Split personality

The Canadian stock market has had a split personality, repeatedly rising to set new record highs, then falling back again sharply. It’s left many investors wondering whether it’s a bull market – or a bear market. In many ways, it’s both. A closer examination of the benchmark Canadian stock index, the S&P/TSX, shows that the … Read more →

The three life stage

Retirement planning can be divided into three distinct phases, based on your life stage. During each stage, there are specific investment and financial strategies you should consider to help you achieve your retirement goals. Life Stage 1 – Building your retirement nest egg Start early to maximize the impact of tax-deferred compounding over time Catch … Read more →

Socially responsible investing

What is socially responsible investing? Socially responsible investing, sometimes known as ethical investing, is the application of your personal values and societal concerns to your investment decisions. It considers your financial needs as well as the selection and management of investments based on your personal ethical, moral, social or environmental concerns. There are three basic … Read more →

Last minute tax preparation reminders

Many individuals wait until the last couple weeks of April to file their income tax return and this year will probably be no different. The following is a checklist of some last minute reminders that individuals should be aware of when preparing their 2004 individual income tax return: The deadline to file your 2004 individual … Read more →

Tax Strategies for the Owner-Manager

It’s that time of year when, like Christmas, ‘giving’ has implications to the pocketbook. Yes, the taxman cometh. And if you own your own business, the taxman has the habit of dropping by twice: once to see how your business is doing and once again to see how you are doing. To help you make … Read more →

Tax-wise Retirement Planning

Consider the following example. Say you invest $10,000 in an RSP. If you are a high-income earner, this is roughly equivalent to a $5,000 investment outside of an RSP, due to the tax deduction you receive. After 10 years, your RSP will have grown to $21,589 from $10,000, assuming an 8% annual interest rate of … Read more →

The Retirement Catch-Up Plan

1. Start making your maximum RSP contribution every year A common reason why people fall behind is they don’t get into the habit of making their maximum RSP contributions every year. It can be difficult to come up with your maximum RSP contribution all at once. For some people, the solution is to start a … Read more →

Achieving the Dream of Early Retirement

Retiring early means you’ll need to re-assess some of the assumptions of your current retirement savings plan. For example, if you belong to a company pension plan, how will it be affected? Depending on the specific plan, the pension payment to which you’re entitled could be significantly lower than you’d counted on. With less time … Read more →

Maximize Your Giving to Charities

The amount donated will generate a tax credit on your final tax return. Ordinarily, the maximum amount of donations on which a credit can be claimed is 75% of net income. In the year of death and the preceding year, however, the limit is 100%. A charitable bequest may be an attractive solution if your … Read more →

Creating an Estate Plan

A will is the cornerstone of any estate plan. If you don’t have one, the administration and distribution of your estate will be carried out according to the laws of the province you live in. When you make your will, it is helpful to work with a lawyer (or notary in Quebec) who has professional … Read more →

Business Succession Strategies

The key to a successful transfer depends on the recruitment of skilled outside advisors, such as a lawyer, accountant and estate planner. And with the general aging of the Canadian population – the first baby boomers are approaching 60 years old – more family businesses will be passed on during the next two decades than … Read more →