Dr. Garth

The clinic is now open. Please stop vaping and form a neat line out through the parking lot. Remember to step over the dog as you enter. No exposed hands. He’s having a bad day.

Okay, Cheryl, you’re first.

Hello Garth, I have been following your blog for years, found it highly helpful!  My daughter is on a gap year before she goes to university, and has just secured a really good paying job as a swim instructor.  She has already opened a TFSA account last year at BMO, just 600 dollars in it right now.  I am not sure whether she should get started with the banks and have an ETF account or to go through a financial advisor and open one there.  I took a small investment course here through the school board and really liked the financial.  I did learn that advisors can set up much more diverse investments than the banks.  What would you recommend for her to get started?  Thanks so much for your advice, I really want her to get a good start and obtain financial freedom a lot sooner than I have.

Hopefully that course taught you TFSAs aren’t savings accounts, but investment vehicles. Of course she should have growth-oriented assets in there, and it would be a great idea to punt the bank as well. All the ‘advisor’ there will do is stick her money into a bank mutual fund with a 2.5% MER. So tell the kid to open an account with a robo and plop the funds into an equity-based ETF. Use that swim money to make regular contributions, and don’t take the funds out next year to blow at uni. By the way, why does anyone need a gap year to recover from high school?

Next up, James and Linda. “We can take the medicine, administer accordingly,” they say. “Not all of us millennials are soft.” We’ll see.

I have been following your blog since I began college on the recommendation of my father when I asked him about investment resources, and he now invests with you. My fiancé and I are both 24 (Mills). So far, I’m a career student (I make ~20k/yr). I’ve done two years of college, an undergrad at the same time as part-time trade school, and am currently in a PoliSci Master’s program (six years total). I’ve just applied to both law schools and MBA programs (2-3 more years minimum). My fiancé (we’re getting married this year), however, graduated as a nurse and secured a great job (~84k/year). We both have no school debt, CC debt, nor LOC debt, though I face the prospect of that looming in the next few years.

My fiancé bought a house in June 2018 (Southern Ontario, 315k, 30k down, 10k in renos, fixed rate ~3%, passed the stress test and didn’t need T2’s contributions! I’m kept.), about a year after she graduated. She is carrying the house, I benefit from the shelter but hardly contribute.

Right now, the university is paying me to complete my degree, but that could all be changing soon). Almost all of my savings get thrown into the wedding fund. Anything else is being saved in anticipation of more school. My fiancé carries her expenses (house, car) but dumps a few hundred bucks a month into a TFSA with an extremely modest amount (just over 10k). I have tried telling her that self-directed investments could help her establish an investment portfolio, but my basic knowledge and “practice account” don’t convince her, she wants expertise.

Ultimately, is there any advice you can give two young people starting their journey but really benefitting from only one income during my “career development” (if you can call school that) phase while she manages the burden of expenses which minimizes her ability to save/invest. Is there a way to maximize savings and invest for retirement in our situation? We just set up our joint banking, we acknowledge your points about what is shared within a marriage.

As a kept man you should get married soon and stop leaching the girl. And don’t blow a huge wad on the wedding. Trust me – it will be an utterly inconsequential event five years from now. Given the fact she makes four times more and you’re an incorrigible, eternal student, once married all the investing activity should be through your hands. Let her pay the expenses (and hopefully you feel guilty about it) while you invest. Set up a joint non-registered account once the TFSAs are maxed, and also a spousal RRSP in your name (with a DB pension she needs it less). Did I mention you should marry her?

Now here’s Calvin, in Vancouver, where they apparently hollow out your brain and fill it with realtor DNA.

In mid-2015 we bought an apartment …  25% down on a $600k property in Vancouver & invested an additional $150k with an advisor & continued to save. Now late 30’s, Double Income No Kids with good jobs –  our property is valued around $900K, our savings & investments (RSP, TFSA, Non-Reg) have grown to ~$800k and ~ $400K left on the mortgage.

Our Mortgage Renewal is coming up & we aren’t sure what to do. The way I see it – we have too many options.

