Monthly Archives: August 2016

Why you should forget about buying Canadian marijuana stocks


Canadian marijuana stocks offer some speculative appeal — but here’s why we think you should avoid them

AMSTERDAM - AUGUST 26: Candy and cookies with marijuana for sale in the coffeeshop on August 26, 2014 in Amsterdam.

As you probably know, several U.S. states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana use and have begun authorizing legal production and sale of the plant. In Canada, marijuana has been legal for medical use for some time, and we are occasionally asked about Canadian marijuana stocks.

This change in the law is bound to lead to a shift in current and future marijuana production, from the underground economy to the legal economy, where it can be regulated, taxed and invested in. Tax revenues are already starting to roll in, but we haven’t found any Canadian marijuana stocks worthy of investment. So far, most of what we’ve seen are stock promotions.

We advise staying out of stock promotions of Canadian marijuana stocks businesses or anything else. They attract the wrong kind of people. Stock promotion is a take-the-money-and-run type of business. Most successful entrepreneurs value their reputations, and want to build a profitable, sustainable business that can pay off for investors. So they generally go into some other line of work, and stay out of stock promotion.

These days, it’s faster and easier than ever to launch a stock promotion, thanks to the Internet. One recent “penny pot” stock scam almost seems like an MBA-style case study on how to launch one of these frauds online.

We won’t name the penny stock company that is the subject of the promotion campaign, since it claims it’s not involved in the fraud. Let’s just refer to it as “Pot o’ Gold,” or POG for short.

The POG spam emails we’ve seen use the following techniques:

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Stop believing real estate has magical investment powers

Beautiful view of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Expensive Vancouver, BC

By Steve Lowrie, Lowrie Financial

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

If you found yourself on the high seas, and the captain and crew were battening down the hatches, what would you do? Depending on how fast they were scrambling, you might at least make sure your life preserver was within reach.

If the Canadian real estate market were an ocean liner, recent government words and deeds have sent some pretty solid warning shots across the bow – especially for properties in the Greater Toronto and Vancouver regions. Real estate investors who may have forgotten the essential rules of self-preservation would be wise to consider the following:

In a June announcement, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz warned: “The pace of house price increases in Toronto, and especially Vancouver, is unlikely to be sustained, given the underlying fundamentals.”

Several provincial governments have been looking for ways to manage their real estate markets. For example, this July Globe and Mail article noted that British Columbia was trying to “cool the Vancouver market” by adding a 15 per cent transfer tax on property purchases made by international buyers. Continue Reading…

Is RV Traveling a sound Retirement Strategy?

Living the RV dream. Photo courtesy

By Barney Whistance

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

At some point we’ve all daydreamed about what our retirement might look like. For some, a cabin in the woods might be their dream life. Others may want a condo near the beach or high-rise apartment in the city. Many daydreams also include travel, both in and outside the U.S.

Ample Hollywood movies about the joys and headaches of the retirement life have given nods to the recreational vehicle (RV) retirement lifestyle as well. From ex-CIA man Jack Byrnes’ sleek black Fleetwood RV in Meet the Fockers, to David and Linda Howard’s homier Winnebago in the movie Lost in America, RV living may represent a luxury life of leisure for many Americans.

One former co-worker of mine, shortly after his retirement, sold his home to buy a fancy new RV. While I was able to meet him at his retirement party and do a short quiz on his reasoning, the decision never quite added up for me. I decided to do some additional research to determine if RV-living was a sound and viable financial decision for my own retirement.

Full-time RVers, also known as full-timers, are people who live, work, and play in their RVs. Often they plan their lives and moves well in advance, but they’re also known to pick up and go on a whim, or to follow the weather on a seasonal basis.

However, there are a few considerations when contemplating the full-time RV life. Here’s a breakdown of points to ponder while deciding whether it’s the best lifestyle for your needs.


RVs can be purchased in a wide price range – anywhere from $3,000 to $3 million – which makes them perfect for any budget. Continue Reading…

Make the Family Cottage less Taxing this year

Cottage On The Carpenter Lake, Canada

By Fraser Willson

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

As the days of summer dwindle to a precious few, the last few weekends at the family seem especially poignant now. And while those thoughts may warm you up a bit, you don’t want to be left out in the cold if you’re not aware of the financial implications when you sell the family retreat or if you transfer ownership to your children this year.

Unlike with your home, transferring ownership of the family cottage to anyone other than your spouse may trigger a taxable capital gain on the appreciation in value during your ownership. You may want to consider leaving the property to your spouse. Doing this helps defer the tax bill until the property is sold or passed on to future generations.

In addition, there are a number of strategies that you can undertake to help reduce and potentially avoid the capital gains tax, including:

Selling and taking back a mortgage

If you decide to sell the cottage to your children, consider taking back a mortgage by offering your children a mortgage loan as payment for the purchase price. The capital gain can be spread over a period of up to five years. And you can forgive the mortgage in your will so your children will own the cottage without debt or paying taxes.

Transferring ownership while you’re alive

Transferring ownership of the cottage to a trust that designates your children as beneficiaries will trigger an immediate capital gain. But from that point on, your heirs are responsible for taxable gains. They won’t pay those taxes until they sell the property or transfer ownership.

Declaring the cottage as your principal residence

You can have only one principal residence for tax purposes. So if your cottage has gone up in value more than your home, consider designating the cottage as your principal residence, which isn’t subject to capital gains tax.

Buying life insurance

Family members can use the tax-free proceeds from a life insurance policy to help pay capital gains taxes on your cottage when you leave it as part of your estate.

If you plan to sell or transfer ownership of your family cottage this year, make sure your finances align with your goals. Doing so can help ensure you stay on track to reach them.

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Findependence — Free at last from the corporate chains

businessman with handcuffsFriday July 29th will be a day that I will remember for the rest of my life. After thirty-eight years, I finally packed in my banking career. I suppose my co-author Jonathan would call this my Findependence Day!

To be honest, it will take some getting used to as my banking job played an important role in my life. It provided financial security for my family and gave me a good reason to get out of bed most mornings.

My career, like most careers, had its good and bad points. Overall though, it was a good ride and one that I will miss to some degree, but I had to leave in order to publish Victory Lap Retirement and create my blog.

Banks really don’t like it when employees write books or blogs because it might not align with the story that they are trying to convey. Banks get nervous when employees stand out and don’t fit in, when employees invent something that is outside the approved message.

Banks are very protective of their brand. They want the customer experience to be the same in every branch across the country. They want every employee to talk, walk and act the same. They desire a high degree of predictable sameness, as it’s easier to control.

Why banks still sell the old version of Retirement

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