November 2018

What happens after the stock market drops?
Exploring  compound returns Portfolio rebalancing
Test your knowledge Check out this month’s finds

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Test your knowledge

Test your knowledge

Test your knowledge

Our previous tests

It’s been 10 years since 2008, a year that left painful memories for many people who suffered as a result of the global financial crisis. Fortunately, markets have recovered since then. Using the S&P 500 in mid-year as a reference, how much have equity investments rebounded since their low level of a decade ago?
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The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX index covers 11 economic sectors, each of which is given a specific weight within the index as a whole. Which sector has the highest weight?
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There are more millionaires in the United States than in any other country in the world. But which country has the most millionaires as a percentage of the total population?
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Canada’s debt clock is still ticking. In your opinion, how much debt were we carrying for each dollar of disposable income as of December 31, 2017?
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A recent survey has shown that hiding important financial decisions from your romantic partner can be bad for your relationship, your health and, of course, your household finances. According to the same survey, what percentage of Canadians admit having lied to their partner about financial decisions?
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At the start of this year, on January 2, the Canadian dollar was trading at about US$0.799. What is the highest exchange rate ever recorded for our currency?
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In 2017, is the typical Canadian household still made up of a mother, a father, and their children? In your opinion, which of the following households is in the majority in Canada?
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Retirement prompts many questions: How much should you save? What age should you retire? How fast should you go through your savings? Here’s another one, right out of left field: Which Canadian city is the best place to live if you’re retired?
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May 8 to 14 was National Mining Week in Canada. Speaking of ore: which of these metals is worth the most by weight?
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Boy, do we ever complain when prices go up at the gas station or the grocery store! On top of that, did your taxes or rent increase this year? Incidentally, which Canadian city do you think has the lowest cost of living?
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For several years now, Canada has enjoyed exceptionally low interest rates. However, in which year do you think the Bank of Canada’s key lending rate was at its highest?
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Paying off your credit card balance every month can save you a lot of money! In your opinion, how many Canadian households have adopted this excellent habit?
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Considering working abroad? Which city do you think has the highest cost of living for expats?
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Let’s talk money! Which of the following security features is not found on Canada’s polymer $20 bill?
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Let’s see how well you know your banks… In your opinion, how does the World Economic Forum rank Canada’s banking system in terms of stability and general health?
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You made it! You’ve turned 65 and now you can claim your Old Age Security pension. Which of the following situations could prevent you from receiving the full amount?
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In the budget tabled this past March, the federal government announced the introduction of the Canada Child Benefit (CCB). If you were already receiving the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), what do you have to do to receive the CCB?
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Which currencies has the Canadian dollar gained against since 2003?
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What is the annual TFSA contribution limit for 2016?
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Other than little monsters and candy, what is the “Halloween effect”?
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Population aging in Canada recently crossed a new threshold: Canadians aged 65 and over now outnumber those aged 15 and under. Can you guess which province or territory has the highest median age?
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Greece was the OECD country with the highest harmonized unemployment rate for all persons, as of last March. The complete answers are:


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On June 1, you returned from the United States and noticed that, thanks to the exchange rate, the $2,450 you spent on your trip had risen to $3,075 Canadian. How much would the same amount have cost you in Canadian dollars on the same date five years ago?
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If you invested $10,000 in the S&P/TSX Composite Index on January 2, 2015, how much was your investment worth on April 30, not counting fees or commissions?
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If you were born on January 1, 1994, what is the total amount you are allowed to put in a TFSA?
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Which Canadian province or territory has the highest median RRSP contribution, according to the latest Statistics Canada data?
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Your credit card habits are so impeccable that your financial institution wants to reward you by automatically increasing your credit limit, which is currently $10,000. What’s the maximum percentage increase they can give you?


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The holiday season is approaching, bringing with it the usual round of gifts, parties, etc. Every year it seems to cost more. Actually, you can find out for sure if that’s true by simply checking the Consumer Price Index prepared by Statistics Canada. But what is the CPI exactly? Can you identify the item in our list that is not included in the CPI basket of goods and services?