1) Do Nothing & Renew (fixed or variable?) – Continue to save & invest? – Low Risk.
2) Convert to Interest Only Mortgage, Keep & Rent out our Apartment, move extra payments towards the purchase a House with Rental Suite? – High Risk
3) Stay put, pull the equity out of our apartment & use towards purchase of an income property?  – Med-Risk?
4) Sell our Apartment & Purchase a house with a rental suite? – Med-Risk?
5) Keep apartment, rent it out & move to the 416? – Low-Risk
6) Pay off Mortgage completely & stay put? – Low-Risk

Again – it boils down to managing risk vs reward & what to do next?  We would love to hear your thoughts on where you think the market it going & what you would do in our situation –  feel free to post anonymously on your blog.

Congrats on catching the pre-NDP real estate wave, but don’t expect to have the same results going forward. It’s interesting that 4 of your 6 options involve being a landlord. Do you not have enough problems in your life? Option 2 would guarantee a loss on your equity and make any future appreciation taxable. Bad idea. Option 3 would load you up with more debt, suck off some savings, give you needy, entitled tenants and saddle you with big insurance and maintenance costs, plus (likely) negative cash flow. Bad idea. Option 4 would clean out both the apartment equity and the portfolio, unless you mortgaged. And still have someone thumping in the basement? Bad idea. Option 5. Sorry we’re full. Option 6 is senseless since you’d take investments making double-digit returns to pay off a sub-3% mortgage. Why? Bad idea. So, there you have it. Option 1 wins. But you knew that.

And the last patient of the day is Nathan. Finally a normal person…

Not just saying this because of the MSU obligation, but I do love your blog posts – please keep doing what you do. You’ve helped me immensely. I don’t think the wife likes what you’re saying…. But we’ll turn her around eventually.

I do have a question for you. My wife, 2 kids, and I are planning to relocate from the big smoke to Halifax (low costs!) and are planning to buy a house there. Given the low interest rates and favourable prices, why not? We are not planning to overextend and are able to put 20% down without doing any serious damage to our finances. My question is should we put down the 20%? Given the low interest rate environment, wondering if we might be better off leaving our sheckles at play in the market. I get that we’d have to pay mortgage default insurance. Too aggressive?

Nope. Smart. You get it. Halifax is a great place to live – affordable, progressive, historic, great big sea, better climate than the GTA. What costs $1.5 million in the GTA goes for a third that price in HRM. And no 401. Or Doug Ford. Teachers’ strikes. Or Drake. All good.

As for the downpayment, save your cash and invest it. Mortgages are cheap and flexible. The CMHC premium can be folded into the loan. Local housing appreciation is relatively glacial, which means your net worth will likely grow faster if the bulk of it’s in a portfolio, instead of a house. You can always make a lump sum payment when the mortgage renews, so why not grow the money more rapidly over the next five years in liquid assets?

She will eventually love you. Use lobster.

 

52 comments ↓

#1 Renter's Revenge! on 01.17.20 at 3:47 pm

#177 Eric on 01.17.20 at 12:17 pm
I was unpleasantly surprised to discover my partner has her daughters’ RESP funds invested with Industrial Alliance and the MER on their two funds is about 3.6%. And now she just got her final 2019 statement and over the last 13 years her personal rate of return was 4.52%. Does that sound reasonable?

===================================

That is a reasonable rate of return, if you combine the MER with the personal rate of return (7.82%). It’s too bad they’re taking almost half of it in management fees though.

#2 Rainman on 01.17.20 at 3:49 pm

“By the way, why does anyone need a gap year to recover from high school?”
Fair enough comment I suppose? My take on that though is go and discover the world and figure out what you really want to do. Be young and free.. lots of time to grow up. I always thought you pushed this thinking Garth??

#3 Kelowna on 01.17.20 at 3:52 pm

Love your blog Garth and your advice has been incredibly helpful!
I do have to weigh in though – having lived in Halifax for 4 years, the summer is nice but short, the fall and spring are very wet and there is a ton of snow in the winter – just sayin’.

Has snowed twice this year. About the same as Vancouver. Way less than Toronto. – Garth

#4 Condo Developer on 01.17.20 at 4:01 pm

As a developer who has donated a million dollars to Rob Ford in exchange of the white substance called legal documents and under-the-table favours, I am suffering from SKYCOSIS.

I believe that we should build more condos in Toronto because of mass immigration, while I proudly fund Ontario Proud and other anti-migrant groups to spread hate towards immigrants.

I believe that we should restrict supply of condos, but to address a glut of condos, we should hire Maxime Bernier to welcome immigrants to Canada.

I also suffer from hypocrisy and delusions of Trudeau. But hey, I’m a billionaire developer and I eat with Doug Ford.

