Interest Rates Are Dropping – Now What?

On Wednesday, Canada’s central bank officially ended the fastest and most dramatic interest rate-hiking cycle in our country’s history by dropping the benchmark interest rate by 0.25%. This brings our overnight lending rate from 5% to 4.75%, and our central bank governor Tiff Macklem has indicated that more rate drops are on their way. This news has been heralded by our media as welcome relief for everyone that’s been punished by high rates, meaning mortgage holders, but that relief is not going to be as dramatic as many hoped. The reason? Here’s Canada’s historical interest rate chart. Mortgages in Canada […]

May Portfolio Update

FIRECracker and I do periodic reviews of our investments as part of our normal financial health check, and on our wall of to-do items, there’s a big, bright, yellow reminder that says “Q1 Portfolio Review!” But this year, we kinda, sorta forgot. Having a baby is a very personal experience for everyone, and depending on who you talk to, becoming a parent is either a joyous part of the human experience, or a complete shitshow that nobody should ever attempt. However, one thing that every parent agrees on is that babies are distracting as HELL. I can’t count how many […]

How to Claim Tax Treaty Benefits to Avoid Double Taxation

“We’re going to need to see a Japanese tax return.” “You want a what?!?” I sputtered. There are lots of things FIRECracker and I pictured when we started down the path of becoming published authors. Coffee-powered days (and nights) of writing and editing? Sure. Media interviews and book tours? Why not. But reading and re-reading the dense, obscure legalise of international tax treaties until our eyes bled? That didn’t show up anywhere on our becoming-a-writer BINGO card. When we first published Quit Like a Millionaire back in 2019, our agent extraordinaire Andrea Somberg went around selling translation rights to about […]

Norbert’s Gambit vs. Wise for Currency Exchanges

We recently got a question in our inbox that goes like this: I have used Norbert’s Gambit before to exchange CAD to USD in my Questrade RRSP account. But I also read about your recent travels and how you use Wise to convert currencies. Which has a better conversion rate in your experience when converting CAD to USD? Because of how much we travel, we do a LOT of currency exchanges, so it’s important for us to reduce fees as much as we can. And those fees can add up, big time, if you’re not careful. If you naively use […]

Preferred Share vs. Stocks and Bonds

I recently got an email from a reader asking the following question. I’ve read that you guys have been investing in Preferred Stocks. I went down a rabbit hole trying to understand them further (particularly Preferred Stock ETFs for broader diversification), but am still a bit perplexed.  I’m wondering if Preferred Stocks could have a place in a portfolio of early retirees, since we’re trying to live off our $ in 1.5 years and do need safer income-producing assets. Right now our portfolio is 100% equities (stocks and ETFs), but that seems too risky, so I’m looking to get to 25% in bonds/similar assets. Would you be open […]

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