Beat The Bank like Larry Bates

Beat The Bank like Larry Bates

Embrace wealth builders:  amount, time and rate of return.  Added together, more money, more time to compound/grow and higher rates of return are ideal for investors.

Steer far away from wealth killers:  fees, taxation and inflation.  Any one or more of these things are wealth destroyers you will need to fight as you work through your investing journey.

Beat the Bank

That’s the simple but effective advice of Larry Bates in Beat The Bank. 

In addition to embracing wealth builders and avoiding wealth killers, there are three alternative ways to Beat The Bank:

  1. Become a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) investor – via your own hand-picked mix of stocks, bonds and/or some ETFs.
  2. Follow Assemble-It-Yourself (AIY) investing – following a passive investing strategy using low-cost ETFs.
  3. Use a Robo-Advisor (robo-investing) – to support your low-cost investing plan.

…and banking veteran Larry Bates should know – he worked at various financial institutions over his successful career.  Now, in his new book, Beat the Bank: The Canadian Guide to Simply Successful Investing, he shares his advice to potentially double your long-term investing returns.

Earlier this fall, I reviewed Larry’s book that included some copies to giveaway here.  In reviewing Larry’s book though, I wanted to dig deeper and ask him some questions the book didn’t answer for me – such as what he thinks is a good savings rate these days, what his “enough number” is, and what he thinks about the mortgage paydown vs. investing debate.

Here is a brief bio about Larry:

  • Age: 62
  • Family status: Married with adult children
  • Retired since: Not really! He left the financial biz 2 years ago but writing the book, and now marketing its message, keeps me busy
  • Retirement plans: Chief Beat the Bank Evangelist!

Larry, welcome to the site.  For folks that haven’t read your latest book yet – give it a plug.  Why should folks read Beat The Bank?

Mark, millions of Canadians can build much larger retirement nest eggs by improving their “investment literacy”.  Beat the Bank clearly shows how most Canadians are losing 50% of their lifetime investment gains to fees they don’t see or understand. More importantly, the book provides them with some step-by-step guides to using much more efficient, lower cost investment products to build a more prosperous future.

Prosperous future…I like it.  Larry, you were a long-time banking executive.  I’m curious, what was your savings rate during your career?  I’ve argued the new savings rate for retirement by Gen X or Gen Y is at least 10% net income.   Thoughts?

Early in my career I was able to direct around 20% of my after-tax income first to debt reduction, then building a down payment for a house and ultimately mortgage prepayments. Once the mortgage was reduced I started investing in blue chip stocks in my RRSP and my regular (taxable) account. As my career progressed I was fortunate enough to earn a much higher than average income and was able to save a larger percentage of my earnings.

Everyone’s circumstances are different.  I recognize some Canadians aren’t in a position to save, but I agree that 10% is a good savings target for most middle-income earners. Savings should be directed towards permanent debt reduction or investments.  Either one will put Canadians in a much better financial position.

Beat The Bank highlights three (better) ways to invest that could double Canadian’s long-term savings for retirement.  How do you invest?  Why do you invest that way?

Over the years I have built up a portfolio of blue-chip Canadian stocks including big banks, telecoms, utilities, railways, energy, etc.  Wherever possible I take advantage of automatic dividend reinvestment programs.  (I know you’re a fan of this as well Mark since you have a page dedicated to it here!)  The majority of my U.S. investments are in low cost index Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) like VFV and VUN with some added positions in tech stocks like GOOG and FB. The majority of my fixed income investments are in simple GICs. I trade a little bit around the edges but largely just buy and hold.

Index investing using low-cost Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) seems to be a sensible way for many Canadians to invest.  In your book you highlight some great selections for folks to consider including, in no particular order, ZSP, XIU, XUS, ZEA, VIU and XAW.  What should folks look for in owning an ETF?

