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Net worth update: February 2015

I am starting to see some good in keeping track of things. I like how I can go back and see where I have started from. It’s nice to see the numbers grow and grow!

I am slowly rebuilding my RRSPs. I had to take out a good chunk of it for the down payment of my house. I do not have to pay it back until the second year so I may take advantage of that. Also, in preparation for tax season, I took out a $2,500 RSP loan from Tangerine. I don’t have to pay them back until the first week of April. By then, I would have already filed my taxes and received a hefty refund. The additional contribution will generated an extra $778.75 in refund. Once I receive the refund, I will not be paying off the loan right away. I’ve already started to pay back the loan so it’s no big deal. Instead, I will be putting the refund towards my house, which will save me an extra $700 in interested. So the $2,500 borrowed will give me an extra $780 in refund, plus save me an extra $700 in mortgage interested and will only cost me approximately $21 in interest for the loan. It’s a win-win as I see it!

Asset
Cash savings: $1,090.51
RRSP: $18,826.74
TFSA: $1,913.06
House: $260,000.00

Liabilities
Credit cards: $0
Loans: $1,800
Mortgage: $234,303.17

Net worth: $45,727.14
Change: $4,929.26 (10.78%)

I have been throwing in some more money into my TD e-Series account. So far, the market value is up $70 when compared to the book value. I have been seeing small amounts of distributions from each fund and it’s all being re-invested so my savings are growing even more! The allocaiton mix is slightly off. Initially, I went with an even mix of 25% in each fund but I am slowly rebalancing it so that it’s 10% bonds and 90% equity. I had to wait a while beause TD charges a fee if I redeem any of the funds within 30 days of purchasing them. Most funds have a 90 day redemption limit but luckily the e-Series funds are only 30 days.

TD e-Series funds
TD CDN Index-e: $436.46
TD US Index-e: $471.16
TD CDN Bond Index-e: $221.99
TD Int’l Index-e: $356.39

I’ve finally opened up a Questrade account which allows me to invest in ETFs. I have an RRSP and TFSA account with Questrade. My RRSP is following the 2014 Couch Potato portfolio while my TFSA account is following the 2015 portfolio. The difference between the two is that the 2015 version has been simplified, using only 3 ETFs. I am in the process of transferring my RRSP from Sun Life over to Questrade so the numbers below will jump by the next update. I prefer to manage my own money so I’ve transferred just over $5,000 out of Sun Life. When I first requested the transfer, the balance was somewhere around $5,100 but since Sun Life took their time, it worked out for my advantage as that portfolio grew to $5,400. So that means that there’s more money for me to invest.

I’m contemplating whether or not I should sell off the US ETFs (VTI, VXUS) and keep things all in Canadian funds but with the Canadian dollar as low as it is, it might be best to keep things the way they are.

Questrade ETFS
VAB: $426.88
VCN: $484.64
VTI: $105.55
VXUS: $149.55
XRB: $104.80
ZRE: $83.28
VXC: $543.59

 

Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Finances

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Goals for 2015

Once again another year has come and gone but unlike previous years, 2014 was full of stuff. I bought a house in the summer, traveled to another province for work and vacationed in London, England. I’m hoping that 2015 will be eventful as well.

Like most people, I usually set out to make a new year’s resolution but I find that by the second week or so, I’ve broken or lost interested. This year, I will set myself goals and I plan on meeting them. So here goes:

  • Save $10,000
  • Lower mortage by $10,000
  • Do a better job at budgetting

Yes, 2015 will be the year when I will focus harder on my financials. I’ve opened up more RRSP accounts so I can save more of my money. I’ve opened up a Questrade account and started investing. I plan on putting more of my money away so I can reach financial independence. I’ve been following a few personal finance bloggers and they’ve inspired me to save. Well, they’ve inspired to save in the past but I just never got around to doing it. But this year, that’s going to change. I’ve also noticed that I’ve been spending a lot of time in /r/PersonalFinanceCanada.

The goals that I’ve set out for myself are reasonable and I believe that I’ve set them low enough that I will achieve them by the end of the year. So here goes!

 

Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Finances, Life

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Net worth update: January 2015

Once again, another year has come and gone. And what a year it was. In 2014, I managed to get my finances in order and slowly increase my net worth. I am also starting to invest a bit more. It’s nothing major but it’s a start on the road to financial independence. Here’s what this month’s update date looks like.

