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).

Gold glitters amid Persistent Inflation and Rate Uncertainty

Image courtesy BMO ETFs/Getty Images

By Chris Heakes, CFA

(Sponsor Blog)

Gold prices have gained more than 14% since late last year, renewing market interest for the precious metal.

Recent gains have been driven by an expectation that the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) is getting closer to reducing its trendsetting overnight rate, which led to a weaker U.S. dollar index to close 2023.

In recent months, inflation concerns have ramped back up with recent U.S. CPI data coming in slightly ahead of expectations. While consumer prices continue to trend in the right direction, higher shipping costs are becoming a concern with cargo ships having to avoid the Suez Canal. Shipping costs have surged 150% as a result, potentially add 0.5% percentage points to core inflation1: and re-igniting worries that CPI could accelerate again.

These developments have created a favourable environment for gold, given bullion tends to be used as a multi-purpose hedge for portfolios.

BMO Global Asset Management has launched a gold ETF that is backed by physical bullion. This ETF stores physical 400-oz. bars, secured in a local vault operated by BMO. Investing in the new BMO Gold Bullion ETF is efficient for investors as it is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and trades like any stock or ETF. Additionally, since the underlying bullion holdings are professionally vaulted, investors do not have to worry about safe-keeping on their own. The BMO Gold Bullion ETFs are available at a cost-efficient management fee of 0.20%.

The BMO Gold Bullion ETF


  • Amid reaccelerating inflation concerns and interest rate uncertainty, gold could be used as a defensive hedge.
  • Macro as well as weaker-U.S. dollar risks have risen in recent years, and could remain elevated going forward.
  • Gold offers effective diversification from stocks and bonds, which have experienced a notable rise in correlation3.

Why Gold could continue to Glitter

Gold is often used to hedge three main risks: macro-economic/geopolitical and inflation risks, as well as against a weaker U.S. dollar and fiat currencies4. All of these risks have risen in recent years and it is quite possible and perhaps probable that they will remain elevated going forward, spurring further demand. Continue Reading…

Building the Canadian Stock Portfolio

By Dale Roberts, cutthecrapinvesting

Special to Financial Independence Hub

It is so easy to build a simple but very effective Canadian stock portfolio. Canadian self-directed investors will often hold a few financials, telcos, utilities and pipelines. At times they will also (wisely) add some of the lower-yielding stocks, including the railways and grocers. Other favourite picks are Alimentation Couche-Tard, Canadian Tire, Restaurants International and the Brookfield assets. Canada is home to many oligopoly sectors. While that’s not “good” for customers it can be profitable for investors. In this post we’re building the Canadian stock portfolio looking at the wide-moat sectors, plus lists from BMO and RBC.

Wide moats and beating the TSX

Readers will know that I’m a fan of the Canadian Wide Moat Portfolio. To be more precise, make that the Wider Moat Portfolio that includes the grocers and railways. There is a very nice history of outperformance with lower volatility. You can check out the assets in that link.

Another popular market-beating route is the Beat The TSX Portfolio. That is a value strategy that simply holds the top ten yielding stocks from the TSX 60. You buy on January 1, and rebalance each year. You will certainly find many of the higher yielding Wide Moat Stocks in the BTSX.

Canadian stocks from BMO and RBC

And here are two interesting lists.

From Brian Belski’s at BMO, here’s the growth at a reasonable price portfolio – GARP. That is a very good selection model. While we want to buy current attractive earnings, the growth history and growth potential certainly factors into the equation.

The stocks on the GARP list are Rogers Communications, Quebecor, Telus Corp., Canadian Tire, BRP Inc., Magna International , Restaurant Brands International, Saputo Inc., Loblaws Co. Ltd., ARC Resources, Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, Enbridge, Parex Resources, Suncor Energy, Tourmaline Oil, TC Energy, Bank of Montreal, Brookfield Corp., CI Financial Corp., Canadian Western Bank, EQB, Manulife Financial, National Bank, Royal Bank, Sun Life Financial, TD Bank, CAE Inc., Canadian national Railway Co., Finning International, Stantec, TFI International, Evertz Technologies, CGI Inc., Open Text Corp., B2Gold, Equinox Gold, First Quantum Minerals , New Gold Inc., Nutrien Ltd., Teck Resources, Altagas Ltd., Emera Inc. and CT Reit. Continue Reading…

Stocks for the Long Run at your Peril?

