Planning Opportunities in the Women’s Market

As you plan your business development strategies for the coming year and beyond, it may be a good time to consider truly untapped opportunities in the marketplace. For example, understanding how women relate to money and being sensitive to the unique challenges women face can set you apart from your peers.

Watch this video to learn more about this key market segment and how you can make a difference. Continue reading “Planning Opportunities in the Women’s Market”

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Planning for Your Financial Future

Love and Money

Ah love… such a wonderful thing, but sometimes financial strains and worries can get in the way. In fact, 84% of respondents in a Money Magazine survey said that money was the source of marital tensions with disagreements about financial priorities topping the list of problems (1). So, how should your client handle their money in order to avoid these wicked pangs of love?

Here are few insights to share with your clients to help them keep their pocketbooks full and those love lights burning strong (without all those headaches!). Continue reading “Love and Money”

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Love and Money

SMART TALK…about digital assets

Your client has been fairly savvy about their physical assets – they’ve made detailed lists and secured a representative to handle these assets when they are no longer here. However, have they considered their digital assets? Your client’s bank accounts, their social media and online family photos are valuable and need to be protected.

Watch this video, part of our SMART TALK series, and share it with your clients to demonstrate the importance of safeguarding digital assets. Continue reading “SMART TALK…about digital assets”

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SMART TALK…about digital assets

Seg Funds – Protecting your Client from a Volatile Market

2020 was a volatile year for investment portfolios – and for life in general. While we hope the worst is behind us, we know that market volatility is nothing new. Remember the Y2K tech bubble, the sub-prime crisis of 2007/2008 and the Chinese stock market turbulence in 2015/2016? Each of these events saw index declines as great or greater than what we experienced in Q1 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This sort of market volatility can be extraordinarily distressing for your investor clients, particularly those in or nearing retirement.

Segregated (seg) funds, an investment product (invested in one or more underlying assets,such as mutual funds or ETFs) combined with an insurance contract, can be appropriate for investor clients who are concerned about volatility, market corrections or long-term bear markets, but don’t want to forsake the possibility of higher returns. By offering guarantees of all or a portion of the principal, seg funds protect invested capital while providing upside exposure. If, during the life of a seg fund contract, the value of the underlying assets grow, your client, or in the case of death their beneficiary, will reap the gain. However, if upon maturity, or the death of the contract holder, the market has fallen, losses can be capped or wholly eliminated. And 100% death benefit guarantees are available to your client investors up to the age of 90 (without medical review requirements). It’s no surprise that seg funds experienced increased popularity in 2020. Continue reading “Seg Funds – Protecting your Client from a Volatile Market”

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The Best of Both Worlds: Segregated funds in a volatile markets

The Power of Compound Interest for Your Client

If your clients dabble in the world of investments, they should know about the power of compounding interest on their investment accounts. That is, the money they invest today – let’s say $100 at a 5% annual interest rate – will earn them $105 in one year. Likewise, if they take that $105 and re-invest it yet again at 5% the following year, your client will earn $110.25, and so on, year after year.

Yes, it is a fairly simple concept but one that your clients should be aware of. The key reason for your client to invest is to earn money on that investment. However, when those savings are increased via monthly deposits or PACS (pre-authorized cheques), they can help your client save on an even larger scale. Continue reading “The Power of Compound Interest for Your Client”

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The Power of Compound Interest

The Estate Wedge

An estate wedge is a planning strategy that can provide tangible solutions for your clients and provide you, as their Advisor, with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your value.

