and therefore I personally prefer VUN which is unhedged, and therefore provides you with some currency diversification as well.

      Yes the fee on VTI is lower, but to get that you’re going to have to incur currency exchange fees to convert your money to USD. These fees can be very large, and I don’t recommend that you do them via a regular bank or discount brokerage as they’ll typically charge you a few percent fee to do it (I think it was 2%+ the last time I checked which is VERY high). I personally buy VTI in my RRSP these days as it’s very tax efficient. However, I use a technique called Norbert’s Gambit to do this as this way you are able to pay the lowest amount possible for converted CDN to USD.

      I hope that answers your question.
      Kornel

  • Shawna

    Reply Reply September 16, 2018

    My question is how to choose a financial advisor? Obviously, one who does not sell investment products. There seems to be many out there, but their fees differ greatly for what seem to be similar advice or plans.

  • Maggie

    Reply Reply September 15, 2018

    Hello, I am a Canadian citizen and I am going to work in the USA. I would love to know the tax implications of Canadian citizen living and working in the US.

    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply October 22, 2018

      Thanks Maggie,
      There’s a fair amount of expats that listen to the show so I agree that it’s time for an episode like this. Thanks for suggesting it! I’ll look around for a reputable tax specialist that can answer questions like this and do an episode on it.

  • Miss

    Reply Reply June 13, 2018

    How to access “download your “Top 5 Personal Finance & Productivity Tools” guide”?

    The link to google drive is not working for me

  • Mase

    Reply Reply May 12, 2018

    hey man some great work your doing here big thx to that .. i may be a stupid ol welder by trade but i really do value money in a much different way than the vast majority of people ive noticed , i really dont care to buy “stuff” but i do love money and making more of it .. who dosent right ? im not looking to get rich just trying to correct some the mistakes ive noticed in my superiors and that is investing at a younger age .. im 26 years old and really havnt done much than go to school and get a job. throughout most my school years i was tought get a trade and youll be set , not quite ive noticed .. these days it seems you need 2 incomes just to live moderately comfortable (and then some). for me i have a second income and im doing ok with my money but i no i can do better and living in canada my bank keeps trying to recruit me to “mutual funds” from my research this seems to be a bad idea. id like to learn how can i and how much money do i need to directly invest in the stocks at my own risk and manage my own portfolio ? .. if this is even possible ? im soo green to this its actually amazing, by no means do i expect anyone to tell me how and where to invest my money (easy way out) id just like to simply no how to get started wihout having to pay a high annual fee to somebody else.. or “what ever”

  • Rahwa Habtenkiel

    Reply Reply May 3, 2018

    Hey kornel,

    First I wanted to let you know I’m fan of your podcasts it’s really been helping me understand more and become more aware how such an important topic like finances works in Canada. But I have a topic I would really love to learn more about and that’s how insurances work in Canada? Maybe you can touch on these headings.

    -Is insurance a fundamental importance to have before anything else?
    -How much do you need? Or how do you know you have enough.
    -Is thier a specific type to have before getting other types of insurance.. like getting life insurance before disability.
    -Can you set up you insurance as an investment strategy, due to the grantees and reset options.
    – Are thier any tax advantage
    -do you need mortgage insurance if you have personal life insurance
    – is insuring you children important, by taking advantage of the low cost for thier age.

    Also your podcasts are really awesome but maybe making them little more entery level so we get more in depth info, bare in mind a lot of beginners and amateurs are listening . Thanks that would be great.

    Thanks mate!
    Rahwa Habtenkiel

    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply October 22, 2018

      Thanks so much for these questions!
      I’ve gotten a fair bit of inquiries about insurance so I think it’s time to do an episode on it. I really appreciate you including multiple questions on the topic. I have added them to the list for when I do the interview.

      Thanks again!
      Kornel

  • Phil

    Reply Reply March 20, 2018

    Hi …love the podcast so far. My question is cashing rrsps while I’m in school to pay down debts. Seeing as how I can get them taxes free and refund them over 20 years.
    Thanks a ton

  • Sophie

    Reply Reply January 4, 2018

    Do you trust Mint.com with all of your banking information?

