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Elon Musk Recommends Investing In ‘Physical Things’ – Here Are 3 Physical Assets That Perform Well During High



Elon Musk posted in a thread on Twitter last year, after inflation hit a 40-year high for the first time, advising followers to own “physical things” when inflation is high.

In the tweet, Musk said “As a general principle, for those looking for advice from this thread, it is generally better to own physical things like a home or stock in companies you think make good products, than dollars when inflation is high.

I still own & won’t sell my Bitcoin, Ethereum or Doge fwiw.”

The biggest takeaway for some followers seems to have been that Musk is still holding his Dogecoin because the cryptocurrency’s price saw a temporary spike shortly after the tweet.


However, the more important point to Musk’s message is that physical assets are generally the safest investment during times of high inflation. This message coming from the “Dogefather” himself should speak volumes.

While inflation is finally starting to cool off in the U.S., it still remains fairly high with the January Consumer Price Index (CPI) data coming in at 6.4% year-over-year. This means Musk’s advice to own physical things is still just as relevant today as it was a year ago.

Here are three that have historically performed well during periods of high inflation.

Real Estate

While Musk referenced owning a home, real estate, in general, performs well for investors during years of high inflation. Specifically, single-family homes and multifamily properties. Regardless of the fluctuation in values, these assets can provide consistent cash flow through all economic environments.

Running out to buy a property may not be the most feasible option for most investors right now, but luckily there are options available to buy shares of fractionalized real estate.

Investors can buy shares of rental properties for as little as $100, or invest in multifamily and commercial real estate in some of the fastest-growing cities in the country.

See also: Bezos-Backed Startup Lets You Become A Landlord With $100

Fine Art

Art has been a popular method of storing wealth for generations, which is no surprise considering that it has outperformed the S&P 500 for the past 25 years and appreciates at an average rate of 23.2% in years where inflation is at least 3%.

This type of investment used to be available only to the ultra-wealthy. However, retail investors now have options to buy shares of valuable works or invest in art funds.


The Liv-ex Fine Wine 1000 index had one of its strongest years in 2022 as inflation soared. The index, which tracks 1,000 wines from across the world, is down 0.8% year-to-date but is up 8.4% over the past 12 months.

Retail investors have gained access to this market by purchasing securitized shares of wine collections and even buying and selling individual bottles through investment platforms.



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CDIC covers bank deposits, but who protects your investments if your broker goes bust? – The Globe and Mail



Now is the perfect time to de-risk your finances.

Ask questions about everything you own: What happens if my bank or investment firm goes bust? What protection do I have for my money? Where does it come from? What are the dollar limits on the coverage? Which accounts are covered?

While three U.S. banks failed this month and a Swiss bank with a global presence had to be rescued with an emergency buyout, there’s nothing to cause alarm in Canada right now. This means you can address future risks in a theoretical, non-emotional way. If you need to make changes, you can do so in an orderly fashion.


A column last week looked at how deposits are covered to a maximum of $100,000 in combined principal and interest per eligible account at banks that are members of Canada Deposit Insurance Corp. Quite a few readers e-mailed to ask a follow-up question: What about my investments?

Get answers to this question by checking if the investment firms you deal with are members of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. CIPF offers coverage of up to $1-million if cash or securities in your account go missing as a result of the failure of your investment company.

“CIPF is designed to protect client assets when an investment firm becomes insolvent and there are client assets that are missing,” said Ilana Singer, the fund’s vice-president and corporate secretary. “What we do is step in to make sure that clients get their assets back.”

What CIPF does not do: Protect against losses related to market declines and unsuitable investments.

CIPF recently merged with the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada Investor Protection Corp., giving it broad coverage across the investment business. A random sampling of member companies includes the brokerage divisions of the big banks, plus independents such as Edward Jones, PWL Capital and Raymond James and digital brokers such as Questrade and Wealthsimple Investments.

Understanding the CIPF coverage limit is a bit trickier than with CDIC. For example, one reader asked if having more than $1-million in assets in an account meant she should move part of her account to another company.

With bank savings accounts and guaranteed investment certificates, staying below the $100,000 coverage limit ensures you have full protection from CDIC. Ms. Singer said that whatever the balance at a CIPF-member firm, you’re covered for losses of up to $1-million in missing cash or securities that result from insolvency.

