Earlier this week, The Globe’s personal finance columnist Rob Carrick took over @GlobeBusiness to answer your questions live. (See the recap here.) Money questions for Rob have continued to flow in from Globe readers. Below, Rob answers more of your questions:
Q. “Any recommendations for some solid USD denominated Equity, Balanced or Sector ETFs that I can purchase with USD from my Investorline RRSP?”
– Derrill MacDonald, Newmarket, Ont.
Rob: What I recommend is taking a broad, diversified approach to any stock market, including those in the U.S. Sector guessing is a form of market-timing and very difficult to pull off well. Not too long ago, people thought energy was a great sector.
“I inherited a 6-figure sum from my father, and – mindful of the effort he put in to earning it – I am very risk-adverse to losing it. What are my best options for earning a good return with low risk?”
– Suzanne Robins, Ottawa
RC: Depends on your time frame. If less than five years, suggest a GIC ladder – equal investments in GICs maturing in one through five years. If longer, preferably 10+ years, you could try adding a little stock market exposure for more growth. Keep in mind that safe investing is low-return investing these days. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you buy in.
“I am 70 years old with a secure pension. My investments are 100% in dividend paying equities. 50%canadian and 50% u.s. Do you feel we are taking on too much risk. We have a small mortgage.”
– Howard Charles, Guelph, Ont.
RC: The pension is like a bond, so having your own investments in stocks can work. Big factor is your ability to tolerate a market crash. Are you OK seeing your stocks plunge in value, even if they continue to churn out dividend income for you?
“Currently, I pay 5 per cent of my salary into the group RRSP that by boss matches. I also contribute money voluntarily each month. Can I transfer funds out of this RRSP to my own personal RRSP? – Eva Junk, Toronto
RC: It’s best to ask the Human Resources people who run your group RRSP. You may not have access to the money unless you leave the company.
“I’m retiring next year. my wife is retired now. we both have about 750K RRSP and 65K TFSA. No Debt. What is the best way to minimised tax on our withdrawal of about 55K a year for both of us?”
– Huat Weg, Mississauga, Ont.
RC: Suggest you consult a fee-for-service financial planner to design a personalized plan. That’s a planner who charges a flat or hourly rate and doesn’t sell products.
“I am 22-years-old and have $23,000 saved and no debt. Should I buy stocks, make a down payment on an investment property or go back to school?
– Conor Amyot, Oshawa. Ont.
RC: Outstanding, Conor. Back to school sounds interesting, if you can acquire additional education that will, first, help your earning power and, second, that you won’t end up in debt. Stocks are great if you plan to hold for 10+ years and want to build long term wealth.