October 15, 2021

The CRA will tax money raised through crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has become a legitimate avenue for entrepreneurs and artists to raise money for their unique ideas or projects, but anyone crowdfunding needs to know that the CRA can tax you on the money raised.

If a person received money for their business or project, such as a movie, and they receive the completed product or a promotional item, but not equity or a cut of the profits, then that's considered to be business income. But whether those crowdfunding expenses are deductible or not depends on whether they follow the Income Tax Act.

There continues to be debate in Canada about the pros and cons of crowdfunding, but the latest statistics by research firm Massolution show that $2.7 billion was raised worldwide for more than one million campaigns in 2012.

Meanwhile, both the Ontario and Saskatchewan governments are looking into equity crowdfunding, which would let startups and small businesses attract potential investors through crowdfunding.

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October 07, 2021

Twitter-hungry stock buyers jump the gun

Oops. That's probably what some investors thought when they accidentally purchased stock in TWTRQ, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, an electronics chain that liquidated in 2008.

With investors buzzing about the latest news on the upcoming Twitter IPO, some silly traders helped the defunct company's stock rise to a value of about 1,400 per cent. On Thursday, the stock closed at one cent, but on Friday it rose to as much as 15 cents. The OTC finally head to step in and halted trading on the stock at 12:42 p.m. on Friday. This is after details about Twitter's financial situation was revealed through a prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Unfortunately, investors were over eager and it turns out that the Q behind the stock means that the company is bankrupt, but can continue to be traded, according to CNN.

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October 02, 2021

Some new U.S. $100 bills could be worth a lot

If you pick up the new $100 U.S. bill going into circulation on October 8, you might want to keep it in pristine condition and check the serial number. It could be worth a lot more than you think.

Coin collectors are stoked about the new bills going into circulation since it means that the serial numbers are reset to single digits. 

The number one note could be sold for as much as $10,000 to $20,000 in mint condition, an independent dealer told NBC. Any bills with low-serial numbers, such as 0000002, will bring in the most money.

But don't fret if you can't get your hands on the first few bills. If you have a bill with a certain serial number combination, such as eight of the same digit, otherwise known as "solids" in the dealer world, they could be worth about $3,000. You should also be on the lookout for serial numbers with the first four numbers mirroring the last four numbers, known as "radars," or serial numbers in sequential order, known as "ladders".

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August 19, 2021

Mortgage investment corporations could be in for a fall: report

If you are like most investors hungry for yield, you likely have at least one real estate investment trust stashed away somewhere.

The shine has come off REITs recently, however, as bond yields have started to tick upwards. This has  prompted prospective buyers to worry about the impact that rising rates will have on REITs mortgage costs down the road.

Despite this, yield starved investors are hoping that mortgage investment corporations won't be hit in the same way. But tread carefully here, warns Hamilton Capital Managers analyst Rob Wessel in a recent report. Most MICs are riskier than you might think.

Unlike REITs, which buy income-producing properties and then use the rents to pay distributions to investors, MICs are generally more interested in funding land development and real estate construction, and they attract retail investors by offering much higher yields as a result, often in the range of 7 to 8 per cent.

A typical borrower might be someone who owns a multi-residential property owner and needs short-term cash for construction, for instance -- a loan the big bank simply can't be bothered with.

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July 23, 2021

Is a 60/40 portfolio split up still the way to go?

What's the ideal mix for your retirement savings?

The rule of thumb for retirement portfolios has long been 60/40: 60 per cent in stocks and 40 per cent in bonds. That’s supposed to be approximately the ideal combination of growth and safety.

That’s not just an arbitrary split either. Mutual fund giant Vanguard went back and ran simple model portfolios based on the 60/40 rule and found that, since 1926, an investor with that allocation could have expected an 8.7 per cent annual return, with losses in 21 out of 87 years.

That doesn't sound too bad, although there's lots of debate as to whether those types of returns are feasible with interest rates being so low.

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July 15, 2021

Canada needs to get it right on pension reforms

Policy-makers must start thinking "outside the box" to ensure Canada and Quebec Pension Plan (CPP/QPP) reforms will address projected gaps in future retirement income.

A new study from the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) reveals that these new reforms, as they stand, will be of little help to the next wave of Canadian retirees.

Michael Wolfson, former chief statistician, Statistics Canada, examines the impact of various options for CPP/QPP in the study Not-So-Modest Options for Expanding the CPP/QPP.

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May 28, 2021

Save now for your child's education

1395713_25902915The road to education is an expensive one.

And that's why it is important to make sure you have a roadmap in place for funding your child's education.

If you're worried about how you will fund your child's post-secondary schooling, you're not alone.

According to a new report by BMO Bank of Montreal, two-thirds of Canadians share that same concern.

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May 16, 2021

Canadians losing sleep over finances

1034045_56715244Life happens.

And with it, so do unforeseen hardships.

That's why it is always good to be proactive and have a plan.

A new report by BMO Wealth Institute reveals that while many Canadians have a financial plan in place, very few have considered what would happen if unexpected life events arose that could cause financial hardships.

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May 10, 2021

Online investing is the way of the future

1260785_84481055Shopping, reading, gaming, working, researching, banking. 

Today we do just about everything from the convenience of our computers.

As a matter of fact, Canadians spend an average of 30 hours per week connecting to the online world.

So it's no wonder that more and more Canadians are investing online too.

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May 02, 2021

Teach your kids some financial know-how

While you're teaching your kids about the ABCs and 123s, make sure you throw in some saving and investing tips.

It's never too early to start teaching your children basic money know-how that will give them the foundation to build some financial savvy for the future.

Serge Pepin, vice president, Investment Strategy, BMO Asset Management, says, "The sooner parents start talking to their kids about money, the better prepared they will be when they start saving and investing for the future.

"Even very young children can benefit from learning basic investing skills and the importance of setting financial goals."

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...