I recommend long term investments in simple, plain vanilla, low cost index ETFs. I don’t see any merit in paying much higher fees for whatever the flavour of the day, active management strategy might be. Make sure you have a mix between stocks and bonds that matches your objectives, timeframe and risk tolerance.  Make sure your stock investments are diversified with a large portion directed to the U.S. market and potentially beyond.  I feel this can easily be achieved with 1-4 simple, low cost ETFs.

Larry, you might already know I’m a hybrid investor:  I invest in many individual dividend paying stocks and I use a few U.S. ETFs for extra diversification and long-term growth.  What are your thoughts on my game plan?

Wow. That strategy sounds familiar. Please see above!! I think this is a very sensible way to invest so long as you understand the risks with individual stock selection, and, you diversify out of the Canadian market.  Owning some U.S. ETFs are a great way to do that.

This was my initial thought process here on determining my “enough number” for retirement savings.  I arrived at needing a $1 million portfolio, owning my workplace pension for about 20 years, and of course being debt free at time of retirement or even semi-retirement.  How did you determine your “enough number” and how do you know it’s enough?

I didn’t approach it the same way. I simply tried to strike a reasonable balance between current spending and saving for the future. Having earned a top income for years, I have saved a good amount. But with that came a pretty good lifestyle.  So, like most people, I have to be cautious about making sure we do not run out! All that said, life span, investment returns, inflation rates, tax rates, health, surprise costs and so many other factors cannot be accurately forecasted so I don’t believe in any one, correct, single “enough number” for anyone.

Finally Larry, there is lots of debate in the personal finance community on investing using the TFSA first vs. RRSP first vs. simply paying down your mortgage.  What advice do you have for 30- or 40-somethings who are wrestling with investing vs. mortgage paydown decisions?

It is way more important to act on one of the three choices than to make the perfect choice. If the mortgage is uncomfortably high, pay it down. If it is at a more comfortable level, perhaps consider long term stock or ETF investing using TFSAs or RRSPs.  I will say there isn’t much merit in bond investing while you still have a mortgage.

Thanks to Larry for his time on this site.   Larry’s best-selling book on Amazon is now available in stores across Canada as well as in print and ebook editions – see those links above or click on the book image above to buy it!    Also, check out www.larrybates.ca  to sign up for his newsletter and to try out a unique tool which reveals how much investment fees really cost you.

Mark Seed is the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I've grown our portfolio to over $500,000 - but there's more work to do! Our next big goal is to own a $1 million investment portfolio for an early retirement. Subscribe and join the journey!

75 Responses to "Beat The Bank like Larry Bates"

  1. Hey Mark,

    A lot of great advice in the interview. Thanks to Larry for taking the time to share his perspective with us as well.

    I agree that there’s no perfect “right number” for everyone. However, as you mentioned, 10% is a bare minimum for a savings rate. Anything less and one should hope for abnormally high returns or a hefty work pension for one’s later years.

    Take care,
    Ryan

    Reply
    1. Thanks Get Rich. No, definitely no number for everyone but 10% net income is good. Say $500 per month or $6,000 per year, invested for 40 years diligently would be outstanding. With 7% returns that’s about $1.3 M.

      Reply
      1. Mark, 40 years!

        This is what I’m suggesting to our (27 to 32 yr old kids):

        “Aim for a minimum target of 20 to 25% of net earnings towards savings, or, a minimum of 15% towards savings and 20 to 25% towards paying down debts, including the mortgage.

        An extreme target is: to be debt free and saving 40 to 50% of your net income.”

        Too aggressive? One out of three is now on the above path.

        Reply
        1. I won’t be able to save 40-50% of our income until we are debt free. We’re probably at 20% (net) now while we kill the mortgage. That’s pretty good I think; could be higher but gotta live your life too.

          Reply
  2. With so much about FEES, FEES , FEES eating into your returns. Then why do most of you continue to put in $5500 (cash) every January in your TFSAs – and then buy stocks? Makes no sense to me!!!

    Reply
    1. Which part is confusing you Mike? The contribution amount (5500)? The contribution type (cash)? The contribution timing (January)? The investment choice (stocks)? It’s unclear which part you’re having difficulty with although I won’t discount the possibility it could be all of those. .

