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April 24, 2024

[Ep. 398] Ask Me Anything About Money with Jessica Moorhouse

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I’m Jessica and I’m a money expert, speaker, Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada®, host of the More Money Podcast, and am currently writing my first book with HarperCollins Canada (2025).
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It’s been over a year since my last solo episode, and oh boy did I have fun with it! Thank you to everyone who submitted a question. I tried my best to get to most of them, but if I’m honest, some of them were just too specific so on those cases, as I mention in the episode, I’d suggest hiring a fee-only financial planner to get specific financial advice which is something I can’t provide through the podcast. I hope to do more of these in the future, maybe even make it a regular thing, but for now, enjoy!

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Hello and welcome back to the More Money Podcast.

This is episode 398, and I’m your host, Jessica Moorhouse.

But I’m not just your host for the day for this episode.

I’m also your guest.

That’s right.

This is a long-awaited solo episode, Ask Me Anything.

So thank you for everyone who listened to last week’s episode where I said, hey, if you have a question, let me know, give it to me.

And then, of course, I posted it also on YouTube and Instagram.

And if you’re subscribed to my newsletter, I try to access everybody in every way I could to gather as many questions as I can.

So thank you so much.

I’m thrilled to be doing this.

This is a long time coming.

I think it’s been a full year, if not longer, since I’ve done a solo episode.

And I love doing these kind of Q&A’s because, A, it gives me great ideas for future content when I have some free time after this damn book has taken up all my time.

To make further YouTube videos or Instagram reels or episodes.

But also, I love to…

It kind of feels like I’m giving back.

It’s like, you want these answers, here are the answers.

With that said, I do have to kind of preface this.

I got a lot of questions.

I got a lot of very specific questions, like specific to that one person’s financial situation, which I love.

Thank you so much.

With that said, I had to curate all these different questions to make sure that they would be kind of delivering the most value to the greater number of people.

So if you gave me a question that was really specific, I’m probably not going to answer it.

And so what I will say is, if you ask me a very specific tax question, work with a CPA, get a professional accountant to work with.

I have an accountant, thank goodness, money well spent.

They will be able to help you with any kind of tax planning help that you need.

And then for anyone who’s asked me specific investing questions or financial planning questions, again, I’ve mentioned this so many times on the podcast, and I will till forever.

Work with a fee-only financial planner, someone who has the QAFP or CFP designations.

QAFP is what I’m currently working on, and I don’t know when I’m going to get it.

Honestly, I thought I would have a lot more free time right now because I’m done writing the book, but the editing stage does take up a lot of my time.

So we’ll see.

I will give you more updates if there’s anything to update you on.

Anyways, the QAFP, I honestly think is a great designation if you’re looking for a planner for most people.

CFP, also great.

But again, they’re probably going to be a little bit more expensive with their fees because they have just that next level.

And typically, they do work with more high net worth people, probably again, because of their high fees.

So depending on who you are and what your situation is, you know, a QAFP is probably totally fine for you.

And then if you’re in a situation where you’re like, I don’t need anything fancy or crazy, I just need someone to help me with my cash flow, with my debt management, with budgeting.

I just need some kind of very simple help.

That is where a money coach may be a better fit.

And to know with that, because we kind of talked about this on last week’s episode, money coach is a term people use.

It’s a title that anyone can use.

It is not regulated.

Just like if you see someone say, I’m a life coach, that’s unregulated.

Even though there are programs out there to become, to learn to be a money coach or a life coach, yeah, it’s still unregulated.

Whereas if you’re a QAFP or CFP, it’s a regulated designation.

There are education requirements.

There’s a whole bunch of stuff that you have to abide by in order to keep that designation.

Money coach is not part of that.

With that said, if you are looking for a money coach, if you could, I’d say try to find someone with some sort of credential that is relevant, such as a credit and financial counselor.

That’s the one that I have.

There are a lot of money coaches in Canada that have that credential now, which is great.

Or just make sure you will ask them, what is your experience?

What is your education?

What are you bringing to the table?

Do your due diligence?

Because again, there are a lot of people who are probably great money coaches that don’t have that any kind of designation or specific credential.

Maybe they’re working on it.

So it doesn’t mean they’re bad, but it’s really, you got to be careful, because there are some people that just maybe shouldn’t be doing that.

So just do your research and make sure you know who you’re hiring before you hire them.

Now, one other thing I’ve also mentioned to you, because I do mention like, oh, hire a fee only financial planner.

It is an investment.

It can be several hundreds of dollars, if not thousands of dollars.

It depends on that particular planner’s fee structure.

I say this and I promote working with a fee only planner because not only am I working towards becoming one and getting that designation, and I can kind of see from the ground floor, doing all the training.

Wow, this is a lot of work.

They do know what they’re doing.

They really are put through the wringer.

I also work with a financial planner myself.

So I’m not just telling you to do it.

And then, you know, a second set of rules for me, absolutely not.

I have a planner, you know, work with him every couple of years, honestly, just to take a look at what I’m doing, obviously, because I’ve been doing this for a while.

I’ve got a system.

And so sometimes I just need a second pair of eyes.

And it’s been super helpful to be like, oh, have you noticed this?

Oh, I didn’t realize you, you know, have you thought about this?

It’s just a good thing to sometimes have someone else in your corner who has a very different perspective, who can again, just be that second pair of eyes, give you that advice.

And that, you know, reassurance that I think sometimes that’s all we need.

I just need someone to make sure that my work is good.

Is that good?

Yeah, so that is just kind of the thing I will mention.

And if you are, say, looking for an accountant or a financial planner, I get questions like this literally daily.

And you’re like, who should I hire?

Well, again, look for those designations.

You can do your own research online.

But I do have some listed on my website.

If you go to the menu item that says favorite things, scroll down.

There are some professionals that I’ve listed.

Again, I’m not recommending or endorsing anyone.

I do know some of these people personally, but it’s really up to you to decide is this person right for me?

Because I don’t know who’s right for you.

But again, this is just like to help you on your research and find someone that you can work with.

So that is all I want to say about that.

So since I did get a lot of questions, I wanted to break them down to categories to make things nice and easy and flow.

So we’ve got general financial management questions, some tax questions, investing, and then some personal to kind of end things off.

So let’s get started.

I’m going to talk about some financial management questions that I got.

Number one, I teach high school, and I wish there was more financial education in the curriculum.


If you could design a course for students, what would it include?

So first, I’m going to answer that question, but I will say so.

I visited my mom’s high school that she works at in December over the holidays, and gave a little, not really a presentation, it was very informal.

And it was so funny because A, these kids are so young, which I didn’t realize, like they were in grade 10.

And I think I shared this maybe on a previous episode, but I asked them, oh, you remember the 2008 market crash?

They’re like, we weren’t born then.

So yeah, what I will say is like, I think this education needs to be in schools and normalized because it is so scary getting to the real world, whether you continue with post-secondary education or just start working and have no foundation, no financial foundation whatsoever.

With that said, I also do remember being in high school and just looking at these kids too when I was there talking to them, maybe two people were listening, and I’m like, this is gold, people, this is gold.

And maybe two people were listening to what I had to say.

So it’s one of those things where it should be in schools.

However, we shouldn’t just put the onus of, oh, if I learned this in high school, I’d have all the answers.

Probably not.

Like, I was thinking of what are some stuff that I actually retained in like math class in high school?

I could not tell you percentages.

I don’t know.

So we need to continue educating outside of the classroom.

