The Best Countries for Canadians to Retire Abroad

countries to retire abroad

A few years ago I never would have considered writing an article about the best countries for a Canadian to retire abroad.   Why would anyone want to leave Canada, right?   Then my wife and I moved overseas to accept teaching positions, and I became aware of a broad range of geography-inspired lifestyle possibilities. I was…

Read More

Best GIC Rates in Canada 2024

gic rates canada

The best GIC rates in Canada might be at a peak for the foreseeable future. With the Bank of Canada talking about possibly lowering rates later 2024, now might be the time to lock in a rate above 5%. The acronym GIC stands for Guaranteed Investment Certificates, and they are the Canadian equivalent to the American Certificates…

Read More

Wealth Management Companies in Canada 2024

wealth management companies

My article on the best financial advisors in Canada appears to have triggered a bit of a backlash from Canada’s wealth management companies.   If you’re not sure what exactly the difference is between a wealth management firm and a financial planning company – don’t worry – there isn’t one. The terms “financial planning,” “financial advisor,”…

Read More

Best Swap ETFs in Canada: Horizons Total Return Funds

swap based etf canada cover

In writing about corporate and expat investing over the past couple of years, I’ve come to realize just what an advantage using Canadian swap-based ETFs from Horizons can provide certain groups.  Horizons calls these exchange traded funds “Total Return ETFs” and there are three main groups of investors that really need to be paying attention…

Read More

Qtrade Review 2024 – Canada’s Best Broker

qtrade new logo

What Is Qtrade Direct Investing? Is it Legit? Qtrade Direct Investing is part of Aviso Wealth, a national financial services company owned by the Credit Union Centrals, CUMIS and Desjardins. Aviso manages close to $120 billion in assets, and has major operations in Vancouver and Toronto, with regional offices across Canada. Qtrade is more than…

Read More

Canada’s 2024 Budget – New Taxes on Capital Gains

canada new budget taxes

Canada’s new tax rules on capital gains mean that you’re now likely to pay more taxes if you own a cottage, pass away with an unregistered online brokerage account, or investing inside of your corporation. Of course, right when I’m in the middle of writing a series on corporate taxes for CCPCs and am writing…

Read More

CCPC Taxation: Canadian Corporations for Small Business Owners

ccpc taxes

I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently in regards to Canadian corporations and taxes for small business owners that have a CCPC (Canadian-Controlled Private Corporation). Most of these inquiries want seemingly simple questions answered – something along the lines of, “Ok, so if I made this much profit in my company this year and…

Read More

Legal Wills Review: Canada’s Best Online Will Kit

Legal Wills Logo

When I was asked if I wanted to write a Canadian Legal Wills review in exchange for a free trial of Canada’s best online will kit, I have to admit that I was embarrassed. You see… Until yesterday I didn’t even have a will. I know, statistics show that roughly half of Canadian adults don’t…

Read More

Questrade vs Wealthsimple – Which is Better in 2024?

questrade vs wealthsimple new

Canadian investors looking to cut their investing costs to the bone are probably most interested in the Wealthsimple vs Questrade comparison. While fees are usually the main consideration, I think it’s worth looking into how well the user experience is, what the respective customer service report cards have to say, and finally, what accounts each…

Read More

Best Financial Advisors in Canada

financial advisors canada

When looking for the best financial advisors in Canada (or best financial planners in Canada) you’re inevitably going to encounter a lot of confusion and too-slick sales pitches. There is a lot of money to be made from selling mutual funds to Canadians, and many wealth management firms specialize in this sort of “financial planning”. Unfortunately,…

Read More

OAS in Canada: Clawbacks, Eligibility and Payment Dates

oas canada

Old Age Security – better known as OAS – is one of the least understood aspects of Canadian retirement planning that I’ve come across. In order to full wrap your head around OAS and how you can get the most out of it for your particular situation, this deep dive is going to cover: (use…

Read More

Retirement Planning in Canada (RRSP Season)

retirement planning

With “RRSP season” and annual financial goal setting in full swing, Canadian retirement planners are out there in full force ready to “help”. Honestly, the whole idea of “RRSP season” has always confused me a bit. It seems like we’ve collectively decided as a nation that we’ll squish “New Year’s resolutions” and “caring about money”…

Read More

Safe Retirement Withdrawal Rate Strategies in Canada

Ultimate Guide To Safe Withdrawal Rates In Canada

The concept of a safe withdrawal rate (and the 4% rule) is a key planning tool for Canadians of all ages.  After all, if you don’t have a general withdrawal plan, how can you know how much you need to save in the first place? If you have been reading MDJ for years, you already…

Read More

Neo Financial Mastercard Review 2024

neo financial logo

The new Neo Financial Mastercard or “Neo CardTM” is the next big thing in Canadian credit cards. We’ve seen tech companies disrupt everything from vehicles to space travel and investing. Now the new Neo credit card is coming for the old market standbys. Three massive advantages for the Neo Card immediately stand out to me: 1)…

