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Dale Jackson

Personal Finance Columnist, Payback Time


Summer officially begins this week. For investors that usually means distractions from day-to-day market activity. If you can’t keep on top of your portfolio here are three presets to consider.

  1. Stop-loss order: Other investors take vacation during the summer too, and that means trading volume is lighter than usual. The could lead to dramatic market swings if news breaks on one of the stocks in your portfolio. Consider setting a stop-loss order below the current value of your stocks to lock in gains and limit losses if something happens. A trailing stop-loss can be set to follow further gains while you’re not paying attention.
  2. Drips: Most publicly-traded companies offer dividend reinvestment programs, or DRIPS, where any dividend payouts purchase more of the same shares. It’s a great way to buy more shares and compound dividends without accumulating fees while you’re having fun in the sun.   
  3. Automatic RRSP and TFSA contributions: Don’t forget how crazy things got last February when you were trying to make your registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contribution before the March deadline. You can avoid that next February by setting up automatic withdrawals for your 2018 contribution over the summer. It will also help keep you from overspending over the summer. There is no contribution deadline for tax free saving accounts (TFSA) but contribution space has been extended by $5,500 for 2018. If you want to know your total TFSA or RRSP contribution limits it should be listed on your personal Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) account.

Finally, let your adviser know if you can’t be reached. and check your phone and email if they are trying to contact you.