Image MyOwnAdvisor/Pexels

By Mark Seed, myownadvisor

Special to Financial Independence Hub

This article from Larry Swedroe recently caught my eye: Should Long-Term Investors Be 100% in Equities? (Own stocks for the long run at your peril).

Interesting headline and catchy, but we know stocks for the long-run can work for long investing periods. Otherwise, nobody would take on this form of investing risk for any reward…

That said, Swedroe does raise a few interesting factoids from his reference in the article about stocks in the long-run:

“Over the 150 years from 1792 to 1941, the performance of stocks and bonds produced about the same wealth accumulation by 1942.”


“Results for the entire 227 years were weakly supportive of Stocks for the Long Run: The odds that stocks outperformed bonds increased as the holding period lengthened from one to 50 years. However, the odds never got much higher than two in three and increased only slowly as the holding period stretched from five years (62%) to 50 years (68%).”

The problem I have with such information, while interesting, is our modern economy is fundamentally different than 1942, let alone 1842, or 1792. I simply don’t see the value or point in referencing any stock market data that goes back 200+ years for the modern retail investor.

But I do agree with Larry in that stocks may not always beat bonds, at least over short or modest investing periods. I have participated in a bit of a “lost decade” in my own DIY investing past.

It could happen again.

Looking back at a broad measure of the U.S. stock market, such as the S&P 500 index, over the past 20 years, you would see (or experience as an investor) very different results from the first decade (2000-2009) and the second (2010–2019).

In fact, for large-cap U.S. stocks in particular, this “lost decade” from January 2000 through December 2009 resulted in very disappointing returns: an index that had historically averaged more than 10% annualized returns before 2000, instead delivered less-than-average returns from the start of the decade to the end. Annualized returns for the S&P 500 (CAD) during the market period were -3.18%.


Of course, we only know the results of stocks in hindsight after bad market periods are over and preferably for me, a few generations back makes sense to measure some relative stock market history vs. going back to horses and buggies in the form of a few hundred years…

What do I think? Is 100% equities investing at your peril?


I remain invested in mostly equities at the time of this post with conviction although I do keep cash (or more recently cash equivalents on hand) and always have to some degree. Continue Reading…

Unlocking Wealth: Insights from 11 experts on Impact of Financial Education

Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels

Understanding the impact of financial education on wealth-building, we’ve gathered insights from Directors, Founders, and CEOs, among others, to share their experiences and lessons. From fostering open family financial talks to the importance of reinvesting profits for startup growth, explore the eleven valuable strategies these experts attribute to achieving financial independence.

  • Foster Open Family Financial Talks
  • Invest in Low-Cost Index Funds
  • Leverage Compound Interest Early
  • Learn from Real Estate Investment
  • Implement Simple Numbers Cash Flow Management
  • Educate to Protect Wealth
  • Invest Early, Understand Market Trends
  • Budget with The Total Money Makeover
  • Navigate with Financial Education
  • Avoid Emotional Investing
  • Reinvest Profits for Startup Growth

Foster open Family Financial Talks

I strongly advise families to prioritize open and honest communication about family finances. It is pretty common in most families to not discuss money. I am a firm believer that regular discussions about finances, budgeting, and investments will strengthen your relationship and prioritize a secure financial future. 

Financial literacy is crucial, regardless of asset levels. As a CFP®, my role extends beyond managing investments or creating financial plans; I also serve as an educator for families. By providing personalized guidance and educational resources, I help families bridge the gap in financial knowledge and deepen their understanding of their financial situation. This empowers both the parents and children to contribute meaningfully and reduces the likelihood of misunderstandings or financial disagreements. This collaborative approach with your certified financial planner can provide personalized guidance and help couples navigate these important decisions together.

The more you save and the earlier you save, the better. Your future self will thank you!

You also need an emergency fund. You need to expect the unexpected. Have six months of expenses earmarked in a high-yield savings account.

The secret to building wealth is living below your means. You need to be clear on the income coming in and the expenses going out. Pay yourself first. The results of compound interest are powerful. As your income increases, lifestyle inflation creeps in. Avoid the urge to spend more as you make more. Save more. Invest the difference. Your future self will thank you. — Melissa Pavone, Director of Investments CFP, CDFA, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

Invest in low-cost Index Funds

Despite working in Financial Services for over 20 years, I’ve only truly educated myself about Financial Independence within the last few years.