      Reply
        1. I can’t imagine anyone who even dabbles in investments could be confused by such a concept but hey, it happens I guess.

          $9.99 (some fees are even lower I hear) on a 5-8K investment over a long time period (5-20+ years) isn’t that big of an expense. I suppose that might be to some, but not to me. To each their own I guess.

          Reply
    2. It costs me <$10 to buy stocks. That a fee/commission of 0.18%. It costs me more than $10 for a decent bottle of wine but that won't double my money in 10 years. Sorry, not really following...

      Reply
      1. Lloyd, Mark or Others?:

        January they put in (cash):
        $5500 his TFSA
        $5500 wife’s TFSA

        * Lloyd then buys one stock in each TFSA = Fees of $9.99 X 2 = $19.98
        Mark wants to diversify a bit more so he buys 3 stocks in each TFSA (both his and his wife’s TFSA) = $9.99 X 6 = $59.94 – (fees occurred)

        Lloyd could only purchase $5490.01 in actual stock in each TFSA ($5500 – $9.99 X 2 accounts = $10,980.02 in stock and $19.98 in fees).
        Mark could only purchase $5470.03 in actual stock in each TFSA ($5500 – $29.97 X 2 accounts = $10,940.06 in stock and $59.94 in fees).

        This is what I would do: (for his & her TFSAs)

        I would put $11,019.98 in my Non-Reg Act and if I am Lloyd – I buy the one stock I wanted for my TFSA and the other one stock for wife’s TFSA. {$11,000 ($5500 X 2) plus the $19.98 trading fees}. Then I transfer in kind the $5500 stock into each TFSA. (the $19.98 fees came out of the non-reg account)

        Note:
        1) The trading fees of $19.98 are a write off (because the trade was done in a non-reg act)
        2) You contribute the full $5500 to each TFSA – {not $5490.01 – for those who deposit $5500 cash into the TFSA and then buy the stock}
        3) You don’t lose TFSA room (the most important reason why you should be doing it this way!) by giving up $19.98 in investment room)
        AND…..You can always transfer in kind the least performing stock you hold in your non-reg account. Example: Lets say CU or ENB is down 10% on the year. You could transfer in kind to your TFSA (take the capital loss in the non reg account) and when the stock rebounds – it will be in your TFSA (no gains to pay).

        If I am Mark – (buying 6 stocks) – then I would save even more Money, Own More Stock in my TFSAs and have more Investment Room!! Money that would allow me to buy a few bottles of cheap wine and some clothes from Walmart!

        Reply
        1. Off the top of my head….

          Re: Note 1) Are not trading fees capitalized in that they are used to calculate gain/loss versus a “write-off”?

          Note 3) Again, as I stated up-thread, not significant to me and not worth creating a non-reg account for the wife. This is a personal choice, others may certainly opt to do so and again, to each their own.

          Re: transfer with a capital loss. I’ve not used this maneuver but I believe it may trigger the “superficial loss” rule making the capital loss not deductible.

          Reply
          1. Not that I have to explain but my non-reg account currently holds 7 shares of orphaned CSH.UN and $13.48 in cash.
            It ain’t worth my time nor effort to do anything about it.

            Maybe you should concentrate on your apparent lack of financial acumen before wondering why anyone else is doing or not doing in their finances. Just sayin’.

          2. “MyBad!”

            You don’t have to apologize Mike, ignorance is not something to be ashamed of. You’d do well to take heart some of the posts from people that perhaps know a thing or two about the subject at hand. Everyone can learn if they choose to open their mind (google helps as well).

          3. You have: 7 shares of orphaned CSH.UN and $13.48 in cash in a non-reg account and a big chunk of your investments in GICs. It doesn’t seem like you know much. Does that mean we should stop talking?

