Are You Suffering from Holiday Spending Hangover? Here are 2 Ways to Pay Off Your Debt

Happy belated holidays and new year’s! How were your holidays? Did you get to spend plenty of quality time with family and friends?

With the holidays behind us and January here, soon we’ll be celebrating another yearly tradition – the opening of credit card statements from the holidays. For some people, it won’t be a big deal. For other people, they’ll suffer “credit card statement shock” from the amount they spent on holiday shopping.

Are you suffering from holiday spending hangover? You’re not alone. Starting the new year with a credit card balance isn’t very fun, but don’t worry, as you’ll soon find out, there are two tried-and-true ways to reach debt freedom sooner.


Avoiding Credit Card Debt in the First Place

Credit card debt isn’t very fun. Not only are you charged an arm and a leg in interest – 18 percent on traditional credit cards and up to 30 percent on retail credit cards – if you hope to own a home, it can make borrowing money from the bank a lot tougher. You may have to reduce your housing budget, or worse, put your dreams of homeownership on hold.

The easiest way to avoid credit card debt is to not get in debt in the first place. This means only charging something on your credit card that you can afford to pay off in full once your credit card statement comes due. If you’re already carrying a balance, there’s no need to panic, but time is of the essence. The longer you carry a credit card balance, the more interest you’ll accrue.


The Debt Avalanche and Debt Snowball Methods

There are two popular ways to rid yourself of credit card debt: debt avalanche and debt snowball. With the debt avalanche method, you aim to pay off the debt with the highest interest rate. This makes sense since this debt is costing you the most. The sooner you get rid of it, the better.

The second approach, the debt snowball method, involves paying down the debt with the smallest balance first, while ignoring the interest rates. This makes a lot of sense as well, since it can be the most motivating to pay off debt this way.

Whichever method you choose, make sure you keep paying the minimum balance on all your credit cards and debt, otherwise you could ruin your credit score and face an even higher interest rate, along with fees and penalties.


Credit Card Debt Example

To get a better understanding of both methods, let’s run through an example. Let’s say Lisa has two credit cards with outstanding balances. MasterCard #1 has an interest rate of 18 percent and a balance of $2,000, while MasterCard #2 has an interest rate of 28 percent and a balance of $4,000.

To pay off her credit card sooner, in addition to her full-time job, Lisa works part-time as a fitness trainer, earning $300 per week. If she were to choose the debt avalanche method, Lisa would focus on paying off MasterCard #2, since it has the highest interest rate, while paying the minimum payment on MasterCard #1.

However, MasterCard #2 has a pretty large balance of $4,000. It could take her quite a while to pay it off, so Lisa might consider the debt snowball method instead. With the debt snowball method, she would focus on paying off MasterCard #1 since it has the smallest balance. Once MasterCard #1 is paid off, she’d focusing on paying off MasterCard #2.

There’s no one right way to pay off credit card debt. It all comes down to personal preference. The most important thing at the end of the day is for Lisa to reach debt freedom sooner.

Choose the method that works for you and do what it takes to pay off your debt.

4 Top Business News Stories of 2016

Can you believe we’re in the last couple week of 2016? Where did the time go? 2016 has been quite a year in the business world. Robo-advising has really taken off as a viable investing option for Canadians. Meanwhile, in the world economy, there were two historic votes both with surprising outcomes: Brexit and the US presidential election. Let’s look back at the year that was 2016.

CRM2: A Real Game Changer

Canadians pay among the highest investment fees in the world. That could change in 2017 once Client Relationship Model - Phase 2 (CRM2) comes into full force. As of July 15, 2016, registered firms will need to provide an annual report showing fees in dollars. This will be a real eye-opener for investors. A 2.3 percent MER may not sound high, but when you find you you’re paying, say, $575, in fees a year based on a portfolio of $25,000 for a mutual fund that underperforms the benchmark, you might think twice about investing in actively managed funds. This could only accelerate the pace of money moving from mutual funds to ETFs.


The Year of the Robo-Advisor

2016 has been yet another banner year for robo-advisors. Canadians are increasingly moving their money from traditional high-fee mutual funds (many that underperform their benchmark) to robo-advisors that offer low-fee exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Unlike traditional financial advisors with brick-and-mortar operations with high overhead costs, robo-advisors are virtual operations that operate on the World Wide Web and mobile phones. Robo-advisors are the perfect compromise between DIY investing and mutual funds. They offer simple, yet custom built investment portfolios at a fraction of the cost. Look for 2017 to a stellar year for robo-advisors as well.


