Investment Strategies for First Time Home Buyers

For many Canadians the thought of home ownership is a pipedream, and their reality will not include what many generations have taken for granted.

Others see home ownership as an obtainable goal, but the priority now is to get a substantial downpayment to get “in the game”.

For those that don’t have the luxury of using “the bank of mom & dad” here’s how they should prioritize their savings program.

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What I would tell my 19-year-old self about Finances & Money

Imagine having the opportunity to go back in time and talk to the 19-year-old you, having the knowledge you do now? I turned 69 this year so going back 50 years to when I was 19 and having that “talk” with myself would have had a dramatic effect on my over all financial health.

Here are 8 things I learned and would do differently:

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Getting to Know More on Sustainable Investing

A recent survey showed that 73% of Canadian investors wanted to learn more about how their investments inside RRSPs, TFSAs or non-registered holdings can contribute to positive social change.

Sustainable investing, can be done individually through DIY platforms or through Mutual or Segregated Fund purchases, takes into consideration environmental, societal, and corporate governance (called ESG) issues.

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The New First Home Savings Account (FHSA)

The recent federal Budget in March 2023 introduced Canadians to a new financial tool meant to make the entry into residential home ownership more of a reality for many.

The FHSA will allow eligible Canadians to make a tax-deductible contribution to a savings vehicle geared solely for their first home purchase.

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The Pre-retirement Check List

You have done the hard part and made it to your ‘50s in better financial shape than where you were at a decade ago. If you have children, they are now launched, and their financial dependency on you has hopefully decreased. If you did not have children, you probably used the additional cash flow to hammer away at your mortgage and build up your assets.

Now as you look at your options for retirement you are wondering, “can I do this early or am I looking at the traditional age of 65 to make it happen?”

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Annuity Settlement Options to Protect your Beneficiaries

As a financial advisor I am often asked if a future death claim payout to a client’s beneficiary can be structured so that it is not paid out as a lump sum.

Parents, and sometimes grandparents, may be concerned that the inheritance if taken as a large lump sum may put the child at risk for several reasons:

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The Importance of a Proper Beneficiary Designation on your RRSP/RRIF

Over the years I have reviewed a handful of my client’s RRSPs who had their assets with one of my competitors, and several times I have been shocked with how poorly it was communicated to the customer how important the beneficiary selection is. 

In the last year a long-time senior client of mine sadly died unexpected and had two RRIFs. One with me showing his spouse as beneficiary (as Successor Annuitant/Owner) and the second with an online self service provider with his “Estate” as beneficiary.

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TFSA Beneficiary Designations

In 2009 the federal government introduced the Tax Free Savings Account concept to Canadians. For anyone 18 years or older the TFSA has been whole-heartedly embraced as a tax-efficient vehicle to save money for short and long-term needs.

However, many people do not fully understand the importance of proper beneficiary designations and subsequently, they miss additional tax planning opportunities.

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Dealing with Inflation and Your Finances

On February 24th, 2022, Russia invaded the Ukraine, setting off an inflation spiral not seen since the early 1980s. As Russia is the 3rd largest producer of oil and natural gas (behind Saudi Arabia and the USA) the impact of declining reserves was immediate in the prices we paid at the pump this last Spring.

The rise in oil and gas prices in turn escalated the cost of all consumer goods, services, and food items so that the rate of inflation for June 2022 was 9.3%.

What exactly is inflation in economic terms?

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