Monthly Archives: November 2014

Odette Morin
Odette Morin

Beware of Black Friday for two reasons








Black Friday can be a dangerous thing for two important reasons.  The first one is that while you may be benefiting from great savings, you may be tempted to overspend.  The best saving is still to avoid buying all together but if it is an item you really need/want, the savings can advantageous.  Just stop for one minute before succumbing to the impulse and ask yourself, do I really need this now, do I really want this now?

The second reason is that many scam artists use Black Friday as the perfect day to phish you personal information. It almost happened to me this morning when I opened a 75% off offer email from Kate Spade, the high end retailer.  Wow 75% seemed amazing but of course, it was too good to be true.  These sites will make you believe that you are getting a great deal and obtain your valuable credit card information that way.  Beware!  Black Friday can be a good but also very bad thing!  Happy responsible shopping!!

Terry Broaders

Weekly Update November 25 2014

“The Difference Between Stupidity and Genius is That Genius Has Its Limits” -Albert Einstein


TSX Up, Dow Sets New Record

The Toronto stock market closed higher Friday, with commodity prices and resource companies advancing amid signs that central banks are prepared to step up efforts to keep the fragile global economic recovery going.  The S&P/TSX composite index climbed 35.95 points, or 0.24%, to 15,111. The TSX ended the week up 268 points or almost 2%, leaving the market up 11% year to date. U.S. stocks also closed higher on Friday, with major indexes rising for a fifth straight week after China’s central bank cut its benchmark interest rate and its euro zone peer announced asset purchases in efforts to boost each region’s economy. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 88.81 points, or 0.5%, to 17,807.81, the S&P 500 gained 10.59 points, or 0.52%, to 2,063.34 and the Nasdaq Composite added 11.10 points, or 0.24%, to 4,712.97. Both the Dow and the S&P ended at new closing records. For the week, the Dow rose 1%, the S&P added 1.2%  and the Nasdaq rose 0.5%.

China’s central bank cut its interest rates and promised to inject extra credit into the financial system if needed. And the head of the European Central Bank said the ECB is willing to “step up the pressure” and broaden its efforts to stimulate the struggling euro zone economy. The Canadian dollar also made a solid advance, up 0.53 of a cent to 88.98 cents (U.S.), as higher than expected inflation in October raised speculation about when the Bank of Canada might hike interest rates.


Top 1% See Share of Total Income Drop

The so-called 1% in Canada are capturing a smaller share of total income, according to new data on taxpayers from Statistics Canada. The national statistics agency says the top 1% of taxfilers saw their share of total income fall to a six-year low in 2012. The top 1% accounted for 10.3% of total income during the year, down slightly from 10.6% in 2011, and well below the historical peak of 12.1% reached in 2006. The cutoff for being considered among the 1% rose to $215,700 in 2012, up from $212,700 in 2011.  Statistics Canada notes that this decline in income share for the 1% in Canada is in contrast to the United States, where the share for the top 1% increased from 18.0% in 2006 to 19.3% in 2012.  The income share for the top 5% of taxfilers in Canada also declined, from 25.1% in 2006 to 23.6% in 2012; and, the share of the top 10% fell from 36.1% to 34.9% during the same period. The threshold to be included in the top 5% was $112,100 and for the top 10% it was $86,700.

Statistics Canada says that the stretch between 2006 and 2012 marks the first prolonged period, since 1982, when the total income shares of the bottom 90%, 95% and 99% of Canadian taxfilers rose or stabilized.  Along  with the apparent decline in income inequality, StatsCan also reports that the proportion of women in the top 1% reached a 31-year high in 2012. Of the 261,365 tax filers that comprise the top 1%, 21.3% were women, which is almost double the proportion in 1982.  Women’s share also doubled among the top 5% and the top 10% of taxfilers between 1982 and 2012, the agency reports. In 2012, women accounted for 25.2% of the top 5%, up from 12.0% in 1982. And, women’s share in the top 10% rose from 14.3% to 29.8% over that same period.


Blog Links

How Much Should You Pay An Executor ?

Canadian May Be Spending Too Much On Cars 


Market Update as of November 21 2014

The TSX closed at 15108, up 265 points or 1.79% over the past week. YTD the TSX is up 10.91%.

The DOW closed at 17810, up 175 points or 0.99% over the past week. YTD the DOW is up 7.44%.

The S&P closed at 2064, up 24 points or 1.18% over the past week. YTD the S&P is up 11.69%.

The Nasdaq closed at 4713, up 24 points or 0.51% over the past week. YTD the Nasdaq is up 12.83%.

Gold closed at 1200, up 31.00 points or 2.65% over the past week. YTD gold is down -0.33%.

Oil closed at 76.53, up 0.71 points or 0.94% over the past week. YTD oil is down -22.39%.

The USD/CAD closed at 1.123842, down -0.0059 points or -0.53% over the past week. YTD the USD/CAD is up 5.70%


Sources: Bloomberg;; Statistics Canada; Investment Executive

Odette Morin

How much should you pay an executor?

exec fees

Being an executor is a big job. It involves lots of responsibility, pressure and risk. It’s not a job you’d expect someone to do for free. So how much should you provide in your will for the executor’s compensation?

Even if executors are family members or beneficiaries, it is a good idea and in some cases a legal right to be paid. It’s a difficult, complex job and can take a year or longer. Someone deserves to be paid for that work.

While executors are entitled to be paid in all provinces, most only require that compensation be “fair and reasonable.” Others provinces outline a range of 3% to 5% of an estate’s assets, based on five factors courts have historically considered. See the five factors below.

