Category Archives: General Finance

Dividend Investing Makes Retirement Threshold Obvious

Dividend investors know exactly when they can retire.
Dividend investors know exactly when they can retire.

I’m sure it’s just coincidence, but I’ve come across a lot of “When do you know you’re ready to retire?” articles the last little while. — EDIT: Just this morning, Robb at Boomer and Echo has written a post on this very topic. — After reading a few of these, it struck me that I had never really considered the question of when I would reach my (financial) retirement threshold. It’s not just because retirement is so far away, or because I haven’t taken the time to make a specific goal. The reason is because, as a dividend investor, the answer is so obvious that almost no thought is needed.

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Canadian Tax Rates for Investment Income

What you need to know about Canadian tax rates for investment income
What you need to know about Canadian tax rates for investment income

As anybody North of the 49th will tell you, there are certain aspects of being Canadian that we all revel in.

Paying tax is not one of them.

With tax season just passed, it seems like a good time to take a look at the various ways the government pries your investment return dollars out of your wallet.

When I was first getting into investing, I invested a lot of money into a Mortgage Investment Corporation. It provided quite good monthly returns, and I can still remember being pretty pleased with myself that the investment was throwing off almost $500 a month. Tax time brought a cold shower, a slap in the face, and a wakeup call all rolled into one. Unlike taxes paid on working income, investment taxes are all paid once annually, at tax time. At this point, I don’t remember exactly what the tax hit was, but for a person of my modest income, it was substantial. Coincidentally, it was about that time that I became aware of a fact that has had a major impact on my investing practices since then.

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Environmental Benefits of Being a Cheapskate

environment for cheapskates
Trees are green. Money is green. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.

I guess I’m what you could call an armchair environmentalist.

Standing on the side of the road on Unter den Linden (the main drag in East Berlin) in 1990, being choked by the fumes emanating from the hundreds of two-stroke Trabants and Wartburgs passing by, I became convinced at an early age that once fouled, the air we breathe becomes much less enjoyable. I’m no environmental crusader, but certain things are just common sense. I try not to throw things out before they’re used up or broken beyond repair. I try not to take more than I need. I recycle.

That having been said, I still drive on the weekends, and when I go camping, I light a fire, even if I don’t need to; I’m certainly no tree-hugging granola-muncher.

Yes, you’re in the right place; this is a personal finance blog.

I can’t claim the halo of being a hard-core environmentalist, but it struck me the other while on a walk that lots of frugal habits, as well as being financially sound, have the additional benefit of being good for the environment.

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