So if you’re a parent, oh my gosh, this is super valuable for you to really introduce these concepts, or if you have nieces, nephews, whatever.

And just, yeah, we just need to continue that education post high school and onward.

Anyways, but if I could introduce some really important topics that should be part of the curriculum, what I would suggest is how to budget for saving schools and expenses, really managing your cash flow.

That is number one.

Everyone should learn that.

And that can easily be integrated into math class.

How to set financial goals and with their timelines and all the kind of criteria of setting a financial goal and how to do that and what account should that money be in and things like that.

How to do your taxes.

I remember, gosh, it was after I finished university and I had to do my taxes for the first time, and I literally didn’t know what to do.

I had to call my parents.

I’m like, how do I do this?

They’re like, well, you can hire an accountant.

I’m like, I don’t have money for that.

And so I had to do some Googling and then I used, you know, an online tax software that made it very easy.

But taxes, that’d be helpful.

How to get the most out of your job with using all of your, you know, health benefits or any kind of benefits, retirement plans.

Oh, my gosh, if you have a pension, make sure you opt in.

If you have a group RSV, opt in.

The importance of that and salary negotiation.

My gosh, I could have had so much more money in my bank account if I knew more about salary negotiation earlier on.

And lastly, the importance of investing, like just show them the compound interest calculator.

That is what’s going to stick in their minds.

And then a few tips on how to get started.

So that is what I would kind of suggest for financial education in high school.

All right.

Next question.

What piece of American money advice do you hear the most that does not apply to us north of the border?

Honestly, it’s, yeah, there’s a great question.

Sometimes it really does grind my gears.

Let me tell you, when I see an American say, oh, yeah, you know, a Canadian in the comments online, they’re like, oh, does this apply to me?

They’re like, oh, yeah, it does.

And I’m like, they don’t know.

They don’t know.

Americans do not really know the differences between what, you know, financial management in the US compared to Canadians.

Canadians actually do because we have so much more exposure to what’s going on in the US than I think US to Canada.

In general, most financial advice is cross-border.

It’s very, you know, budgeting, cash flow, debt management, investing, the kind of higher principles all the same.

It’s when we get to the details of things, that’s when things are different.

So for example, I see a lot of people online talk about real estate investing.

I’m not an expert in that.

I will say that right now.

However, I do know for a fact, as I have read some books on it, different scenario, US to Canada, we have different tax rules, we have very different mortgage rules, it is a different cost of living, different cost of housing.

So it’s not just like, oh, just buy rental property and then buy six more and then you’ll be good.

In Canada?

In Canada?

It’s not as easy.

It’s not as easy.

So that’s a big difference.

And then also too, when it comes to investing, that is also where I see the things that drive me bonkers.

We have different taxes.

We have different accounts.

We have different products.

We have different platforms.

We have very different things, similar, but still different.

So when I see someone like, oh, someone told me just to buy the S&P 500, I’m like, right.

But you realize that is just a fund giving you exposure to the US.

What about Canada?

What about international markets, emerging markets?

I see so often this home country bias with the US and actually recently when I was doing research for these questions, yeah, there’s a huge home country bias if you’re American.

Like I think there’s, they’re about 60% of the market, but Americans hold about 85% their portfolio is exposed to the US.

Not good.

You want to have diversification.

So I see that’s a big pitfall when I see Americans talking about investing, and they really just talk about buy American stocks, and they forget about all the other countries in the world and the importance of diversification to mitigate risk.

And so as Canadians, we need to be aware of that.

And we need to not just invest in American, we need to invest in, again, globally, and just understand that our tax rules are different.

Our accounts are different.

We don’t have 401Ks or Roth IRAs here.

We have TVSAs and RRSPs and FHSAs and RESPs and RDSPs and unregistered accounts.

It’s a different set of rules here, similar, but it’s really important to understand the details.

All right.

Next, can you talk more about where to store your emergency fund?

Easy peasy.

It’s really simple.

Put your emergency fund in a high interest savings account.

That’s it.

Don’t lock it into a GIC.

Don’t invest that money.

Don’t rely on a line of credit.

That’s not a good idea because, well, if you don’t have cash savings, how are you going to pay off that line of credit?

Keep it simple.

High interest savings account.

That’s it.

We don’t need to complicate things.

That works.

So, you know, just move on.

Next, speaking of high interest savings accounts, in Canada, what do you recommend?

Great question.

And I’m actually going to open up.

I have a running list of, I hope you can hear me typing, of high interest savings accounts in Canada.

Just updated it today.

And it has all, none of them are the big banks because they offer crap interest, but basically all online banks, pretty much.

How many are there?

There’s, I don’t know, 20 or something like that.

And I have all of their interest rates.

If they’re insured by CDAC or some other kind of organization, they all are.

If they’re available in Quebec or not, unfortunately, if you’re a Quebecer, man, there’s a lot of things that are not accessible to you, which I don’t love.

So check out that list.

It’s just like hi dash interest dash savings dash accounts dash in dash Canada.

If you just Google Jessica Moorhouse high interest savings accounts, it’ll pop up.

I will include it as a link of the show notes for this episode,

But just looking at what are the top winners, we’ve got Motive Financial with a 4.10% interest savings account.

4.10% save in financial, only accessible to Ontarians at 4.20%.

Wealth One Bank, 4% and Wealthsimple spend, 4%.

And I give a little, oh, and sorry, NCI direct investing that I have a savings account at 4%.

And I guess the one little below that still pretty good is Canadian Tire Bank at 3.7%.

The other one that I have been talking about for years and years and years is EQ Bank.

Used it for a number of years.

I really like them because they did offer the highest interest in Canada for years.

And then I don’t know what happened.

They offer 2.5%.

It’s one of the lowest interest rates of any of these banks.

I think the other lowest one on this list is Modus Bank and Alternabank at 2.25.

But what they’re promoting is like, oh, you can get 4% only if you connect your direct deposit from your work to your account.

Well, for lots of people, they’re like, I don’t have that.

I’m not an employee.

I’m self-employed, or I don’t want to do that.

So they’re only offering 2.5% to everyone else.

I don’t love that.

Hence why I’m not using EQ Bank for my savings anymore.

I’m actually switching to saving financial.

Now the one thing I will say is I don’t love interest rate chasing when it comes to savings accounts.

I think it’s a big waste of time.

But what I will say is if you are not earning 3% or above, you need to look around and do better than that because we’re paying really high interest on everything else, so we should be earning higher interest on our savings.

So just check it out.

I will link to it in the show notes for this episode.

Okay, next, how do you prioritize your money goals?

It seems like, you know, it’s hard to balance it all.

I completely get that.

I absolutely relate.

And it also varies on like what your life is.

Like if you are a family with children, my gosh, the goals, the requirements, the responsibilities.

I’m just like, it’s just me and my husband.

And we’re still like freaked out about potentially getting a dog.

So I can relate, and I totally understand, depending on your circumstances, it can be overwhelming and really stressful.

What I always suggest is make a list of all of the things that you like to achieve with your money or anything you can think of.

Literally, it can be the longest list.

Just list out everything and then categorize them in terms of timeline.

Is this a short term goal?

Can I reach this in a year or two?

Is this a long term goal?

This is like 20 years out.

Put them into short, midterm, long term goals so you know what’s going on.

And then within each category of timeline, then prioritize them.

And then you can see which one should we focus on, which one should we just leave on the table for another day, for another year.

That’s honestly a system.

Very simple.

I’ve been using for years.

And yeah, you’re not going to be able to work towards every single goal at the same time.

