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A solid framework to clearly understand your financial situation & a path to change it.

Analyzing your current financial situation with a Networth Tracker
Analyzing your current financial situation with a Networth Tracker
Understanding cash flow & creating your budget
Understanding cash flow & creating your budget
Creating new goals & tracking your cash flow
Creating new goals & tracking your cash flow
Using the Debt Crusher
Using the Debt Crusher
Organizing your debts & understanding different paydown methods
Organizing your debts & understanding different paydown methods
Understanding compound interest & how your credit score is calculated
Understanding compound interest & how your credit score is calculated
Financial Freedom gameplan
Financial Freedom gameplan
Analyzing your current financial situation with a Networth Tracker
Analyzing your current financial situation with a Networth Tracker
Understanding cash flow & creating your budget
Understanding cash flow & creating your budget
Creating new goals & tracking your cash flow
Creating new goals & tracking your cash flow
Using the Debt Crusher
Using the Debt Crusher
Organizing your debts & understanding different paydown methods
Organizing your debts & understanding different paydown methods
Understanding compound interest & how your credit score is calculated
Understanding compound interest & how your credit score is calculated
Financial Freedom gameplan
Financial Freedom gameplan
Money myths
Money myths
Understanding credit
Understanding credit
Where are you today
Where are you today
Stock Market Investing Part 1
Stock Market Investing Part 1
Stock Market Investing Part 2
Stock Market Investing Part 2
Taxes, TFSAs, RRSPs & Insurance
Taxes, TFSAs, RRSPs & Insurance
Real Estate & Investment Properties
Real Estate & Investment Properties
Career mastery
Career mastery
The industry of financial advice
The industry of financial advice
Leveraging equity
Leveraging equity
Money myths
Money myths
Understanding credit
Understanding credit
Where are you today
Where are you today
Stock Market Investing Part 1
Stock Market Investing Part 1
Stock Market Investing Part 2
Stock Market Investing Part 2
Taxes, TFSAs, RRSPs & Insurance
Taxes, TFSAs, RRSPs & Insurance
Real Estate & Investment Properties
Real Estate & Investment Properties
Career mastery
Career mastery
The industry of financial advice
The industry of financial advice
Leveraging equity
Leveraging equity
Money myths
Money myths
Understanding credit
Understanding credit
Where are you today
Where are you today
Beginners stock market investing system
Beginners stock market investing system
Advanced stock market investing system
Advanced stock market investing system
TFSA VS RRSP
TFSA VS RRSP
Investment Property
Investment Property
Retirement planning
Retirement planning
The industry of financial advice
The industry of financial advice
Career mastery
Career mastery
Leveraging equity
Leveraging equity
Private lending
Private lending
Money myths
Money myths
Understanding credit
Understanding credit
Where are you today
Where are you today
Beginners stock market investing system
Beginners stock market investing system
Advanced stock market investing system
Advanced stock market investing system
TFSA VS RRSP
TFSA VS RRSP
Investment Property
Investment Property
Retirement planning
Retirement planning
The industry of financial advice
The industry of financial advice
Career mastery
Career mastery
Leveraging equity
Leveraging equity
Private lending
Private lending
The Ultimate Guide to Insurance
  • Tuesday 07 Dec 2021
  • 01:00 AM - 02:00 AM (EST)
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Mastering Cashflow and Building a Budget that Works
  • Tuesday 14 Dec 2021
  • 01:00 AM - 02:00 AM (EST)
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An Interactive Blog

Nov 24 2021

You don’t need a money coach or financial advisor to learn the basics of how to start saving money, Financial Literacy Month is all about educating yourself. This 3-minute DIY workout will help build your financial fitness and steer you around eight of the most common pitfalls we see every day.

  1. Spending too much on a car.
    You should be aiming for 15% of your take-home pay for the car payment, insurance and gas. The monthly operating costs of a brand-new Hyundai Santa Fe (base-model $33,284 at 3.19%) would be minimum $800 month for 84 months. You would need to take home over $5K/month after tax ($90 to $100K in salary) to “afford” one. Slightly used cars are still very reliable and offer a lot more value.
     
  2. Investing before paying off debt.
    Make sure you pay off the right debts first! If your only debt is a mortgage at 3%, relax and go ahead and invest. Any loans or lines of credit up around 7% or higher (credit cards are around 20%) should be on your hit list before you even think about investing.
     
