A Peek into a Millionaire’s Account Structure

Due to popular demand, QCash has graciously offered to provide more details into his financial life. For those of you who are new here, QCash retired at the age of 36 with a net worth of over $1.5 million.

After my last post (how I achieved $1.8 million in net worth), I suggested to FT that I might provide an outline of how I keep my finances organized and from there pick an account every couple weeks and explain the reasoning for the investments I hold.

Also, I want to let everyone know that I don’t for one minute think I have all the answers. I have learned many things from reading and the internet and believe that I have a pretty good understanding of finance and investments, but it is still a work in progress.

So without further ado, here is are the accounts and what they are for:


Investments – Non-registered

  • I1 – Non-registered Joint Account – I hold in this account most of my “growth” stocks
  • I2 – Non-registered Joint Account – I hold all my income bearing investments (*I am in the midst of converting I1 to I2 through a leverage and the use of a HELOC – see C3)
  • I3 – Non-registered Account – This is, in actual effect, simply a critical illness life insurance policy with a return of premium rider. My monthly fee is $135 per month and I am in year 7 of a 10 year term. The face value of the policy is $250,000. It is my hope not to collect the $250,000 :-) however, the premiums will be returned at the end of the policy. I initiated this policy when I owned my business and had a sizeable line of credit with the bank.
  • I4 – Non-registered Account – Mine
  • I5 – Non-registered Account – Wife’s

The purpose of these two accounts is to slowly evolve into an income splitting mechanism. To avoid attribution rules, my wife’s money is allowed to compound and any money she receives from our joint accounts, she reinvests. As these two accounts achieve parity, it is our hope to have a “balanced” income stream. In an ideal world, I would like my total income to be the dividends produced by I4 and I5.

Investments – Registered

  • R1 – My RRSP Account – contains my income trust investments
  • R2 – My RRSP Account – contains my fixed income investments – most notably this is through B2B Trust which offers mortgages to third parties. I hold a couple mortgages in this account. As the monthly and bi-weekly payments are made, each year I transfer the cash over to R1 and invest in trusts and REITS
  • R3 – Wife’s RRSP Account – she hold mostly REITS in her RRSP

Children – Informal trusts and RESPs

  • T1 – Child #1’s Bank account
  • T2 – Child #2’s Bank account – both of these are high interest accounts where I put birthday money and “baby bonus” cheques from the government
  • T3 – Joint RESP
  • T4 – Child #1’s Investment account – growth stocks that only provide capital gains to avoid any attribution problems
  • T5 – Child #2’s Investment account – see T4


  • B1 – Chequing account
  • B2 – Savings account

Real Estate

  • P1 – Primary residence
  • P2 – Rental property
  • P3 – Rental property – jointly owned with my friend


  • Q1 – Corporate account – shareholder loan to corporation


  • C1 – Credit Card account – CIBC VISA Dividend Card – 1% on just about everything else we buy
  • C2 – PC Financial MASTERCARD – we use this exclusively at our local Real Canadian Superstore and Refuel when there are discounts on gas
  • C3 – Homeowners Equity Line of Credit – I set this up to purchase investments in I2. Without this leverage, I would have had to sell investments in I1 and had a significant capital gain tax.

So there you have it. This represents every account I have. The next time I provide updates, I hope FT will link to this to understand why I have what I do.

I list every investment I have on a spreadsheet and include a field for “type” and “account”. This way I can get a picture of my entire portfolio and ensure that I have the appropriate investments in the appropriate type of account.

The majority of my investment accounts are with Nesbitt Burns and my bank accounts are with Bank of Montreal. I like to consolidate and simplify where I can. I4 is with BMO Investorline as are the kids investment accounts.

I would be interested to know how everyone else organizes their accounts and who they use for various investment brokers? As I said, I don’t think this is necessarily the best way and I hope to eventually consolidate the Investment accounts into three accounts, my RRSPs into one account. However, I will be adding two TFSAs as soon as they are available.

Next time…. an update of the portfolios and an explanation of what I own where.

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Frugal Trader


FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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10 years ago

I tend to agree with Skook. $1.6million is a lot of money – IF you are 60 or 65 now. How do you support a family with 2 kids on $40,000 – $60,000 per year pre tax? Is this assuming no mortgage payments and no travel at all? With inflation and stock corrections how do you hope to not dip into principal? I have a lot more than this (40yrs old) and am nowhere near retiring – the numbers dont add up.

10 years ago

Cannon_fodder, I have some questions about your excel spreadsheet. In particular, the “house value growth rate”does not appear to impact the calculations…is this a feature you are considering in version 3?

11 years ago

Qcash – I am curious if you are really “retired” or just doing a different job? The reason I ask is that you are very young. $1.6million seems like an awful lot of money, however if you expect to live to 80 – another 44 years, how are you going to fund it all? If we assume a bond and stock mix that looks to return 8% per year and inflation is 3% (real inflation I think is MUCH higher), and you are raising a family and paying taxes? The numbers dont add up…unless I am missing something

12 years ago

Great post. Looking at your portfolio tells me that I’m unfortunately on the wrong path and need to start over. :(

12 years ago

I didn’t see anything in there about an emergency fund. Perhaps if you’re retired it’s not as necessary, but having a nice chunk of liquid cash in a High Yield Savings Account “just in case” may take an additional load of stress off. ShoreBank, who I represent, offers a competitive rate of 3.5%. It’s all online, has no monthly fees and allows easy electronic transfers with up to six other accounts. Check them out at http://shorebankdirect.sbk.com.

12 years ago

Nice way of organizing assets.More power to you.

Dividend Growth Investor
12 years ago


That’s exactly what I wanted to hear :-)

12 years ago

Great reading.
So far I have much less separation of the investment accounts as I’m still in my first capital accumulation years after my arrival in Canada. The proposed split makes a lot of sence and I guess you have significant benefits in consolidation all these accounts at 2 financial institutions.

12 years ago


I used to look at all my accounts individually and ended up with 8 balanced accounts :-( But I realized that I have to look at all my investments as one big portfolio.


With FTs continued permission, I hope to make regular contributions and let you know what I have where.

Cannon Fodder

My kids are only 3 and 5, and I think it is possible that they could have a sizeable amount in their account by the time they turn 18.

My wife and I are constantly talking about ways to instill as sense of financial responsibility in them as they grow older to ensure they don’t tap into these accounts on a whim (my plan is just not to tell them they have any money :-).

I have never been a fan of leverage investing, but I have used my HELOC (C3) to purchase investments (I2) and I while I have been aggressively paying it down with some of the investment income, it is tempting to use it to buy more (especially with the firesale on stocks this week :-) but my wife is uncomfortable with the idea of debt (one of the many reasons I love her).