Investment & Wealth Management

Investments can play a key role in your financial security plan. 

​No matter what your goals, we offer a broad range of investment solutions that can help build a bridge from where you are today, to where you want to be. ​We prefer to focus on solutions to your problems, rather than on the sale of a particular product.  Providing your family with certainty when everything around you changes is why we're here.  From providing much needed cash to families when a parent becomes ill, or helping maintain your home after an unexpected death are all a part of what we do. 

 

For individuals, a mix of registered and non-registered savings, income and pension plans can help achieve short and long-term goals.

 

  • Mutual Funds

  • Segregated Funds

  • Guaranteed Income-for-Life Products

  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)

  • Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA)

  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

  • Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)

 

 

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Mutual Funds

Mutual funds are a key component of a diversified investment portfolio. Managed by professional investment managers, mutual funds allow individual investors with common objectives and risk profiles to pool their savings in a portfolio of investments. This allows for an investment portfolio that is diversified among different companies and industries in Canada and around the world. Advantages of this strategy include:

 

  • Liquidity

  • Diversification

  • Potential for increased returns

  • Expertise of professional investment managers

  • Increased purchasing power from pooled savings

 

Contact me to access products that are offered by leading mutual fund dealers. We will work with you to build a portfolio tailored to your financial needs and goals.

Always remember the importance of careful decision-making when choosing investments. Before investing, carefully read through a mutual funds’ prospectus for important information about mutual funds. Remember that commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses may all be associated with mutual fund investments. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, and since their values change frequently, past performance may not be repeated. Investment returns and unit values will fluctuate.  

 

Segregated Funds

In a segregated fund policy, professional fund managers invest in a variety of individual securities. Depending on the performance of the segregated funds you select, your investment’s unit values will increase or decrease.

As a form of life insurance, it’s important to note that segregated fund policies have distinct advantages for some investors.

 

These can include:

  • Death Benefit Guarantees

  • Maturity Guarantees

  • Potential for creditor protection

  • Savings on potential probate fees

  • No trustee fees

 

We have access to a wide variety of segregated funds. Contact us  today to discuss how we might strengthen your investment portfolio, and to receive an information package about segregated funds.

 

Note that any amount allocated to a segregated fund may increase or decrease in value, and is invested at the risk of the policyholder.

 

 

Guaranteed Income-for-Life Products

Guaranteed Income-for-Life Products, also known as Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit Products (GMWB), are a type of Segregated Fund with additional features. They provide a solution to help manage the concerns and challenges that come with retirement planning. One scenario where they can be very useful is when an employee may retire early or leave their position at a company that has a pension fund. The pension assets can become available to that employee to transfer into their own personal account. The GMWB product is built like a pension and guarantees a set income payout for life.

 

Here are some of the advantages to Guaranteed Income-for-Life Products:

  • Predictable income guaranteed not to decrease no matter how investments perform

  • Sustainable income that will last for your life

  • Guaranteed lifetime income available as early as age 55 with higher payout percentages at older ages if income is deferred

  • Potentially increasing guaranteed income if investment portfolio is growing

  • The flexibility to change your investment

 

Contact me today to get a customized illustration of how the Guaranteed Income-for-Life Products could assist you in retirement and provide peace of mind.

 

Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)

A registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) has been the most common investment vehicle that Canadians have used for retirement savings. For investors under age 72, it can allow tax-deferred compound interest and help accumulate savings to achieve long-term retirement goals. It also allows for a variety of products ranging from conservative to aggressive investment mandates.  RRSPs are only available for a single account holder and the maximum contribution allowed is 18% of that persons income. In addition, if they have not maximized their RRSP contribution from previous years then the cumulative amount from all those years can still be invested. Each year, Canadians receive a Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) which clearly defines the amount of RRSP contribution room still available.

Working together, we can examine RRSP investment options in order to build a customized portfolio that takes into consideration your financial goals, tolerance to risk and investment timeline. 

