Category Archives: Investments

investments

TD Canada Trust 8% 5-Year Stepper GIC

Greeting fellow Canadian investors. I came across an interesting GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) offered by TD Canada Trust – one of Canada’s largest banks – and I thought I’d share it with you. This GIC is what they call a “stepper” GIC, which means that the interest rate increases each year of the term. With this particular GIC offering the interest rate will rise in the 5’th year to 8% – a very good return considering that at the moment the average return is around 2.50%. I very much doubt that by the 5’th year interest rates will rise to the 8% mark.

This investment features a 5-year term with an annual interest rate that increases on each anniversary date. You also have the option of redeeming all or a portion of your investment on each anniversary date of the purchase of your GIC. Interest is compounded annually and paid at maturity or on redemption. You can own this GIC in a Registered (RRSP), Tax Free Savings Account, or Non-Registered account – it’s up to you.

Here are the purchase minimums:

Non–registered and Registered (TFSA) $1,000 Compounded annually and paid at maturity
Registered (RSP, RESP, RIF) $500 Compounded annually and paid at maturity

Cashability:

* On each anniversary date in full or in part. Interest paid on redemption.
* Minimum withdrawal of $1,000 for non-registered and $500 for Registered, while maintaining at least the minimum investment balance.

Also I’d advise you to look into “laddering” your GIC investments. This proven method of investing (also known as a laddering strategy) can help you reduce the risk of interest rate fluctuations and increase your portfolio’s overall return. It is often difficult to predict future interest rate trends, but laddering maturities provides a strategy for maximizing return while minimizing risk.

For more details hop on over to the TD Canada Trust GIC selection page:

http://www.tdcanadatrust.com/GICs/index.jsp

That does it for this post. I wish you all happy and profitable investing!

Cheers,
Alan
http://alansmoneyblog.com

TD Canada Trust 4% 2-Year GIC Offer

Hello my fellow Canadians, and investors. I’d like to share with you a GIC investment offer I came across on the website of one of Canada’s largest banks – TD Canada Trust. They’re offering a 4% interest rate on what they call their “Premium Rate Redeemable” GIC. Keep in mind that these are cashable GICs.

For more details checkout this link:

http://www.tdcanadatrust.com/GICs/GICTable.jsp

Thanks for your attention, and happy investing!

Alan
http://alansmoneyblog.com

Paradise Properties Real Estate Investments (PPREI) – New Investment Property

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Hello everyone. It has been a very long time since I posted anything about Paradise Properties Real Estate Investments (PPREI). For a little bit I even started to believe that PPREI would disappear off the net like other investment programs. This investment program got hit pretty hard by the failure of FriendlyPay, but it seems like they’re back on track now. Proof of this comes in the form of a new offshore investment property just recently announced on their website.

Before I go into the details of this new property I would strongly suggest you read my post about the new method of investment.

Ok, with that out of the way and seeing as now you know the investment method let’s focus more on the details of the new property.

Here are the details of the investment property taken from PPREI’s website:

–quote–

Caribbean Plan
Plan Type : One Time Payment
Monthly Investment : $0
Total Amount : $5000
Property Status : In process of purchase
Investment Deadline : 07/31/2008

Other investment values are:

This plan is backed by silver bullion….

* Your Cost to invest:
o $5000 USD one time payment
o You receive half this amount back right away in the form of Silver Bullion (see below)
o Monthly payments can be made over a 6 month period.

There is only room for 30 people to invest into this one.

* Earning Potential From Investment:
o 2+ times your invested amount (potential is unlimited due to rental). You will earn from weekly rental income and sale of house. 70% of rental profit is returned back to investors. 20% goes to a holding account for that property to cover repairs and unforeseen costs. 10% goes to us for managing the property.

* Estimated time before we sell for max earning potential
o Using as rental property so will not sell unless investors agree and the time is right.

* Side Earning Potential:
o We plan on using this condo as a vacation rental where it would rent for as high as $1500/week in high season and as low as $1000/week in the low season. Thus you would earn weekly profit. We would then sell for even higher when the time came.

* Backed By Silver:
o Your investment is protected in the form of Silver Bullion. We will send you half your invested amount back to you in the form of Silver Bullion. Example:
This plan is $5000. We will send you $2500 back in the form of Silver Bars or Rounds right away. This is .999 pure minted silver 1oz, 5oz, or 10oz bars. This means you will physically have the Silver on hand as a way of securing your investment. Silver will easily double or triple in the next year as it is a perfect form of investment in today’s market.

