My Money Tools
- RBC Direct Investing – This is where my ‘core’ investments reside — the bulk of the money invested for my retirement and sheltered in a tax-advantaged account, such as an RRSP and TFSA.
- TD Direct Investing – This was the first direct investing account I opened and I started with e-series mutual funds using a monthly payment plan (and a dollar-cost averaging strategy).
- Questrade – Great for my ‘explore’ money — investments where I think I can beat the market (and sometimes I do!).
Other Options (I don’t use)
- Wealthsimple – I’m not a fan of robo-advisors, but everyone I know appears to like the Wealthsimple platform and offerings. While the company’s commission-free trading was enticing, I didn’t like the 15-minute lag on stock quotes. The firm does offer 5% collateral to protect against sudden last-minute price changes, but I’d prefer to use Stop Orders and Limits on real-time quotes.
- EQ Bank GICs – I don’t invest using GICs, but if I did my first stop would be with EQ Bank. I’m already a client and the firm consistently offers some of the best rates on GICs in Canada.
Capital One Aspire Mastercard— For almost 10 years this was our family’s primary credit card. Despite the $120 annual fee, the 2% cashback on everything meant we’d accumulate enough cashback points to pay for our family’s annual vacation! In 2020 this changed when we, along with all the other Aspire cardholders, were notified that our cashback rate would drop to 1.5% and there would be no annual point bonus (the equivalent of the annual fee). Sad but we moved on.
- Rogers World Mastercard — We’ve been using this card for over a year, now, and I have to admit…I wish we’d swapped out sooner! The cashback is easy to earn and redeem and the no annual fee makes the rewards even sweeter.
- American Express Cashback Card — I use this card primarily for business and work costs. I like that most work-associated costs will accept an AMEX card and the cashback means I can earn while I spend. Plus, the no annual fee is nice. I plan on monitoring my work expenses using this card and then re-assessing my account needs some time in the future.
- PC Financial Mastercard — This card is used almost exclusively for groceries. Why? As a Superstore shopper, I find it easier to track food costs if it’s all on one spot. This helps me assess if we need to examine our grocery needs/wants and I earn points at the same time—enought that each year at least one holiday meal is paid for through point redemption. Not bad for a no-annual fee card.
- Canadian Tire Triangle Rewards Mastercard — I’m a big fan of credit variety (it’s good for the credit score) and we chose to carry this card because (1) we are Canadian Tire shoppers, (2) the version we opted to apply for provided free roadside assistance. We haven’t had to use the roadside assistance, yet, but it’s definitely a peace of mind thing.
- Tangerine World Mastercard – Another option for everyday spending. I only just added this to my wallet. I’ll keep you posted.
- MyTrueIdentity — We were given a 2-year free-of-charge account with this credit monitoring service after being caught up in a big credit card fraud scandal.
- Borrowell – Option to view your credit score, for free.
- Dan Anders — This is who I use for insurance. Since we have a few medical concerns to address when shopping for life insurance, I found it wise to work with a knowledgeable (and flexible!) agent who would listen to our concerns and needs. I’ve worked with Dan for almost half-a-decade, now, and highly recommend him. And, no, I don’t get a kickback.
- TD Insurance — I use them for home insurance on both my principal residence and my rental property.
- Sonnet – I’ve used them in the past.
Estate Planning & Wills
- Willful – Good option for online will creation.
- Simplii – I use Simplii for day-to-day banking. My account setup was long before 2017 when CIBC re-branded its direct banking division to Simplii. That was when there were few free-banking account alternatives in the market. Things have changed — dramatically. These days another great option is Scotiabank’s direct banking brand, Tangerine.
- KOHO – I like Fintech which helps us to become smarter consumers and better savers. For that reason, I’ve signed up for KOHO’s free personal ‘bank’ account that pays 1.2% in interest (on the balance in the account) and 0.5% cash-back on all on all purchases!
- EQ Bank – I’ve been an EQ Bank account-holder pretty much since they opened. I use them for high-interest savings — and they consistently rank top of the list for the highest interest paid on savings accounts in Canada.
- BMO – We use the BMO eBusiness Plan for our corporation’s day-to-day banking. Keeping in line with the “I hate bank fees” sentiment, this account does not charge a monthly fee and offers unlimited electronic transactions.
- Karl’s Mortgage Calculator
- Consumer’s Report
- RedFlagDeals Forums
BooksInvesting Money Mindset & Habits
- Moolala: Why Smart People do Dumb Things with their Money, by Bruce Sellery
- Unstuck, by Karin Mizgala
- Worry-Free Money, by Shannon Lee Simmons
- The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
- I Will Teach You To Be Rich, by Ramit Sethi
- Stop Overthinking Your Money, by Preet Banerjee
- Wealthing Like Rabbits, by Robert R. Brown
- The Smart Debt Coach, by Talbot Stevens
- Master Your Mortgage for Financial Freedom, by Robinson Smith
- Mortgage Freedom, by Sandy Aitken
- The Wealthy Renter, by Alex Avery
- The Real Estate Retirement Plan, by Calum Ross
- The Modern Couple’s Money Guide, by Lesley-Anne Scorgie
- The 100-Day Financial Goal Journal, by Alyssa Davies