The percentages are only a guideline. Think about complexity when deciding on a fair compensation. If the executor has to deal with foreign real estate or an operating business, it may warrant more compensation; an executor handling assets at a single institution may require less. For a complex estate you would probably want to appoint a professional trust company as executor. They too will cost in the 3%-5% range.

Compensation is considered taxable income. So, the testator could assign the executor a gift from the estate (generally not taxable) instead.

It is best to specify a percentage instead of a set dollar figure. You will likely pass on in many years and therefore want the compensation to be relevant in current dollars.

By law, testators are entitled to fair and reasonable compensation, to be determined after duties have been fulfilled. At that time, the executor would provide beneficiaries with a full account of costs incurred, assets managed, taxes paid and compensation owing, which beneficiaries must approve before receiving their portions.

Here are the 5 factors that courts look at in determining whether compensation is fair and reasonable.

Estate size

Usually, the larger the estate, the more compensation the executor gets.


Disbursements with complicated instructions, or assets which if disposed expose the executor to personal liability, entitle him to more.

Time spent

The more time the executor spends performing duties, the more compensation he gets.

 Skill and ability

If the estate requires the executor to draw upon special skills or abilities, she gets more compensation. Conversely, if the estate is so simple that anyone could administer it, she gets less.


Executors who add value to an estate or make savvy asset management decisions are generally entitled to more compensation.

Odette Morin

Canadians may be spending too much on cars










We all have this love story with our cars. Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time in our cars and it is a reflection of who we are for many. Take Terry and me for example, we drive this perfectly fine 8 year old Lexus with just over 66,000 km and are thinking about the next car we will possibly buy next year. “Terry, I love this car”, I told him this morning again. “Do we really need to get a new one yet? It only has 66,000 km. Isn’t it ridiculous to change it already?” Well, the car will be 9 years old next year and here comes all the rationalizing about the need to get a new one.

When it comes to consumer debt in Canada, most reports focus on the high costs of homes and mortgages across the country. But a new report from Moody’s Investors Service suggests trends in the auto sector are also troubling, read more here.

In fact, adds the outlet, the report shows “bank auto lending has grown at a compounded annual rate of 20% since 2007,” and “vehicle loans have jumped from $16.2-billion to $64-billion” over the last seven years.

The problem is not so much that we want or need a new car, the problem is that too many can’t afford what they buy. Buying the luxury car on credit is not a smart move if you have other debts and can barely make ends meet. The line between a need and a want is too often blurred.

A car is a depreciating assets, one that depreciate very fast as soon as you get it out of the dealer. Keeping your car a long time, like 10 or more years, will be as close to an “investment” as you will ever get when cars are concerned.

As for Terry and me, we have not decided yet what car we will buy and when. For now, I’m happy driving the car I love and saving monthly for the next long-term car purchase.

Terry Broaders

Weekly Update November 20 2014

“A Single Twig Breaks, But The Bundle of Twigs is Strong” -Tecumseh


TSX Up As Energy and Oil Make Gains

The Toronto stock market closed higher Friday as energy and oil stocks advanced. The S&P/TSX composite index gained 64.33 points to 14,843 amid a strong collection of economic data from Canada and the United States. The Canadian dollar was ahead 0.78 of a cent at 88.68 cents US amid better than expected readings on Canadian manufacturing and U.S. retail sales. Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales rose 2.1 per cent to $53 billion in September following a sharp 3.5 per cent drop the previous month. U.S. markets were uneven as retail sales rose 0.3 per cent last month after falling by the same amount in September. Also, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index rose 2.5 points to a reading of 89, the strongest reading since 2007. The Dow Jones industrials gave back 18.05 points to 17,634.74, while the Nasdaq rose 8.4 points to 4,688.54 and the S&P 500 index edged 0.49 of a point higher to 2039.82.

The TSX energy sector was ahead 1.15% as the December crude oil contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $1.61 to US$75.66 a barrel. An imbalance between supply and demand has helped drive crude prices down by about 30 per cent from the highs of the summer when Iraqi oil supplies were threatened by Islamic State insurgents. Many analysts think the dive to the mid-70s won’t last and point to economic fundamentals suggesting oil should be trading around the $90 level.


Ottawa To Run $1.9B Surplus In 2015

Next year’s federal budget surplus will be $1.9 billion, the Finance Department says — $4.5 billion less than expected, thanks in part to the Harper government’s multibillion-dollar cost-cutting proposals for families. The expected surplus, unveiled in the government’s fall fiscal and economic update, is a far cry from the $6.4-billion surplus projected in February’s budget. That’s because of the Conservative government’s recently announced family-friendly tax and benefit initiatives, which will consume an estimated $27 billion from public coffers between 2014-15 and 2019-20. The update, delivered in Toronto by Finance Minister Joe Oliver, says Canada is projected to run a $2.9-billion shortfall this fiscal year, matching the government’s projection in the federal February budget. The document also examines the effect of dropping oil prices on the Canadian economy. Cheaper crude could drain $500 million from Ottawa’s bank account this year and $2.5 billion per year between 2015 to 2019, and cut Canada’s nominal GDP by $3 billion in 2014 and $16 billion annually from 2015 to 2019, it predicts. Nonetheless, the federal government is projecting five straight years of surpluses: $4.3 billion in 2016-17, $5.1 billion in 2017-18, $6.8 billion in 2018-19 and $13.1 billion in 2019-20.


Blog Links

CR Wants To Know What’s Happening In Your Bedroom

Do You Really Need A Financial Planner 



Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive;