Hub Blogs

Hub Blogs contains fresh contributions written by Financial Independence Hub staff or contributors that have not appeared elsewhere first, or have been modified or customized for the Hub by the original blogger. In contrast, Top Blogs shows links to the best external financial blogs around the world.

Prosperium Q&A Part 2; Dawn of the Prosperity Economy

Prosperium Inc. CEO Doug Coyle

The following is Part 2 of a sponsored Q&A with the founders of the firm behind Canada’s new Prosperium cybercurrency. Doug Coyle, pictured on the left, is the Chief Executive Officer of Toronto-based Prosperium Inc. Tony Humble is President and Chief Organizational Officer. You can find the introductory blog in this series by clicking on Blockchain Revolution, Global Prosperity and Prosperium. Also, a new white paper has just been published.

The pre-Sale rollout plan for Prosperium tokens

Jon Chevreau: Let’s resume with a recap how you’re rolling out Prosperium units and how pricing steps up over time.

Doug Coyle: Our currency Prosperium does have a period at the beginning, which we call our Presale period, when accredited investors can buy the coin at a value that is rising over time. The current value that we’re offering our token at is $2 per token for the presale token. That will be stepped up to $2, $4, $6, $8, $10, $15, $20, then by increments of $10 until finally it gets to $100 per presale token.

That price is based upon the network value; as we accomplish various milestones and increase the value and utility of the Prosperium platform and token the market price increases steadily; but once you reach $100 it then converts at 100 to 1 so one Prosperium token becomes 100 Prosperium “dollars” at a 1 to 1 ratio. It becomes stable at that point. That means that 1 Prosperium dollar is equal to one Canadian dollar. From then on it’s stabilized by smart contracts so it becomes very easy for someone to look at their Smartphone, see their balance is 1000 Prosperium dollars and they know what they what can buy with one thousand Prosperium dollars since it’s equal to C$1,000.

Jon: And outside Canada?

Doug: Each country will have its own Prosperium token that matches the local fiat currency. So in England, one Prosperium pound will equal one UK pound; same with the peso or the US dollar etc. We are set to be a stable-value token in all countries that accept us: wherver the regulators accept our platform so people are able to trade in a currency and know the price of anything in Prosperium dollars or tokens.

This is very different than Bitcoin because right now Bitcoin is worth around $4,000. So on any given day how do know how much the price of a cup of coffee is in Bitcoin? You don’t, not without doing a bit of a calculation or having your phone do it for you. So it’s a big advantage having a stable-value currency for everyday use that you can trust won’t fluctuate and be volatile while they hold it and that they know the price of things in that currency.

Fiat currencies vs cybercurrencies

Hub CFO Jon Chevreau

Jon: You used the term fiat currency just now. Can you comment on traditional “money” and so-called fiat currencies like the dollar, Euro etc.? There’s nothing magical about the value of a dollar except that it’s dictated by governments, right? At least since it’s no longer backed by gold.

Doug: You’re right: part of understanding how to design a currency for Prosperium is understanding the mechanism that all currencies play in an economy; an economy is just a community of people trading their work with each other: goods and services. The economy, the GNP or GDP, is just the sum of all those transactions in that community; so what is money? Money is just a trusted accounting system; and the important word there is trusted. If you’re in an economy or country that has its currency backed by gold or silver or some commodity, you’re using that commodity to create that trust factor; you’re trusting that gold will be relatively stable over time.

If you live in a country like Canada or the United States, or most of the world now, it’s not backed by a commodity like gold or silver but by the promise of the sovereign: of the government.  You are relying on the fact that the government will say yes, we’re going to back that dollar and manage it and keep it at a relatively stable value. You can question how much you can trust any sovereign to handle money but that’s the theory. So you have those two systems of creating trust; backed by a commodity or backed by the promise of a sovereign.

Jon: Do you use the term fiat?

Doug: Yes, we use the term fiat. Fiat just means by demand or by order. I as the king demand, or order, that this piece of paper here is worth one Canadian dollar.

What is backing Prosperium?

Jon: At least when it was backed by gold, it was finite, like Bitcoin. But now it’s potentially infinite? Look at Zimbabwe and what happens with inflation when it’s backed by nothing? Or Venezuela.

Doug: Yes, which raises a very interesting question. What is backing Prosperium? In our case, it’s a very concrete thing that backs it. New currency can be created; you have to remember that all currency is created. Continue Reading…

A Q&A with the founders of the new Prosperium Cryptocurrency

Prosperium Inc. CEO Doug Coyle (L); President and COO Tony Humble (R)

The following is a sponsored Q&A with the founders of the firm behind Canada’s new Prosperium cyryptocurrency.

Tony Humble is President and Chief Organizational Officer of Toronto-based Prosperium Inc. and Doug Coyle is Chief Executive Officer (both pictured on the left).

You can find the introductory blog in this series by clicking on Blockchain Revolution, Global Prosperity and Prosperium.  