Not going to happen because it will just take you forever to reach any kind of goal.

So prioritize, keep it simple.

Honestly, sometimes keeping it to like four to five goals, maybe even less is probably the ideal.

Because when it gets just double digits, you’re just not going to do anything.

Like whenever I look at like just my like life and career goals, if I have too many goals, it affects all the other goals.

And then I like have a worse kind of accomplishment rate.

So just keep it simple and small, but make that list and give yourself some grace and know that it’s okay that you can’t do it all.

Because no one can do it all, and anyone who says they can do it all is a liar.

Okay, next, I have a small amount of debt I’m currently paying off.

This is kind of more specific one, but I thought it was an interesting question.

So I have a small amount of debt I’m currently paying off.

My wife has about $30,000 of debt.

Well, when my debt is paid off, what should I do?

Should I help her pay off her debt?

Or should I use my now free cash flow to upgrade, to do some upgrades that we want to do for our house?

Yeah, that’s not a question for me.

That is a question for you and your wife and your partner.

It also depends on how are you managing your finances?

Are you really wanting things separate?

Or do you want to talk about your joint goals?

Just putting myself in that position, it’s tricky.

It’s really tricky.

I’ve never been in that position, so I don’t quite know.

But I do feel like it might make more sense to help paying off the debt.

But again, I also understand if you’re like, well, they got themselves into that debt, especially if it’s like consumer debt, because they bought some things that weren’t necessities.

And you’re like, well, you got yourself in that situation, you need to dig yourself out, because I just did that in my own situation.

So I can’t really give you an answer.

But I feel like that is a question for you two to really talk about.

What do we want to do?

How do we want to manage our money moving forward?

Do we want to keep things completely separate?

Or do we want to commingle?

And so we can really attack this debt goal together.

And then, you’ll be paying off that debt so much sooner.

And then we can make a plan so you don’t get back into debt.

And then we can use that free up cash flow that we both have to upgrade our house, whatever the next financial goal is.

But yeah, answer is communicate with your partner and see what you guys want to do.

What makes you both comfortable?

Okay, another really specific question, but I thought it was really interesting.

So this person took out some money from their investments to pay for IVF.

And now it’s successful.

They’re going on maternity leave soon.

Very exciting.

They say that they were a saver for a few years.

But now they just find it really tough to budget and just save and kind of get back on track.

Any suggestions on how to do it?

It just seems impossible.

And they’re also paying for twins.

So I guess they’re pregnant with twins.

So what I will say is I am not a parent, so I do not have that personal experience.

But from people I do know who have, I know that it is hard that first year, even that second year financially is very taxing and difficult.

But especially that first year in terms of taking that maternity leave, you’re earning a lower income, it can be stressful.

And you can feel probably a lot of guilt and shame for not keeping up with everyone else who’s achieving all these financials.

And you’re just like, well, I have limited funds now, and everything is going towards my new family.

So I would say give yourself some grace.

It is okay.

You were doing something that’s so important.

So don’t put this pressure on yourself that you had to keep up with all of your budgeting and financial goal setting and achievement like before.

It’s okay if you hit pause and you’re just focused on the here and now, your expenses, your necessities, just survival.

What I will say is there was a great book that was featured on the show.

I’m going to actually Google it right now.

So the episode is 276 with Vivian Lung.

I had her back on the show.

Gosh, what year was that?


Seems like so long ago.

I had her on the show because she published a book called Babies, How to Afford Your Bundle of Joy.

She’s Canadian, but it really goes into the specifics of costs and how to budget and things like that.

So if you’re just like, I’m overwhelmed, where do I start?

This is a great book you can get from the library or purchase.

And I think it’ll give you some reassurance and just some food for thought on how to move forward.

But that’s my kind of resource suggestion for you.

Okay, just a few more in this category and then we will move on.

Okay, do you think a career coach is worth it?

Any recommendations?

No recommendations.

I’ve never worked with a career coach personally.

I do know some friends who have tried it.

I think, yeah, if you need some help figuring out what am I, yeah, I hate my career.

Where do I move in terms of different positions or different industries or just complete career change?

Why not?

What are you going to lose besides some money?


I mean, it really depends on how much these people charge.

And it’s always for me a red flag when someone who has, you know, the term coach and again, not regulated.

I don’t know if career coach is regulated.

I doubt it.

And they charge a ton of money.

Like sometimes I hear people spending like tens of thousands of dollars on like a business coach or a life coach or career coach or whatever.

That’s crazy to me in my view.

But also I’m cheap.

So you know, there there you go.

But if you can find someone who you like and you can kind of vet and you think they’re really good and experienced in this kind of work, why not?

I’d say so.

I think that would be a great idea.

It’s sometimes better than just asking friends and family, what do you think?

Like they’re going to give their personal opinion, but they’re not maybe, you know, they may not be able to give you the advice that you need.

So yeah, I’d say career coach.

Why not try it out?

Okay, so that was actually the last question in that category.

Now I just have two questions in the tax category.

One, and I’m sure I’m going to make a video on this at some point in the future when I have some free time, but there’s a lot of discourse online about whether our RRSPs are worth it.

Are there still benefits to using an RRSP for long term investing instead of just a taxable, you know, unregistered account?

I see this a lot online, especially from young people being like, oh, RRSPs are crap.

Just do your TFSA or unregistered account.

Just avoid RRSPs.

I think that is very misguided.

There are a lot of benefits to the RRSP.

I’m also going to link to two resources in the show notes for this episode.

One is from Tax Tips.

One, I think is the same author, but they kind of go in more depth in an article for the Financial Post.

But I’m just going to read some of the kind of answers that they had on this Tax Tips website, which I thought were just really well organized and thought out to give you some food for thought.

But in general, hey, I’m a fan of RRSPs.

They make a lot of sense for most people.

I don’t think non-registered accounts are bad, but I do feel like in general, RRSPs are a great thing to focus on, then your TFSA, then your non-registered account.

So that’s just my two cents.

Okay, so what they say is in general, RRSPs are great because first off, most of us Canadians will be in a lower tax bracket when we retire.

So that is kind of like the big benefit of the RRSPs.

We’re contributing, we’re getting that tax deduction.

Hopefully we’re getting that tax refund and we’re paying less tax.

With that savings, we can reinvest it and it’ll compound.

And then when we withdraw it from our riff, when we are retired, we’re going to be a lower tax bracket.

We’re going to be paying less tax on that money compared to during our working years when we’re going to be in a higher tax bracket.

And we, you know, if it was in a taxable account, we’d be paying higher taxes.

So just something to think about with that.

Next, when you have your investments inside your RRSP and you’re earning income or dividends, you know, interest, capital gains, it is growing tax free inside your RRSP.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Next, you can invest in stocks, bonds, foreign and other investments without worrying about the tax implications.

Kind of already mentioned that, but this is what they mentioned in this article.

You are less likely to withdraw the money than if you’re saving in an unregistered account.

So it will grow to a sizable nest egg for retirement.

I think this is one of the overlooked benefits of the RRSP, because when you withdraw money from your RRSP prematurely, before your retirement, not only do you have to pay tax on that, but also you never get that RRSP room back.

So there’s kind of some incentives to not touch that money, whereas within a TFSA or an unregistered account, I see people touch that money all the time, even if that money is earmarked for long term investing.

So having these kind of barriers is kind of helpful because, again, that behavioral economics will come in.

We are terrible at not doing stuff and touching our investments.

So having some barriers is actually a really good thing.

And lastly, you can invest more because you’ll have more after-tax funds to invest due to that tax savings.

