Investment Workshop 2: Designing Your Portfolio Allocation

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Alrighty then, welcome back to our Weekly Update on the Millennial Revolution Investment Workshop! Hopefully people have gone ahead and created their brokerage accounts and at least started the process of signing up. If you haven’t, or it’s taking a while to process for whatever reason, don’t worry. We’re still a few weeks away from doing our first purchase so you’ve got plenty of time. So today, we’re going to talk about how to figure out your portfolio allocation.

To new readers who are just starting out with our Investment Workshop, please start at the beginning before reading further.

Funding Your Account

But first, we have to fund the account. As with all things banking, never EVER pay any fees. So in order to transfer money into your trading account without paying any annoying bank fees, the easiest way is to set up a Bill Payment from your normal bank’s checking account. I was able to find “Questrade Inc” under my bank’s online payee list, and after entering my trading account number I was able to transfer money in pretty easily. Test with a small amount first and make sure it shows up.

Americans, it looks like all of y’all (that’s my American accent. I’m very proud of it.) have something similar called “ACH”, or Automated Clearing House transaction. You will need the account number and routing number from your checking account, as shown below.


For more information, check out Vanguard page for funding instructions here.

Although there are no account maintenance fees with Questrade, I found that for Questrade if you try to access their “Trading” page with a balance of less than $1000, it will just sit there spinning forever and never load. Apparently $1000 is the magic number you need to have to “enable” the trading features.

And for Vanguard, they DO charge a $20 annual account fee, but you can get it waived if you sign up for e-delivery of your statements. I guess that’s the amount they were spending on physical paper/postage. Anyway, make sure you set up e-delivery by clicking here.

Picking Your Portfolio Allocation

OK so while that’s going on, let’s talk about the first and most important decision you have to make when you’re building your investment portfolio: Your Portfolio Allocation.

Now, it should be no secret that we’re big fans of Index Investing. If you haven’t read our article about Index Investing, please do that now, but to briefly summarize why we love it and will continue to use it:

  • It Works – The Stock Market always makes money over the long term. In fact, over 15 year time periods, the S&P500 has never lost money, and has had a median return of 12.2%.
  • It’s Cheap – Index Investing costs next to nothing because you don’t need to pay a fancy fund manager to just buy the index, so your MERs tend to be around the 0.1% range rather than the 1-2% range of the average equity mutual fund.
  • You Can’t go to Zero – If the Index goes to zero, all companies will have ceased to exist, and at that point the aliens have invaded so who cares about your portfolio?

Now if you’ll recall, an Indexed portfolio contains 2 basic types of assets: Equities (i.e. stocks) and Fixed Income (i.e. bonds). Choosing how much of each you’ll have in your portfolio will be the single biggest determinant of how your portfolio will behave, so let’s first take a look at how that works.


This is an Efficient Frontier plot for the US Stock Market and the Total Bond Market. It was generated using a tool called Portfolio Visualizer, which was super helpful since it meant I didn’t have to generate these myself anymore.

Along the bottom of the chart is Standard Deviation, which is a way to measure volatility (or “spikiness”). Higher means more volatile. And along the left is Expected Return, which is the average yearly return of each asset class. Higher is better.

So this half-moon crescent thing is basically every portfolio you can construct as a combination of Equity / Fixed Income. On the bottom left is an all-bond portfolio and at the top-right is an all-stock portfolio. An all-bond portfolio will have a lower expected return, but it will also have lower volatility. An all-stock portfolio will have a higher expected return, but with higher volatility. And the blue line connecting them is what happens when your portfolio is a combination of these two asset classes. Economists call this the “Efficient Frontier.”

But how do we actually pick a spot on this line that’s right for you? Well, here’s how:

There are two things you can use to decide your portfolio allocation, as written by economist Larry Swedroe in his book The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need for the Right Financial Plan: Managing Your Wealth, Risk, and Investments.

The first is timeframe.

It’s About Time

If you need the money in the next few years, your equity allocation should be lower since you’re less tolerant to sudden market crashes. If you don’t need the money for a while, your equity allocation can be higher since over time markets always trend higher. And if you don’t need the money for 15+ years or more, you may as well be almost entirely in equities since in that time period the S&P500 has NEVER lost money.