 

Locked-In Retirement Savings Plan (LRSP)

A Locked-In Retirement Savings Plan (LRSP) is an account specifically designed to hold locked-in pension funds. It is similar to an RRSP except that, where an RRSP can be cashed in at any time, a LRSP is locked-in until retirement or a specified age based on the pension legislation. Any investment growth inside an LRSP is also considered locked-in.

 

Account holder pension funds are transferred into an LRSP under the following scenarios:

  • termination from a company pension plan precedes retirement

  • plan member passes away before retirement (whereby the funds become property of the surviving spouse)

  • a break-up of marriage or common-law relationship

 

Of note, LRSPs are used for funds legislated in British Columbia and the Federal Government. All other provinces and legislations use what is called a Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA) which is essentially identical in structure.

 

Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)

A Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) is used to generate an income from the savings that an individual has in their RRSP. An RRSP can be converted anytime to a RRIF but must be done by the end of the year that a person turns 71. The money inside a RRIF can be fully cashed-out at anytime, however, all withdrawals are fully taxable. More commonly, investors will start a Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SWP) from their RRIF account which will provide regular monthly or quarterly income for their retirement needs.

 

Here are some key benefits of a RRIF:

  • Investments compound tax-free as long as they remain in the plan

  • You can choose your holdings from a wide range of options, likely continuing with similar investments from the RRSP

  • You decide how much you want to withdraw each year (above a set annual minimum), which gives you the ability to control how much tax you pay

  • Use your age to calculate the withdrawal or if you don't need the minimum withdrawal amount, use your spouse's age if they are younger

  • You can split your RRIF income with you spouse if you are at least 65 years of age

Of note, LRSP accounts get converted into a Life Income Fund (LIF) and the account holder chooses when between the ages of 56-69.  A LIF is similar to a RRIF with one major difference being that in addition to minimum withdrawal amounts there are also maximum withdrawal limits.

 

Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)

In 2009 the Government of Canada introduced the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) allowing Canadians to invest a maximum of $5,000 annually.  The TFSA initially was confusing for some account holders, partly due to its name which basically sounded like a bank savings account.  Many customers were opening TFSA savings accounts at their banks and earning very low interest rates of growth.  Over time, it became more widely know that the TFSA account was not limited to what products could be invested inside of it, rather it was a vehicle to save and invest tax-free.

 

In 2015 the maximum annual contribution was raised to $10,000 (following $5,500 limits in 2013 and 2014) which cumulatively totals $41,000 of principal investment room for Canadians inside their TFSA accounts.  The TFSA has been often compared to an RRSP in terms of which one is better to invest in.  The truth is that both accounts can be complementary to one another in planning for retirement income.  Contact me today to learn more about how these accounts could benefit your own financial situation.

 

Consider the following scenarios based on annual income:

RRSP vs. TFSA

 

Where should you put your hard-earned money?
It comes down to how much you make now and how much you expect to make in retirement. The secret is to keep your marginal tax rate as low as possible—now and later.*

If you earn less than $30,000, your tax rate is already low, so the RRSP isn't a huge tax benefit. With a TFSA, you're contributing after-tax dollars, but won't have to pay again when you withdraw your money later.

 

If you earn $30,000–$80,000, both may be equally useful, depending on your current and future marginal tax rates. If your income's higher now than you expect it to be at retirement, consider an RRSP. If not, a TFSA might be better.

If you earn $80,000+, take advantage of both. Consider using your annual RRSP tax deduction to fund your TFSA.

 

Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

For families with children, a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) can help finance post-secondary education.  The account subscriber can name one or more beneficiaries on an RESP account and each beneficiary must have their own Social Insurance Number in order to complete an application.

 

Some of the advantages of RESPs include:

  • Tax deferral of compounding income and growth

  • Based on a family’s net income and the amount contributed, a government RESP grant is available

  • The Basic Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) matches 20% of what the subscriber contributes to an annual maximum of $500 per child

  • For lower income families, the Additional CESG could be available along with the Canada Learning Bond which families could qualify for even without contributing to an RESP. Completing an RESP application is the minimum requirement.

