Try this average retirement plan to wealth – Part 2 of 2

The Average Persons Retirement Investment Plan is an easy to understand, simple way to invest.  It allows you to make small investments over time and it does not require extensive market forecasting or analysis.  You will also see your income grow over time, without commissions or fees.  Cannew, a fan of My Own Advisor, outlined the use of Stock Transfer Agents and full Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs) in Part 1 of this series.

Today’s post will conclude Cannew’s get wealthy eventually strategy – one that earns him close to $100,000 per year in retirement income – in his own words.

What stocks to buy (for Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs))?

Personally, and of course the choice is always yours, I only consider large, stable, Canadian stocks for my full DRIPs. Here are my rules for DRIPping:

  • The company stock must have paid a dividend for many years,
  • The company stock must have a history of growing its dividend,
  • The company must offer both DRIP & Share Purchase Plans (SPP)
  • I want to invest small amounts at no commission.

Based on my screen there are only 28 stocks that meet my criteria.  After further screening on other criteria such as dividend payout ratio and increasing cash flow, I find only eleven (11) companies that I feel offer me the best and safest results for long-term investing:

  • Four banks: Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and National Bank.
  • Two communications: Bell Canada and Telus.
  • Two pipelines: Enbridge and TransCanada.
  • Two utilities: Emera and Fortis.
  • One insurance: Sun Life Financial.

Each company has own requirements on the number of shares needed and the minimum amount to buy more shares within the DRIP:

Computershare

Based on these requirements and dividend histories, I personally feel:

  • CIBC (CM) has had a rocky financial history but a good dividend history,
  • National Bank (NA) is an expensive DRIP to start, requiring 100 shares,
  • Sun Life Financial (SLF) did not increase its dividend for six years after the financial crisis, and
  • Telus (T) cut its dividend in 2002 but has had a good dividend history record since.

Based on this information I’ve decided to narrow my choices down to seven (7): BMO, BNS, EMA, FTS, TRP, BCE & ENB as my primary investment choices.

What Next?

Like I mentioned in Part 1 send the share certificate to the Stock Transfer Agent with your Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP) application, and as an option, a cheque with your DRIP application form to buy more shares sooner than later.

Going forward?

Relax.  I mean it.  You’ve set up your Retirement Time Capsule.  Every month I encourage you to send a cheque to buy more shares commission-free but that’s up to you.  It goes without saying the more you invest, the more dividends you’ll get paid. Going forward here are some things to be mindful of and think about when it comes to your full DRIP:

  • Each year you will receive a T3 indicating the amount of dividends received for the year. The information will need to be included with your Income Tax filing.  If your taxable income is less than $40,000, you will likely not pay any tax on the dividends paid.  That’s good!     When your earnings are $40,000 or more and you are contributing larger amounts, it may be time to open a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA).
  • You’ll need to track your adjusted cost base and here’s a simple calculator to help you.
  • Consider opening a TFSA with Shareowners Investment Inc. as they provide Full Dividend Reinvestment (no affiliate with My Own Advisor) but you can always open your TFSA with your big bank brokerage. Be mindful other brokers only reinvest dividends to buy full stock shares (you won’t get fractional shares like you do with the Stock Transfer Agents).
  • Once the TFSA is opened transfer most of the company shares in the DRIP to the TFSA but consider leaving at least 1 full share with the Stock Transfer Agent. Shares in the TFSA will now receive dividends and automatically be reinvested to buy more shares, also at no cost.
  • By using the full DRIP and TFSA together, over time, I believe you accomplish two very important things: you continue to invest small (or large) amounts commission free and the money inside the TFSA is growing and compounding tax free. By investing as much as one can in the full DRIP then periodically transferring to the TFSA, you keep transaction costs low and limit taxes.  (You can probably read-in I’m a huge fan of the TFSA and I think most investors should maximize their TFSA over their RRSP).
  • I didn’t mention inflation yet, which will erode the value of money ($5,000 today will not buy as much in 10 years, even less in 15). Because you purchased a company stock that has a history of growing its dividend, your income should grow and keep pace or maybe beat inflation.
  • In addition, if a company is growing its dividend, the price of the shares will also likely grow over time, usually in line with the dividend growth rate. This means you get income and price appreciation over time although nothing is ever guaranteed with investing.

