Saturday, 15 April 2017

Financial Basics 14 - Simple Investing

This post is about describing, in the most simple terms, how to get started doing your own investing.

When I looked back at my financial basics series, I realized that there were 4 posts (#7 through #10) dedicated to the subject of simply how to invest and what to invest in. Even though I tried to simplify the guidance, it still ends up being long and a bit complicated. This may deter people from trying to invest on their own, which goes against my reason for writing this series.  This post is to simplify the process of investing even further than those 4 posts. Hopefully this post will give you enough information to get started and as you get more experience and confidence you will read posts #7 through #10 and many of the other resources available.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Financial Basics 10 - Investing and Re-balancing

This post is about managing your investments and accounts, how to make investments and how to re-balance your portfolio of investments.  

We will revisit the example portfolio from post #7 and the determination of which funds we will put in particular accounts. Then I will propose an easy way to make the contributions and buy the funds each month. We will make use of a Google Sheets spreadsheet that helps us determine which funds to buy in each account. 

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Financial Basics 9 - Which Fund in Which Account?

This post is about which funds you should put into each of your different types of accounts (RRSP, TFSA or Taxable)

Which fund to put into which account? This is about taxes, so if you read further on in this post and think you are missing something, you should go back and read Financial Basics 2 - Income Tax to review how different types of income are taxed and Financial Basics 3 - How Different Savings Accounts Work to review how income in the different types of accounts are taxed. 

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Financial Basics 8 - Investment Portfolio Alternatives

This post is about alternatives to the portfolio I recommended in the previous post

This post was originally created in April 2015 and updated in April 2017. The Portfolio Alternatives table has been updated along with some wording. 

If you consider alternatives to my recommendation, please remember that each of these ETFs already have a great degree of diversification.  If you stick to index tracking ETFs, have an appropriate percentage of Bond ETF and cover the worlds stock markets, you should not need more than 4 ETFs.  In some cases you may be able to reduce this to 3 by picking one world (non-Canadian) ETF instead of having one each for the US and International.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Financial Basics 7 - Investment Portfolio

This post is about your investment portfolio.  Which funds you hold, what percentages and what account you will put them in.  

This post was originally created in March 2015 and updated in April 2017. The Portfolio table has been updated along with some wording. 

One objective of these blog posts is to provide a simple reference for saving and investing for retirement. I want to take much of the available information on the internet and simplify it so that it is can serve as concise reference material.  Often when you do that much of the background information that goes into determining the best saving and investing strategy may be lost, but I don't want that to happen. I will structure this blog post to begin with the basics and providing more detail later on in this post and the subsequent one. 

Friday, 24 March 2017

Retirement Planning and Forecasting Spreadsheet 2.0 (for Canada)

Retirement Forecaster 2.7

Updated to version 2.7 on March 24th, 2017. 

In this version I have updated the tax tables to include the 2017 federal and provincial tax brackets and rates. There was nothing in the March 22nd budget that affected the calculations.

Download new version here.  

A complete list of upgrades by version is included in the Instructions sheet in the workbook.

This spreadsheet allows you to make an accurate financial plan for your retirement, starting at any time in your life.  Unlike many retirement tools, this spreadsheet shows a cash flow forecast vs time and identifies which account money is saved into (during employment) and which account or source the retirement income is withdrawn from.  It handles the different account types (RRSP, LIRA, TFSA and a taxable investment account), the limits imposed on them and does income tax calculations for any of the provinces.  

The picture below shows the main page of the spreadsheet which contains all the inputs you need (in yellow) and provides a cash flow forecast and how the savings accounts increase and decline.  

I hope you find the tool useful and I am always willing to hear of suggestions to improve it. 

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

X-Y Plots (4Y) Spreadsheet - Another Easy Way To Explore Your Data

This Spreadsheet...
  • This spreadsheet is similar to the X-Y Plots spreadsheet but with a few differences:
    • You can plot up to 4 Y variables on the same chart.
    • Each category is a separate plot. 
    • You can easily switch between plots (different category).