Also, a new white paper has just been published. The overall Prosperous business model is described on its home page. And for a layperson’s perspective, see Tony’s blog

The Q&A will continue tomorrow. 

 

Jon Chevreau: In the first blog, we mentioned Ethereum and Prospereum as two examples of cryptocurrencies spawned in Canada. Clearly, the name Ethereum inspired your name and it was a clever stroke to get the word Prosper in there too. Can you confirm this genesis of the name?

Tony Humble

Tony Humble: Well, the name Prosperium was a natural, but we tried a few others first, like Prosperus, as in “prosper us all” and “prosperous” and ProsperX.  But the elemental affinity with Ethereum was irresistible:  like atomic bonds.  Ethereum is named for both a celestial region and an “element” in the periodic table.  On earth, it is both a currency and a platform for smart blockchain contracts: revolutionary and brilliant.

Jon: Can you elaborate on what the name means in practice, relative to Ethereum? Is it the same business model?

Tony: Like Bitcoin, the total number of coins issued by Etherium will be fixed, aiming for continuous growth in value.  In comparison, Prosperium is also named as an element, is a crypto-currency, and is a platform:  for growth in real prosperity.  In contrast, however, once Prosperium has reached a target value it will be fixed in price and supported at that value, but the number of coins issued will continue to grow.  It will be minted for measurable value, created by regional accelerators to generate jobs and production, and its use for transactional purposes will be tracked on the Prosperium blockchain.  It will be 100% open and auditable by governments, and will maintain a large reserve to support the price in the marketplace.

Jon: A prospectus for Canada’s first Bitcoin ETF was recently filed. I’m not sure if that shows your timing is impeccable or whether you’re late to the party?

Doug Coyle: I do see that there are more and more ETF funds being launched in Canada and around the world for Bitcoin.

Jon: Starting with the Winklevoss twins of Facebook fame?

Doug: Yes, they tried to get a Bitcoin ETF going and ran into some barriers but they prepared the ground a great deal. I feel it’s adding infrastructure so I’m in favor of multiple ETFs for Bitcoin or any other crypto currency being established.

Jon: Is Prosperium going that route?

Doug: Not directly. In some ways we do provide the ability for clients who hold Prosperium tokens to trade those tokens and eventually the currency itself will be freely trading; so we have a very sophisticated way of doing a — call it an ETF — but we hold a reserve account that is core to how we stabilize the Prosperium coin. Buyers can find a ready market there at all times; they don’t have to count on any broker to find a match on buying and selling; it’s all done automatically in the software.

Why Prosperium isn’t going the ICO route

Jon: You chose not to go the ICO (Initial Coin Offering) route although it sounds like you were thinking about it. Why not, or are you doing the same thing under a different name? Continue Reading…

How to “Liberate your Losers” from your RRSP to later save tax

Getty/iStock

It is admittedly a complex strategy but the Globe & Mail’s Report on Business has just published my latest article for high-net-worth investors who don’t mind trading RRSP losses today for tax savings tomorrow. You can retrieve it by clicking on the highlighted headline here: An RRSP strategy to ‘liberate your losers” in order to save tax.

The article is a followup to an earlier Globe article I ran late in the summer, which was summarized in this Hub blog: The ‘Nice” problem of million-dollar RRSPs. 

Liberating your Losers is a phrase used by a broker source of mine who prefers for now not to be identified. The strategy describes a possible bright side to crystalizing RRSP losses by “withdrawing them in kind” to non-registered status. That is, you keep the position but in effect move it outside the RRSP.

An alternative to early RRSP drawdowns

This is an alternative to the more typical RRSP drawdown tactic of first selling your stocks inside the RRSP, then withdrawing the cash. Either way you are “deregistering” some of your RRSP, which means paying withholding taxes. You’ll pay 10% for withdrawals under $5,000, 20% for those between $5,001 and $15,000 and 30% beyond that. This can be handled automatically by your RRSP trustee.

Liberating your losers can make sense under three circumstances, my source says: when you have had bad timing in your RRSP/RRIF investment choices; when you’re confident your investment will return to its previous higher value; and if you prefer to pay tax on 50% of a capital gain rather than 100% of income.

Making Lemonade from Lemons

Mind you, I also talked to three sources who were willing to be on the record, and some were skeptical that the strategy was worth implementing. Continue Reading…

Smart withdrawal strategies that ensure a comfortable Retirement

By Rick Pendykoski

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

Retirement planning is critical — no doubt about that. You worked hard all your career to save enough money and now that you have comfortable retirement savings, you must ensure that it lasts you through the golden years. If you don’t handle the retirement savings properly, you will run out of money earlier than expected.

It is important to have a withdrawal strategy in retirement, which needs to be handled tactfully. The objective of a withdrawal strategy must be to help you provide with the income you need, minimize the effects of taxes, and keep your investment mix diversified and in line with your personal lifestyle and situations.

