Did You Give Your Investment Advisor A 10% Raise? How Generous!

Did You Give Your Investment Advisor A 10% Raise? How Generous!

Did you give your investment advisor a 10% raise last year? How generous of you!

With many investment advisors and portfolio managers compensated based on assets under management (AUM), an increase in portfolio value translates directly into an increase in compensation.

Despite the tumultuous year, investment returns pulled off an incredible recovery and ended the year much higher. Bonds, Canadian equities, US equities, Global equities, all higher than the year before. If you were holding VGRO or XGRO (two all-in-one ETFs with an 80/20 allocation) your portfolio would have grown 10.89% or 11.42% respectively.

With investment returns of 10%+ year over year that also means investment advisors are being paid more in 2021 than in 2020. How much more? Well, if their investment returns matched the market then their fees would also increase 10%+ in 2021.

Although there are many forms of compensation, many investment advisors and portfolio managers make a percentage of the portfolios that they manage. This could be 1.5% to 2.5%+ for smaller portfolios, 1.0% to 1.5% for portfolios of $1M to $2.5M, and under 1% for large portfolios of $2.5M+.

If portfolio values are 10% higher year over year, then these investment advisors and portfolio managers just received a 10% raise!

When To Convert RRSP To RRIF?

When To Convert RRSP To RRIF?

When to convert RRSP to RRIF? What is the right time to convert? What are the advantages of converting?

Converting an RRSP to a RRIF is mandatory by the end of the year you turn age 71. This triggers mandatory minimum withdrawals the following year and each year after that. The minimum withdrawal is based on the ending balance the previous year and the account holder’s age.

There is a common misconception that you should wait until the last possible moment to convert an RRSP to a RRIF. Maybe this is because it’s a “forced” conversion? Something that’s forced couldn’t be good right? Perhaps it’s because RRSPs grow tax free? Why not delay withdrawals as long as possible, why voluntarily make withdrawals by converting to a RRIF early?

Despite the misconceptions above, in many cases, converting an RRSP to a RRIF should be done much earlier than age 71.

There are many reasons for a retiree to convert an RRSP to a RRIF well before the mandatory age of 71. In this post we’ll highlight some of the considerations when deciding when to convert RRSP to RRIF.

When Does Compounding Take Hold? When Do We FEEL It?

When Does Compounding Take Hold? When Do We FEEL It?

Technically compounding begins with the first dollar, but when does compounding exactly take hold, when do we really start to FEEL the effect of compounding?

Compounding is almost like magic. It turns even the smallest amount of money into millions if given enough time.

Ben Franklin bequeathed $2,000 to the cities of Boston and Philadelphia in his will BUT with the stipulation that they could not draw on the investments for 200-years. The original amount has compounded over 200-years from $2,000 to $6.5 million!

But do you have to wait for 200-years to feel the effect of compounding? Definitely not.

The effect of compounding can be SEEN almost immediately but to really FEEL the effect of compounding takes at least a few years, plus, as well see below, it also depends on the rate of investment return.

How Big Is Your TFSA? How Would That Compare To Past Historical Periods?

How Big Is Your TFSA? How Would That Compare To Past Historical Periods?

As of January 1st, everyone in Canada over the age of 18 has the chance to add another $6,000 to their TFSA. If you were 18 or older in 2009 your total original contribution room would be $75,500.

But that’s just contribution room, what about investment growth?

With investment growth where would a TFSA be? How much would it be worth? And how would that compare to other historical periods?

Let me preface this post by saying I don’t like to compare personal finances. Everyone’s path is different and it’s impossible to compare apples to apples. Even in the same financial situation everyone values money differently and therefore two people with the exact same income, assets, debts etc will have very different financial plans, part of the reason why financial planning is so important, and also so interesting.

That being said, in this post we’re going to compare hypothetical TFSA balances of today with those of the past. We’ve had a great “bull run” over the last 10+ years but what would it look like if we had different set of returns? What if we looked at the best periods and the worst periods in recent history to compare how the last 10+ years stacked up?

The TFSA has been around since 2009. Each year, once you reach age 18, you accumulate TFSA contribution room. In 2021, someone who was 18 or older in 2009 would have $75,500 in original contribution room. But with investment growth where would the actual balance be?

What do you think the top 5 and bottom 5 historical periods would be? And how do you think they’d compare with the last 10+ years?

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.

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).

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