The Year Ahead

“History Doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes”
– Mark Twain

The quote above is one of my favourites and is relevant to the recent downward cycle and volatility we have seen in the stock markets.

For the first time since 2011 (some of you since 2008), your 2018 fund statements will be showing a negative return. Negative returns are never pleasant however, they are a normal and necessary occurrence in the investment cycle.

Over the past 30+ years, I have experienced at least 5 down cycles and to paraphrase Mr. Twain, here are some historical “rhymes” that have been constant with your funds:

  1. Negative returns come, on average, about every six years and usually last only one year;
  2. Periods of negative returns were followed by much longer and larger periods of investment growth; and
  3. Even in negative years the 5+ year average return of your funds remained positive.

As expected, media experts who were telling us 6 months ago that the market growth would be going on forever are now full of gloom and doom. They cite tariff wars, political issues, world unrest, etc. – all of which were issues long before this recent downturn and will be with us long after we enter our next growth cycle.

I always encourage my clients to do their own research and go back to previous down cycles in the market and economy (1987, 2000-2003, 2008) to read the news of the day and also to track the growth cycles that followed. It provides a much better perspective than relying on media, experts, friends and colleagues.

I am not saying you have to be thrilled when you read your statements, however, try and remember what got you here and for our newer clients, where your fund will likely be trending.

For many of you, the Guaranteed Income options attached to your accounts will continue to grow and/or produce a lifetime income and are not affected by current or future market volatility.

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For those of you interested in finding out about these guaranteed growth and income option, contact us at 1-800-665-7707 or email

Direct settle your estate

Direct Settlement

I would like to share with you an illustration from a slide that is an integral part of my Estate Planning seminars.

This slide illustrates how Smart Estate Strategies enhance your Legacy and provide Direct Settlement to your Beneficiaries.

I hope you enjoy this illustration which can be accessed through the link below:

Smart Estate Strategy »

(603 kb .PDF file)

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To set up a no nonsense confidential review to determine if our Smart Estate or other proven financial strategies will work for you, contact us at 1-800-665-7707 or Email

Retirement Income: Can your RRIF Survive the Stress Test?

Investing your registered retirement income fund in stocks and bonds will produce some troubling losses every so often, but you have little choice these days if you want to achieve a decent long-term return on your investments.

The question is, just how unstable will returns be in a portfolio that includes stocks? We can get a good idea of how a RRIF portfolio might behave by looking at historical returns achieved by Canadian pension funds. Over the 54-year period 1960-2013, the average equity weighting in pension funds would have hovered in the 50% to 60% range with the rest being invested primarily in bonds. As for investment results, here is what happened to the median Canadian pension fund since 1960:

  1. Only once were fund returns negative two years in a row (1973-74).
  2. The worst cumulative loss over any two-year period was 14.6% (in 2007-2008).
  3. The worst cumulative loss over any three-year period was just 4.1% (2006-2008).
  4. In any given decade, we can expect one or two calendar years of net losses.
  5. Every decade has included at least two, and as many as seven, years with returns over 10%.
  6. The average annual return was about 8%, after fees.

See more and read the whole article here: (from Fred Vettese

Our Advisors are available for a complimentary review of your situation to help you determine if our Cost Recovery Programme, or any of our other proven financial strategies, are right for you.

Contact us for a review »

Is an Individual Pension Plan right for you?

Based on a C.D. Howe Institute report that suggested one possible solution to the alleged retirement crisis was simply to go back to the half-century-plus RRSP and raise contribution limits for the (relatively) few affluent people who are forced to save in taxable accounts because they’ve maxed out on RRSP room.

If you’re at top executive or own your own business and are 40 years of age or older, there may be another way to get the benefits of RRSPs. The Individual Pension Plan or IPP is an employer-provided program that replaces RRSP savings by an employee, says Stephen Cheng, managing director of Vancouver-based Westcoast Actuaries Inc. To be eligible for an IPP, you need to receive pension-eligible T-4 employment income. Self-employment income, partnership income and dividend income are not pension-eligible, Cheng says. So if you own your own business, you’d have to pay yourself a regular salary that generates T-4 employment income.