When it comes time for us to pay you the profit generated from the sale of the property, you will then have to send us back all the silver bullion you received from us. Or you will be given an option to keep the silver and we deduct the current silver per oz rate from the profit you are receiving back.

You invest in Real Estate, we send you Silver Bar(s) so you can feel safe about your investment

–end quote–

More detail about the property:

Carib Pre-Construction Special

This is a new development and the condos are at Pre-construction pricing. The previous Pre-construction houses we offered are now selling on average for $550,000, which is up from their $269,000 pre-construction prices in just 2 years.

Don’t miss out on another pre-construction offer that will net the same results. These condos are actually part of the same development as the flamingo plans we offered (which were the pre-construction house prices mentioned above)

Here is the floor plan for the studio we are purchasing:

Here are a few pictures of the views and grounds these condos are on. Oh did we mention they are right beside (basically on) the world championship golf course. The first pic is an artists cgi pic as it is not the actually building as it has not been built yet. The rest are from the building location.

Wow, all I can say is I wish I was living there! Look at that beautiful scenery. All in all I have no doubt that this investment property will give invests some very lucrative returns. I’d really like to get in on this one too but sadly I’ve already invested a very large portion of my net wealth in the Canadian real estate market which is doing pretty good too – not as good as the offshore market though, but you know, you can’t realistically compare the two .

Visit the Paradise Properties Real Estate Investments (PPREI) website for more details or to get in on this investment opportunity.

That’s all for now. Happy investing!

Cheers,

Alan

ING Direct Streetwise Fund

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You’ve heard of mutual funds, but have you heard about index funds? If you’re a sophisticated investor you probably have. However, ING Direct’s Streetwise Fund is not exactly targeting the sophisticated investor. Instead what I believe ING is trying to do with the Streetwise Fund is to tap the average mutual fund investor. I am talking about the kind of person who does not actively manage his/her own investment portfolio. The Streetwise Fund definitely a no-brainer as you don’t even have to pick out a particular fund as you would when investing in mutual funds. Instead what you do is park your money and the folks at ING Direct invest that money in various markets.

So, how does the Streetwise Fund work?

Amazingly simple! Essentially the Streetwise Fund is something called an “index fund”or what is also commonly referred to as a “index mutual fund.” A typical mutual fund invests in the stock of particular companies or in various financial instruments such as bonds, debentures, certificates of deposit (CDs), etc. Instead of this approach, index funds such as the Streetwise fund invest your money in ENTIRE markets. So what you’re doing is basically buying a small piece of every company that comprises a particular market index such as S&P 500, S&P/TSX 60, and so on. To be more specific, ING’s Streetwise Fund is a “Balanced Mutual Fund” with investments spread across 4 major Stock and Bond Market Indexes including:

  • Canadian Bonds (DEX Universe Bond Index) This Index contains nothing but bonds. It is 100% Canadian, and managed by PC Bonds a subsidiary of the TSX Group.
  • Canadian Stocks (S&P/TSX 60) This Index contains 60 of the largest blue chip Canadian Stocks listed on TSX. It is 100% Canadian, and managed by Standard & Poor’s.
  • US Stocks (S&P 500) This is a lead Index containing 500 of the most widely held companies in the US. It is 100% American and managed by Standard & Poor’s.
  • International Stocks (MSCI EAFE) This is an Index of international stocks from Europe, Australia and the Far East. It is managed by Morgan Stanley Capital Inc.

Ok, fine, but why invest in whole markets when you can own specific stocks and get better returns?

I see, you’ve got a trader’s mentality. Well, good for you. If you can “beat the market” as they say, then you’re on your way to becoming the next Warren Buffet, and I wish you the best of luck. However, you may or may not be surprised to know that fund managers simply can’t beat the markets over the long term. The majority of them are mediocre at best. Owning a piece of the “whole market” at the very least guarantees you the minimum market performance. If you decide to still try to outsmart the market and play with specific stocks then that is your prerogative, but having some of your money in an index fund is still a good idea because it spreads your risk by diversification. Now let’s get into some of the details of the Streetwise Fund: This index mutual fund comes in 3 flavors to suit particular investor profiles.

