“Welcome to the PlanEasy blog! We make personal finance easy.

Thanks for visiting.”

– Owen

With Low Investment Returns, Fees Are Even More Insidious

With Low Investment Returns, Fees Are Even More Insidious

Bonds and other fixed income are an important part of everyone’s plan. Bonds are great but with low interest rates and low investment returns the fees on bond funds become even more insidious.

Investment fees are always important. They’re a hidden investment expense and can easily take a large chunk of investment returns. But with low interest rates and low returns on bond funds, these fees can easily eat up 30%, 40% or over 50% of yield!

What’s worse is that there are many lower cost options out there. A lower cost bond fund could provide a similar return but at a much lower cost.

Yet despite the high fees there are still BILLIONS being held in bond funds that are now eating up 50%+ of the bond yield.

Are you invested in bonds? Are you losing 50%+ of your annual yield to fees?

Below we explore one large bond fund that holds over $20 billion in assets and eats up 56% of yield through fees! But first, let’s understand what a bond fund is and why they might form part of our investment plan.

read more
The New TFSA Contribution Limit! How Big Could Your TFSA Get If You Contribute The Max Each Year?

The New TFSA Contribution Limit! How Big Could Your TFSA Get If You Contribute The Max Each Year?

The TFSA is an amazing account and it just got a little bit better. The contribution limit for 2021 is an additional $6,000. This means that as of January 1st 2021, anyone over the age of 18 in 2009 will have $75,500 of TFSA contribution room if they’ve never contributed before!

What makes the TFSA so amazing is the tax free compounding and when this compounding starts to take hold the results are incredible (just take a look at some of the projections below).

It’s reasonable to expect that many of us with TFSAs will see them reach $1,000,000+ at some point in the future. It’s just a matter of time. We’ll share some projections below but its pretty reasonable to expect that TFSAs could reach $5M, $7M or even $10M+ (in future dollars).

In fact, having TFSAs that reach $1,000,000+ is pretty common in many retirement projections that we do at PlanEasy.

Often, from an income tax and estate planning perspective, we want to draw down TFSAs last in retirement (or sometimes they’re also draw down strategically to avoid higher marginal tax brackets). We’re also strategically shifting assets from RRSPs/RRIFs into TFSAs over time. This leads to some very large TFSA balances and very little tax on the estate (depending on future investment returns of course).

read more
Why We Don’t Care About Investment Returns

Why We Don’t Care About Investment Returns

This is the time of year when everyone starts talking about investment returns. It’s been a wild ride and just months ago it would have been difficult to imagine reaching positive investment growth year over year. With the incredible ups and downs of this year, investment returns are bound to be in the headlines over the next few months.

For some people, investment growth is an important metric. They care about time weighted returns, money weighted returns, and breaking down their year over year growth by geography, sector, and even individual investments.

We, however, don’t care about investment returns.

In fact, I couldn’t tell you what our year over year returns have been this year or in past years. The only way we’d know is because our discount broker likely tracks that for us. Otherwise it’s just not a personal finance metric we put much value in.

Of course, we do care about long-term returns, but we don’t care about year over year returns, and here’s why you shouldn’t either…

read more

Owen Winkelmolen

Fee-for-service financial planner and founder of PlanEasy.ca

“Welcome to the PlanEasy blog! We make personal finance easy.

Thanks for visiting.”

– Owen

New blog posts weekly!

Tax planning, benefit optimization, budgeting, family planning, retirement planning and more...

With Low Investment Returns, Fees Are Even More Insidious

With Low Investment Returns, Fees Are Even More Insidious

Bonds and other fixed income are an important part of everyone’s plan. Bonds are great but with low interest rates and low investment returns the fees on bond funds become even more insidious.

Investment fees are always important. They’re a hidden investment expense and can easily take a large chunk of investment returns. But with low interest rates and low returns on bond funds, these fees can easily eat up 30%, 40% or over 50% of yield!

What’s worse is that there are many lower cost options out there. A lower cost bond fund could provide a similar return but at a much lower cost.

Yet despite the high fees there are still BILLIONS being held in bond funds that are now eating up 50%+ of the bond yield.

Are you invested in bonds? Are you losing 50%+ of your annual yield to fees?

Below we explore one large bond fund that holds over $20 billion in assets and eats up 56% of yield through fees! But first, let’s understand what a bond fund is and why they might form part of our investment plan.

read more
The New TFSA Contribution Limit! How Big Could Your TFSA Get If You Contribute The Max Each Year?

The New TFSA Contribution Limit! How Big Could Your TFSA Get If You Contribute The Max Each Year?

The TFSA is an amazing account and it just got a little bit better. The contribution limit for 2021 is an additional $6,000. This means that as of January 1st 2021, anyone over the age of 18 in 2009 will have $75,500 of TFSA contribution room if they’ve never contributed before!

What makes the TFSA so amazing is the tax free compounding and when this compounding starts to take hold the results are incredible (just take a look at some of the projections below).

It’s reasonable to expect that many of us with TFSAs will see them reach $1,000,000+ at some point in the future. It’s just a matter of time. We’ll share some projections below but its pretty reasonable to expect that TFSAs could reach $5M, $7M or even $10M+ (in future dollars).

In fact, having TFSAs that reach $1,000,000+ is pretty common in many retirement projections that we do at PlanEasy.

Often, from an income tax and estate planning perspective, we want to draw down TFSAs last in retirement (or sometimes they’re also draw down strategically to avoid higher marginal tax brackets). We’re also strategically shifting assets from RRSPs/RRIFs into TFSAs over time. This leads to some very large TFSA balances and very little tax on the estate (depending on future investment returns of course).

read more
Why We Don’t Care About Investment Returns

Why We Don’t Care About Investment Returns

This is the time of year when everyone starts talking about investment returns. It’s been a wild ride and just months ago it would have been difficult to imagine reaching positive investment growth year over year. With the incredible ups and downs of this year, investment returns are bound to be in the headlines over the next few months.

For some people, investment growth is an important metric. They care about time weighted returns, money weighted returns, and breaking down their year over year growth by geography, sector, and even individual investments.

We, however, don’t care about investment returns.

In fact, I couldn’t tell you what our year over year returns have been this year or in past years. The only way we’d know is because our discount broker likely tracks that for us. Otherwise it’s just not a personal finance metric we put much value in.

Of course, we do care about long-term returns, but we don’t care about year over year returns, and here’s why you shouldn’t either…

read more

New blog posts weekly!

Tax planning, benefit optimization, budgeting, family planning, retirement planning and more...

New blog posts weekly!

Tax planning, benefit optimization, budgeting, family planning, retirement planning and more...

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