  • When money is withdrawn from an RESP, the student typically pays little tax, due to a low income tax rate

 

There are some companies in Canada that exclusively market and sell RESP products to new mothers and families with young children.  These companies offer RESP products in a pooled structure that come with contribution requirements for the subscriber.  Essentially, if the subscriber does not continue making their monthly payments for a set amount of years then they could be subject to enrollment fees.  Our approach with RESPs is to use the flexibility of mutual funds which allows for various types of investment products and flexible contribution payments with the ability to lump-sum into an account or change monthly contribution amounts.  

 

** Ask us about the Creative RESP, Estate Plan that could potentially bring you a larger tax and probate free return that can be used for your loved ones if you qualify.**  

 

Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) was introduced by the Government of Canada in 2008 and provides people with disabilities an easy and effective way to save and invest for their long-term financial security.  The government offers some unparalleled incentives through grants and bonds that help those with RDSP accounts accumulate more.  Contact me today to learn more about the RDSP program and how it can greatly benefit people with disabilities.

 

Key benefits and features of an RDSPare:

  • earnings grow tax-free until the money is taken out of the plan (similar to RESP accounts)

  • may be eligible for government incentives of up to an annual amount of $3,500 in grants (see chart below) and $1,000 in bonds

  • income payments from RDSPs do not affect OAS, CPP and GIS

  • no annual limit on contributions and the lifetime maximum is $200,000

  • unused grants and bonds are carried forward with maximum payable of $10,500 grants and $11,000 bonds in any one year

  • wide selection of investment products available

 

Requirements to open an RDSP:

  • must be a Canadian resident

  • have a valid Social Insurance Number

  • be under the age of 60

  • is eligible to claim the Disability Tax Credit

 

Annual Net Income      Annual Contribution     Earns Maximum Annual Grant

 

$87,123 or less            $1,500                               $3,500

                                                                                  ($3 for every $1 contributed on the first $500 in annual contributions)

                                                                                  ($2 for every $1 contributed on the next $1000 in annual contributions)

 

More than $87,123      $1,000                               $1,000 ($1 of grant for every $1 contributed)

 

 

* Government grants and bonds are based on net annual income of two years earlier. The government sets the income thresholds annually. Illustrated are 2013 income thresholds, based on 2011 net annual income.

 

Non-Registered Accounts

Non-Registered Accounts, also known as Open or Cash Accounts, are available for a broad array of investment products and strategies. These accounts are not registered with the Federal Government and do not have limitations on contribution or withdrawal amounts. Unlike RRSPs and TFSAs they can be jointly owned and even corporately owned for businesses that want to invest any surplus funds.

Investors that hold assets in Non-Registered Accounts will realize that taxation on investment growth is a factor to the long-term gains of their account.  The tax implications of interest income, dividend income, and capital gains become more obvious than if the same investments were growing in either a RRSP or TFSA.  Often times Canadians hold assets in regular bank savings account, term deposits, and GICs and don't realize that unless they were specified as registered accounts they will have to pay tax on the gains every year.  It is in these scenarios that is always makes sense to at least have your TFSA maxed out before investing in Non-Registered Accounts.

 

Estate Planning

The focus of many estate planning tools is tax minimization. Without proper planning, taxes can consume a significant chunk of your estate capital. However, it’s important that your estate plan not be motivated strictly by tax planning.

Working with an advisor can help you discover strategies you can use to reduce the various taxes your estate will pay on your death, and uncover new ideas to reach your goals.

While the use of professional advisors is a valuable part of the estate planning process, it’s important to remember that our role is to outline and explain the different choices available to you.  We will help you implement your decisions – not make them for you. That way, your estate plan will always reflect your personal priorities and choices.

 

 

 

 

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