Friday, February 24, 2023

Short Takes: Rental Real Estate, Example TFSA Uses, and more

I’ve lost count of the number of real estate agents and mortgage brokers in Canada and the U.S. who’ve told me that right now is a fantastic time to buy a rental property.  Usually, they don’t own any rental properties themselves and have no plans to buy one now, but they’re sure that it would be a great time for me to buy.

When I say that I’m not interested in using my capital to buy the part-time job of being a landlord, they tell me to hire a management company.  When I tell them I’ve heard from landlords that management companies soak up most or all of the profit from being a landlord, they usually give up on me.

I guess my message here is that I’ve found a fairly short path to ending an uninvited sales pitch about real estate.  You’re welcome.

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Robb Engen shows that TFSAs can be very useful for smoothing out life’s financial bumps without creating a big tax bill.  This gives you time for the necessary next step of restoring TFSA savings.  RRSPs don’t work as well for this purpose.

Andrew Hallam has some news for people who think we’re living through especially bad times for our finances.

says Canadians shouldn’t be in a hurry to buy a house.  The reasoning makes sense to me, but I find it hard to believe that these things can be predicted with any certainty.


  1. Or selling properties lol

  2. Michael, I was trying to follow your approach using Google sheet in getting rebalancing notification. But I could not find data related to ask-call spread. Do you use third party data for that? Thanks!

    1. Whenever I make a trade, I take note of the spread, and I use a hard-coded value for the typical spread. I tend to bias the hard-coded value toward the higher spread values I see. If I'm rebalancing and the spread is significantly larger than my hard-coded value, I think twice about whether it makes sense to trade. So far, the spread has never been high enough to avoid trading, but it could happen. This may seem elaborate, but I trade so infrequently that it's not a big deal.

  3. Ironically, I bought most of my properties on my own, with no agent. Only the first two, I bought with an agent, then a smarten up. In reality, you don't need an agent to but property but most people don't do it because they are afraid and they don’t put in the time to understand that all they need a purchase and sale agreement from a lawyer. They lose out on thousands of $$$. They think the agent will protect them, (perhaps to a degree!) In my opinion, real estate agents are a bit like mosquitoes, they are so annoying and they suck a lot of money/blood out of you and you don't even notice it, because they tell you its the "other party" who paying. Right! Follow the money folks, you are paying!!!