Spring Cleaning Your Finances 101

April 10, 2024

Your financial spring cleaning should include simple reviews of spending activities and more strategic discussions about tax and investment planning.
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Death & Taxes: The Role of an Executor

April 3, 2024

Being an executor isn’t an easy job. Firstly, it’s a title only given in the event of a death. The death of someone who trusted you to handle their affairs when they can’t. Second, you must deal with various professionals - funeral directors, lawyers, accountants, banks, insurance companies, wealth advisors, etc.
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Income Tax Deadline Checklist

March 13, 2024

No sooner have you navigated the RRSP contribution deadline, than another key date looms into view – your annual income tax return. If only the world was so keen to remind you to watch movies or take a vacation!
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Investing 101: Stocks

February 26, 2024

Websites, magazines, podcasts, and entire television channels are dedicated to them – stocks (also called shares or equities). I cannot write all there is to know about stocks in a short article but let’s start with the basics.
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Couples and Money – A Beautiful Partnership

February 20, 2024

According to The Beatles, money can’t buy you love but as many people will attest, money can certainly destroy. Paul McCartney was always the Fab Four’s hopeless romantic.
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The Value of Advice: Finding the Active-Passive Balance

February 9, 2024

For the most important aspects of your life, there are typically half a dozen things that matter. Keeping healthy means daily exercise, eating well, a good night’s sleep, finding me time, positive personal relationships, and moderated drinking. Investing and accumulating wealth is no different, there are only a few things that really matter...
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Financial Planning for Children

February 5, 2024

Children present unique financial planning opportunities. Some strategies are widely known, like RESPs … but others are not. Therefore, let’s look at the options when planning for your little one(s).
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Easing Into Retirement – Time to Adjust Your Investment Playbook

January 22, 2024

Most people probably don’t think about retirement when they are working and busy with life. And then one day there is a trigger. Some life event, like a spouse who is nearing full pension eligibility, the last child leaving the family home, or a 30th work anniversary, that starts the process of considering retirement.
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How to Beat Blue Monday (or the January Money Hangover)

January 12, 2024

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The Current State of Alts

January 8, 2024

If you look back in history there has always been some international crisis and markets push through. Regarding interest rates, the real story was the near zero rates that persisted too long, today rates are simply normalized.
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Inflation and Its Impact on Your Portfolio

January 3, 2024

I’ve heard more about inflation in the last year than in the previous 10. It’s affecting everyone's cashflows but what about investment portfolios? Let’s dig in and talk about what inflation is, how it’s calculated and how it impacts your investment portfolio.
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Accumulation for Show, Decumulation for Dough

December 13, 2023

Even those who despise golf will likely have heard the saying, “driver for show, putter for dough.” The premise: that smacking the ball 300 yards looks great but the ability to get it in the hole is what determines success.
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Retirement Planning: Preparing to Pay Yourself

November 30, 2023

You've toiled, prioritized, and saved. Now, you’re counting down the days to retirement and need to start preparing for the change. How do you ensure a smooth transition from getting a paycheque to paying yourself?
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Invest or Tackle Debt with New Money?

November 17, 2023

You have just come into some new money from the sale of a business, an inheritance or just a big commission check. Regardless of the scenario, new money is the seed of your future, and you find yourself pondering what financial field to plant it in. Given today’s wonky capital markets, rising interest rates and recession predictions, do you go risk-off and pay down debt or lean into lower stock and bond prices?
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What to Do: Fraud & Scammers

October 30, 2023

Scams get more sophisticated every year. According to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, there were 92,078 reported cases in 2022 – equaling $293.5 million in losses for both people and businesses.
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Preparing the Next Generation for Wealth

October 27, 2023

It sounds counterintuitive but words rather than numbers are likely to dictate the success of your family’s transfer of wealth. Most people turn to a financial advisor simply for a tax-efficient estate plan to ensure their heirs inherit as much as possible. But what good is that if the next generation are ill-equipped to deal with it, either because the money comes as a surprise or because they’re too entitled to handle such a windfall?
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Can the Federal Government Affect Your Finances?

October 6, 2023

People have a lot to say when it comes to politics. In part because government policies affect people's lives but how can the federal government affect your finances? The truth is, it’s complex but here are some of the more talked-about ways the federal government can affect your cashflow or investments.
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Why the Hype Around Private Investments?

August 14, 2023

You may be hearing more about Private Investments these days and wondering if they are suitable. The first question you may have is why the focus on them now?
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Tax Tactics for the Wealthy

July 25, 2023

Navigating the breaks and rules to your advantage is a legitimate tactic to not only keep more money in your wallet but also fuel your family’s legacy, whether that’s through charitable donations, community work, or simply ensuring the kids’ and grandkids’ futures.
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Keep Calm … and Stay Invested

July 10, 2023

For the average investor, trading stocks is like betting on a horse. You blindly read the guide and put $100 on a name you’ve barely heard of to win. In similar fashion, you might log on to a trading platform and, based solely on an article you read three months earlier, throw money behind a single stock. Doing both with a bit of “play money” is one thing but would you gamble your hard-earned retirement savings on ill-informed bets?
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A Lifetime of Contributions

