Tom Drake, founder of MapleMoney is here this week to share his journey starting his blog and podcast to becoming one of the most popular Canadian personal finance brands. We chat about Tom’s relationship with money, the beginnings of MapleMoney, staying motivated, and Tom shares some wisdom for new content creators on things he wishes he knew when he was starting out. If you’re reading this and you’ve thought of starting something, this is your sign to start your content creation journey TODAY!

Key Takeaways

  • Just get started already! There’s no perfect time, don’t wait until you have everything perfect because you’ll get it over time and with experience
  • Tom’s advice to new content creators is to just trust the process and not try to rush growth. Focus on reaching your target audience and be consistent!
  • Having multiple income streams is the same thing as diversifying your portfolio. When you have a side hustle you can make your own 10% raise in a year just by having an extra income stream
  • Don’t compare yourself to others! It’s important to remember that you’re on your own journey, and comparisons won’t do you any good
  • Tom’s side hustle as a blogger/podcaster has turned into his main hustle, but he’s still kept his 9-5 because he’s able to do both and still have time for himself and his family

Listen Now!

Links

https://maplemoney.com

http://www.tomdrake.net

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This week’s episode is all about what happened with GameStop stock over the past few weeks. $GME, Wall Street Bets on Reddit, hedge funds, options trading, short squeezes, gamma squeezes, market forces. All explained this week with the help of my friend Runda. What really happened? Why now? Did WSB stick it to the man? Is it over? Has the squeeze been squoze? Where are the shares? We talk all about what happened on the stock market over the past couple weeks. And of course, Runda brings up blockchain technology and how it can revolutionize global stock trading.

Listen Now!

Links

https://wherearetheshares.com/

https://isthesqueezesquoze.com/

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This week’s episode is all about buying your first home (Part 2). My friend Denise and I chat about buying a property. Denise is a home owner and has gone through the whole home buying process recently, so is full of up to date, handy information to share with us. In part 2 this week, we cover getting a real estate agent, budgeting for home expenses, house hacking, and more.

Key Takeaways

  1. As a buyer, you don’t pay a real estate agent anything. The seller is the one who pays commissions (around 5% of the sale of the home). The selling agent would get 2.5% and the buying agent would get 2.5%. You’re able to work with different realtors who specialize in different areas if you’re not set on a certain municipality or region.
  2. When buying a resale home, it’s important to get an inspection report – this indicates potential things that could be wrong with the house (i.e. how is the roof, how’s the plumbing, how’s the exterior). However a home inspector can’t open dry wall and see what’s inside the walls so it’s important to have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.
  3. Land transfer tax is a large one-time fee that you pay on closing as a buyer. It’s a marginal rate – you can find the link for Ontario below. In Toronto, that tax is doubled. There are incentives for first time home buyers.
  4. Make sure you get a good real estate lawyer! They will make sure your land transfer tax is calculated correctly, any rebates you’re entitled to are applied, and they will run a title search on the previous ownership of the house. This is really important to make sure everything is good with the previous ownership!
  5. Consider buying appliances instead of renting (i.e. hot water tanks). It could be worthwhile to purchase outright in the beginning.
  6. Consider house hacking! Buy a property, rent out a room or your basement suite. However, ensure that your basement apartment is in compliance with municipal codes. For example, Brampton, Ontario has really strict guidelines on basement apartments.
  7. Understand what you can afford and budget for everything!

Listen Now!

Links

Tarion Warranty on new homes

Land transfer tax in Ontario

Mortgage Calculator(from Gov’t of Canada)

Basement apartment regulations – Toronto

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This week’s episode is all about buying your first home!! My friend Denise and I chat about buying a property. Denise is a home owner and has gone through the whole home buying process recently, so is full of up to date, handy information to share with us. In part 1 this week, we focus on mortgages, saving for a down payment, and also chat about different types of properties and how to budget for buying a place, as well as something you can use to help buy a home that feels illegal but isn’t.

Please tune in next week for part two where we cover getting a real estate agent, budgeting for home expenses and more.

