Mutual Fund Newsletter

Mutual Funds Newsletter Canada

Mutual Fund Newsletter
Mutual Funds Newsletter Canada – Canadian Mutual Funds

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Money Saving Tips for All the Parts of Your Life

When it comes to saving money, you want to do as absolutely much as is possible. And that means saving money in all of the various aspects of your life. If you save money in one part of your life, but are not so frugal in another, then you’re not going to see the same type of savings that you would if you manage to spread out all of your focus.

So, some money-saving tips for all-around your life include saving on your small business pursuits, saving on your subscriptions, using apps to save with investments, saving on interest rates for various loans, and saving when it comes to utilizing your credit card.

Small Business Savings

If you own a small business, or are involved in small business ownership somehow, then you know that there are money-saving tips all over the place for you to follow. Many of these have to deal with understanding the intricacies of small business management, so before you start cutting corners on things, it’s better to understand how to make things more efficient first. Then follow those tips to the letter.

Subscription Savings

Chances are fairly likely that you have a lot of subscriptions that you’re paying for every month. These can be things like music subscriptions, cloud service subscriptions, or TV and entertainment subscription services. If you want to save money, figure out which subscription you use the least, and simply cancel it. You will hardly know the difference, and over the long-term, you can save a ton of money not having these monthly costs that will bog you down eventually with respect to your budget.

Investment Savings

There are money-saving apps you can install as well that are quite interesting. Some of these ask to send money directly to your bank account, whereas others will put them in some sort of investment fund. The best part of these is you don’t even feel it happening. Most of them are set up to discreetly put small amounts of money in accounts every day or every week, so you don’t notice the missing, but all that money shows up in greater form later in your bank.

Interest Rate Savings

In order to save money on interest rates, the only real way for you to pursue this is by paying more on your principal. If you have an old loan from school, or perhaps for a car purchase or home loan, then you want to put as much money as possible on those every month. The sooner you pay off principle, the more money you save. This is a direct equation.

Credit Card Savings

And finally, there are a few different ways to save money on credit cards. If you have an outstanding balance somewhere, you can typically move that entire amount onto a new interest-free card for a one-year period; this sort of movement among credit cards can be a great way for you save money, as long as you intend on paying them back as soon as possible in each case.

How To Save Money When It Comes To Your Vision

The two eyes you have are the only ones you’ve got, and if you’re lucky to have a pair of peepers that works you better do what you can to take care of them. People who are born blind or become blind often have other senses that are heightened, which help them to do things, but don’t waste your sight if you still have it.

As you age so do the parts of your eyes and you can suffer from eye health issues like cataracts and macular degeneration. Your eye doctor is there to help with early detection of such things, which will help you have better eyesight throughout your life.

Eye care isn’t always a cheap venture, but it’s one that helps keep your eyes healthy, making it worth the expense. Here are some things that could help you save some money when it comes to protecting your vision.

Get Your Eyes Examined

When was the last time you went to the eye doctor? If if you don’t already wear glasses or contacts you still need to go in for regular eye exams. It’s the only way for early detections of eye health issues, and early detection can save you money when it comes to correcting the problems.

A yearly eye exam doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, even if you don’t have insurance. Shop around for the best prices where you live. Make sure you look into reviews of your chosen place to ensure you’ll get good service and your eyes will be cared for.

Shop Smart For Frames, Lenses, And Contacts

The most expensive part of having regular eye exams for those people that need a prescription are the cost of frames, lenses, and/or contacts. Many places carry frames at an affordable price, often as low as twenty dollars a piece. However, if you want the best lenses, even single vision, you’re adding another hundred or more dollars to your bill (but it’s worth it to have lenses made of polycarbonate that is shatterproof and coatings that can protect your sight).

Frames and contact lenses can often be found online at steep discounts. When it comes to frames, though, you want something that fits your face, so trying them on in a shop first is wise. Also, never buy contact lenses without a fitting first. Not all of them are created equal and you could damage your eyes with the wrong ones.

Consider Surgery

You could also consider getting Lasik surgery done to correct your vision. You’ll still need regular eye exams for eye health, but it could correct the need for contacts or glasses, which will save money over some time!

If you watch the videos, it looks pretty scary. But it’s a fairly easy and painless procedure, and many people have gotten it done.

Better Budgeting And Saving Tips For Your Family

Budgeting is important if you want to act like an adult. Having a budget helps you make sure you have money for your wants and your needs while ensuring you’re taking care of your needs first. Budgeting takes into account the expenses you have in your household and the money you have coming in.