On that note, is this method foolproof?  Heck no!  However building part of your portfolio where your income can grow (like Mark’s is starting to) over time may help offset some expenses in retirement.

Are these companies going to be around forever?  Who knows!  However I’m going to bet (and have with my own portfolio) that if some companies have paid dividends for decades or more, they will continue to do so.  Also, nobody said you have to use all your life savings to invest with this method!  Over time you can spread your investments amongst different companies, even some outside Canada if you wish although this has some tax implications and currency risk.

So there you have it, investing with Stock Transfer Agents using full Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs) for Canadian dividend paying stocks (Mark has an entire webpage dedicated to this, so check it out), and periodically transferring those investments to the TFSA to minimize fees and taxes.

I’m not a blogger and I don’t intend to become one.  I hope you found my approach to investing understandable, one which will allow you to begin investing in dividend paying stocks with small amounts to increase your wealth over time.  Using full DRIPs can be a great wealthy eventually plan because this approach can provide you with a growing income stream for when you decide to retire.  I know, I’ve done this.

(Disclosure:  Cannew owns all the stocks listed in this article except Sun Life).

My Own Advisor footnote:  Thanks to Cannew for sharing his approach to wealth building on my site.  As a final reminder, this is Cannew’s approach, it doesn’t have to be yours.  Personal finance is personal.  That means if you need help with your financial decisions, any of them, I strongly advise you to work with a financial professional.  Thanks for reading.

What’s your take on full dividend reinvestment plans and the Retirement Time Capsule? 

My name is Mark Seed and I'm the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, we're inching closer to our ultimate goal - owning a 7-figure investment portfolio for semi-retirement. We're almost there! Subscribe and join the journey. Learn how I'm getting there and how you can get there too!

58 Responses to "Try this average retirement plan to wealth – Part 2 of 2"

    1. This approach may or may not appeal to investors. I know investors who focus on GICs. I know investors who wouldn’t have anything less than 50% bonds. I know investors who avoid the stock market all together and invest in real estate. Ultimately personal finance is personal and no two investors are the same – so for sure – the disclaimer applies. I suspect many people think my approach to investing is very risky, it definitely has some risk.

      Reply
  1. Sure this is an interesting concept but it seems like a lot of work for a very small number of stocks. Now that online trading is a lot less expensive than what it was back in the dinosaur days I’m okay with the trading fees. I don’t move small amounts of money around within individual stocks. I usually just invest those residuals in one of the TD E-series ETFs from time to time. If I was thirty years younger, I might be willing to try it but not at this point in my life. I’m content with using the pseudo-DRIP in the TFSAs and RRSPs.

    Reply
    1. Fair points Lloyd. I can’t speak for Cannew but I think his article was about how to start out with this method, and migrate investments to your TFSAs over time, as in many years.

      I started out with some full DRIPs and SPPs myself, but then I found it too much work and wanted to consolidate things at my brokerage. I no longer use full DRIPs and SPPs but I think anyone interested in learning more about Canadian dividend stock investing might wish to look into it.

      Going forward, we simply intend to maximize contributions to the TFSAs and RRSPs and buy more indexed products for latter. I will still DRIP all investments (stocks and ETFs) as much as we can and then use the leftover cash to buy more stock or ETF holdings. Our plan is not without some risks but I feel it’s working towards our goal of earning $30k per year to leave the workforce.

      Reply
      1. The risk of the investments would not concern me too much as we had indexed DB pension plans. This allows a person to accept levels of risk others could not. I do question not using the TFSA first as it seems counter productive to have a non-registered savings plan and paying taxes when one does not have to.

        Reply
        1. I see where you’re coming from now – potentially Cannew can address this question.

          I will assume you’re not against taxable/non-registered investing after the TFSA and RRSP is maxed out though.

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          1. I’m all for savings and investing but at some point it becomes overkill. At this stage in our lives, between our DB pensions, RRSPs and TFSAs I’m not sure why we would want to save much more.