Key Takeaways

  1. The first thing you should do when thinking about buying a property is establish what you can afford. Look around at the market, and the neighbourhoods you’d like to live in. Look at real estate websites to see what prices are like:
  2. The different types of properties you can buy are: condo, townhouse, freehold townhouse, detached house, semi-detached house. Each have their pros and cons, for example with a detached house, you own this piece of land, but there is a lot of upkeep involved (i.e. snow shovelling, lawn mowing, etc.). It’s important for you to write down a pros and cons list and determine what is important to you.
  3. You can take up to $35,000 out of your RRSP, tax-free, if you’re a first time homebuyer to fund the purchase of your first home. This is called the Home Buyer’s Plan and is a great incentive. You have two years to wait until you have to start repaying this into your RRSP, and then you repay it back into your RRSP over 15 years. This is a super incentive because you get this tax-free money, and in the future you will still have this money for your retirement in the future.
  4. It’s important to talk to a lender to determine what you can afford when looking for a mortgage. There is a new mortgage stress test in place (more info in links section below), which makes it harder to get a mortgage. Things like a higher credit score, and gross debt ratio and total debt ratio
  5. Mortgage terms can depend on your situation, and the rates will be different depending on the length of the mortgage. Usually they’re five years, but this can differ.
  6. A 20% down payment is required to not need to pay mortgage insurance. For a property that costs less than $500,000, the minimum down payment is 5% (with mortgage insurance). For a property that costs more than $500,000, the minimum down payment is 5% on the first $500k and 10% on the excess to a limit of $1m.

Listen Now!

Links

CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance and Premiums

Mortgage Affordability Calculator

Mortgage stress test further reading

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This week’s episode is all about co-living, or shared housing! Derek Baker and I chat about what co-living is, how it differs from a traditional roomie or hostel situation, its benefits and drawbacks, how to determine if this is a living situation that is right for you, and find a place that is right for you. We also talk about how it looks like in a Covid environment, and Derek’s upcoming co-living plans (on a shoestring budget!)

I’ve always been curious about what the future would look like with regard to more of a sharing economy. There is a lack of affordable housing in major cities across North America, and along with that, people are feeling more isolated now, despite living amongst so many other people. Living in a space with others who are like-minded and share similar values would be a great way to make new connections without the hassle of having everyone on the same lease. Would co-living be the answer to this? As we chatted, I’ve become more convinced of the model.

Key Takeaways

  1. The co-living principle is shared living with the intent of creating intentional community and bringing together people with similar values and goals. Think urban hippie commune, but more luxurious.
  2. It is a great option for remote workers or digital nomads who want to have flexible living terms and travel – leases are typically one to three months in length, so you’re not tied down to one location for long periods of time.
  3. Co-living is a great option to reduce living costs in high cost of living cities and still have access to a comfortable living space with amenities. For example, linens are included as well as weekly professional cleaning of the common areas.
  4. There are private room and shared room options. The shared room options may differ but think upgraded hostel bunk beds.
  5. This is also a great option to travel for longer periods of time internationally. China and India have growing co-living communities, enabling you to stay in cities for longer than a few days or weeks, while still having the benefits of hostels (events, meeting people, location, etc.)
  6. Find co-living spaces through search engines that specialize in long-term stays such as:

Listen Now!

Links

Check out Derek’s blogFreedom Coliving

Follow Derek onInstagram (personal)or his Freedom Coliving account

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Today Gloria is joined by her friend Ivan who is a Registered Nurse. We chat about a variety of personal finance topics. The main goal of this podcast is to normalize conversations about money, and hope that this sparks similar conversations with your friends and family. We’ll go over different types of pensions, life insurance, how to negotiate prices when buying big ticket items, his career path and some investing lessons learned.

Key Takeaways

  1. Shop around the get the best deal. Don’t be afraid to negotiate the price down for big-ticket items, like furniture. For example, ask for the floor model. Each Brick is its own franchise with its own bargaining room, so be sure to visit different locations and see what kind of deals you can get.
  2. Price match to ensure you’re getting the best deal! For groceries in Ontario, you can price match at FreshCo, Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills and Giant Tiger. Other places that do price matching are: Canadian Tire, Staples, Best Buy, and Home Hardware. Here’s a list of places where you’re able to price match .
  3. Be patient with your shopping list! Go back to the stores frequently (or check back on the website) to see if the items you want are on sale.
  4. Life insurance premiums increase as you get older, so if you plan on having a family then it’s a good idea to purchase it sooner rather than later. Again – shop around for this.
  5. Pay attention to the kind of pension you receive and make sure you participate!
    • A defined contribution (DC) pension is one where the retirement payout is not known, what is defined is the amount of money that you put in.
    • A defined benefit (DB) pension is one that guarantees you a certain amount when you retire, so you’re able to plan ahead better with the knowledge of what you will receive when you retire.
    • Nowadays, defined benefit pensions are hard to come by in the private sector but is still common in the public sector.
    • The difference is that with a defined benefit, the amount you receive in retirement is known, whereas with defined contribution it is not known – that all depends on how to investment performs over time.

Listen Now!

 

Check out Gwai Jai on Youtube

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Today Gloria is joined by her friends Jill and Maddy. We talk about investing for the long term. We go over investing basics – asset classes, risk tolerance, and different options for investing. We also discuss our investing strategies and stories. We also get into whether there are gender differences in investing. Canadians, 2021 means $6,000 more in TFSA (tax-free savings account) contribution room! Let’s get this bread!

