Showing posts with label RRSP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label RRSP. Show all posts

Friday, February 24, 2023

Bank of Canada current interest rate

In January 2023 the Bank of Canada raised it's benchmark interest rate again, this time to 4.50%

Bank of Canada raises borrowing costs for seventh time in a row amid stubbornly high inflation. The Central bank has been raising rates aggressively to rein in sky-high inflation.

Since March of 2022, the central bank has raised its key interest rate six consecutive times, bringing it from 0.25 per cent to 4.50 per cent.

The Bank of Canada hiked its trendsetting interest rate by 1/2 percentage point on Wednesday.

The current rate is 4.50%

The Bank Prime rate for most lenders now stands at 6.70%
Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) Average Prices and Graph

For more information please contact A. Mark Argentino

A. Mark Argentino, Broker, P.Eng.,
Specializing in Residential & Investment Real Estate
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
2691 Credit Valley Road, Suite 101, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 7A1
BUS. 905-828-3434
FAX. 905-828-2829

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

RSP's to help when buying your home

I had another good question about RSP's that I will share my answer with you.

Hi Mark

Hope you are good well i got an email from you concerning RSP. We told me that i can use the RSP to buy a home and pay in 15years. So i wanna know in 15 years how much should i need to pay? Is there any interest on that amount? Please let me know where can i got more informations if you dont have.

Hope to hear from you soon

Hi S.,

Yes, this is correct. You pay 1/15 per year starting after the first year you withdraw the money. There is no interest to be paid on the money, you just have to return the principal. You are allowed to pay more, but you must pay the minimum. I am not sure what happens if you miss a payment, maybe then you have to pay interest. Please contact your bank holding your RSP and they will know the full details.

Please let me know if you have any other questions or if there is anything else I can help you with.

Thank you again for contacting me and I will do my best to help you with your real estate needs,


A. Mark Argentino
P. Eng. Broker
Specializing in Residential & Investment Real Estate

Monday, April 12, 2010

real estate is leveraged investing

Certainly I am one of the people who thought the stock markets, Nortel and other penny stocks, mutual funds that I purchased could NEVER go down.

Boy did I pay dearly for that line of thinking over the past 25 years or so.

I look at all my mutual fund investments and stocks and the return that I have received on ALL of them is dismal and abysmal.

If I could do it all over again, I would not bother with RRSP's and just take all those investment dollars and plough them into the real estate market.

I should have put every dime I ever put into the stock market into real estate. Not only has real estate done well, but it's leveraged investing, so you reap a huge return on your small downpayment, people seem to ignore this fact when they buy stocks versus real estate.

So why do I continue to contribute to RSP's? Because there continues to be a tax benefit. That's the only reason.

I will blog more about this in the future.

Thanks again for your comments, suggestions and input on this issue!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Interesting perpestive on the stock market

I have a friend who is seriously involved with the stock market and analysis of the economy. He sent me the following analysis, what do you think?

Dear Mark

Additional info:
Remember when you bought stocks, oil and gold in
December 2008 - you shorted US$.
Now it's going the other way.
There is no other way.
US$ down everything up,
US$ up everything down.
However, since China will not allow the US to destroy the US$ (as they spend to oblivion)
the yuan is pegged to the US$ - unchanged for years
(since China announced they were getting out of US$ -
September 2007) - but they did the opposite.
That was the day C$ hit US$1.1.

You will notice that the whole market did not bottom until
March 9, 2009 when the C$ also bottomed,
but gold bottomed first in December.
Conversely, the top for the market was in September 2007 (when C$ hit US$1.1).
Same thing happened in 1999-2000.
Gold bottomed after September 2001 -
when they cut interest rates.
Just like the 1970s.
Not to mention 1930s.
Now interest rates are at 0% - just like Japan since 1991.
But, mortgage rates did go up.

"Investors" have a short memory.

The economy is not gettting better (affecting politics!):

Based on the charts for currencies (US$/C$/Euro/Sfr/yuan/Ruble),
gold, oil, real estate, technology, financials,
This recession will last forever,

which DOES NOT mean you cannot make money in the stock market -
you just have to be patient and disciplined
and you need to understand what you are doing.

Do you actually know what mutual funds hold?
I bet even the conservative ones hold stocks
(to boost returns).
Notice how financial experts, analysts, stockbrokers, politicians...
always buy - almost nobody sells!
Good luck.

Monday, November 09, 2009

I hit the SELL Button last Friday, and I'm elated!