Brexit: The UK Votes to Leave the EU

The British went to a historic vote Thursday, June 23, 2016. The stakes couldn’t be higher: should the UK remain or leave the EU? The key issues for voters were immigration and independence. The polls had the Remain side ahead of the Leave side by the narrowest of margins. When the vote actually took place, it was the Leave side that came out ahead. 51.9 percent voted to leave the EU, while only 48.1 percent voted to remain. The vote’s results has divided the nation and led to an economic slowdown in one of the world’s major economies.
Even months later after the vote, we still don’t fully understand the ramifications of Brexit (or even if it will end up going through). One things for certain though, it introduced more uncertainty into the world economy at a time when we really need stability.


Donald Trump is Elected President

If Brexit wasn’t surprising enough, we got another shocker in the form of the US election. Just when it looked like the US would elect its first female president, it wasn’t meant to be. Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had a comfortable led in the polls heading into the vote. Republican nominee Donald Trump’s campaign had lots of missteps along the way. Many people went to bed on election night expecting Hillary Clinton to win the U.S. presidency with ease, but that’s not what happened. In one of the biggest upsets in political history, Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton to become the next President of the United States.
The real question is what does a Trump presidency mean for Canada? It could end up being a good thing for at least one industry: oil and gas. However, similar to Brexit there’s a lot of uncertainty. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds in 2017 once president-elect Trump takes office.


Setting Yourself Up for Financial Success with Goal Setting

Can you believe the holidays are almost here? Have you finished shopping for gifts yet? The holidays are a time to show family and friends how much you care about them. This is often done through gift giving. While there’s nothing wrong with buying loved ones nice gifts, the last thing you want is for your gift giving to derail your short-term and long-term financial goals and start the new year in debt. How do you avoid overspending during the holidays? By setting financial goals and sticking to them no matter what.

Financial goal setting is the foundation of financial success. Goal setting is very personal. What may be a good financial goal for me, may not be an appropriate goal for you. For example, if I have student debt, I may set the goal of paying off $10,000 in student debt this year. However, if you’re debt-free, you may set the goal of saving toward a vacation. It’s all about setting a financial goal that’s appropriate for you and being committed to seeing it through.


Budgeting and Tracking Your Spending

At the foundation of goal setting is budgeting and tracking your spending. A budget breaks down your spending into specific categories, such as mortgage/rent, gas, groceries, clothing, transportation, and the list goes on. A budget can be an eye-opening experience. A seemingly small expense, such as spending $5 here and there are the convenience store, can easily add up to $100 per month.

Setting a budget is a good first step, but it alone won’t set you up for financial success. It’s equally important to track your spending. Tracking your spending is made easier these days thanks to budgeting apps like Mint. Some credit cards even categorize your spending, so you don’t have to, making it easy-peasy. By tracking your spending, you can make sure you’re not exceeding your budget and have money left over at the end of the month to save.


Setting SMART Goals

While setting goals is helpful, setting SMART goals is a lot more powerful. In case you haven’t heard of SMART goal setting, it’s an acronym short for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound. For example, instead of saying you’d like to save up for a home, a SMART goal would be to save a $40,000 down payment in two years.

The “R” in SMART stands for “realistic.” You want to make sure you’re able to achieve your goals. How do you do that? By working backwards from the personal goals you set. Figure out exactly how much you need to save from each paycheque in order to meet your goals and “pay yourself first.” Make savings a priority by automatically depositing a set amount each month, say $200, from your paycheque in a high-interest savings account. The money will be safe and sound in your savings account before you’re tempted to spend it.


5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Goal Setting

Confused about goal setting? Don’t be. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get started. Answer these questions to get a better idea about how realistic your goals are and adjust as needed.

1. When do you want to reach your financial goals?

2. How much in total will you need to save to reach your goals?

3. How much can you save from each paycheque toward your goals?

4. What sacrifices will you need to make in order to achieve your goals?

5. How will you benefit from goal setting in the future?

By setting goals, you’ll set yourself on solid financial footing and more likely to succeed in 2017 and beyond.



5 Must-Have Money Apps For Your Phone

Smartphones have made our lives a lot easier these days. There seems to be an app for just about everything: exercise, cooking and of course, money. There are dozens of money apps to choose from and download. Some of them are good and some not so good. How do you figure out the best ones? Here are our five must-have money apps to download on your phone to start your finances on the right foot in the new year.