Read More

Working After Retirement in Canada

working in retirement

A lot of Canadians have begun to look at the traditional idea of retirement and the non-traditional concept of working after retirement in different ways over the last decade or so. It’s become much more common to gradually transition from full-time work, to part-time work (often in a different workplace or job altogether), and then…

Read More

FHSA: Canada’s Tax-Free First Home Savings Account

first home buyer account canada

With the government having launched the First Home Savings Account (FHSA) in 2023, more first-time home buyers should really be looking to take advantage of the tax-free benefits of the FHSA in 2024. The idea is obviously to make it easier for Canadians to buy their first home. In addition to the more straightforward benefits,…

Read More

The 11 Best Cash ETFs in Canada (Plus HISA ETFs and Money Market ETFs)

cash etfs canada

Given the realities of skyrocketing interest rates it’s no wonder that interest in Canada’s Best Cash ETFs, high interest savings account (HISA ETFs), and money market ETFs has significantly increased as well. While Cash ETFs aren’t exactly the same thing as money market ETFs, the two are very similar. The terms high interest savings account ETF…

Read More

4 Steps to a Worry-Free Retirement in Canada

worry free retirement logo

I’ve been writing about personal finance in Canada for 15 years now. This week I launched the project that was by far the best resource that I’ve ever created.  It’s hands down what I’m most proud of in my career. I’m talking about the first ever online course about Canadian retirement. It’s called 4 Steps…

Read More

Best Canadian Inflation Stocks for Hedging Investments

inflation hedging

Should you worry about re-working your whole portfolio around the idea of choosing the best Canadian inflation stocks? Probably not. Of course that’s easier said than done as we proceed through stubborn inflation trends in 2023.   When we started 2022, inflation was only being mumbled about by a very small cohort of market experts (shout…

Read More

Scotiabank Review: Chequing, Banking & Credit Card Package

Scotiabank Logo

Scotiabank is exceptionally easy to use. It has all the brick-and-mortar corner location convenience, coupled with an excellent online platform. It’s a solid all-in-one bank, as you would expect from one of Canada’s Big Five Banks. While the savings account interest rate is not as good as EQ Bank (our #1 high interest savings account)…

Read More

13 Top Tax Breaks for Seniors in Canada

canadian seniors tax breaks

With tax season hitting full stride, and our recent focus on retirement planning, I thought a look at the most used tax breaks for seniors and retirees might be just what the accountant ordered. Quick Note: The phrase “tax break for seniors” isn’t a technical term. Instead, it refers to a range of tax credits for…

Read More

CI Direct Investing Review 2024 (Formerly WealthBar)

Cidirect Logo

What is CI Direct Investing and Is It a Robo Advisor?  CI Direct Investing is a combination of an automated investing platform and a personal financial advisor.   When it comes to taking a piece of your monthly pay cheque and turning it into a diversified investment portfolio – CI Direct Investing does that for you. That…

Read More

Questwealth Portfolios Review for 2024

Questrade Logo

What is Questwealth Portfolios? Questwealth Portfolios, formerly Portfolio IQ, provides a unique hybrid model of investing to customers that you won’t find elsewhere. They offer investors a passive way to invest, along with services such as automatic rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting. This is definitely appealing for investors who are looking to keep costs low all…

Read More

Five Years into the Vanguard All-In-One Revolution

vanguard logo

There are very few new financial products that really move the needle all that much. Vanguard’s Asset Allocation ETFs are one of the exceptions to that rule by becoming one of the more popular ETFs in recent memory. We’re celebrating the fifth anniversary of Vanguard’s launch of the first Canadian “all-in-one ETFs.”. You might also see…

Read More

motusbank Review 2024

Motusbank Logo

What is motusbank? Online banking has become the norm for younger Canadians, and motusbank, a part of Meridian Credit Union wants a piece of the action. While motusbank is a relatively new online bank, launching in 2019, it’s done well in offering a wide range of services and keeping interest rates high. It needs to…

Read More

Tangerine vs EQ Bank Comparison 2024

tangerine vs eq bank

With interest yields on the rise in Canada, it’s a great time to start searching for the Best Online Bank in Canada in 2024. Online banks are currently offering interest rates as high as 5%, which is good news for those with cash to stash, especially as inflation rates are higher than they’ve been in…

Read More

Life Insurance for Seniors in Canada

life insurance canada

Is whole life insurance good for Canadian seniors? Is permanent life insurance a good investment for Canadian retirees? Is term to 100 life insurance worth it for Canadian seniors? Long story short when it comes to life insurance for seniors in Canada: There is a 99% chance you don’t need it and can just ignore…

Read More

Long-Term Care Insurance In Canada: Do I Need It?

long term care insurance

TL;DR: You probably should not buy long-term care insurance in Canada. For many Canadians who are entering retirement, one of the big fears is that in their final years they will not be able to live on their own – and that because they can’t afford private long-term care, their lives will become miserable. This…

Read More

Canada Personal Pensions: Defined Benefit vs Defined Contribution Plans

pension plans canada

Now that we’ve covered OAS and CPP, it’s time to move on to the world of personal pensions in Canada.  Generally Canada’s personal pensions are broken down into two categories: While it’s true that most government employees enjoy defined benefit plans, and that many private sector employers have been choosing defined contribution plans, it’s not…

