Category Archives: Investments

Odette Morin

New $10,000 TFSA limit approved









The CRA has come out and confirmed that the TFSA increase to $10,000/year is effective immediately (before budget gets passed into Law).  You can top up your limit now.
The total maximum contribution from all previous years to date is $41,000.  If you have maximized every year, and have already made your $5500 contribution this year, you can now add $4500.
Contact us if any questions or wish to make your top up TFSA contribution now. email hidden; JavaScript is required

Odette Morin

Why are interest rates so low?

Ben Bernanke has a new blog and it’s good. I love the way he explains very complex issues in more simple ways.

Mr. Bernanke is an American economist at the Brookings Institution who served two terms as chairman of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States from 2006 to 2014. In his first blog post he explains why interest rates are currently so low. Warning: It is a very dry subject but if you are interested, it does help understand how the central bank’s interest rate decision works. It is a three part series.

Here is a link to the first article. You may also do like me and subscribe to receive his weekly blog posts.

Here is the full article here.


Odette Morin

Deducting investment fees

Do you have a “fee-based” non-registered investment account? This is the type of account where fees are not embedded or hidden in the Management Fees and usually offered to investors with more than $250k of investments. These advisory fees are tax deductible and can be reported as investment counseling fees in carrying charges on line 221 of your tax return.

You will find the fees if any, in the capital gains section of your December 31 statement. This only applies for non-registered accounts. Not for RRSP, RESP or TFSA.

Don’t forget to report your Capital Gains as well. If you see Capital Gains in the Tax reporting section of that December 31 statement, they need to be reported. They are in addition to any gains/losses showing on your Tslips.

Odette Morin

Good advice does not cost, it pays!

There will be a lot of talk in the months ahead regarding mutual fund fees and the cost of financial advice. Investors will soon be able to see exactly how much they pay on their annual statement. This new industry rule is a welcome step towards transparency and will create a more level playing field for advisors who currently get paid the same for providing very different levels of service. We will be starting a series of investor’s education articles in the next few weeks on this subject.

Financial Planners like us do much more than provide quick investment advice. There is a great deal of work that goes into a financial plan and annual financial review. There is a great article that came out this week posted by the Golden Girls.

Here is an excerpt.

“As an advisor who charges a fee for financial planning services, I’ve lost count of the number of times that someone has told me that they could get a financial plan done for “free” at their bank or other institution. Well, perhaps. Usually that involves a 15-minute meeting with the bank’s designated planner, who will typically enter your basic financial details into the bank’s in-house “planning” system, which will then spit out a number of colorful tables, charts, and graphs showing you how long your savings will last in retirement. That might work for some people, but it’s not my idea of a solid financial plan. My motto is, “Good advice doesn’t cost, it pays.

To ensure your financial plan meets your financial objectives, at a minimum it needs to contain the following information in detail:

  • The amount of money that you need to save each year.
  • The asset allocation that would give you the highest probability of maximizing your return with the least amount of risk.
  • Tax planning strategies to minimize your overall tax.
  • Judicious use of credit.
  • Plans for a pre-retirement lifestyle that allows you to have achieve the financial goals to fund the retirement lifestyle that you want.

Reproduced in part from Golden Girls Finance

Read the full article


Terry Broaders

Weekly Update March 24 2015

“Pretend Inferiority and Encourage His Arrogance” -Sun Tzu, philosopher & military strategist


TSX Climbs On Commodity Prices

Higher commodity prices propelled the Toronto stock market to a solid gain Friday as both the energy and metals sectors finished in positive territory. The S&P/TSX composite index rose 68.48 points to close at 14,942.41, marking a climb of 1.4 per cent over the week. The loonie moved ahead 0.92 of a U.S. cent to 79.50 cents after Canada’s latest inflation figures showed lower gas prices offset higher prices for nearly everything else. In the U.S. the Nasdaq composite index jumped to the highest level in 15 years, nearly wiping out its losses since the end of the dot-com bubble.  The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.7 per cent or 34.04 points to 5,026.42, after coming to within 7 points of its all-time high set in March, 2000.  The loonie moved ahead 0.92 of a U.S. cent to 79.50 cents after Canada’s latest inflation figures showed lower gas prices offset higher prices for nearly everything else. Canada’s annual inflation held steady at 1.0 per cent in February, in line with analyst estimates. Statistics Canada said lower gasoline prices were a major factor and the inflation rate would have been 2.2 per cent if they had been excluded.


