Investing In Index Funds, Hedging Against A Post-Apocalyptic Retirement

My fellow Canadians, there is a spectre is haunting Europe…

Synopsis

Investing in index funds is as close to “investing in everything” as possible. That is, you don’t pick and choose investments. Instead, you literally try to invest in everything at the same time.

Index funds outperform 80% of actively managed funds over the long term. That means for most people passively “investing in everything” is better than actively trying to do anything.

Finally, if “everything” collapses then your money is worthless. If “everything” collapses then we either live in a socialist paradise (horray!) or a socialist nightmare (booo!) and society as we know it has rebooted post-apocalypse style. If “everything” collapses then your investment plans are finished no matter what you had going on.

Go for broke.

Recommended Reading

Seriously read those books. They are much more sensible than my crazy talk and the practical “do somethings” end up the same.

Practical Do Something

Start with ING Streetwise Funds. Later, when you have significant assets, move your investments into (another) recommended index fund.

The reason you start with ING is because the other options are currently not cost effective unless you have a hefty account minimum. ING is not the cheapest but there are no account minimums, you don’t need to work with a discount brokerage, you don’t pay annual account fees, and you don’t need to rebalance your portfolio. A decent choice for novice investors with small portfolios.

Bonus Do Something Else

The income tax you save by investing in an RRSP today will be collected in the future at a higher post-apocalyptic rate. That is not a good thing. That means you save on taxes now by paying more taxes later. Tax free savings accounts are also for retirement.  Offset your inflation adjusted RRSP with a TFSA.

If you have kids then get them a RESP at a credit union (not a bank). The government contributes to the RESP significantly. The credit union keeps the money socially responsible.

Don’t keep more than 100,000 dollars in your bank account. See Cyprus.

See you in the future dads. (and future moms too)

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