  2. The majority of your readers are probably those who have an investment strategy, can afford to invest larger amounts (keeping fees to 1% or less), have tried various methods and are fairly knowledgeable about investing.

    They would not fall into the category of my opening paragraph, but having said that the strategy may provide food for thought. I’m of the opinion that one does not need to hold 100 stocks or more, that being fully diversified is not mandatory, and one can find a reasonable selection of stocks just within Canada without resorting to funds or etf’s.

    The other group who may wish to consider this strategy are those who’s debt is currently 163% of their disposable income. Certainly their main concern should be to reduce that debt, but they should still be able to find $50, $100 or more per month to save for their future.

    Reply
    1. Thanks Cannew. There is certainly a bias here in that folks that likely are indexers, already have a sound investment strategy in place; experienced investors likely read financial blogs as well. People that have no interest in managing their own money probably aren’t reading my site.

      You are probably in the minority that believes you can have a sound investment strategy just within Canada. I’m not saying that’s wrong, but I know even for my own portfolio, I feel “safe” investing in some U.S. based indexed ETFs along with some U.S. stocks. I recall Canada’s market is only 4% of the world economy.

      For what it’s worth I firmly believe companies that have paid dividends for generations will continue to do so. If I’m wrong about my 30-40 companies, most our Canadian and U.S. economy will be under anyhow.

      Reply
      1. I too just invest in Canadian stock… its more about knowledge I guess, as the adage goes, don’t invest in something you don’t understand. I understand Canadian ways and laws, and hence only invest here. Besides, I do not plan on moving to another Country so I might as well learn and invest where I live and play. – cheers.

        Reply
        1. Phil, great to hear from you. I should drop you an email…

          I hold a number of CDN and US stocks and probably will for the foreseeable future. Otherwise, I index, this way, I feel I’m getting the best of both worlds!

          Reply
      2. Oh, and foe the record, I manage our own finances, and read most F your posts. It isn’t necessarily because all the topics work for me, but knowledge is power when unexpected change blows in and you are trying to understand why the herd is in panic mode offering up a buying opportunity 🙂 – Cheers

        Reply
  3. If one or more of these 7 businesses stub their toes in the next decade or two, it won’t matter if this approach may “appeal to investors,” and someone’s opinion that “being fully diversified is not mandatory” won’t matter either. What would happen is permanent portfolio damage no matter how comfortable the investor feels. Throwing in indirect leverage from substantial debt just makes the downside worse.

    Reply
    1. For what it’s worth, that’s why I own 30-40 individual stocks and index everything else. My largest individual holding is VTI that represents close to 15% of our portfolio and I’d like it to be eventually 30-40%.

      Reply
    2. Completely agree. These two articles should have been posed as ‘This is how I invest’, not “this is how others should invest’.

      He’s taken what he admittedly ‘feels’ about stocks and in the same paragraph started calling his feelings ‘information’ that he is basing investment decisions on. Holy cow. I wonder if Nortel or RIM would have qualified back in the day.

      It’s an interesting article illustrating how he invests, but suggesting this is any type of guidance for other investors – particularly beginners – is nuts.

      Reply
      1. Thanks for your comments Glenn. Again, the article was clear, these are posts by Cannew, a reader and doesn’t necessarily reflect how I invest, or you, or others. Every investor is responsible for their own investment decisions. What might work from one investor might not work for another and I’m sure you’d agree with this, beginners or so-called experts or anyone in between.

        Reply
        1. @Mark and @Glenn: I think Glenn’s remarks are spot on. Mark and Cannew are not saying the same thing. Mark may consider these posts to be nothing more than how Cannew chooses to invest, but Cannew is recommending this approach to others, including beginners.

          Reply
          1. I was more than fine to post Cannew’s articles, since he was passionate about this way/his way of investing, and he wanted to share his approach. I’ve posted other articles like this; not because it’s how I choose to invest but because it offers a perspective. Glenn’s article about segregated funds was another recent example. Perspectives are good, it doesn’t mean we always have to agree. Life would be rather boring if we all agreed on everything and had a bunch of group-think…again, just my perspective. Unless you are causing someone or something harm, perspectives are not wrong or right, they are an expression of something. Only you can decide your personal compass or investing compass.