Asset
Cash savings: $1,292.17
RRSP: $13,571.76
TFSA: $755.22
House: $260,000.00

Liabilities
Credit cards: $0
Mortgage: $235,292.99

Net worth: $40,326.16
Change: $1,747.60 (4.33%)

Last month, I mentioned that I started investing using the Canadian Cough Potato portfolio. That has also been increasing and I am getting closer to my ideal allocation mix, 80% stocks and 20% bonds.

TD eSeries funds
TD CDN Index-e (30.23%): $352.01
TD US Index-e (22.15%): $257.90
TD CDN Bond Index-e (26.12%): $304.20
TD Int’l Index-e (21.51%): $250.47
Change: $455.83 (39.14%)

I think that 2015 will be the year where I will be able to max out my RRSP contribution. At my current rate, I might be close to over contributing so something will need to be done about that. Since I recently purchased a house using the Home Buyer Plan, part of my RRSP contribution will have to go towards that to pay myself back, but it’s not necessary because I believe that I do not need to pay it back until after a year or something like that. I will have to run a few calculations but this year, more and more of my money will go towards my savings.

Happy 2015!!!

 

Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Finances

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Net worth update: December 2014

As the days go by, I am becoming more and more interested in personal finance. I am on a mission to save as much as I can (ideally $1,000,000). I’ve started investing and that is slowly making me money. By the end of the year, my net worth should be slightly higher than what it is now. But in the new year, I will have to aim high and save even more. I am in the process of opening up a Questrade account so that will keep my money occuppied for a while.

Asset
Cash savings: $1,103.39
RRSP: $12,708.65
TFSA: $703.72
House: $260,000.00

Liabilities
Credit cards: $0
Mortgage: $235,911.70

Net worth: $38,122.73
Change: $1,027.35 (2.69%)

I am slowly aligning my asset allocation for my TD eSeries fund. The TD Canadian Bond Index fund still occuppies majority of my holding but I hope to have that corrected by weekly depositing funds to the other indices.

TD eSeries funds
TD CDN Index-e: $148.85
TD US Index-e: $153.06
TD CDN Bond Index-e: $253.34
TD Int’l Index-e: $153.50
Change: $208.77 (29.46%)

 

Posted by on December 1, 2014 in Finances

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Canadian Couch Potato

It has been a long time coming but I’ve finally decided to start up my Couch Potato portfolio. I recall reading about it when I became interested in personal finance but I didn’t quite know how to get started investing. The thing that got me interested in this investment strategy is the fact that it’s simple and easy to look after. And that’s what you need when you’re just starting out.

If you don’t know what the Canadian Couch Potato is, it’s an strategy for investing in mutual funds or exchange traded funds (ETF) that require little effort. I came across this strategy when reading an article by Dan Bortolotti in MoneySense magazine. And I started reading MoneySense magazine after listening to a few Mostly Money, Mostly Canadian podcasts by Preet Banerjee.

So far, I found that the quickest and easiest way to get started with investing using the couch potato was to open an account with TD. I’ve read that in the past it was difficult to open up a mutual fund account with TD and convert it to an e-Series account but I didn’t have any issues. So perhaps words got around and they fixed the problem. In my case, I simply walked into the bank, spoke with an account manager, signed some papers and was out of there in 15 minutes. It took about a week to convert the account so I can buy e-Series funds, though.

Along with tracking my net worth, I will also be tracking the e-Series funds. From what I’ve read, it’s important to rebalance the portfolio every now and then but it doesn’t need to be rebalanced that often. But as time goes, I will be tracking a whole lot more things. I am currently in the process of opening up a Questrade account but that will take a while because I need to transfer the initial funds.

Here’s what my initial investment looks like.

TD CDN Index-e: 4.078 @ $24.52 = $99.99
TD US Index-e: 2.463 @ $40.60 = $100.00
TD CDN Bond Index-e: 17.406 @ $11.49 = $199.99
TD Int’l Index-e: 8.873 @ $11.27 = $100.00

And here’s where they currently stand
TD CDN Index-e: $100.89 (+0.89%)
TD US Index-e: $100.84 (+0.83%)
TD CDN Bond Index-e: $200.34 (+0.17%)
TD Int’l Index-e: $101.24 (+1.23%)

I will have to rebalance this because I currently have an incorrect allocation mix. For someone my age, I should not have that high of a percentage in bonds. Oh well. It’s all part of the learning experience.

