My Objectives for the Transparent RRSP:
- To teach and encourage people new to stock investing; and
- To make this account grow through regular contributions, market value, and investment income.
My Feelings About the Transparent RRSP:
Nervous and excited! You can buy a stock and be under water for a long time only to have it reverse and become your portfolio’s darling for a long time thereafter. Conversely, you can buy a stock and only ever see grow, grow, and grow in share price. I don’t know what to expect performance-wise, but my plan is to be prudent, strategic, and aware of a new stock investor’s perspective.
Actions Taken So Far:
- Contributed $1000 to my RRSP through my discount brokerage, Virtual Brokers
- Bought 50 shares of ZPR at $10.86
Some Points on the RRSP
Here are the main advantages of having an RRSP as long as you keep the money in the plan:
- RRSP contributions may be deducted from your income to reduce taxation
- Gains from the investments in your RRSP are not taxed
A big reason why I like RRSPs as a starting point is that contributing more means you can have a bigger tax return later. Why? Not so that you can go shopping with your return. My philosophy has always been to invest the tax return on top of what you have to contribute. Compound, compound, compound!
In my opinion, compounding savings + investing is the most crucial strategy you can employ as an investor who is starting out. I stress the importance of budgeting so that you’re able to contribute as much of your cash early on in your time horizon. A strong head start leads to an even stronger finish.
Only when you make withdrawals from the plan will you be taxed on the income you used to contribute to the RRSP, plus any of the gains from trade profits and investment income. For this reason, I have a long-term outlook for my RRSP. I invest more aggressively with a shorter-term outlook for my TFSA because I want to have an account that I can withdraw from to ‘pay myself’ without getting taxed.
There are a lot of other advantageous features of the RRSP, such as the Home Buyers’ Plan, the Lifelong Learning Plan, and the Spousal RRSP. I get into these a bit in my book. There are a lot more ways you can juke and jive with your RRSP’s many features to really maximize the tax deductions and tax deferrals. But first, let’s invest in it!
Trade #1 for the Transparent RRSP
Today I bought 50 shares of an ETF called ZPR, the BMO Laddered Preferred Share Index ETF. I already own this in my TFSA and it’s one of those stocks I will buy over and over again because it’s very affordable and pays a monthly dividend. Affordable income-generating shares = the more shares I can buy, the more income I get! I have a feeling ZPR and I are going to grow old together. There are a lot of other comparable ETFs out there, but this one so far meets my own personal preferences of trading volume and price.
I don’t expect it to move like crazy in share price, but a considerable amount of its holdings are in Enbridge and financials which means it could have a good run if oil and the banks do.
50 shares at $10.86 = $543. My commission is a penny per share* so I paid 0.50 cents in commission. Today I paid $543.50 altogether, leaving me with $456.50 to invest. I didn’t want to use up all of my 1K in case something else comes up that I cannot pass up, like a great cheap stock or maybe a better ETF. I get paid this week, so for the sake of compounding, I’ll add more to this account.
*Not all my trades are a penny per share. Some of them are less, depending on the share price. Additionally, once every quarter, I have to do a trade at the full price of $6.50+ so that I don’t get charged an inactivity fee of $24.95 plus tax. My commission structure with Virtual Brokers is an old one from years ago and until now, I’ve been quite happy with these guys. I think the commissions and structure are quite different now, but are still inexpensive. Virtual isn’t paying me to write this either. Do your research on discount brokerage accounts and select the one that best suits the likely frequency of your trades.