            I think for some investors, who understand the risks of what they are getting into, they could certainly choose to start a full DRIP with SPP as per Cannew’s article. Will they beat the market and be wildly successful with this approach? I have no idea. This is because I cannot predict the future and all investment approaches have some risk (some more than others).

            I think the key is for investors to make up their own mind whether a certain investing approach is right for them. I believe they can only do that through an informed decision, and posts like Cannew’s (or Glenn’s on segregated funds), or other posts in the future on my site will help.

            I would not personally advocate putting your life savings into one stock, one thing, ever but no doubt there are people out there that might advocate exactly that.

          2. I get that you (Mark) don’t necessarily agree with Cannew, but commenters are entitled to disagree with Cannew and point out the problems with his recommendations. Mark may consider this post to be nothing more than Cannew’s approach to investing, but Cannew considers it a recommendation to others. Commenters are entitled point out the pitfalls of others following Cannew’s recommendations.

          3. Absolutely Michael – agreed – commenters are more than welcome to share their perspectives here including any pitfalls or consequences with any investing approach.

  4. To show that even a small investment can generate a growing income, I took one of the bank stocks from Oct 2007 to Oct 2015 and projected what a $50 per month investment would return. Granted we had the financial crisis but I had the figures available.
    After the first three months the paid was $1.21 dividend and purchased 0.0241 of a share.
    After the 8 years $4,900 was invested and $1,047.53 of reinvested dividends for $5,947.53. Total shares would be 112.1271 with $78.49 quarterly dividends with a yield of 5.28% on the investment. Not big bucks, but if one concentrates on the income, it may encourage them to increase the monthly amounts to grow the dividends faster.
    Total Inv Org Shares Div Rec’d Div Shares Tot Shares
    $4,900.00 95.0729 $1,047.53 17.0283 112.1012

    Init Price Init Div Init Yield
    $51.06 1.6800 3.29%

    Total Inv Tot Shares Ave Cost Curr Div Yield On Cost
    $5,947.53 112.1012 $53.06 2.80 5.28%

    Reply
  5. I’ve outlined an investment strategy which may assist those who can only afford to invest $25, $50, $100 or more per month. There may be other choices available for them, I just haven’t found them and welcome others to suggest some.

    Reply
    1. You haven’t found any? Really? .Really. Huh.

      Beginner investors, head over to TD and set up a TD E-Series account which you can do with $100 down and $25/month. Put 50% into their Canadian Index, and 50% into bonds. Do absolutely nothing else other than once a year move money between the two funds in order to reset back to the 50-50 split between the two funds.

      That’s what beginner’s should be doing.

      Your method isn’t for beginners, it’s for advanced investors who are aware of the risks and are prepared to ignore them. Beginner investors are not aware of the severity of the risks and volatility inherent in your method and worse, are not financially secure enough to be taking on those risks.

      You’ve got an interesting method, but it’s absurd that you keep pounding on others – particularly beginners – to do this. You should stop that immediately. Except I’m guessing you’re going somewhere with this, like trying to sell a book or a system or a system. If that’s the case, let me be the first to publicly chastise you.

      Reply
      1. Mutual funds for beginners and 50% stocks, 50% bonds, novel idea!
        Sorry haven’t planned a book or blog to push people to sign up for a fee. I just monitor my income as I don’t have company pension.

        Reply
        1. Wow,, you’ve gone from wrong to childish.

          Every body of knowledge I’ve seen on the subject discredits what you say and suggests that what I’ve posted is a pretty good start for beginners. And your studied response to criticism is ‘novel idea’? Perhaps not surprising that someone who uses emotions to make investment decisions responds the same way when challenged.

          Nobody cares if you use your ‘feelings’ to make investment decisions. But some people do care if you start suggesting your emotional choices should be used by others. You don’t know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t be advising other consumers on their investments and I for one am happy to stand up and call you out for this nonsense. There’s enough garbage in the financial sector without you piling on the heap.

