Getting Started With moneygeek

Resources designed to increase your wealth

Is this really for you?

  • Most people have no interest in investing. They don't realize that smart investing can make the difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime, even for the average earner. Breaking out of this mould takes a little bit of effort. Are you up for it?
  • You can invest your savings well without a financial advisor. Yes, investing is complicated, but the basics are easy to learn and apply. As you read on, you'll discover that unless you want to be a Wall Street hotshot, the basics are really all you need. Are you willing to learn to do it on your own?
  • Deep down, we aspire to be givers, not takers. Becoming financially secure will free us to give our time and money to people and causes near and dear to us. Do you share similar hopes?

MoneyGeek is where you can find all kinds of easy-to-follow resources to help you invest your savings efficiently. We don't mess around with other stuff like budgeting. We help you invest, because that's what we do best.

First Things First

Are you ready to invest?

Having some savings doesn't automatically mean that you should invest your savings today. Watch this video to find out if you're ready to invest.

Hello and welcome, this is Jin Choi from MoneyGeek.

First of all, congratulations for taking an interest in investing. A lot of other young professionals don’t take this interest, so you’re already ahead of the game.

Now, if you’re watching this video, you’re probably thinking about investing your money soon. But before you begin investing, you should first ask yourself whether you’re ready to invest.

If you have the kind of debt that you can pay off right now, you should do that first. So if you have credit card debt for instance, you should work on paying that off now. I would start with the debt with the highest interest rate, and work yourself down.

On the other hand, if you only have the kind of debt that you can’t pay off right now, you can start to think about investing. A good example of this kind of debt is a mortgage. While you can technically pay off your mortgage early, you usually have to pay expensive penalties to do it. So in this case, invest your money instead.

I also recommend that you build your savings to $5,000 before you start investing, and that’s because you should hold some cash in case of emergencies, and also because it shows that you can save consistently.

If you’re working on paying off debt, or if you have less than $5,000 in savings, unfortunately, this is not the time to start investing. But there is still something you can do today, and that is to learn. Learning will prepare you for the time when you’ll start investing, but also, I find that learning acts as a great motivator.

To take an analogy, If you know a lot about cars, the chances are, you’ll want a better car. That’s because you start dreaming about all these fancy cars that you want to own some day. In the same way, if you learn about investing, then you’ll actually look forward to the day that you can invest. And that will motivate you to pay off your debt and save more.

So if you want to learn, I can recommend a few ways. If you know next to nothing about investing, I’ve written a book for people just like you. It’s called the ‘Short Book on Investments’. It’s only 30 pages long, and it’s free. You’ll get the book if you sign up for the newsletter below.

If know you know the basics, or if you want to dig a little bit deeper into investing, you can check out the books that I recommend on our resources section. There’s a lot of poor books that give bad advice out there, but the books in the resources section are good.

I would also invite you to check out my blog. I talk about some of the more advanced topics, and I also explain world economic events in plain language in my blog. I post 3 times a week. If you want regular updates, you can also sign up for our newsletter. We only email people roughly twice a month, so you don’t have to worry about getting spammed.

If you have more than $5,000 in savings, and no debt that you can pay down today, then you’re ready to invest, and I would invite you to watch the next video, where I briefly go over the steps you should take to invest your own money.

Financial planning process overview

The financial planning process consists of 3 major steps. Watch this video to learn what those steps are.

Hello and welcome to our financial planning overview.

There’s really just 3 main steps to the financial planning process, and I will take you through all 3 steps through the video tutorials below. Going through all the steps will take you about an hour and a half, plus a few days of waiting, so make sure that you reserve some time before you start the process.

If you go through this once, it won’t take you nearly as long to go through it again. I think it’ll take you maybe 30 minutes a year to maintain your investments.