February 22, 2023

According to Lao Tzu, a wise Chinese philosopher, a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Whatever your inspiration to start investing, whether it is a book, lunch with a friend or an introduction to a financial advisor nothing happens without your first contribution. The contribution plan you choose is a very powerful decision because it sets the course for your investment journey.
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Time Is Your Quiet Investing Partner

June 5, 2023

Time is your greatest investing partner, but its value can be overlooked. Passive and quiet, this partner won’t bang on your door and say it’s time to get started, that part is up to you. But slowly and quietly this partner will start doing some of the investment lifting for you and before you know it your contributions are no longer the most important. Investing is easy once you understand the fundamentals, and using time to your advantage is one of them.
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Recession Outlook: When The Central Bank Stops Being Boring

June 2, 2023

The Bank of Canada’s monetary policy should be boring. Like a hockey or soccer referee, people shouldn’t notice it. If they do, it usually means a contentious decision has been made. Interest-rate policy and inflation figures shouldn’t be the main topic of discussion around an average family dinner table.
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Not All Income Is Equal - Three Categories to Consider in 2023

May 17, 2023

Now is a great time to look at your income investments. Recent interest rate hikes in North America have significantly reduced the prices, making 2023 an interesting entry point. But this is not about market timing or making a quick profit, it’s about taking advantage of structural changes in interest rate policy designed to deal with inflation and to unwind emergency lending rates post pandemic. There are many investments that could fall under the income category, so for simplicity we will define them as investments made with the primary purpose of generating cash flow. Looking at the prevailing conditions in 2023 there are three categories everyone should re-evaluate – bonds, REITs and infrastructure.
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The Taxing Issue of Succession Planning

May 5, 2023

Investors today are dealing with strong macro winds. It is not about the war in Ukraine, earthquakes or the divides in politics - those are all areas of concern to be addressed in other forums - it is about the persistent rise in interest rates. A wise and tenured investment manager was asked what his prediction was on rates and his response was that no one can really predict two things, inflation and interest rate direction. Recall the smart minds at the central banks calling “inflation transitory” not too long ago?
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Rising Rates and the Dilemma of Duration

March 31, 2023

Investors today are dealing with strong macro winds. It is not about the war in Ukraine, earthquakes or the divides in politics - those are all areas of concern to be addressed in other forums - it is about the persistent rise in interest rates. A wise and tenured investment manager was asked what his prediction was on rates and his response was that no one can really predict two things, inflation and interest rate direction. Recall the smart minds at the central banks calling “inflation transitory” not too long ago?
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Time to leave God’s Waiting Room?

March 8, 2023

Florida is often described, uncharitably, as God’s waiting room – a warm no man’s land where seniors go to wile away their remaining years. The view is that these folk, happily retired, do very little other than sit in a rocking chair and swing the occasional golf club. But conventional retirement, including this snowbird stereotype, is increasingly out of step with modern living.
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Tax Season: Bucking The Trend

February 27, 2023

Even Albert Einstein, a man with a brain capable of solving the most complex physics equations, stumbled when it came to taxes. “The hardest thing in the world to understand,” he said, “is the income tax.” These days, tax advice is everywhere. TV ‘experts’, newspaper columnists and social media influencers will dispense tips on how to keep more of your money, but these brush strokes, at best, aren’t suitable for everyone and, at worst, perpetrate damaging misconceptions about certain benefits and how to use them.
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2023: Building on a better base for investors

February 9, 2023

Investing money at its most basic is just delayed consumption. Putting $250 away versus buying another pair of shoes simply means you can buy those shoes at some point in the future. It makes sense then that the baseline goal of investing is to protect the purchasing power of your money. The good news is that by paying basic attention to asset allocation, tax rules, costs and generally not overmanaging, the goal of staying ahead of inflation is achievable!
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From Fantasy to Fundamentals: The Appeal of Infrastructure in 2023

January 19, 2023

Do you remember the Fire Phone, or the Coolest Cooler? What about the Microsoft Kin or Juicero? No, well you’re probably not alone.
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Private Credit Versus Investment Grade Bonds

December 21, 2022

Most investment portfolios have three basic components. Cash that has option value for future buys, equity for growth that hopefully exceeds inflation, and income that generates cash flow. Normally, our income investments are stable - we get some capital appreciation with predictable cash distributions. That was the case, until 2022!
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Discover your “Why” – The Intangible Benefits of Investing

October 8, 2022

So much of the investment industry is focused on the “how” - how to get enhanced returns, how to build a portfolio, how to save tax, or how to capture the “next big thing”. Very few companies emphasize the “Why” but given the increased commoditization of investment products and the pressure on many advisors to sell proprietary funds, it’s never been so important for individual investors to find their “Why”.
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Navigating Emotional Real Estate Decisions

November 9, 2022

Our House, the gentle Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young classic - written, incidentally, by Graham Nash - strikes an emotional beat familiar to many homeowners or wannabe homeowners. The song describes an everyday scene yet it’s beloved by millions because, as the cliché goes, home is where the heart is. It’s also why decisions around selling or buying real estate, usually the biggest asset a person will own, go far beyond a financial transaction.
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Keep Calm and Plan for Volatility