So again, it’s really important to just remember there’s some really great tax incentives.

Now they give some suggestions for it may be better to invest in a non-registered account, but probably not.

They said that, but also I agree.

If you believe you will be in a higher tax bracket after retirement, absolutely.

If you invest all your money in investments that will produce capital gains or eligible Canadian dividends, there are some great tax credits and efficiency with a taxable account if you’re investing in that way.

So that’s probably that’s usually the argument I see is like, yeah, but I’m going to just invest in growth stocks that are just going to get capital gains and it’s more favorable in a taxable account.

Then go ahead, then go ahead.

Next you are totally okay and comfortable not owning any bonds or other interest producing investments.

And the reason is because if you earn interest in a taxable account, a non registered account, you’re paying 100% tax on that interest at your marginal tax rate.

That could be a lot of money.

And so you get that shelter inside that RSP again, if you are in a high tax bracket now, but you’re going to be a lower tax bracket in retirement, there are some tax savings there.

And lastly, it may make more sense to invest inside a non registered account if you do not sell any investments until retirement because the sale of any of those investments would generate a taxable capital gain.

So yeah, that makes sense.

I feel like how it’s worded kind of makes it seem like, you know, sell everything at retirement.

No, you’d still keep it invested and then just sell any investments that you need to live off of in retirement.

But yeah, yeah.

So those are kind of the things to think about.

But again, I’m going to link to both of those resources in the show notes for this episode,

Okay, so the other tax question, I mean, I got other tax questions, but honestly, I’m just telling most people just hire a CPA and work with someone.

And this is a kind of the answer to this question too.

It’s kind of specific.

I’m self-employed.

I’ve got a corporation.

I have two Airbnbs.

I have a really hard time of keeping my finances in order and tucking away enough taxes, etc, etc.

How can I stay organized?

If you are incorporated, especially, and you have all of these things going on at once, you need to hire a bookkeeper and an accountant.

Those should be some really important business expenses that you are investing in.


So I have a bookkeeper.

I think I list her on my website.

I just found her originally on Upwork.

There’s a ton of great bookkeepers out there.

It saves me a lot of time.

Oh my gosh, I was spending hours and hours per month using my accounting software and keeping everything organized.

Now I don’t, which frees me up to work on my business.

So please hire a bookkeeper and accountant to help you with all of that kind of stuff.

And that is it for taxes.

Let’s move on to the next section, all about investing.

And I do want to just remind you, in case you’re new to the show or just need a reminder, I do have an investing course.

Hey, which influencer does not have a course, right?

I know, I know.

And I hate that I’m part of that.

But I’ve had this course for over three years now, and it’s called Wealth Building Blueprint for Canadians, specific for Canadians.

And it is not about how to invest in anything to get rich quick, because that’s crap.

We know that that’s a lie.

You can’t get rich quick.

Have you ever met someone who’s gotten rich quick?

Probably not.

And then kept that money and then like did something really good with it?

Probably not.

They probably blew it.

No, this is about long-term investing with index funds, passive investing, boring, couch potato investing.

We’re not talking about day trading or hot stocks or crypto or real estate.

That real estate is bad, but it’s not about real estate.

And it’s really just about here are all the really important things you need to know about investing as a Canadian.

We’re getting to the nitty gritty.

It’s really detailed.

And then let’s talk about the different ways you can invest on your own outside of using a wealth manager or professional.

And then we talk about robo-advisor investing.

We talk about self-directed investing.

And so my thoughts on robo-advisor investing, that is the first question.

What do I think?

Big fan, used a robo-advisor for years.

My husband still does.

I think they are honestly the best option for most investors who especially want to invest in index funds for a very low cost.

They’re easy to set up.

They’re easy to put money in your account and automate.

And you don’t have to do anything otherwise.

You can literally set it and forget it, check your account every couple of months or once a year, whatever.

It is very easy and so much better than using an advisor at the bank who’s just going to get you in those high-fee, actively managed mutual ones.

You know my thoughts on that.

Not a big fan.

So I love robo-advisor investing.

With that said, really important to see what all your options are because my gosh, Well Simple just has a huge marketing budget, and that’s the only one people apparently know about.

But there are a ton of different robo-advisors.

To give you an idea, I’m actually going to open up.

I have a bunch of great spreadsheets specifically that break them down.

Not just break down, oh, what are the different robo-advisors which I’ll share in just a moment, but also what are their fees?

What are their portfolios?

Yes, I have accounts with every single robo-advisor, say for like two, and I show what’s inside all of their portfolios because I literally did the investor questionnaire for every single scenario for every one of these robo-advisors to find out what ETFs they’re investing in and what ratio and all that kind of stuff.

So to give you an idea of what those robo-advisors are besides Just Wealth Simple, we’ve got BMO Smart Folio, CI Direct Investing, Just Wealth, Modern Advisor, Nest Wealth, Quest Wealth portfolios, RBC Investies, Tangerine, Wealth Simple.

I put Tangerine in there, even though some people will be like, well, that’s not technically a robo-advisor.

It sort of is.

It sort of is.

It has kind of the highest fees, but they were kind of the first robo-advisor in Canada having an online platform to invest in index funds, even though they sell index mutual funds.

But they’re still technically kind of a robo-advisor in my view, because it’s all automated and online.

So there you go.

That is the answer to that question.

Next kind of more specific question, can you automate your investing other than, say, using an advisor or a robo-advisor?

The answer is no, you can’t.

I’ve gotten that question.

I’ve asked discount brokerages, are you going to implement something?


So if you want to do self-directed investing and you’re like, how do I automate this more?

The only thing that you can really do is to set up a schedule.

You can set up these like, you know, pre-authorized, you know, debits into your investment account, but then you still need to log in to your account and place the trade manually.

There is no automated way to place the trade.

I think that’s probably for a good reason.

Can you imagine, like, what would happen if people didn’t have access to like, oh, I just, you know, automated it.

And I just feel like that would just run into so many problems, especially with beginner investors.

So no, you have to manually place the trade yourself.

So yeah, that’s yeah, that’s the only way.

So for me, if you’re interested, like, how do I manage my portfolios?

Because I’m fully self-directed now, I actually do everything manually, because of the structure of like my business, even though I earn a salary, I do more lump sum investing than dollar cost averaging.

So I don’t like invest monthly.

It’s kind of just a couple times per year.

And that’s just it makes more sense in my my financial system.

But yeah, then I, you know, put the money manually into my account.

And then I have my rebalancing spreadsheet, and then I see how many many ETFs I have to buy and what ratio and then I place those trades.

It takes me like 10 minutes.

So you know, I get you want to automate things, but sometimes doing it manually, as long as you like put it in your calendar and then set the time aside.

It doesn’t take that much time.

So that’s my answer to that.

Okay, the next question I have kind of related to something I just mentioned.

Can you explain passive and they’re talking about this online platform called passive P-A-S-S-I-V, no E at the end.

I actually did an episode with the co-founder and CTO, Brenton Wood back in, gosh, what year was this?

2020, December 2020.

Episode 258 for that.

We had a discussion about what this app was, but that’s several years ago.

So I’m sure there’s been a few updates and things like that.

And apparently, let me just see if this still works.

Oh, I don’t know if this still works, but I do have a promo code, but I don’t think that actually, I don’t know if that actually gets you anything.

It’s like

I don’t know if that even goes anywhere anymore.

You can try it.

I don’t know.

Anyways, so what is passive?

So it is simply an online platform or tool that helps you rebalance your investment portfolio to its target asset allocation.

