Know your TFSA contribution limit

For Canadian investors and savers, it’s always some of the best news to come each year: the annual increase in the contribution limit for Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA). And for 2019 the TFSA contribution limit was increased from $5,500 to $6,000.

The actual TFSA yearly limit was set at $5,000 back in 2009 when the investment account was first created but is indexed to inflation each year and rounded to the nearest $500 to simplify things for investors. The exception was 2015 when the TFSA limit was hiked up to $10,000 for that one year.

This current limit means someone who has never contributed to a TFSA and was old enough to have one since its inception will have a cumulative contribution room of $63,500 as of Jan. 1, 2019.

TFSA contribution limit – 2009 to 2019

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Year TFSA Annual Limit TFSA Cumulative Limit
2009 $5,000 $5,000
2010 $5,000 $10,000
2011 $5,000 $15,000
2012 $5,000 $20,000
2013 $5,500 $25,500
2014 $5,500 $31,000
2015 $10,000 $41,000
2016 $5,500 $46,500
2017 $5,500 $52,000
2018 $5,500 $57,500
2019 $6,000 $63,500

Investing ideas for your TFSA

Stock picking

Herman VanGenderen has more than $100,000 in his TFSA. He grew his money by focusing on Canadian and foreign stocks, diversification and dividends. Here’s what you can learn from his near-perfect TFSA investing strategy. Or you can buy during depressed markets like this investor (he has nearly 40% of his investments in BP stock), whose portfolio experts commend for having a clearly-defined approach.

Simple, ETF portfolio 

Patti has more than $57,000 spread out across 19 holdings. Experts give her a simple, two-ETF solution to make sure she’s well-diversified and making bank in the long term. Here’s another example of someone who’s just starting out with TFSAs, looking for a simple, no-fuss approach to start building wealth in the account. Or, if you’re more comfortable with risk, you could go the route of this 31-year-old Toronto police officer, who focuses on aggressive, equity index funds.

Out of the box (and not recommended)

There are some strategies that work for investors—but you shouldn’t necessarily try to recreate. For instance, this man suggests buying stocks and holding on to them forever and ever, while experts worry that he’s not diversifying enough. And this investor transfers Canadian dividend stocks “in-kind” to and from his unregistered account annually, a strategy that seems to work but doesn’t hold up upon closer inspection.


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