Note that it would be unusual for all client assets to disappear in the insolvency of an investment company. Ms. Singer said CIPF’s job is typically to cover the shortfall between what is actually left in client accounts and what should have been there right before the firm became insolvent.

One way CIPF is like CDIC is in potentially extending coverage to multiple accounts at the same company. CIPF offers up to $1-million in coverage to combined assets in what it refers to as “general accounts,” including cash accounts, margin accounts and tax-free savings accounts, and an additional $1-million for assets in what are known as “separate accounts.”

For example, you could have $1-million in total combined coverage for your TFSA and non-registered cash account, another $1-million in total combined coverage for your registered retirement savings plan and registered retirement income fund accounts, and an additional $1-million in coverage for a registered education savings plan.

Specific assets covered by CIPF include cash, securities such as stocks, bonds and exchange-traded funds and mutual funds, futures contracts and segregated funds. Crypto assets are not covered.

There have been 21 broker insolvencies since CIPF was formed in 1969, the most recent being the 2015 demise of Octagon Capital. According to its most recent annual report, the fund had $1.1-billion available to deploy in an insolvency through the combination of a general fund invested in government bonds, lines of credit and insurance policies. Just as CDIC is funded by banks, CIPF is funded by its members – investment firms and mutual fund dealers.

A basic way to de-risk your investments is to ensure you’re diversified in stocks, bonds and cash, without big bets on risky sectors, securities or assets. Dealing with an investment company that participates in CIPF adds another layer of protection.

Are you a young Canadian with money on your mind? To set yourself up for success and steer clear of costly mistakes, listen to our award-winning Stress Test podcast.

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Private-sector investment brings touch of Hollywood to southern Manitoba town – Winnipeg Sun



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A multi-million dollar private investment will see a little touch of Hollywood brought to a small southern Manitoba town.

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“There is a great deal of excitement, and a lot of people asking, ‘How does something like this come to Niverville of all places?,’ ” Niverville Mayor Myron Dyck said over the phone on Friday, one day after it was announced that a $30-million private-sector investment will see a state-of-the-art, full-service film and television studio village built in Niverville.

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“We’re all still kind of wrapping our heads around it.”

The studio village, which will be dubbed Jette Studios, will “leverage the latest technology and include 18,581 sq.-ft. of studio space,” according to Volume Global and Julijette Inc., the two companies that will develop the project.

Dyck said there were several reasons Niverville was chosen for the project, including its location, because he said some filmmakers and crews want to avoid the much busier streets in Winnipeg if they can.

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“We heard some say it’s easier not to have it in Winnipeg just with the amount of trucks and people they have to move around. It’s easier to not have to move all those vehicles around in downtown Winnipeg.”

He also credited the province’s Manitoba Film and Video Production Tax Credit that was introduced in 2017, and the extra 5% rural tax credit currently offered to projects developed outside of Winnipeg.

“If a community seems attractive to work in, and then you factor in that extra rural tax credit, that can really be the deciding factor,” Dyck said.

According to the province, in the last year 122 film projects have benefitted from the tax credit program, and it has supported $525 million in production in Manitoba over a 30-month period.

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The province said in a media release they have also been working recently at making Manitoba a destination for the film industry by helping the Winnipeg Airports Authority with expenses to improve direct flights to and from international destination like Los Angeles.

On Thursday, Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Obby Khan was in Niverville, and spoke about moves the province has been making in recent years to bring more film and TV projects to Manitoba.

“Manitoba’s film industry is thriving, in the last year generating $365 million,” Khan said. “Whether it’s the Manitoba Film and Video Production Tax Credit, our new direct flights between Winnipeg and Los Angeles, or infrastructure improvements that propel growth, we are taking concrete steps to support Manitoba jobs and grow the economy.” Khan said.

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Dyck said the town, located about 40 kilometres south of Winnipeg off of Highway 59, has seen large and continuous population growth for years, and he expects the studio project, which is expected to create 300 new jobs over the next three years, will see that growth continue.

“What we’ve seen with the last three census periods has been basically 6% growth every year, so that’s 30% every five years. We are one of the fastest growing communities in the province, and this will push that further we believe.

“It will be a significant economic driver for the community as a whole.”