Fortunately, I had been doing most things right all along; saving a decent proportion of my salary each month, using tax-efficient savings vehicles, maximizing my employer’s pension contributions, etc. Where I messed up, to some extent, was in what I was investing my hard-earned savings in.

Being a sucker for actively managed funds, individual stocks, etc., has hampered the growth of my portfolio over the years. I am now invested exclusively in low-cost index-tracking funds, and I wish I had decided to do this years ago.

My eyes were finally opened to the low-cost passive index tracker approach when a friend recommended I read a book called The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle (the founder of Vanguard). It’s a great book that totally changed my outlook on investing. — Jonathan Wright, Founder, Aiming For FIRE

Leverage Compound Interest early

I have built wealth and achieved financial independence primarily through financial education. It has provided me with the necessary tools for making informed investment decisions, managing risks effectively, and optimizing tax strategies. Financial education has been an important platform for understanding the dynamics of the market and developing a disciplined approach to saving, investing, and spending.

The most valuable lesson I ever learned was about compound interest. Compound interest can turn modest savings into substantial wealth over time. The key is to start early, save consistently, and reinvest earnings. Even small amounts saved regularly can grow exponentially due to the compounding effect, highlighting the importance of patience and discipline in wealth building.

Another critical lesson is the importance of living below your means and investing the surplus wisely. It’s not just about how much you earn, but how much you save and invest that counts towards building long-term wealth. When you prioritize savings and investments, you create a buffer for unexpected expenses and have the potential to achieve financial independence sooner. — Sherman Standberry, CPA and Managing Partner, My CPA Coach

Learn from Real Estate Investment

When I was growing up, my grandfather gave me an excellent financial education through his example. He was a real estate investor, and thanks to his investments, he was able to retire early while helping my brother and me pay for college. I decided to follow his example and started buying real estate after college. 

Now, my portfolio is worth seven figures. The big lesson I learned from my grandfather is that to be truly financially free, you have to find a way to earn money without having to work all the time. And with real estate, that’s possible. — Ryan Chaw, Founder and Real Estate Investor, Newbie Real Estate Investing

Implement Simple Numbers Cash Flow Management

We run a fast-growing small-business law firm and are devoted fans and implementers of Simple Numbers by Greg Crabtree. I frequently give copies of the book to our clients, and they invariably thank me later.

Greg’s advice about how to view your cash flow and responsibly manage it has been foundational to our and our clients’ success. — Matthew Davis, CEO, Davis Business Law

Educate to Protect Wealth

In co-founding Silver Fox Secure, I’ve directly observed the impact that financial education has on protecting and building wealth, especially among vulnerable populations. A key lesson that stands at the core of our mission is the critical role of preemptive measures in safeguarding one’s financial health. Through our work, we’ve implemented comprehensive identity-theft protection and credit-monitoring solutions that not only serve as a defense mechanism but also educate our clients on the importance of regular financial oversight.

One pivotal example from our experience was helping a group of seniors who were targeted in a sophisticated phishing scam. By providing them with personalized education on recognizing such threats and monitoring their financial activities through our services, we turned a potentially devastating situation into a valuable learning opportunity. This incident underscored the importance of proactive financial education, showing that knowledge is as vital as the technical solutions we offer in preventing financial exploitation.

Furthermore, our efforts have highlighted the necessity of tailored financial strategies to address specific risks associated with different demographics, such as active military personnel and individuals with mental or physical disadvantages. By focusing on the unique vulnerabilities of these groups, we’ve developed targeted educational materials and monitoring strategies. This approach has not only protected our clients’ financial assets but has also empowered them with the knowledge to make informed decisions about their financial security in the future. Through these experiences, I’ve learned that combining cutting-edge technological solutions with personalized education fosters a robust environment of financial independence and security. == Jenna Trigg, Co-Founder, Silver Fox Secure

Invest Early, Understand Market Trends

Financial education has been at the core of my journey in founding BlueSky Wealth Advisors and helping others achieve financial independence. A crucial lesson I’ve learned, and often share, is the importance of early investment and the power of understanding the market’s long-term trends. For instance, an initial $1 investment in the stock market in 1926 could have grown to over $13,000 today, despite numerous economic downturns along the way. This emphasizes not just the value of patience and perseverance in investing, but also the vital role of financial knowledge in distinguishing between short-term noise and long-term growth opportunities.