Your Investment Horizon (years)Maximum Equity Allocation

Source: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need for the Right Financial Plan: Managing Your Wealth, Risk, and Investments.

If you can sit down and figure out based on your income and savings rate how long it will take you to retire, this will give you a starting clue as to what your retirement timeframe is. So for example if you’ve been saving like crazy and are only a few years away from retirement, you don’t need to take on much equity exposure to hit your retirement date. But if you’re 10-15 (or more!) years away, then you may as well load up on the equities since the S&P 500 has never lost money in that timeframe anyway.

The next factor that determines your portfolio allocation is your risk tolerance.

Wild Swings, You Make my Heart Sing

Risk Tolerance is one of these terms that gets thrown around a lot but isn’t understood very well. The reason for this is that it’s really hard to measure.

Let’s take a look at our sample portfolio again. Here are 3 portfolios I created in that tool: 100% equity, 75% equity/25% fixed income, and 50% equity/50% fixed income.


Now lets see how these portfolios performed over the last 35 years, from 1980 to 2015.


We can clearly see here what the Efficient Frontier was also telling us: Higher Equity Allocation means higher portfolio returns over the long term, but also higher volatility which you can also see based on how much “spikier” Portfolio 1 is vs Portfolio 3. So far so good.

Now, look at that table over the chart under the column “Worst Year.” This is where we should be looking at to determine our risk tolerance, because this is biggest one-year drop each portfolio will experience during a market crash. Not surprisingly the worst year in all these portfolios was the Great Financial Crisis of 2008/2009 (an experience I remember not so fondly). At a 100% equity weighting, the portfolio plummeted by -37%, and at 50%, the worst year was less than half that, at -16%.

So the question that you need to ask is: How big of a temporary drop are you OK with stomaching before you’re going to panic and sell everything? The same author in that same book proposes the following table to take that and determine your equity allocation.

Maximum Loss You’ll TolerateMaximum Equity Allocation

Source: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need for the Right Financial Plan: Managing Your Wealth, Risk, and Investments.

Two Methods of Determining Your Portfolio Allocation

So now we have two methods of determining your portfolio allocation: Investment Timeframe and Risk Tolerance. The first is relatively simple to calculate while the second is, unfortunately, subjective and personal to you. If you’re a cowboy like some of our fellow FI-ers like Justin from RootofGood or Jeremy from, you may conclude that you have the brass balls to NEVER get scared and sell, and therefore 100% equity is for you.

Us? We’re somewhat more cautious than they are. So here’s how we picked our Asset Allocation when we were starting out.

  1. Based on our savings rate of 70-80% when we were working, we were projecting a working timeframe, and therefore investment timeframe, of about 10 years. This gave us a 70% equity weighting.
  2. Based on our investment knowledge and experience, we figured we could take a 25% hit and be OK, so that gave us an equity weighting of 60%.
  3. So with two different estimations giving us 60% and 70%, we took the slightly more conservative number and went with 60%.

And as it turns out, our estimations turned out to be pretty accurate. We managed to successfully ride out a 25-30% correction in 2008/2009 without selling (something most of Wall Street couldn’t do themselves), and we managed to retire in 9 years after starting full time work.

Note: Since we wrote this workshop back in 2017, our portfolio has changed slightly in terms of allocation and the fixed income part of our portfolio. Here are all the details.

Of course, the trick with many of you is that likely your timeframe is quite long while your perceived risk tolerance is quite low, giving you a really big spread between the two equity weighting numbers. In cases like this, a few tips to help you choose:

  • Remember, the “worst year” numbers are temporary. TEMPORARY. An Indexed portfolio can never go to zero and will always march higher given enough time.


  • Your portfolio allocation isn’t set in stone. It’s OK to pick a more conservative allocation and adjust upwards as you get more experienced. Obviously, it’s better to pick it right the first time, but investing more conservatively than you need is better than not investing at all.