Note that I’ll assume that you have the MoneyGeek regular membership in our videos. The membership is useful, because we’ve basically done the hardest parts about investing, such as portfolio construction and providing you with various other tools. If you’re curious to learn more, or if you want to sign up, you can head on to the membership section now. Or if you want to check it out first, you can just take a look at the videos to see it in action first.

Anyways, let’s go through our 3 steps.

1. You should open a brokerage account. A brokerage account is like a bank account that you can use to buy stocks and these things called ETFs. ETFs are basically very low cost mutual funds that trade on the stock exchange. You can learn more about it in my book.

I have a couple of videos that show you exactly how to open one such brokerage account called Questrade, and another to show you how you can use Questrade. If you already have a discount brokerage account and you’re happy with it, skip on to the next step.

2. Invest the savings you have today. This involves choosing an investment portfolio and buying stocks and ETFs that make up the portfolios. If you’re a MoneyGeek member, you have several portfolios to choose from. In a video tutorial, I show you how to choose an investment portfolio that’s right for you.

3. Understand how much you should save going forward. How much you should save depends on your goals. A big goal for instance, is retirement, and in a video I show you how to use our tools so that you can plan for your goals.

So those are the three steps. 1. Open a brokerage account, 2. invest the savings you have today, and then 3. figure out how much to save to reach your goals.

Once you’ve done them, you should revisit steps 2 and 3 about once every year.

At this point, you might say, I want to invest using MoneyGeek, but my money is already with a financial advisor. What should I do? Well, unfortunately, you often have to pay a penalty to get your money back, if you invested recently with a financial advisor.

In most cases, you’ll be better off paying the penalty now. But if that thought bothers you, you can also use MoneyGeek to invest your new savings, and as soon as you don’t have to pay the penalty, you can take out your money from your financial advisor. To take out the money, you’ll unfortunately have to talk to your financial advisor. I know it makes for awkward conversations.

If you’re unsure and you’re wanting to try out MoneyGeek first, here’s what I recommend you do. You can leave some money with a financial advisor, and invest some money using MoneyGeek, and then compare the results in a year. I’m pretty confident that your savings will grow faster our way. You might want to do this anyway, just to compare performances between MoneyGeek and your financial advisor.

If you take these steps, you’d be well on your way to investing better than most other fellow Canadians.

If you would like to receive the free book and/or receive updates on our blog, please give us your email address. You can trust us with your email, and you can unsubscribe easily.

Step 1: Learn To Use A Brokerage Account

How to open a Questrade Account

A brokerage account is like a special bank account that you can use to buy and sell financial products like stocks and ETFs. We recommend a discount brokerage named Questrade because of its very low fees. A few of the steps required to open a Questrade account might be confusing, so we've prepared a step-by-step instruction video for opening an account.

How to buy and sell using Questrade

Once you have the money in the accounts, you can use Questrade to buy stocks and ETFs. This video shows you how.

How to exchange CAD to USD cheaply using Questrade

Converting your currency normally using Questrade costs 2%. That's a lot! Luckily, there's a way to do it much more cheaply, and this video shows you how.

Step 2: Invest Your Money

How to invest the savings you have today

In this video, we take you through the process of choosing an investment portfolio that's right for you.

How to plan for your retirement

How much should you save? That depends on your goal, and retirement is one such goal that everyone has. As you'll see, it's not too early to plan for your retirement.

Step 3: Keep Yourself Informed

The world changes constantly. Sometimes, investments that made sense yesterday no longer makes sense today. Also, as your investments go up and down, and you will need to rebalance regularly. Check back and go through the last section again at least once a year.

If any big changes happen to our portfolios, we will email you (if you're a member). You should also consider signing up for the newsletter to keep yourself informed about why your portfolio is behaving the way it does.

Please give us your email address if you would like us to keep you updated on your portfolio's ups and downs. You can trust us with your email, and you can unsubscribe easily.

Have you followed all the steps? If so, great! You've now invested your savings very intelligently. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us at info@moneygeek.ca.

Regards,

Jin

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