        2. Mike,

          You might want to do some homework re the following: You’ll discover you can’t legally claim a capital loss from stocks you are transferring from unregistered to TFSA’s – you simply lose the loss claim. And if you transfer something to a TFSA with a capital gain guess what – it is considered a deemed disposition and you pay tax on the gain. These could be major factors for some on why not to use this strategy, in an attempt to save a couple of dollars. If you’re Mike you’ll have a fine to pay, and have even less to spend on cheap wine and clothes from Walmart, while reducing credibility on Marks site.

          This may be a good example of why readers should consider the source offering advice and do their own due dilligence.

          In my case I will transfer in kind from my registered acct to my TFSA = $5500 transfer – (or 6K if increased) with (no losses or gains to consider, no trade or withdrawal costs). Taxes will be withheld by my broker separately from registred cash. This may be suitable for some people in retirement with registered accts, but I don’t pretend to know others’ particular situations and needs.

          Reply
          1. Bull: You are correct that that is what CRA states – BUT there is no fine and no checks & balances! But – if you feel that this is breaking the law – then do not claim the loss in the non-reg account – but it still makes sense (even for you) to transfer in kind the full $5500 stock!. FYI: I don’t go on blogs looking for credibility (it appears you do from Lloyd) – I go to see what the general population (like you) say about investing. Nothing wrong with being conservative with your investing. It goes with driving an old car and wearing other peoples clothes.

          2. Good to see you acknowledge your mistake and misguided advice Mike. As for checks and balances I can’t speak for CRA but I’m doubtful that is true or would fly for long, and any possible penalty just wouldn’t make it worthwhile to try. Once again correction, I don’t “feel” its breaking the law, it “is” contravening the act.

            If you can’t see why credibility is important on a blog where we exchange ideas and information, then I can understand why you continue to post the way you do.

            Yes $5500 is what I will be transferring (from registered) and what I have always done to date, whether in kind or in cash.

            I’m happy with my clothes. Funny that it bothers you so much. As for my vehicles you have no idea about what I drive. Funny again you regularly claim to know lots about others and what’s best for them but clearly don’t.

            That doesn’t surprise me much coming from a guy who purports to be well off but aspires and plans to collect GIS (designed for low income households that need help) using your family to dodge rules. Or worries about saving a couple of dollars tax or trade costs.

            Conservative investor yes, and I have something it seems you never will – enough.

          3. No mistake by me! But – you are making a mistake (IMO) on how your doing it. But – perhaps you also do not have any money in a non-reg account. Reading previous posts – it appears you have the bulk of your $$ in RRSPs – that explains it! (Tax Bomb).
            FYI: You told us all THAT YOU ARE FRUGAL – that you buy and wear used clothes and drive a real old car. Are you sure you have enough? and by the way – if you are that frugal – come live in Ontario. We have lower provincial income tax rates than Nova Scotia, lower property taxes, lower gas prices, lower HST and better weather. Look at Belleville – the homes cost roughly the same as what you have in NS.

          4. Mike, owning up to your mistakes is the sign of a confident person. What mistake is it that you think I’m making?

            Perhaps reading comprehension isnt your strong suit. I stated earlier my RRSP in kind withdrawal would have to pass through my “unregistered” to get to my TFSA. Also no where have I stated what vehicles I drive make, model, or year. You’re muddling up something someone else may have said.

            Yes, I have a significant amount in registered accounts. I recall you’re the guy who contributed to his, sold all of it and took the tax hit during working years because you thought it was a govt scam. I’m enjoying the growth from my tax bomb paying tax at approximiately half of when I contributed. If you did your homework some more you’d understand that the net benefits of TFSA and RRSP are equal based on same income, and better in my situation (higher working income).

            I was born in Ontario. I live in an ocean front home now and have no desire to live in Ontario. If it was all about money I could easily find a less expensive place to live.