Last Friday, November 6 2009 I hit the 'sell' button. Not on our real estate holdings but on our RSP's and RESP's After the 'financial crisis' and market meltdown in the stock markets last September 2008 our RESP's and RSP's plummeted (as did most people) who were exposed to the stock market because their RSP's and RESP's were made up primarily of stocks.

Our entire stock portfolio dropped about 40% from a high in September of 2008 to a low in about April of 2009 I made a promise to my wife that when our RESP's and RSP's were back to or even close to or near pre-September highs, I would hit the sell signal.

I had set an arbitrary figure that if they reached that figure, we would sell. That figure was about 20% higher than our total contributions over the past 20 years or so in RESP's and RSP's, pretty sad return indeed in my opinion.

For anyone following the stock market's of late, the TSX and the DJIA are almost back to the high's of September, about 10% or so off the absolute high reached in late September 2009.

I set a fictitious figure that I would sell at and be comfortable and that figure "arrived" last Friday November 6, 2009. I called my financial planner Friday morning and said, "today is the day" and I called it ''freedom day', and sent in the sell signal.

The reason that I pulled all our RSP's and RESP's out of market linked mutual funds was because I was actually losing sleep over the ups and downs of the financial markets. Crazy isn't it?! I'm not fully retiring for about 14 years and probably won't need to use one cent of our RSP's for about 19 years from today, when I'm 70. That's plenty of time for the stock markets to rise back to historic high levels and likely surpass today's levels by 20 to 50 to 100% or more over the next 19 years. But, I just can't stomach the ups and downs of the financial and stock market's anymore.

We will begin withdrawing some of the RESP's beginning in about September of 2011 when our son begins university. These funds we just don't want to "gamble" with anymore. As you may know with RESP's in Canada, for every dollar we contribute the Federal Government contributes 20% It's almost a no brainer and a 20% return is guaranteed (almost). So for every thousand dollars we contributed that $1000 you would think in our RESP's would be worth $1000 plus 20% or $1200 plus the rise in the markets over the last 10 years or so which would make it about $1500 Not even close. We invested our RESP's into mostly US and global funds and we're sitting at about a total overall 10% increase over our personal contributions. Bleak, very bleak. Crappy investments, crappy market returns, crappy funds and crappy investment advice. Heck, if we only put the RESP's into GIC's over the same 10 to 15 years, every $1000 would be worth about $2000 today. But I was not wanting to be a wimp or a weak investor or a conservative investor because we had time on our side and I put it all of it into the markets to get that expected 10 to 15% per year. Again, not even close.

Hindsigh is 20/20 with everything, but with our RESP's we really blew it. If we were a conservative investor and only put them in GIC's we would have more than doubled our money. As of last Friday, when I cashed the RESP's we're up about 20%, not bad if you don't take into consideration the government 20% contributions, at least not a loss, but certainly not great.
You must be joking, that is crap, really crap, not a single % increase over 19 years of contributing, absolutely brutal when you think of it like that.

Financial planners and financial planners all say, that's good for the short term and besides, investing in the markets is a long term solution and you have to be aware and ready for sharp increases and decreases in your portfolio. What a crock. I'm done with that crap.

For example, with the RESP's Had we taken the same $1000 19 years ago when we began the RESP's or even 10 years ago and invested it in real estate, that same $1000 would be at least $2500 or $3000. It would have been leveraged investing and if we took, say $10,000 RESP and bought a $200,000 townhouse with it in 1999, that same townhouse would be worth about $275,000 today, so the initial $10,000 would have gone up by about $75,000 - significantly better than inside the RESP plan don't you think?

This same analysis can be found with our RSP's It's very depressing to think that we contributed all those funds over all those years and now it's not worth much more than 10 or 20% over all the contributions during the same period of time. Again, had we bought real estate 10 years ago with our RSP contributions rather than piled it into the markets we'd be up at least 200 to 300% because of the increase in real estate over the same period and the fact that it was leveraged investing.

Again, the pundits and financial planners will say that the RSP's gave a tax refund every year. That's true, but for self employed people like me, that only means we pay less tax in April, we don't get refunds. Regardless, for every $10000 I would have contributed in RSP's over the past 10 years, I would pay about $3500 less tax so for round figures contributions of 100k over the past 10 years contributions of $10,000 per year, that netted us $35000 in less tax paid, but I did not invest that 35000 that I gained, I just didn't have to pay it, and it got absorbed into our finances and spending.

