May 22, 2008, 6:00 am

Answer to a Reader’s question

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Miscellaneous,Personal Finance,Smith Manoeuvre
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Yesterday, I had a question on my latest Smith Manoeuvre Update. Since it was a good situation, I decided to write a full post about Jeff’s question. Here’s what he wrote:

“Hi, I’ve read with great interest your Smith Maneuver progress, especially since I was thinking of doing it when my current mortgage comes due with an All-in-One as well. However, I’m still confused about how it works in this situation (with made up numbers). Perhaps you could explain it to me? Say a home is valued at $400K, so the bank would give an All-In-One (Ai1) up to $300K. Now, assume the property has a current mortgage of $200K. Then I could split the Ai1 into a $200K mortgage portion and an immediate $100K investment LOC. Would I then have to pay my regular mortgage payment plus the interest on my investment LOC each month? I understand that I could “capitalize the interest” but, doesn’t that make some of the LOC not invested in investments, hence, not being eligible for the tax deduction? Sorry for the question if you’ve answered it before! Best of luck to you in your endeavours”.

Hello Jeff,

In your example, you will have 2 accounts linked to your property:

#1 200k regular mortgage (which you will pay capital + interest payment)

#2 100k HELOC (all-in-one) (which you have to pay at least the interest every month)

If you withdraw the 100K from your all-in-one and invest it, you will have to pay the interest on the 100K (so roughly $4,750 if prime rate doesn’t change). That makes payment of almost $400 every month.

In addition to this $400, you still have your mortgage to pay. At 4.25% (let’s say that you selected a variable rate as well and you got Prime – 0.50) over 25 years, that makes payment of $1,079 a month.

In total, you will have to pay at least $1,479 per month to have #1 a 200k mortgage + #2 the all-in-one account fully invested. Please keep in mind that the $4,750 in interest paid on your all-in-one is fully tax deductible.

A few suggestions

#1 If you have enough room in your budget, I would definitely go with a variable rate on the 200K mortgage. You can easily get Prime – 0.50% with such amount (especially that you will be doing a 100K HELOC at the same time!).

#2 If you like to have fixed payment in order to follow your budget, you can always go for the variable rate but with a fixed payment. The bank will calculate a fixed payment at the 5 years rate (around 7%) and the extra money will be applied as a capital payment.

#3 An investment of 100K is big enough to have access to great financial products. I strongly suggest that you deal with a Financial Planner or a recommended broker. They will be able to guide you as of which investment products are the best in your situation. Keep in mind that if you really want to benefit from this leverage strategy, you need to show an aggressive investment profile and will occur several fluctuations.

#4 If you want your mortgage to fully become tax deductible, I suggest you seek for a product that enables the HELOC to increase as you are doing your mortgage payment. I know for a fact that BMO and National Bank are offering this product. As for the other institutions, you will have to ask them.

#5 You are technically not allowed to capitalize the interest. If you leave a few thousand in your line of credit for this goal, the bank system will detect that you are not paying the interest as no new money is going into the account. Unless you find a product that gives you the opportunity, I strongly suggest that you make your interest payment.

#6 Banks are now going at 80% of a property value for a HELOC without charging any premium. Therefore, you can have a 320K mortgage split 200K mtg and 120K line of credit.

#7 If you have any other questions about the SM or any other leverage strategies, don’t hesitate to send me an email at thefinancialblogger @


If anyone has any other ideas, please feel free to comment!

Best of luck with your investments!!!

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