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It’s finally time for early retirement! You’re about to make your dream come true: live in your condo in Florida while keeping a bit of money coming in with some contract work you can do at home. But since you’ll soon be 65, it’s also time to apply for your Canadian Old Age Security benefits. What steps do you need to take before leaving?
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You’ve decided to take advantage of mortgage renewal time to increase the amount of your mortgage, so that you can make some renovations. But how much of an increase will your lender allow? Let’s say your monthly income is $7,500, your mortgage payments are currently $1,050 a month, your heating costs are $2,800 a year, and your property and school taxes are $4,550 a year. Approximately how high a mortgage payment will your financial institution accept?
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Canada is not immune to the effects of global climate change. Natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more severe. Hurricanes, tornados, forest fires, torrential rainstorms and other natural phenomena are causing an increasing amount of property damage. Can you identify the main cause of property damage in Canada?
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In the very unlikely event of a financial institution going bankrupt, Canadians can rely on the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) to protect their assets… at least, some of their assets. Suppose that you use just one bank for most of your savings. You have $1,500 in a chequing account, $18,500 in a savings account and US$3,500 in a foreign currency account. Along with that, you have $55,000 in GICs with a four-year initial term, and a TFSA holding $31,500 invested in equities. If the bank in question were to go under, how much could you recover from the CDIC?
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The warm weather is back, and you’ve decided that it’s finally time to take action! You’re going to start looking for your next home. You begin by perusing the real estate listings and find that, for the kind of place that interests you, the average asking price is $350,000. If you buy a house at that price, make a down payment of $20,000 and plan to close the deal in June, how much will it cost you for the mortgage loan insurance that your lending institution gets from the CMHC?
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It’s tax time again! Every year, we ask ourselves the same question: how can we manage to pay as little as possible? One program that has been in place for a while now is the federal tax credit for your children’s arts and fitness activities, intended as an incentive to get them off the couch. Do you know the maximum allowable amount of expenses that can be claimed for each child who participates in arts and fitness programs?


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It’s RRSP time again… and soon enough it will be income tax time. Suppose that your RRSP contribution limit for 2013 is $10,000, that you contributed $5,500 in 2013, and that you make a new contribution of $4,250 on January 25, 2014. If your marginal tax rate is 34%, how much tax could your RRSP contributions save you when you file your income tax return in April 2014?
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This month, our little quiz is about the delicate issue of debt. Say you have a $275,000 mortgage, which you repay monthly at an annual interest rate of 4.25% over 25 years. How much will your monthly payments go up if your interest rate increases to 5.75% when you renew the loan?
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The end (of the year) is nigh! Yes, already. Between now and December 31, many mutual funds will be paying distributions to their unitholders in the form of income, dividends and/or capital gains. Assuming a marginal tax rate of 42%, how much tax would you have to pay on a distribution of $1,000 made to your RRSP in the form of a capital gain?
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Let’s talk pensions! The Old Age Security (OAS) Program guarantees a monthly pension to all eligible Canadians who request it, starting at a specific age. If you were born on January 10, 1961, when will you be entitled to start receiving your OAS pension?
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Over the years, you have patiently socked money away in an RESP (registered education savings plan). Bolstered by the grants you’ve received and the tax-sheltered investment income, the plan now holds $50,000. Unfortunately, your only child has decided to go teach yoga in Singapore and doesn’t plan on going back to school for her postsecondary education – ever. What happens to your money?
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The raising of the official retirement age from 65 to 67 has been a hot topic ever since it was announced last year. This change would be partly justified by the increase in Canadians’ life expectancy. Given that life expectancy at birth, based on the combined statistics for men and women, is now over 81 years, can you say what it was when our public pension plans were established back in 1966?
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You contributed $5,000 to your TFSA in 2009, and $4,000 in each of the following three years (2010, 2011 and 2012). In February 2013, you withdrew $15,000. How much are you allowed to contribute to your TFSA between now and the end of 2013?
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April is income tax month! So can you answer this very simple, but very important, question? We have prepared a table showing the combined marginal tax rates (federal and provincial) that applied in 2012 to the highest income bracket in each of Canada’s provinces and territories (not including capital gains and dividends). But there’s a catch: one of the figures we’ve given is wrong. Do you know which one?
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You have just made your 2012 RRSP contribution, but you weren’t able to contribute your eligible maximum amount. Assuming the maximum amount was $8,000, that you contributed $4,500 and that your earned income in 2012 was $52,000, how much will you be entitled to contribute in 2013?
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The stock markets have taken us on quite a ride since 2008 but, all things considered, they treated investors rather well in 2012. Their performance hasn’t been uniform the world over, however. Which of the following stock markets turned in the best and worst performances last year?
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In November 2012, you purchase some mutual fund units, and their value remains more-or-less the same over the next few months. However, in February 2013, you receive a tax statement showing interest income, dividends and capital gains that you supposedly received from this investment. What should you do?
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If you contribute $4,000 to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) between now and the end of the year, what is the basic amount of the Canada Education Savings Grant that you can receive for 2012?
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In which category of consumer goods have prices gone up most in Canada over the last 12 months?
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The stock market did not do too well in 2011 and you have capital losses of $5,200 on some investments in your RRSP. How much in previous gains can you apply against these losses on your tax return?
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