Is Your Portfolio Underperforming Its Benchmark?
A benchmark is a standard against which something is compared. The financial industry uses benchmarks to measure the performance of various investment instruments. Unfortunately, most investors incorrectly believe that they are doing better than they think.
How to Set Yourself up for Success in 2023
It is a new year, a new beginning, so start the year fresh. Put last year behind you and make plans that focus only on your new goals. Do not sabotage your plan by looking backward. If you do, you probably will not achieve your desired results. This is where recency bias comes in. The past is the past – leave it there.
Couples Planning to Retire May Face Challenges
When it comes to retirement planning, several assumptions must be used. For example, at what age does retirement start and at what age does it end, where will people live, etc. The fact is that planning retirement for a single person is much easier than for a couple.
What’s With These Markets Lately?
What is causing the volatility in the markets in 2022? The answer is complicated, yet quite simple. People are worried about their future. When they worry, they become stressed. When they are stressed, they make poor decisions or delay making decisions. They start panic selling, stop investing because they believe markets will only go down. Lately, the markets are feeling the worry and stress of the people.
Tips for Effective Asset Management
If you have to ask how much it is, you can’t afford it – that’s a thumb rule we all know. Some of us have also encountered its corollary statement – Money is invaluable in all walks of life. We are all guilty of thinking about how to strike a balance between our monetary needs today and tomorrow. The fear of outliving our retirement corpus or inflation rates devouring our profits makes us think, and think hard about our finance management.
Halton Wealth Management Investments, a 2022 ThreeBestRated® award-winning Financial Services Firm, shares tips for effective asset management in this article.
Investment Industry Advertising - The Devil Is In the Details
There is no shortage of ads focused on investing that investors are exposed to, and many come with catchy headlines. The problem when confronted with realms of information is that we focus on the headlines and ignore the details. They say knowledge is power. We believe the more we know, the more likely we are to make better decisions and better decisions lead to better outcomes.
Unfortunately, you need to get into the details to decide if the headlines are accurate and more important, do they apply in your situation. General information does not always work in your specific situation.
Taking Advantage of the Equity You Have Built up in Your Real Estate Can Cause Unexpected Tax Issues
The real estate market’s meteoric growth over the last several years has created higher equity for many Canadian property owners. But taking advantage of that equity can create tax problems. Caution is advised if you purchased a property as a rental property several years ago. It has likely appreciated significantly in value. The mortgage interest on the rental property is likely tax-deductible currently. If you choose to refinance that rental property and put that money to work elsewhere, you will no longer qualify for a full interest deduction.
More Than a Year into the Pandemic – We Continue to Learn
As we have adjusted our lives to cope through the pandemic, most of us have had no choice but to change and adapt to the constantly evolving situation. One thing we have learned is that we can successfully adjust quickly.
The Importance of a Consistent Process for Managing Your Investments
Consistency in your approach to investing and your personal philosophy play a key role in your investment success. This focus leads to a predictable outcome. Your ability to look past current events and remain focused is what leads to better results. This is especially important when you are retired and rely on your assets to provide you with a stable income. A process like this involves a few key steps with a planned and coordinated effort.
Useful Steps to Help You Choose the Right Financial Advisor
Numerous studies by various financial institutions were conducted to determine the benefits of working with financial professionals over the years. The value of working with a Financial Advisor varies by individual, but choosing the right Financial Advisor is a major life decision that can determine your financial trajectory for years to come.
Although it is not always easy to find the right Financial Advisor, there are some steps that if taken, can guide you through this process.
Why You Should Be Reviewing Your Debt and Looking to Substantially Lower Your Costs
As we look back at 2020, we are inclined to see ourselves as survivors of a year like no other. Sometimes when we view life through that lens we fail to identify opportunities that present themselves. One thing that 2020 did was to lower interest rates. This is a perfect opportunity to take a step back and look at ways that you may benefit from these lower rates.
How Well Do You Understand a TFSA?
It seems like every time we open our internet browser, we see articles about TFSAs. Should you put money in your RRSP or TFSA? RRSP versus TFSA. TFSA traps to avoid. Why TFSA is the best option for saving. How to use your TFSA, etc.