Construction on Jette Studios in Niverville is expected to begin this summer, and those developing the project say they plan to first erect a 20,000 square foot pop-up soundstage that could be operational as early as this fall, and then work to build the permanent studio village facility.

— Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.


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Should Rowan, 78, and Willow, 58, be more conservative with their investing approach?



Willow, 58, is interested in continuing to work part time from home. Rowan, 78, would like to travel more.Tannis Toohey/The Globe and Mail

Rowan, 78, wonders whether he and Willow, 58, have enough resources that she can fully retire and they can enjoy their planned lifestyle.

“I have good genes and based upon family history I anticipate living to 100,” he writes in an e-mail.

Willow is interested in continuing to work part time from home, “but not so much that it impinges on our desire to travel extensively,” he adds.

Their income comes from Rowan’s registered retirement income fund (RRIF), his government benefits and Willow’s contract work, for a combined $101,450 a year. Rowan wants to pay off their line of credit this year and wonders whether he should take the money from his tax-free savings account, his non-registered investment account or his RRIF. They also want to buy a used car.


They have substantial savings and investments and a mortgage-free house north of Toronto, all of which adds up to about $4.2-million. Their retirement spending target is roughly $96,000 a year after tax.

“We are currently 100-per-cent invested in the stock market in primarily Canadian dividend-paying stocks,” Rowan writes. “Should we be more conservative?” They also ask about establishing education trusts for their four grandchildren.

We asked Ian Calvert, vice-president and principal at HighView Financial Group of Oakville, Ont., to look at Rowan and Willow’s situation.

What the Expert Says

Rowan is retired and living off his RRIF withdrawals and government benefits, Mr. Calvert says. Willow is working part-time making $14,500 a year and planning to retire shortly.

Rowan is withdrawing $6,000 gross each month from his RRIF accounts, about $17,000 higher than his annual minimum withdrawal, the planner says. He does not recommend adjusting this amount when Willow retires. Instead, Willow should draw on the assets in her registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) when she retires fully.

“With no pension income and her Canadian Pension Plan and Old Age Security still five or six years away, the only income she will be reporting is the investment income in her non-registered portfolio, putting her in very low marginal tax bracket,” Mr. Calvert says. He suggests she withdraw $25,000 a year. Before making the withdrawal, she should convert her entire RRSP to a RRIF to avoid fees associated with the RRSP.

Under this scenario, their income in 2024 would be $72,000 from Rowan’s RRIF, $25,000 from Willow’s RRIF, $15,000 from Rowan’s CPP and $8,900 from his OAS, leaving $15,000 needed from their non-registered savings, of which $13,000 will go to their TFSA contributions. (Total income of $135,900 a year, less $25,500 for income taxes and $13,000 for TFSA contributions, leaves about $98,000 for after-tax expenses.)

Adding in $25,000 from Willow’s RRSP/RRIF would be an ideal figure for both managing longevity of their retirement assets and managing their tax brackets, keeping them both near the top of the 29.65-per-cent combined marginal tax bracket.

Under this plan, and after splitting Rowan’s RRIF withdrawal ($36,000), they are expected to have income of $84,000 for Rowan and $77,000 for Willow. Rowan’s income is higher because he is receiving CPP and OAS, and has a larger non-registered portfolio.

In 2029, when Willow turns 65 and starts to receive her CPP and OAS, their income will rise to the point there is some clawback of their OAS, Mr. Calvert says. “At this age, they could simply trim their RRIF withdrawals, which are well above the mandatory minimums each year,” the planner says. OAS benefits start to be reduced when net income reaches $86,912 a year. This amount is expected to increase each year.

The total withdrawal from their $2.7-million portfolio is about $100,000 – about 3.7 per cent of their portfolio value, Mr. Calvert says. “If they can manage this rate of withdrawal and maintain on average a 5-per-cent rate of return on their portfolio, longevity of their investment assets won’t be a major long-term concern,” he says. This is before Willow begins collecting government benefits, which are expected to add a combined $18,500 per year. Long term, inflation is forecast to rise by at least 2 per cent to 3 per cent a year.

