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It took a while, but I've finally setup TDW TFSA and RRSP accounts for my wife and linked into my account. Things brings our number of accounts up to 5 and it should stay that way. 1 cash unregistered, 2 TFSAs and 2 RRSPs.

When it comes to allocation do most people manage separate portfolios with their own allocations. Or do you treat it as one large pool, buying into the account where there is free cash where it makes the most sense tax wise?

Thanks.
 

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Jason,

I have the exact same set-up. My wife and I have our own trading accounts linked back to our joint bank account where pay cheques are deposited and bills are paid. I have a TFSA and an RRSP account and my wife has a non-registered account, a TFSA and an RRSP account. I treat it as one big portfolio buying when there is good value and making those purchases in the account that provides the most tax effecient sense. For example, in the TFSA I usually keep REITs as they aer taxed the highest, RRSP hasmostly US stocks as I can avoid the witholding taxes, and in my wife's non-reg account I keep Canadian dividend paying companies that are eligible for the dividend tax credit. So many people I know look to make money but I think that is only half the battle. Keeping the money is just as important. Tax efficiency is key.
 

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Consider your overall asset allocation, but also consider how and when the money may be withdrawn. TFSAs are flexible - you can use them as an emergency fund, to fund medium term projects like a vacation, a new car or a new roof, or use it for long term growth.

So you might want to keep some lower risk assets in the TFSAs for emergencies.

Gains in the TFSA are tax free both when earned and upon withdrawal. This is the reverse of RRSPs which are taxed upon withdrawal. So, depending on your situation, you may want to put your biggest growth investments in the TFSA.
 

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I agree with Soils4Peace. Looking at overall allocation is a useful consideration, but you have to consider other factors. Each of these accounts has different time horizons/liquidity needs, and therefore different investor profiles. And you cannot readily transfer money between them.
 
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