Building Wealth

For the first 30 or so years of working, saving and investing, you’ll be first in the mode of getting out of the hole (paying down debt), and then building your net worth (that’s wealth accumulation.). But don’t forget, wealth accumulation isn’t the ultimate goal. Decumulation is! (a separate category here at the Hub).

How to profit from the Domain Name business

By Katrina Manning

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

We’ve all heard of domain names purchased 10 years ago for $10 dollars and selling for $20 million today — or some other story of similar nature.  As a result, you might be interested in buying and selling domain names either full-or-part-time for profit. It seems so easy and simple: just pick the right domain name, hold on to it for a while then sell for profit.

But is it really that simple? Well, since everyone is online –you can imagine that the ocean is wide. And you don’t want to start with a bit of research. You need a map, and we’ve created one for you here.

Stay focused

There are millions of domains already registered, especially the easiest ones that consist of one word such as apple.com, Facebook.com and so on. On the other hand, there are countless combinations of available domain names to register, especially if you consider the thousands of new domain name extensions such as .ng domain or .eu domain names.

As you can see, it is critical to keep your focus narrow. What subjects are you already familiar with, which can make the process much simpler? Do you have experience with animals or tech? Have you worked in the entertainment or service industry? Think about the industries you are most familiar with first, and start with that. Why is this important? Well, you don’t want to target prospective buyers based on their potential for sales if you don’t have insight into the industry you are aiming at.

In other words, don’t just rush to buy multiple domain names you think would appeal to health care clinics you’ve identified as potential buyers. You might not be aware of any industry-specific rules that govern facets of legal advertising. You won’t make much of a profit, if any, if you buy domain names your target audience can’t use. This is where it pays off to take the time to understand your audience.

Take the time needed to learn

Continue Reading…

Toronto & Vancouver real estate investors should sell now, author says

Real estate in Toronto and Vancouver is at the irrationally exuberant greed stage and investors should sell, says bestselling author Calum Ross

By Calum Ross

Special to the Financial Independence Hub 

The Problem

Real estate investors often fail to objectively assess their existing portfolios in the same way that a holistic wealth management professional or financial planner would when dealing with equity investments.

Many real estate investors who began their investment careers following sound investment principles have got caught up in the hype and strayed from their core investment principles. When a particular asset class performs well, there is often a sentiment of irrational exuberance that develops around that asset class. When this happens, savvy investors adapt their strategy while others continue to “go with the herd” and experience the eroding effects of inertia.

The problem is highlighted today in two key ways:

  • Yield on Toronto and Vancouver Real Estate Has Diminished: Rising real estate prices in these markets have outstripped the increase in rental rates that has eroded yields. This now means many real estate investors are over-weighted in one asset class, and that many new real estate investments are in reality speculative-grade investments because they don’t meet the suggested 3% interest rate cushion to sustain cash flow (a metric outlined in more detail in my recent book on borrowing to invest).
  • Investors are Demonstrating Irrational Exuberance and Greed Towards Real Estate: I’m deeply concerned by the number of people who believe real estate values will continue to climb at these uncharacteristically high levels. Not only are current appreciation rates unsustainable, but the fact that rental increases are not even close to keeping pace makes real estate investment even less appealing.

There are too many investing in real estate who are chasing returns through appreciation alone. There’s an alarmingly high net inflow of money to real estate in overpriced markets even as yields continue to plummet.

Continue Reading…

Is Inflation making a comeback?

By Kevin Flanagan, WisdomTree Investments

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

In a noticeable turn of events, one of the key talking points for the 2017 investment landscape has been the potential return of inflation. Indeed, only a little more than a year ago, a rather different take on this topic was dominating market discussion: deflation. However, since the results of the U.S. election became known, market participants began to shift their focus to what is being referred to as the “Trump Reflation Trade.”

Quite simply, the logic behind this “trade” is that fiscal stimulus will now take the baton from monetary policy and provide a newfound jolt to the economy, spurring potentially higher growth and elevated inflation readings, accordingly. For the most part, the financial markets appeared to buy into this line of reasoning, as the S&P 500 has risen +10% since Election Day while the U.S. Treasury (UST) 10-Year yield has climbed by about 65 basis points (bps) during this same time frame. Interestingly, broader commodity prices, as measured by the Thomson Reuters/CoreCommodity CRB Index,  rose in the two-month period following the election to as high as +6.3% but have since reversed course and were basically unchanged as of this writing.

The most widely followed inflation gauge in the U.S. is the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This monthly report is released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with both the overall and core (excluding food and energy) readings receiving the most attention.

Inflation rise of 2.7% highest in 5 years

The February CPI report revealed that overall inflation rose at a year-over-year rate of +2.7%, the highest in almost five years. Continue Reading…

Millennial Money: An experiment in money-saving hacks

As both a student and a millennial, my eyes are always peeled for helpful tips and advice on how to manage my finances. I recently came across this article from refinery 29 about “10 Bizarre Money Habits Making Millennials Richer.”

While I usually try and avoid this ‘listicle’ format, I was intrigued enough to look into it. The list surprised me in that it actually did include some new tips I hadn’t heard about before, like literally freezing your credit card (See image to the left).

I decided to run a little experiment based on this article, and I’m sharing the results with you now. I didn’t think it would be feasible to try and implement all ten of the habits. Besides, some of them don’t apply to me (I no longer have a car or any recurring payments coming out of my bank account), so I decided to focus on just a few of the tips to see how easy they really were to put into action.

Tip 1: Pick a denomination and save it

The first tip I implemented was to pick a denomination and save it, always. Unlike the article, I don’t get paid in cash (or at all really, apart from payment for blogs like this), so the only time I come into contact with physical cash is when I take it out of an ATM or get cash back at the grocery store.

I thought I’d start small: I would save all my £2 coins [the UK pound is the currency where I currently live, in Scotland] in a jar on my desk. This actually turned out to work quite well for me, as my current wallet is a card carrier without any space for coins. Every time I received change I separated out the £2 coins,  then made sure to move them into the jar every couple of days. After three weeks of this method, though, I had only saved around £12. Turns out, £2 coins aren’t given out that frequently as change.

Continue Reading…

How to earn $50,000 in dividend income tax-free (in most provinces)

The Financial Post has just published (in Thursday’s paper and online) my article headlined “You can earn $50K in tax-free dividends but there’s a catch: You can’t have a job.”

Can’t have a job, indeed, or a large pension or any other source of significant alternative income.

The article is based on a BMO Financial Group report (May 2016) entitled Eligible Dividend Income. It shows that at least eight provinces or territories make it possible to receive $51,474 a year in “tax-free” eligible dividend income, provided there are no other major sources of income, and notwithstanding any provincial health levies.

These include Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon. It’s only $45,309 in Prince Edward Island, $35,835 in Quebec, $30,509 in Nova Scotia, $24,271 in Manitoba and just $18,679 in Newfoundland and Labrador.

BMO won’t update for 2017 until all 2017 provincial budgets are released. When it first began publishing the document for the 2012 tax year, the maximum amount of tax-free income on eligible dividends was $47,888 in Ontario and eight other provinces. The amount rose to $48,844 in 2013 and to $49,284 in 2014.

Dividend Tax Credit, Basic Personal Amount are keys

This low-tax phenomenon happens through a combination of the Basic Personal Amounts (which in 2016 makes the first $11,474 tax-free federally) and the 15.02% federal dividend tax credit on eligible Canadian dividends: Continue Reading…