    I’ve heard mixed reviews about people being worried about hackers and privacy policies for Canadians with the servers being in the States.

    thanks for all the info and the podcast =)

    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply October 22, 2018

      Yeah, definitely do it at your own risk. The way that I do it these days is I use Mint for my credit cards, and for my day-to-day bank. The day-to-day bank only has a few grand within it for monthly expenses. I no longer sync my emergency fund account and brokerage account with Mint for the reason you specified. It’s not that I don’t trust them less or anything. They are owned by Intuit and their security is very good in my opinion. However, with that said, I feel like I found a nice middle where I still get all the tracking and reporting, without providing access to accounts where most of my net worth resides. No need in undergoing an unnecessary risk and arguing with the bank/brokerage if there was a data breach.

  • Liam

    Reply Reply December 16, 2017

    What is the best option for short term investments that you need to access on specified dates? I am wondering what to do with all the GST I collect through my business that I need to pay to the government, it ends up being in the tens of thousands, is there a better way to hold onto this money than in a savings account?

    Thanks

    Liam

  • Mona

    Reply Reply November 24, 2017

    Hi I would love to know more about RESP and the different kinds

  • Daniel

    Reply Reply October 1, 2017

    Hi,

    Just started listening and am loving the Canadian perspective. Thank you
    My question is about financial advisors. In my early 20’s, I simply met with whoever my credit union provided and started investing in mutual fund RRSPs. I didn’t know anything about finance. Now that I’m intentionally trying to learn about all of this, I’m curious as to how I can best make use of a financial advisor and how I can even find the right kind (E G. Dealing representative, advising representative, portfolio manager, etc.). I’ve learned that my guy is primarily a mutual fund dealer and probably can’t help me with other investments or my bigger financial picture
    Any advice on financial advisors would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks

  • Jane

    Reply Reply September 17, 2017

    I would like knowing how to invest mutual fund.like index fund.or how to buy ETF.stock.

  • Lindsay

    Reply Reply July 18, 2017

    Hi Kornel,

    Enjoy the Podcast. Relevant topics.
    What I would like to see is a checklist for someone going into early retirement next 18 months or so.

    Lindsay

  • Brad

    Reply Reply June 22, 2017

    Well the info I’ve come across as far as being a sophisticated investor is concerned we’re all related to those living in the states , I’m Canadian I and want to become an intelligent investor and I’d like to know where to start , where to look ( books, courses , seminars ) to assist me on my journey. I’m looking for a road map.

    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply June 22, 2017

      Thanks for the request Brad. I’m in the process of creating a “Resources” page where everyone can go to and check out the Canadian specific resources that I find useful.
      I’ll let everyone know once it’s done.

      Have a great week!
      Kornel

  • Kim

    Reply Reply May 5, 2017

    Hi Kornel

    I would like to see the topic of dividend generating investments covered.

    Thanks,
    Kim

  • Kevin

    Reply Reply March 2, 2017

    Would like to know if it is possible to do automated trading in the Canadian marketplace and, if so, what avenues are available?

  • Amine

    Reply Reply December 19, 2016

    thanks

  • Perry

    Reply Reply December 9, 2016

    I would like to hear about alternatives to bonds for balancing out an investment portfolios. Particularly, safe haven asset investing which hopefully would keep up with inflation throughout the years and limit the effects of a monetary system disaster on someone’s net worth? Perhaps something like an analysis on investing in precious metals for example (pros and cons). In addition, what someone needs to know on how to invest smart in holding assets for later profit (eg. taxes on asset capital gains).

  • Alex Babalos

    Reply Reply October 31, 2016

    Hi Kornel, really enjoy your podcast. Has been very helpful with the great guests you have on. Heard about “The Value of Simple” through here, read it, loved it. I really enjoyed the interview with Peter Hodson, too.

    My question for you is: Have you diversified at all from broad market index ETFs? Peter Hodson made a compelling case to use some of his portfolios at 5i, and I am wondering what your opinion on it was?

  • Chandler Kerr

    Reply Reply September 7, 2016

    I would like to hear a podcast about average Canadian people/families who have gotten out of debt and are now living debt free.

  • Bill

    Reply Reply August 22, 2016

    Hi Kornel,

    My question is about Hedging. Should you or shouldn’t you? I am curious in the general sense of a diversified portfolio that consist of Equity and Fixed Income ETF’s that include Canadian, U.S. and International. Keep up the good work I am enjoying the podcast.