  3. Spending more than you have.
    It hurts to write something so obvious, but how can something so simple in theory be so difficult in practice? Too many “wants” is the root cause, but easy credit (not cheap, just easy!) and failure to track your spending and see just how big a hole you are digging every month with that credit card debt facilitates this downward spiral.
     
  4. Putting off saving, investing and retirement planning.
    Maxing out your TFSA ($6000 year deposited to an index ETF) from the time you are in your early twenties to when you retire at 65 could easily make you a millionaire. Never underestimate the power of compound interest when it is working for you! And don’t forget, the TFSA and RRSP also offer huge tax sheltering benefits on top of the compound interest!
     
  5. Not understanding your student loan agreement.
    Many students are not fully aware of their loan details and mistakenly assume their interest rate will be low. They also underestimate the future monthly payment and how long it will take to completely pay off student loans. Repayment of student loans will put a bigger dent in post-graduation lifestyle than most students ever imagine! Education has great value, just make sure you do the math, confirm that value, and know what to expect down the road.
     
  6. Not creating and using a workable, realistic household budget.
    Have you ever failed at budgeting? Of course you have, everyone does! The problem is not budgeting itself, it’s your process for creating a budget and your system for tracking household expenses. Relying on guesswork and not your actual spending, ignoring an emergency fund, not leaving any "wiggle room", too time-consuming – these are all fatal flaws for a budget.
     
  7. Getting caught up in "lifestyle creep".
    “The more you make, the more you spend”. It’s an old saying that rings true for most of us, but why not enjoy the fruits of your hard work? How much of your cash you can afford to use for enjoyment depends on your situation and you need to constantly re-assess your lifestyle. If you were just getting by before (and not saving for retirement) and get a $500 a month raise – do you get a shiny new car or a TFSA?
     
  8. Failure to build credit and ignoring your credit score.
    Completely eschewing credit will keep you debt-free, but do nothing for your credit score. And make no mistake, a good credit score will save you a ton of money over the course of your life! You can easily learn how to improve your credit score — simply using your credit card and paying it off in full every month; or financing a car (IF the dealer offers a great rate) are two ways to send your score soaring.

If these tips sound familiar, your financial literacy may be better than you think, or maybe you have been attending our free webinars? We offer great webinars on all sorts of topics and there isn’t a better way to improve your financial literacy with so little time. We do the research, present the facts, answer your questions, and get you motivated to act – all in 60 minutes!

Why not subscribe to our Financial Friday newsletter— you get all the details on our upcoming webinars, and it’s also crammed with practical, need-to-know personal finance facts, tips and advice.

Oct 04 2021

You might have heard Enriched Academy Co-founder Kevin Cochran explaining how YOLO (You Only Live Once) is the most expensive word in the English language. Kevin has a great point – justifying clearly unaffordable purchases with a YOLO attitude usually leads to a pile of very expensive credit card debt and more than a little regret down the road.

However, YOLO has a contender for the expensive word title, and that contender is procrastination. We are huge believers in education, fact finding, and analysis before making any important financial decisions, but at some point, you have to take action. Whether it’s opening an online brokerage account, meeting with a financial coach, or simply inputting your monthly household expenditures into a spreadsheet, you need to get moving.

The cost of procrastination when it comes to getting your finances in order is easy to overlook, so we are making it crystal clear by highlighting six issues where failing to act is definitely going to come back and haunt you!

Attacking your debt problem
Throwing everything you have to pay off a 3% mortgage doesn't make financial sense for most people. However, if you have higher interest credit card debt, car loans, or a line of credit that you are in no hurry to eliminate, you need to look at how much it is costing you. Once you see how much money you are wasting on interest every year and how many years (not months) it will take to pay back, your laissez-fair attitude to eliminating that debt will likely change.

Starting your retirement planning
Too little, too late is the story for many Canadians when it comes to funding their retirement. CPP and OAS aren’t enough to save you. The good news is you don’t need a comprehensive plan to get started. For now, if you have no plan or don’t know what to do first, open a TFSA and focus on maxing out the contributions every year and invest in an index fund. You can even automate the process with a robo-advisor and make it as easy as paying the phone bill.

Analyzing expenses and budgeting
Next month is not the time to start figuring out where your money goes every month and where you could/should/need to cut back on spending. The time to get started is today, and it has never been easier with hundreds of online applications and spreadsheet software, or you can go old school with pen, paper and calculator. Enriched Academy has a number of easy-to-use proprietary tools in our programs to help you crunch the numbers.