That’s really what it is.

There’s a free plan.

There was a paid plan that has a little bit of extra functionality such as one click trades.

And really what that just means is instead of you having to log into your discount brokerage and then place the trade yourself within that platform, you can do the trade through passive.

Is it really any like I’ve tried that?

And honestly, I personally preferred doing it through my discount brokerage.

That’s just me.

And it also gives you advanced currency trading and some ideas or options for creating more tax efficient portfolio.

Then quite honestly, though, if you’re in that stage of I need to make it more tax efficient portfolio, hire a CPA to help you structure that.

But anyways, so yeah, I personally use passive for a little bit.

I liked it.

It was fine.

But honestly, it’s and this is just personal preference, nothing against like that.

The platform is not bad.

It’s not that I disliked it.

I just kind of you’re used to what you’re used to.

And I liked using my own rebalancing spreadsheet and then placing trades directly in my discount brokerage, which is Questrade.

So that’s you know, I think it’s tried out.

There’s the free version.

There’s no harm, no foul.

If you try it, you like it, keep using it.

If you don’t, then don’t.

It’s free.

So try it out yourself.

That’s what passive is all about.

Another question sort of related to what we’re talking about.

Is there a good questionnaire about risk tolerance that you like?

Now I have a bunch of different options in my investing course, but again, you can easily Google and there’s a million different ones.

You can also to I think technically try out every single one from the robo advisors for free without actually having to set up an account.

So you can also just do that and game the system a little bit.

But what I think it’s like, I don’t think any of them are better.

They’re all trying to achieve the same thing, which is to try to find out what your risk tolerance is and ideally what the right ratio of stocks and bonds is for your portfolio based on not only your risk tolerance, but also your timeline, your goal, all that kind of stuff.

So I say just try out a bunch that you find and see what the commonalities or the averages are.

But to really find out your own personal risk tolerance, what I found is the best way to gauge that is through time and experience in the market.

I did lots of those questionnaires.

They’d always come out, and this was years ago, like 70, 30, or 80, 20 in terms of like the ideal asset allocation for like my retirement goal.

And then, you know, just kept on learning and investing and realized, actually, no, I don’t want any bonds.

I have a very high, like I do not freak out anymore.

I’m very calm collected in general when I can’t be, I’m still human.

And I can take, you know, the hit because I want those higher returns, especially since as I’m getting older, time is really precious.

So I want to maximize my time and compound that money and just invest 100% in stocks.

So I’m 100% in stocks in my portfolio.

I have a very high tolerance for risk.

And I learned that not only from these questionnaires, but from time and experience.

So that’s my answer for that.

But great question.

Next, what should I look for in an investment broker?

I think they mean discount brokerage.

Not a person.

Can you explain what an MER is?

Can you negotiate that rate?

Okay, so first, what is an MER?

It’s a management expense ratio.

It’s the total combined cost of an investment fund’s management fee, which is a combination of investment management expenses, trailing commissions, if there are any, plus operating expenses and taxes.

So it is all the fees that you need to pay to invest in this fund.

And these fees then pay for managing the fund and a bunch of other expenses and taxes.

Now this fee, this MER, is expressed as a percentage.

So let’s say you have some fund at 0.15 percent.

If you have an investment, invest in this fund of $10,000 you put into this fund.

And the MER is 0.15 percent.

How much are you going to be paying?

You’re going to be paying an annual fee of $15.

That is what that fee means.

I even have a really fun spreadsheet in my investing course because I got questions about this.

I’m like, I’m just going to build a tool where you can put all of the different ETFs that you’re investing in.

They all have different MERs, and we can find the total MER of that whole portfolio.

It’s not a very complicated calculation, but I couldn’t find a tool like that, so I built one for the course, which is really cool if you want to find out how much am I actually paying in this whole portfolio depending on the ratios of all the different ETFs.

The second part of that question was, can I negotiate this?

No, you can’t.

Sorry, you can barely negotiate anything when it comes to financial products.

No, you can’t negotiate the MER.

That’s how much it costs.

And lastly, what should I look for when I’m looking for a discount?

Discount brokerage, for DIY investing.

So here are my kind of tips.

Look for good customer service.

That is number one thing.

There are certain brokers that I will never work with or work with use as a customer because they have terrible service.

And what I mean by that is, are they responsive?

Can you get a hold of someone on the phone or chat really quickly or email?

Or do they take forever to get back to you?

That is something that drives me bonkers because they are making money off of you in one way or another.

They’re making money.

And you want to get some value.

And what does that value look like?

Good customer service.

So look at reviews.

It’s actually really good for those specific personal stories.

But again, most people don’t really say, I had a really good experience.

That’s my post.

They usually complain.

So I also take a grain of salt.

So good customer service.

Know where low fees.

That’s really important.

So pretty much all of the big banks, they all have their own discount brokerages.

They have pretty high fees, like about $9 to $10 per commission.

That means per trade.

If you’re doing a lot of buying or selling, that can really add up.

So ideally, you would want to look for one that has no or low fees.

And then next, easy to use interface.

Whether that means like I want an app, I need an app, or at least just a good mobile interface.

Or like honestly for me, and this is me being an old millennial, and I’ve seen things like this on like Instagram of like millennials being like, I cannot understand how Gen Z’s are doing things like trading or even booking a flight on their phone.

And like, oh my God, me too.

I need a desktop.

I need my laptop to do that kind of stuff.

There’s like that is too risky for me to try to do something on my phone, and then my thumb slips, and then I just did something wrong.

Anyway, so for me, I really want to make sure there was a good interface on my desktop, computer, old school because I’m an old lady.

But again, for you might be like, no, I like to do things on my phone.

So just test things out and look at reviews of the company is also another thing.

If there is a lot of customer complaints or people are just like, I had a bad experience or whatever, do you know, consider that too.

I mean, one of the reasons that I have been using Questrade for a number of years is, and again, I’m not sponsored, I’m not getting any money from them, is just because I’ve always had a good experience with their customer service.

Also, I don’t get any preferential treatment because I use a different last name.

They do not know I’m Jessica Moorhouse, they think I’m somebody just a regular Joe.

So I’ve always gotten good, decent customer service and pretty timely.

And I think the biggest thing I like about them is just their messaging and their brand promise has stayed consistent for years and decades.

Whereas there’s some other companies that said that they’re all about this and then they launched another product that just is not really aligned with my personal values.

I’m like, yeah, I’m not into that.

So you got to look at what do you want?

What are your needs and your preferences?

And then try to find a discount broker that matches all of that.

Okay, next question.

I find that a lot of retirement planning information out there, books, podcasts, etc.

is geared towards homeowners.

As someone who will likely be a lifelong renderer, can you point me towards some resources that will help me?


So episode 81, and this is like, gosh, what is that, season three or something of the podcast?

I interviewed Alex Avery, author of The Wealthy Renter.

This is an episode you should listen to.

This is a book that you should get, because it is all about building wealth as a renter.

Because I totally understand.

There is so, like, the pressure to become a homeowner, the impossibility of being a homeowner in this cost of living situation we’re in, just, like, it’s insane.

And I come from that as a place of, like, I’ve been where you are, and I am now a homeowner, and I still feel like it is unfair.

And I believe it is absolutely possible to retire, to build significant wealth as a renter.

And you actually have a lot more flexibility.

So definitely check out that resource.

I would really suggest that as my go-to for that.

Okay, next question.

Okay, I’m going to try my best to answer this, but I tried Googling to find some resource that explicitly said the answer could not find one.