How Much To Withdraw

Withdrawal rates are the most important factor because you’ve got a limited supply of assets in retirement.

Consider your age, life expectancy, living expenses and rate of return on investment to determine an approximate withdrawal rate.

If you fall under the ‘healthy-have adequate savings-will retire by 65’ bracket, it would be a good idea to begin with a 4%-6% withdrawal rate during the first year of retirement. After the first year, you can build in the cost-of-living adjustment each year to account for the inflation.

5 Key Points to Remember 

  1. Consider the Withdrawal Strategy.

 

The simplest withdrawal strategy is to take assets from the retirement and savings accounts in the following order:

  • Minimum required distributions (MRDs), also referred to as required minimum distributions (RMDs) in the United States,
  • Taxable accounts
  • Tax-deferred retirement accounts, such as a traditional IRA, 401(k), 403(b), or 457
  • Tax-exempt retirement accounts, such as a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k)
  1. Tap Taxable Accounts First

Ideally, you must tap into the taxable accounts first as a source of income. When you use money from taxable mutual funds, individual stocks and other investments, you allow tax-favored assets to enjoy compounded growth for as long as possible.

Once the reserves of the taxable sources of income, which include personal savings, are spent you can move on to tax-deferred accounts, including traditional IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s. This helps in delaying paying taxes on this money for as long as possible, until RMD withdrawals must begin.

Ensure that you are at least 59½ years before you take money from a tax-deferred account as you will incur a 10% early withdrawal penalty if you withdraw before that age, although exceptions to this rule do exist. Start taking distributions from your traditional IRA by the age of 70½ to avoid paying a 50 percent excise tax on the amount not distributed.

Leave Roth IRA as the last option as there are no minimum withdrawal rules for a Roth, thus allowing your earnings to grow tax-free.

  1. Check the Tax Bracket

It is important that you monitor the source of your withdrawals to understand the effect of the withdrawals on your tax rate. It will also avoid a move into a higher tax bracket.

  • If you withdraw any distributions at all from a tax-deferred account, it would result in undesirable outcomes that are not directly related to income tax but that are tied to taxable income like Medicare costs.
  • If you withdraw from a taxable account, it would require selling assets that are held less than a year, resulting in short-term capital gains, which are taxed at ordinary income tax rates.
  1. Limit Taxation on Social Security 

The government considers up to 85% of your Social Security benefits to be taxable. This formula depends upon taking into account other income sources, along with one-half of your benefits. You must manage your income in such a way that a smaller percentage of your Social Security benefits will be taxable.

  1. Have Sizable Emergency Funds  

Ideally, as a retiree, you should have a financial safety net in place to cover your living expenses for at least 1-2 years. Strive for an 8 percent investment return on average.

Smart withdrawing strategies from the retirement savings will guarantee you of a comfortable retirement.

 

Rick Pendykoski is the owner of Self Directed Retirement Plans LLC, a retirement planning firm based in Goodyear, AZ. He has over three decades of experience working with investments and retirement planning, and over the last 10 years has turned his focus to self-directed accounts and alternative investments. Rick regularly posts helpful tips and articles on his blog at SD Retirement as well as Business.com, SAP, MoneyForLunch, Biggerpocket, SocialMediaToday and NuWireInvestor. If you need help and guidance with traditional or alternative investments, email him at rick@s

Will investing in your child’s business endanger your retirement?

By Dave Faulkner, CLU, CFP

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

Your son or daughter just asked you for a short-term loan to help them start a business. If everything goes well, they will pay you back with interest in a few years. But what if they never pay you back? How much will it impact your ability to enjoy your retirement?

RediNest is a personal financial planning application that you can use to get answers to your retirement planning questions.

How RediNest can help

John and Joan plan to retire in 10 years. Although they do not have a pension plan, they have $300,000 in RRSP and $100,000 in TFSA investments. With no mortgage, they are able to contribute the maximum each year to both RRSP and TFSA.

Using RediNest they calculated their Retirement Potential™ at $73,900 of after-tax retirement income, slightly more than the Canadian average* of $69,000.

Their son has asked them to invest $100,000 in his business. He has prepared a business plan, and expects to repay the full amount over five years. John and Joan want to fully understand the risks before loaning their son the money, so they modified their RediNest plan and reduced their TFSA balance to zero.

Assuming a worst case scenario where they never get their money back, John and Joan re-calculated their Retirement Potential to be $67,800, a reduction of over $6,000 / year for life! A significant amount when you consider it is after-tax and fully indexed for inflation. If they never get their money back, John and Joan want to understand the options available to them to restore their Retirement Potential, as they do not want to have less disposable income in retirement.

Using RediNest, John and Joan discovered they would have to increase their monthly savings by over $900/month for the next 10 years: something they feel they cannot do.

Deferring retirement by a year

Continue Reading…