Getting started with investing
For many of us, it’s hard to get over the risk-aversion and fear of loss that goes with putting our hard-earned dollars into the markets. You need to be comfortable with your decision to invest and knowledgeable of strategies to mitigate the risk, but you also have to realize that holding cash at the interest rates we have seen over the last several years is not going create much of a retirement fund. The TSX was hovering around 5000 in August of 1996 and is just over 20,000 today. Had you invested $300/month for that 25-year period and achieved average market returns, you would have upwards of $500K today.


 

Creating an emergency cash reserve and a will
Two things you never know when you might need, but if the pandemic taught us anything, it was to prepare for the worst. Your income could unexpectedly and very easily disappear for a number of reasons, so you need to have enough cash on hand to tide you over for a few months. As for a will, they are pretty easy to get these days and there isn't any valid excuse for not having one, especially compared to the mess it leaves behind for your loved ones if you die without one.

Our goal at Enriched Academy is to educate and inspire you to take control of your financial life. We do our best to prepare you and get you moving, but it’s up to you to ensure procrastination and YOLO are not holding you back from reaching your financial goals!

Oct 04 2021

We scrimp and save to fund our RRSP and TFSA contributions and meet the goals of our retirement plan, so why is it that so few of us really understand the fees we are paying on our investments? Despite increased transparency and fee disclosure, many investors remain in the dark about fees and how much of a bite they take out of long-term returns.

It’s only 2%, that’s just a couple of bucks out of a hundred!”

When it comes to investment fees, you are about to see these are very costly words!

Assume you are 25 years old and maximize your 2021 annual TFSA contribution limit of $6000. You are busy and don’t know much about investing, so you stop by your local bank and they recommend one of their “top-performing” mutual funds.

The bank gives you a glossy brochure highlighting the fund managers vast experience and dutifully informs you of the “management expense ratio” (MER) built into the fund. This 2.35% annual fee seems reasonable to you. Everybody has to get paid and you tip a restaurant server 15%, so this is a relative bargain! No one does any math; the whole matter is soon forgotten and becomes routine. In fact, you barely notice this built-in fee on your annual statement.

Fast forward 35 years and you are now 60 years old and ready for retirement. Your $6000 in that “top- performing” mutual fund has returned 5% annually (before fees) and grown into the tidy sum of $14,987.

Unfortunately, your lack of financial knowledge meant that you had no idea of an alternative investment; something called an index ETF. Buying an index ETF is dead easy and you could have done it yourself with an online brokerage account. Your annual fee would have been much lower at around 0.35%.

If we re-do the math with the same parameters ($6K for 35 years at 5%) and use a 0.35% annual fee, you can see that your investment in an index ETF would have grown into the much tidier sum of $29,446!

Doing some much simpler math ($29,446 minus $14,987) reveals that your retirement fund is $14,459 lower than what it could have been – half of your total gain has disappeared with that little 2.35% fee!

But wait…. How can a mostly set-and-forget index fund return the same as a highly managed “top performing” mutual fund? The answer is that index funds often match or outperform “managed funds” with much higher fees regardless of whether the market is stable or volatile. In our example, the mutual fund would have had to beat the index fund by at least 2% every year in order to return the same amount.

You can always find exceptions and some managed funds may have success over a couple of years. However, very few are consistently able to beat the returns of the index over the long term. When you factor in their low cost and ease of maintenance, the decision to rely heavily on index ETFs is a no-brainer for most investors.

Canadian DIY investment guru Larry Bates has created this online calculator to instantly show how fees can cut into your investment returns.

Our passion at Enriched Academy is to inspire everyone to improve their financial literacy and take control of managing their money. In this example, a little financial education would have done wonders for your retirement planning. The same can be said for many aspects of personal finance – saving, budgeting, passive income generation – so make sure to get the financial knowledge you need to make the right choices for today as well as build your plan for a secure financial future.

Oct 04 2021

Financial planner? Money coach? Financial advisor? There are several titles for the people who can help you manage your money, but it isn’t always clear what each one does, and more importantly, which one is right for you?