So this is probably something I’m going to have to just triple check with the CRA, but I’m just going to give you my two cents.

So it’s about the FHSA program, the First Home Savings Account program.

They’re asking if two single people start their own program, their own FHSA accounts, and they meet and they want to use their accounts to purchase a house together, will they be able to do that?

Now, how?

At first I read this, I’m like, yeah, if you’re a couple, you obviously can do that.

But I think what they were referencing is, if we’re just two people and we want to go in and buy a house together, but we’re not, you know, a relationship or like roommates or friends, can we do that?

I couldn’t find anything that said you could not.

And I don’t think they’re, you know, I think the answer is yes.

But again, I couldn’t find anything that specifically said yes, but I can’t see why you wouldn’t be able to.

So that is my answer to that.

I think so is the answer.

Okay, next, do you have any investing advice for people who do not have steady income?


So as one of those people, even though I pay myself a salary, I still sometimes will maybe pay myself a bonus or a dividend, depending on if we did okay this year or what have you.

And so I still don’t actually know how much money I am going to fully bring in till the end of the year, and I do my taxes.

And my husband is also self-employed, and it is very much up and down.

So I totally get it.

In general, I don’t think it actually makes sense when it comes to budgeting to do dollar cost averaging when you are investing.

And what that means is like regularly putting money into your investments like weekly or monthly or something like that.

It may make more sense to do lump sum investing.

So, you know, when you like get a tax refund or your, you know, past quarter one and you’ve got some profit in your business that you can take out and then you can invest.

Sometimes it’s easier to plan around each business quarter to see where you’re at and then just throw money into your investments, as opposed to be like, oh, my gosh, I’ve got my auto contributions and they’re going monthly.

But now this means I have to eat less groceries because I don’t have enough money to feed myself.

But because I’ve got these auto contributions.

So that’s kind of what I would suggest is to make a different plan.

If you’re in different circumstances require different plans.

So that’s kind of what my suggestion would be.

Next, what are your top five information sources used for financial information, et cetera, et cetera?

They also asked, like, you know, what stocks to invest in?

Yeah, I don’t do that.

I don’t invest in individual stocks.

With that said, some resources that I have used in the past to just look up stuff is I like the Motley Fool.

They’ve been pretty consistent.

You know, the US version, the Canadian version, I really like them.

But I’m just an indexer now.

So yeah, I may still have some tech stocks that are just staying in my account.

I’m just not touching them.

But otherwise, I’m just putting everything in index funds, keeping my life simple.

But in terms of what are some resources that I go to just to stay up with everything, I use the Globe and Mail, Financial Post, B&M, Bloomberg, Investment, Executive, Wealth, Professional, MoneySense.

I’m subscribed to a lot of newsletters from some of the discount brokerages and robo advisors.

They’ve got some good newsletters, actually.

They’ve got some good writers these days.

And then also lots of these wealth management firms and big banks.

They’ve got some really great white papers that are like PDFs, old school, and they’re very well researched and really good.

So that’s usually what I go to for staying in the loop of things.

Some really old school resources that are good because there’s journalists behind them or writers that do the research.

So that’s what I would say.

Another common question, but I’m going to answer it because I think it’s important for people to know, the TFSA versus RRSP debate.

So in general, it has to do with your tax bracket.

If you’re in a high tax bracket, focus on your RRSP so you can get that tax deduction or your tax bracket so you can pay less tax.

If you’re in a lower tax bracket, focus on that TFSA because you don’t really need those tax deductions, so you can just let that room accumulate for hopefully when you are in a higher tax bracket in the future and need that room.

But they also preface, what about an investor with limited cash?

I would still say the TFSA.

It offers the most flexibility in terms of you can put money in, you can take it out, there’s no penalty, there’s no tax, you can do whatever the heck you want, and there’s really no incentive to feel bad about doing that.

Whereas if you had limited cash, I would not say put it in your RRSP because I have seen it where people just thought the only vehicle to invest was in their RRSP.

They thought a TFSA was like their savings account, and then something happened in their life, job loss, what have you.

They had to take money out of their RRSP to pay for it, which you never want to see because, again, you’re paying that tax, maybe at a high tax bracket rate.

And then you also never get that room back, which sucks.

So TFSA, if you need the flexibility, you’ve got limited cash, you’re in a lower tax bracket, you’re just starting to invest and you don’t know where to start.

TFSA is a great vehicle because you can easily also take that money out of your TFSA and put it into your RRSP later if you want to.

And again, you get that TFSA room that you took that money out, that room, you get it back the next tax year.

So again, you’re not losing room.

So that’s really great.

So TFSAs are awesome, everybody.

Okay, next question, sort of related, also very specific, but I think this is an important question to address.

So this person opened up a TFSA with Well Simple Invest, their robo-advisor arm.

They also opened up an account with Well Simple Trade, their self-directed, their discount brokerage arm.

So they’re wondering, okay, now I just want to do self-directed.

How do I move the money from the robo-advisor over to my self-directed account?

So you absolutely can.

I think there’s literally just a transfer button.

The important thing to note is you cannot transfer those ETFs from your robo-advisor to your self-directed account.

You have to cash them out, you have to redeem them, and then you move that cash over to your self-directed account, and then you can use that cash to purchase whatever ETFs or whatever securities that you want.

No matter where you’re at, if you’re with Questrade using Quest Wealth Portfolios, their robo-advisor, and you actually just want to do self-directed with Questrade, or vice versa, if you’re like, I don’t want to do this on my own, I just want to use the robo-advisor, the only way to transfer the money is to sell those shares for cash and then move the cash.

That’s just how it is.

But they’re also wondering, is there a penalty?

Well, if it’s inside a TFSA, absolutely not.

There’s no penalty, number one, and there’s no taxable event because it is all, you can do what’s called a plan-to-plan transfer, so you’re not withdrawing the money from your TFSA, you are just moving it from TFSA to TFSA.

Same with like, if you’re with an RRSP, you want to move that to another institution or whatever, transfer that RRSP over.

You do not withdraw the money out of the account.

Very important because there will be a taxable event if you do that.

Now, if this was in a taxable account, then likely it would trigger a capital gain, and then that would be a taxable event to happen.

But again, capital gains are taxed pretty favorably, so just something to think about.

Along the same lines, there’s a question of someone who, you know, has some cash they saved up, and they purchased some stocks, and they didn’t really have a plan, and then they start learning about index funds.

They’re like, oh, shoot, I want to do that.

I want to do over.

What can I do?

Yeah, so you can sell those stocks for cash and then use that cash to buy index funds.

And if it’s in a taxable account, it will trigger a capital gain.

But if it’s in a RSP or TSA, then again, you can just do a transfer, and it will not trigger any tax as long as it stays in that account.

So it’s really important, because I have seen people think that they’re doing that, but they actually do it with withdrawal.

Do not do that.

Do not touch that money.

And one last question from this category.

What do you invest in?

Wouldn’t you love to know?

OK, so I do not share what I invest in.

I know there is a big trend of, I’m going to do air quotes, financial transparency online.

And hey, I love it.

I’m a snoop.

I like knowing what people are doing with their money.

But even as a blogger a decade ago, I didn’t share what I was doing with my finances.

That’s personal preference.

I like to have privacy.

But the other reason I don’t share specifically what I’m investing in, besides saying I’m invested in index ETFs, very boring, is that I think too many influencers put out what I’m investing in, and they don’t realize the impact that can have on people watching or listening to them.

