There was an unintended coincidence with respect to Cut The Crap Investing articles this week, in that there was a Green theme. On Tuesday I continued my Canadian Robo Advisor series with a look at Canada’s most famous Robo Advisor Wealthsimple.
The goal of my look at the Canadian Robo Advisors is to go beyond the fees and products to help Canadians uncover the ‘uniqueness’ and very specific appeal of each advisor. Hopefully with that uniqueness and service offerings and level of human advice clearly defined you can find ‘the robo that is right for you’. Wealthsimple covers the bases with lower-fee, comprehensive index-based portfolios in two fee structures. Wealthsimple Black will offer a lower fee structure for those with investments above that $100k threshold.
But what is truly unique with Wealth Simple is that they off a Halal Portfolio and a SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) portfolio. You can see my review article for links.
If you do want to align your green nature with your investments, you might also consider the CoPower Green Bond. Here’s the post Changing your portfolio one LED light bulb a time.
The bond offerings are grass-roots, with your monies supporting infrastructure projects such as Geothermal, wind and LED replacement programs. The bonds will pay you 4% or 5% depending on the term. The main benefit – no fees.
I am working to put together a SRI ETF / Fund portfolio suggestion for self-directed investors. There are many ETF and Fund offerings. The tricky part is uncovering funds that are truly ‘Green’. The goal is to find funds that have much more than a green wrapper. There may even be some individual stocks in the mix.
And could that search for Green find those pot stocks or the Cannabis industry? That’s certainly green in a few respects. Given the medical-use aspect could one argue that the sub sector would fit the definition for an SRI portfolio? That said, even if it fits the green bill, one would have to be very careful with a burgeoning but new industry that is yet to provide the key to investment success – profits.
Here’s a 1-month chart for one of the leading players in the field, Canopy Growth, ticker WEED. Legalization has not been kind to the pot stocks as the focus might now focus from sky-high hopes, to ‘show me the money’. Canopy Growth has a company/market value of $11.1 Billion, but they do not yet have any earnings. Again we are in the first inning with respect to legalized recreational use of marijuana.
I was on Prince Edward Island when the first ‘pot stores’ opened up to the public. I witnessed first hand that the initial demand is there big time (big surprise?). Every time I drove or walked past that outlet there was a lineup out the door, of at least 50-60 curious clients. There are now supply shortages across the country. Suppliers are attempting to ramp up production.
And let’s move that investment theme from Green to Grey. This week Jason Heath offered help and hope to a moneysense reader who wonders how she will ever be able to retire given that she is divorced and of modest means. Here’s How single seniors can plan for retirement. Some simple planning can go a long way.
One of the most pleasant surprises or discoveries for me (told to me by retirees when I was an advisor at Tangerine) was how many Canadian retirees could live comfortably and happily on very little income. The recurring theme was no debt and very modest spending needs. In most cases the clients would also offer that they follow a sensible budget with planning for the extras such as trips. In many instances the CPP (Canada Pension Plan), OAS (Old Age Security) and GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement) covered total expenses while a modest investment fund was used to fund those trips and extras. Of course it is usually best to use that TFSA account for that trip fund, as any TFSA interest or investment gains will not count towards income and will not threaten that GIS supplement that is intended for lower-income seniors.
Continuing with the theme of changing colours, let’s move to Orange, given that Wednesday offered the night of ghosts and goblins and Harry Potter’s rapping on your door asking for candy. Nelson of financialuproar used Halloween as a teaching opportunity for his kids.
Halloween tricks aside, we are now in November and it’s Financial Literacy Month in Canada. Teaching our kids ‘taxes’ and the money basics might be on the table. Financial literacy begins at home. And as we head into the year-end and year-end financial and tax planning I penned this guest post for boomerandecho The Year End Tax Trap For Investors.
On the horizon might be a higher TFSA annual contribution level of $6000 according to the Globe & Mail. Also from The Globe and Rob Carrick here’s a video where Rob offers an alternative to traditional bonds by way of GICs at alternative banks, trust companies and credit unions.
I won’t link to a specific article, of course, there’s daily content on the Findependencehub.
Remembrance Day Approaches.
And November brings out the Red Poppies as we remember those who’ve served and sacrificed for their countries. On Thursday I attended an event at Centennial College to witness Captain Martin Maxwell deliver his truly inspirational life story with grace, humility and a wonderful sense of humour. It was a moving and inspirational talk that took us from tears of laughter to tears of sorrow.
Real heroes help us put life in the proper perspective. Captain Maxwell is 94, he asks that we carry forward that torch of freedom.
Thanks for reading.