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    A Young Adult’s Guide to Smart Spending

    NextWAVE 14May2014 SmartChoices Page 1 150x150 A Young Adult’s Guide to Smart SpendingWe recently held the spring session of our popular NextWave program, an educational and networking based initiative that helps the next generation of our client families become more informed, confident and financially independent.

    On an evening in May, a group of young adults in their 20s and 30s gathered in our boardroom to discuss ‘how to spend money wisely’. Although this topic might seem somewhat prosaic, it attracted close to 40 ‘millennials’ and inspired a spirited discussion. The following concepts were discussed as a guide for young adults to make smart spending decisions and more effectively build and manage wealth.

    Live a comfortable life, not a wasteful one. Many ‘Gen Y’ individuals have never experienced real financial hardship. The downside of this is that it can sometimes lead to overconfidence and overspending, rather than saving for ‘rainy days’ or to achieve financial independence.
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    Why the deep freeze is good for your portfolio

    car in the snow21 150x150 Why the deep freeze is good for your portfolioApart from the Olympics, the most popular shared experience these days is talk about the weather. To be specific, the bitter cold that has hit most of Canada – and given rise to the new and now popular term, ‘polar vortex.’ However, there is a silver lining to these snow-filled clouds – and not just for those who enjoy winter sports.

    Demand for natural gas has risen appreciably with the decline in temperatures. And that’s good for investors like ourselves who took a contrary view back in 2011 when the commodity was deeply out of favour. At the time, in North America, natural gas was trading at approximately $1.80 per one million British Thermal Units (BTUs) and producers’ stock prices were depressed.

    But for investors who took a longer-term view, a different picture was emerging. One that held the potential for significant profit.

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    NextWave – A Young Adult’s Guide to Investing

    Finances101 NextWave 150x136 NextWave   A Young Adults Guide to InvestingWe hosted our 3rd NextWave event last week in our King West offices where over 30 young adults gathered to learn about and discuss financial issues specifically relevant to the younger age demographic. This NextWave event is part of a larger program to help young adults develop healthy money management habits and ultimately gain the experience needed to steward wealth responsibly.

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    10 tax saving tips to do before year end!

    clock 150x150 10 tax saving tips to do before year end!With the arrival of December, our attention often turns to holiday preparations — but it’s not too late to save money on your taxes if you act soon.

    Here are ten tax planning ideas to consider before year end:

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    What the smart money knows….and how you can benefit

    SmartMoney CoverImage outline 231x300 What the smart money knows….and how you can benefitWhat are the super-rich doing with their money?

    I know it’s a question that many investors wonder from time to time. In our recently released whitepaper, “What the Smart Money Knows…5 ways to learn from institutional and billionaire investors” we examine the question.

    We look at five factors that set institutional and billionaire investors apart from ordinary investors – it’s not just the money – and we offer up our own solution packaging many of these advantages into turnkey investments for high net worth individuals who want a comparable calibre of expertise applied to their own wealth.

    You can download our whitepaper here.

    Floating Rate Notes – a timely idea for fixed income investors

    Our first order of business is always to protect capital. (If you’re a client or a reader of this blog you likely know that’s been a constant theme in everything we do.)

    In anticipation of a potential rise in interest rates, one of the risks investors should be concerned about is a decline in bond values – what many investors typically think of as “the safe stuff.” If that sounds like a dichotomy it really isn’t. Generally speaking, when interest rates go up, the value of a bond declines. The longer the maturity of the bond the more it falls. (Read our earlier posts Convexity and bonds and Is it time for bond holders to rethink their strategy?)

    To protect our clients’ fixed income investments against rising interest rates — which are inevitable at some point — we’ve been shortening the duration of our bond holdings (now 3 years on average). In addition to that strategy there’s another idea we’ve implemented in recent weeks: Floating Rate Notes (FRNs). [read more >>]

    Is it time for bondholders to rethink their strategy?

    At this time last year, two key issues were front and centre for us.  We were concerned about more fallout from the economic uncertainty in Europe and the U.S.  There did not seem to be any clear plan in place to resolve the debt and deficit issues. We were also concerned that interest rates would finally hit bottom and start to climb.  Both issues caused us to be cautious with our clients’ capital in 2012.

    The threat of rising rates has been hanging over the heads of all investors for some time now.  Quite surprisingly, rates did not rise in 2012. In fact, they fell – about 0.60% in Canada. Why? Because more stimulus like the Federal Reserve’s bond buying programs was needed to re-ignite the economy.

    In anticipation of rising rates last year, we accelerated our plan to diversify our sources of yield for our clients.  We added more income-producing real estate, residential and commercial mortgages, corporate bonds and dividend-paying stocks.  With rates falling, these investments performed well in 2012. [read more >>]