          5. Bulls Quote “Perhaps reading comprehension isnt your strong suit. I stated earlier my RRSP in kind withdrawal would have to pass through my “unregistered” to get to my TFSA.”
            Well Bull, reading is one of my strong suits. Here below are the two times in this thread where you state “REGISTERED ACCOUNT” (not unregistered)
            RBull
            November 2, 2018 at 5:50 pm
            “” In my case I will transfer in kind from my registered acct to my TFSA “”
            RBull
            November 2, 2018 at 9:45 pm
            “” Yes $5500 is what I will be transferring (from registered) and what I have always done to date, whether in kind or in cash. “” (So Bull, a confident good reader – you are not)

            AND…. That’s the mistake you are making! FIGURE IT OUT!. NO – I do not have any RRSPS – and I bet you would rather have a million in a non-reg account than a RRSP account! But, hey you didn’t know that back then in your working years. Oh – and by BTW there is no benefit having an RRSP when your old and withdrawing from it – in order to LIVE! (well,unless you like paying taxes). Bull, so many like you take the long way to retirement and then continue to pay tax in your retirement years. Brush up on minimizing the tax you pay so that your not working for the Gov (and Canadians like me) 6+ months per year. As for mistakes – we all make them – but some of us (like you) never seem open to learn! Anyways -Whats there to do in NS? You have a NHL or NBA team to follow?

          6. One probably shouldn’t *have* to say they transfer in-kind from an RRSP to non-reg to TFSA as I don’t believe there is any other way to do it. I’ve never seen a method to go direct in-kind from RRSP to TFSA (stand to be corrected if there is). If anyone mentioned that they fund their TFSA contribution in-kind from their RRSP I always understood that a de-reg would be required and a tax withholding would also be taken by the RRSP holder. I’ve not gone this route (yet) but I have read up on it. Having said that, I can understand that some people who might not be familiar or knowledgeable with these types of financial transactions needing these steps being explicitly laid out for them. Sort of like telling someone who is *comprehension challenged* to go through a door without first telling them to open said door.

          7. Well Mike I guess you’re off the hook on this with my mistake. I had actually written it recently but it was from an Oct 28 thread that doesn’t look like you read- or at least you didn’t post. my quote below:
            “Our TFSAs & my LIF(equity side) are on drips. Joint unregistered and my RRSP is not. Both are used to fund lifestyle, and also to feed TFSA.
            I think this year I will be making purchases sometime soon in my RRSP for both our TFSA contributions. Will have to pass through unregistered first and then on to TFSA as they won’t allow registered to registered in kind.”

            For the record there is no other way to transfer in kind from RRSP to TFSA but through unregistered.

            As for the rest of your misguided dogma and petulant comments I think its well past time to quit feeding the troll, as there are none so blind as those who will not see. There’s a well known book by Dale Carnegie many would probably be grateful for if you read it.

          8. Your welcome for pointing out your mistakes! AND…. for helping you and others learn another way to save on trading fees inside the TFSAs. One would have thought frugal investors (May, Bull) would want to keep all their TFSA ROOM – that they can. BTW: Its been my pleasure.

        3. Your analysis is the rough equivalent of driving around and shopping at 10 different stores in order to save $20. The trading fees are not a 100% write off and would not exceed 25% (50% capital gains times 50% maximum tax rate)

          Reply
          1. Purrfect: It’s not just $20. It depends on how many stocks you are buying (re:Fees). Doing it this way you have no fees in the TFSAs. Not sure if people on this forum would drive around shopping at 10 different stores. Sounds more like the folks on this board just drive to Value Village.

  3. Hello Mark !
    Hello genius readers and posters of this fine blog 🙂
    as usual I have a weird question and I need your help ,
    like i posted in an old post that I’m moving into a new place in about 6 months from now , i’m just in a bit of dilemma these days because i can’t simply decide if i should keep my existing property and rent it out or sell it and be mortgage free again .
    I simply want someone to crunch some numbers for me and make my decision much easier , i hate to sell it because it’s in excellent location and the price on it did go up about 400% well that during 16 years span .
    so my question really comes down to this do i need to talk to an accountant or a financial advisor or both ?
    Thanks a lot guys i know i keep asking these weird unrelated questions sometimes 🙂

    Reply
    1. Up 400%. Man….huge win. The good news Gus, that’s a nice capital gain. The downside, do you see another 400% in the next 16 years? If so, maybe keep.