1 – Streetwise Balanced Income fund

Asset Allocation:

70% Canadian Bonds

10% Canadian Stocks

10% US Stocks

10% International Stocks

2 – Streetwise Balanced Fund

Asset Allocation:

40% Canadian Bonds

20% Canadian Stocks

20% US Stocks

20% International Stocks

3 – Streetwise Balanced Growth Fund

Asset Allocation:

25% Canadian Bonds

25% Canadian Stocks

25% US Stocks

25% International Stocks

Choosing which one of the 3 available funds largely depends on your investment goals and risk tolerance. The most conservative of the 3 is the Streetwise Balanced Income Fund because it has the lowest stock market exposure. If you can’t decide which is best for you ING Direct has this Investor Profile questionnaire which can help you determine your particular investor profile/risk tolerance level. Click here to access their Investor Profile questionnaire.

Now let’s discuss fees

The average MER (Management Expense Ratio) on most Canadian mutual funds is roughly 2.6%. The Streetwise Fund has an MER of just 1%. There is some debate that I’ve found online with regards to whether ING’s Streetwise Fund can be truly considered a mutual fund in the traditional sense. There is further debate about the fairness of ING comparing their fund’s management expense ratio to those of other traditional mutual funds. I guess it’s a debate about semantics.

Even so, the expense ratio is still relatively low by virtue of this it can save you a lot of money in the long run. Checkout this little example that illustrates the point:

If you were investing $10,000 in The Streetwise Fund (as opposed to some other mutual funds that charge 2.6% on average) you’d save about $170/year. Assuming that this saving is growing at 7% per year, you’d have $2600 more in your fund after 10 years

However if willing to do a bit more work than an even cheaper alternative is to look into Barclay’s iShares ETF Funds (exchange traded funds). When compared to the Barclay iShares ETF Funds, ING’s fees end up being more. Checkout these links for details:
http://www.ishares.ca/product_info/fund_overview.do?ticker=XBB
http://www.ishares.ca/product_info/fund_overview.do?ticker=XIU
http://www.ishares.ca/product_info/fund_overview.do?ticker=XSP
http://www.ishares.ca/product_info/fund_overview.do?ticker=XIN

The Value of a Streetwise Unit

as of 5/14/2008

Streetwise Balanced
Income Fund

$10.22
Streetwise Balanced
Fund

$10.25
Streetwise Balanced
Growth Fund

$10.27

ING also has something called Streetwise Cash, which to me seems nothing more than a renamed version of their popular savings account. It may be a good place to park some money while you decide where to allocate your investment funds. As of today Streetwise Cash offers and interest rate of 3%.

That about does it for this review. I hope you found it useful and informative. Happy investing!

Cheers,

Alan

*The ING Direct Streetwise Fund is available Canadian Citizens only*

EverBank New World Energy Index CD

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I was visiting EverBank’s website yesterday and I came across a new CD (certificate of deposit) product offering which peaked my interest, so I thought of sharing this with you my dear readers. EverBank calls this financial product the “New World Energy Index CD.” Essentially this CD is composed of the currencies of 3 non-Middle Eastern countries: Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, and Norway krone.

As you all should know, diversifying your cash holdings into foreign currencies is one good way to protect your wealth from potential financial problems in your home country and to also gain from the potential appreciation of the foreign currency holdings. With CDs you also earn interest in addition to potential currency appreciation so you stand to gain double. The only risk clearly evident with this product is the possibility that one or more of the 3 currencies will depreicate severely relative to the US Dollar. My opinion is that this is not likely to happen anytime soon but don’t take my word for it – do your own research. Also the short term nature of this CD fund makes it easier to “bail out” if ever such a depreciation was to occur.

Here are the details of the New World Energy Index CD:

Features of our New World Energy Index CD:

  • Available in 3- and 6-month terms.
  • Comprised of 3 non-Middle Eastern energy producing countries:
  • Returns based on a fixed-interest rate and any changes in the values of the currencies that comprise the Index CD versus the U.S. dollar. If any of the currencies lose value versus the U.S. dollar, you could potentially experience a loss of principal.
  • No monthly access fees.
  • Open with a competitive minimum deposit of $20,000.
  • FDIC insured for bank insolvency.

I should also mention that this product IS available to non-US citizens as well, even though the bank based in the U.S.A

Stay tuned to this blog as I will be introducing other CD products from EverBank.

Happy investing everyone!

Alan out.