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i was reviewing some of my holdings, and when i set up my portfolio initially i had set aside about 5-10% for the canadian bond index fund at TD, cause i figured i should have something in bonds to round out my 'risk'.

anyway, i'm kind of tired of having bonds. i'm only 26 so figure i've got plenty of time to lose my money (though hopefully get it back in the long run), and i think i should have some nice rounded coverage across several indexes. so i'm kicking the bonds loose for the time being.

i was readings about dividend stocks in other threads and articles. i think i'll put the money that was intended for bonds into dividend stocks, but i wonder if my RRSP is the best bet.

it would seem that an unregistered account would be better because of the tax benefits on investment income, does that sound right? actually, as i have not maxed out my TFSA, i should probably put it in my TFSA, right?
 

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How would an unregistered account be better than an RRSP in terms of tax savings?
If you put it that way, then unregistered account is pretty much always come worse than a registered account (RRSP / TFSA).

But the question is more about which kind of investment would be better off in registered and which are better in non-registered accounts.

Correct me if I am wrong here, ... dividend are taxed favourably, hence you would want to put them in non-registered accounts, while other investments (eg. income trusts) that incur higher tax rates, you'll want to put them in registered accounts.

I had this question a while back: http://www.canadianmoneyforum.com/showthread.php?t=1069
 

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How would an unregistered account be better than an RRSP in terms of tax savings?
Well... in some situations, the nonreg option is preferred... In estate terms, if you die prematurely, your estate would have been better off if you went the nonreg rather than the RRSP route. If you feel healthy and expect to live to a reasonable age, then the RRSP will prove to be the better choice for savings however.
 

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IMO I would say either dividend growth companies (Canadian) and index funds, held for the long term would be a good tax efficient way to use a non reg account.

Steve RSP and non registered are treated the same after death with no surviving spouse. Everything is sold at fair market value and taxes are paid.
Unless the non reg account was all cash I cant see how the RSP has an advantage. Even cash will have taxes owing so I would think cash is better in a non reg account. Unless I missed something.
 

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What I am getting at is that if you start off investing at the same lifestyle level (forcing identical after tax/after inflation incomes) in one case using the RRSP investment mechanism and in the other case investing outside your RRSP... then for the RRSP investor, should he make it beyond a certain age, his estate will benefit the most. When he dies, his RRSP is taxed in full whereas his nonreg capital is not taxed.

It is only because his RRSP capital will have grown much larger than his nonreg (there is no tax deduction on nonreg contributions) that the numbers work out to the advantage of the RRSP investor.

It is only when the RRSP investor dies prematurely that his estate will be disadvantaged.
 

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1) Keep outside the type of income that will trigger the least incremental tax. Remember that your returns from dividend common stock will be a mix of dividends and capital gains.
2) Use the spreadsheet to see the effect of additional income from specific types. Your tax bracket will determine which is optimal outside tax-shelters.
 

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i was reviewing some of my holdings, and when i set up my portfolio initially i had set aside about 5-10% for the canadian bond index fund at TD, cause i figured i should have something in bonds to round out my 'risk'.

anyway, i'm kind of tired of having bonds. i'm only 26 so figure i've got plenty of time to lose my money (though hopefully get it back in the long run), and i think i should have some nice rounded coverage across several indexes. so i'm kicking the bonds loose for the time being.

i was readings about dividend stocks in other threads and articles. i think i'll put the money that was intended for bonds into dividend stocks, but i wonder if my RRSP is the best bet.

it would seem that an unregistered account would be better because of the tax benefits on investment income, does that sound right? actually, as i have not maxed out my TFSA, i should probably put it in my TFSA, right?
The question you've asked is unanswerable unless you define what you mean by "best." Do you want the highest return? If so, then equities perform best over long periods, but can be exceptionally variable over time. American investors who invested in the SP500 had a 10 year return of ~ 0%. Canadians, taking into account changes in currency, actually lost money.

The old rule of thumb is that your % portfolio in fixed ibcome should equal 100 - age, ~ 74% in you. Bond funds are the worst way to invest in bonds (the MER is excessive for the return). You can buy bond ETFs that charge an MER of 0.25%. Depending on your risk tolerance, that % can be higher or lower. Ten percent bonds in your portfolio actually sounds reasonable.

If your total savings exceeds your RRSP + TFSA maximums, then you should place all income producing securities into your RRSP/TFSA. Securities that produce capital gains or dividends are tax-advantaged compared to fixed income. Therefore, those securities can be held in a non-registered account with less tax disadvantage compared to fixed income.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ya i consider myself relatively young, so i'd say 'best' means highest returns.

thanks for the insightful comments. i guess it depends on all sorts of things, like my marginal tax rate and life expectancy and figures of that nature. i guess i'll have to come up with some hypothetical numbers and crunch 'em.

but in general i would imagine that dividend paying stocks in a non-reg account would be more tax advantaged, than if i put it into a registered account, as the tax on on dividends would be less than in an RRSP (although this is deferred).

but as i say, since i haven't maxed out my TFSA, would it be better to put dividend stocks into my TFSA? would these dividend payments not be tax free, which would be even better than the lower tax rate applied to dividend income in a non-reg account?
 

