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TFSA increased to $10,000 a year! Best news ever!

Posted by mapetitechou on Apr 27, 2015 in ETFs

If you live in Canada, you must’ve heard about TFSA change from the federal budget. It has increased to $10,000 a year! I am so excited. If you’ve already contributed $5,500 this year, you have another $4,500 to contribute! That’s huge. What do you plan on doing with the extra contribution room? Last week I had gotten the company bonus which I planned on using it to add to my US equity ETF (VUN) in my non-register account. Now I can add that money to my TFSA account instead. That makes me immensely happy :).

This increase could also potentially solve my re-balancing problem. Basically I follow one of the Canadian Couch Potato‘s model portfolio — 20% Canadian equity, 20% US equity, 20% International equity, and 40% bonds. All my bonds are in RRSP accounts. I maxed out my TFSA contribution room with an international ETF (XEF) which at the moment far exceeds the 20% target. It’s more like 38%. My Canadian ETF (VCN) and US ETF (VUN) are held in non-registered account. So if I wanted to balance the portfolio, I would’ve had to put more money into the non-registered account, which of course would be taxed. But now the TFSA room has expanded, I plan to purchase another US equity ETF in the TFSA account. By the way, if you are looking for an excellent online discount brokerage, I recommend Virtual Brokers. All ETF purchases are commission-free. And they also have a large list of ETFs that are commission-free when you sell them too. That’d cut down your trading cost significantly.

Anyway, hope everyone’s happy about the news and will be taking advantage of this soon! Cheers!

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Wooo I got dividends!

Posted by mapetitechou on Mar 8, 2015 in Investing

Towards the end of last year, I finally made the jump from low-cost index mutual funds to even lower-cost ETFs, a step not without trepidation. But what an exhilarating feeling it was. I had been contemplating the switch for a good part of year 2014. Because I hadn’t traded any stocks before in my life, the idea of opening an account with a discount brokerage and buying ETFs on my own was sort of intimidating. So I prepared myself by watching lots of Youtube videos on how to buy ETFs, reading books on ETFs, and of course my go-to reference Canadian Couch Potato blog.

I felt like such a newb when I purchased my first ETF fund. I forgot that it takes 3 business days for the purchase to settle because I was so used to seeing the funds show up in the account in mutual funds the next day. The day after I made the ETF purchase I went to check the account and I saw the fund was not “settled”. I panicked and thought I must’ve made a mistake somewhere during the transaction. I emailed the support team at my brokerage right away and they said my order was accepted. Then I realized “duh! You have to wait 3 days.” I told my husband about it and we had a good laugh. Since then I’ve purchased a few more ETF funds. I cannot tell you how awesome it feels. I feel like a real pro.

Lo and behold, on one of the mornings back in January when I checked my account, I saw two new transactions labeld “DIV”.  Dividends! They were a tiny amount, but man was I excited. Hurrah my money is generating money! Now if we could add a few 0’s to the end of those numbers, I could retire early :D.  Honestly I will not forget that feeling and I hope that feeling will not diminish over time when those lovely dividends keep coming in.

Any of you own any ETFs and share the same feeling as mine? I’d imagine even if you have been an old pro at this for years, the great feeling does not diminish when you see dividends show up in your account right?

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Never thought I’d root for a market downturn

Posted by mapetitechou on Feb 25, 2015 in Investing

Or even a market crash! Yep years ago if I saw my mutual funds drop in value, that would scare the crap out of me. Now when I want to buy an ETF, I always hope for a drop in its price, the bigger the drop the better. It’s interesting how your mindset shifts the more you learn about investing and the better of a bigger picture you have about your financial plan.

When the market is going up, I lament the fact that I cannot purchase as many shares as I was hoping for. Sure the market value of my other ETFs are up, but that’s unrealized gain. If I’m not going to sell those shares, the unrealized gain does not mean much to me. Similarly, when the market value is down, the unrealized loss does not mean much to me either. I only care about how much the shares are going to cost me when I buy and I want them to be cheap. But, as the experts always say, you cannot time the market, you can never know for sure when is the best time to jump in, so the best time to buy is now. It’s better to get in the market than to have cash idling in your chequeing account. That’s the opportunity costs that pros refer to.

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