Key Takeaways

  1. Investing is all about making money while you sleep. You invest your money and then generate passive income through dividends and capital gains when you sell the security. There is an important distinction between saving and investing. When you have your money in a savings account, you’re basically losing money because interest rates are so low and does not keep up with the rate of inflation. Whereas, when you invest – your money is growing at a steady rate (though there is risk involved), historically the stock market as a whole has grown over time.
  2. ETF stands for exchange-traded fund which is typically a collection of securities that track an underlying index. This can be stocks or bonds. Examples are the S&P 500, which is comprised of the 500 largest US companies, or the Agg, which is the Bloomberg Barclays Aggregate Bond Index which is comprised of US government and corporate bonds.
  3. Ways you can invest:
    • Robo advisors – this is ETF based investing, and it’s done automatically for you
    • DIY through a discount brokerage ( or through your bank – you pick stocks or ETFs
    • Mutual funds – an actively managed fund that invests on your behalf, a collection of securities similar to ETFs but are managed actively but a professional
    • GICs – you can buy these through your bank
  4. You are able to find out your TFSA contribution room on your CRA website account

Listen Now!

Sources/Further Reading

Harvard Business Review – When will we see more gender equality in investing?

The CFA Institute – The equality equation: three reasons why the gender investing gap is closing

The New York Times – A trillion-dollar question: why don’t more women run mutual funds

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Runda is back! This week’s episode is more Bitcoin focused, as we discuss the history of Bitcoin, the recent all time highs in Bitcoin price we’re seeing and the potential reasons for it, and once you’ve done your own due diligence – how to enter the market. We also chat about why it’s important to fund disruptive technologies. Hope this helps others understand Bitcoin better!

Key Takeaways

  1. Bitcoin surfaced on the internet in 2008, and a paper published by Satoshi Nakamoto detailed how to use a peer-to-peer network to record transactions.
  2. Three ways to buy Bitcoin:
    • Online, through an exchange. Once you have a Bitcoin wallet set up, you can buy fractional Bitcoin (it can be up to 8 decimal points) through crypto exchanges. These typically accept bank wires and Interac e-transfers. Some examples are Coinbase and Bitbuy
    • In person, at a Bitcoin ATM. You may have seen Bitcoin ATMs pop up in convenience stores around your neighbourhood in the past several years. This is a way to buy BTC anonymously, but they often charge high fees that are markups of 6-8% on top of the current BTC price.
    • On the stock market. You are able to purchase Bitcoin ETFs, such as QBTC-U.TO on the TSX. You are also able to buy shares of Bitcoin mining companies, and companies that are heavily invested in Bitcoin on their balance sheet (i.e. Microstrategy and Square). Their share price will be correlated with the price of Bitcoin, as they have exposure to the asset.
  3. Bitcoin’s price has surged recently due to a number of reasons, including increased institutional adoption, inflation, better regulation and more ways to enter the market, Bitcoin halving events – indication that it is a scarce resource, driving price up.

Listen Now!

Links/Further Reading

Bitcoin.org

Bloomberg Article – Fidelity launches inaugural bitcoin fund

Forbes Article – JP Morgan suddenly appears to be going all in on crypto

Investopedia Article – Why does Bitcoin keep going up

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Today Gloria is joined by her friend Runda. They discuss what cryptocurrency and what blockchain is, how it works and how it’s revolutionized accounting. We chat about things you need to know before investing in cryptocurrency. Hope this helps others understand cryptocurrency better!

Key Takeaways

  1. Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that are encrypted. There is no central bank so it’s decentralized.
  2. Think of blockchain as a giant history book of transactions. Each transaction is verified by different computers on the network.
  3. All cryptocurrencies have a blockchain but not all blockchain have associated cryptocurrencies.

Listen Now!

 

Links/Further Reading

Bitcoin.org

Investopedia explains Blockchain

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Today Gloria is joined by her friends Patrick and Alex. They discuss the FIRE, or financial independence retire early movement. We chat about what the movement is, how to get there, our journeys, and why we want to reach FI. We also get into how to talk about money with your partner, and Patrick and Alex share their perspectives on money, happiness and being transparent with regard to money when in a relationship. Hope this inspires others to perhaps begin their own FI journey, whatever that may look like.

Key Takeaways

  1. You’ve technically reached “FI” once you have invested 25x your annual expenses. You can withdraw 4% and live off of your investments and can now live a work optional life!
  2. Have very transparent conversations about money when you’re in a relationship with someone
  3. Don’t get caught up in what others do on social media or in your circle – make sure you are aligned on what your priorities are and that leads into how you build your relationship with money
  4. Personal finance is personal. It’s your money – you can do whatever you want with it

Listen Now!

Links

Mr Money Mustache Blog

FI Calculator

Reddit – FICAN

Reddit – Financial Independence

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