Investing in Your 20’s: Where Do You Begin?

4 minute read

You’re young and getting started on your career. You’re making “real money”, but you realize that it can slip through your fingers pretty easily. Perhaps you still live with your parents, or maybe you have your first apartment. You’d like to own a house one day, but need to get a down payment together. You have bills to pay – cell phone, car insurance, student loans. However, you want some of your income to go towards fun and adventure. Maybe you hope to travel.

Does this sound like you, or someone you know?

How do you do it all? The key to building the financial future you want, is to save some of your money now. The way to make that savings grow is to invest some of it. If that seems daunting, don’t fear. Here is everything you need to know to start investing with confidence.

You’ve probably heard the advice to “pay yourself first”, but what exactly does that mean? The first step to reaching your future goals is to set up an automated transfer so that, on payday, your savings automatically comes out of your chequing account and into some form of savings account. Most financial experts suggest saving somewhere between 10%-20% of your income if you can. If you’re still living at home, you might even be able to save more.

You should keep a minimum of a month’s worth of expenses in a High Interest Savings Account. This is money that you want to be able to get at fairly quickly if you need it. This account is also a good spot for saving for things like vacations or a new vehicle.

For longer term saving, there are a variety of investment products for you to consider.

  • GICs (Guaranteed Investment Certificates) are a great, low-risk investment option. You agree to invest a certain amount of money for a set length of time and in return receive a fixed interest rate. When your term is up, you can either cash in your GIC or renew your term and keep growing!
  • Mutual Funds allow a group of investors to pool money together and a fund manager invests this money. Every mutual fund until represents an investment in a variety of securities that could include stocks, bonds, cash or other securities.
  • Registered Plans are registered with the Canadian government and have tax benefits that can help boost your savings.
    • A TFSA (Tax-free savings account) is an excellent general purpose savings account that allows you to earn tax-free investment income. You can invest in mutual funds, GICs, and stocks with your TFSA. There is an annual limit to how much you can invest, however, you can make up for any contributions you have missed since turning 18 years of age.
    • An RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Account) allows you to save money for retirement while lowering the income tax you owe today. Contributions are deducted from your annual income to reduce the amount of income tax you must pay for that year. There is a limit to the amount you can contribute each year – this amount can be found on your notice of assessment issued by the Canada Revenue Agency. You can also borrow up to $35,000 from your RRSP to purchase your first home – you’ll just need to pay it back within 15 years.
    • An FHSA (First Home Savings Account) combines the benefits of both TFSAs and RRSPs for first-time home buyers. Your contributions are tax deductible and you earn tax-free investment income at the same time! You can contribute up to $8,000 per year up to a maximum of $40,000 into a FHSA. FHSAs should be commonly available by mid-2023.

One of the easiest ways to start investing is through an a digital direct investing account with Qtrade Direct Investing™. These accounts allow you to invest in stocks, ETFs (Exchange-traded Funds), bonds, GICs and mutual funds online, at a time and place that’s convenient to you. You can often access tools and resources that help you make well-informed decisions.

If you prefer an little more support, you can consider Qtrade Guided Portfolios, which is a fully automated service that lets you benefit from digital advice and helps you build a professionally managed, low-cost portfolio.

* Mutual funds are offered through Qtrade Asset Management (a tradename of Credential Asset Management Inc). Mutual funds and other securities are offered through Qtrade Advisor, a division of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc. The information contained in this report was obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, we cannot guarantee that it is accurate or complete. This report is provided as a general source of information and should not be considered personal investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any mutual funds and other securities. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Unless otherwise stated, mutual fund securities and cash balances are not insured or guaranteed and are not covered by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation or by any other government deposit insurer that insures deposits in credit unions. Their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Online brokerage services are offered through Qtrade Direct Investing, a division of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc. Qtrade and Qtrade Direct Investing are trade names and/or trademarks of Aviso Wealth. Qtrade Guided Portfolios is a trade name of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc.

Paul Arsenault

Paul Aresenault, CFP®, PFP®, RIS, CKA® is Director, Wealth and Investments
Branch Compliance Manager, Qtrade Asset Management Inc.

Paul has a wealth of experience helping members achieve their goals as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional. He coaches Kindred’s Financial Planning Team and acts as our compliance manager for Qtrade Asset Management Inc. In addition, Paul is passionate about sharing his knowledge around RDSPs with members and organizations.

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