October 27, 2022

Keeping your nerve when you see minus signs on your portfolio statement is not easy. Throw in a global pandemic, the rising cost of living, interest rate hikes, and a news cycle of war and political division, and it’s little wonder many investors want to exit the market and hunker down until the good times return.
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Investment Terms: Understanding the Lingo

October 11, 2022

Bull versus bear? Mutual fund versus ETF? How do they work out the inflation rate? How many times have your eyes skimmed cluelessly over an article or nodded in meetings at investment terms that are familiar but mean nothing to you?
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Dangers of Information Overload

September 7, 2022

Decades into the information age, have we hit peak screens? Everywhere you look, people are offering advice. Investing “tips”, stock “insights”, and promises of “financial security” abound across social media and TV.
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Beyond Coldplay: how emerging markets enhance your investment palette

August 17, 2022

There’s a reason the likes of Coldplay and U2 sell millions of albums - people know what they’re getting. Whether it’s The Edge’s chiming guitar or Chris Martin’s lovelorn warbling, familiarity is comforting. Less widely known, and arguably more interesting bands, like Sparks for example, who switch up genres, often endure more sporadic profits.
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Inflation … What does it mean?

July 21, 2022

Filling up your gas tank in recent months is like seeing the bill for your toddler’s birthday party – “how much?” For a smooth family life, however, both must be paid.
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Six Investment Myths Busted

July 7, 2022

Gordon Gekko hasn’t done the investment industry’s reputation any favours. Michael Douglas’ unscrupulous movie character quickly became shorthand for all that is wrong with Wall Street and financial markets with his infamous ‘greed is good’ speech. But you don’t have to look too far away from the big screen to see real-life examples of people whose actions have perpetuated the link between the wealth industry, untrustworthy characters and get-rich-quick trades.
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Wealth Transfer: Preparing the Next Generation

June 23, 2022

Intergenerational wealth, on our TV screens at least, conjures images of Succession’s Logan Roy dismissing one of his weasel kids with a sneer and expletive. Roy, the fearsome patriarch, who built his business from nothing, watches in disgust as the heirs to his throne – who do no work of any note - connive and backstab in an effort to win the keys to more money and power.
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An Alternative View

May 26, 2022

For years, you’ve dined on meat and potatoes; sturdy fare that’s given you the strength and endurance you’ve needed. Now, however, while the prime cuts of meat still deliver, the potatoes are drying out – less quantity, quality and nourishment. To get the sustenance you need, you’ve had to look elsewhere – to vegetables, fish … heck, you’ve even contemplated fast food. The taste rewards seem endless, but the risks of the unknown are daunting.
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Managing money in a rising interest-rate environment

March 31, 2022

Canada’s benchmark interest rate hit an all-time high of 16% in 1991 – and here investors are in 2022, freaking out over projections it’ll touch 1% by June. But there’s a reason for the current unease. Despite rate increases being forecast the minute governments and central banks opened the floodgates on trillions of dollars of stimulus, things have now “got real”.
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Should I stay, or should I go?

March 10, 2022

Between the pandemic, inflation, and geopolitical tensions, market uncertainty reigns right now. You might have heard some disturbing words, like shares “plunging”, prices “soaring”, and investment “volatility”. Many people, therefore, are asking themselves: should I take money out of the market and get back in when skies are clearer?
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Investing in China: the state of play

February 24, 2022

As Canadians locked their doors to avoid the freezing temperatures this winter, many settled back and watched the action unfold in China. But, at times, it was difficult to tell the bigger story. Was it which athletes made the podium, how many times Xi Jinping cozied up to Vladimir Putin, or was it the growing number of reports explaining the slowing Chinese economy? 
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RRSP strategies – and how they can enhance a retirement savings plan

February 11, 2022

It’s that time of year again. The Christmas tree has come down, you’ve dived into your new year’s resolutions and … now it’s RRSP time.
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The benefits of working with an independent Portfolio Manager

January 19, 2022

Most Canadians will have weighed up the advantages of using an advisor at some point in their lives. But with more and more options open to the DIY investor, the question of whether to use a professional is one many people don’t fully understand.
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Revisiting Your Financial Plan

October 11, 2021

The hits keep coming! With the recently concluded Federal election essentially changing nothing in Ottawa, there is little doubt that annual spending deficits will probably continue to reach new levels. Along with this renewed deficit spending Canadians can expect to see higher consumer prices as various economic disruptions continue to impact Canada and other nations around the globe.
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Moving Your Employer Pension Between Jobs

October 11, 2021

As the pandemic slowly recedes, work-life balance trends emerge. A recent Angus Reid survey revealed that 19% of Canadians would quit or look for a new job if required to return to the office. 25% of survey participants stated they would look for new employment after returning to office.
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Using A Trust to Avoid Probate Fees

October 11, 2021

When Simon's father passed away two years ago, he didn't think much about how his estate would be handled. His mother had died five years before, and his dad's will was clear about how his assets would be divided. Then came probate, a process to confirm the validity of his will. Not only did unexpected fees come out of his dad's estate, it took almost a year to settle and distribute it.
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