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Money Links – Loonie, Options, RESP.

  • As the Canadian dollar is worth $1.05 per $1 USD, this is a perfect time to do that cross border shopping.  This post on "US Duty Free allowances" indicates the amount you can bring back duty free.  If you are over the amount, they will either charge you a 7% surcharge or 7% + the GST/PST.  You can refer to this document for more details.
  • Preet from WhereDoesAllMyMoneyGo has written about another advanced investment strategy, The Option Straddle.  Basically, it's where you buy equal amount of calls and puts on a stock where you expect a huge move in the short term.
  • Thanks to Mike from Four Pillars for pointing out some inconsistencies in my RESP post.  I have since updated the post "How RESP's Work".
  • Canadian Capitalist lists all the new tax breaks that the Harper government has announced.  I'm still waiting for my capital gains tax reduction (hint hint Mr. Flaherty).
  • Congrats to The Financial Blogger for winning the top commenter contest for Oct 2007.  He will receive a free copy of "The Engine of America".

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FT About the author: FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • The Financial Blogger November 2, 2007, 7:58 am

    Thx for the book FT! I promise I’ll write reviews on those!

    If you ever do a contest for this month, I think that Ed is on the roll to win ;-) Lol!

  • FourPillars November 2, 2007, 10:03 am

    Thanks for the link.

    Congrats on the book FB!.

    Mike

  • Investing911 November 2, 2007, 10:25 am

    You know what really hurts? The 23% hit I take when selling USD stocks that I purchased at the beginning of the year!

  • FrugalTrader November 2, 2007, 11:07 am

    I feel your pain investing911. I’ve got quite a bit of USD.

  • WhereDoesAllMyMoneyGo.com November 2, 2007, 11:26 am

    Hi FT – thanks for the link! I’ll have that options primer for you shortly – hopefully this weekend.

  • Canadian Capitalist November 2, 2007, 11:29 am

    Thanks for the link FT. All I can say for unhedged US equities investors is to hang in there. Can you now find a USD bull? I’d wager not. But USD bears are everywhere. So, how do you make money being a bear now?

  • FrugalTrader November 2, 2007, 11:32 am

    Just a note, the CAD$ has just topped the 1.07 mark! Crazy!

    CC, is your USD hedged? If so, how do you hedge it? I do a bit of hedging with my IB account where I use my margin account to buy USD shares, that way, no forex when I buy/sell.

  • Investing911 November 2, 2007, 12:15 pm

    FT, do you happen to have any CQV (Newfoundland Oil Company) – they recently went to 4.5 cents a share to about 13 cents a share in a couple of weeks.

  • Telly November 2, 2007, 12:40 pm

    I’ll tell you what REALLY hurts…being paid in USD! :(

    When we bought our house 3 1/2 years ago, we didn’t bother to get pre-approved as we didn’t want to be tempted to buy more than we really needed. Back then, I believe the banks were being “cautious” by giving people 30% on the USD when they were pre-approving people based on US salaries. Even with significant raises, things are getting tight for a lot of cross border commuters (including one of my co-workers) whose recently secured mortgages was based on a MUCH better exchange rate.

    So I guess it could be much worse. :(

  • FrugalTrader November 2, 2007, 1:00 pm

    Telly, I also feel your pain there, as this blog’s income is all in USD. Albeit, not nearly as much as you get paid. :) However, you must have been loving it a few years back when the dollar was much stronger!

    I personally think the Canadian dollar is over extended and will pull back in the very near future.

  • Telly November 2, 2007, 2:15 pm

    I was definitely loving it back in the day but you do start to get used to it unfortunately. Who would have anticipated this exchange? Very few. I remember when both my husband and I were getting $1.60CAD = $1US and I thought I was playing it safe when our budget was based on $1.50CAD = $1US. :(

    Sadly, even with good pay increases, I made more a few years back than I do now. It’s been tough trying to convince the boss I need a 30% raise this year because the USD is tanking! ;)

    I agree with you on the CAD, and so does David Dodge! With the amendment to the US / CAN tax treaty, 401k contributions will be tax deductible in Canada. Although it won’t take effect until Jan (hopefully), I’ve already starting maxing out my 401k contributions just so I convert less USD to CAD so that’s how I’m getting around this rough patch. :)

  • FourPillars November 2, 2007, 2:27 pm

    Speaking of exchange rates, I have a question for anyone…

    Going to Germany next June – I’m thinking it would be nice to lock in some Euros at current rates. How does one go about doing this without getting killed on exchange fees? Can I set up a forex bank account to hold them until I need them?

    Most of the money I would spend in Germany would be on the credit card. I anticipate around $3k tops. Is it even worth bothering with?

    Mike

    • FrugalTrader November 2, 2007, 2:31 pm

      Since it’s a smaller amount, I wouldn’t fuss too much over it. Personally, I would use my credit card for all my purchases (like you suggested). However, if you find the Euro to be cheap now, you could always go to the bank and get a bit of cash. I don’t think the banks charge an excessive forex fee (2.5% perhaps?) or am I naive?

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