This rate of withdrawal has several advantages, the planner says. First, they are both reducing their RRIF assets at a strategic rate, which will have a significant impact on the taxes payable on the transition of wealth to their beneficiaries, the planner says. Second, the withdrawal requirements from their non-registered portfolio are minimal, giving them long-term flexibility if their lifestyle changes and they need to make larger withdrawals, he adds. Last, they are building up their TFSA for a more tax-efficient balance sheet that will also enhance the transfer of wealth.

Rowan and Willow have a line of credit for $82,500 at 6.5 per cent. They should consider paying this off entirely, Mr. Calvert says.

Their portfolio is entirely invested in stocks, of which 85 per cent are Canadian stocks with an average 4-per-cent dividend yield. “The 4-per-cent dividend yield is great and will substantially help the longevity of their assets by funding and smoothing the withdrawals from both their RRIFs and non-registered portfolio,” the planner says.

This strong allocation to Canadian dividend stocks is intuitively appealing but comes at the expense of proper global and asset-class diversification, Mr. Calvert says. “Rowan and Willow should consider an investment strategy that balances income generation and capital appreciation – and generating this performance from a wider variety of investment assets.”

If they choose to maintain their current all-stock strategy they should keep two things in mind, he says.

First, any U.S. dividend stocks should not be held in TFSAs because non-resident withholding tax is applied and cannot be recovered. Second, they need to take an honest look at the sustainability of their strategy because it needs to fund their expenses for the rest of their lives. “There is an abundance of academic research showing that individuals make poor decisions with individual stocks,” Mr. Calvert says. As well, one spouse usually takes the lead in do-it-yourself investing decisions. As that decision-maker grows older, sustainability can become questionable, the planner says.

If they decide to increase their U.S. exposure with some U.S. dividend stocks, their RRIFs would be the best location for these new holdings for three reasons, Mr. Calvert says. They could rebalance without triggering any capital gains. This would leave the Canadian dividend stocks in their non-registered portfolio to continue to receive preferential tax treatment. “Finally, and very importantly, U.S. stock dividends paid into an RRSP/RRIF are free from withholding taxes for Canadian residents,” the planner says.

For Rowan and Willow, leaving funds for their grandchildren is top priority. They should start by setting up registered retirement education plans for each grandchild and making an annual contribution of $2,500 each. The RESP is a terrific account for several reasons, he says. It will allow the funds to grow with a tax deferral and will be eligible for a $500 annual education savings grant on contributions of $2,500, up to a maximum of $7,200. “When establishing this account, they should consider setting it up as a joint subscriber account and appointing a successor subscriber in their will for estate-planning purposes,” Mr. Calvert says.

They also ask about establishing a trust for the grandchildren. A testamentary trust can be an effective estate-planning tool under the right conditions, he says. This type of structure, typically established upon death, would allow them to control the timing and distribution of their assets after their passing, he says. Before exploring this option, they should consult with an estate-planning specialist to fully understand not just the benefits, but also the complexities and costs of maintaining the trust.

Client Situation

The People: Rowan, age 78, and Willow, 58.

The Problem: Can they afford for Willow to retire now and to travel extensively while still leaving some money for their grandchildren? Should they invest more conservatively?

The Plan: When she retires fully, Willow taps into her RRSP. They split Rowan’s RRIF income to keep their income roughly equal and below the OAS clawback range. They take steps to diversify their investment portfolio both globally and by asset class. Open RESPs for the grandchildren and contribute the maximum.

The Payoff: All their financial goals achieved.

Monthly net income: $8,100.

Assets: Cash $4,000; his non-registered $707,600; her non-registered $459,000; his TFSA $214,000; her TFSA $75,000; his RRIF $877,300; her RRSP $305,300, residence $1,500,000. Total: $4.2-million.

Monthly outlays: Property tax $400; water, sewer, garbage $30; home insurance $275; electricity $155; heating $135; maintenance, security, garden $235; transportation $350; groceries $750; clothing $90; line of credit $415; gifts, charity $225; vacation, travel $2,500; travel insurance $90; dining, drinks, entertainment $375; personal care $50; club memberships $130; golf $75; sports, hobbies $100; subscriptions $50; health care $115; communications $370; TFSAs $1,085. Total: $8,000.

Liabilities: Line of credit $82,500 at 6.5 per cent.

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Some details may be changed to protect the privacy of the persons profiled.


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