Real estate can be a sound investment, and there are a lot of resources out there to help you determine if it’s a good move for you, and how to help ensure it pays off in the long run. First off, talk to your accountant and/or financial advisor to find out if you’re in a position to invest in something as pricey and long-term as real estate.
Back in prehistoric times (i.e. before the advent of online banking), it made sense to do all your banking with one financial institution. After all, if everyone from the friendly teller to the branch manager knew you on a first-name basis, odds are you’d be entitled to a few perks. But in today’s world does it make sense to have all your financial eggs in one basket? Or should you multi-bank?
If you’re an investor with average knowledge of the markets, chances are you’ve put most of your money into mutual funds. Makes sense: these funds diversify your investments and put your money into a large pool with others. The biggest criticism of mutual funds is that the fees, most of them hidden, eat away at your investments. A number of studies have shown that in Canada we pay some of the highest mutual fund fees in the world. Here’s a breakdown of what the fees are and what they’re used for.
Most of us who invest, or have retirement money in something like an RRSP (registered retired savings plan) or TFSA (tax-free savings account) have much of our savings in mutual funds. It’s a word we toss around all the time when we visit our bank or financial advisor. But how many of us truly know what they are?
Way back at the beginning of the month, in celebration of Financial Literacy Month, I took the pledge. In fact, I took a few pledges. My pledges involved making a change (a big one, in my case), fixing a problem and acquiring knowledge. Here’s what I pledged to do: Look into reducing my monthly banking fees; Save money by eating from home more often; Speak with a financial advisor and/or small business accountant to prepare for the upcoming tax year. Are you curious to see if I followed through? Here’s what I did.
Financial planning – it sounds dead easy, right? So why would you pay someone to plan for you when you can do it yourself? Besides, isn’t the money you’d spend on a financial planner better off in the bank with all of your other… ahem – savings? Think financial planning is easy, but don’t have the funds to prove it? Listen up.