As your clients age, their financial goals are likely to change and their focus may shift from asset accumulation and growth to estate preservation and wealth transition – an estate wedge can help in this scenario. The strategy involves allocating a portion of your client’s non-registered assets into a segregated fund contract, giving them more control over these assets from an estate planning perspective. This can result in several benefits, such as:

  • Contract owners maintain control over their assets
  • Payout options can be tailored to the needs of the estate – lump sum payments, annuity style settlement or a combination of these can be structured into the contract
  • Clients can employ strategies to address the issue of cognitive decline
  • Payouts are made directly to named beneficiaries following the death of the annuitant, bypassing probate if there is appropriate documentation and expediting the process of asset distribution
  • Distributions are not subject to the terms of the annuitant’s will, which provides privacy and lowers overall settlement costs

Continue reading “The Estate Wedge”

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The Estate Wedge – Your Peace of Mind Option

SMART TALK… about registered education savings plans (RESPs)

If your client has a child, they may be interested in a Registered Education Savings Plan (or RESP). This plan is a smart way for them to help lay the groundwork for their child’s learning while maximizing their investments via government grants and tax-deferred growth of the investments within the RESP. It’s a win-win for you and your client!

Share this video with your client, part of our SMART TALK series, to help them learn more about how RESPs can maximize their investments while providing their child with the opportunities for a bright future. Continue reading “SMART TALK… about registered education savings plans (RESPs)”

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SMART TALK… about registered education savings plans (RESPs)

The Beneficiary Challenge

Designating a beneficiary for a life insurance policy just got more complicated with the recent Calmusky v. Calmusky Ontario Superior Court case, overruling a beneficiary designation and ruling a RRIF as part of a deceased’s estate. As a result of this decision, there is a concern that beneficiary designations in favour of adult children in life insurance policies can now be challenged. This could be applicable in all common-law provinces, which excludes Quebec.

Now more than ever, it is crucial to have a detailed conversation with your client about their designations and ensure their intentions are documented both clearly and thoroughly in order to avoid their assets falling into litigation and/or estate. Continue reading “The Beneficiary Challenge”

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Beneficiary Designations – Making Sure Your Money Goes Where You Want

Accumulation and Decumulation – Preparing your Clients for Retirement

Your client has been diligently putting some money away for their retirement, contributing to their RRSP or their TFSA. Perhaps they even have a defined contribution pension or, if they are lucky, the defined benefit version. In either case, there are two very distinct stages within the retirement planning rubric that your client should be aware of.

As you are aware, the accumulation phase is typically the easier of the two and occurs during your client’s working years – this is where they try to allocate as much as possible to an RRSP, TFSA, pension plan or some combination thereof. The main objective here is to accumulate assets for retirement and can be as simple as making regular deposits to an efficiently diversified portfolio and keeping fees in check. Straightforward, right?

The decumulation phase is a little more challenging and refers to the stage in your client’s life when they are no longer earning income from work. During this stage, the main objective is to use the funds that were saved or accumulated to set up income sources for the remainder of their lifetime. The challenge arises through a host of different issues, some predictable and others not so much. Continue reading “Accumulation and Decumulation – Preparing your Clients for Retirement”

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Changing Gears – From Accumulation to Decumulation

A Convo with your Client about the Death Benefit Guarantee in Seg Funds

Segregated funds have several uses as a financial planning tool, primarily in the area of estate planning. As you may know, segregated funds (or seg funds for short) combine the features of a mutual fund with elements of an insurance contract. One of those insurance elements is the death benefit guarantee, which ensures that a specific percentage of the value of your client’s investment pays directly to their beneficiaries at the time of death. This death benefit payment may even bypass probate, which streamlines the process of estate settlement and makes it easier for your client to pass investment assets on to those they love. Seg funds must provide at least a 75% death benefit guarantee, but the guarantee can be up to 100%.

The death benefit guarantee also adds a level of security that is not available in a mutual fund. This can be increasingly powerful for clients who are in retirement or approaching retirement – it allows them to participate in funds with potentially higher returns than guaranteed options such as GICs. The death benefit guarantee forms a “safety net” that provides an element of protection against market risk in these funds. Continue reading “A Convo with your Client about the Death Benefit Guarantee in Seg Funds”

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Segregated Funds and the Death Benefit Guarantee