    Thank you,
    Bill

    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply August 24, 2016

      Thanks for the feedback and question Bill!
      I looked into hedging a fair bit when I first started investing as I had the exact same question. I looked at several different sources and noticed that definitely a majority of them recommended to not hedge. Dan from Canadian Couch Potato wrote a good article about it if you’d like some more information about this. Here’s the links: http://canadiancouchpotato.com/2014/03/06/why-currency-hedging-doesnt-work-in-canada/

      I personally don’t hedge and don’t intend to based on the research I found. Dan’s article is a good primer to get some more understanding and reasoning for the decision.

      Is that helpful?

      Kornel

  • John

    Reply Reply March 31, 2016

    Can I take money out of my rrsp and pay it back over 15 years) to buy a house if I’ve already used the first time home buyer option?

    • Russ

      Reply Reply April 4, 2016

      Here’s the URL to the CRA section of the website that describes participation in the Home Buyers Plan:
      http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/rrsp-reer/hbp-rap/cndtns/menu-eng.html#first-timehomebuyer

      Basically, if you sold the home you lived in four or more years ago, you may be eligible to use the Home Buyers Plan again. Confirm that you qualify under the terms described, though.

      • John

        Reply Reply April 4, 2016

        “You are considered a first-time home buyer if, in the four year period, you did not occupy a home that you or your current spouse or common-law partner owned.”

        This seems to be my only way then since I still own the house. Just have to wait another year as I’ve only been out of it for 2 full years so far. Thanks for the link.

      • By Kornel Szrejber

        Reply Reply April 20, 2016

        Thanks for helping out John!

        I appreciate you posting the link Russ.

        Thanks πŸ™‚

        Kornel

  • Dave

    Reply Reply March 19, 2016

    I would be interested in strategies for withdrawing accumulated assets from RRSP’s and TFSA’s. Is there an order of preference to save on taxes?

    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply March 20, 2016

      Thanks Dave! This is a great question that has come up several times times from those Canadians that are getting closer to that retirement age. Thanks again for the question, and I’ll definitely be putting together an expert interview to help answer this.

      I have an interview coming up soon with a very reputable fee-for-service financial planner (that you might have heard of already). This would definitely be a great question to ask her.

      Thanks again for your submission and have yourself a wonderful rest of the weekend!
      Kornel

  • Daniel

    Reply Reply December 30, 2015

    Mr. Szrejber,

    I am 43 years old. When i was a young adult i started investing in mutual fund RRSPs having been told that they were the best thing since sliced bread. Is there a way i could transfer these mutual funds to some sort of registered ETF without having to cash in my RRSPs and pay tax on them?

    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply March 14, 2016

      Hi Daniel.
      Yes you can. Great question by the way. When you open up a discount brokerage account, you can put in a request to transfer your RRSP money to that account. I actually just helped a fellow listener do this the other day. You would basically first sell those mutual funds but keep the cash from their sale in your RRSP account (ie. where they are right now). You then request the transfer and once that is done, you use the money to buy ETFs. If you want, we can chat on the phone and I’ll give you some more info. I’ll send you an email in a moment with my contact info.

  • Paul

    Reply Reply November 13, 2015

    Today was my first time viewing your blog and I found it informing and practical. I look forward to viewing your future blogs. Thank you Kornel.
    A new “fan” Paul.

  • Myroslav Pituley

    Reply Reply October 9, 2015

    Hello Kornel,

    I am really enjoying your podcast. I have one comment and one question.

    Comment: I am quite new to personal finance and investing but recently found my interest in these topics growing significantly. I am using few resources to educate myself – books, website and your podcast. Some of your episodes are really easy for me to understand but in few of them you are discussing topics without first explaining the basics of them. I think if you want to cater to the beginners crowd(like me πŸ™‚ ), you would be better off explaining the basics first. For example, in one of the episodes you discuss the investment options and you speak of ETFs. I had to pause the episode till I got home and looked up the definition and the basics of ETFs before resuming listening to the episode. Other than this I find your podcast really great!

    Question: The differences between TFSA and RRSP. I think I get the basic difference but would enjoy the in-depth discussion of these two from the perspective of using them for retirement.

    Thank you and keep up a great work!

    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply March 14, 2016

      Thanks so much for your feedback Myroslav!
      You bring up a great point. I’ll do some more sessions where I go over the basics and best practices. Thanks for providing me with some more subject to cover! I totally totally see what you mean about some of the episodes being a bit more advanced which can be challenging for those listeners who are just getting started. Thanks again, and feel free to reach out to me anytime if there are more subject that you’d like me to cover.