#5 Andrewski on 01.17.20 at 4:01 pm

Here’s some interesting info on Canadian ETFs:

https://www.aequitasneo.com/api/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/canadian_etf_update_DEC31.pdf

#6 Renter's Revenge! on 01.17.20 at 4:48 pm

#1 Renter’s Revenge! on 01.17.20 at 3:47 pm
#177 Eric on 01.17.20 at 12:17 pm
I was unpleasantly surprised to discover my partner has her daughters’ RESP funds invested with Industrial Alliance and the MER on their two funds is about 3.6%. And now she just got her final 2019 statement and over the last 13 years her personal rate of return was 4.52%. Does that sound reasonable?

===================================

That is a reasonable rate of return, if you combine the MER with the personal rate of return (7.82%). It’s too bad they’re taking almost half of it in management fees though.

=================================

Jesus, where did I learn math? LOL I meant 8.12%.

#7 Freedom First on 01.17.20 at 4:49 pm

Oops I didn’t read yesterdays post until today……..Yes, we need to find a pollution-free way to reduce the population by 7 billion people ASAP.

Freedom First

#8 Captain Uppa on 01.17.20 at 5:07 pm

Has snowed twice this year. About the same as Vancouver. Way less than Toronto. – Garth

———————————

I have three co-workers from Halifax, all say the same; short summers and usually frequent snowstorms in winter. This year must be a good one.

I do love the city when I visited a few years ago and I could see myself living there.

Let’s discuss Edmonton. – Garth

#9 TM on 01.17.20 at 5:20 pm

Regarding the first “client” Cheryl who is advising her daughter to invest in TFSA while on her gap year before uni. On Dec 14th your guest blogger Doug Rowat mentioned something similar advising young people (18 and up) to invest in TFSA, etc. I wrote in:
“Young people need to take care, when investing, if they are planning on going to post-secondary and applying for OSAP. Savings, Investments and TFSA’s need to be disclosed-which can in turn seriously affect the amount of OSAP funding.”
From personal experience CRA and OSAP are constantly auditing and confirming information, so it would not bode well not to disclose. RRSPs are not classified as investments that need to be disclosed. I know this may be a mute point for the “porsche” crowd, but many parents do not belong to this segment and are just wanting to do/advise the very best for their kids. Referring to the OSAP website and/or calling might reduce any painful surprises in the future. And yes-even though Doug Ford’s government has made changes to OSAP, there is still lots of money on the table (grants/loans) for those in need. That has been my experience with two kids-one just finishing 6 yrs uni and one in year 2 uni.

#10 the Jaguar on 01.17.20 at 5:26 pm

“Has snowed twice this year. About the same as Vancouver. Way less than Toronto. – Garth”

I think poor old Toronto is under a storm warning tonight, though it won’t be anything like the one the ‘Rock’ is experiencing. Canadians love to understate the weather where they live. Last year around this time ( I think January 29th) I was flying to the caribbean via Toronto when a big storm hit. Toronto Airport went down on its knees of course. ( Worst airport in the country). After sitting on the plane for more than an hour without being detached from the gangway the flight crew announced the pilot (WestJet) was helping to throw bags on board below wing. “Mercy”!, I thought. Must be a descendant of Captain Ross! I admired his moxie, but prayed he didn’t throw his back out.

#11 the Jaguar on 01.17.20 at 5:27 pm

Forgot to add, Calgary is pulling out of its cold snap of one week and it will be above zero with full sun all next week.

#12 AGuyInVancouver on 01.17.20 at 5:31 pm

Calvin, you’re mistake anout this one:
5) Keep apartment, rent it out & move to the 416? – Low-Risk
_ _ _
Leave Vancouver for the GTA, with its awful winters and unpleasantly hot and humid summers? Hardly low risk.

#13 south slope gardener on 01.17.20 at 5:46 pm

Looking for another point of view. We sold our LMD house in the spring of 2016, and have rented since then. As Garth has noted, it has been a good time to be invested in the stock market. 
We are getting tired of renting restrictions/having to move frequently so we are looking to re-enter the RE market in a different, less expensive area now that we are both retired. As a preliminary step, we are moving to the area we would like to live in and renting a small town house.
We plan to follow Garth’s rule of 90. In the area we would prefer to live, a town home (end unit or stand-alone unit) would allow us to walk for all our shopping, and a SFH would not unless we break the rule of 90. I do know that SFD are a better long term investment than town homes.

