Skip to main content

Hooked up with a TFSA

Better late than never.

I'm hooked up now with one of those fancy new Tax-Free Savings Accounts. Is it saving or savings? Lemme check.

Savings. I'm picky about that kind of stuff, since so many people say "Daylight Savings Time" (wrong) instead of "Daylight Saving Time" (right).

These RRSP alternatives were announced for the start of 2009. Here we are in late November and I'm just getting on board now. Why now?

I've been reading lots of advice lately about company stock plans. On one side, some people suggest you should have no more than 10% of your net worth (or portfolio holdings, I forget) in stock of the company you work for. On the other side, there's advice that says you should have absolutely none. The logic being, you already have a ton of financial risk working for a company -- why make it worse by having your money invested in the same place?

None of the advice I've read says to keep as much as I have been keeping. My company stock stockpile is currently worth almost half as much as my entire RRSP portfolio. Ouch. I'm over-invested in my company.

Most of the advice says to take advantage of your company's matching buy-in when it comes to stock, and I've been doing so -- 25% in year 1, 33% year 2, and next year it'll be 50% free money. But the advice also says to sell your shares as soon as you can, and invest the money in something more sensibly diversified.

So, to make a long and drawn-out narrative succinct, it's occurred to me that I could sell my company stock and put it over into a plain old TFSA.

There's one thing holding me back, though. My company stock is still trading at less than what I paid. It's currently about $2 per share below my book value. I haven't done the math to figure out how much "free" stock I have, and whether that mitigates that capital loss.

The capital loss will show up anyway. And I guess I can carry that forward for another couple of years, just in case I make money on the company stock next year.

Also -- there's my greed. I'm signed up for a TFSA with ING Direct. They have a kick-start program which offers to match interest earned on contributions made before the end of 2009. But the interest rate paid on the savings account is just over 1%. Yeah, I know, times are tough, we should be grateful that our money's even around. One per cent isn't so bad. Oh, fuggit, it's piddly! My greed says "the stock will go up! Screw the 1% solution!"

So, for now, I've put 3/4 of my accumulated "emergency fund" from my usual bank into my ING TFSA.

Any financial wizzes out in the blogosphere have any insight or advice to sway my opinion?


PS -- if you use my referral to sign up for the ING TFSA or investment savings account, you get a free $25. And I get a free $25. I think both of us would like that very much. My Orange Key number is 34063495S1.


  1. If I recall correctly, you need not put your TFSA funds into a lowly savings account but could go with a GIC or mutual fund or even transfer your stocks directly (indirectly??) to your TFSA---and hold them there. Not sure if the latter idea makes sense from a capital appreciation point of view--but something to look into. Savings at 1%!!!!, not a great way to get rich

  2. True true.
    If fees weren't a concern, I'd love to have my TFSA money put into mutual funds or ETFs. But fees are a concern. Given the amounts that're being handled, fees could quickly eat up any gains made.

    I could transfer the stocks 'in kind', but I'd still be in the same position of holding too much of a single stock, and my company's stock, at that.

    Anyone more familiar with the ING lineup?

  3. But if you keep adding to your TFSA at a rate of $5000/year the gains will outweigh the fees.....

    However - if you invest in the mutual funds you have to agree to not touch the money for 3 years and if this is your emergency fund, cash is the way to go so it is accessible.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Today was my last day at work, and I'm okay with that

Today marks a weird spot on the calendar for me. It’s one of those landmarks that really doesn’t mean anything, other than to illustrate the weirdness of time and how we feel it. As of today, my son Gordon has been without his mother longer than he was with her. The length of time Amanda has been gone is now longer than the length of time we were a family of three. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but that dangblasted calendar tells me it’s almost three years. I have not said a word about it to G, but tonight, for the first time in a long time, he pulled out the Missing Mummy book for bedtime. Today was my last day in broadcasting for a while, as far as I can tell. I spent the past five years as Program Director at Newstalk 1290 CJBK in London, Ontario. And in recent years, I was also the noon-hour show host, afternoon news anchor, a commercial voice guy, TV news promo voice guy, and more. Also in the past five years, I’ve bought a house, endured renovation

A request, as we reach two years

Wow, long time no write. I didn't enjoy this past winter. I was certainly in a long slump. Things were very challenging at work. Gordon was awesome, as always, but I was just in a sustained funk from last summer on. And I'm not sure I'm all the way out of it yet. I'm still largely in quiet hermit mode, but have been making progress at resuming social contact. Little dude and I have a very busy summer that will go by in a flash. This Thursday will mark two years since Amanda died. I still replay the events of that night in my head almost every day. I'd like to not. Sometimes it feels like forever ago, but sometimes I'm right there all over again. Hey, can I ask for your help with something? Two years ago, so many wonderful people told me that if there was anything they could do to help .... Well, I don't ask often. And I should've asked more. And I should ask more even now. I'm still not comfortable asking. But I'm asking for this. I put

Hard to believe it's been a year - but it has

One year ago today, we lost Amanda. Time plays tricks on all of us. We can think "that was so long ago" at the same time as "it feels like yesterday." I run into this all the time with Amanda's death. Yes, it feels like just yesterday, or last night, or later today, that Amanda collapsed in the kitchen and died after that long, brutal battle with ovarian cancer. But every day has ticked by at a pace like any other, and it's been a whole year of those days, with incremental and sometimes revolutionary change. As I move about our home, it's hard to fathom that she's been gone a whole year. Amanda's garden awakens, early Spring 2017. Many of the decorative items she carefully arranged throughout the house are in the exact same place as the last time she touched them. She had the vision, not me, so I've been reluctant to disturb her decisions on what looks good and works. In other places, I'm reminded that it's been at least