So that’s it! For the purposes of this Workshop, we will be going again with a 60% equity/40% fixed income allocation, since that continues to be our risk tolerance, but feel free to increase or decrease depending on your own personal situation. If you’re planning on mirroring our purchases, you’ll be able to see in real-time how your choice effects your overall return/volatility performance vs ours, so that should be fun.

What is your portfolio allocation going to be and how did you came up with that number? We will try help out if we can if you have any questions in the comments section below.

Or…continue onto the next article.

67 thoughts on “Investment Workshop 2: Designing Your Portfolio Allocation”

  1. I had the Swedroe book on my Amazon wishlist. Thanks for saving me $20. 🙂

    My husband and I have enough to retire now. (We’re mid-40s, no kids, paid off home). Plan to work for another ten years to have an extra cushion for healthcare premiums. The crappiest plans in the U.S. cost us 10k a year and are going up 20 to 30% a year.

    By work we mean our own business that we set up a couple of years ago. Just to meet living costs for the next decade or so.

    1. Awesome! But don’t forget that in retirement your earned income drops to zero and you qualify for Obamacare subsidies that pay for your premiums, so take that into account when you’re calculating how many years extra you have to work.

  2. As for asset allocations, with the bond bubble and interest rate hikes on the horizon, I’m sticking to a 90% stocks, 10% short term Treasuries and CDs – exactly what Buffet said he would leave his wife.

    1. Nutrivore, one of the smartest comments I have seen on this blog. Nobody seems to talk about the bond bubble. They show backtests of returns of stocks and bonds for the past 40 years and make you think it will be the same. Interest rates have been dropping this whole time, inflating bond prices. Interest rates can’t go any lower. Bond returns will never be what they were in the past, as bond prices go down once interest rates go up.

      That is why it is so misleading and naïve to assume you will get a similar return to the past when you have bonds. A 60/40 portfolio is not going to yield 8% on average like it has in the past. Probably only 3-5% as bonds won’t get the 8-9% return they have the past 40 years. Stocks will have to do all the heavy lifting.

      I agree with a heavy stock portfolio.

      One other thing: Keep in mind that although it is true that when the market crashes you can rebalance and sell bonds and buy stocks at a lower price, but what is deceiving and left out is that the market goes up 75% of the time. Therefore that 40% in bonds is going to be a huge drag on your returns most of the time and those few times you can buy some cheap stocks won’t counteract the damage done by not letting your portfolio fly in up markets which is what happens most of the time.

      This in addition to the bond bubble spells trouble for those of you holding higher bond allocations. Just a heads up.

  3. If your asset allocation was influenced by how many years away you were from retirement, does this mean you adjusted the allocation to have a higher percentage of bonds every year since you keep getting one year closer to retirement? Or do you still maintain a 60/40 portfolio today? Thanks.

    1. Under a traditional retirement (at 65), yes you would shift your allocation towards fixed income over time, and under normal circumstances we’d probably by 40/60 in retirement. However, with our much longer retirement time frames we need to have a higher equity weighting than “normal” retirees, so we’re sticking with 60/40.

  4. “We’re still a few weeks away from doing our first purchase so you’ve got plenty of time.”
    But I’m ready now! I’ve read all the books, and blogs, did my homework, emailed you, had my portfolio all picked out, I’m ready to dive in. Then you announced this here workshop and I slammed on the brakes because I want to see how my picks stack up against yours.
    Any chance you could drop a hint of what the workshop timeline looks like?

  5. My attitude is a little different, at the bottom of a cycle, I am 80% equity, at the top, I am

    By my calculation, “letting the dogs run’ for no more than 7 years into a cycle (now) and then reblancing on a “dollar cost average” schedule works for me. I use no load MF’s, as the trading costs of a self directed equal to about the same, and ETF’s still have a MER, so you pay to have your money managed no matter what.

    So after 7 years, (remember the big dump in 2012? it was too soon, and therefore no panic… markets returned) and no sooner, you start moving from Equity to Fixed Income in chunks, no more than 5 or 6, until your reach 60/40.

    So where am I now… 60/40, with Fixed income split between short and long and even real cash (in AM dollars) Interesting enough, the bonds and some treasurys, have not lost any money, as the distributions have offset the prices. And Equitys have all gone up.