A lot of people just want, tell me what I should invest in.

And no, I don’t want to hire someone to help me with that.

Just give me the answer.

And then that influencer be like, well, this is what I invest in.

But hashtag, this is not advice.

Hashtag, I’m not telling you to invest in it.

But most people will just hear the first part, be like, this is what I invest in.

They’re like, great, I want to do that too.

There was an app, I won’t name it.

And it’s not a bad app.

Again, it’s just like not my jam that influencers post their portfolios on it to share.

And again, cool.

We can learn a lot from that, see what people are doing.


My issue with it is I know for a fact people are going to sign up to this app, find their favorite influencer, find their portfolio, and copy them.

The problem with that is we don’t know all the ins and outs of that person’s financial life, their needs, their risk tolerance, their goals, all of those really important details.

I know for a fact that even if I shared what I’m investing in, it’s probably not right for you.

Again, I mentioned I’m in index funds and 100% in stocks.

Most people probably shouldn’t do that because that is very risky.

My portfolio has been down 20, 30%.

Most people would freak out and be like, how dare you?

Why did you tell me to buy these investments?

Now I’m losing money.

I’m going to sue you.

That’s my fear is people will blame me.

And I don’t want that.

I want you to learn and then to create a plan for yourself, which I know feels like a cop out, but that’s just the truth.

I am not copying anyone else’s portfolio.

I did research.

I did a lot of looking.

There are model portfolios you can look, and then you can tailor it to yourself.

So that is my answer.

What do I invest in?

100% stocks, index funds.

That’s all I’m going to share, because I think that’s really all that you need to know.

And again, that may not be the right portfolio for you.

Just saying.

Now for the last part of this episode, I’m going to answer a few personal questions.

So any rich life goals you are working towards at the moment?

Rich life?

I’ve never heard of that term, but cool.

Honestly, not really.

I’m just chugging along doing my thing.

I’m investing my goals every year to max out my RSP, which I have done for the past several years.

Still trying to max out my TFSA.

Just recently opened up a unregistered account for my corporation, so I can invest through that.

Probably should have done that a couple years ago, but I was just, you know, the past couple years kind of made me a bit freaked out, and I just want to make sure I had enough cash inside my corporation to pay myself.

So did that.

But yeah, me and my husband have kind of reached a lot of our goals.

We bought a house.

We’re going to be in here for 10 years at the minimum, and going to maybe get a dog next fall.

And that’ll be, you know, a different shift in our budget to having those pet costs.

Probably not going to have kids, so that’s something we don’t have to really worry about.

We like to travel, so try to go on a trip at least once per year.

Yeah, I mean, that’s like, honestly, I think largely because I’ve just been so focused on the big project of this book, I really haven’t thought about what’s next, or like, what’s the next, but I just don’t have the capacity.

So we’re just kind of doing our thing, sticking with our budget, you know, I still budget, track my spending and net worth every single month, make sure to try to max out my investment accounts.

You know, don’t really care about my mortgage, honestly, I’m not in a big rush to pay that thing off, because I don’t know if we’re going to like pay this house off, why not?

Like, we’re living here, we’re paying the mortgage.

But I know for a fact, we’re not going to retire in this house.

So, you know, very well, we may just, you know, live here for 15, 20 years, I don’t know, and then sell it and then, you know, downsize again, who knows.

But yeah, so that’s what’s going on.

But thanks, thanks for asking.

Which credit cards do you use?

Yeah, that’s something I’ve never shared, because again, just because I have certain products does not mean that they were a good fit for you.

I just want to preface that.

The ones that I have, let’s see, I’ve got the Tangerine MasterCard.

Don’t really use it anymore, but it was a great no-fee card for a while, but I don’t really use it.

I’ve got this TD Aeroplan one.

I can’t remember which one it is.

I probably should have brought out my wallet, but I’m downstairs and I’m not going upstairs.

That’s getting me some aeroplane points, trying to rack those up so we can go on a trip.

And I’ve got, I think those were the only personal cards.

I’ve got a BMO MasterCard that’s like a no-fee thing that I’ve had since high school or not high school, like university.

I put one expense on it a year so I can keep that credit history, but don’t really use it.

And then I have a Scotiabank Infinite Passport something, one for my corporation, because it has no foreign transaction fees.

But then I also recently got a Business Gold Amex for my business, too, because I realized I was trying to pay for this one thing and my credit card was not working.

I don’t know, there was nothing wrong with my credit card, but it just was not going through.

And it freaked me out by like, I need a second credit card for my business as a backup.

So that’s what I got.

And I like the Amex just because I can also convert those Amex rewards into other things, but I’m probably just going to convert them into Aeroplan points.

So that’s what I’ve got in my wallet.

Yeah, nothing crazy exciting.

But that’s what I’m using these days.

Oh, I also have a WestJet RBC card that me and my husband use together.

Using it for years is great.

We just do that because we fly WestJet to Vancouver twice a year.

And so we get that kind of companion voucher that saves us hundreds of dollars every year.

So we’ve been using that for a number of years too.

So that’s what I’ve got in my wallet.

Next, give us some tips for your favorite things to do in British Columbia when you’re there.

I feel so disconnected to Vancouver because I haven’t lived there.

In over a decade.

And so whenever we go there, I’m like, oh, this is new, this is new.

So, you know, but whenever I am there, I do like to do activities.

So we did, let’s see, last summer, we did some kayaking, which was wonderful.

Love going to the pubs in Port Moody, whatever that row is called.

I feel like there’s a name for it, but I can’t remember.

But I love going there.

Honestly, like things that just are nostalgic.

So like going to like the mall or to like the chapters I used to frequent in high school or like Cactus Club, Miss Cactus Club so bad, or Earls, Love Earls.

Yeah, just sometimes it’s just like going back to like honestly, I really just enjoy hanging out in Coquitlam, the suburb I grew up in.

But yeah, sometimes, you know, we like to go to the mountains or what have you, or just like go downtown, go to the ocean, see what’s going on.

But yeah, I don’t really, I don’t know what’s going on.

I don’t know what the cool things are to do in BC anymore.

I kind of ask, you know, my friends who were there, what are the cool places to go?

And then find out there’s totally new places that are, you know, new to me.

Next, where do you want to travel next?


Well, me and my husband have been talking about going to Italy for, since 2020.

Like before COVID, we were weeks away from booking flights to Italy and going on this trip.

And then obviously that didn’t happen.

And now it’s 2024.

It’s not going to happen this year.

I don’t know if it’s going to happen next year.

I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but I do have a guidebook.

So that’s a start.

We might go to Nashville, I don’t know, this year.

But we did go to Mexico at the beginning of this year, so that was really nice.

But it’s one of those things where I thought becoming self-employed with, along with my husband, I’m like, oh my gosh, we’re both in charge of our schedules.

This is going to give us so much flexibility and time.

No, no, that’s not true.

We’re busy.

And it is actually hard.

I have a friend who lives in Hawaii with her family.

And sometimes if they’re going on a trip and their place is going to be empty, she’ll text me, like, hey, did you want to stay at her place in Hawaii?

And she’s like, because you don’t have kids and you’re self-employed and you’re flexible.

I’m like, no, I wish I could be that person.

It’s like, for sure I’ll drop everything.

I can’t.

And I can’t just work from anywhere, honestly, because depending on what I need to do, I have to make an Instagram reel for a tax-related brand.

I kind of need to be in my studio.

I can’t just be in a random house in Hawaii.

It just would be like, what are you doing?