Yes i know we could rent, but that puts up back at the mercy of having to move, etc. Rentals in the area we are looking at are $3000-$4000 a month for a house, less for a (much smaller) town home. No rentals allowed in the town home complexes we like.
Any suggestions?

#14 Yanniel on 01.17.20 at 5:54 pm

My two cents for your daughter Cheryl:

– First she does not need to pay a robo advisor fee, let alone a human advisor for the money she has or is going to put in the intermediate term. There will be time for those things later (or maybe never, she might enjoy doing this herself)
– She can open a TFSA and trade for free. Some online brokers let you buy ETFs for free, other allow you to sell and buy for free (with limitations usually). Won’t name them here, but just google “best online brokers Canada”.
– There are highly diversified ETFs that work as a balanced portfolio. She needs to buy ONE: just one and she will have access to an assemble of equities and bonds universally. She can pick her equity/bonds ratio: 20/80, 40/60, 60/40, 80/20, 100/100. The MER would be 0.22% and won’t have to care for re balancing. The ETF does it for you. If you like passive investing, this is a godsend. Google “All-in-One ETF ” and stick your ratio next to it (60/40 etc).
– Set a DRIP program so that the dividends get reinvested automatically thus creating less work for you.

After all this, if she enjoys it, more interesting things can be leaned and done.

Robo fee on $600 is three bucks. And why would a teenaged swim instructor want to do active trades? Are you always this irritating? – Garth

#15 Dave on 01.17.20 at 6:00 pm

DELETED

#16 dosouth on 01.17.20 at 6:17 pm

…and now for you can’t fix stupid and you cannot run and hide from a contract.

$55k four years later for failing to disclose oil tank on property

#17 Sail Away on 01.17.20 at 6:17 pm

#9 TM on 01.17.20 at 5:20 pm

I know this may be a mute point for the “porsche” crowd…

————————–

Is a mute point a very quiet point?

#18 Long-Time Lurker on 01.17.20 at 6:30 pm

Venice canals almost dry, two months after severe floods
13 January 2020

Low tides have left canals in Venice almost dry, just two months after severe flooding left much of the Italian city under water.

Boats have been seen almost beached as water levels dip drastically.

The canals look more like mud trenches and getting around has become a problem for many in the city.

In November, Venice experienced its highest water levels in more than 50 years in what some said was a direct result of climate change.

Climate change behind highest tide in 50 years, says mayor

More than two thirds of the city was underwater then, with the mayor estimating damage at over a billion euros ($1.1bn; £850m).

Landmarks like St Mark’s Square were flooded, while shops and businesses had to close.

The latest low tide – while exceptional – is not quite as unprecedented. The tides here mean water levels can vary by around half a metre, or sometimes even more.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51098129

#19 Yanniel on 01.17.20 at 6:34 pm

I gave her my two cents. It was not my intention to irritate you. My comment was not directed at you.

I think it is better to teach people how to fish rather that serve them a cooked fillet.

Also, how complex is an active trade? Teens are wizards with a phone or a computer in their hands.

At the end I wanted to give her choices and let her decide.

If my take on this was not good, please argument why for the benefit of all.

#20 Long-Time Lurker on 01.17.20 at 6:46 pm

>Repo rescue update below. I found out what happens if The Fed pulls the plug on the operation without fixing the underlying problem(s?). You have to go through the history books: 20th century.

BUSINESS NEWS
JANUARY 14, 2020 / 10:49 AM
Fed will continue repo offerings into February, reducing term operations
Jonnelle Marte

(Reuters) – The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said on Tuesday it will continue to inject liquidity into the overnight lending markets for cash until at least mid-February while slightly reducing offerings on longer term loans.The U.S. central bank will modestly pare down the overall scale of the operations after boosting liquidity offerings at year-end, when financial firms and analysts feared a possible shortage of cash. But the new schedule shows it will stay involved in daily markets for at least another month as it works to permanently increase reserves and keep short rates stable…

…Minutes from the Fed’s December policy meeting showed staffers expected they might gradually reduce repo operations after mid-January as it grew the level of reserves. Officials also said the Fed may need to offer some repo support through at least April, when tax payments could lower reserve levels.