      Financial planners are great for looking at things holistically when it comes to debt, income, retirement, estate, etc.
      An accountant will give you more advice tax-wise, or at least, should be able to.

      Ultimately it comes back to you. What are your goals? Do you like owning the property? If so, what are you holding it for?

      If we could only predict the future – all of us 🙂 No doubt there are many more questions to answer. Fire away. Myself and other readers can chime in for what it’s worth.

      Reply
    2. That’s a tough one to weigh in on without knowing a LOT more. I think seeking professional financial help is a good idea. On top of that, one has to consider that they would become a landlord and all the issues that may arise from that. I’ve kept a house I sort of inherited mainly because I rented it out to a guy from work. When he decides to move out I’m selling it. I was a landlord many years ago for only two years and I hated it. Money was nice, headaches were not worth it. I’m more of a buying an investment in a REIT kind of guy now.

      Again, a lot of personal things come into play over and above the financial aspects.

      Reply
    3. Good answer by Mark.

      Hard to answer. Many variables but yes someone that can present both before and after tax scenarios would help. Some crystal balling needed.
      Your real estate gains are stratospheric. Is this due for correction or will it continue? If correction could you buy again @ 30% less?
      As another option have you thought about mortgaging rental (tax deductible against income) if it cash flows well as opposed to selling to fund your new place and/or your other investments & defer cap gains tax?
      Do you follow Garth Turner?

      Reply
      1. I was going to mention Garth too, especially his November 1st post. Gus, I agree with Lloyd and RBull in that more info is needed. Also, as Garth Turner might say, you have “recency and confirmation bias” with regard to real estate”. No one went broke taking a profit (I wish I came up with that line!)

        Reply
  4. @RBull Thanks so much for the information that if I want to transfer stocks with a loss from non-registered account to RRSP, I have to sold it first and transfer the cash in order to claim capital loss. I did not know this and actually planning to do in kind transfer with some stocks that has capital loss this coming January. I feel so lucky this topic coming up on time and you are so knowledgeble and you are right here given correct and useful advice. Now I have to go to change my plan.

    Reply
  5. Thanks Guys for the replies !!!
    i read them few times already and it all made sense asking myself the questions that you guys asked made things a lot clearer.
    Mark, No i don’t think i will see it going up another 400% in the next 16 years and i hope not because if it does no one will afford to own a house period i know my salary won’t go up 400% in 16 years and that’s the main problem in my opinion.
    as for your question as if I like owning the property , i think deep inside I’m more tied up emotionally more then financially to it my kids were born in it .
    Mark i know you and your wife decided not to have kids but i have a question for guys here who do have kids i like to know how far would you go on helping your kids financially , like for us we did setup a good resp plan for the kids and we’re willing to help them even more to achieve the highest education they desire at one point i was considering leaving the two condos that we own for them in the future but i think that will have some negative effect on the way they’ll look at life , i mean i’ve worked hard in life with no education and Thank God i was able to achieve something i know for sure if they’re well educated they sure can too , but yeah i like to hear your thoughts guys 🙂
    Rbull , yes i considered mortgaging rental as it will shelter me from taxes i just need to sit down with an accountant to get some approximate number and Thanks to you and to Purrfect for mentioning Garth Turner as if the article he wrote is tailored for my situation lots of common sense and after reading i felt that i have a better view for what i want .
    Lloyd , i think what you said regarding the headache of being a landlord is my biggest fear in the whole situation , i guess the word landlord sounds fancy in a way 🙂 but i’m afraid it will complicate my life instead i want to simplify it .
    Lloyd i know you and Mark and everyone here invested in REIT in your opinion and experience what would a good REIT etf and what percentage of a portfolio it should have .
    boy i typed a lot but in simple words this site rocks and you guys are the best , Thanks Mark and thanks guys for your help .
    I’ll keep you guys updated of what would be the final move though i kind know what we should do .
    Have a great weekend guys .

