Financial Skills for the Real World Series

  

Do you occasionally struggle to pay your bills on time? Feeling overwhelmed with debt? Or perhaps you have some money saved up and would like to know what your investment options are? Financial literacy is as important to the economist as it is to any student or young professional, regardless of academic background. This workshop series will cover personal finance topics as diverse as setting up a budget, dealing with debt, types of bank and investment accounts and their respective features, taxation basics, types of investment vehicles, types of insurance, and how to objectively evaluate the purchase of a home, among other related topics.

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Events

Date/time/
Location

Registration

Budgeting & Expense Planning

This workshop primarily focuses on how to create and maintain a reasonable budget given your income level. It covers the main pitfalls of improper budgeting and will show you ways to stay on track. Learn how to effectively monitor and cut costs, determine your spending patterns, and automate your savings. Join us for this workshop brought to you by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada to learn how small changes in your daily spending can lead to major savings.

Note: This workshop is also relevant for international students & newcomers to Canada, as it covers many of the basics about the different types of bank accounts available to you.

Topics coveredIntroduction to the economic landscape in Canada; Myths about wealth building; How to create a budget, save money, and identify spending patterns; Useful links to free online resources provided by the government of Canada and various other non-profit organizations that can be used to make better financial decisions.

*Students attending the Budgeting & Expense Planning, Debt & Credit Scores, and Introduction to Investing sessions in full will receive an official FCAC workshop participation certificate.

Sept 26
6:30 - 8:30 PM

Bronfman Building, Room#046

Debt & Credit Scores

This workshop will cover the ins and outs of credit cards, credit scores, and the benefits of debt consolidation. Participants will learn how to select the best credit card given their specific circumstances, the importance of credit scores, and ways to boost them, as well as how to obtain free credit reports. Various types of debt such as standard loans, lines of credit, and paydays loans will also be reviewed. Common online scams and ways to prevent identity theft will also be addressed.

 Note: This workshop is also relevant for international students & newcomers to Canada, as it covers many of the basics about the different types of bank accounts available to you.

Topics covered: Types of debt (standard loans, credit cards, lines of credit, and paydays loans); Strategies to pay off one's debts more effectively (debt consolidation, snowball method, and debt avalanche method); Important aspects of credit scores, how to boost them; How to obtain yearly free credit reports; Protection from identity theft.

*Students attending the Budgeting & Expense Planning, Debt & Credit Scores, and Introduction to Investing sessions in full will receive an official FCAC workshop participation certificate.

Sept 28
6:30 - 8:30 PM

Bronfman Building, Room#046

 

Introduction to Investing

Do TFSAs, RRSPs, GICs, ETFs, and RESPs sound like a foreign language? Do you equate investing in the stock market to a game of chance? Join us for this insightful workshop brought to you by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and learn how better managing your finances today can lead to a more prosperous future.

 Topics covered: Financial investment vehicles (stocks, bonds, GICs, ETFs, mutual funds, etc.) and their associated risk profiles; Key features of different types of accounts (TFSAs, RRSPs, margin accounts, RESPs).

*Students attending the Budgeting & Expense Planning, Debt & Credit Scores, and Introduction to Investing sessions in full will receive an official FCAC workshop participation certificate.

Oct 3
6:30 - 8:30 PM

Bronfman Building, Room#046

Investing & Taxation

Under what circumstances does an RRSP or a TFSA contribution make more sense? What are some of the most tax-efficient investments available? How is the RRSP tax refund calculated? This workshop starts off where Introduction to Investing left off, and covers various investment vehicles in greater detail, how they get taxed, and the most tax-efficient way to distribute various investments in different types of accounts.

Topics covered:Some advanced features of various types of investments and how they get taxed; Common tax credits and deductions available to Canadians.

Oct 5
6:30 - 8:30 PM

Bronfman Building, Room#046

Prospectus & Fund Facts

Do you want to buy a mutual fund or ETF but are unsure how to make sense of all of the documentation provided? Do you want to find out where to go to locate relevant audited financial statements or the full prospectus details of a fund? If you are interested in investing in the exempt market, what should you look out for? How are dividend distributions broken down? This advanced workshop will answers these questions and more. It is recommended to attend the Investing & Taxation workshop beforehand or have equivalent prior knowledge of the basics of stocks, mutual funds, and Canada's tax system.

Topics coveredKey sections of mutual fund & ETF facts sheets; Most relevant information found in common financial documents regarding portfolio performance, fund allocation, and fees charged; Using the Sedar database.

Oct 10
6:30 - 8:30 PM

Bronfman Building, Room#046


 

Portfolio Balancing

Debating whether mutual funds, robo-traders, or ETFs are best for you? What is the optimal portfolio balance given your age and risk tolerance? Should you invest only in Canadian securities or be globally diversified, and if so, what should be your percentage allocation to each? Which questions should you ask a potential financial advisors and which services should you request in order to maximize your returns? These are some very important questions to consider. Join us for this "hands-on" workshop to find the answers to these and many more.