Some strategists wonder if the recent rise in demand for the Fed’s repo offerings signals a need for liquidity or if firms are simply taking advantage of low-cost financing from the Fed.

“They’re offering cheaper liquidity than the market so why would dealers not go to the Fed for that funding?” said Blake Gwinn, head of front-end rates strategies for NatWest Markets.

One way to wean firms away from the Fed’s offerings could be to raise the rate charged slightly, Gwinn said. That could give dealers the incentive to turn to the private market for funding, he said, adding that they could return to the Fed if there was a shortage.

“The Fed should really start communicating and letting people know this is not a permanent state of affairs,” Gwinn said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-repo/financial-firms-show-greater-demand-for-feds-repo-offerings-idUSKBN1ZD2FK?il=0

#21 Stone on 01.17.20 at 6:53 pm

#144 Diablo Gramatico on 01.17.20 at 2:45 am
#104 Stone on 01.16.20 at 9:03 pm

“As a side note my tuition….. cost less than the $35k your planning to spend on one year…. ”

Dude, you should have spend the extra $5k or so to learn that it is “you’re planning”, and not “your planning”.
The devil is in the details my esteemed friend and learned legal eagle.

———

Comprehension is more important than grammar in this case. Go back and re-read what you so intelligently pointed out and ask yourself if I wrote that.

Are you feeling pretty stupid now? Yes. Yes, you are. Next time, use your brain. It’s there for a reason.

You’re right. The devil is in the details, isn’t it? Too bad you don’t see it.

#22 Nonplused on 01.17.20 at 7:14 pm

James must be one charming guy. But it is the ’20’s I guess.

It would be in James’ interest to marry Linda, but I am not so sure the reverse is true given that James does not seem to have a plan towards self-sufficiency in the near to medium term. Divorce can be very expensive when there is a large difference in incomes, and despite all the bovating coming from the MGTOW crowd the divorce laws actually do go both ways. She could end up giving him half the house and paying alimony, or worse paying child support. Now, yes, I acknowledge that the divorce rate is only 50%, so this isn’t a risk as likely as death and taxes, but from a purely mathematical point of view when there is a large discrepancy between what the married partners earn, the higher earning spouse should put in a 50% chance his/her future net worth will be half what he/she was calculating, which means the odds adjusted net worth should always be viewed as 25% less than it looks. The closer the partners come to income parity the less of a factor this is. And of course if the he or she that isn’t earning money is “hot”, well that’s just the price you pay. Ask Donald Trump about that. You’d think after 4 times he’d have learned. At least Tiger Woods had a pre-nup (I am sure Trump did too) but it still cost Woods $80 million plus child support, which ran to similar numbers. $80 million! Nope, stay single.

Remember folks, a marriage is a financial contract. The law sees at as no other thing. The judge does not even care if someone was cheating and has moved in with their mistress. Claims of “abuse” don’t even matter except if someone has to go to jail. Divorce is “no fault”, so all the claims of terrible behavior are viewed as for the benefit of friends and family. All that matters is the money. Divorce is merely a relief from contract.

Fortunes vary and are unpredictable, so it’s hard to predict what might be the case 10 or 20 years out. But if you are starting out on an uneven footing you should probably buy a Harley instead of paying for a wedding.

—————-

“By the way, why does anyone need a gap year to recover from high school?”

My experience would be that most people who take a year off don’t go back. But on the other hand, it is a crock we’ve been sold that going to university is for everyone. My father calls it “a 4 year party”. Well, he’s mostly right except it’s a party that grants degrees, which are sometimes helpful. But we can’t all do STEM or be doctors, dentists and lawyers.

I loved Mike Rowe’s “Dirty Jobs”, one of the best shows ever to hit the hotel television closed circuit TV networks. It really emphasized how noble and profitable many non-college jobs can be. For example, there is no garbage collection where I live, so I pay a guy to come around once a week and pick it up. It costs less per week than the minimum dump fee at the dump is and saves me time. But he makes enough to live on an acreage. So far as I know it is just him and a Ford F-450 with a dumper on the back. My dog likes it when he comes because he brings him a big cookie.

#23 DON on 01.17.20 at 7:17 pm

#2 Rainman on 01.17.20 at 3:49 pm

“By the way, why does anyone need a gap year to recover from high school?”
Fair enough comment I suppose? My take on that though is go and discover the world and figure out what you really want to do. Be young and free.. lots of time to grow up. I always thought you pushed this thinking Garth??
***************

That ‘gap’ works well especially if they are undecided on their future path.