    Reply
    1. Good to hear back Gus. I was a landlord for about 4 years a long time ago with a 2 unit home. I prefer REITs now myself.
      Smart to be thinking about your kids and how to approach that topic. I can’t help there.

      This is a list of REITs to start for your research. http://reitreport.ca/canadian-reits/
      Not sure if it’s complete or not but seems good. There are 3 REIT etfs I know of ZRE, XRE and VRE.
      I prefer to own companies directly. For residential I only have 1 dedicated residential REIT at this time. It’s had a big rise in last few years. Other holdings are office or diversified. I’m interested in Killam if price price drops some.

      G/L

      Reply
          1. thanks rbull. we certainly enjoy our time in myrtle beach but sometimes we cut it short for family reasons. last year just stayed february and this year the plan is january and february but who knows. family is the most important thing in our lives; travel etc. is just a moment in time. i hope you enjoy your winter wherever you may be and try to ignore the trolls!

          2. Thanks again Gary. I hear you on family being important.

            We haven’t any more plans this year or into 2019. May stay home for a change!

            Trolls..lol…easier said than done!

    2. Hey Gus. I would have done anything for my child. When she got sick in second year university we bought her a house in Winnipeg and she “rented” out a couple of rooms to her friends from high school. Of course we did the whole RESP when she was young and the RDSP later. How much support a parent provides is dependent on a lot of issues and most of those would be personal so what others do is probably not a great deal of help.

      As for REITs, I hold them individually as opposed to an ETF. MRG.UN, REI.UN, EXE.UN and some orphaned CSH.UN. Some of these were obtained back when I had an FA and just never bothered doing anything with them so they just sit there.

      Reply
      1. Lloyd when it comes to my kids i feel the same way i wanna do my best to help them after all this is the reason why you would have kids in the first place 🙂

        Reply
        1. I agree Gus. One thing I recommend a parent to consider (if they are financially able) is to offer them an enticement to save in their TFSA. One could offer them a one for one or one for five type of thing to get them started down a path of fiscal responsibility.

          And always hug your kids when you leave.

          Reply
          1. agree with you 100% , hugs are free but powerful 🙂
            as for the TFSA it’s a great idea like you said to get them in the habit of investing/saving .

        1. Mark
          i remember reading in a post here that yields in etf are after net of fees so would it matter if it’s 0.7% fees and it’s yielding say 4.5% or higher ?

          Reply
          1. Correct Gus – returns posted by ETFs and/or funds are almost always after fees have been accounted for. This way, you can see if the fund has or has not met it’s benchmark.

          2. “would it matter if it’s 0.7% fees and it’s yielding say 4.5% or higher ?”

            To some it might. It does to me now that I understand it better. Consider that if the fees did not exist (or were lower), the yield would be higher. I think some of us use this type of thought when we hold the actual stocks versus a fund of some kind. Other than the original purchase (and eventual sell), there are no fees and in a larger portfolio those can add up to a lot of money in the long term. For example, a $500K portfolio at 0.7% would be $3500/year. That ain’t nothing. I do utilize the e-series to park cash but usually intend to re-configure once the new TFSA year begins. In the RRSPs I just let it sit (no new contributions), the amounts are not all that great anyways. If I were to consider a change I’d likely cash some in and re-configure then but so far I’ve just let them ride.

          3. Very true Lloyd re: fees in a large portfolio can add up to a lot of money in the long term. “For example, a $500K portfolio at 0.7% would be $3500/year. That ain’t nothing.”