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dear 26-year-old jon,

i have absolutely no idea why this thread diverted into talk about your death.

re your TFSA, i'd go for that first. The tfsa is such an incredible bargain that i doubt the govt will let it last for your lifetime. Think of the potential loss to the govt. Twentysomethings like yourself could, by diligently working their tfsa over 50 years, wind up with millions that they'd get to withdraw with zero tax. Such a thing has never happened. Rrsps, by contrast, become taxable at 71 through mandatory withdrawals, and the residue is taxable upon death except for spousal rollovers. With respect to tfsas, i'd expect the tax authorities to eventually claw these down while grandfathering existing tfsa. Translation: build it while you can.

i've also debated to myself your question about keeping div stocks in tfsa or in non-registered. I came to the conclusion that some div payors in tfsa are fine, because the divs will be 100% tax-free, whereas in non-registered accounts they are taxable while bearing a hefty dividend tax credit. It's important to keep in mind, though, that losses in tfsas - and div payors are the kind of security that can potentially lead to capital losses - cannot be claimed. This is an offsetting factor.

i have one div payor in my tfsa, and it forms about 33% of the overall (still tiny) portfolio.
 

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You should avoid anything that pays out dividends that will be taxed at 100% your marginal rate. These are Foreign (e.g. US) high paying dividend stocks. It's best to keep them in an RRSP.

I agree that Canadian corporations that pays dividends should be kept in a non-registered account- Note that you can buy Canadian corporations traded on the NYSE and still have the tax benefits from this. (e.g. Royal Bank traded on the NYSE).
 

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Dividend paying stocks in a non-reg account would be more tax advantaged, than if i put it into a registered account, as the tax on on dividends would be less than in an RRSP.
Somehow you still don't get the issue. All income of whatever type is not taxed at all inside either the RRSP or TFSA.

Is it better to put dividend stocks into TFSA? Would dividends not be tax free, which would be even better than the lower tax rate applied to dividend income in a non-reg account?
I give you the link again that you have not looked at. You will see that dividends in regular accounts can have a NEGATIVE tax rate when you are in the bottom tax brackets. So what is optimal for you requires you to find out what your marginal tax bracket is. Then look up the marginal rate for dividends at that tax rate.

1) Keep outside the type of income that will trigger the least incremental tax. Remember that your returns from dividend common stock will be a mix of dividends and capital gains.
2) Use the spreadsheet to see the effect of additional income from specific types. Your tax bracket will determine which is optimal outside tax-shelters.

You must also consider the other effects of tax shelters - the inclusion of income when you retire and want to claim benefits, the impact of being taxed at a higher rate on RRSP drawdowns than what you were taxed on contributions, the loss of contribution room when RRSP $$ is withdrawn before retirement.
 

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Leslie I think what Jon is trying to say is that upon withdrawal, dividends are taxed at your tax rate whereas dividends withdrawn from a non reg account are taxed less.
I believe that it is as important to plan where your income will come from as it is to pick your investments.
I once was a faithful "max the RSP" guy. Now I am rethinking how I save, and how I plan to draw down when retired.
Not that RSP's are a bad thing. I still max mine out. I would rather have a tax problem than a money problem when retired.
I also think it matters a lot what you do with the RSP refund. If you use it to go to Mexico, or buy a new plasma tv the RSP loses the advantage.
If you use the refund to pay down a mortgage, or stuff into the TFSA, or a non reg account than the RSP becomes more powerful.
 

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The OP wants to know whether dividend paying stocks are better held in an TFSA or regular account. And what works best in an unregistered account. There are two steps to the answer.

1) Keep outside the type of income that will trigger the least incremental tax. Remember that your returns from Cdn dividend common stock will be a mix of dividends and capital gains.
2) Use the spreadsheet to see the effect of additional income from specific types. Your tax bracket will determine which is optimal outside tax-shelters.


Bean, you have shown in this, and previous posts that you do not understand how the RRSP system works, leading you to give wrong advice. E.g. there is no issue of 'what you do with the refund'. E.g. there is no tax on any income from savings within an RRSP or a TFSA. Please spend 15 minutes working through a detailed explanation of how the system works here.
 

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I never said anything about taxes inside an RSP and if I did it was meant as drawdown.
It matters a lot what you do with the refund.
Yourwebsite is incorrect. If you spend your RSP refund it is gone. If you invest it you still have it. How can you say it is wrong?
Read some of Ed's posts on MDJ where he states the RSP or TFSA advantage depends on several factors with what you do with the refund is one of them.
 

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To Joncnca: The following has nothing to do with your question. The discussion is now moving toward "how does an RRSP work".

