investment planning

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.

Diversification is Key

As with many retirement savers, it took two stock market crashes (2001, 2008) and a global financial crisis to convince Adam and Sonya that trying to 'time the market' or pick specific sectors was a costly exercise in futility. But, with the value of their RRSPs nearly halved in the 2008 crash, they also recognized that they could not afford to avoid equities if they were going to have any chance of meeting their retirement goals.

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

Don't Give Up on Growth

If you are a prudent investor, then you have a financial retirement plan that will ensure you have sufficient funds for the lifestyle you envision after you stop working. What constitutes sufficient depends on your ambitions and your hobbies, and also on how long you live. People are living longer, and it's not unreasonable to think that you could live into your 90s.

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.

Now is the time to be especially wary

Uncertain economic times and rising rates of unemployment are creating a new breed of desperate people. Some are turning to frauds and scams as a way out of their troubles. Others are becoming more susceptible to schemes they had hoped would help but are being bilked out of their dwindling cash reserves instead. Hard times tend to bring more frauds and scams out of the woodwork.

Cooler heads will prevail

The newspaper headlines read: 'Roller coaster stock markets have investors feeling queasy' (The Globe and Mail; 'The stock market crash: History repeating itself?' (The Calgary Herald); 'Uncertainty continues to pummel stock markets' (Sudbury Star); 'The next market boom may be a lifetime away' (Financial Times). Interestingly enough, these headlines are from November 2002. One year later, the S&P/TSX Equity Index was up 20.8%; and two years later had soared by 40.7%.

Great Depression 2.0?

It's been a long and volatile quarter in the financial world. Markets are taking most investors on a wild and sometimes frightening ride, the news about corporate failures and bailouts is confusing and the economic news is almost certainly disheartening.

As some in the media eagerly seek to assign blame for the current stock market turmoil, others are predicting a global doom reminiscent of the 1930s.

Despite the media's best efforts to draw comparisons between today and the Great Depression, there are KEY facts that often get overlooked.

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