Again, had I taken that $10,000 per year in RSP's contributions over the past 10 years and contributed it towards, for example, two townhomes, one townhouse purchase in year 3 (after 3 years of 10k per year equaling 30k in RSP's savings) which would have been 7 years ago or 2002 and another after 6 years of contributions, ( again, another 30k after 3 years of savings), that would have been a second purchase of a townhouse in 2005, the increase in value is absolutely astounding. The first townhouse purchase in 2002 would have cost us about 210,000 ( I just checked and that's what townhomes were selling for, for example, at 5305 Glen Erin Drive during 2002) and it would sell for about 275000 today, a gain of about 60,000 and the second purchase at, say the same complex, would have cost about $245000 in 2005 and selling
today, our gain would have been about $30000 so our total gain of our two investments totaling $60,000 investment would have been $90,000 (60,000+30,000) or about 1.5 times the initial value investment or 150% return, plus we would have the $40,000 in cash for the last 4 years that we did not invest and saved to buy a third townhouse.

Now, and here is the real kicker to why buying real estate is a great investment, during the 6 years that we owned the first townhouse and the 4 years we owned the second townhouse in the analysis above, the tenant helped pay off our mortgages in the amounts of about 40,000 for the first townhouse and 20,000 in the second townhouse. So our equity position increased by about 60,000 for a grand total increase to about $250,000 versus the $150,000 in the stock market RESP's This is the truth what people and financial planners don't tell you.

To summarize the analysis in the paragraph above:

- for the RSP option, over the same 10 year period of investing the same $10k per year for a total of $100,000 plus $30,000 less tax paid, plus a gain of $20,000 we would have a grand total of $150,000

- over the past 10 years we invested $60,000 with a net gain of $90,000 plus the $40,000 we continued to save from year 6 to 10 plus the $60k in equity increase we would have a grand total of $250,000

The above analysis is 'real life' no BS, just the facts.

The downside to real estate investing is that there would have been tenants to deal with and maintenance and other issues, but this analysis is very real and very accurate. Some of my clients will say, just buy REIT's and get the best of both worlds, how many of you did that?

Now, back to the RESP's and RSP's that I sold last Friday, the main reason I did it was to be able to sleep at night and to stop having to listen every hour to 680 for financial market updates etc. and reduce my stress level.

The other reason I had the nerve to do it was that I finally found a solution of where to put our investments. RBC has a market linked GIC where the initial contribution is guaranteed and the teturn is equal to 40% of the value that the TSX 60 index increases over the same period. RBC get's 60% of the gain (big surprise! LOL). So, if the TSX 60 index increases 100% over the next 10 years then our RSP increased 40% At least we can't lose any more than our initial investment and I can now sleep!

This was a very long post, but I wanted you to get a general idea of our thinking and why we sold our RSP's and RESP's and got out of the stock markets with our retirement funds. This may only be a temporary solution while we live in such turmoil and I may go back into the market's with our RSP's in the future, but this is what we are doing now.

As an aside, we've opened up an account at TD/CT that will allow our future RSP's to be in mortgages, we will give this a try and see how it goes, just another option that many don't know exists.

My plan is now to contribute future RSP's to bond funds and save enough every year to purchase a townhouse and hold for 10 years until retirement.

Only time will tell!

I wish you all the best!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Good news on the horizon

I know you are interested.

The US$ just broke today.

Which means the markets are going for another short-term rally.

Including OIL. But not GOLD.

You never make anything if you don't sell. In other words, to make money you have to SHORT aka sell.

For example, when you sell a house only the seller makes money, the buyer buys "hope". It's time for the buyers to be buying as interest rates are at all time lows and the values have dropped, good buying opportunities in Mississauga and GTA

Now we are playing against another drop in the US$. The markets will go up as long as the US$ goes down.

See this graph:
In my view we are only near the panic and despondency area of this cycle, so we still have some way to go!
Good luck,

Friday, November 21, 2008

What is new in Canadian Income taxes for 2009?

Good morning,

I thought that I would pass along this article to you about taxes and what's happening in the marketplace in 2009 with income taxes.

There are some good ideas and suggestions below.

Have a nice weekend


What is new in taxes for 2009?

Personal tax changes

Tax-free savings account (TFSA)


Canadian residents aged 18 or over can contribute up to $5,000 per year to this account, beginning in 2009, with unused contribution room being carried forward.


The $5,000 annual contribution limit will be indexed to inflation in $500 increments.


Contributions are not tax deductible.


Investment earnings and capital gains will accumulate tax-free.


Withdrawals will not be subject to tax.


Withdrawals will create contribution room for future savings.


Income and withdrawals from a TFSA will not affect eligibility for federal income-tested benefits and credits (e.g. guaranteed income supplement, age amount tax credit).


Contributions to a spouse's or common-law partner's TFSA will be allowed, subject to the contribution room of the spouse


TFSA assets will be transferable to the spouse's TFSA upon death.