Europe Recovery Underway

European Central Bank head Mario Draghi says “a sustained recovery is taking hold” in Europe a recovery he says must be used to complete the 19-country euro currency union and fix its problems for good.  Draghi adds that member countries should use the breathing space given them by the central bank’s stimulus efforts to pass tough structural reforms that would make their economies more business-friendly so they can grow and prosper. Eurozone countries must “stand on their own two feet” because the eurozone doesn’t provide for budget transfers from richer countries — the way U.S. states that suffer recessions can depend on tax transfers through the federal government.


Market Update As of March 20 2015

The TSX closed at 14942, up 210 points or 1.43% over the past week. YTD the TSX is up 1.27%.

The DOW closed at 18128, up 379 points or 2.14% over the past week. YTD the DOW is up 1.65%.

The S&P closed at 2108, up 55 points or 2.68% over the past week. YTD the S&P is up 2.43%.

The Nasdaq closed at 5026, up 154 points or 3.16% over the past week. YTD the Nasdaq is up 6.33%.

Gold closed at 1183, up 27.00 points or 2.34% over the past week. YTD gold is up 0.94%.

Oil closed at 46.29, up 1.15 points or 2.55% over the past week. YTD oil is down -12.15%.

The USD/CAD closed at 1.256692, down -0.0216 points or -1.69% over the past week. YTD the USD/CAD is up 7.09%.


Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive;

Terry Broaders

Weekly Update March 2 2015

“I Thought I Was Pretty Good Until I Saw Hendrix” -Brian May, Queen Guitarist & Astrophysicist


TSX Declines As Oil Prices Rise

The Toronto stock market pulled back slightly Friday amid soft U.S. economic data despite rising resource and financial stocks. The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 6.82 points at 15,234.34. The Canadian dollar gained 0.15 of a U.S. cent to 79.98 cents. New York indexes were also lower following a report that U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.2% in the fourth quarter, weaker than the 2.6% first estimated. A bigger surprise was a glum reading on the manufacturing sector in the U.S. Midwest, which fell to a 5 1/2 year low and into contraction territory in February. Analysts says they believe there is something unusual in the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index reading and think it will be treated with skepticism by traders. The Dow Jones industrials lost 81.72 points to 18,132.70, while the Nasdaq gave back 24.36 point to 4,963.53. Oil prices gained $1.59 to US$49.76 a barrel.


Charitable Canadians

The amount of charitable donations reported by tax filers increased in 2013 over the previous year, while the actual number of donors fell 1.0%. Total donations rose 3.5% to $8.6 billion, with gains in every province and territory except the Northwest Territories, where donations were 2.7% lower. The largest increases were in Prince Edward Island +7.5%, Manitoba +6.0% and Alberta +5.9%.

In 2013, 21.9% of all tax filers claimed charitable donations, compared with 22.4% in 2012. Manitoba 25.3%, Prince Edward Island 24.1% and Saskatchewan 23.4% had the highest percentage of tax filers declaring a donation. Nationally, the median donation was $280 in 2013, meaning that half of those claiming a donation gave more than $280, while the other half gave less than $280.  Although Nunavut had proportionately fewer donors than other provinces and territories, it had the highest median charitable donation of $500 among tax filers claiming charitable donations. In descending order here are the median donation amounts for each province and territory: Nunavut $500; Alberta $420; British Columbia $400; Prince Edward Island $400: Manitoba $390; Yukon $390; Saskatchewan $380; Newfoundland & Labrador $350; Northwest Territories $350; Ontario $340; Nova Scotia $320; New Brunswick $310; Quebec $130.


Market Update As Of February 27 2015

The TSX closed at 15234, up 63 points or 0.42% over the past week. YTD the TSX is up 3.25%.

The DOW closed at 18133, down -7 points or -0.04% over the past week. YTD the DOW is up 1.68%.

The S&P closed at 2105, down -5 points or -0.24% over the past week. YTD the S&P is up 2.28%.

The Nasdaq closed at 4964, up 8 points or 0.16% over the past week. YTD the Nasdaq is up 5.01%.

Gold closed at 1215, up 14.00 points or 1.17% over the past week. YTD gold is up 3.67%.

Oil closed at 49.33, down -1.59 points or -3.12% over the past week. YTD oil is down -6.38%.

The USD/CAD closed at 1.251377, down -0.0024 points or -0.19% over the past week. YTD the USD/CAD is up 6.63%.



Sources: Bloomberg; Investment Executive;