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Odette Morin

Odette Morin

Recent Posts

How did the latest “Sell everything” strategy work out?

In my 28 year career in the investment industry, I had to reassure clients time and time again. Investors get really concerned when they hear Doom & Gloom predictions from well meaning friends or the media.
Time and time again I have to remind them to disregard market fluctuations. Good quality investments in a well balanced portfolio always recover. It is safer to stay the course.
Here is a fantastic article about would have happened if you would have followed the latest sell everything strategy that did its rounds earlier this year.

We are not Burger King, and that’s a good thing!

Burger kin

Do you remember the Burger King ads that ran years ago? They always ended with “Have it your way”. It was a positive message that conveyed the importance of client satisfaction.

Fast-forward to today and the You First tax checklists (I bet you didn’t see that coming!). Despite all appearances, asking you to complete these lists our way also represents a desire to satisfy our clients.

After all, the less time we spend asking questions and trying to organize your information, the less it will cost you, and the more likely you’ll benefit from our below market tax preparation rates.

In addition, those clients who complete the checklists as required benefit from a 20% discount on their total. Those who don’t will have to pay full price.

So, while Burger King might hold the lettuce, we’re holding onto our outstanding value.

When you complete the checklists as instructed, we’re able to enter the data into our tax software and in the order which the system requires. It’s efficient and cost-effective.

However, even the slightest discrepancy can result in extra time for us.

We’ve had clients deliver organized, colour-coded and exceptionally detailed information. Yet, because it differed from our software’s system, the time we invested increased, as did our cost.

The fact is, we want to spend all of our time saving you money and making you money. Nevertheless, if you want us to spend time on you unnecessarily, then have it your way (but it will cost you!)

You can find all of our checklists here.

 

Thank you for preparing our Tax checklists

 

How to take the bite out at tax time

Amy Lou

Most of you know our little pet, Amy Lou. She weighs 7 pounds and stands no more than a foot tall. Yet, despite her stature, she guards our workplace fiercely.

After all, there’s just no office more important.

I realized as she was barking at someone today that we’re similar – and no, not because of her bark! You see, we both protect what matters to us. In my case, it’s my clients. And, while I don’t bark, I do ask a lot of questions particularly at tax time.

The reason for this is two-fold. For one, I want to maximize all the opportunities and deductions available to you. I also want to insulate you from preventable predicaments with the Canadian Revenue Agency.

That’s where my protective nature comes in, as does that of our entire team.

By asking a lot of questions and requesting documentation to justify the figures presented, we can ensure that you’re very well armed for a CRA review or assessment – which have become more frequent.

It used to be that people would file their returns, documents intact, via regular mail. However, all that’s changed. Nowadays, returns tend to be filed electronically and don’t include documentation. As such, random checks have become more commonplace.

By the way, should you be picked, don’t panic. It’s not an audit. In addition, by managing your returns as thoroughly as we do, we’re in a good position to help you present what the CRA requires in due time and in the best way.

If you’ve been thinking, “that Odette is like a dog with a bone!” now you know why. So please be sure to complete our helpful tax return checklists and have all your documents organized.

Get our tax checklist here

 

Price to Rent ratio: Is it best to rent or buy a home?

rentvsbuy

A common metric to determine whether it is better to buy a home or continue renting is to use the Price to Rent ratio.

Price of property you think of buying divided by a similar property’s annual rent.

A ratio of less than 1-15 = Better to buy than rent except if planning to live in the home for less than 5 years.
A ratio of more than 16-20 = typically better to buy than rent
A ratio of more than 20 = Better to rent than buy unless planning to live in the home for 15+ years

Example:
$500,000 property divided by $2000 x 12 month rent $24,000 = 20.8
It is therefore better to rent than buy UNLESS you plan to live in the home for a very long time.

This is just a rule of thumb and you must consider many more variables like your cash flow, mortgage amortization, age to retirement and what will you do with the housing cost difference between renting and owning a home, will you invest the funds or just spend them.

We advocate a more in-depth analysis of your personal situation but the ratio is indeed an interesting metric to consider as part of a thorough analysis.

For interest sake, an analysis made in 2012 about the Price to Rent ratio for Vancouver, BC and Seattle, Washington show interesting results. Why Seattle? Because it’s probably the most comparable city to Vancouver: both coastal, with similar populations, climates, culture, lifestyle, natural beauty and incomes.

The average price-to-rent ratio in Seattle it is 14.5. According to the Price to Rent ratio guidelines, buying is probably the better option for anyone planning to keep the home more than a few years.

However, in Vancouver the ratio is a staggering 36.9. Considering that the guidelines recommends renting anytime the ratio is above 20, most rational investors wouldn’t even consider buying here UNLESS they plan to live in the home for a very long time.

Food for thought!  Here is the article and analysis.