Why I Don’t Invest In A Taxable (Non-Registered) Account

Rumours of an increased capital gains tax were put to rest last week when the Liberals unveiled their second federal budget with no mention of a change to the inclusion rate. The scuttlebutt around capital gains, however, got me thinking about investing in a taxable or non-registered account.

There are several scenarios where investing in a non-registered account makes sense.

  1. To take advantage of the dividend tax credit
  2. When you’re borrowing funds to invest (ex. Smith Manoeuvre)
  3. When you’ve maxed-out your tax-sheltered accounts (RRSP, TFSA) and still have funds to invest

With that out of the way, I’m here to argue that most people under the age of 40, including me, will never need to invest in a non-registered account in their lifetime.

Heck, even seniors and retirees with healthy balances in their taxable trading accounts have been slowly shifting those assets into their TFSAs as contribution room grows.

Why I Don't Invest In A Taxable Non-Registered Account

The ability to save 18 percent of your income annually inside an RRSP, plus another $5,500 annually inside a TFSA (double that for couples), makes a non-registered investment account a luxury for the wealthy.

Anyone who was at least 18 in 2009 now has $52,000 or more in TFSA contribution room, and most people have more RRSP contribution room than they know what to do with.

Related: Revisiting the Tax Free Savings Account

Even with an extremely high savings rate it still makes sense to prioritize contributions to your RRSP, TFSA, RESP, and perhaps extra mortgage payments before investing in a non-registered account.

It was just this year that we got our savings back on track and started putting away $1,000 per month inside our TFSAs. At this rate it’ll take us until the year 2024 to catch up on all of our unused contribution room and fully fund both of our TFSAs.

Still, our journey to financial freedom will see our household net worth reach $1 million in the year I turn 41 (2020) and from there achieve financial independence by the time I turn 45.

Financial independence means a diversified balance sheet with a paid-for home and more than $600,000 saved inside our RRSPs and TFSAs, plus a workplace pension worth $350,000 and $100,000 saved for our kids’ post-secondary education.

All of this amounts to us living a comfortable, balanced life in which we have enough money saved so that someday soon I can quit employee life and focus on other endeavours.

We can do this, again quite comfortably, by maxing out contributions to our RRSPs and TFSAs every year. Outside of saving up a healthy emergency fund, what more do we need?

Do you invest in a taxable (non-registered) account?

Weekend Reading: Federal Budget Edition

It was much ado about nothing when the Liberals announced its second federal budget this week. Despite rumours of tax hikes and increases to the capital gains inclusion rate, the budget delivered none of that, and instead offered what amounts to long-range pledges to improve innovation, skills training and gender equality.

For the record, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said raising the inclusion rate on capital gains was, “not in our budget and those are not key areas of focus.

The budget does put tax cheats on notice, with more than half a billion dollars in new money budgeted over five years to fund investigations.

The feds also scrapped the Canada Savings Bonds program – a relic of a bygone era – that was costing $58 million per year to administer.

This Week’s Recap:

On Monday I explained how a ‘first 60 days’ assessment helps save money on taxes year round.

On Wednesday Marie cautioned not to let debt derail your retirement plans.

And on Friday I shared a personal story about taking out a second mortgage.

Weekend Reading:

An amazing feature in The New York Times with several real life examples of basing life on what you can afford:

“The people you’ll encounter here have been sorting it out for themselves for some time now. Their household income is at or close to the median in their area — from Arkansas to Michigan, Indiana to California.

Meeting the most basic of needs is usually not a problem for these people, but it’s a challenge to figure out how often to allow themselves things they want and to weigh those desires against longstanding debt or the contributions they probably ought to make to their futures.”

Wealthsimple’s ‘money diaries’ series never disappoints and this instalment looks at why high school coaches make $150,000, or the economics behind the real Friday Night Lights.

Jimmy Kimmel’s rules for shopping at Costco is a must-watch for folks like me that have a love-hate relationship with the warehouse giant:

Being lazy is the key to success, according to best-selling author of Moneyball:

“People waste years of their lives not being willing to waste hours of their lives. If you mistake busyness for importance–which we do a lot–you’re not able to see what really is important.”

Related: Stop reading lists of things successful people do.

Michael James has a favourable review of Michael Lewis’ new book, The Undoing Project.

Amazon has famously eschewed short-term profit in favour of long term growth. Now investors think the online behemoth is going to grow faster, longer and bigger than almost any firm in history. Are investors too optimistic about Amazon?

We hear a lot about the Toronto real estate market from the buyer’s perspective. Here’s a homeowner sharing how it feels to win the Toronto real estate lottery (he bought in 1989).

Financial advisor and generation-antagonist Kurt Rosentreter turned his attention away from Millennials and Gen Xers to wag his finger at wealthy boomers.

We’ve linked to several articles about CPP lately and the ideas about when to take it continue to be up for debate.

First, the Financial Post says this retirement decision (to delay CPP) could be worth $72,000 but few Canadians take advantage of it.

Fred Vettese got a lot of reader backlash when in a recent column he suggested delaying CPP until age 70. Here’s why people hate the thought of deferring their CPP pension.

MoneySense looks at splitting CPP with your ex-spouse and how the process works when you’re divorced or separated.

Why do so many couples lie to each other about money? Women share their secrets of financial infidelity here, but I suspect men are equally to blame when it comes to hiding transactions from their spouse.

John Heinzl reveals five things your investment advisor isn’t telling you.

Finally, Ben Carlson answers the hardest question in portfolio management.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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