Apple’s Stock App

Do you enjoy picking stocks? Apple’s Stock app is a stock picker’s dream come true. The best thing is if you have an iPhone, the app is already loaded on your phone. Create a list of stocks to watch and keep tabs on them on a daily basis. The app is simple, yet robust. Easily add and remove stocks from your favorite list in seconds. If you’re looking for more information, you can click on a company’s name for charts, financial information and the latest business news.



Budgeting is a lot like dieting. We all know we should do it, but many of us lack the discipline and aren’t willing to put in the effort. With Mint you don’t have any good excuse for not budgeting. Mint takes the effort out of budgeting. Through the magic of Mint, all your financial information is pulled from your various accounts and added to one convenient dashboard to make keeping track of your finances easier. Mint isn’t just for banking and credit cards. You can also link up and keep track of your investments. Set spending categories and alerts for when you’re about to exceed your budget, helping you better manage and keep your spending in check. You can even set a reminder, so you never miss paying another bill again.



Looking to keep up on the latest business news? You can’t go wrong with Bloomberg’s app. Keep in the known of what’s happening on Bay Street and Wall Street with this handy app. Find out what’s happening in business in major cities in Canada and in countries around the work. Bloomberg isn’t just a news app. The app’s handy portfolio tracker lets you keep track of how your favorite stocks are performing on a daily basis.



BNN may be best known as the Business News TV Network, but it also has a handy smartphone app- BNN GO. Missed a segment of your favorite show on BNN? Don’t have access to a computer? No need to worry. Catch up on the latest on BNN on your smartphone. Full episodes and segments of your favorite shows are just a download away. Be forewarned the app can use a lot of data, so I’d encourage you to use Wi-Fi-, otherwise you can blow through your phone’s monthly data usage in a New York minute.



Looking to save money on groceries? Who isn’t? Food is the second or third highest household expenses for most families. Sure, you can clip coupons and browse advertisement flyers, but that takes time. The good news is there’s a better way. Flipp is a digital flyer app that helps save time and money on your weekly trips to the supermarket. Not only is Flipp great for finding coupons on products you normally buy, it makes creating a shopping list and planning meals a breeze. Flipp features over 800 retailers in Canada and the U.S. and the list is constantly growing. Once you start using Flipp, the savings will add up.


Divorce and Your Money

Divorce is a lot more common these days than it used to be. 41 percent of marriages end in divorce before their 30th year anniversary, according to Statistics Canada. Fighting over money is often the top reason.
Divorces can be costly, especially the unamicable ones. The average legal fees for an uncontested divorce is $1,845, while the average for a contest one is $13,638, according to Canadian Lawyer’s 2015 legal fees survey. And those are just the legal fees. It doesn’t include the division of your assets like your investments and debts.
But getting a divorce doesn’t have to bankrupt you. Here are some things to consider.


Who Owns and Owes What

Each couple has their own separate approach for dealing with money. Some couples are open and honest about their finances, while others keep money hidden away from their significant other. Sometimes the husband or wife will even manage the finances and the investments alone, with their spouse left in the dark.
Even if you don’t particularly enjoy budgeting and personal finance, it’s still important to have a basic understanding. If you ever get divorced, you’ll be thankful you did. You’ll be better equipped to make decisions about how assets and debts are to be divided.
Don’t just spring this on your hubby suddenly over a candlelit dinner. It’s all about finding the right time. Once you’re ready, start by figure out what your assets (what you own) and liabilities (what you owe) are. Review financial statements together to see how your investments are doing (this can be the perfect time to assess their performance).


Everything Gets Split Up – Even Your Spouse’s Debts

Choosing the perfect partner is important. Not only do you want to tie the knot with someone who’s your perfect match, you want to find someone who’s financially responsible. If you have opposite money personalities, you’re a saver and your spouse is a spender, it can lead to money disagreements and sometimes even divorce.
When it comes to divorce, everything gets split up, even the debt. For example, if you’re a diligent saver, invest carefully and maximize your RRSP and TFSA contributions each year, while your spouse maxes out their credit card and is in debt up to their neck, it doesn’t matter. The assets and debts during the marriage get split in half. Your spouse will get half of your investment portfolio, while you’ll owe half of their credit card debt. It may not seem fair, but that’s why you should be extra careful when choosing your better half.
When dividing assets, not all assets are created equal. For example, what’s more valuable, a $20,000 car or a $20,000 investment portfolio? The car will tumble in value over time (unless it’s a classic car), while the investment portfolio will grow. Don’t lose sight of this, especially when emotions run high.

