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A dumb question about RRSPs …

Can I start to contribute to my 2008 RRSPs right now, even though you can still contribute to 2007 until March 1st? And if so, how do you distinguish whether you’re contributing to 2007 or 2008?

Canadian dollar is now above par!

When I was going to University in the USA, the exchange rate was AWFUL. It was so bad that it didn’t even really matter that I was on a full scholarship, because the price it cost for my plane tickets and spending money ended up costing way more per year than what tuition would have cost me if I had lived at home and gone to the local University.

But that was way back when it was between .60-.70 cents to the dollar. See that chart? I went to University from 2000-02. Right when the dollar was at its lowest.

Now, as I type this, the Canadian dollar is worth more than the American dollar. It’s almost unbelievable to me. My trips to Seattle have become more and more frequent this year than in past years, because it’s not as expensive anymore. When I look at the price of something down there, I know I’m basically paying at par, and I don’t have to tack on an extra 50% onto the total cost.

I’d like to think that perhaps if the Canadian dollar had been stronger when I was in University, I might not have come out with as much debt. But that’s not really an excuse. I knew what the exchange rate was when I was living down there.

Some people I know are starting to buy American cash. Lots of American cash. I’ve briefly thought about doing the same, but I’m wary. I’ve never heard of people doing this before, but maybe it’s because I’ve never known the Canadian dollar to be worth more than the American dollar. Do people do this on a regular basis? I was thinking of buying American money now, in anticipation of future trips to Seattle … because the Canadian dollar is eventually going to go back down, right?

Not quite ready for the stock market yet

Last night at my second job, I got to talking about investing in the stock market with one of my co-workers. He’s really into investing and is quite knowledgeable. He has also dabbled in real estate investing, which I’d like to pick his brain about at a later date.

Anyway, he gave me a list of companies to look at and track for the next month or so. I would like to invest in the stock market, but I know that it takes a lot of time to research and read up on companies, and keep up-to-date on events within the financial world … time that I just don’t have right now! And besides, I really can’t afford to put my money into the stock market anyway. Perhaps I’ll be able to investigate more about this next year, once I have a condo and my work schedule is stable. Then I can really look at what kind of time and money I can dedicate to this.

So until then, I’m going to track these 7 companies (and any other companies that are of interest to me) and get familiar with their trading patterns. Then once I’m comfortable with them, I’ll pretend to buy shares … and see how well I do!

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