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Top sources of passive income for Canadians looking to earn more

Personal finance contributor Christopher Liew explores some of the top sources of passive income in Canada, for those looking to increase their income streams. (Pexels / Anna Nekrashevich) Personal finance contributor Christopher Liew explores some of the top sources of passive income in Canada, for those looking to increase their income streams. (Pexels / Anna Nekrashevich)

If you're looking to elevate your lifestyle, enjoy greater financial freedom, and have a more flexible work-life balance, creating passive sources of income can be the answer you’re looking for.

One of the ways to create wealth is to have several income sources. Sixty-five per cent of millionaires have at least three streams of income, according to author and accountant Tom Corley.

Passive income is a type of earnings that requires minimal ongoing effort to maintain. It’s often seen as a way to achieve financial freedom, as it can provide a steady stream of revenue without the need for constant work or direct involvement.

However, building passive income streams typically requires an initial investment of time, money, or both to establish and grow the source of earnings.

Let’s explore some of the top sources of passive income in Canada. Here are some valuable insights and tips to help you design a passive income strategy you can start today.


When you invest in dividend stocks, you buy shares in companies that pay out part of their earnings to shareholders like you. Pick companies with a strong history of paying decent dividends. Dividends are usually paid quarterly, giving you a nice, steady cash flow.


REITs let you invest in income-producing properties without actually owning or managing them. They make money through rent and property appreciation and pay out dividends monthly.

A good way to research dividend stocks and REITs is by using stock screeners. You can filter the stocks based on specific criteria, such as dividend yield, dividend growth rate, market capitalization and payout ratio. Examples of stock screeners include Finviz and Yahoo Finance. Stock screeners usually have news sections about the stock so you can stay current with it.


These investments, like government or corporate bonds and Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), pay you regular interest and return your principal when they mature. By building a diverse portfolio, you'll get a predictable passive income with less risk.


When you buy rental properties, you're making money by renting them to tenants. You'll get a steady stream of passive income through rent, and your property may even grow in value. You can choose to manage everything yourself or hire a property management company to take care of it.


This category includes ventures like e-commerce stores and affiliate marketing websites. Once you've set up your online business, you can earn passive income through sales, ads, or commissions. It takes some effort to start, but the earning potential and flexibility can be worth it.


These accounts, offered by banks and credit unions, pay you higher interest rates than regular savings accounts. Just deposit your money and watch your passive income grow through interest earnings while keeping your funds accessible and low-risk.


When you create something like a book, music, software, or patent and then license it to others, you'll earn royalties. These are payments made each time your work is used or sold, giving you a nice source of passive income.


When you start a blog, you'll be writing about a topic you love and sharing your knowledge with others. As your blog gains traction, you can monetize it through ads, sponsored content, or affiliate marketing. It will take some time to build an audience, but a successful blog can provide a solid source of passive income. I started a Canadian personal finance blog several years ago that generates passive income for me.


Annuities are financial products from insurance companies that guarantee you a stream of income for a certain period or even for life. You can buy annuities with a lump-sum payment or a series of payments and choose between immediate or deferred options based on your needs.


ETFs are investment funds that hold a mix of stocks, bonds, or other assets. They trade on stock exchanges just like regular stocks. By investing in ETFs, you can easily diversify your portfolio and earn passive income through dividends and potential capital appreciation.


These automated investment platforms use algorithms to build and manage a diversified portfolio for you based on your risk tolerance and financial goals. By investing with a robo-advisor, you'll earn passive income through dividends, interest, and capital appreciation while benefiting from professional portfolio management and low fees.


If you own and operate vending machines, you'll buy or lease machines, stock them with products, and take care of maintenance. As people purchase items from your machines, you'll earn passive income from the sales.


Starting a YouTube channel means creating and sharing videos on a topic you're passionate about. As your channel gains viewers and subscribers, you can monetize it through ads, sponsorships, or even affiliate marketing. It takes time and effort to grow, but a successful YouTube channel can generate a nice stream of passive income. I have a small YouTube channel that is still generating revenue on videos I made years ago.


If you have a talent for photography or videography, you can sell your images or footage on stock photo and video platforms. Each time someone downloads or purchases your work, you'll earn royalties, creating a passive income stream. It may require an initial effort to build your portfolio, but as your collection grows, so does your earning potential.


Passive income is a powerful tool that can truly transform your financial landscape, providing you with the freedom and flexibility to pursue your passions and live life on your terms. By taking advantage of the top sources of passive income in Canada, you'll be well on your way to securing a brighter, more prosperous future.

Remember, the journey to financial independence is a marathon, not a sprint, and it requires dedication, patience, and smart decision-making.

Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder and former financial advisor. He writes personal finance tips for thousands of daily Canadian readers on his Wealth Awesome website. Top Stories

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