See advantages and the whole article here: moneysense

From Jonathan Chevreau

Call our office at 1-800-665-7707.
Our Advisors are available for a complimentary review of your situation to help you determine if our Cost Recovery Programme, or any of our other proven financial strategies, are right for you.
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The 7 new Retirement Financial Strategies

Canadians can no longer rely on pensions, government benefits and bull markets.

There was a time when many Canadians retired right at age 65—whether they wanted to or not. It was a full-stop kind of retirement: you worked for the same company for most of your career, they threw you a party on your last day, and the next morning you woke up to a life of hobbies and doting on grandkids. Government benefits and traditional employer pensions kicked in immediately and they were often sufficient to take care of you, even if you had no other savings.

That traditional notion of retirement is pretty much dead. Today most Canadians are able to say goodbye to a full-time career sometime during their early 60s, but the new retirement comes in many forms. It might include golf, travel and volunteering, but it’s also likely to involve contract or part-time work, too. More and more, the goal of retirement is really about achieving financial independence—or to use the word coined by MoneySense editor Jonathan Chevreau, “findependence.” That’s the point in life where your career and lifestyle choices are no longer driven by financial necessity, and it may occur decades before traditional retirement.

The challenge, however, is that the responsibility is more on your shoulders than it was in the paternalistic past. Defined benefit pension plans are dying out, except in the public sector. And the government is starting to scale back seniors’ benefits such as Old Age Security, which will eventually start at age 67 instead of 65. Increasingly, your retirement income depends on how much you save and how you manage your own money. Unfortunately, just while this is happening, your nest egg has no doubt been afflicted by low interest rates and uncertain stock markets. All this makes the new retirement more precarious.

In what follows, we describe seven strategies that will speed you towards financial independence, preferably while you’re still young enough to enjoy it. You’ll also meet seven Canadians who are living out their lifelong dreams and reinventing the traditional notion of what it means to be retired.

  1. Reinvent your job
  2. Protect your savings
  3. Boost your income with dividends
  4. Cash in on your home
  5. Think differently about debt
  6. Wait before you buy an annuity
  7. Reduce your tax bill

Read the full article here: MoneySense

From David Aston

Call our office at 1-800-665-7707.
Our Advisors are available for a complimentary review of your situation to help you determine if our Cost Recovery Programme, or any of our other proven financial strategies, are right for you.
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She Must Raise Cash and Cut Losses to Retire

A self-employed art therapist in Toronto, wants to retire in 5 years but she is already dipping into her savings by about $1,000 a month to stay afloat

Situation: Woman with budget in red faces shriveling income when she gives up her business

Solution: Get more income out of properties by increasing rentals, pay off mortgage, invest cash

Read the full article here: Financial Post

From Andrew Allentuck

retirement planning

Investments – What Would October Be Without Some Market Volatility?

Well before we start running for the hills let’s look at where we have come from to see if we can crystal ball where we are going.

Investments Financial Planning

Investments – Financial Planning

Since the market last bottomed out in 2009, Canadian and U.S. Markets have rallied on an accumulated basis over 110% and 200% respectively. During that 5 year period of extraordinary growth, we have endured US political deadlock, the Greek default of 2010, Eurozone crisis in 2011 and now we have the conflicts in the Middle East, Russia acting as a bully and slowing economies in Russia and China.

Countering that is:

  1. Steady growth in the U.S. and record low jobless claims with falling prices (in the U.S. anyway) at the gas pumps.
  2. The investment funds we recommend continue to produce positive return in 2014 following their very strong 2013 returns.

So what does this mean?

In my opinion this is a normal and healthy correction necessary when markets tend to get ahead of themselves.

Our fund managers actually anticipated this event and recently moved to more defensive positions in their portfolios.

In other words – it is business as usual and we continue to be satisfied with your fund allocations and management.

Contact Us

Call us at 1-800-665-7707 for a complimentary review to see if any of our proven financial strategies will work for you. Please do not hesitate to contact Ron or myself if you have any questions or want to discuss your portfolio.