How To Invest

Pat McKeough has been making investing for beginners simple—and profitable—by helping investors make big gains for more than 25 years. His advice tobeginning investors is the same as it is for all investors: buy high-quality, mostly dividend paying stocks (or ETFs that hold these stocks) and evenly spread your investments over the five main economic sectors (Resources, Manufacturing, Finance, Utilities and Consumer). Pat also believes investors should avoid stocks in the broker/media limelight and focus on those with hidden or little-noticed assets.

In addition, Pat thinks then beginner investors should cultivate two important qualities: a healthy sense of skepticism and patience.

Investors should approach all investments with a healthy sense of skepticism. This can help keep you out of fraudulent stocks that masquerade as high-quality stocks. It will also keep you out of legally operated, but poorly managed, companies that promise more than they can possibly deliver.

If you are a new investor, you should also realize that losing patience can cause you to sell your best choices right before a big rise. All too often, investors buy a promising stock just as it enters a period of price stagnation. Even the best-performing stocks run into these unpredictable phases from time to time. They move mainly sideways in a wide range for months or years before their next big rise begins. (Stock brokers often refer to these stocks as “dead money.”)

If you lack patience, you run a big risk of selling your best choices in the midst of one of these phases, prior to the next big move upward. If you lose patience and sell, you are particularly likely to do so in the low end of the trading range, when stock prices have weakened and confidence in the stock has waned.

best place to invest money

3 suggestions for the best place to invest money

The best place to invest money is different for every investor. However, stocks paying the highest dividends are a big part of a successful portfolio. Other areas of importance include planning for retirement and the overall quality and diversification of your portfolio.

The best place to invest money for dividends

Canadian banks stocks have always been some of the best income-producing securities. Below are 3 tips for using dividends to pick the best Canadian bank stocks.


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  1. Dividends are a sign of investment quality. Some good banks reinvest a major part of their profits instead of paying dividends. But failing banks hardly ever pay dividends. So if you only buy stocks that pay dividends, you’ll automatically stay out of almost all the market’s worst banks.
  1. Dividends can grow. Stock prices rise and fall, so capital losses often follow capital gains, at least temporarily. Interest on a bond or GIC holds steady, at best. But banks like to ratchet their dividends upward—hold them steady in a bad year, raise them in a good one. That also gives you a hedge against inflation.

    For a true measure of stability, focus on banks that have maintained or raised their dividends during economic and stock market downturns. These banks leave themselves enough room to handle periods of earnings volatility. By continually rewarding investors, and retaining enough cash to finance their businesses, they provide an attractive mix of safety, income and growth. Canadian banks stocks are well known for their financial stability in the face of economic downturns.

  2. Look for Canadian bank stocks with consistent dividends. One of the best ways of picking a quality stock is to look for banks that have been paying dividends for at least 5 to 10 years. Dividends are cash outlays that an unsuccessful bank could never produce. A history of dividend payments is one trait that all the best dividend stocks have.

The best place to invest money for your retirement

A Registered Retirement Savings Plans is an option for the best retirement investment. Registered Retirement Savings Plans, or RRSPs, are a form of tax-deferred savings plan. RRSP account contributions are tax deductible, and the investments grow tax-free. When you later begin withdrawing the funds from your RRSP, they are taxed as ordinary income. RRSPs are the best-known and most widely used tax shelters in Canada.

A spousal RRSP is one way to achieve equal retirement income. Suppose you are the higher-income spouse. You can make contributions to a spousal RRSP, and claim the tax deduction. Your contributions to the spousal RRSP will count toward your annual RRSP deduction limits.


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Your spouse can still contribute their full deduction to their own separate RRSP. When the money is withdrawn from the spousal RRSP years later, it is taxed in the hands of your spouse. That’s an advantage if he or she is still in a lower tax bracket.

The best place to invest money should take into account our three-part Successful Investor method

First, invest mainly in well-established companies. When the market goes into a lengthy downturn, these stocks generally keep paying their dividends, and they are among the first to recover when conditions improve.

Second, avoid or downplay stocks in the broker/media limelight. That limelight tends to raise investor expectations to excessive levels. When companies fail to live up to expectations, these stocks can plunge. Remember, when expectations are excessive, occasional failure to live up to them is virtually guaranteed, in the long term if not in the short.

Third, spread your money across most if not all of the five main economic sectors (Manufacturing & Industry; Resources & Commodities; Consumer; Finance; and Utilities). This helps you avoid excess exposure to any one segment of the market that is headed for trouble. This will also dampen your portfolio’s volatility in the long term, without the shrivelling in its potential that you’d get if you invest significantly in bonds yielding little more than 4%.

What is the best place to invest money that you’ve found? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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