In the realm of education investment, I’ve observed the significant impact financial education has on making informed decisions regarding one’s or one’s child’s educational future. The story of my client’s son, Sammy, who pursued a $200,000 education in a competitive field only to start with a $30,000 salary, underlines the importance of weighing the value of a degree against its cost and potential debt burden. It’s not just about getting any education but making educated financial decisions regarding that education. This example highlights the necessity to have a financial plan that incorporates smart strategies towards education funding to avoid jeopardizing one’s financial independence. Continue Reading…

Federal Budget 2024 features $53 billion new spending over 5 years; rise in capital gains inclusion rate for wealthy

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 8th federal budget features $52.9 billion in new spending over five years, according to the CBC.

You can find the 430-page budget — titled Fairness for Every Generation — at the Department of Finance website here.

Released at 4 pm Tuesday, the wealthiest 0.13% of Canadians will be hit with a higher capital gains inclusion rate: as of June 25, the inclusion rate will rise to 66% for capital gains  in excess of $250,000 a year, and this will also apply to corporations.

You can find details at the Globe & Mail’s coverage here. (may only be viewable by subscribers.) For those who can’t access, it says:

“The budget doesn’t make any changes to income tax rates, nor does it include an explicit wealth tax. Instead, the tax hikes are focused on capital gains … as of June 25, the inclusion rate on capital gains realized annually above $250,000 by individuals – and on all capital gains realized by corporations and trusts – will rise from one-half to two-thirds.­”

The lifetime capital-gains exemption for Canadians will rise from $1-million to $1.25-million, the Globe says, and “The total capital-gains exemption from the sale of a principal residence will not change.” Speaking on CBC, G&M columnist Andrew Coyne called it an “underwhelming” document.

Coyne’s G&M column on the budget bore the scathing headline A government with no priorities, no anchors, and when it comes to growth, no clue. Subscribers can read it here.

A typical passage from his piece:

“…. there is not a single measure in the budget aimed at boosting investment generally – as opposed to the usual slew of measures aimed at diverting investment

into the government’s favoured sectors: artificial intelligence, ‘clean’ technologies, and so on.”

Jamie Golombek’s take on Taxes

Here is  what CIBC Wealth’s tax guru, Jamie Golombek, had to say in the Financial Post.

The federal budget released on Tuesday did not contain a general tax rate increase for the wealthy, but the government did announce that the capital gains inclusion rate will be going up and it amended the draft alternative minimum tax rules in response to concerns of the charitable sector .

On the rise in the capital gains inclusion rate, Golombek says “the $250,000 threshold will apply to capital gains realized by an individual, net of any capital losses either in the current year or carried forward from prior years  .. Capital losses carried forward from prior years will continue to be deductible against taxable capital gains in the current year by adjusting their value to reflect the inclusion rate of the capital gains being offset. This effectively means that a capital loss realized at the current 50 per cent allowable rate will be fully available to offset an equivalent capital gain realized after the rate change.”

MoneySense’s Jason Heath

Fee-only financial planner Jason Heath penned this insightful analysis for MoneySense. He covers everything from the higher capital gains inclusion rate to impact on entrepreneurs, housing, renters and much more.

Rob Carrick’s Personal Finance report card

G&M personal finance columnist Rob Carrick created a personal finance Budget report card here. He gave Taxes a C-minus grade, Housing a B, Junk Fees a C and Open Banking a D, and Saving for postsecondary education an A.

On the other side, the Finance department says an Improving economy means higher tax revenue: $20 billion in new revenue in five years. The $40 billion deficit is projected to stay more or less pat till 2025/2026, after which it starts to inch down.

$46 billion next year on payments on the Debt

Here’s initial coverage of the budget from National Post. There, it reports that Ottawa will spend $480 billion next year, including $46 billion in payments on the national debt. Among the highlights mentioned:

“Among the new spending is more money for home building, including tax measures that allow first time buyers to take more money out of their RRSP for a down payment and to delay when they start repaying the money.There is also $1.1 billion for interest-free student loans and grants, more funding for the Liberal daycare program and for the first phases of national pharmacare that will cover insulin and contraceptives. There is also funding for a new disability benefit and money for artificial intelligence research.”

Mix of Bad Economics and Bad Politics

Also in the National Post, Philip Cross dubbed the budget “a continuation of the Trudeau government’s orgy of spending financed by debt and higher taxes.”

Sample passage:

“Besides being bad economics, the government’s massive spending is bad politics because it antagonizes most provinces without any obvious electoral return from its spending.” Continue Reading…