Don’t Stretch Yourself Financially

While it would be nice to be able to afford to stay in the family home, that’s not always realistic. If you were already stretched financially when you had the paycheque of your spouse coming in, it’s probably better to take the proceeds and buy a smaller home. There’s also nothing wrong with renting. Divorce brings about a lot of changes in life, so buying a home right away may not make the most sense.

4 Shopping Tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Are you ready to shop ‘til you drop? This Friday is Black Friday, where retailers offer their best deals of the year. Black Friday used to be just an American shopping phenomenon, but a few years ago it came north of the border and it’s been a hit ever since (Black Friday has actually proven more popular than Boxing Day). Black Friday is the perfect time to pick up some last minute presents for family and friends. And don’t forget about this coming Monday, Cyber Monday, where online retailers offer their best deals of the year.

Without further ado, here are some tips for getting the most out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Tip #1: Create a Budget

Thanks to credit cards and mobile payment, it’s easier than ever to spend these days. With the simple tap of your credit card or phone, you can spend $50 in an instant. However, this convenience comes at a cost. It makes it easier than ever to go over your holiday spending budget. The last thing you want is to start the New Year in debt, carrying a balance on your credit card.
Before going on a Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping spree, take the time to create a budget. If you have a lot of family and friends to buy for during the holidays, consider setting a spending limit per person and in total. For example, you might spend up to $20 per person and $300 in total for gifts for everyone.


Tip #2: Earn Credit Card Rewards

If you’re anything like me, you’ll end up spending a bundle on holiday presents, so why not get rewarded for that spending? Instead of paying by debit, use a cash-back or rewards credit card to earn cash. Most credit cards offer one or two percent cash-back or rewards on purchases. Just don’t lose track of your spending and make purchases for the sake of earning reward points. (No credit card in the world is worth carrying a balance and paying 19 percent interest just to earn one percent in rewards.)

Tip #3: The Best Deals Aren’t Always Found in Store

Why head to busy, crowded malls when you don’t have to? Don’t just assume the best deals are found in store. With Cyber Monday just around the corner, there are plenty of deals to be had online. Not only can you often find a better selection online, many stores offer free shipping. That brand-new laptop you’ve been waiting for could be yours with a few simple clicks of the mouse at half price. Some retailers post their Cyber Monday deals ahead of time. Take the time to comparison shop and see if you can find a better deal on the World Wide Web.


Tip #4: Avoid the Old “Bait and Switch”

Retailers like to wow customers by offering eye-popping deals on door crasher specials. Some retailers open the store early or let customers line up outside the night before. Unless you’re willing to wait outside in the cold overnight, chances are the best deals may be gone by the time you arrive. Retailers know this and may offer you a deal on a similar products, say a TV, at a higher price. This “deal” may not end up being much of a deal. If a retailer is sold out, take some time to shop around to see if you can find a better deal elsewhere.


What Does President Trump Mean for Canada?

Most people thought Hillary Clinton would be the next president of the U.S., but that’s not what happened. The pollsters yet again got it wrong. In one of the biggest upsets in political history, Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton to become the next President of the United States. It wasn’t close either – Trump won in impressive fashion, winning in a landslide. What does a Trump presidency mean for Canada? Let’s take a closer look.

The Immediate Aftermath of a Trump Presidency

It was predicted stock markets would be down worldwide if Trump was elected President. Although markets were down initially, that’s not what happened. Stock markets fell at first once Trump won the election, but ended up ultimately closing higher on Wednesday. The Dow hit a record high later in the week, while the TSX saw small gains.

It probably has a lot to do with Trump’s victory speech and his meeting later in the week with outgoing President Obama at the White House. Instead of his usual combative tone, Trump seemed presidential. Investors seem to be optimistic Trump’s promises to boost infrastructure spending, reduce taxes and cut government red tape will help the economy.


How Will Canada Be Impacted by President Trump?

A Trump victory could actually be good news – at least for Canada’s struggling oil and gas industry. Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper tried his best to get the Keystone XL pipeline approved, but ultimately President Barack Obama nixed it. Keystone XL may be one of the first items on the agenda for Trump when he officially takes office. During his campaign, he promised to approve Keystone XL if elected President. If Trump follows through, this could lead to plenty of opportunities for Canada’s oil and gas industry stateside.