To Bean: Your statement was "upon withdrawal, dividends are taxed at your tax rate". This is wrong. The dividends earned on your saving within an RRSP are never taxed. They are not taxed within the RRSP. They are not taxed on withdrawal. The whole point of RRSPs is to protect your savings from tax on its earnings.

If you would read the link you could see how your savings (first column) are never taxed. The tax on RRSP draws is the government's recovery of the tax credit from the original contribution. The tax paid is not a tax on the income earned by the savings.



This misunderstanding leads you to the wrong conclusion that: "Dividend stocks are a good tax efficient way to use a non reg account.". Once the decision is made to use an RRSP (*), ALL investments with profits that trigger tax are better of within the plan.

When in the lower tax brackets, a very high dividend paying stock (which would not have expected capital gains) would trigger negative taxes. It would be better held outside the RRSP so that the tax credits can be used against other income. But this all depends on the person's tax bracket, and the balance of dividends vs capital gains of the stock. It cannot be generalized.

When you have so much savings that your tax-free plans are full, THEN ( and not before) you prioritize which investment is inside/outside by the amount of tax it triggers. This again is dependent on your tax bracket.

* (Consider: the inclusion of income when you retire and want to claim benefits, the impact of being taxed at a higher rate on RRSP drawdowns than what you were taxed on contributions, the loss of contribution room when RRSP $$ is withdrawn before retirement. In the thread above the OP was NOT considering an RRSP - there was TFSA room)
 

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My statement is not wrong. We are both trying to say the same thing.
Dividends, interest, and capital gains are "taxed" , meaning the withdrawal from the RSP itself with trigger a tax liability that coincides with your tax bracket.
I never mean to imply a tax liability of anything while sheltered in the RSP.
I think we are on the same page, but are having a communication problem.
The whole point is that be it a TFSA/RSP, or non reg account will all grow tax free (for sake of argument lets assume capital gains only in non reg), it is simply a matter of deciding which will be better off for the individual.
Tax free growth is all fine and dandy but at some point the cashier at Safeway wont care about your million dollar account and you will have to draw out cash.
RSP "taxes" you at your marginal rate, effectively clawing back the original tax deduction gift, plus you pay tax on with drawls on all that tax free growth.

Personally I see the TFSA being the "best", and a non reg account second best, followed by the RSP. I do the TFSA and RSP, and with the RSP rebate I invest in a non reg account. This is where I see value in the RSP rebate whereas you do not. Your provided link says no one funds an investment account with a tax rebate. I agree most peopl dont
 

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Your statement is wrong and readers looking for advice are interpreting it exactly how you state it: "Upon withdrawal, dividends are taxed at your tax rate". The dividends are NOT taxed. Not while inside the plan or on withdrawal. Nor is any other type of income taxed (on the savings).
 

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We are mincing words now. Again let me explain, or re phrase

"regardless of how your money grew, any withdrawals are taxed equally, as opposed to any preferential taxation that may have occurred had the investments been held outside an RSP".

When i (or anyone) refers to RSP growth being taxed the same, this is what we mean. Growth is not taxed, just withdrawals.
 

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The tax on RRSP draws is the government's recovery of the tax credit from the original contribution. The tax paid is not a tax on the income earned by the savings.
This is patently incorrect. It gives the impression that the government keeps track on how much tax credit was given on the original contribution and will recover exactly the same amount as that tax credit. That's simply not true.

When you contribute money to a RRSP, you get a tax deduction, which will depend on your tax bracket. When you withdraw money out of a RRSP, your withdrawals are taxed again at the rate that will depend on your bracket for that year. The government couldn't care less whether you got a 45% deduction on your contributions but the take on withdrawals is 15% or vice versa.

This misunderstanding leads you to the wrong conclusion that: "Dividend stocks are a good tax efficient way to use a non reg account.". Once the decision is made to use an RRSP (*), ALL investments with profits that trigger tax are better of within the plan.

When in the lower tax brackets, a very high dividend paying stock (which would not have expected capital gains) would trigger negative taxes. It would be better held outside the RRSP so that the tax credits can be used against other income. But this all depends on the person's tax bracket, and the balance of dividends vs capital gains of the stock. It cannot be generalized.

When you have so much savings that your tax-free plans are full, THEN ( and not before) you prioritize which investment is inside/outside by the amount of tax it triggers. This again is dependent on your tax bracket.

* (Consider: the inclusion of income when you retire and want to claim benefits, the impact of being taxed at a higher rate on RRSP drawdowns than what you were taxed on contributions, the loss of contribution room when RRSP $$ is withdrawn before retirement. In the thread above the OP was NOT considering an RRSP - there was TFSA room)
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I agree that in general savings should be tax sheltered to the extent possible within a RRSP or a TFSA. A taxable account is a leaky bucket and even a tax on dividends comparable to capital gains puts a serious crimp on compounding. Even a small turnover in a taxable portfolio will incur ongoing capital gains taxes and create a drag on compounding.

Only when there is no more room in these accounts should most investors even consider a non-registered account.
 
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