Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Preparing for the TFSA, Part 2

A few weeks ago, I wrote how I was preparing for the arrival of the TFSA by unwinding the GIC ladder I am using for my emergency fund.

It seems the timing was good for that, since lat week ING Direct announced that they were offering the TFSA early. You could open the account now, and it would be automatically converted into a TFSA on January 1st. As a bonus, they would pay out a bonus equal to their regular interest rate on any money deposited in it, to compensate for taxes.

So I've moved money to take advantage of the offer, and will keep moving more as my GIC ladder unwinds.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Election Day

Today, we Canadians get to vote on our next government. If you are a Canadian, I hope you took the time to listen to what each party is proposing, as well as the counter-arguments from their opponents.

Don't let yourselves be dazzled by short-term promises. Voting is very much like investing -- you have to sort through all kind of chaff to try and understand what each party is really in favour of.

I won't tell you who to vote for, nor will I say who am I voting for.

But I will tell you to vote. It is not only a right, it is a duty and a privilege.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Keep Putting Money Into the Market

Yes, that is what I'm doing right now. I keep putting more money into the market, by slowly buying more shares of good companies using dividend reinvestment and share purchase plans (DRiPs). I also keep adding money to my RRSP accounts, and purchasing share in there too.

Am I crazy?

I don't believe I am. Down markets represent opportunities to invest when the prices are low. You just have to select companies that will endure. Does anyone think that The Bank of Nova Scotis (for example) will go out of business? So why not buy when its shares are cheap?

Remember the rule: buy low, sell high.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Net Worth Update

As of October 1st, my net worth is $73 501 (down 2.8% from $75 601). If I exclude house-related assets and liabilities, my net worth is $49 639 (down 4.4% from $51 908). All of this is because the stock markets tanked in September, as reflected by my registered and non-registered invesments. This may seem like bad news, but it really is not. I am sticking to my investment plan. This is a good time to buy quality companies currently on sale.
I also did the initial downpayment for the replacement of some of our house's windows. This came out of my regular cash flow. The rest will be due upon delivery of the windows, and that will come out of the line of credit.

Assets ($138 843, down 2.7% from $142 741)
  • Bank Accounts $4 945 (down 8% from $5 380)
  • Emergency Funds $2 720 (stable)
  • RRSP Accounts $35 253 (down 6.7% from $37 800)
  • Non-Registered Investments $9 818 (down 6.3% from $10 482)
  • Home $86 100 (stable)

Liabilities ($65 341, down 2.7% from $67 140)

  • Credit Cards $3 097 (down 25% from $4 108)
  • Student Loan $0 (down 100% from $375) -- Paid!
  • Mortgage $55 588 (down 0.2% from $55 706)
  • Heat Pump Loan $6 650 (down 0.7% from $6 701)
  • Line of Credit $0 (stable)

Credit card debt went down with the payment of the car repairs and water heater. I also called to get my student loan fully paid, using bonus points from my credit card. That means that aside from my credit cards, I no longer have any personal loans -- everything is house-related. Woo-hoo! :o)