What are my favourite financial product recommendations? I’ve tried out a number of banking, investing and budgeting options over the years in an effort to simplify my systems and save money. Today I want to fill you in on the products I enjoy the most and recommend frequently.
I have been with Tangerine since they were still ING, probably around 2005. When I was in college, I deposited my student loans in a savings account with them, then put 1/4 of the money each in a 30, 60 and 90 day GIC. This allowed me to budget the money across the first semester to make sure I would not blow it in the first month, and my rent and basics would be covered. I did the same with my second semester loan deposit. There were no fees at all and I earned a small amount of interest so the savings over the school year were probably around $120.
I didn’t use the account for years after that, but eventually I restored it for savings. I put money in GICs again to see a small amount of secure growth. Since then I have started using their cash back Mastercard, which many consider to be among the best cards in Canada. You can choose the categories in which you spend the most for a higher cash back rate, and the money is applied directly to the card balance or deposited in your selected account monthly. It is perfect for anyone with the discipline to pay their balance in full each month.
Tangerine also has great offers to encourage customers to try their products. I once received cash back for setting up direct deposit from my employer, but I’ve also seen higher interest rate offers and other ways to save or earn more money. If you are interesting in banking with them, this link takes you to their registration page: Signup – Instructions | Tangerine. Sign up using my Orange Key – 30579830S1 – and deposit $250 within 60 days to receive a $50 bonus!
I have been using Wealthsimple since August when I started with their Invest app. It is a virtual advisor that is super easy to set up and use. All you need to do is choose between their three portfolio types (Socially Responsible, Halal or Classic), what type of account you want to use such as TFSA or RRSP and your risk tolerance. Then you can deposit funds or set up automatic transfers and your money will be invested in a diverse portfolio with no effort from you.
It is important to note that investing will not make you money quickly in the short term. It will see ups and downs over the years but historically the market has always trended up over the long run. There is a saying in finance that time in the market beats timing the market, which just means that the best chance of seeing your money grow is to leave it for a long time. If you are saving for long term goals, such as retirement, investing in a diverse portfolio and not pulling out if it drops is a classic strategy for long term growth.
Wealthsimple Invest is a good starting point for anyone who wants to invest now without doing a ton of research. It is so easy to get started and is a great way to dip your toes in and get a feel for the market. If you sign up using this link you’ll get up to $10,000 managed free for a year! https://wealthsimple.com/invite/IBYYPQ
After about 5 months of using Wealthsimple Invest, I decided I was ready to dive in a bit deeper and manage my own portfolio. My Invest account is still open and growing with $50/month auto deposits, but I wanted to learn more about the DIY side of investing and try my hand at a few conservative picks. This platform allows you to buy stock in companies or funds that you choose, including a limited selection of crypto currencies. They even offer fractional trades, which means you can buy a small portion of a stock that would otherwise be out of your reach, such as Tesla or Apple. I plan to put the lions share of my discretionary income going forward in to Trade, mainly in index funds and a few “fun” stocks that I like the look of, But don’t construe any of this as advise. It’s important to learn for yourself from qualified financial advisers.
When I signed up it allowed me to use a referral code which gave me the dollar equivalent of 2 free stocks. They are valued at up to $3000, although I did not get that lucky. If you’d like to give it a try, you can sign up here or use my referral code inside of the app – Y6AIYA – to get your own free stocks and start your investing journey. The little gift icon at the top right will take you where you need to go.
If you’re interested in how my investing was going before I started using Wealthsimple, read this post: Investing Mistakes and Lessons.
Since Apple Pay came to Canada in 2016, I used it frequently on my iPhone. When I switched to a Pixel I started using Google Pay. Both of these offer a level of convenience and security that I have come to rely on. These apps store the card numbers of my credit and debit accounts, along with points cards and even airline tickets. It is so easy to tap a payment or have a flight attendant scan the screen, without digging cards and papers out of my purse. The last time I travelled with two small children it really came in handy, along with the few times I’ve accidentally left my wallet at home.
They also offer added security over your physical cards by giving the merchant a number generated by the app and not your actual account number. I thought it was so cool when it was new technology and I love that it is slowly becoming more mainstream. I’ve even had customers use a payment app to tap their smart watch for purchases. That is some sci-fi level stuff right there!
As always with this blog, I write from my personal experiences, and the products I recommend are things I use regularly and have previously suggested to my friends and family. If you choose to explore any of these products and use the codes or links I’ve shared, I will receive a small reward that helps me keep this blog afloat. I appreciate so much that people like you have come to my website, read my work and hopefully have found it useful. I write because I love to and I share my story because I think others may find it useful. But a little financial incentive sure warms my heart and keeps me at my desk a little longer 😉 Thank you a million times for being here.