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A protester dressed as a grim reaper leads a march in support of striking members of the United Steelworkers local 6500 and supporters in Sudbury, Ont., to mark the sixth month of their strike against Vale Inco. About 3,200 union members have been on strike since July 13.

Gino Donato/The Canadian Press

As Benjamin Franklin famously said: "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

Well, at least he got the first part right. Death may be inevitable, but if you live in Canada and have money to invest, there's plenty you can do to minimize or eliminate taxes. That's a good thing, because taxes are one of your biggest enemies as an investor.

Most people are familiar with registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs), which are one of the most popular tax-savings vehicles in Canada. But there's a new kid in town, the tax-free savings account (TFSA), which has some unique advantages. Then there's the registered education savings plan (RESP), which is an ideal way for parents to save for their children's education.

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When your government goes out of its way to save you money - in the case of RESPs, it actually gives you money - you would be a fool to turn it down. Using these programs effectively, however, takes some planning.

Read the entire article:



More about RESPs:

  • Balancing RESPs, RRSPs and TFSAs
  • Having kids? Pull out the wallet and get set to invest
  • Put a few RESP dollars under the tree
  • Saving for junior's higher education?
  • Why RESPs are essential
  • Baby goes to university for $137,013




Investor Education: TFSAs

  • TFSA or RRSP: How to choose?
  • Careful, that TFSA can be such a tease
  • Note to Flaherty: TFSAs are good but they can be so much better
  • Using a TFSA can help get retirement plans on track
  • The right way to use a Tax Free Savings Account
  • Learning from TFSA's rule book




Learn more about investing from John Heinzl The 2010 Investor Education series for beginner investors:

  • Part 1: Want to invest? Learn to save first
  • Part 2: Mutual funds: A good place to start
  • Part 3: Why ETFs are booming
  • Part 4: Sleeping well with GICs
  • Part 5: Why buy and hold is (still) the best approach
  • Part 6: Death, yes. Taxes? Not necessarily.

The 2010 Investor Education series for advanced investors:

Gail Bebee's weekly mentoring for our investor education contest winner:



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