GetTo1Percent.com

Getting to the Top One Percent in Canada

What are the Monthly Expenses for a Family of Three in Vancouver?

For a family, who I think is living modestly, I’ve been a bit shocked by our monthly expenses. Our average monthly expenses for a family of three living in Vancouver is over $7,300. It surprised me to learn that’s actually typical. According to a Stats Canada survey from 2015, “On average, couples with children spent $84,263 on goods and services…”, or $7,022 per month. Compared to the averages, we’re spending significantly more on housing – not surprising in Vancouver. Quite a bit less on transportation – likely due to being a one-car family and not owing anything on our car.…
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Calculating Return-on-Equity (ROE) for Real Estate Investments

Calculating return-on-equity (ROE) is a critical part of making real estate investment decisions. It helps you decide between investments as well as structure your financing appropriately to maximize returns while being mindful of cash flow. Defining return on equity (ROE) for residential real estate Return-on-assets (ROA) is a measure of the profitability of an investment relative to the total asset value. On the other hand, return-on-equity (ROE), is a measure of the profitability of an investment relative to the equity invested. It’s important to note the last part of that sentence. It’s relative to the equity that you have invested,…
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Housing Affordability Crisis in Vancouver: We’re Focusing on the Wrong Problem

I certainly agree that there is an Affordability Crisis in Vancouver’s crazy real estate market. But let’s be clear on what affordability means. It’s a measure of incomes to mortgage payments. There are three main variables that affect affordability: House Prices Mortgage rates (which drive monthly payment amounts for a given price) Incomes The focus of the conversations, media attention, and government debate is always focused on the first point, prices. Vancouver is consistently in the top three least affordable cities in the world. It’s right up there with cities like Hong Kong, Sydney, London, and San Francisco. I think it’s important…
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The One Percent Goal

There’s a lot of rhetoric against the so called one-percenters. The concept of the 99% versus the one percent seemed to gain prominence with the Occupy movement. It’s quite trendy right now to blame the wealthy for many problems in the world. So is it wrong to strive to join the top one percent? I don’t think it is. To me, it’s about competition. By definition, there is always a top one percent in everything that is measurable. We’re always competing for resources. Even if money and wealth is not important to you, you’re still competing for resources in other…
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Using an Excel Decision Tree to Decide Whether to Sell or Keep a Rental Property

I was recently faced with a decision on whether we should sell our rental property or hold onto it given it just went cash flow negative due to a special levy and increased maintenance fees. Since the best course of action was immediately obvious, I decided to map out a decision tree in Excel to help me decide. You can download a copy of the Investment Property – Decision Tree Template and use it or tweak it to your own situation. I’ll walk through how I’ve set it up and used it for my decision. Firstly, the only decision we are making…
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Should I Sell My Rental Property Now or Keep It?

For the last five years, we’ve rented out a two bedroom condo we own in the Vancouver area. We’ve owned it for 10 years, the first five of which we lived in it as our primary residence. It has been a fantastic investment with one tenant for five years and it has been slightly cash flow positive the entire time. Unfortunately that picture changed unexpectedly this year. The strata had the mandatory depreciation report completed, and it uncovered significant concrete repairs needed throughout the complex. Some repairs are needed immediately, while the rest will need to happen within the next 10 years. The estimated…
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Do You Still Need a Spousal RRSP for Income Splitting?

Yes. Yes you do! A financial adviser said to me a couple of years ago that there was no need for us to setup a spousal RRSP since we now had pension income splitting in Canada. It turns out that advice is not very good. Spousal RRSPs are absolutely still necessary in order to have income splitting options available when it comes time to withdraw. What is a spousal RRSP? A spousal RRSP is just like a regular RRSP except contributions are made by the spouse, not the account holder. The spouse of the account holder claims the deduction on their…
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Welcome! Blogging About Getting to the Top One Percent.

I’m the Canadian Finance Guy and this is my very first post on this new blog. I’m in my mid-thirties and live in Vancouver, Canada with my wife and young child. In the last few years, there’s been a lot of chatter about the one percent vs the 99 percent. I’m not looking to get into a philosophical debate about wealth distribution, income inequality, or the merits of capitalism. I do, however, believe that everyone has the opportunity to improve their lives through hard work. I feel especially fortunate to live in Canada and the incredible opportunity that provides. It’s…
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