Your budget will likely be something that you right down someplace, and you may keep it in an area where you keep your bills. Of course, these days many people don’t get paper bills in the mail anymore. No matter how your budgeting, here are some tips to help you do it better and to make sure that you’re having more money coming in and available for the things that you do need.

Cut Down On Open Credit

The more loans you have out there and credit cards that you have that have balances on them, the worse your credit is going to look. You could get a new card to pay off a lump of older cards or loans.  If you do have bad credit or a somewhat low credit score you may need a little help getting a new credit card to do this with.

Don’t cancel any of your credit cards unless all of them are paid off. This is just a big no-no and can hurt your credit even more.

Get Out Of Debt

Credit card and loan debt aren’t the only kinds of debt that are out there. If you want to have better control over your money you need to make sure that you are dealing with any debts that you have. That could be college debt, medical debt, or even debt to family members that have loaned you money.

For debts that aren’t owed to an individual, you may want to consider debt consolidation. It’s a great way to get debt under control and sum everything up into one monthly payment.

Know What’s Coming In Compared To What’s Going Out

Before you can even write out a budget you need to know where your money is going and where it’s coming from. Take a look at your income, and any other income coming in your house from other individuals that are part of your family. Compare that to the money that’s going out.

Money that’s going out will be what you used to pay your bills, like your utilities and cell phones. It can also include your grocery expenses, clothing expenses, and other such things. Income can come from your normal job and even side jobs or selling things you own online.

Start Saving

Don’t live paycheck-to-paycheck. Yes, that’s easier said than done, but it’s something that you should strive toward even if you are currently living that way. The first step is to start a savings account.

In the long run, your savings account should have three to six months worth of income saved, which will be enough to cover any bills in the case of job loss or injury. You want to have money saved up in case of an emergency, which can happen at any time.

Unusual Ways To Save Money Around The House

saving money at homeWe have all read a million different articles explaining the same money-saving techniques over and over again, like “carpool to work” or “turn the thermostat off.”  By now, these suggestions should be second-nature for most Americans.

It is high time someone wrote out a few unusual and maybe even downright weird ways to save money.  Take a moment of sweet, irreplaceable time, to check out some truly weird and unusual ways to save a dollar around the house.

Stop buying toilet paper

Yep!  We started it off with a bang.  Eliminating toilet paper will save more money the larger the household.  Some families have chosen to go paperless in the bathroom.  Alternatively, they use “family cloths” to clean up sensitive areas.

It is not as bad as it sounds.  Use old rags and washcloths that are reusable after a good spin through the wash.  It is not everyone’s “cup of tea,” but it does save a whole bunch of money over the course of a year.

Paint the roof

Why would anyone want to paint their roof?  Believe it, or not, painting the roof of a house white can save up to 20 percent of energy costs throughout the year.  White does not absorb light, so the heat produced by the roof itself is lowered by just applying an even coat of paint.  This technique can also earn the homeowner tax deductions and other financial benefits.

Install home security

It may seem counterproductive due to the cost of installation, but home security can save a family a lifetime of memories as well as their personal belongings and savings.  When a home is safe and secure, there is little risk of losing all those things the family worked so hard to obtain.

Home security installation can also save people money on their homeowner’s insurance.  It only makes sense that a company would be more willing (and offer incentives) to insure a person (or household) that has taken all the necessary steps towards safety.

Go off the grid

This is not a suggestion to mimic the Alaskan Bush People, but to simply turn off all electricity for one night every week.  One night a week, go off the grid.  Turning off everything in the house four days a month will instantly save on energy bills.  Over the course of a year, there is a possibility to save a few hundred dollars.

If boredom is an issue, turn “off the grid night” into “family night,” and play card games by candlelight, or dark twister with a partner. There are so many ways this could be a very enjoyable evening.

Do NOT get involved in couponing

Contrary to popular belief, couponing does not always save a household money.  Couponing often leads to a person buying a bunch of things they did not necessarily need and spending more money than they would have without the coupons.  That is the mind trick of the coupon distributors.  Do not fall victim to the marketing madness of the coupon section.

How To Save For An Emergency Fund

emergency fundsWhen you live paycheck to paycheck it can seem like it can be hard enough to pay the bills each month, nevermind actually putting any money in savings. However, building an emergency fund is essential when it comes to having a healthy financial future because we all know that life is going to give us a financial emergency every now and then.  If you are one of the many people who is scratching your head wondering where you can come up with a little extra money to put away for a rainy day, here are few ways to start saving for an emergency fund.