Qualified investments will include all arm's-length RRSP qualified investments

It may be better to contribute the maximum to a TFSA before contributing to an RRSP, in order to use for saving for a house, education, or retirement. One of the advantages of the TFSA is that it will not be considered taxable income. If funds are withdrawn in retirement, this will not affect the Guaranteed Income Supplement or other income-tested benefits, and would not cause a claw back of Old Age Security, or a reduction of the age exemption.

Life income funds (LIF)

These three provisions were included in 2008 budget, and will apply to federally regulated LIFs:

1. Individuals 55 or over with LIF holdings of up to $22,450 will be able to wind up their accounts with the option to convert to a tax-deferred savings vehicle.

2. Individuals 55 or older will be entitled to a one-time conversion of up to 50% of LIF holdings into a tax-deferred savings vehicle with no maximum withdrawal limits.

3. All individuals facing financial hardship (low income, high disability or medical-related costs) will be able to unlock up to $22,450.

The threshold of $22,450 in #'s 1 and 3 will increase with the average industrial wage.

Other changes relating to personal income tax and GST/HST:


Rewording of the Income Tax Act s. 118.2(2)(n) to ensure that the cost of non-prescription medications will not be considered eligible medical expenses after February 26, 2008. See our article on non-prescription medications.


Registered Education Savings Plans - the time they remain open will be extended to 35 years from 25 years, and the contribution period will be increased by 10 years.


Eligible expenses under the medical expense tax credit will be expanded.


The residency component of the northern residents deduction will be increased by 10%.


GST/HST will no longer be payable on costs of training to help individuals cope with disabilities or disorders, such as autism.


The list of GST/HST-free medical and assistive devices will be expanded, to include other items, such as service dogs.


Tax Back Guarantee - $2 billion in annual interest savings by 2009-10 will be dedicated to ongoing personal income tax reductions.

Business tax changes


Record-keeping requirements for automobile expenses and taxable benefits will be reduced.


Manufacturing and processing sector - accelerated capital cost allowance (CCA) treatment for investment in machinery and equipment will be extended for three years. The 50% straight-line accelerated CCA will be extended for one year, and the accelerated treatment will then be provided on a declining basis over a period of 2 years.


Scientific research and experimental tax development program will be improved.


Cross-border tax withholding and return-filing rules will be streamlined.


Mineral exploration tax credit extended for an additional year.


CCA rates to be increased for carbon dioxide pipelines.


Accelerated CCA for clean- energy generation equipment to be expanded to include additional applications involving ground source heat pump and waste-to-energy systems.


GST/HST relief extended to land leased to situate wind- or solar-power equipment for the generation of electricity.


The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) is an income-tested benefit, and is reduced by 50% of other income received, except for employment earnings. The exemption for employment earnings is 20% of earned income up to $2,500, providing a maximum exemption of $500. The budget proposes to increase this exemption, and fully exempt all employment earnings up to $3,500 per year.


Canada Student Grant Program


Students from low and middle income families will qualify based on clearly defined income thresholds.


Program will provide monthly grants of $250 for low-income students and $100 for middle-income students.


The grant will be paid through all years of an undergraduate or college program.

Hope this article helped you!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Economic data point to a U.S. recession so reports the RBC

Economic data point to a U.S. recession

Economic activity data are increasingly suggesting that the U.S. economy has slipped into recession. Data reports have underperformed forecasters' modest expectations across the board with another month of slumping home sales and record price declines.

September's labour market report was much weaker than expected with payrolls dropping. The ISM manufacturing report for September was also soft. The headline index dropped well below the 50-mark to 43.5, indicating sharply declining activity in the sector, while August consumer spending data showed a marked slowing in the third quarter as the impact from fiscal stimulus faded.

The monthly reports signal that the U.S. economy likely contracted in the third quarter with a more marked weakening expected in the fourth.

Read more about:Homes for Sale

Thank you for reading my blog and if there is anything else I can help you with please don't hesitate to contact me,


A. Mark Argentino
P. Eng. Broker
Specializing in Residential & Investment Real Estate

Thinking of Selling? Best Mortgage Rates Current Home Prices Search MLS
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc.

Providing Full-Time Professional Real Estate Services since 1987

( BUS 905-828-3434
8 Website :

Homes for Sale

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

This was the advice that I recently received from my RBC Financial Planner, makes sense to me!

This was the advice that I recently received from my RBC Financial Planner, makes sense to me!