But get a job in the gap year and pay your own way, no sitting on your ass. It is amazing what motivation will result from having an entry level job in whatever industry that may be in.

#24 Tyler Durden on 01.17.20 at 7:21 pm

Bank funds with MERs of 2.5% have stopped being a thing for years, if not decades now.

Each bank has globally balanced diversified portfolios for half that, even as low as 1%. I dont want to add links so as not to be advertising competing products on here, but that story is exaggerated these days. (oh and most banks now have roboadvisors too for ~0.5% also).
I get the main point you’re making that banks are usually more expensive, but the details are important.

#25 DON on 01.17.20 at 8:01 pm

#11 the Jaguar on 01.17.20 at 5:27 pm

Forgot to add, Calgary is pulling out of its cold snap of one week and it will be above zero with full sun all next week.
***********

And the BC Lower Mainland and anywhere near the ocean will be back to cloud, heavy rain, wind – be lucky if we see the sun, like we have today and yesterday. But the clouds are rolling in over the ocean.

I have had my experience, driving in Vancouver in the snow and it is a sight to experience. In their defense lots of hills, bridges, etc but take transit or go slow but steady.

Thankfully, more and more firms are allowing employees to work from home, no need to go out.

#26 Lost...but not leased on 01.17.20 at 8:04 pm

FIY
……At tbis juncture….

MF and l(duhhhh)eftie cabal …..this juncture …..have not tried to beatch slapped the in inverde of he obious
\\

#27 DON on 01.17.20 at 8:29 pm

#18 Long-Time Lurker on 01.17.20 at 6:30 pm

Venice canals almost dry, two months after severe floods
13 January 2020

************

And and some parts of Australia are getting much needed heavy rains that are now causing severe flooding. But at least the smoke will clear and hopefully put out all the fires. Breathing in that smoke is nasty, we have had our share in BC over the last couple of summers. Hard to escape that smoke.

#28 AB on 01.17.20 at 8:35 pm

#12 A guy in Vancouver
Fine, we get that you like where you are. Canada is a beautiful country with nowhere having a monopoly on liveability. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Please get over your BC attitude.

#29 SmarterSquirrel on 01.17.20 at 10:07 pm

I hear the same thing from Torontonians all the time. “Halifax must be really cold in the winter! You must get a lot of snow!”

I was born and raised in Nova Scotia. Lived there 26 years and go back often. I’ve lived in Toronto for 16 years. When it’s stifling hot and muggy in the summer in Toronto requiring AC in the house, I long for the warm breezy summers of Halifax. When it’s -25C in the dead of winter in Toronto and I’m walking on sheets of ice around fallen branches or shovelling feet of snow, i long for the -2C days of Halifax with snow that quickly gets washed away by rain a few days later.

Being a peninsula in the Atlantic Ocean helps to moderate Nova Scotia’s weather, less hot summers, less cold winters.

And yes, you could get a small 3 bedroom, 2 bath condo in Toronto for over $1M, or a gorgeous detached house in Halifax with enough money left over to buy two or three brand new Teslas. Cross the bridge to Dartmouth and you’re buying a nice house for about $400k or less, which nowadays you’re lucky if that same amount gets you a tiny 1 bedroom condo in Toronto.

If you’ve never lived in NS before, you owe it to yourself to give it a go. Great place. I’ve already lived more than a quarter century there, and variety is the spice of life so I’ll stay in Toronto a while longer.

But perhaps one day I’ll return.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MkLgGSG7PF8

#30 Westcdn on 01.17.20 at 10:47 pm

Just in case someone is interested…

I am way back perusing Jan 14th comments. I had the joy of making mortgage payments for 42 years and probably another 15 years more. Cheap interest rates and topnotch credit rating have been a boon. I recommend people to go out a get approved for a Helco for the maximum possible when you are working and have home equity greater than 65% of fair market value.

I decided to keep the house after my divorce but I needed a small mortgage to do so. I decided to go with a RBC Homeline Plan which is combination of my mortgage balance and Helco to a total offered by the bank. I took a limited less than offered as the Helco is a demand loan after all. I did not want someone to tell me when to sell to pay bills. If things go hell, hopefully my credit rating will make me one the last to be asked to pay up.