Eliminate The Little Luxuries

If you can’t afford to start putting a little money away each month to start building an emergency fund, it is time to start cutting other areas in your monthly budget.  It may be time to cancel the monthly gym membership you never use, nix your daily cup of coffee at your favorite coffee house on your way to work, or cancel that subscription to satellite radio that you listen to on your daily commute.  Start looking at where your money is going each month and eliminate all of the little luxuries that you may enjoy and start putting that money in an emergency fund.  You will be surprised at how quickly that money will add up.

Find Ways To Bring In More Money

If you have cut out all of the little expenses that are not a necessity and still are having a hard time getting an emergency fund going, it may be time to consider ways to bring in more income.  Look into getting a second side job to bring in more money or even look around your home to see what stuff you rarely use or don’t need anymore to generate some extra cash on sites like eBay.

Look Into Refinancing

emergency fundsIf you have any credit card debt, car notes, or even a home mortgage where the interest rates are a little higher than you would like, start making phone calls to your lenders.  If you have a good record of paying on time and a good credit score you will be surprised at how willing lenders are to negotiate a better interest rate with you which could end up saving you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Emergencies do happen now and then.  It may be something as small as having to replace a broken down washing machine or something as major as a child suffering with an illness. When those emergencies happen, it definitely helps with the stress a little better knowing that you have an emergency fund in place to pay for life’s emergencies.

Norma Walton, Saving By Sharing Your Space

Saving money takes effort, work and self sacrifice.

A friend of mine saved money in his 20s and early 30s and bought a house north of the city.  In keeping with his savings mentality, he moved into the basement and rented out the main floor and upper floor to tenants.  He lived that way for five years until he got married, at which point he moved upstairs with his wife and rented out the basement.  Obviously he would have preferred to live upstairs from the beginning, but that willingness to sacrifice to save money helped him pay down the mortgage to the point where he could comfortably afford to move upstairs.  He, his wife and son now have a beautiful semi-detached home in Riverdale as a result of his savings mentality.

Sharing youroommatesr space is never ideal.  Yet in any larger city there are numerous people always looking to rent accommodation.  If you can handle a room mate or create a spot in your house that you can rent out, that money can be dedicated to paying off your mortgage faster or creating savings to purchase another house or condominium.  Many people in Toronto sacrifice privacy for the income provided by renters.  My god mom, who is from Portugal, was looking for a place to stay for a while and she moved in with an older Chinese couple and rented a room from them for far less than she would have paid for her own space. The cultural exchange was sometimes challenging but the savings were worth it for both.

 

Airbnb provides another outlet for turning your house into rental income.  In any large city there is demanairbnbd for short term rentals in lieu of hotels, particularly for larger groups that are coming into town for a wedding or a special event.  We have rented our house out through airbnb in the past and it permits us to spend time up north in the summer that we couldn’t otherwise afford.  It takes effort to ready your house for guests…with four children it takes our family a lot of effort.  But the benefits of canoeing down the Muskoka river with all four children in the boat are more than worth it.

 

Friends of mine ran an international student placement company.  They were always looking for welcoming families in which to place their European students.  Host families were compensated for accommodating those students and introducing them to Canadian culture.  From time to time there would be problems, like under age drinking or stupid behaviour, but that was the exception.  By and large the host families and the students had a good time together and often those relationships lasted long after the student had returned home.  One of those families just welcomed the student they formerly hosted, her husband and their toddler a decade after the hosting ended.

 

My girlfriend had five house mates in university to cut down on the costs of accommodation.  Six girlsroommates-2…one bathroom.  She is now in her early 50s and still gets together with them once a year.  This year was the 30th anniversary of them moving in together.  Each now has multiple bathrooms in her house but the memories they created together when they had to share just one resonate with them to this day.  Being willing to share your space can provide financial benefits along with lifelong emotional connections that may enrich your life and last far longer than the space sharing arrangement did.

 

A former client of mine got divorced and she didn’t want to sell her beautiful heritage house in Cabbagetown.  She started a Bed and Breakfast from it.  She now earns enough from renting out a couple of rooms and providing breakfast for her guests that she is able to maintain the house and pay all the costs associated with it.

Inge og Ole?s bolig
Inge og Ole?s bolig

With the above ideas in mind, take a look around at your space.  Consider whether there is any opportunity to share it to generate some additional income.

