May 012018
 

The Tax Free Advantage

Tax free investment vehicles have been around the world for decades. The United States has the Roth IRA. The United Kingdom has the Individual Savings Account (ISA.) The Canadian version is called the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) and it’s relatively new – only 9 years old. Tax free accounts give investors a way to save money using their after tax income. And any investment growth inside the account is not taxed, subject to certain restrictions.

Last year Canadians held on average $17,300 inside their TFSAs. That’s not much, but the good news is most people who read this blog have way more saved. I recently conducted a poll asking readers to share their TFSA balances. It seems that 4 out of 5 voters have over $20,000 stuffed away in a tax free account. And surprisingly 8.5% of readers say they have over $100,000. Hey, not too shabby! ๐Ÿ™‚ Full results below.

According to a BMO report, people in B.C. contribute the most to their TFSAs – about 28% more than the national average. Yay. My people! ๐Ÿ˜€

A tax free vehicle is very powerful because it can save us hundreds of thousands of dollar in taxes over time. For example, I currently have about $100,000 in my TFSA. Let’s assume I don’t contribute anymore money and leave it alone to grow at 7% a year. 30 years later my account should be worth $711,000.

However, if I were to invest the same $100,000 in a taxable account, then instead of earning an annual 7% average rate of return, I will probably only make 5% after tax. My account in 30 years would only be worth $411,000. That’s $300,000 less than the previous example. Maybe that amount will only be worth half as much 30 years from now due to inflation. But it’s still a lot of money to pass up. We are lucky in this country to have this financial vehicle to help us save. Everyone should use it if they can. ๐Ÿ™‚

If anyone’s curious, here is what I currently hold in my tax free savings accounts. I have some winners and some losers, But mostly winners. ๐Ÿ˜‰

You can also visit my portfolio page for real time numbers.

 

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Random Useless Fact:

Jul 222015
 

It’s time again to learn about you, the readers. :D Are you a breadwinner? Last year Freedom 35 Blog visitors were asked who the primary income earner is in their households. Here are the results. Thanks to everyone who votedย (^_^)

15-07-poll-results-primary-income-earner

I think what the poll results show is that people who read personal finance blogs tend to make more money than his or her spouse. ๐Ÿ™‚ Out of the 67 voters who live with other people, 42 (63% of them) claim to be the main person to bring home the bacon. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. Those who have a higher affinity for making money will probably be drawn to reading blogs about how to make more money. Even people who don’t have high paying jobs can still become the breadwinner of a family through other means. For example, with my recent acquisitions that I wrote about earlier this week, I’m now making about $17,000 a year from investment income alone.

The nice thing about investment income is it gives us a lot of control over our household finances. For example I could sustainably increase my investment income to $30,000 per year if necessary. But doing that would slow down my portfolio’s long term growth so I’m choosing not to do that since I don’t need the extra money right now.

Investment income is less risky than a salary or wage as long as our investments are properly diversified. A well balanced portfolio should continue working for us even while we sleep. Furthermore, capital gains and dividend income is tax less than earned income so even the tax agency wants to reward investors. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Random Useless Fact

We tend to be very good lawyers for our own mistakes, but very good judges for the mistakes of others.

 

Aug 292014
 

Time again to learn about you, the readers. ๐Ÿ˜€ Last year freedom 35 blog visitors were asked to choose which superpower is the most useless. Results below. Thanks to everyone who votedย (^_^)

useless superpowers

Being ableย to moonwalk, but only when on the moon is the most useless power with almost 30% of the votes.ย I agree with this sentiment. This ability seems absolutely pointless to the 99.999999% of the world’s population who will never set foot on the moon. Speaking of which, did you guys hear about the new restaurant on the moon? It’s out of this world ๐Ÿ˜€ *ba dum tss!*

Well actually the food is not bad, but there is no atmosphere. ๐Ÿ˜†

Anyway, the least useful superpower with only 2 votes appears to be the ability to turn gold into silver. But that simply meansย it’s the most useful ability out of all the options given. Since one pound of gold is currently worth 65 times the same weight in silver there are no financial benefits to this superpower. But silver is a better conductor than gold and is used more in electronics so perhaps there is merit from an industrial perspective. Also, if someone is being chased by a vampire or werewolf this superpower could come in handy, as long as you know, there just happens to be gold nuggets lying around at the time ๐Ÿ˜‰

What other useless superpowers can you think of? Surprisingly more people voted inย this one than the other poll which asked people to choose whichย actually useful superpower they want to have.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone ๐Ÿ˜€

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Random Useless Fact:
The dry style of ginger ale was invented by Canadian John McLaughlin, the founder of the Canada Dry brand of soft drinks.

ginger ale useless superpowers

 

Oct 232013
 

Time again to learn about you, the readers ๐Ÿ˜€ The poll this time is about Superpowers! Thanks to everyone who votedย (^_^) Results below.

13-10-superpowers

It appears that reading minds is the clear winner with almost half the votes (19/42.) Personally I would choose flight myself. My profile avatar is a bird after all haha.

Here are my personal thoughts about what these powers might mean ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Flight – You value freedom and the liberty to spread your wings and do as you wish. Reaching financial independence is important to you because money can buy you the kind of freedom that will allow you to pursue your dreams, go anywhere you want, and become unshackled from the rat race.
  • Invisibility – You practice discretion and anonymity. If you’re rich you don’t want others to know how much money you have. You like to live a modest lifestyle and probably have a lot in savings.
  • Shape Shift – You daydream a lot and think about what it’s like to be in other people’s shoes. You can adapt easily to the changes in the financial markets and have a good eye for spotting trends. When you go shopping you can readily switch between using cash, credit cards, or other forms of payment ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Mind Reading– You are curious and probably nosy. You are a careful investor who tries to really understand a stock before investing in it. You understand human behavior and use that to your advantage when trading.
  • Strength – You have a good work ethic and a lot of stick-to-itiveness. You probably work more than the average 38 hours a week because of your competitive nature. By doing so you also make more income than the average $50K /year and are headed for long term financial growth and prosperity.

I did not include in the list ultimate superpowers like immortality, telepathy (like Professor X) or complete control over time because I think those are obviously OP since you can literally take over the world with those kinds of abilities ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Sep 182013
 

Time again to learn about you, the readersย :Dย Earlier this year I put up a poll on this blog to find out how much wealth we all had.ย Thanks to everyone who votedย (^_^) Here are the results below.

13-9-poll-networth

I’m surprised no one who voted has a negative net worth. So even if people have student loans and other debts they somehow have enough assets to still retain positive wealth. The median net worth of fellow readers appear to be around the $350,000 mark. That is quite impressive since the median net worth of Canadian households is only about $230,000. Congrats fellas ๐Ÿ˜€ The typical reader of this site is 50% richer than the general population. Is it just a coincidence or because of all the useful financial and investment strategies I write about ๐Ÿ˜‰ Joking aside, I think it’s because people who are serious about taking control of their finances are more likely to be wealthy and are also more likely to stumble across my blog ๐Ÿ˜Ž
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