Investing Quick Reference Guide

This post is an introduction to some of the concepts and terms of investment that will appear on this website and throughout financial literature.

Investing is to use the money you have now, to create more money in the future.  You can invest by loaning money to someone using bonds, GICs, or savings accounts.  You can also purchase stocks or shares of a company for a share in their profits, or real estate for the income that it can generate.

Interest is the money that you would receive in exchange for lending someone or a bank your money.  Interest on deposits in savings accounts are usually paid once a month.  Interest is paid on GICs is periodical as well (it can be anywhere from monthly, to quarterly, to annually or at maturity).  You can also receive interest payments for lending your money to a company or government with a bond.

Dividends are payments that a company gives to its shareholders, sharing company profits with its investors.  Though every company is different, typically companies will pay out dividends once per quarter.

Capital Gains are realized when an investor sells shares for more than they had originally paid for them.  The opposite, when an investor sells shares for less than their initial investment, is called a capital loss.  Share prices tend to increase when there is a corresponding growth in the companies profits, and conversely, a reduction in profitability will often lead to a drop in share prices.  While interest and dividends can provide regular cash flow for your portfolio, portfolio growth through capital gains is unrealized (you won’t receive an increase or decrease in the cash balance of your account) until you close your position by selling your shares. Continue reading Investing Quick Reference Guide

Review: The RESP Book

The RESP Book: The Simple Guide to Registered Education Savings Plans for Canadians – Mike Holman

For parents wanting to save for their children’s education, there may be no better option than the Registered Education Savings Plan.  I’ve found that there is a TON of information on the internet about RESPs, but I’ve found very little of it to be useful.  The CRA’s website has the rules, but tells you little about how it would work for you.  And the rest that I’ve found on the internet are from financial institutions that are trying to sell you on their RESP products.  Naturally, I’m wary of these.

Who is this book for?

If you are looking for a guide on the RESP, with explanations that are simple enough for ordinary Canadians to understand, this is the book.  If you’re looking for unbiased information on RESP from someone who is not trying to sell you a product, this is the book.

Mike Holman filled-in all the gaps for me in my research.  He describes how the program works, the best way to use it and things to be careful of.  On specific strength of the book, is the number of ‘what-if’ scenarios that Holam presents.  I found that he did an effective job of presenting enough scenarios that every Canadian should be able to pick up the book and figure out how to best make the RESP work for them and their child.  Holman does a good job of explaining all the intricacies of the RESP.

The RESP Book: The Simple Guide to Registered Education Savings Plans for Canadians.  The title says it all.  It’s a book about RESPs.  Mike Holman has made the RESP program simple.  And, it’s a really effective guide.  

For parents (or really any family members) thinking about saving for their children’s education, The RESP Book is an excellent investment.

 

Review: Millionaire Teacher

Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School – Andrew Hallam

Andrew Hallam’s Millionaire Teacher, is my favorite personal finance book, period.  It is an entertaining read – I read the entire book the first time over a weekend (Who knew a finance book could be entertaining?).  Millionaire Teacher is informative.  Hallam even makes the world of investment seem simple!

Who is this book for?

If you’re a Canadian and you’ll only read one book about investing, this is the book.  If you are feeling like the world of investing is intimidating, and aren’t sure where to start, this is the book.  If you have money to invest and you’re not sure how to invest it, this is the book.  If you’re looking at an index investing approach, and are trying to wrap your mind around it, this is the book.  If you are feeling like you don’t have enough money to spare to think about saving or investing, this is the book (you can get the kindle version for $12).

Andrew Hallam shares his story, telling you how he managed to accumulate a million-dollar portfolio before the age of 40, on a modest school teacher’s salary.  Hallam demonstrates the value of maximizing savings and describes how he did it.  He explores the impact of investing early, the effect high-fee mutual funds can have on your investment returns and the benefits of using index funds as an alternative.  One aspect I really enjoyed, was his take on how an investor should think or react to large profits or losses in their portfolio.

This is the book I wish I had read, when I first started investing.  If I had found this book before I purchased my first mutual funds, even if I had gotten the worst deal on the book and it had cost me $100, it would still have been the best investment I could have made.

How Buying a Cell Phone Outright Can Save You Hundreds!

In today’s society it’s essentially a necessity to have a cell phone.  Sure, it is possible, to do without, but with everyone having one, you’re liable to miss out on so much if you choose to go without one.  While the spending may seem counterintuitive, this post outlines a way to lessen the costs of having a cell phone without having to make any sacrifices like cutting the data portion of your plan.

How can spending an extra ~$500 help you save money?  The motivation to sign up for a standard 2-year agreement, through any cellular service provider (Rogers, Telus, Bell, Fido, etc.), is to either get your phone for free or to get that ~$500 discount towards your new phone.  The thing is, the cellular service providers end up paying for your phone, and they charge you a healthy premium for it.  In most cases, you are only eligible for the most expensive monthly plans, while customers who own their own phone are able to get the same plan features but at a discounted rate.  At the end of the 2-year term, you end up paying more for your phone costs, than if you had bought the phone outright yourself.  

If you buy the phone outright, there are two service providers that seem to give you a better deal than others.  They are Fido (a subsidiary of Rogers) and Public Mobile (a subsidiary of Telus).  With Fido, you are on the same network and receive the same reception as if you were a Rogers customer, and Public Mobile subscribers get the same reception, being on the same network as Telus customers.  

Continue reading How Buying a Cell Phone Outright Can Save You Hundreds!

Welcome!

Thanks for visiting More Bang For Your Buck!  I hope you enjoy the reading and discover ways to keep more of your money.

Who am I?  My name is Kevin and I’m in my late-twenties and I’m a new father.  I’m also a PhD candidate – this just means I’ve spent a lot of time in school.  When you’re a student, you generally don’t have a lot of money.  And there’s nothing that motivates you to save money more than knowing that you don’t have much.  If you’re like me, money’s tight.  I don’t have a 6-figure salary, (yet – I can be hopeful right?).  When it comes to financing and investing, I don’t have any formal training or certifications and I don’t work in the financial industry.  I’m self-taught and I’m using an online discount broker to manage my own investments through an online brokerage.   This should help me make saving money a little easier to understand for ordinary Canadians.  

I like what money allows you to do, and I genuinely enjoy finding ways to save money.  Over the years, I have searched, learned, and discovered all sorts of ways of getting more for less, and making more out of what I have and just want to share what I know.  Between my age, and the number of years I’ve spent in school, there end up being more content for millennials and students, but I plan on writing posts that are useful to anyone and everyone.  I’m hoping that I can help you keep a little more money in your pocket!