            I guess this is why I like direct stock ownership in Canada (oligopolies) and I’m diversifying more and more via low-cost ETFs into the U.S. market. I get the best of both worlds (dividends and growth) AND I minimize fees. I believe my money management fees are about $500 per year. Pretty good. If we get to our $1 M goal and I can keep my fees to under $1,000 per year, that’s 0.10%. Very good. 🙂

    3. Most welcome Gus….I find blogs or online forums are great, if nothing more, to get your ideas down in a different format and force some decision making. 🙂

      There is absolutely no way my salary will go up 400% (nobody else’s will either except for some CEOs) over the next 16 years, which is why I think it’s smart to sell RE in the coming years.

      As for the kid stuff, yes, we won’t have them but I 110% appreciate parents who want to do anything for them. That just what good parents do 🙂

      FWIW, my wife and I were landlords for a few years. We eventually sold it and I bought a bunch of CDN bank stocks with it and started my journey out of mutual funds about 8 years ago after the financial crisis. Best financial decision(s) I ever made.

      As for a few good REIT ETFs you can definitely consider the ones I read above: ZRE, XRE, VRE. There are U.S. REITs as well (one big one from Vanguard) but you’d want to hold that inside an RRSP for a few reasons likely. For the cost, likely VRE is as good as it gets and still rather diversified with various RE like residential, commercial, industrial, etc. I own CAR.UN, HR.UN, REI.UN, D.UN, and a few others.

      This site rocks – nice!!!

      Reply
  6. Thanks guys for the replies it’s much appreciated , but what would be a good percentage of REIT in a portfolio or is it just a personal preference ? and should i hold it in RRSP or TFSA ? i also noticed that there’s REIT Canadian and US any preference when it comes to that as well ?

    Reply
    1. I can’t speak for others but I have about 3.5% overall in REITs currently or about 6%+ of my equity, ~14% of total Canadian equity -all in our TFSA’s.

      I also own US Reits through VTI but this would be a very tiny amount since its cap weighted- maybe something like a few tenths of 1% .

      Most REITS have a high return of capital from distributions which is tax deferred and isn’t as beneficial in an RRSP. Ones with higher growth potential (hard to identify) might be more suitable for RRSP. Not a big deal either way but avoid unregistered- nightmare with the accounting.

      If buying US Reits keep in your RRSP and avoid 15% withholding tax.

      Here is another site that might help with more information.
      https://www.dividendearner.com/best-canadian-reits/

      Reply
    2. We are sitting at about 4.7% in REITs in two RRSPs and TFSAs. This wasn’t a “target”, it just worked out that way. I did have some in a non-reg account years ago but used those funds for another purpose and never went back. I do recall the taxation nightmare (to me) for accounting purposes. In the back of my delusional mind I use that experience to avoid the non-reg route. I’m just too damn lazy to do the necessary work to keep track so I just avoid it altogether. That’s not a recommendation, it’s a confession.

      RBull covered the other relevant stuff.

      Reply
    3. I think it’s personal preference. I know folks that don’t bother, they own them indirectly via broad market ETFs like VCN and VTI. I know folks that own about 10% – for a bit of an income boost. I think it really depends on your risk tolerance Gus – getting income vs. capital growth are usually two sides to the same coin – you cannot have an abundance is either quantity (at least for long)! 🙂

      Right now, I have about 5% REITs in my portfolio. My biggest holding actually in VYM > 5%.

      Reply
    4. Personally, I keep my asset allocation like this – you’ll find it under “My Asset Location Preferences”:
      https://www.myownadvisor.ca/dividends/

      CDN REITs therefore are in my TFSA or RRSP. Only 13 dividend stocks in non-reg. right now, all big CDN banks, CDN lifecos and a couple of CDN energy companies. That’s it and no intention of buying new companies at this time. Just in savings mode for 2019 TFSA contribution. Hopefully x2 $6,000 to invest!!!

      Reply
  7. Mark !
    the site rocks because it have some great knowledgeable people that like to help it’s one thing that you have a knowledge but it’s a bigger thing to offer help for no return 🙂
    wow i think we made so many big decision and i got so many info that will keep me busy for days 🙂 thanks guys .
    now i can relax and enjoy this rainy weekend in Vancouver .

    Reply

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