I use my Helco for investing only and emergency cash. I split my Helco into separate business and personal accounts to eliminate comingling expenses. It makes life simplier when s#&t happens. The Helco makes me sleep easier. If the principal residence capital gain is revoked, I will maximize the loan under my Helco. I also kept a file of major repairs, renovations and appliance purchase receipts since my name went on title to my little castle. King Nitwit said – “there is no nit too small to pick”. He would be proud of me…

M65ab

#31 Rargary on 01.17.20 at 10:48 pm

#28 AB… I live in Calgary and own a home in Kelowna. Both beautiful places. For retirement, I would love to move to NFLD. The scenery, clean air, clean beaches, affordable house overlooking the ocean and icebergs… and people there are top notch (yes Vancouver, I agree with AB, attitude for nothing)

#32 MCGA on 01.17.20 at 10:51 pm

No Trump = boring!

#33 Al on 01.17.20 at 10:55 pm

everyone chirping about who has the least bad weather .. The whole country has poor weather in winter lol… Unless you’re a polar bear or moss.

#34 Go-West on 01.17.20 at 10:57 pm

“Halifax is a great place to live – affordable, progressive, historic, great big sea, better climate than the GTA.”

You don’t go the Halifax for the weather. Wikipedia says it gets 55 inches of precipitation every year. This is 8 inches more than rainy Vancouver and 20 inches more than Victoria! I’ll pay more to live where I don’t get rained on every day.

One more thing. People in Halifax put snow tires on their cars in winter. That should tell you something.

#35 Westcdn on 01.17.20 at 11:08 pm

I just proofread my last post. King Nitwit has disavowed me (snivel).

#36 Nonplused on 01.17.20 at 11:33 pm

#23 DON

Why can’t you be undecided and in school? What about university or college is it that means you can no longer think about your future? In fact taking a few classes might help with that. That said, as I previously commented college isn’t for everyone. It’s way over-hyped. And expensive. And involves a lot of delusional thinking about what degrees actually lead to money. Some people belong just fine at the swimming pool. Or ski instructors. Or painters. Maybe a piano teacher. A whole host of things.

I’m 52 and I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. So that sort of thinking is just excuse making. You do what presents itself, and you see where it goes. It’s never to late to change course and planning ahead is mostly an exercise in speculation.

#37 Bart Simpleton on 01.18.20 at 3:49 am

Wuhan Flu is under reported by 45!!!!! times!!! Deaths are being reported. The floodgates are open and our ‘betters’ are attempting to contain a panic. Canada , as with SARS , has decided to do nothing. There are no checks of passengers temperatures at Vancouver or Toronto. In Asia the risk levels have been raised to 100% with checks at every regional and international airport. Be advised.

#38 Oh Canada U weep. on 01.18.20 at 6:50 am

BANNED

#39 Dharma Bum on 01.18.20 at 7:19 am

Felix must be thrilled with today’s feature photo.

That is one fugly puss.

#40 Captain Uppa on 01.18.20 at 8:14 am

Newfoundland got hammered! I love that province so much, great place.

Here in the GTA people are “bracing” for 15cm. Pansies.

#41 maxx on 01.18.20 at 8:29 am

From 16 Jan:

“…..the Trudeauites added $56 billion to the national debt between 2015 and 2018, and this is set to explode higher. Another $26 billion year. Another $28 billion next year. In fact, there is no timetable whatsoever for the borrowing to stop. Despite coming tax increases, Ottawa will be spending far more than it takes in.”

Yep, assumed structural stupidity, or, A$$. MMT is partly based upon the presumed light coming through the crack in the door of global expansion. More people entering the “middle class”, ergo more money to spin, larger money pie, and presto! debt appears less impactful through the lens of the future, somewhere down the road. Suddenly, debt is a nothing burger.

What a load. Some nations embrace this bold-face BS because they can’t make ends meet or have fools at the helm. Debt makes anyone and anything weaker. We’re poorer than we think as a nation. MMT is bunk.

Headwinds of any sort will only cause Franken-MMT results.

#42 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.18.20 at 9:07 am

@#38
BANNED
+++++

The “Banned” crowd seem to be particularly stubborn the past few days….Or too stupid to realize what the word entails…..

