Finances

How To Rebalance Your Investment Portfolio

howtorebalanceyourinvestmentportfolio.jpgRegardless of past or future performance...

There will be times when you need to rebalance your portfolio.

That means, putting it back to the asset allocation you intended.

But, what is an asset allocation anyway?

In layman’s terms, this is your strategy for balancing investment risk with potential reward so it aligns with your long term investing goals. (Not to be confused with asset “location” – where you can hold your assets – usually for certain tax advantages.)

First, let’s define these terms briefly.

More on asset allocation

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Basic Tax-Saving Tips for Investors

basictaxsavingtipsforinvestors.jpgI know there are civic minded citizens out there…

...who happily pay their taxes to pay for things like improved infrastructure, education and security.

But, what about the rest of us?

We grudgingly pay our taxes because we have to. BUT we’d rather keep our tax burden as low as possible. Fortunately, there are ways to do it.

Here are some basic investment vehicles that you can use to help save money on your taxes.

Non-Registered Savings Accounts

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The War On Debt: Reining In The Food Budget

thewarondebtreigninginthefoodbudget.jpgI must admit, I don’t even look at sales flyers.

The blue plastic bag is tossed on our driveway Thursday night. On Friday morning, I drop the whole thing straight into the recycle bin.

After talking with Katie Peterson, a registered dietitian, mother of five and meal planning expert, it looks like this is one more thing I need to change.

Katie’s blog is filled with tips on organization and time-savers, particularly for busy, young mothers. She also teaches how to eat on a budget (she calls it “Frugalicious” meal planning) via home parties and Facebook.

After speaking with her, I felt better about our $800 grocery bill in January, since she told me she aims for $780 per month for her family of seven.

“You have five adults,” she says. “Eight hundred is not too bad. I tried to cut back to $600 in January and found it quite challenging. But our grocery bill includes eating out, toiletries, laundry soap, coffee—everything.”

Of course, I didn’t admit that $800 was likely a cheap month. Sometimes we’ve spent upwards of $900. What usually blows it wide open is the purchase of convenience meals on a weeknight when we don’t feel like cooking, or eating out too often for the same reason.

This, Katie tells me, is the problem in most kitchens.

“If you want to stick to a budget, you need a plan. I’ve been doing it for 11 years, so now it only takes me about 30 to 40 minutes for the whole month.”

Frugalicious Meal Planning

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The War on Debt: Here, Have a Debt Sandwich

thewarondebtherehaveadebtsandwich.jpg

I hope at some point in the future I will feel empowered by this attempt at debt repayment…

But right now, I feel nothing but anxiety.

The process of poring over bank statements to fit our expenditures into categories—as I rack my brain to remember my purchases—is exhausting.

Remind me why I’m looking at these ugly, red numbers?

I know why.

I ached to go to Ireland this year. An esteemed friend and writing mentor of mine is conducting a ten-day writing workshop on the Fair Isle this spring. An expensive trip, but the trip of a lifetime, with an itinerary to make any lover of both travel and writing salivate.

I heard about it a year ago, but behind my polite smile, I knew there was no way I could afford to go, much less bring my husband, who needs a vacation as much as I do.

This is the power of money. It represents either freedom or bondage, and it appears I’m not the only one in chains.

In September 2016, Statistics Canada reported that Canadians owe $1.67 for every $1 of disposable income. And later on in December, Equifax announced that the average Canadian consumer debt load had grown to $22,081—which doesn’t include mortgages.

Three-Step Process

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14 Ways to Save Money on Car Insurance

14waystosavemoneyoncarinsurance.jpgWhen it comes to car insurance…

Are you paying more than you should?

Many people know the obvious ways to save, like shopping around for the best price or comparing quotes online. But...

Did you know you could save money by:

Want to trim your car insurance costs?

Here are 14 ideas to get you started:

1. Shorten Your Commute

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The Magical World of Compound Interest

themagicalworldofcompoundinterest.jpgOkay, so you have decided, that yes, this is the year you start investing

You’re pumped and ready to learn - and ready to get that money working for you.

But wait! The new Nintendo Switch just dropped last week. Oh, and spring is just around the corner, so you will need to sport a new outfit or two at work…And this winter has been extra miserable but a quick weekend trip to Vegas will rectify those winter blues.

It’s much more fun to spend money than to save and invest it. But while basking in that hot Vegas sun for the weekend may seem incredible at the time, you’re also giving up the most important power you have to grow your money:

The power of time.

The Compound Interest Power

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How to Set - and Stick to - Your FUN Budget

howtosetandsticktoyourfunbudget.jpgWhen people hear the word budget, they don’t hear “fun.”

Instead, they tend to hear one of two things.

“Booooooring.”

Or the ever-popular,

“So I have to stop going to the pub so much, right?”

But here’s the great thing about budgeting:

It can actually help you spend guilt-free on the things you really love.

And I speak from personal experience on this.

My Budgeting Journey

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The War on Debt: Notes from the Front Line

thewarondebt.jpgWe have carried him, in one form or another for at least twenty years--while he steadily grows.

I would like to destroy him, but up until now, I have not been willing to face him. I have to look him in the eye. I have to accept how big he really is. Until now, I have not been willing to do that.

For at least the last ten years, I have not even opened a bill.

Instead, I’ve abandoned my share of the marital financial responsibilities, forcing my husband to shoulder it all.

The Colossus

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5 Ways Families Can Get a Tax Break

5waysfamiliescangetataxbreak.jpgIt goes without saying that having and raising a family IS expensive.

So taking full advantage of all tax breaks whenever possible is a MUST.

Now that the short-lived “family tax cut” has been eliminated by the Justin Trudeau government - easy income splitting is off the table again for Canadian families.

The credit allowed families to transfer up to $50,000 of taxable income from one spouse (higher earning) to the other spouse (lower earning) with a limit of $2,000 in order to save on their taxes.

But, even though it won’t be available for 2016, there are still other ways families can save on their taxes.

Basic Tax Tips for Families

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The Year You Start Investing

theyearyoustartinvesting.jpgEvery year, we start with the best intentions to improve our lives.

Including our finances…

But does it seem like the time just passes by and nothing ever gets done?

With investing, there is just too much information out there. Maybe you even decided to be proactive: You sat down at your computer one day and googled investing, and BAM!

354,000,000 results were returned. Crap.

Diary of an Investing Procrastinator

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