Trump campaigned on rejecting globalism by putting America first. Although much of that talk was aimed at Mexico, this still introduces a lot of uncertainty since the U.S. is Canada’s largest trading partner. Specifically worrisome is Trump’s promise to tear up NAFTA if it’s not renegotiated. With a Republican president and the Republicans controlling both the Senate and House, Trump may actually be able to follow through on his promise. All he needs to do is give six months’ notice and he can withdraw the U.S. from NAFTA. This could hurt both the American and Canadian economies.


With a lot of Americans promising to move to Canada if Trump became president, Canada’s real estate market could get a nice boost. Although Vancouver is less attractive with its 15 percent foreign buyers tax, Toronto remains a world-class city many would be proud to call home. Despite the high real estate prices in the Big Smoke, our real estate prices remain affordable for Americans due to our low loonie. The U.S. greenback has about a 30 percent advantage over the Loonie. That advantage is expected to widen if the U.S. Federal Reserve hikes interest rates in December as many are expecting.


Celebrating Financial Literacy Month: Why Financial Literacy Matters

November is many different things to many different people. It’s “Movember,” a month to raise the awareness of cancer among men. But that’s not all. It’s also financial literacy month, a month dedicated to raise the awareness of financial literacy. Financial literacy is such an important topic, yet it’s still not mandatory in schools in Ontario. That needs to change. Let’s take a look at why financial literacy matters, as well as the benefits of being financially literate.


Financial Literacy in Ontario

We learn about science, math and the arts, but when it comes to financial literacy, it’s often up to parents to teach their children. Ontario has made some progress on financial literacy in recent years, but there’s still more work that needs to be done. Since 2011, the province has been working to revamp how financial literacy is taught in schools. The province is aiming to include financial literacy for students in grades 4 to 12. Topics taught include money, personal finance, budget and money management.

While this is a step in the right direction, it’s still up to the individual teacher to decide what’s covered. The fact that the teachers teaching financial literacy may not understand it themselves is a concern as well.


The Benefits of Being Financially Literate

With half of Canadians living paycheque to paycheque, there’s never been a better time to learn about financial literacy. Perpetually low interest rates have led to Canadian households going on a borrowing frenzy, pushing household debt to an all-time high. Household debt is so high it has the government worried. Much of that debt is from mortgages. To slow down the debt binge, the government recently introduced new mortgage tightening rules.

Being financially literate has many benefits. When you’re financially literate, you’re less likely to get into trouble with consumer debt. You’ll know how to manage debt and use credit cards responsibly. When you manage your money better, you’ll have more money left over to save and invest. You’ll better be able to save for long-term financial goals like homeownership and retirement. You’ll also be a better investor. You’ll understand key investing concepts like asset allocation and diversification.


Financial Literacy Gives Confidence

Walking through the doors of a bank can be intimidating. Whether you’re getting a mortgage or a car loan, it can be nerve-racking. When you’re financially literate, it gives you the knowledge and confidence to make important financial decisions. You’ll understand the difference between stocks, bonds, ETFs and mutual funds. Investment fees are so important, but far too many of us are complacent about them. Being financially literate means you’d understand the benefits of ETFs like those offered by Smart Money Invest – better performance and lower fees.

Financial Literacy month is all about education. Take advantage many of the free events going on across the city. Attend an event on a topic you’ve always wanted to learn about like investing. By improving your financially literacy, it will pay off – literally – for the years to come.

Happy financial literacy month everyone!



3 Scary Things That Lurk Inside Your Portfolio

Investing can be exciting, but just like Halloween, it can also be downright spooky. Everything from high fees to a lack of diversification can scare away decent investment returns. By being aware and paying close attention to your portfolio, you can help stop them. Here are three scary things that lurk inside your portfolio.


High Fees

One of the most popular Halloween costumes is a ghost. Making a ghost costume can be as easy as taking a bed sheet and cutting some eye holes out. So, what do ghosts and high fees have in common? Plenty.
We’ve discussed high fees plenty of times. Similar to ghosts, high fees are invisible. I like to call high fees the “invisible destroyer of wealth.” You may not think an MER of 2.5 percent seems like much, but on an investment portfolio of $500,000, that’s $12,500 in “invisible” fees you’ll be paying each year. Still think those fees are like Casper the Friendly Ghost?
How do you avoid scary investment fees? The simplest way is to purchase ETFs. Instead of funds with loads, ETFs come with ultra-low fees. By investing in ETFs like the ones offered by Smart Money Invest, you can save thousands in fees over your lifetime and avoid a Halloween horror.