The same poster. Over and again, trying to sneak his mayhem into our peaceful site. – Garth

#43 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.18.20 at 9:10 am

@#41 maxx
“Some nations embrace this bold-face BS because they can’t make ends meet or have fools at the helm. Debt makes anyone and anything weaker…”
++++

Yep.
All this deficit spending during goood economic times will eventually come back to bite as higher taxes, cutbacks, etc when the next, inevitable, recession hits.

#44 DPro on 01.18.20 at 9:46 am

Great post Garth. Although he’s entertaining, it’s nice to have a no-Trump post and get back to financial questions and solutions of us little people.

#45 Gruff403 on 01.18.20 at 9:49 am

@#41 maxx
“Some nations embrace this bold-face BS because they can’t make ends meet or have fools at the helm. Debt makes anyone and anything weaker…”

195 Nations on this beautiful planet-less than 10 have no debt. USA carries most, Canada is #10. Even Norway with it’s Trillion dollar fund has debt. Crazy.

#46 Felix on 01.18.20 at 10:03 am

That picture is nothing less than another disgusting display of anti-feline RACISM!!

#47 Leo Trollstoy on 01.18.20 at 10:08 am

#40 Captain Uppa on 01.18.20 at 8:14 am
Newfoundland got hammered! I love that province so much, great place.

Here in the GTA people are “bracing” for 15cm. Pansies.

We’re not bracing for anything. It doesn’t snow in Toronto and if it does, it’s cleaned up in 12h

Not like poverty stricken Newfoundland

NL has a balanced budget. ON is pooched. – Garth

#48 IHCTD9 on 01.18.20 at 10:10 am

#43 crowdedelevatorfartz on 01.18.20 at 9:10 am
@#41 maxx
“Some nations embrace this bold-face BS because they can’t make ends meet or have fools at the helm. Debt makes anyone and anything weaker…”
++++

Yep.
All this deficit spending during goood economic times will eventually come back to bite as higher taxes, cutbacks, etc when the next, inevitable, recession hits.

—-

Hope I am able to hang the gloves before then. I don’t see Canadians smartening up at all, it’s just not going to happen. Not until they get a personal financial @ss kicking will they start thinking twice about all this debt.

#49 IHCTD9 on 01.18.20 at 11:03 am

#22 Nonplused on 01.17.20 at 7:14 pm

I loved Mike Rowe’s “Dirty Jobs”, one of the best shows ever to hit the hotel television closed circuit TV networks. It really emphasized how noble and profitable many non-college jobs can be.
————

My experience with visiting customers in the GTA is that MOST degrees do not seem pay the big bucks. ALL the guys I meet with have MBA’s – usually two (one from their home land, and the necessary re-do of their education again here in Canada). These dudes are making 50-60k TOPS per year in Toronto, commuting hours to where they can afford to live, some even going to school part time simultaneously. These guys never last more than a year or two and they’re off to another job. They have worse financial prospects than a garbage collector living out in the sticks.

There was a time early in my career where the guys in the office always made more than the guys on the floor. This has flipped 180 since, and now engineering and MBA dudes are a dime a dozen, while a good conventional machinist is rare as hens teeth.

This trend will continue as long as Canadians and new Immigrants do not want to get their hands dirty. The tradespeoplekind are getting older and fewer, keeping the few young ones around requires regular pay increases. We get by via offering apprenticeships to promising young general labourers we hire on. These dudes get a free education, make 60-70k right off the bat, and can buy a sweet brand new house for 500k.

I don’t think a degree has ever been worth less in Canada than it is now – everyone and their dog has one.

#50 Rural Rick on 01.18.20 at 8:43 pm

I know a very successful businessman who told his dad he did not want to go to university after high school. His dad got him a job as a shovel man with his uncles construction crew. Come September he was off to university as a highly motivated student.

#51 Jimbo on 01.18.20 at 9:03 pm

For the one planning on moving to Halifax, factor in the extra provincial tax in your earnings. Rent is also cheap in the city when you try to figure out where you want to live once there

#52 Jimbo on 01.18.20 at 9:13 pm

The number of people that are ignorant about Halifax weather is hilarious.
You do get more precipitation in Halifax but it happens more intensely so it comes quick and leaves quick……. I see more winter tires on cars in the Courtenay area of BC than I did on Halifax.
Way more cloud cover and dark days on Vancouver Island than Halifax as well. It might be 4-5 degrees warmer on average on Vancouver Island in the winter but that is only because it will dip below -5 in Halifax for a couple of days here and there throughout the winter but those temperatures don’t stick around long