Last updated: Nov-12-2018

    
 
QUESTION & ANSWER
11/13/2018 5:48:31 PM
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By Gordon Pape | Friday, November 09, 2018

Q – I’m in my mid-50s and interested in selling some of my RRSP mutual funds. I’ve had them for at least 10 years. So, I think I have had them long enough to not get charged a penalty fee for selling them within a couple of years. Do they get taxed the same rate as if I had capital gains from selling stocks in a company? I also have a TFSA question: If I put $5,000 in my TFSA and buy stock that doubles in price to $10,000 and then take out the $10,000 from the TFSA, can I put $10,000 back in without a penalty? Even though the original contribution was $5,000? – Randy W.

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, November 02, 2018



Q – I recently left a company after about 10 years, where I had a pension plan that has grown substantially. The plan has been converted into something called a Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA), and I am unable to withdraw funds from it, even to transfer to an RRSP. This came as a bit of a surprise to me. Can you explain some more about LIRAs and how they work? – Derek B., Oshawa, Ontario

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, October 26, 2018



Q – The Bank of Canada raised its interest rate to 1.75% on Oct. 24. It said that CPI inflation dropped to 2.2% in September, but that its core measures remain around 2%. I’m not really sure what these various inflation measures mean. In any case, 2% inflation seems really low, and I’m wondering whether I really need to be concerned about it for my longer-term investment portfolio of around $200,000, which I’m expecting to return an average 5% annually. – Ryan L., Barrie, Ontario

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By Gordon Pape | Friday, October 19, 2018

Q – I would like to know what United States TIPS funds (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities) I can buy in Canada. I am a Canadian citizen, resident in Canada. With U.S. interest rates rising, growing GDP, good corporate profits, low unemployment, and expected wage increases, more commentators are raising the possibility of increasing inflation. At present TIPS prices are low because most people still do not believe in the prospect of inflation. I do believe in the return of inflation and this could be a good time to buy TIPS funds while prices are still low. – Chris C.

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, October 12, 2018



Q – I’ve had a small part-time business on the side for a few years now, and my product seems to be in demand with plenty of repeat customers. In fact, it’s become so busy that I’ve been thinking about quitting my day job and devoting all my time to my business. But it’s a bit scary to make that leap. Do you have any advice for businesswomen just starting out. – Anjali K., Markham, Ontario

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By Gordon Pape | Friday, October 05, 2018

Q – I have a bearish outlook on global equity market especially after President Trump has imposed tariffs on all the U.S. trading partners. Below are my questions:

1. What is your opinion on Hive shares? Since last year, I have lost more than 75% of its value.
2. I have around $5,000 to invest, and I would expect to get at least 7% annual return on it. Where and what can I invest in? – Hasnain H.

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, September 28, 2018



Q – We’re expecting our first child next spring, but we currently live in a one-bedroom condo in downtown Toronto. We’re thinking about finding a larger space, probably a townhome just outside the city. But we’re not sure how much mortgage we can afford, given that house prices in the Greater Toronto Area are sky high. Are there any tips for calculating affordability? – Richard P., Toronto, Ontario

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, September 21, 2018



Q – I’m recently divorced, and I’m wondering what my next steps financially should be. My ex-husband and I shared a financial advisor and had both joint and separate accounts. That’s been sorted out, and the settlement has been finalized. But now what? Should I keep the same advisor or look for a new one? And what are the next steps in planning? – Monica G., Vaughan, Ontario

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By Gordon Pape | Friday, September 14, 2018

Q – You have urged readers to be cautious of the global mess bring created by Trump and the possibility of a stock market crash. My question/conundrum is this: Is it worth incurring the capital gains to move to a cash/defensive position to avoid a possible market fall? – Barry D.

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, September 07, 2018



Q – I like the idea of managing my own investments. I enjoy online trading. But sometimes I feel like the red tape involved gets to be too much. There seems to be a never-ending pile of statements, notices, advisories, and tax forms. Those worry me the most, because I’m not at all sure I’m staying onside with the CRA. Do you have any suggestions? – Adam K., Kingston, Ontario

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, August 24, 2018



Q – Our eldest daughter will be going on to university next month, and we’re looking to fund some of her tuition from a Registered Education Savings Plan that was set up for her about 15 years ago. However, we’ve heard stories in the news recently about people who find they have lost their money because they didn’t follow the rules of the plan. Would you explain the withdrawal rules for RESPs. – Melinda C., Thornhill, Ontario

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, August 17, 2018



Q – On checking my portfolio, I’ve noticed that my bond fund holdings, both mutual funds and ETFs, have been lagging in performance. Can you tell me why? I’m thinking about selling or switching and wonder if this is a good idea. – Len S., Markham, Ontario

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, August 03, 2018



Q – I’m a professional in the medical field with my own practice, which has now started to grow. I’ve saved diligently, and I’ve built up a sizeable nest-egg in RRSPs and TFSAs, but I suspect I’m not making the most of my investments, largely because I don’t have the time to monitor them. I need a money manager or advisor to look after my financial affairs, but with all the various choices available, I’m not sure where to start or whom to ask. Do you have any suggestions? – Melinda L., Markham, Ontario

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, July 27, 2018



Q – Stock markets have risen without a protracted correction for nearly 10 years, about the length of time I’ve been a serious investor. Anyone who has held a broad index-tracking ETF during that time has done very well. It seems like we’re in a new era of steady equity market gains. Although I currently have some fixed-income funds as well, what would be wrong with putting all my investment capital into equity ETFs and just sitting back and reaping the rewards? Given the steady market performance over the past decade, I’m pretty sure I can handle the risk, if any. – Mark N., Oakville, Ontario

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, July 20, 2018



Q – We’ve decided to sell our summer cottage, which has been in the family for about 50 years. We understand there will be some capital gains tax to pay, but is there any way to reduce the tax bite? A neighbour told us about something called the Adjusted Cost Base, but we’re not sure what this is or how it works. – Lynn R., Lindsay, Ontario

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, June 29, 2018



Q – I recently received a Notice of Re-Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency. They say I made some sort of error in calculation, and are now asking for several hundred dollars more in tax, with a threat of interest and penalties if I don’t pay up by the deadline. I think they’re wrong. Is there any way to fight this? – Jordan N., Scarborough, Ontario

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, June 15, 2018



Q – My fiancé and I are planning our wedding this summer. We’re both career professionals and we’re financially secure. Do you have any advice on the best way to plan our financial affairs as a couple? We think a financial professional would be the best way to go, but what should we be asking them? – Sheri L., Burlington, Ontario

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, June 08, 2018



Q – I’ve seen some 5-year GIC rates advertised as high 3.50%. This seems like a pretty good return, considering that most savings accounts offer much less than 1.00%. And I’ve been told at my local bank branch that some GICs are linked to a market index and may offer much more than 3.50%. What are your thoughts about investing in GICs at this time? – Vic L., Calgary, Alberta

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, June 01, 2018



Q – I’m graduating from university this month, but I’ve never really had to deal with personal financial matters in any meaningful way. Mostly, it’s all been handled by my parents, scholarships, and student loans. Do you have any advice for new grads on how to handle their finances? – Indra S., Toronto, Ontario

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By Robyn K. Thompson | Friday, May 25, 2018



Q –– I consider myself a middle-of-the-road investor, with exposure to both stocks and bonds in my portfolio. But I’m seeing negative numbers on my quarterly performance reports, by my advisor assures me that I have done better than the “market.” I’m not quite sure of what he means. How can I figure out if I’m outperforming the market? What benchmark should I be using for a balanced portfolio like mine? – Rick T., Mississauga, Ontario

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