If you know where to find me, it’s easy to find good investment ideas. You could read about opportunities online or in the newspaper. You could get ideas from friends, family, or people you work with. Even as you go about your daily life, you might get an idea.
The toughest part is figuring out if an investment is right for you most of the time. Other parts of the Investing Ideas and Strategies Guide can help you decide if an investment is right for you, but here we’ll focus on three places where you can get ideas.
As an RBC Direct Investing Community element, you can connect with investors of all experience levels. It’s a safe place online where you can ask questions, share ideas, and even look at the percentages of other investors’ holdings. No one ever finds out who you are or how much money you have invested.
Here’s a quick rundown of how you can use the Community:
Join anonymous investor groups
It’s easy to find and follow other members through the Connections page. You can use filters to find investors interested in the same things, like retirement, estate planning, or investment strategies.
Join in on the Forums.
You can write a post, join a conversation, or follow interesting conversations. You can ask questions and share ideas about investing with other people in the Community.
Look at what other members own to get ideas for how to invest.
On the Connections page, you can look at holdings (but only in terms of percentages) or look at the top 10 holdings and asset mix of Community members.
Inspired Investor is a digital magazine put out by RBC Direct Investing. You’ll find personal stories, up-to-date information, and expert insights to help you make better-investing decisions and give you more confidence. You can find articles on both your Home page and your Holdings page and in other places on the site.
Every article has a comment button that lets you share your thoughts in the Community Forums. You can also get ideas and inspiration from the Inspired Investor Forums.
Experts’ top choices
Analysts at Morningstar put together easy-to-use “pick lists” of their favourite investments. These lists can help you develop ideas if you don’t have a specific industry or company in mind. Lists of the best core equity investments in large-cap U.S. stocks, the best Canadian companies that pay dividends, and many more can be found in the Research Center.
Define your goals: Why are you saving?
The first phase in making an investment plan and choosing a strategy is to figure out why you are saving money in the first place.
You might want to save up for a down payment on a house or a down payment on a new car. Long-term goals could be retirement or paying for a child’s college.
Having a clear insight into what you want to achieve is a big step toward getting there. Setting goals helps you take charge of your finances and keep you motivated as you get closer to what you’re saving for.
There are many different kinds of investors, and your goals and strategies for investing are likely to change over time. Events in your life, changes in your career, and the amount of time you have to reach your financial goals all play a role. Since nothing is set in stone, you can always go back to your goals to make sure they still make sense.
Who Do You Consider Yourself to Be as an Investor?
Your investor profile is based on how much risk you are willing and able to take to make more money possibly. Most of the time, the risk of an investment goes up as the potential return goes up.
The graph above shows how investment risk affects potential returns and how different types of investors should mix their assets.
For example, a Secure should have mostly fixed-income securities in its portfolio (low risk, low return). The portfolio for an Aggressive Growth profile, on the other hand, is mostly made up of stocks (high risk, higher possible returns).
How to Handle Your Accounts and Investments
Once you know what you desire to achieve and what kind of investor you are, you can look into the account(s) and investment products that are right for you.
You can use one account or a mix of registered and non-registered accounts to save for short-term and long-term goals. Most of the time, people use registered investment accounts to put off paying taxes on their income and capital gains. Accounts that aren’t registered don’t have the same tax-deferral benefits, so any income earned is taxed every year. They give you more freedom than registered accounts, and there are no limits on how much you can put in.
Options for a Registered Account
A Registered Retirement Savings Plan, sometimes known as an RRSP, is a personal savings plan that enables you to make tax-deferred contributions toward your retirement savings.
A spousal RRSP is a way to save for retirement that lets one spouse own the account and let the other spouse put money into it. The main goal of a spousal RRSP is to move money from the partner with the higher income to the partner with the lower income.
A Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) is a type of investment account that lets you save money without paying taxes on the money you earn or take out.
RRSP-Registered Retirement Savings Plan can grow into an RRIF. Your RRSP helps you save for retirement, while your RRIF lets you take money out of your account as you need it.
An RESP-Registered Education Savings Plan is a way to save money for a child’s college education after high school.
Options for Non-Registered Accounts
Non-registered investment cash accounts may be used to save for immediate needs or support a longer-term objective, such as retirement. These accounts can be held by one person or more than one person.
You can borrow money against the investments you have in a margin account.
Accounts for businesses
One of these accounts lets you invest on behalf of a business or organization. Another is an account for a trust or estate.