          Reply
      2. I agree that TD e-series funds are a great solution for those starting out with small amounts to invest, but putting all the equity allocation in Canada is not properly diversified. I’d put it 1/3 Canada, 1/3 US and 1/3 international. Last year was a good example of the importance of global diversification. While Canada returned – 8.7%, US was up 19.0% and international was up 19.3%. So a portfolio of 1/3 each would have returned 8.5%.

        The allocation to bonds is a personal thing, but I agree that an allocation of 50% for a new investor, until they experience a market crash to see how they react to the volatility, is not a bad idea. Equity allocation could then increased if they didn’t mind the volatility.

        Another good more hands off alternative to TD e-series finds for the young investor just starting out are ING index funds

        Reply
    2. Thanks Cannew. I can appreciate this was your approach to investing for your financial future, one that some investors might consider but they do not absolutely have to follow.

      Reply
  6. Wow, This should be shown with a big APPROACH WITH CAUTION!! sign.
    Looks like someone likes to go hunting but I am not sure they know what end of the gun they are standing on. I really think a hunter safety course is in order.
    I will continue to wear hunter safety orange and stick with indexing
    Merry Christmas

    Reply
    1. Thanks for your comments AB. I’m a hybrid investor so I invest individual stocks (30+) and low-cost ETFs. I can see Cannew’s overall approach has some merit (full DRIPs with SPPs) but I can definitely appreciate by ONLY holding those stocks (meaning nothing else whatsoever) you will be running some risks.

      Reply
  7. DRIP & SPP investing has been around since the 1960’s and the strategy listed is what Robert Gibb (who I’d consider a champion of Drips, see http://www.myownadvisor.ca/diy-investor-profile-robert-gibb/) calls “Slow and steady wins the race but DRIPping can accomplish the same thing with direct ownership”

    Mark Dripping explains it in greater detail than I have at: http://www.myownadvisor.ca/drips-the-drippers-drip-2012-edition/

    I take no credit for the strategy, but attempted to simply the process and show how to minimize fees and reduce taxes by combining it with a TFSA. The fact that I defined how to select tocks my not sit well with others, but each to their own. It is not intended to be the only investments strategy available or the best choice. No mention was made to RRSP which is where those with means can expand their options.

    Reply
    1. Thanks Cannew. I have nothing against full DRIPs and SPPs as you know. It helped me with my investing plan years ago, hence the full DRIPping references on my site. I believe where some commenters are really struggling is advocating this approach for many investors including beginners (over likely other investment approaches such as indexing). I can definitely see their points and that’s where most of the huge controversy rests. I know your article was not intended for the only investment approach in town…at least I never saw it that way…hence my footnote at the end and my brief take on your article(s).

      I appreciate you taking time to respond to all comments. I guess that’s always the challenge posting online content, the content is “open season” for critique!

      Reply
      1. Marks Quote:” I believe where some commenters are really struggling is advocating this approach for many investors including beginners (over likely other investment approaches such as indexing)”

        That’s a good point. ETF’s or Mutuals, Couch Potato strategy, and general Indexing is all the rage. A beginner reading financial news or other blogs may well see these approaches as a simple, inexpensive and a method of covering all markets with great diversification.

        I don’t knock that, but even indexing comes with a trading commissions, annual fees, there are many, many etf’s to choose from and it may be difficult to invest small amounts.

        I proposed an alternative, not to say it’s better, but once started will allow them to invest small amounts, at no cost, in sound companies that will pay them dividends and hopefully grow the dividend over time. Later when they are in a position to invest larger amounts, expanding into etf’s, or other strategies is open to them and they may be in a better position to evaluate the choices.

        Reply
  8. cannew,

    I’ll be the odd man out here and say THANKS for sharing your ideas and your guest post. Regardless of whether I agree with it or not, I see nothing wrong with your approach for beginners. For the life of me I can’t understand why some of these commentors are getting their panties in a knot. Your’e not recommending investing on margin, with options, weird terms like stop losses or sexy hedge funds. As a fellow blogger (health and fitness) I can tell you there’s a-lotsa-a people in the blogging world directly, or indirectly pushing their own agenda (cough cough Michael James and Life Insurance Canada). Maybe some of these posters wish their blogs got more love from Rob Carrick like My Own Advisor or Boomer and Echo do. Who knows. You’re advocating investing in stable Canadian companies, with the ability to invest small sums, purchase partial shares and virtually fee free. What’s not to love? I’d recommend this approach to my beginner friends…in fact I have.