    Now you have cash ready for the next “Correction” be it small or large.

    So where am I now… 60/40, with Fixed income split between short and long and even real cash (in AM dollars) Interesting enough, the bonds and some treasury’s, have not lost any money, as the distributions have offset the prices. And Equitys have all gone up.

    next step is to move your equitys to less volatile dividend paying companies, like J&J. Reducing risk, but still staying the 60% in equitys.

    Your bang on so far, keep going I want to hear more…


    1. I’d be curious to know more about a no load mutual fund as I find it hard to imagine they can compete with ETF’s on fees. The management fee on an ETF can be as low as 0.05%, what are no load mutual fund fees like?

      1. The e-series TD mutual funds are no-load funds, and have an MER of about 0.3-0.5%. No-load just means there aren’t any front-end sales commissions or Deferred Sales charges, they still have MERs.

        1. Okay so whilst much better than a regular mutual fund they don’t compete with ETF’s. Pretty much what I had expected. Thanks.

          1. I’m 100$ MFs with Vanguard and my MER is 0.08%.
            Vanguard Taxable % $
            VFIAX 454533.54 0.050000 227.27
            VEXAX 232151.76 0.090000 208.94
            VMMXX 3244.36 0.160000 5.19
            VTIAX 99185.25 0.120000 119.02
            Total 789114.91

            Vanguard IRA
            VFIDX 112498.70 0.100000 112.50
            VGSLX 82542.12 0.120000 99.05
            VFSUX 52102.93 0.100000 52.10
            VSIAX 49022.19 0.080000 39.22
            VBTLX 74914.49 0.060000 44.95
            VTABX 38897.16 0.140000 54.46
            Total 409977.59

            Vanguard ROTH
            VSIAX 46025.29 0.080000 36.82
            Total 46025.29
            Expense Ratio 0.080274 999.51

  6. I like to press my luck, so I’ve been going all in with a 100% equity portfolio. Since I don’t anticipate needing this money for quite some time, I figure I’ll let it ride. I was in college during the financial crisis, so I was pretty insulated from its effects (other than the not being able to find a job when I graduated). Hoping that I can keep myself on track when the next downturn happens sometime in the future. Gotta just remember that any downturn can’t last forever.

    1. I just went 100% equity too after reading a few blogs recommending it for someone in my kind of situation. I don’t envisage needing the money in the next 10-20 years, it’s really just being put aside to grow as large as possible over a long-term horizon, with no set goal or intention of using it. 100% equity has performed better than any other allocation over a long-term horizon, so I see no reason to go with anything else. The only reason to not go 100% equity is a) You expect to need that money soon, b) You don’t think you can tolerate seeing your money fall up to 50% without selling and c) You need the security of guaranteed income from your investment to live on, such as dividends. Outside of those situations I don’t see any reason to hold fixed income. With a 60/40 portfolio you might get 6-7% long-term, with a 100% equity portfolio you could be hitting 9-10%, if not more.

      Hopefully I can ride out a market collapse of up to 50% okay, only time will tell I guess. My biggest fear is an unexpected event immediately after a market crash (like me or my wife needing urgent medical care) in which you have to withdraw money at the worst possible time. You can’t plan for that though and it would be very unlucky if it happened.

  7. Great read. I’m going to go 100% equities on my initial investment since it’s money I can afford to lose.

    Slightly off topic:

    Let’s say that markets take a huge dip following the US election (regardless of who wins). Will you take advantage and go on a buying spree to make quick return once the market inevitably buoys itself?

    1. They’re in it for the long term. The election may be a good entry point but only if Trump wins. Then again much of the volatility is priced in.

    2. Tommy, you should take a look at a stock chart. It is filled with ups and downs, rallies, false breakouts etc.

      You suggested to buy during the dip following the US election and go on a buying spree. Let me ask you Tommy, how do you know that dip is the lowest the market will go? Perhaps the market drops 9% with Trump taking office and you go nuts and buy everything you can, thinking you nailed the dip…then what happens is there is a false rally and the market goes up 5%, you think you are a genius, only to see the following week it drops 15% more. Then rallies and drops another 23%. You blew your whole load on a tiny fluctuation. This is why you don’t try to time the market. You don’t know what a dip is or how far it will go or if it is nothing. Stick with the DCA.