Lack of Diversification

Another scary thing that may be lurking inside your portfolio is a lack of diversification. Many Canadian investors suffer from something called “home bias.” To understand home bias, it helps to look to Trick-or-Treating. When going Trick-or-Treating, you’re more likely to stay close to home and only visit houses in your neighbourhood (unless you live on a farm). The same can be said for investing. Canadians would rather invest in Canadian equities, ETFs, stocks and bonds. While there’s nothing wrong with investing in our great country, it can become problematic when you invest too much of your portfolio in the red and white. Canada is a country with three main industries, while the U.S. has 10. If one of those industries like oil and gas falls upon hard times and you’re investing 100 percent in Canadians equities, your portfolio will be hard hit. That’s why it’s important to diversify by investing in Canada, the U.S and internationally. That way if Canada is underperforming, other countries and regions are likely to offset it.


Not Paying Attention to Performance

Don’t dress like an ostrich for Halloween and stick your head in the sand. There are consequences for not paying attention. If you don’t pay attention to how many Halloween candies you’re eating, you’ll wake up in the middle of the night with a tummy ache. The consequences for investing are a lot more severe.
If you’re investing in an actively managed fund like a mutual fund, it’s especially important to pay attention to performance. How do you measure how your investment is doing? By assessing it against a benchmark like the S&P/TSX Composite Index. The facts don’t lie: most actively managed funds underperform the benchmark long-term. That underperformance means you might not be able to reach your long-term goals like homeownership or an early retirement.
Instead of putting your investments on autopilot, take the time to review your statements and see how your investments have been doing over the last five years and beyond.

Now that you’re aware of these scary things, you can hopefully avoid them. Happy Halloween, everyone!


Asset Allocation and Canada’s Food Guide Have More in Common Than You Think

If you were walking down the street one day and someone asked you, “what’s your asset allocation?,” would you know what you’d say? Your asset allocation is an all-important decision not to be overlooked. It can have a big impact on how your investment portfolio performs over the long haul and whether you’re able to meet your long-term financial goals like homeownership or an early retirement.


Understanding Asset Allocation

Asset allocation is a fancy term for how much of your investment portfolio you have invested in the three main asset classes: equities, fixed income and cash. With the risk asset allocation, you can accomplish several things at once: you can take the right level of risk for your expected rate of return, be able to access your money when you need it, and let your money grow to achieve your financial goals. The easiest way to achieve the right asset allocation is with a properly diversified investment portfolio.

Your asset allocation isn’t set in stone. Sometimes life happens. You could lose your job or have a baby. As such, it’s important to remain flexible. You have to be ready, willing and able to adjust your asset allocation over time. For example, if you decide to retire early, you may allocate more of your money towards fixed income and cash (which tend to be less volatile) and less toward equities.


Asset Allocation and Canada’s Food Guide

Asset allocation may sound intimidating, but it’s really not. To better understand asset allocation, it helps to think of it like Canada’s Food Guide. Similar to how asset allocation has asset classes, Canada’s Food Guide has food groups: vegetables and fruit, grain products, milk and alternatives, and meat and alternatives.

Your asset allocation depends a lot on your age (and gender). For example, if you’re years away from retirement, you’ll want to invest more aggressively, putting more of your money into equities and less into fixed income and cash. However, if you’re nearing retirement, you’ll want to invest more conservatively with less of a weighting in equities and a bigger portion of your portfolio in fixed income and cash.

Going back to Canada’s Food Guide, the recommended number of services per day also depends on your age and gender. For example, if you’re a female between the ages 19 to 50, it’s recommended that you have seven to eight servings of vegetables and fruit per day (eight to 10 servings per day for males in this age range). However, for females and males age 51 or older, it’s recommended that you only have seven servings per day of vegetables and fruit. Going beyond the recommended number of servings doesn’t do you any benefit and can actually increase your risk of health issues like obesity, diabetes and heart disease (especially red meat).


Choosing the Right Asset Allocation

Your asset allocation largely depends on three key factors: your tolerance for risk, financial goals and time horizon. The right asset allocation can be achieved in a proper investment portfolio consisting of low-fee ETFs like those that Smart Money Invest offers.
Not sure about the best asset allocation for you? Contact Smart Money Invest today for help determining the right allocation to meet your long-term goals.

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