    Anyways.
    Thanks again for your post.
    Take care
    Joe

    Reply
    1. @Joe: I’m curious. What’s my agenda? I make more in a day at my day job than I make in a year with the blog. As for Rob Carrick, all you have to do to get him to link to a post is send him the post, but I don’t bother. Cannew is a well-meaning person who is blind to the risks in the way he invests. You seem to know even less about investing.

      Reply
    2. Thanks for reading Joe. Just a quick comment about the sites you mentioned, I’m a big fan of Michael’s simple (indexed) investing approach and have a deep respect of his financial acumen. Glenn (Life Insurance Canada) is also a friend and a very knowledgeable financial pro. Even though I don’t always agree with their perspectives I am more than happy to listen to them and learn from them.

      Happy New Year and a prosperous 2016 to you!

      Reply
  9. Joe:
    Appreciate your comments and for recognizing part of the basic intent of the post. “You’re advocating investing in stable Canadian companies, with the ability to invest small sums, purchase partial shares and virtually fee free.”

    The other part is to invest for dividends & dividend growth.

    Reply
  10. Michael quote: ”Cannew is a well-meaning person who is blind to the risks in the way he invests. You seem to know even less about investing.”

    For the first part, what specific investment strategy causes you problems and I am blind:
    – The company stock must have a history of growing its dividend?
    – The company stock must have paid a dividend for many years?
    – The company must offer both DRIP & Share Purchase Plans (SPP)?
    – I want to able to invest small amounts at no commission?
    – Suggesting a beginner select one or more of the Eleven\Seven begin his\her investment?
    – Imply that they need not expand beyond the Eleven\Seven till they have larger amounts to invest?
    – That they combine the DRIP’s with a TFSA account to minimize fees and taxes?

    With regards to the second part of your statement: because?

    Reply
    1. @Cannew: The fortunes of any company can take a sudden downturn no matter how stable their history. No amount of studying dividend histories eliminates this risk. This is the risk that you seem blind to.

      Reply
      1. Michael: I don’t believe I implied there was no risk involved, but the same applies with any other investments. I still don’t see where I’m blind to the risk, by the strategy outlined?

        However, I do feel (and as Mark stated), that if a company has paid a dividend for “centuries” and has a long history of raising their dividend, it is very unlikely they will not continue to do so in the future. Guarantied, of course not, but much less riskier than stocks that do not have that history.

        Reply
  11. Michael: Maybe you just read to the end of the post:
    “On that note, is this method foolproof? Heck no! However building part of your portfolio where your income can grow (like Mark’s is starting to) over time may help offset some expenses in retirement.

    Are these companies going to be around forever? Who knows! However I’m going to bet (and have with my own portfolio) that if some companies have paid dividends for decades or more, they will continue to do so”

    Does the above not imply there is risk? But I will agree that I do not feel the risk is great.

    Reply
    1. @Cannew: The risk that an individual company will fail isn’t high over a month or even a year. But over an investing lifetime, it is very high. Focusing too much on a company’s history is succumbing to survivorship bias.

      Reply
      1. Michael: Certainly there are many more evaluation criteria than a companies history, but past performance (assuming one looks back at least 10 yrs) such as Earnings history, cash flow, payout ratio, and dividend history is not a bad broomstick compared to many who believe they can forecast future earnings. You are correct it’s not a buy and ignore forever, but rather do they continue as they have in the past as you record their current performance.

        I don’t think we differ in opinion, risk is always a factor and I’ve tried to minimize it with the strategy outlined.

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        1. @Cannew: I’m afraid that we differ greatly. A low risk strategy would be to buy some broad low-cost ETFs using an account that gives free ETF purchases. Your strategy of limiting a portfolio to 7 stocks creates a very high risk of a permanent loss of capital at some point. The idea that the typical investor could see trouble coming with one of his stocks and act before the investment pros act is incorrect.