      Its natural to keep thinking you are smarter than the market. “I will just buy the dip and get a higher return.” Trust me Tommy, it doesn’t work that way, you are not the only person to think of it and try it. If you don’t believe me, give it a whirl. Try buying what you think are dips and do that consistently. Then wait for another dip. That dip you are waiting for may never come and you will miss out on a massive gain.

      Good luck buddy, be smart

  8. Hey there!

    I’m looking to fund my account using money I have in a TD Investment Mutual Fund RSP. I’m a bit confused (and admittedly nervous now) about how to go about transferring these funds to this Questrade account without tax penalty. Have I opened the wrong type of Questrade account to have this registered money transferred over?

    I just want to fund my account and get started with everyone else! 🙂


    1. As far as I know, TD mutual funds can only be held in TD. You’d have to sell it, but because it’s an RRSP, there’s no tax implications as long as you don’t withdraw it. So you need to open a Questrade RRSP account and get it transferred over.

      1. I thought as much. Complete noob question – will I still be able to follow along with this workshop? I see I can still trade stocks, ETFs, bonds, etc. with one?

    2. If you just open an RRSP account in Questrade you can request for the money to be transferred from your mutual fund account to your RRSP account at Questrade directly. I have done this with both a TFSA and RRSP account from mutual funds in a bank.

      All you need to do in Questrade is under “Funding” go to “Transfer From Another Broker” and fill in all the details then send the form to Questrade. They will handle it all by contacting your bank and showing them the form you filled out. You will be asked on the form whether to transfer “in kind”, which means to transfer your account over exactly as is (i.e. you will keep hold of your mutual funds) or you can transfer in cash (i.e. your bank sells your mutual fund at the market rate and then sends the cash over to Questrade).

      Neither method will incur taxes as the money is never leaving your RRSP account. It is going from RRSP to RRSP.

      I will say though, it took several weeks for me to transfer “in cash” from my bank to Questrade, largely because my bank was so damn slow to sell the mutual fund and move it over. I also incurred fees of something like $50 (which you will likely incur however you transfer it). It may be a bit faster to transfer “in kind” as the bank does not have to sell anything to do that. I have never done that though so can’t be sure.

      1. Never mind just saw Wanderer’s message, perhaps “in cash” is your only option if Questrade doesn’t hold the necessary mutual fund to transfer “in kind”.

      2. Thank you so much for the advice. I’ve been reading on whether or not I should do just that, but was a bit anxious to pull the trigger. I’ll take those steps now.

  9. I am 40 and my wife is 38. We’re at 72% U.S Stocks, 18% International Stocks and 10% U.S Intermediate Bonds. I remember the crash of 2008/2009. At the time I wished I had more money to invest. Like she said in this article, bear markets usually last a few years and based on history always bounce back. Index portfolios never land to zero. We have a high risk tolerance. When we retire we’ll probably be 75/25 or 70/30 and stay there. In bear markets you’ll just need to reduce your spending at that time.

    1. Well said. The people who wished they had more money to invest and didn’t panic during the crashes are the ones who come out ahead. Good for you guys.

  10. Hi! Really digging this tutorial. Question: my savings are with a Manulife and my employer contributes 3% every year. Will I lose that contribution if I close my Manulife account and switch to Questrade?

    1. It depends on your employer’s deal with Manulife. I had an RRSP matching setup at my old employer, and I could move out my own contributions but not my employer’s matched part, which was locked in until I left. Check with your employer, but even if you’re locked in I remember Manulife had Index funds available, so just follow along with their funds.

      And for money outside your RRSP, you can use Questrade and their ETFs.

  11. I’m ready to buy, but need to get out of some analysis paralysis. If I understand your portfolio growth graph correctly, it suggests there is no reason to invest in anything except stock mutual funds: Portfolio 1 is always worth more than 2 and 3, even at the lowest points. I must be missing something, or giving too much importance to your example. Life can’t be that tidy or convenient.

