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How To Be A Smarter Investor – June 2014

While we’ve enjoyed several years of equity markets rebounding from the lows after the financial crisis, before we start to get too complacent, it is a good time to review and consider what it means to be a smart investor.  If the past has taught us anything, it is that in times of choppy or declining financial markets, rational and savvy investment decisions often get lost in the fear and panic of the moment.   Following these few key points can help you avoid making poor investment decisions and become a smarter investor.

  • Know Your Risk Tolerance: Prior to making any investment, you should know how much risk you are prepared to accept.  All investments carry some type of risk.  If making a specific investment makes you significantly uncomfortable, or keeps you up at night, then you probably need to rethink it.   Anything that has the potential to increase considerably, also carries the same potential to decrease significantly.  If this happened, would it seriously jeopardize your financial plans?  Read more

The Corporate Extraction Strategy – May 2014

Transferring a Life Insurance Policy to a Corporation


The Corporate Extraction Strategy involves transferring a personally owned life insurance policy to a corporation for its fair market value (FMV).  When handled properly, it will result in withdrawing capital from the corporation tax free!

The preferred candidates for this strategy:

  • Own a life insurance policy that they wish to maintain;
  • Own all the shares in a corporation;
  • Are usually older and/or would be rated or declined for life insurance due to health concerns. Read more

Critical Illness – Are you Protected? April 2014

We all face many risks – contracting a critical Illness is one of them. Being diagnosed with a life threatening illness is not something anyone wants to contemplate; however, you can purchase critical illness insurance to protect against the financial impact.
The Back Story
Critical illness insurance was invented by Dr. Marius Barnard. Marius assisted his brother Dr. Christiaan Barnard in performing the first successful heart transplant in 1967 in South Africa. Through his years of experience with cardiac patients, Marius observed that patients with minimal financial stress, recovered more often and much quicker than those with financial hardship. He came to the conclusion that he, as a physician, could heal people, but only insurance companies could provide the necessary funds to create the environment that best promoted healing. As a result, he worked with South African insurance companies to issue the first critical illness policy in 1983.

Medical practitioners today will confirm what Dr. Barnard observed – the lower your stress levels the better the chances for your recovery. Read more


Taxation of Life Insurance – New Rules Create New Opportunities – March 2014

In August the Department of Finance published their changes to the taxation of life insurance as previewed in March 2013 Federal Budget.  When final legislation is passed later this year, these changes will result in an updating to the “exempt test” which determines how much tax-deferred value can accumulate in a life insurance policy before it is subject to accrual taxation.  The new rules take effect and will apply to policies issued January 1, 2016 and later.

Highlights of the new rules and their affect


For Cash Value Life Insurance:

  • Effective with policies issued after 2015 the new rules will reduce the ability to tax-shelter accumulating cash values;

Read more


What Are Segregated Funds & Are They Right For Me? – February 2014

The world of investment choices can be confusing. Do you sacrifice security for higher returns? Or do you take the safe path and take the guaranteed route, locking yourself into low returns? Fortunately for Canadian investors there is another option: Segregated funds.

What are Segregated Funds?

Segregated funds are similar to mutual funds but are only offered by life insurance companies. This allows for the special “insurance” features that can make segregated funds a safer investment and provide added advantages.

Like mutual funds, segregated funds have a wide range of investment choices: Read more

« 'Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.' ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson »     ...     « 'Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.' ~ Albert Schweitzer »     ...     « 'Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.' ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson »     ...     « 'Strive not to be a success, but rather of value.' - Albert Einstein »     ...     « 'Faith is taking the first step, even when you can't see the whole staircase.' ~ Martin Luther King »     ...     « 'Today's preparation determines tomorrow's achievement.' ~ Unknown »     ...     « 'Press on, nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.' ~ Ray Kroc »     ...     « 'Patience is the companion of wisdom' - Saint Augustine »     ...     « 'Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.' ~ Albert Einstein »     ...     « 'The question isn't at what age I want to retire, it's at what income.' ~George Foreman »     ...     « 'Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.' ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson »     ...     « 'The last of human freedoms is to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances.' - Viktor Frankl »     ...     « 'The last of human freedoms is to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances.' - Viktor Frankl »     ...     « 'Some people dream of success... while others wake up and work hard at it.' -Author Unknown »     ...     « 'You can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.' - Napoleon Hill »     ...     « Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. - Henry Ward Beecher »     ...     « 'We are made strong by the difficulties we face, not by those we evade.' - Anonymous »     ...     « 'Remember, happiness doesn't depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think.' - Dale Carnegie »     ...     « 'You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.' – Mahatma Gandhi »     ...     « 'Do you value life? Then waste not time, for that is the stuff of which life is made.' - Benjamin Franklin »     ...     « 'Life is simple but we insist on making it complicated.' – Confucius »     ...     « 'Our mortality gives life a sense of urgency' - John Izzo »     ...     « 'The question isn't at what age I want to retire, it's at what income.' ~George Foreman »     ...     « 'Either you run the day or the day runs you.' – Jim Rohn »     ...     « 'Life is the sum of all your choices' - Albert Camus »     ...     « “I’m more concerned about the return of my money than with the return on my money” – Will Rogers »     ...     « 'Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to do what they want to do.' – Kathleen Winsor »     ...     « 'Man must go back to nature for information.' – Thomas Paine »     ...     « 'When you have brought up kids, there are memories you store directly in your tear ducts.' – Robert Brault »     ...     « 'Challenges make life interesting, however, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful'. – Mark Twain »     ...     « 'Fear eats away love!' – Author Unknown »     ...     « 'Adolescence is perhaps nature’s way of preparing parents to welcome the empty nest.' – Karen Savage and Patricia Adams, The Good Stepmother »     ...     « ' You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.' – Douglas MacArthur »     ...     « 'All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.' – Galileo »



Leaving a Lasting Legacy

By J. Denise Castonguay

Most successful business people feel a strong desire to give back, but what is the best way to make a meaningful contribution? Is setting up a foundation better than giving direct to a charity? If so, what is involved and what are your options?

Setting up a foundation gives you much more control than simply donating to charity. Even if you are very committed to a charity, charities change over time, and so may your interests or priorities. With a foundation, you can manage how your donation is spent, and can create a legacy of charitable giving for many generations. (If you want philanthropy to be a family tradition, you will need to accommodate different choices from other family members.)

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Many Canadians Lack Sick Leave Coverage

Reposted with permission from Benefits Canada 

Less than half of young and old Canadian workers are covered by employer sick leave and disability leave plans, which means that when they need time off due to an illness or disability, they can’t have it. Canadians facing mental health issues are also vulnerable when it comes to coverage.

This is according to a new report by the Conference Board of Canada, calledDisability Management: Opportunities for Employer Action.

The study shows that only a third of employees between the ages of 18 and 24 have any paid sick days or short-term disability coverage. Just one quarter have coverage in the event of a long-term disability. Read more »