The more we talk to investors, the more we are realizing that a general knowledge of this type of account is very limited.
Benefits of Being Self-Employed
There is no question that being self-employed is not easy. There are many hardships that business owners have to overcome to be successful. But there are many benefits that make this journey worth it. There is no denying that not everyone has what it takes to grow a successful business. But if you feel that you have a great idea, are persistent, determined and resourceful, then being self-employed offers a potential lifestyle you’ll never realize you can have.
What To Do and Not To Do in the Pandemic
The best strategy to manage investment portfolios is to have a plan that was in place long before a crisis begins. For example, your portfolio should be reviewed at least annually. In years like 2019 that produced exceptional returns, your portfolio should have been reviewed and very likely adjusted given the markets were at all-time highs. If you did that and reduced risk, you would have experienced less volatility during the early panic selling. This would also provide some investors with additional options for rebalancing when markets hit lows.
We put together some ideas and tips to help you deal with the financial impact many are facing during the pandemic.
What’s Your Number?
When does your Financial Advisor call you? What number on his call list are you? If you are an investor, this is something that you likely haven’t thought about, but should. To understand why this really matters, let’s say you are a client of a Financial Advisor that is not licensed as Portfolio Manager (PM) and thus does not have the ability to service discretionary accounts.
It is that time of the year again - Taxes
It is that time of the year again, you are getting ready and gathering information to file your income tax returns. If you are a procrastinator, or not particularly organized, this time can be very stressful. Whether you prepare your returns by yourself or have them prepared professionally, you will still need to gather all the necessary information in order to proceed.
Benefits of Separately Managed Accounts
Separately Managed Accounts (SMAs) are not new. In fact, they have long been used by corporations, trusts, endowments, pension plans and high net worth investors. These investors demand a level of attention to their requirements that simply cannot be met by mass-market retail investment products. These investors require a focus and direct relationship with the professionals who are managing their investment portfolio.
How Do I Prepare My Children to Be Financially Responsible?
The financial education of your children should start early. It should be a part of everyday life. The best way is to teach by an example. Here are some tips you can follow.
Is an Experienced Financial Advisor Worth the Cost?
With all the ads running for Robo-Advisors you would think a computer and a few ETFs will solve all your needs. If you believe we are all alike, our needs are identical and that only thing that matters is cost – then maybe.
What About Those Fees?
The subject of investment fees is becoming a big part of the discussion between the regulators and public. When it comes to your investment returns, the fees you pay really matter. Overpaying in fees can reduce the value of your portfolio over time.
What Really Happens if You Die in Ontario Without a Will?
The law says that you died “intestate”. That means that you died without leaving clear instructions as to how your property (real estate, investments, personal property, etc.) is divided and distributed. In these situations, The Ontario Succession Law Reform Act will govern how your property will be distributed. It’s also important to note that even if you want your property divided according to provincial law it’s still best to prepare a will. That way you can reduce delays and expenses.
Why Investors Get it Wrong When They Make Changes After Markets Decline
Let’s not forget, investors are human and many times act emotionally based on their biases. It’s who we are as individuals. It’s taken us decades to become who we actually are (not how we see ourselves). It’s very easy to come to conclusions and make decisions without giving much thought to the bias. I’ve often talked about “recency bias”. This is the tendency to weigh the latest information more heavily than older data. Investors often think the market will always look the way it does today or continue to perform as it did recently and make unwise decisions.
New Year’s Resolutions: Do They Work?
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to focus on your financial future then here are a few simple ideas to get you on your way.
You Are Named As An Executor: Now What?
Unless you are in a simple situation and you are the only beneficiary, perhaps the first question you should ask yourself is - do I need Executor Insurance before I act as an Executor?
Why Should I Seek a Second Opinion on My Investment Portfolio?
The first reason is you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Most professional Advisors will offer you a no obligation free review of your investment portfolio and written financial plan (if you have one).
Universal Life Insurance – One of the Best Tax Shelters Available
Universal Life Insurance remains one of the best tax shelters available to Canadian investors. Depending on several factors (like age, smoking status, family history, health, and lifestyle), you can purchase permanent, non-cancellable insurance at a rate that will never increase or a yearly renewable term (YRT) to 100 (your choice) to meet your individual insurance needs.