  12. My husband and I make ~$174k/year after taxes. Our income has increased relatively quickly, and we just discovered the world of F.I.R.E. (thank God!!), so we are trying to get all our ducks in a row to invest heavily and retire early.

    We have $70k cash ready to invest (going to do a short 4-6 month DCA). Trying to decide what % to put into stocks (VTSAX) and what % to put into bonds. We are ready for ups/downs. And we are committed and willing to lose money if it means a small chance of getting to retire early. We are risk takers, and we don’t need or want the money any time soon. However, we are likely only 5-6 years away from financial independence. Any advice?! We will also be putting an additional $5k/mo into our brokerage account from here on out.

    Another area I would love some advice on is: Given our tax bracket, should we both be maxing out our 401k’s? Our employer match is VERY low (we work @ same company), and we currently contribute ~$23k/year between the two of us (employer match stops after $9k for us). The good thing is they are Vanguard funds and the expense ratios are relatively low (~.4%). We haven’t been maxing our 401k’s out because we thought it would be better to put additional money in brokerage account instead. But I’m wondering if we’re missing out on too much potential tax savings? Will it be hard to access those funds long before age 59?

    We are currently 29 & 33 years old. $55k in 401K’s. We also have $95k in IRAs/ROTH IRAs.

    Thanks in advance for your time! Just discovered your blog, but I am absolutely LOVING binging on the articles and getting excited about FI!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Anna! And you should be excited about FI, judging by your awesome salary and 401k matching. With those kinds of numbers, you’re likely only a few years from FI (assuming that your expenses are reasonable).

      To answer your questions:

      1) Given your investment timeline of 5-6 years towards FI, I’d personally go 60% equities 40% fixed income myself. It’s because a higher equity weighting may delay your retirement if a market dip happens right near the end. If you are risk takers and want to be more aggressive, you can add to your equity weighting a bit but I wouldn’t go 90/10 or anything like that. Only you can decide what makes sense for you.

      2) Given the employee matching, it makes sense for you to max out your 401k. Vanguard fund with low MERs are available to you and you can get your retirement funds out before 59 via what’s called the “Roth IRA Conversion ladder”. We explain this strategy in detail here:

      and here:

      Hope that helps! Enjoy your (hopefully short) journey to FI!

  13. I put up on-line a Google-Sheets (spreadsheet) that allows you to enter the dollar amount you have to invest and your desired asset allocation percentage and it then calculates the amount to put into various Vanguard funds that I believe should achieve your goals. The spreadsheet is read-only, but just go to the File-Make A Copy drop-down menu and make a copy of it before you edit. Look for the red colored text to see where to put your input info…


    1. That’s great..i am looking for something like this as manually adding those numbers are complex for me atleast. I am not able access it..sent a request to give permission…please grant.
      thank you

  14. Hello, thank you so much for the workshop. So I want to open a Vanguard account. Do I pick the General Investing and Invidual Account option underneath it? Then do I start buying index funds through that?

  15. Thanks so much for the reply. Last question. Should I open an IRA/Roth/both or just keep dumping it into my regular account?

  16. Hi Wanderer,
    Thanks for paying it forward via your workshops!

    I have two basic questions:
    1) your first workshop suggests Americans sign up with Vamguard, but in both workshops 1 and 2, namely 2, you only mentioned TD Ameritrade. If I create an account with Vangaurd, going forward will I be able to follow your workshop?
    2) I already have IRA accounts with Fidelity (although I’m still learning how to manage those accounts myself, hence following you for advice), do you suggest I not touch those as I create the Individual Trading Account to be used with your workshop?
    Thanks again!

  17. Excellent blog.

    We are new and late to the investment world and want some clarification regarding the investment allocation. Me and my wife are both self employed and have our own companies. I have set up my Non registered company investment account with TD. I want to invest 60 % in TD e series US index fund, 10 % in the Canadian bond fund and the balance 30 % in the top individual dividend paying Canadian stocks. I have two questions. Do you think this is the right allocation and secondly are there any implications of investing from the company NR account. Right now the only option i have is to invest from my NR company account. Thank you in advance.