So yeah, that’s my long rant about how I want to travel more and feel very limited at this moment.

But maybe 2025, somewhere 2025, maybe that’ll be the time to go to Italy.

We’ll see, we’ll see.

Let’s see, two more questions.

How important is passion in finding the best career for yourself?

You know what?

I’d highly recommend checking out, and I’m just going to bring it up right now, because I get questions like this all the time.

Here’s the thing.

I think passion is important if it is important to you.

I love what I do.

I absolutely love my job.

I don’t know if most people realize that even though I have my own schedule sort of, I work long hours.

But also, it’s a weird, it’s like, it’s not condensed.

I’m not like working 12 hours straight a day, but I’ll like get up at 9 a.m.

which is luxurious, and then slowly start my, you know, work day from bed, from my laptop, and then sometimes takes, you know, I’ll take a break, I’ll go to the grocery store, whatever.

But sometimes I’m working till 8 or 9 or 10 in the evening, depending on what’s going on that day.

So even though I love what I do, I know most people are like, I do not want that life.

That sounds awful.

That sounds, I’d rather have my 9 to 5.

And then after that, just live my life and do whatever I want.

Like I think of my older sister, she’s got a 9 to 5, she works really hard at it.

But then once she’s done work, she’s done, and she can live her life and do whatever with her family, and she’s so happy for it.

And she also likes her job.

And you can also find a job that you like that is not entrepreneurship, let me tell you.

But the episode I want to tell you about, if you haven’t listened to it, is episode 383, just from past November, with Simone Stahlsdorf.

He wrote the book The Good Enough Job, which I cannot stop recommending.

It is about reclaiming life from work, just about, hey, we keep on getting this messaging everywhere.

That’s like you have to, you’ve got to have your passion, find your passion.

But why does your passion have to be your job?

It doesn’t necessarily, right?

And I think it’s actually important, even for me, I had to rediscover.

I am passionate about my job, but I can’t make it my everything.

So I’ve had to find things outside of my job that fulfill me and give me purpose and identity.

So I think that’s also just really important.

Just don’t put all your eggs in like, oh, I have to find my passion for your career.

You don’t necessarily have to.

As long as you can find a job where you like the people, you like the work, and you feel like, oh, I’m contributing something, great.

And then you can put your passion in another area of your life.

It doesn’t have to be your career.

So that’s my two cents on that.

And my last question is, how did you get chosen to write a book about finances in the first place?

What’s the process been like working with an editor?

What’s just your experience been like?

Okay, so wasn’t chosen, really.

And I’m sure I’ve shared this on a past episode, but how the whole thing started working was back in 2019.

I created a book proposal, shopped it around to a couple book agents, literary agents, and got a bunch of rejections, because they’re like, who the hell are you?

You’re not famous.

We’re not going to represent you.

There’s other more popular people out there.

I’m like, cool, cool, cool.


So, tabled that, and then the world shut down in 2020.

And then I kind of just thought maybe it’s just not in the cards for me.

I got my current agent, who is my talent agent, back in September 2021.

And then in 2022, that’s when we started having earlier, or even maybe, yeah, maybe it’s 2022, we started having conversations about like, what are your goals?

What are your long-term career goals?

And I said, one of my big dreams is to have a book.

I would love for that to be, that’s a bucket list thing.

I would love that.

And so with that, we started having those conversations.

Then I did have a publisher, a smaller publisher reach out, asking if I want to write a book.

Specific content, though, it wasn’t something I really was passionate about, but regardless, I created a book proposal.

And then we thought, hey, maybe, this is a pretty good proposal.

Maybe we should shop it around to some other publishers, which we did.

And then I got a meeting with HarperCollins Canada.

We talked about your proposal.

They wanted something a little bit different.

And I’m like, that’s totally cool.

I can do whatever the heck you want.

And then I redid the proposal to be the book that I wrote.

And it is so much better than the original book I had in mind.

Oh, my gosh, this is so much.

This is such a better book than what I would have written if they’d gone with that first proposal.

Thank God they rejected it.

And so, yeah, it was a lot of work shopping around, rejection.

And then, yeah, all of 2023, wrote the book.

Now we’re in 2024 in the editing stage.

Actually, the kind of copy editing stage.

Now we’re in the nitty gritty of really annoying crap of this word or that word or change all of your citations to Chicago style instead of MLA.

That’s fun.

That’s something I wish I knew in advance.

Anyways, so that’s what we’re doing.

And then I’ll find out more about what does this mean to market and sell.

That’s my biggest anxiety is no one will buy it.

No one will care because I think it’s such a good book.

I really do.

I think it’s really important.

But I’m also really excited to talk about it and to do a few events.

And the dream is I’m going to manifest this now.

Not that I hate.

I hate like the idea of like manifestation with just people like putting it into the air, but I’m just going to do it because sometimes if you put that energy and that thought out into the universe and you work towards it, don’t just think it’s going to happen, but you’ll work towards it, it’ll happen.

So big dream of mine is to become a national bestseller and get on the Toronto Star bestseller list or something like that.

So that would be the dream.

We’ll see what happens.

And if it doesn’t happen, that’s okay.

It’s still a really huge accomplishment to have written a book in the first place.

So yeah, so that’s how that all happened.

And so yeah, it’ll be out sometime in January.

I will let you know on the podcast, on social media, my newsletter, all that kind of stuff when I have more information.

But this is literally all I can tell you right now.

Besides, I did have, I did, I think last episode I said, oh, we’re still working on a book title.

I’ve got a book title.

And I’m happy about it.

It’s growing on me.

I like it.

I think I like it.

I think I like it a lot, actually.

I think it’s gonna be really cool.

So that’s what’s going on.

So I’ve taken up so much of your time.

If you listen to the whole thing, you’re a rock star and amazing.

And thank you so much.

Again, just reminding you of a few things about what’s going on with me besides the book.

So I have my investing course, Wealth Building Blueprint for Canadians.

You can find more information about it at

I also have some budget spreadsheets, which I’m also updating.

So you can buy it now.

You can buy it later.

You’re gonna get the updated version anyway.

But is where you can find information about that.

And also just to remind you, I’m on Instagram.

The podcast is at More Money Podcast, but also me at Jessica I.


And I’m on YouTube. is where it’ll direct you.

And what the hell else am I doing?

Maybe that’s it.

I don’t know.

I feel like it’s probably a lot.

Some people were like, I don’t know how you all do it.

I’m like, really?

Because I feel like I’m never doing enough.

I had a get together with some other financial content creators recently, and that’s what we talked about.

We’re like, why does it feel like no matter we do, it’s never good enough, it’s never enough, I’m missing this, I’m forgetting that.

That’s how I feel.

So thank you for thinking that.

Oh, I don’t know how you do it all.

I’m never meeting the quota.

But that’s just life.

That’s just life, isn’t it?

So with that, to tell you who is going to be on the show next week, super freaking excited.

I’ve got Brian Preston on the show.

He’s from The Money Guys Show.

Absolutely love his YouTube channel, his podcast.

He has a book coming out.

Going to give it away.

Also, reminder, make sure to enter to win any of the books that I’m giving away this podcast season,

But that is what you can look forward to next week.

And as always, a big thank you to my podcast team.

Video edit is usually done by Jessi Carrara, but this is just an audio only episode.

But production is always done by

Make sure to check them out.

Thank you so much for listening to this episode.

I’m going to have a good old glass of wine or something.

This was a lot.

Have a good rest of your week, and I’m going to see you back here next Wednesday for a fresh new episode of the More Money Podcast.

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