Human Advisor Versus Robo Advisor
It's the rise of the machines. When you walk down the street, everybody is looking at some sort of device, staying connected. You want to have everything right now, right here. We want to get answers immediately, just by clicking the mouse or asking Google. Robo Advisors, which have made headlines in recent years, are online investment management sites that manage your investments for you through unique algorithms. So let’s pit humans: Investment Advisors and Robots head to head to see who you benefit more from when it comes to managing your investments.
Business Owners - Do You Have a Cost-Effective Benefit Plan in Place?
If you operate as an Incorporated Company, Partnership or Sole Proprietorship, CRA provides you the opportunity to implement and participate in a Private Health Services Plan (PHSP) to reduce the sting of your medical and dental expenses.
Are Your Children Ready to Inherit Your Wealth?
One of the most common financial objectives is to leave money to children, but it is not always a successful endeavour. According to some projections, 70 percent of inherited money evaporates before reaching the third generation, with average losses climbing to a staggering 90 percent by the fourth.
The Importance of Independent Advice
When you are looking for a new financial advisor, there are many things that you should consider. One question that you should be asking the financial advisor or planner is: are you independent?
Why Many Retirees Need to Change Their Advisor
When we are meeting with prospective clients, one of the questions we ask them is: what led you to your search for a new advisor? The answer that we most often get is that their current advisor no longer meets their needs. What we are told is that the advisor helped them to get to this point during the accumulation phase, but what they need now is someone that specializes in working with clients that are age 50 and over. This group is mainly focused on retirement income. They need to work with an experienced advisor that specializes in working with retirees and understands their unique needs.
Baby Boomers Are Working Longer Than Previous Generations
Whether it’s from an increased life expectancy or growing financial pressures, the census numbers tell us that baby boomers are working longer than previous generations.
How Do I Know If My Investments Are Performing Well?
Investments can fall into categories that can be benchmarked. For example, if you own several Canadian companies they can be benchmarked against an index like the S&P TSX. The same can be done with U.S. companies or international companies or bonds. If your investments are up 4% and the index is up 7%, then you are underperforming and receiving no value for the money you’re paying. On the other hand, if your investments are down 4% and the comparable index is down 7%, then you’re receiving value - as you outperformed the index.
Mistakes You Want to Avoid in Retirement
Failing to adjust your expenses to reflect your new reality can wreak havoc on your retirement. After many years of working it can be hard to adjust expenses to your new income. This might involve things like less dining out, reducing the amount of vehicles you own, downsizing the home you live in as well as many other possible changes. More than ever you will benefit with a new realistic budget to keep you on track. A Financial Advisor specializing in retirement income planning is best suited to assist you with this.
I Am Retired – Now What?
You might think this will never happen to you but our experience working with people that transition from a working career to retirement suggests this happens more often than not. You talk about retirement for a long time. You go from the stage in life where you’ve planned everything out and been in total control to what does the future hold. It doesn’t matter how much time and energy you’ve put into this phase of your life. It’s perfectly normal to be confused, excited and a bit overwhelmed all at the same time. After all you are entering a phase where you have zero experience.
Importance of Estate Planning
An Estate is the property that a person owns or has a legal interest in. The term is often used to describe the assets and liabilities left by a person after death. Estate Planning involves the transfer of someone's assets (e.g. property, money) when they die, as well as a variety of other personal matters.
Steps to Creating the Perfect Household Budget
We are not all born with an incredible financial skillset.
Learning how to create a budget and live your lifestyle according to that budget doesn’t happen overnight. Just like driving a car or washing the dishes, these skills must be learned. It can take some time before you master them, and that’s okay. All that matters is that you’re taking the necessary steps to live a more financially-conscious lifestyle.
Let’s look at some of the most important steps to creating a perfect household budget!
What is Discretionary Portfolio Management?
Discretionary portfolio management is a form of investment management where all investment decisions are made by a Portfolio Manager or Investment Counselor for the client's account. The term "discretionary" refers to the fact that investment decisions are made at the Portfolio Manager's discretion.
Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Financial Planner
Do you have an upcoming meeting with your financial planner?
Regardless if it’s your first meeting or an annual visit with your financial planner, it’s important that you arrive prepared. You should have a general idea of what to keep track of, so that you can make changes to your plan necessary, to better fit your goals. When you arrive prepared with the right questions and documents, you can expect to get the most out of your meeting.
Read on and explore the top five questions that you should ask your financial planner.
What to Consider When Choosing the Right Advisor
MoneySense recently chatted with James P. Gunn, a Certified Financial Planner and Registered Retirement Consultant with Halton Wealth Management Inc., an independent wealth management firm. We asked Gunn about how Canadians can expand their search and find the money manager that’s best suited to their long-term goals.
What Are the Three Most Asked Questions by Retirees?
Top 6 Benefits of Working with a Wealth Management Firm
Are you worried about your financial future?
Stress regarding your finances can truly affect your quality of life. You deserve to feel confident and at peace with your long-term financial plan. That’s where assistance from a wealth management firm comes into play. The experts at a wealth management firm can help you create long-term goals, plan for retirement, monitor your assets, and more. There are so many benefits to working with a wealth management firm, let’s take a look at a few of them.
What is Financial Planning?
Financial Planning is an ongoing process to help you make sensible decisions about money that can help you achieve your goals in life. It is all about setting goals and establishing a plan and timeline to achieve them.
Why is risk tolerance important, and how can I figure out mine?
Risk tolerance comes down to how much risk you are willing and able to stomach. You should have a realistic understanding of your ability and willingness to stomach large swings in the value of his investments; if you take on too much risk, you might panic and sell at the wrong time.
Financial terms - how well do you understand them?
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions.
Fraud - Something We All Want to Avoid
When it comes to protecting ourselves and our loved ones from fraud and identity theft it takes focus and commitment. We cannot let our guard down. We should never underestimate the thieves.
Registration and Designations of Financial Advisors Matter
When it comes to deciding which financial advisor to work with, consider the advisor’s registration and designations, as they change everything.
Are You Better off with a Bank or Independent Financial Advisor?
When it comes to investing, trust is crucial. You’re not inclined to give someone control of your life savings if they haven’t proven themselves trustworthy.
Fees: A Term I Know Everyone Hates
When it comes to investment fees, a little knowledge can be very dangerous. I have been running a fee-for-service business for the last fifteen years which has provided me with extensive experience in this area.
Is Your Financial Advisor MoneySense Approved?
Reviews make a big difference in the online world. Anyone can claim online that their products or services are the best, but it’s reviews that add truth to those claims.
Traits of a Trustworthy Financial Advisor
What’s the most important trait in a financial advisor? In our opinion, it’s trustworthiness. If you know you can depend on your financial advisor, all the other pieces of your working relationship fall into place.
Why You Need Worry-Free Income Options for Retirement
Financial considerations will change after retirement. Many retirees have to make changes to their budgets because their savings will now have to last for an indefinite period of time.
Why Your Finances Will Benefit from Only One Advisor
It’s easy to access information nowadays. If we’re looking to purchase a product, we can shop around for the best price, read reviews on product quality, and make decisions based on mass opinion.
Preparing for Retirement: What to Expect
People often approach retirement with a sense of uncertainty. This is understandable – it’s hard to predict exactly what life will look like, especially when you’re living off of a fixed income. We can give some hint to the changes you’ll discover along the way.
Why You Need A Fully-Customized Investment Solution
Imagine setting up a meeting with your financial advisor to discuss your investment portfolio. Imagine that, in this meeting, your advisor hands you documents outlining someone else’s portfolio.
Cognitive Bias & Your Decisions
Have you ever tried to claim that you have no bias? It turns out that none of us can truly make that claim. According to Business Insider, there are 20 common cognitive biases that impact our everyday decisions.
Why Halton Wealth Management Investments Works Independently
Generally, people appreciate their independence. Having the freedom to make decisions with minimal limitation is important – that’s why we choose to work as an independent financial planning firm.