  18. I would love to hear your rationale of why it’s better to do 60/40 rather than doing 100% equities and keeping 5 years of cash reserves in times of downturn (JL Collins style?). I know you mentioned Modern Portfolio Theory, and how important it is to be able to rebalance, but what about doing no rebalancing at all? I know you mentioned your risk tolerance isn’t great, but if you’re never taking money out during a downturn, that shouldn’t really matter right? Unless you had some big expenses planned, and wasn’t sure if the cash reserve would be enough?

    I love how simple JL’s approach is, and I find yours to be the opposite, but it also makes me feel more safe because having all those different investments makes it more diversified, but I’m struggling to determine what the right path is…

  19. hi,
    i’m new to this website and i can’t find the URL to the next chapter. would you lead the way? my next question is that i’ve learned that TD Ameritrade cancels the free transaction fee for Vanguard ETF and would you still recommend us to buy Vanguard ETF via TD Ameritrade.


  20. Hi Kristy and Bryce,

    Congratulations for the book! I bought and read it in one day! As a Gen-X Chinese immigrant into Canada, I definitely relate to the story and learned a lot from the book.

    Just opened the Questrade account through the link above. Wondering if my wife needs to open her own account or if there is a joint account? How you two handle this, you must know the answer :-).


    1. Hi Kevin,

      Welcome to the blog and thank you so much for reading our book! To answer your question, we have a joint account with Questrade.

      Oh and if you enjoyed our book, we’d be thrilled if you’d leave us an Amazon review! Thank you!

      1. Hi Kristy,

        After re-reading your book, I realize that I did not ask the question clearly. So my revised question is: does my wife need her own user account at Questrade for her RRSP and TFSA? I suppose I would check with Questrade for the answer, but I may get a quick answer from you :-).

        BTW, I finished the investment workshop, it’s a great companion for the book.


  21. Thank you for the quick answer, Kristy.

    I may leave a review after going through the investment workshops.

    Congratulations again for releasing the book.


  22. I am invested in all equity in our country’s stock market, the Philippines, and from hearing your book and reading this, I will adjust it starting this month, and will buy bonds. and go like your allocation 60/40

  23. Thank you guys for putting this workshop together, I’m following each step along the way.
    I listened to your book through my public library app (Oakland, CA) and I liked it so much that I bought a paperback copy to give it to my wife.
    I’m 39 yrs old with two kids and I like to retire by 50. I feel like doing a 60-70% equity allocation and I’m trying to take advantage of the current COVID-19 market crash.
    What are your thoughts on the current market status and the portfolio allocations?

  24. Thank you so much for providing this awesome FREE workshop! You guys are really amazing 🙏🏼.
    I live in CA & I have a brokerage account & a Roth account won’t Vanguard. My question is which account is this example from & how do you allocate from a brokerage or a Roth account with Vanguard? In addition, with these accounts unlike an employer 401K account you’re allowed to buy a range of individual ETFs, stock, mutual funds, bonds etc so I’m not understanding allocation for these brokerage or Roth accounts. I hope this make sense. Thanks in advance!

  25. I’m 26 and considering going back to school for a Mater’s or PhD within the next couple years. This could put me 100k in debt. I am excited about investing, but should I wait to begin until after I’ve gone to school and paid off the student loans?

  26. Hello, thanks for the blog.
    I am from Quebec and just retired – 60 now. I would like to reduce the management fees. Is it a good idea to move to Questrade and do the index funds in my situation?
    Thanks for your comments!

  27. Not sure if you are going to cover this later, but is this in an IRA of some sort or just a regular account? Thanks

  28. This was super helpful – thank you!
    I’m wondering how you determine how to split your 60% equities amongst Canadian, US, International, and Emerging markets? Any advice?

    Thank you!

  29. What if we already have a number of years invested in our 401k at 100% equity index position and would like to transition to a 70/30 ratio?

    Given that the market is down, do you recommend to simply switch my monthly contributions to bonds until I hit the desired ratio instead of rebalancing and selling at a loss?

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