  • John L. McLaughlin

    Reply Reply October 2, 2015

    Strategies to tax efficiently collapse an RRSP in your mid-60’s

    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply March 20, 2016

      Thanks for this John. This is a great question that keeps coming up as more and more Canadians are approaching the retirement age. I’ll definitely get some retirement experts on the show for you that can address this question. Thanks for listening to the show!

  • Aaron

    Reply Reply September 16, 2015

    Hi Kornel.

    You’ve got a good podcast. I just finished listening to #4 and have a question for you.

    You recommend researching contractors by reading reviews of real estate investors. I searched google for local real estate investors and came up with just a few and those that I did find weren’t writing reviews about their team of contractors. I would suspect that real estate investors may even want to keep a tight lid on the contractors that they like to ensure their availability.

    Do you have any advice for finding contractors that are well-reviewed by successful real estate investors?

    I’d appreciate the advice. Thanks.

    • By Kornel Szrejber

      Reply Reply September 28, 2015

      Hi Aaron.

      Thanks for the good question. What I ended up doing is actually reaching out to them directly through email and they were happy to provide me with the names of their contractors. The way I look at it is that most investors don’t have their contractors working on their projects every day, 5 days a week. So, they don’t mind sharing their contact info especially since they are giving a referral so in the future the contractor might give them a discount since they are sending them new business/work. Also, a lot of them have a backup person that they use so even if their primary person is overloaded with work, they can at least give you the name of the backup.

      I hope that helps πŸ™‚ Let me know if you want more clarification on anything.

      All the best,

      Kornel

  • Stephanie

    Reply Reply August 19, 2015

    Hello,

    I don’t have a specific question, I just wanted to say I really enjoy and appreciate the podcast. I listen to quite a few different finance related podcasts and it is very refreshing to have one with a Canadian focus, so that the content can actually apply to me. I especially like when you conduct your interviews you ask about a variety of scenarios, from a situation of someone just starting out, to retirement, and everything in between. I usually learn something new when I listen.
    Thank you. Great job, and I hope you keep it up. I’ll be listening.

  • KK

    Reply Reply May 6, 2015

    interested in how to draw down RRSP, LIF after age 60 and retired i.e no other income

  • Carole

    Reply Reply May 5, 2015

    What is the best way to start making withdrawals from an RRSP invested in a few mutual funds, starting around age 60? Withdraw in selected amounts and place this money in a TFSA? Sell a portion of a mutual fund and withdraw periodic amounts of cash from the RRSP? Something else? Thank you

  • Russ

    Reply Reply May 4, 2015

    I know your site and podcast are about building wealth; however, my wife and I are within a few years of retirement and are beginning to contemplate the drawing down of our assets. We have money in RRSPs, defined contribution RPPs, TFSAs and taxable (non-registered) accounts. Could you present a discussion on the most tax efficient manner in which one should draw down these assets? For example, many people seem to want to hang onto their RRSPs until they are forced to convert them into RRIFs after reaching age 71. I’ve also read that it may be more beneficial to begin drawing down such tax-deferred plans as soon as one is retired.

  • Ken Newbury

    Reply Reply April 25, 2015

    Hi Kornel,

    I’ve read some articles in attempts to learn investing and seems like a lot of it is contradictory depending who the writer is.
    One person says ETF’s are the way to go while another says forget dividend stock and a third swears by mutual funds.
    Being a new person to this it’s confusing a heck. Any tips for a brand new person trying to learn this?

  • Brian

    Reply Reply September 28, 2014

    Hi Kornel,

    Which is better, to pay off your mortgage first or build your investments (ex.RRSP). One strategy I’ve heard is to invest in an RRSP and take the Income Tax return and use it as a lump sum payment against the mortgage. This sounds pretty good but if I look at my mortgage over 50% of my payment is going to interest. I would think it would be best to lower the amount being paid towards interest before investing. Which is is right?

    Brian

  • Kerri

    Reply Reply September 10, 2014

    Hi Kornel,

    My one question would be: do you have any advice for someone who wants to start investing (stocks/online)?

    I’m a 29yr old architect who loves her job but it’s not exactly financially rewarding. I’ve started reading/listening to books/podcasts about financing and wealth management. I would love to start learning about investing I’ve just been to scared so far!

    Love the podcast, hope to hear more soon!

    Cheers,
    Kerri M.

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