Norma Walton: Money Styles

I have twin boys, fraternal, who are 10 years old.  One is a saver and the other a spender.  My eldest (by a minute) has saved $400 while his brother has a mere $90.  My youngest told me the other day he wanted to buy a Kindle on Kijiji for $80 because he could afford it whereas his brother decided he was going to wait until we had our garage sale to determine whether he wanted to spend any money to buy one.  Both are athletic and love to trash talk.  My frugal son will wager conservative amounts on games whereas the other refuses to risk any of his money on a game of chance.

spender and saver

Each of us, even those raised in the same environment, will have a unique money style.  Identifying your money temperament is critically important to determine the sort of money decisions you should make in your life.  If you are a saver, you may not want to put your capital at risk in an investment.  You may only want to continually add to that savings year over year.  If you are a spender, you may have nothing to invest and if you do happen to inherit some money, you may be more comfortable with risk because having savings is not as important to you.  If you have some money to invest, it is likely a good idea to determine your money style before choosing an investment.

My husband once worked with a fellow named Carlo.  Carlo invested $5,000 with a broker in the late 80s and asked the broker to buy Dell stock.  Every day he checked the stock price and would fret and panic if it went down or he thought it might go down.  Every day he called his broker to ask his advice on whether to hold or sell.  Every day he lost at least two hours of his day focusing on his investment and worrying about what might or might not happen.  After about 30 days he sold it all and decided never to invest in the stock market again.  I am sure his broker was relieved.

risk

I started buying real estate with investors in 2003.  It did not take long to notice that of the 20 investors in that project, some had a stomach for the risk of the investment and others did not.  The plan had a three year timeline yet some of the investors would call me every week for an update and it was obvious they were losing sleep.  When a healthy profit was paid out inside of three years, some were happy, some were disappointed, and some were just relieved to have their money back in the bank where they knew it was safe.

Over the years I have met the following investor types:

  1. The conservative: This person needs to keep her money in cash in the bank or in GICs or savings bonds.  Otherwise she worries about losing her capital.  Her goal is capital preservation above all else and the amount of interest she earns is almost irrelevant.  She is uncomfortable with any degree of risk that has any possibility of decreasing the amount of money she has saved.
  2. The seasoned investor: This person is knowledgeable about various types of investment and has been investing his money for many years. He is comfortable taking some risk with his money provided he understands that risk and feels he can evaluate and assess the nature of the risk and the possible returns and the possible outcomes.  He may invest in long standing public companies, in REITs, or in private rental real estate properties.  He generally will have an advisor with whom he consults and will generally follow that person’s advice.
  3. The investor in a hurry: This person wants to get rich quick.  He believes in investments that are too good to be true.  He is constantly disappointed by the failure of his investments and his loss of money but he is incapable of changing the way he invests the next time.
  4. The entrepreneur: She is comfortable with risk and runs her own successful business.  She evaluates an investment opportunity based on her business experience and her assessment of the character and competence of the person running the investment.  She will often invest in other small businesses or projects that she understands due to her experience running her own business.  She wants something she has some control over in some capacity.

There are many types of investments.  For your own personal peace of mind, you should determine what is most important to you in making an investment before you consider putting any of your money at risk.  It might be the potential rate of return on project completion; perhaps it is the safety of your principal investment.  It could be that you know the person who is investing the money and trust that person.  Maybe you want an income from your investment to top up your existing income.

risk 2

Once you determine your primary objective for investing and you assess your personal tolerance for risk, you can evaluate possible investments to determine if they meet your criteria.  If you match your personal money style to the investment, you will likely sleep easy no matter what happens.

Norma Walton: How Much is Enough?

North American society promotes the concept that having money creates happiness.  Certainly having enough wealth to cover your basic needs is important – a roof above your head, sufficient money for food, a clean supply of water, basic clothing and a healthy environment.  A lack of those essentials will create misery.

money happiness

Once you achieve the above, there is value in considering how much more money you need.  Beyond covering your basic needs, below are some reasonable objectives that you may want to consider when you decide how much money you require:

  1. A reasonable spending plan: Charles Dickens proposed the theory that if your income is $100 per day and you’re spending $99, you will be happy.  If your income is $100 per day and you’re spending $101, you will be miserable.  That is wise advice.  If your expenses exceed your income, you will be constantly scrambling to cover your bills and will head into debt, which is stressful.  Focusing on reducing your expenses or increasing your income so that your income is greater than your expenses is time well spent.
  2. A plan to pay off existing debt: My grandparents’ generation saved their money before they would buy a car.  They saved their money to fund their vacation.  They paid off their mortgage as soon as they reasonably could and would have considered it baffling to refinance to pull out wealth from their house.  Debt often causes stress and tension in your life.  Debt sometimes makes you feel out of control of your financial situation.  Hence a focus on paying off debt will permit you to enjoy your money more as you pay the debt down.

