The Canadian government and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) took matters in their hands as they announced the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) to help citizens affected by the pandemic. This emergency relief fund began to combat the loss of income due to businesses shutting down and provide Canadians with much-needed money during the crisis.
However, the plan was to provide the CERB money for up to 16 weeks. The CERB was supposed to expire on October 3, 2020. However, Trudeau has recently announced that the CERB will be extended another eight more weeks.
But don’t just rely on the CERB in the future to get by.
Today I want to discuss how you can begin to earn income to support your expenses like CERB during this global health crisis.
The announcement and rollout of CERB money is a confusing affair for many people. There are criteria that Canadians need to meet so they can qualify to receive the benefits. To hasten the distribution, the CRA prioritized approving CERB applications without stringently checking for eligibility.
The government trusted people not to abuse the lax approval process so they can quickly distribute the amount to those who need it the most. However, there have been cases of Canadians abusing the CERB, prompting the CRA to tighten its surveillance of individuals receiving the funds who may not be eligible.
According to recent reports, over 190,000 Canadians have come forth amid fears of repercussions for fraudulently collecting CERB money and returned at least some of the benefits they have received to the CRA.
The whole process has been confusing, and many people receiving CERB money might not know whether they qualify or not. You might want to consider reading up on why the CRA might ask for the $2,000 per month CERB back.
Life after CERB
Provincial governments are beginning to take measures to open up the economy gradually. However, it may take a long time for people to manage to make sustainable income again due to the continuing threat of the virus. While you might hope that the government decides to extend the CERB, it is not likely it can happen.
You can restore your overall income to a more manageable level if you make sound financial decisions. Even if you have a job, it would be better to secure a secondary source of income. You could look for part-time online jobs or another small gig.
You can also consider purchasing income-generating stocks, leverage capital gains, and dividends to bolster your long-term income.
Consider that you have a portfolio of $50,000 of investable money. It has to be money you can tie up in long-term investments without missing it. Invest the capital in a few high-quality stocks. Look for companies that can offer you stable income through capital gains and sustainable dividends.
If you commit to a process of reinvesting your dividends into the portfolio, between the capital appreciation, and dividend reinvestment, you can build up a portfolio substantial enough to support a sizable monthly income.
Assets you choose to build an income-generating portfolio matter a lot. To this end, one such stock that could be excellent is Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB)(NYSE:ENB). ENB is the most significant oil pipeline company in North America. It has natural gas and oil pipelines, natural gas utility operations, and renewable power assets that support its income.
As well, 98% of Enbridge’s income is regulated cash flow that substantially mitigates its risk from volatile commodity prices; 95% of its customers have government or investment-grade credit ratings that further secure the company’s revenue.
While Enbridge carries substantial debt, the company continues to invest in infrastructure that will further boost its earnings.
At writing, the stock is trading for $42.25 per share and offers a dividend yield of 7.67%. Its dividends are safe due to its free cash flow generated by fixed income.
I think ENB can be an ideal stock to begin building an income-producing portfolio.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.
Fool contributor Adam Othman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Enbridge.