Note: To get started, please fill out this short questionnaire about your risk tolerance to help determine your portfolio balance: http://ow.ly/10EAxX

Topics covered: Determining your risk tolerance; Selecting an appropriate portfolio balance; Pros and cons of mutual funds, robo-traders, and managing one's own ETF portfolio; Live demo of how to purchase and sell ETFs; Step-by-step process of using free online tools to determine when to rebalance investments.

Oct 12
6:30 - 8:30 PM

Bronfman Building, Room#046

Advisors & Financial Planning

We will go over the questions to ask and the steps to take when selecting a good financial advisor. We will review how to set up a financial plan (Investment Policy Statement, "Know your Client"). We will also review common types of trusts and their associated features. Since this is an advanced workshop, it is recommended to attend the Portfolio Balancing workshop beforehand or have equivalent prior knowledge of stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, assessing your risk tolerance, and portfolio balancing.

Topics covered:Key questions to ask when selecting a financial advisor; Review of IPS and KYC forms; Review different types of trusts.

Oct 17
6:30 - 8:30 PM

Bronfman Building, Room#046

Insurance & your Estate

Which type of insurance is most appropriate for you? If you are already insured, do you have sufficient coverage? Are you saving enough for your retirement? What are some of the key considerations when planning your estate? This workshop will address these and many other questions relating to insurance, tax-efficient ways to earn income during retirement, as well reviewing some of the key tools for planning your estate such as wills and trusts.

Topics covered: Basics of the main types of life insurance policies (term, whole-life, universal); Key costs and benefits of each insurance sub-type; Steps to take when planning your estate; Features of wills; How pensions work in Canada.

Oct 19
6:30 - 8:30 PM

Bronfman Building, Room#046

Housing I

Do you wonder whether it makes more financial sense to buy or rent? Wondering what the true costs of home ownership are? This workshop will cover how to properly evaluate your local housing market. Learn about various fees that realtors rarely mention, the difference between FRM, ARM, and VRM, various CMHC and other freely-available industry reports looking at key metrics, and much more, so that you can make an informed decision on what will likely be the most expensive purchase of your life.

Topics covered: Reports and tools for analyzing the housing market; Pros and cons of renting vs. buying.

Oct 24
6:30 - 8:30 PM

Bronfman Building, Room#046

Housing II

Under what circumstances do you have to pay HST and LTT when purchasing a home? What other fees should you be aware of? Knowing where to find economic fundamentals data about the housing market might be great, but how do you actually use the tools covered during Housing I? If you want an answer to these and many more questions, make sure to attend this hands-on workshop.

Topics covered: Review the key takeaways from Housing I; Live examples of how to use the free tools and websites previously-covered when purchasing a home; Costs and benefits of buying investment properties and when these can be more or less desirable than REITs.

Oct 26
6:30 - 8:30 PM

Bronfman Building, Room#011

Federal Income Taxes

Would you like to better understand tax slips and learn how to file your Federal income taxes? Then this workshop is for you. It starts with a brief overview of the Canadian tax system focusing primarily on Federal income taxes. We will review key tax slips (T4, T5, T5008, and RC62) and show you how to make sense of them through live examples. Finally, we will go over how to file your Federal tax returns.

Topics coveredt: What counts  as taxable income; how do different types of income get taxed;standard deductions and credits; review of key tax slips (T4, T5, T5008, and RC62); how to file your Federal income tax returns.

Nov 7
6:30 - 8:30 PM

Bronfman Building, Room#046

Québec  Income Taxes

During this workshop we will go over various examples of key Québec tax slips (RL1, RL3, RL8, RL19, and RL24) and help you understand the information contained therein. You will also have the opportunity to complete a sample Québec tax return.

Topics coveredt: Standard deductions and credits in Québec; review of key tax slips (RL1, RL3, RL8, RL19, and RL24); how to file your Québec income tax returns.

Nov 9
6:30 - 8:30 PM

Bronfman Building, Room#046

Taxes for International Students

Are you an international student who is filing their first income tax return? Do you wonder what needs to be reported during your first year's tax return? Would you like to learn more about Québec Income Taxes? Then joins us for this Info Session brought to you by Revenu Québec for the answers to these questions and much more. Take advantage of this opportunity to find out the answers to some of your most pressing income tax questions straight from a Revenu Québec representative.

Topics covered: Determining your residence status; your fiscal obligations; filing your first TP-1 form, free tax clinics and volunteer programs.

Nov 21
9:30 - 12:00 PM

Thomson House. Room 406

McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. McGill honours, recognizes and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which we meet today.