It’s a common question in recent times, especially in an age when technology and algorithms can make decisions at a fraction of the cost. Is it worth it to hire a financial advisor? Or is it better to save the fees and go for a DIY strategy?
It depends who you ask but there are many – often not so obvious – factors that could make a difference to your net returns when putting your trust in a financial advisor.
Proper financial planning goes beyond how and where you invest. Good financial planning can increase your standard of living throughout your life.
Even for a complete novice it is possible to start investing in products without the help of professionals. The problem with this option is the lack of knowledge. Knowledge is crucial when it comes to investing. Read more
If you have ever thought that life insurance was something you wouldn’t need after you reached a certain level of financial security, you might be interested in knowing why many wealthy individuals still carry large amounts of insurance. Consider the following:
- A life insurance advisor in California recently placed a $201 million dollar life insurance policy on the life of a tech industry billionaire;
- Well known music executive David Geffen was life insured for $100 million;
- Malcolm Forbes, owner of Forbes Magazine, was insured at the time of his death in 1990 for $70 million.
While life insurance is most often looked upon as a vehicle to protect ones family or business, the question that springs to mind is why would individuals with wealth need life insurance? Read more
There are three trends that will guide the Canadian economy in 2017. Those are:
- the strength, or lack thereof, of oil prices;
- domestic housing developments; and
- whether the U.S. economy continues to improve.
So says Russell Investments’ 2017 Global Market Outlook, which calls for modest growth in the coming year for Canada.
“Moderate improvement in the price of oil and reasonable growth of the U.S. economy are weighed down by debt-laden households,” says Shailesh Kshatriya, director of Canadian strategies at Russell Investments Canada Limited. “We expect domestic equities to be positive, but without the exuberance of 2016. However, domestic bonds likely will be challenged as lacklustre fundamentals may be partially offset by rising yields in the U.S. […] On balance, we see 2017 economic growth in the range of 1.6% to 2%.”
In bull markets some investors develop unhealthy expectations as to the long term yields their investments should provide. Ten years ago, some came to accept returns as high as 15% to 20% per annum as the base return their fund and portfolio managers were expected to provide. Of course, these expectations came crashing back to earth in 2008 as the bull was chased away by a very large bear. Today, many fund managers are of the opinion that double digit returns are going to be very difficult to achieve with any consistency over the long term.
Is it time for us to lower our expectations?
If we have to accept lower rates of return, do we still want to be exposed to the same previous level of risk? There can be tremendous volatility in the equity markets and, as a result, many wonder if they are on the right track with their investment strategy.
4 Questions to ask yourself about your investment strategy
What are my goals?
Many of us set New Year’s resolutions for ourselves and often those resolutions have to do with finances. January is the month we say, “Ok, this year I am going to save more and spend less”. This article won’t tell you how to spend less, but it will outline two government sponsored programs available to help you save for retirement or even just a rainy day! Of course these are not the only vehicles you can accumulate money with – those include anything from putting dollars under the mattress to the most sophisticated tax shelter schemes – but these two are the most popular.
Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA)
This is the new kid on the block established by the government as of January 1, 2009. Canadian residents age 18 or older could contribute up to $5,000 into a TFSA. The funds would grow tax free and although there is no tax deduction for the contribution, withdrawals can be made at any time without paying tax. Also, there is no earned income requirement for an individual to contribute. For those years where no contribution is made, it can be made in later years. Any withdrawals can be paid back in addition to current contributions. Be careful not to do this in the same year as the money was withdrawn so as to avoid a tax penalty for over payment. Read more