Everyone of us has had a serious health incident affect themselves, a family member or a close friend.   Quite often they are not prepared for this event.  We are happy to help out where we can when someone we know is affected in the forms of Go Fund Me Donations, making meals, taking care of kids. It often makes us reflect upon our own situations. Am I prepared if something were to happen to me?  What can I do to be prepared if something were to happen to me?   Here are few insurance options that can help you and your oved ones be protected if something were to happen to your or a family member.

A client recently called me up to discuss what their options were for replacing their income for a short-term medical leave. Luckily, this client and I had addressed the issues of short-term planning and I had an answer. Do you know what yours would be?

The conversation I have about debt, specifically student loans, becomes a serious concern amoung young individuals who want to start saving whether that be for their first house, car, cottage, or even retirement.

"How much should I save if I'm still paying off my student loan? Should I pay a large portion of my student debt now if I have the money? Should I be saving at all if I haven't paid off my student loan?"

All fair questions, but to answer all of these in two words; it depends.

A recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics shows that 50% of recent college graduate have student loans, with an average student loan debt of $10,000. The average cost of college increases at twice the rate of inflation. With the rising costs of post-secondary, it is difficult for aspiring college students to get enough scholarships and grants to pay for tuition and basic necessities. More and more college students are forced to use credit cards to pay for basic essentials such as books and school supplies. According to the United Marketing Service (UCMS), the average number of credit cards per student is 2.8.

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Here are 7 helpful tips that could help you pay off student loan debt: 

February is RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) season. I am going to take this opportunity to explore some of the history of the RRSP. There is much in the RRSP’s history that can help us to understand how it works today.    

 

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If you are a member of a share ownership plan (SOP), we suggest you review it on a regular basis. As with any portfolio, it is important to review the concentration you have in just one company. Modern portfolio theory suggests you diversify your holdings amongst various companies, industries, geographic locations, business cycles, etc.  Maintaining a diversified stock portfolio, particularly during turbulent times, is a key strategy at mitigating loses.

 

Employees periodically have the opportunity to transfer funds from your SOP to another account, to help you meet your long-term savings goals while staying in-line with your risk tolerance.

 

Take a look at your own share ownership plan and talk to us about whether you are overly concentrated, and need to diversify. We can accommodate your company stocks and advise on how they best fit within your full financial plan or make alternative suggestions.  

“If I only knew then what I know now.” - My Parents 

“If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.” - Mercedes Lackey

Growing up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, my sister and I lived under the care of my immigrant parents who were business owners. I felt I had lived a normal lifestyle that consisted of eating, sleeping, and watching the occasional episode of “Sesame Street”. Not once did I feel like we were in a difficult situation. I had everything I ever needed; food, a roof over my head, and a small bed to call my own. Looking back, I realized that what we had came with significant financial sacrifices.  

Our portfolio management teams remain optimistic on the outlook for Canadian equity markets.  Although we are likely in the later stages of the economic cycle, the Canadian economy is expected to continue benefiting from strong demand for goods and services from the United States.  This should allow for continued strength in corporate profits resulting in positive equity market returns.