Investing/Financial Planning Focus on the long term to weather stormy markets

One of the fundamentals of successful long-term investing is monitoring the progress of your portfolio regularly to make sure it stays on track. Sometimes, however, focusing too closely on the wrong things can prompt overreactions to current market conditions. And this type of short-term view can lead to decisions that have a negative impact on your long-term plan.

For example, suppose there's a sudden drop in the S&P/TSX Composite Index. The media often stress the negative side of the story and, if your portfolio contains Canadian equities or equity mutual funds, its value may go down as well. Does that mean your strategy is off track and you need to immediately adjust your holdings? Clearly, the answer is no. Emotional reactions to short-term events are likely to result in selling when the market is low — the exact opposite of what you should do. So how can you prevent your emotions from influencing your investment decisions? The key is to keep perspective and focus on the long term.

When you have a plan in place, you can confidently remain committed to it, knowing that day-to-day market news is likely to have little impact on your longer-term objectives or on the investment strategy that's designed to get you there. The long-term trend Although equities will always fluctuate in value, they offer the best potential for higher returns over time. That's why they play such an important role in a well-diversified portfolio. And despite daily fluctuations, over the long term, equity markets have historically always moved up (see chart on next page).

In fact, $10,000 invested in the S&P/TSX Composite Total Return Index in 1957 would have been worth more than $1.1 million by the end of 2006. Year after year, things happen in the world and people think of reasons they should stay out of the market. But equity markets outperform virtually all other investment opportunities on a long-term basis.

Opportunity cost

During periods of market fluctuations, many people are hesitant to invest, saying they are waiting for "better times." The problem with this approach is that better times usually become visible only after markets have already risen. Investors who have been sitting on the sidelines have missed a valuable opportunity to participate. A far more effective approach than trying to time the market is to establish a proper asset allocation that will put you in the best position to achieve your long-term goals, and then invest on a regular basis. This will help you to establish discipline, take advantage of investment opportunities as they arise and keep your plan on track — no matter what the markets are doing.

Financial planning services and investment advice are provided by Royal Mutual Funds Inc. Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Mutual Funds Inc., RBC Asset Management Inc., Royal Trust Corporation of Canada and The Royal Trust Company are separate legal entities that are affiliated. RBC Funds are offered by RBC Asset Management Inc. and distributed by Royal Mutual Funds Inc. Royal Mutual Funds Inc. is licensed as a financial services firm in the province of Quebec.

The material in this report is intended as a general source of information only and should not be construed as offering specific tax or investment advice. Every effort has been made to ensure that the material is correct at the time of publication, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Individuals should consult with their personal tax advisor, accountant or legal professional before taking any action based upon the information contained in this report.

Please consult your advisor and read the prospectus before investing. There may be commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses associated with mutual fund investments. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.

Financial planning and success in Real Estate

Search the MLS or read more about Interest Rates, Power of Sale Properties, Price Trends and more at my website. Homes for Sale

Thank you for reading my blog and if there is anything else I can help you with please don't hesitate to contact me,


A. Mark Argentino
P. Eng. Broker
Specializing in Residential & Investment Real Estate

Thinking of Selling? Best Mortgage Rates Current Home Prices Search MLS
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc.

Providing Full-Time Professional Real Estate Services since 1987

( BUS 905-828-3434
FAX 905-828-2829 ÈCELL 416-520-1577
8 Website :

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

RSP deadline reminder - contribution deadline is February 29th!

RRSP Deadline reminder and information

With the deadline for making your 2007 RSP contribution fast approaching, we want to remind you to contribute and I have contacts for everything you need to invest with confidence.

Were here to provide you with a direct, secure and convenient way to invest. And we re constantly working to add value to your investing experience.

Remember, the 2007 RSP contribution deadline is February 29. Contribute today and take advantage of the outstanding pricing, tools and research available to help you manage your RSP with confidence.

If you bank with RBC, contributing to your RSP from your online investing site is easy:

1. Simply click on Transfer Funds from the Self Service menu on any page of your online investing site.
2. Follow the instructions for moving funds to your RSP from the RBC Royal Bank® account you have on file, your RBC Direct Investing investment account or both.

If you need contact information or any assistance with RSP's please let me know and I will put you in contact with the appropriate person.

Read more about:Homes for Sale

Thank you for reading my blog and if there is anything else I can help you with please don't hesitate to contact me,


A. Mark Argentino
P. Eng. Broker
Specializing in Residential & Investment Real Estate

Thinking of Selling? Best Mortgage Rates Current Home Prices Search MLS
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc.

Providing Full-Time Professional Real Estate Services since 1987

( BUS 905-828-3434
8 Website :

Homes for Sale