investment planning

TFSA Time Bomb !

The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) was introduced in 2009 as a new way for Canadians to build assets and wealth on a tax-advantaged basis. Any capital gains, dividends or interest income are tax-free upon redemption from the account. The initial contribution amount was $5,000 with annual increases of $5,000. This has been increased to $5,500 in 2013 to offset inflation. This brings the maximum contribution amount for a new subscriber, in 2013, to $25,500.

Investing vs. Trading

In the last article we defined investing as buying an ownership stake in companies who are profitable today and whose profits are expected to rise over time. Trading is any other form of managing your money which may or may not take into account corporate profits as part of the decision-making process.

Business Adaptation Mechanism

There is a concept in biology about the ability of organisms to adapt to changes in the environment. This adaptation process increases the odds of survival for organisms under stress due to environmental changes. A similar mechanism exists in finance that allows economic organizations, otherwise known as companies, to survive and thrive in changing or shifting economic landscapes.

Integrated Investment Management Can Save Taxes

High net worth investors are now sitting back and enjoying the summer weather, breathing a sigh of relief now that they are done with their annual tax filings. The work involved in assembling all of the relevant tax information is made more complicated by the fact they often deal with several investment firms.

U.S. financial research firm, Cerulli Associates, recently found that high net worth investors had, on average, 3.7 investment advisors. Ultra-affluent investors often spread their investments across many more.

The Safe Investing Dilemma

John was concerned because his 82-year old mother, Betty, was having trouble generating sufficient income to cover her cost of living with interest rates at rock bottom levels. Along with many other investors globally who have poured some $4 Trillion dollars into government bonds since the 2008 Credit Crises, she wanted to feel safe and have her money guaranteed. But the price of safety in a low interest rate world is higher than you may realize.

Volatile Economy = Investor Fatigue

Investors are becoming increasingly exhausted trying to follow the seemingly never-ending bad global economic news. Overseas markets have put a strain on Canada even though we are more stable, economically, than most other countries in the world.

Crystal balls are in short supply resulting in increased skepticism and general feeling of Is this downturn ever going to end?' The uncertainty has investors reeling - leading them to make judgements with their portfolios that they wouldn't normally exercise.

Baby Boomers Getting Nervous

Canadian Market Recovery After Financial Crises

During financial crises, stock prices suffer. However, they typically recover over time.

This chart illustrate the cumulative returns of a balanced (60% stock/40% bond) portfolio after five historical financial crises. In the short term, uncertainty from such external shocks can create sudden drops in value. For example, the portfolio posted a negative return one month after the October 1987 stock-market crash. Over a longer period of time, however, returns were much more attractive, and investors who stayed the course reaped considerable rewards.

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