          Reply
          1. Nice play on words: “low-cost ETFs using an account that gives free ETF purchases”

            Only there is a $8 to $10 per trade FEE! On a $50 to $100 investment your fee would be from 20% to 8% depending on the amount invested and rate.

          2. @Cannew: There are online brokerages such as Questrade that don’t charge commissions on ETF purchases. They do charge ECN fees, but these are typically about $0.0035 per share. On a 3-share purchase ($50 to $100), this is about a penny. To get up to $8 in ECN fees on a $20 ETF, you’d have to be investing about $45,000.

          3. These are the Questade etf’s and Mgt Fees. Trading fees do apply if you sell.
            Symbol ETF name Management fee (%)
            QCP Questrade Fixed Income Core Plus ETF 0.50
            QGE Questrade Global Total Equity ETF 0.85
            QMV Questrade Russell US Midcap Value Index ETF Hedged to CAD 0.75
            QMG Questrade Russell US Midcap Growth Index ETF Hedged to CAD 0.75
            QRT Questrade Russell 1000 Equal Weight US Technology Index ETF Hedged to CAD 0.70
            QRH Questrade Russell 1000 Equal Weight US Health Care Index ETF Hedged to CAD 0.70
            QRD Questrade Russell 1000 Equal Weight US Consumer Discretionary Index ETF Hedged to CAD 0.70
            QRI Questrade Russell 1000 Equal Weight US Industrials Index ETF Hedged to CAD

          4. @Cannew: You have listed only Questrade’s own ETFs. From the Questrade web site: “you can buy any North American-listed ETF, including Questrade Smart ETF™ commission-free.” So, just buy ETFs with lower MERs. My own portfolio runs with a blended MER below 0.1%.

  12. I think what Michael and Glenn are concerned about is that Cannew’s post, which is an opinion piece, not backed up by any evidence, could be taken as financial advice and acted on by young investors. I agree. There is now widely accepted evidence in the financial literature that stock picking (and market timing) produces inferior results to owning a globally diversified portfolio of low cost index funds/ETFs. Owning just 7 stocks in a market as small as Canada (4% of global market cap) is a very poorly diversified and therefore very risky portfolio. The nature of risk, defined as a permanent loss of capital, is such that you often do not see it coming until it hits you.

    When it comes to something as important as one’s retirement savings, now that the evidence, and low cost vehicles to implement it are available, I’d do just that, rather than investing based on someone’s opinion.

    Reply
    1. Thanks for your comments Grant. Cannew’s perspective was a good one but as you have referenced this approach might not suit all investors. To cannew’s defense I don’t believe it was his opinion to only hold those stocks, and nothing else, rather, it was an approach to consider with $25 or $50 to invest per month and avoid transaction costs in the process.

      From my perspective, this is by no means the only way to invest with $25 or $50 per month. Heck, people can simply use only GICs to invest if that is what their financial plan tells them.

      Happy New Year to you!

      Reply
  13. Update:
    Our Granddaughter who just turned 18 asked when we would transfer her DRIP (currently in a Joint Trust) so she could begin adding money.

    We’ll do the transfer next month and she has already chosen three other stocks from the list of seven as her beginning stocks, giving her a Bank, utility, Communication and Pipeline. She’s planning on investing $25 to $50 per month and apply the money to a different stock each month or quarter.

    She won’t open a TFSA until she has to start paying tax on the dividends, which I expect will be a few years. By that time she should have enough to contribute the maximum, including prior years to the TFSA.

    Sure wish I had started with just those four at such an early age and allowed them to compound over the years.

    Reply
    1. Like Monopoly, with a bank, a utility, a telco and a pipeline – she’ll do very well to add to those stocks and DRIP them for the next 20-30 years.

      No doubt with the head start she has, early retirement for her is almost assured.

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      1. If she stays the course and continues to add as much as she can early on than she can pick her own time to retire or maybe select a lifestyle\work that she wants, not just what’s available. It won’t happen unless she recognizes how the strategy works and makes Income generation the on-going goal.

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