    3d people - human character person carrying word "debt" on his back. Debt concept. 3d render
    3d people – human character person carrying word “debt” on his back. Debt concept. 3d render
  3. An emergency fund or line of credit: If you were to lose your job, do you have enough money to survive until you find a new one?  For some this amount will be one year’s worth of income savings; for others this amount will be a month or two.  It is prudent to have some money available if something happens that impacts your ability to earn an income for a period of time.
  4. A retirement fund: The Canadian banks focus on retirement planning.  They sit down with their customers to discuss how much you would need to save to fund a comfortable retirement.  They create charts and objectives for savings to try to get people thinking about where they want to be when they are ready to retire.  This is a good exercise for most people and helps people set goals for savings and calibrates their financial expectations for when they finish working.
  5. An insurance policy to provide for your dependants: If you were hit by a bus today, who would be in trouble without you around?  Think about the financial needs of your dependants and ensure that you have term life insurance in a sufficient amount to cover those needs.  Once you no longer have dependants who need your income to survive, you can reduce or eliminate that insurance.

piggy bank

Once you turn your mind to how much money is enough for you, you can review the above items and create a plan to ensure you have what you need.

Teach your kids good money habits!

“Before you speak, listen.  Before you write, think.  Before you spend, earn.  Before you invest, investigate.
Before you criticize, wait.  Before you pray, forgive.  Before you quit, try.
Before you retire, save.  Before you die, give.”
– William A. Ward

Written by Steve Nyvik, BBA, MBA, CIM, CFP, R.F.P.
Financial Planner and Portfolio Manager, Lycos Asset Management Inc.

Dave Chilton, who wrote the book, “The Wealthy Barber”, provided common sense financial wisdom centered around the ideas of living within your means, saving at least 10-15% of your gross income, paying down debt, paying yourself first (meaning take your savings and put that away before you spend so you don’t spend your savings), keep spending under control, and limit borrowing.

If we begin this savings process sooner, our money will have more time to grow and compound.  (In my experience, those who start saving sooner generally are more likely to have a secure retirement or are able to afford to retire sooner.)  Building up savings also reduces the risk of not having funds available in the event of disability.

Regularly saving becomes a habit.  And as one sees their retirement nest egg build, one becomes more enthusiastic and committed to saving.

In my experience as a financial planner, many of the wealthiest clients I have dealt with have this savings habit ingrained in them.  In some cases, they have been survivors of World War II where they experienced having nothing.  Those experiences transformed their psyche of never wanting to be poor again.

As one’s life savings reaches a certain point, the objective of growth becomes less important and capital preservation becomes more important.  They appreciate how much they sacrificed for their money to get to this point and if their portfolio experiences a big drop, it can be difficult to recover.

The habit or motivation of saving isn’t genetic and more often than not doesn’t make it to the next generation.  These children typically don’t experience being without or being financially vulnerable.  Many of these children don’t inherit their parent’s drive or motivation to work hard and save.  And when they inherit from their parents, a good number will eat through a lifetime of savings in less than ten years.

Here is my advice in how to help instill the right money habits in your child:

  1. Your child should know that they will not receive an inheritance. All that they can expect is your help with their education costs and then they are on their own.
  2. Your child needs to work to learn the value of a dollar. They need to get a sense of how hard it is to earn money and how expensive life is.
  3. Focus your child to aim towards a profession so that they won’t spend most of their working hours hating what they do for a living.
  4. When your child starts to earn money, take 15% of the gross income and set aside to pay their student debts. Then when the debt is repaid, put the savings in an account so they can see their money grow.  Don’t take wild risks with this money and destroy the habit of saving.  You might consider a money market fund or a bond fund.
  5. Teach your child about investing – both risk and return. If you are to put some money into equities, don’t put your child’s money for equities into anything other than a diversified stock fund or market ETF.  We want the money to build up which could be a future down payment for a condo.  Then a mortgage might help with the habit of saving regularly.
  6. When your child has their career going and is debt free, that may be a good time for them to go out into the world. Hopefully the money habits will put them on a path for success!

 

Summary

I hope that you have found these thoughts helpful.  It is my goal to help you and your family achieve your goals.  If you’re interested in working with an advisor who cares about your family’s success, please call me: (604) 288-2083 or email me: Steve@lycosasset.com.