News was slow this week because of the holidays plus there were only three open markets days.  The TSX showed little movement, and a lack of an agreement on the “fiscal cliff” situation had a slight negative impact on the various U.S. stock exchanges.

As mentioned in last week’s brief, there was no shortage of big economic and business headlines this year (like in any year).  Despite some of these big negative macro headlines, the Canadian and US markets are up year-to-date.  The 2012 year-to-date numbers (there is one day to go in 2012, the 31st next week) are below.  Well managed companies with healthy balance sheets are making money, which is what ultimately drives up the price of a stock.

Another important note is that for the second year in a row, the S&P and the DOW have outperformed the TSX.  Very few people were “bullish” on the U.S. markets two years ago and were all in favour of having a large portion of their portfolio in domestic equities and very little anywhere else.  This reinforces the basic investing principles of portfolio diversification, buying low, and not looking backwards to try to predict future performance.

With 2012 almost behind us, here is a quick list of key dates and events for 2013:

  • To those who have been maximizing their TFSA room each year, in January 2013 you can add another $5500 to your account.
  • The 2012 RRSP deadline will be on March 1st, 2013.  Please check your CRA Notice of Assessment for your contribution limit.
  • The tax return deadline (to those who have a balance due) is on April 30th, 2013 or June 15, 2013 if you are self-employed.
  • If you have a RRIF and turn 72 this year, you will receive your first RRIF payment.
  • If you have an RESP account and like to maximize your grant room each year, consider setting up an automatic monthly contribution to ensure gets this done.  Also, if your child turns 17 in 2013, this will be his final year of grant eligibility.
  • If you prefer paperless billing, please consider switching your quarterly Fundex statements to electronic delivery (contact us for login instructions).

There will be plenty of reminders throughout the year for all of these items (and more).  Of course, never hesitate to contact us for any questions or comments or if you want to book a meeting.

Finally, on behalf of the whole You First team, thank you very much for your ongoing support and we wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2013!

Market Recap (as of December 28, 2012)

  • The TSX closed at 12316, down -70 points or -0.57% over the past week. YTD the TSX is up 3.02%.
  • The DOW closed at 12938, down -253 points or -1.92% over the past week.YTD the DOW is up 5.89%.
  • The S&P closed at 1402, down -28 points or -1.96% over the past week.YTD the S&P is up 11.45%.
  • The Nasdaq closed at 2960, down -61 points or -2.02% over the past week.YTD the Nasdaq is up 13.63%.
  • Gold closed at 1657, down -3.00 points or -0.18% over the past week.YTD gold is up 5.88%.
  • Oil closed at 90.93, up 2.27 points or 2.56% over the past week.YTD oil is down -8.06%.
  • The USD/CAD closed at 0.9965, up 0.0022 points or 0.22% over the past week.YTD the USD/CAD is up 1.70%.

 

Sources: Advisor.ca, Bloomberg