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  • Brooklyn Scott

Investing as Gardening: How does your garden grow?

Today on the blog, let’s explore the topic of investing through the analogy of growing a garden, shall we?

Selecting a plot – with whom do you wish to invest your money?

Finding an optimal growing location (sun/shade/arid/wet) is similar to deciding where to go for financial advice.

You will need someone who can help you set goals, build a plan, choose suitable investments, track your progress and adjust your plan, when needed.

Choosing what to grow – selecting investments.

In Manitoba, you probably won't have very much luck growing a grapefruit tree; figuring out what type of plants you should grow may require some research.

Your Financial Advisor can help you choose what type investments are best suited to you as an individual, or as a family. Your Advisor will want to determine your objectives, your age, income and net worth, tolerance for risk, investment knowledge and experience.

Maintenance – monitoring your investments over time.

If you abandon your garden and neglect to weed and water you will definitely not obtain the yield you are hoping for.

Your financial situation may change throughout the course of your life, it is your Advisor’s responsibility to monitor your investments, suggest changes, and help you make the best decisions possible in regards to your money.

If you choose to ignore your financial situation believing it will simply take care of itself you may be disappointed in the end.

Risk – the possibility of loss.

Some years you may grow a bumper crop and have more zucchini than you know what to do with. Other years your garden may be unexpectedly hit by a frost, hail, or pest.

Your financial Advisor’s role is to help you navigate these ups and downs and mitigate risk. They can explain to you what is happening in the markets and help you to stay the course.

Reward – the benefits received.

If you never plant the seeds in the first place, you will never harvest the produce. By researching your plot (choosing an Advisor), selecting what to grow (investing), and dedicating time to weed and water (review your financial situation from time to time) you will reap the benefit of what you have sown.

What begins as only a few tiny seeds, will grow and mature, and when harvest time approaches you will receive the benefits of your labor.

Food for thought

Saving for your future takes time, discipline and patience but the reward is well worth it. Although your initial contributions may appear as though they take forever to grow, the time to start is now.

In this example Mary is 30 years old, has never made any contributions to her TFSA and has decided to begin investing just $150 bi-weekly in a TFSA. At a 6% rate of return, the growth of her money should look something like this:

Illustration created using the TFSA Calculator from

Year 1: $4,021 – Meh…that doesn’t seem like a whole lot, it isn’t even enough to purchase a car.

Year 5: $22,669 – Wow, that’s accumulated quite a bit, not astounding, but pretty good for only 5 years.

Year 10: $53,006 – Holy cow! Mary has earned $5,455 in interest, that’s more than one whole year of contributions!

Year 15: $93,604 – Not too shabby!

Year 20: $147,933 – She has built a decent little nest egg, tucking just a little bit away every paycheck.

Year 25: $220,637 – Only 5 years away from retirement and Mary has now earned $57,143 in interest!

Year 30: $317,932 – Wow, she’s now accumulated $98,463 in interest!

It’s fascinating to see that in the first five years Mary only earns about $1,161 total in interest and in the last five years a whopping $41,320. If, Mary decides to put off retirement for five more years (or had just started her contributions five years earlier) the total amount in her TFSA would total $448,134!!! All of the interest (income) earned within a Tax-Free-Savings-Account is hers, tax-free. What other income can you currently earn which you do not pay taxes on? (Answer: none) that is the awesome thing about TFSAs.

The thing about investing is that it takes time, the sooner you start, the better. Setting up an automatic withdrawal from your paycheck is a quick and (almost) painless way to get going.

If you would like to talk to me about investing in your future – or have some gardening tips you can pass along, I’d love to chat. Call, email or text me today!

Brooklyn Scott is a Financial Advisor/Mutual Funds Representative for Lewis & Jones Group/Desjardins Financial Group/Desjardins Financial Security Investments Inc. in Killarney, Manitoba.

Mutual funds are distributed through Desjardins Financial Security Investments Inc. For insurance products, Desjardins Financial Security Investments Inc. acts as a national insurance brokerage agency.

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