With the exception of Quebec, anyone in Canada can call themselves a financial advisor or a financial planner —there is no guarantee of expertise. The level of experience, education, professional accreditation and the range of products and services offered varies greatly. Some advisors focus only on investments and will help purchase and manage a portfolio of stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, etc. Others take a broader financial view and will advise you on investing as well offer advice on issues such as taxes, insurance, or retirement planning.

A financial coach is both educator and advisor. They use a holistic approach and take a deep dive into all aspects of your financial situation. It includes cash flow management, budgeting, savings, investing (RRSP, TFSA, income properties, other passive income investments), debt management, building credit, wills and estate planning, insurance, and retirement planning. The program is customized to each client's needs, and you have the option to go into more detail on any aspects that are particularly relevant to your case.

In addition to the scope of their advisory services, the other primary difference is that a financial coach teaches you as you move through the program. The focus is on equipping you with the confidence and knowledge to make a lifetime of informed financial decisions. A coach teaches you the facts and provides a structured plan, an impartial opinion, and plenty of motivation and inspiration – but the decisions are ultimately up to you.

Aside from the education and guidance, there are also intangible benefits to a coach. Many people have trouble shifting from the learning phase (like reading this blog) to the action phase (purchasing an index fund online for example). As with any sport or activity, the presence of a coach is super motivational, and the structure and accountability built into the coaching sessions really helps to boost confidence. A coach can definitely help turn financial complacency into actions that build a robust financial plan.

The best way to highlight how coaching helps is to look in more detail at one of our Enriched Academy clients. “Stacey” and her husband called themselves “middle-class professionals” and they are in their 30's with three kids. They were looking for solutions on how to pay back debt and build a fund for their future. Stacey felt she did not have a good understanding of their overall financial picture and was unsure where their money was going every month.

After six months of working with a coach, she felt like they had made some “serious progress” and the results supported her feelings. Their net worth climbed by $16,388.62 and they also paid-off or consolidated a lot of high-interest debt. They saved almost $3400 in interest charges over the 6-month coaching period.

Stacey noted their gains easily covered the initial cost of the program and it will continue to provide positive returns for many years into the future. She also noted that the results were "super motivating" and she is looking forward to seeing how their financial situation changes for the better over the next two to three years.


 

Coaching is not for everybody, and Stacey pointed out that she did spend a fair amount of time studying the self-help resources her coach provided as well as drilling down into the details of their finances. Enriched Academy coaches have access to a huge library of proprietary teaching resources and tools to help their clients learn, but you will need to put in a few hours each month to maximize the effectiveness of the program.

For those who would like to have more control of their finances or take over management of them completely, coaching is a great way to transition and get the ball rolling. You get a period of expert support and guidance when you may be lacking the confidence or knowledge you need, and you are steadily preparing yourself for more independent decision-making down the road.

If you would like to read more about Stacey's review of her experience with the Enriched Academy Coaching Program, click here

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Need More Information?

You can find your answers here.

No way! Learning how to save money, crush debt or build wealth is not complicated. This is funny, entertaining and extremely easy to follow. You will be amazed at how fast you can learn this!

Absolutely! From 15 to 90 - there is information relevant to every stage of your life. Take a sneak peak...sign up to a free webinar and see what we do first hand!

Smart thinking! Money is the biggest source of stress for employees. We have a simple process to equip your team with the education and the resources to turn it into action. And this is WAY BEYOND a simple lunch & learn. Online - Anytime!

Great question. Truth? The concepts aren’t complex. But we are world class when it comes to explaining what things mean - and where the tips, tricks and pitfalls matter most with your money. This is entertaining, inspiring and hard-hitting with the right amount of support and resources to help you take better control of your financial health. We don’t sell stocks, mutual funds or get quick rich schemes - just the truth about what you need to know when it comes to financial awareness.

We can do a lot for you - but you need to help us out a little. We will provide the education, insight and inspiration - and if you need it - a personal coach to give you a kick in the pants on occasion. You just need to want to make a change. We can help with the rest!

We do! And while we cannot guarantee any results...ever...we definitely stand behind our material. But don’t buy our courses unless you really want to make a change. We don’t want it sitting around unused. We want to make a difference in your financial health and awareness. When you buy something from us - all we ask is you try to follow through. There is a reason you signed up - so let us help. Get in there, watch some material....make an effort to learn more about money. It’s worth it. If you really don’t see the value and want your money back - at least you will leave us with a bit more knowledge and awareness than when you started.

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