Our financial planners have been quoted in the following media:


If you're a retiree, forced to withdraw a percentage of taxable dollars from a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), you're probably ticked off these days

Bankrate.ca, by Diana Cawfield
January 2009

Understandably so, especially if you're in a financial situation where you don't need the extra income or a bigger tax bill and when the markets have most likely erased a large chunk of your portfolio.

With that in mind, our experts came up with four tips on how to make the most of your RRIF withdrawals in tough economic times.

Use cash

If you're worried about having to sell investments when they're underperforming in order to reach your RRIF withdrawal minimum, there's a simple solution: don't.

Full text: Solving retirees' RRIF withdrawal woes

A study published in 2001 by Statistics Canada, entitled The Assets and Debts of Canadians, found that 38 per cent of Canadians carry credit card debt, owing an average of $3,000 to credit card companies

Manulife Investments WealthStyles Articles

According to the study, about a fifth of Canadians owed an average of $22,300 for their vehicles. Some 16 per cent of Canadians owed an average of $13,500 on lines of credit.

Full text: Managing your debt with a line of credit

Will the Blitts ever be able to help their daughter buy a home?

Financial Post Magazine
December 2008

Then: Back in the spring, Ottawa residents Kevin and Linda Blitt's biggest financial concern was the upcoming nuptials of their 27-year-old daughter, Jennifer, and her fiancé, Bill. It wasn't the fact that weddings are expensive that was troubling the Blitts. What they really wanted to do was help Jennifer and Bill by giving or lending them $20,000 for a down payment to buy their first home. Making matters more urgent was Rover, Jennifer and Bill's aging, incontinent beagle. It was just getting too difficult to keep the poor dog in their high-rise apartment, with his increasingly frequent needs to dash outside to relieve himself.

Given that Kevin and Linda - age 52 to and 48 – were only two years away from paying off the mortgage on their home, and that they had an income of more than $150,000, they figured they would be able to afford tohelp the kids. The question was, how? For starters, they were concerned about potential tax implications of transferring so much money. More generally, they were concerned about the strife that making large loans within families can cause, and whether Jennifer and Bill would be able to pay it back within eight years, when Kevin hits 60, his target for retirement.

Despite their concerns, the Blitts developed three options for helping Jennifer and Bill buy a home: (1) Lend them $20,000 and co-sign the mortgage; (2) buy a home and rent it to Jennifer and Bill with a view to selling it later and giving after-tax equity growth to the young couple as a gift; (3) be lavish and give Jennifer and Bill a $20,000 gift and a $20,000 loan, so that they'd have a smaller mortgage and an easier time paying back the loan. The Blitts' question: Which option was best?

Full text: Family file revisited

The Greens have lots of professional advice — and tons of debt to show for it

MoneySense Magazine, by Julie Cazzin
November 2008

Brian and Penelope Green are smart people. In fact, they have six university degrees berween them. But as they sit at the kitchen table of their comfortable home in Heart's Content, Nfld., the young couple are at a loss to explain where their money is going.

Full text: Planned to death

"Is there a bear in your portfolio?" screamed the ad with the picture of a mean-looking grizzly. It sure got my attention

Advisors Edge Magazine, by Marc Lamontagne, CFP, R.F.P., FMA
October 2008

Bear or inverse ETFs are a new breed of leveraged instruments, which move opposite to the direction of a given market or sector.

Offered in Canada by Horizons BetaPro, these bear-market versions are designed to give investors an inverse of 200% of the daily return of a particular market or sector, before fees and other expenses such as interest accrual.

So, if you held the HBP S&P/TSX 60 Bear Plus ETF on a day that the TSX 60 index was down 2%, then you'd have earned a positive 4% rate of return for that day, before fees.

This is made possible by using derivative products known as forwards. Unlike futures products, which trade on commodities exchanges south of the border, forwards are contracts that aren't traded on an organized exchange, and are not settled by an organized clearing corporation. In essence, a forward is a contractually negotiated agreement with a counterparty (usually a bank) based on delivery of return that is derived from an underlying commodity, financial instrument, or in this case a stock investment strategy.

Full text: How things work: Is there a bear in your portfolio?


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