 

Posted by on November 20, 2014 in Finances

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Net worth update: November 2014

One, two, skip a few…

I’ve been a little lazy towards my financial update. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on this site at all. For the past few weeks, I was site to Calgary to assist with another division and get their IT in order. Since then, my finances has been all over the place since a lot of the spending was out-of-pocket, and will be reimburse later.

Nonetheless, I still maintained my savings, or at least, I tried to keep them in order. My savings is not where it should be but I have a feeling that it will change once I have been reimburse for all my spending.

Asset
Cash savings: $498.53
RRSP: $11,527.67
TFSA: $1,313.85
House: $260,000.00

Liabilities
Credit cards: $0
Mortgage: $236,528.94

Net worth: $36,811.11
Change: $971.08 (2.62%)

 

Posted by on November 2, 2014 in Finances

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Net worth update: September 2014

Just a quick update…

Asset
Cash savings: $2,000.78
RRSP: $10,548.17
TFSA: $927.68
House: $260,000.00

Liabilities
Credit cards:$1,503.43
Mortgage: $238,282.90

Net worth: $33,690.30
Change: $1,972.86 (5.76%)

 

Posted by on September 8, 2014 in Finances

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Net worth update: August 2014

I am a little late in updating this. I almost forgot to write this up and was only reminded when I started working on my budget.

It has been three weeks now since the day that I moved into my new house. I am slowly getting used to the area. I still have figured out where everything is at the moment but there is plenty of time for that. Since moving in, there has been a lot of household item purchases, be it groceries, cooking utilities or furniture so the credit card balance is a bit high. I am confident that it will go down by the middle of the month.

Last month, a good chunk of my savings was used towards the closing cost of my house. I think there are some more fees and bills to take care of. I do not yet know my total cost for the month. The bills are slowing coming in. I just found out recently that this year’s property tax will not be covered by my mortgage company. They are collecting for next year’s property tax so that means that I will have to hand over about $1200 over to the town of Grimsby. There is a part of the tax due at the beginning of this month but since I thought my mortgage company was handling it, it means that I will have to pay a late fee. The next installment is not due until October so I have time budget for that.

All in all, being a home owner is not that bad. It’s just a big responsibility with all the finances. It’s a good thing that I have my finances in order or else I would be struggling a little right now.

I am down a few more percent this month but I am looking forward to being back on the plus side next month.

Asset
Cash savings: $1,483.59
RRSP: $10,58.55
TFSA: $97.73
House: $260,000.00

Liabilities
Credit cards: $775.00
Mortgage: $238,680.90

Net worth: $32,184.84
Change: -$3,070.17 (-9.51%)

 

Posted by on August 6, 2014 in Finances

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Net worth update: July 2014

It looks like I am back up on the plus side this month. You’ll noticed that I have a lot of money sitting in the cash savings category. That is due to the fact that I recently purchased a house and I am in the middle of preparation to get a bank draft made up. I have managed to save up for a 10% down payment.

By the next update, I will have a couple more categories to add to the list, house and mortgage.

Also, I have decided to put myself onto a budget and track my spending a lot closer now. I will have a better idea as to where my money is going.

Asset
Cash savings: $24,714.58
RRSP: $9,912.36
TFSA: $833.35

Liabilities
Credit cards: $196.34

Net worth: $35,265.95
Change: $1,409.68 (3.99%)

 

Posted by on July 2, 2014 in Finances

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Net worth update: June 2014

It may looks like I am down a bit this time but that is partly due to me buying a house. Part of the first offering was to include a deposit of $2,500. I am in the process of getting things together to complete the purchase of my first house. In about a month and a half I will be moving into my new home. I am excited by the idea that I will be a home owner but I am also excited to see how much I can save in the future. According to my calculations, I should be able to save even more once I moved in. That is due to the fact that I may not be driving as much since the new place will be a lot closer to work. Also, the amount that I will be paying for auto and home insurance will be less as well.

You can see that a good chuck of the funds has been moved out of my RRSP and into my cash account. I have opted to use the Home Buyer’s Plan (HBP) to buy a house so I withdrew about $25,000 from my RRSP to help make a 10% down payment. I have been savings for the past couple of months to cover the remaining balance and the closing cost. By the time the closing date arrives, I should have enough to cover everything.

I am hoping that by the time I move in, my net worth will start to go back up again.

Asset
Cash savings: $21,342.68
RRSP: $11,841.34
TFSA: $1,133.27

Liabilities
Credit cards: $798.25

Net worth: $33,519.04
Change: -$1,767.36 (-5.21%)

 

Posted by on June 2, 2014 in Finances

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