Read More

How Much Do Canadians Spend In Retirement?

canadian spend in retirement

You’d think it’d be a relatively easy quest to answer the question: How much will a Canadian spend in retirement? I started looking into this quandary because I’ve recently become a bit obsessed with the idea of all the mistakes most Canadians are making when it comes to preparing for retirement. These mistakes are quietly killing…

Read More

Best Business Credit Cards for Canadians in 2024

Best Business Credit Cards For Canadians

A business credit card is a credit card that’s designed specifically for company spending, as opposed to personal use. Other than giving you access to additional money, they can give you a number of corporate benefits. Overall, it’s a great way to grab a few additional perks on money that you’d flowing in and out of…

Read More

What To Do When the Stock Market Crashes

stock market crash

We’re getting a lot of semi-predictable questions via email and article comments that ask some version of: “Is the stock market crashing and what should I do after stocks or bonds crash?” Read a book. Watch a new TV series. Spend time with your family. Just don’t panic. Sure, if you’ve got a really strong…

Read More

Vanguard Canada Index ETFs vs Mutual Funds

vanguard logo

When Vanguard Canada first approached me about doing an interview in regards to their two new mutual fund products, I have to admit that my response was: “Wait, Vanguard still has mutual funds? They’re introducing new ones? Are we sure that’s a good idea?” What followed was an interesting back and forth email interview with…

Read More

Travelling to Tbilisi Georgia: Bougie on a Budget

georgia trip13

I’ve never been a travel blogger. I’m not well travelled enough to be an authority on how to do it well, or which places are best relative to other options.  (Hence the whole international teaching adventure I’ve been embarking on.) But I thought that perhaps I’d dip my toe into the travel writing waters, seeing…

Read More

Snag Your Free Canadian Expat eBook

laptop with cover

Want to get paid a tax-free salary while working in a place where you don’t need to own a jacket or winter boots? Here’s the nuts-and-bolts behind how my wife and I are enjoying deduction-free salaries, and watching our tax-free investment portfolios grow, while living in a world-class city. If you’re a longtime reader of…

Read More

Insurance and Wills for Canadian Expats

Canadian Expats Category

When I talked to several non-resident tax and investment specialists during my Covid quarantine-induced expat research frenzy, the topic that kept coming up as “the most common mistake amongst expats” was insurance. As the least sexy topic in a field of study not known for being particularly sexy, insurance has long been the forgotten dance…

Read More

Should You Bet Your House on Blackberry?

January 25th – 29th, 2021 is the week the stock market embraced full insanity – PhD theses will eventually be written about what just occurred in the stock market this week.  One day smart people will be able to explain to what degree various factors contributed to the illogically hilarious/fun/dangerous ride that stocks such as Gamestop (GME), Blackberry (BB), NOKIA (NOK), and AMC (AMC) took us on over the past few days

Read More

The Best ETFs for Canadian Expats Around the World

Etf Investing Canadian Expats

When my wife and I decided to move to Qatar, I wanted to check and make sure that my index investing strategies could still be carried out through my discount brokerage account, and what sort of expat-specific considerations there might be. After checking with my usual sources (all things Andrew Hallam, Dan Bortolotti, and Jonathan…

Read More

BMO adviceDirect Review: Investing Advice for a Low Fee

Bmo Investorline Logo

The jump from traditional investing using mutual fund + full service advisor model, to all-on-your-own DIY investing using a discount broker can be a big jump for a lot of Canadians. Our BMO adviceDirect Review breaks down if this unique service is right for you. The idea is to allow investors to get advice directly, but…

Read More

Real Estate Investing vs Index Investing for Canadian Expats

Real Estate Investing Vs Index Investing

In talking to dozens of Canadian expats over the last year, I’ve found four money truths that consistently emerge. Given the consistent pattern of those truths, is it any wonder that so many expats simply give up on investing (often seeing the whole thing as a glorified casino) and instead just focus on enjoying the…

Read More

Teaching In Doha, Qatar – Expanding Our Horizons

Doha skyline

“Actually, we won’t be around next year, we’re going to teach in Qatar.” “Where???!” “Doha, the capital city of Qatar.  Think Dubai, but slightly smaller, slightly slower-paced, and a few years behind – but quickly catching up – in terms of infrastructure and eye-catching skylines.  Oh – and they’re hosting the FIFA World Cup in…

Read More

Is Hello Fresh Worth It?


Reviewing the Cost of Meal Kits During the Pandemic Over the last few weeks, several of my neighbors have been eyeing my weekly meal kit delivery service, and asking for my Hello Fresh Review.  This new trend makes sense given how many of us are cooking from home more these days – while trying to…

Read More

Coronavirus (Covid-19): Sell It All

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Sell It All

Just Do It. You know you’ll feel better after you scratch that itch… SELL IT ALL! Who knows where this will end?  Your brother-in-law who took a biology class twenty years ago said that we might all go to the great tax haven in the sky – so it must be true! We could wake…

Read More