Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) allows Canadians, age 18 and over, to set money aside tax-free throughout their lifetime. Each calendar year, you can contribute up to the TFSA dollar limit for the year, plus any unused TFSA contribution room from the previous year, and the amount you withdrew the year before.
The annual TFSA dollar limit for 2017 is $5,500.*
All income earned and withdrawals from a TFSA are generally tax-free. Plus, having a TFSA does not impact federal benefits and credits. It's a great way to save for short and long-term goals.
To learn all the facts, please contact us.
* For more information, please visit Canada Revenue Agency's TFSA website.
Premier Investment Program
The Premier Investment Program is a fee-based account that offers a range of investment services and the ability to hold a wide variety of investment products including mutual funds and individual stocks and bonds. Virtually every investment offered at Manulife Securities can be held in a Premier plan.
In addition to transparency, objectivity and accountability – the hallmarks of a fee-based account – the Manulife Securities Premier Investment Program can benefit my clients in a number of ways:
- You pay for advice, not trades – transactions are incidental and are not the differentiating factor in assessing the value I offer
- Advisor compensation is completely transparent and agreed upon, and because the costs associated with trades or other services are reduced or eliminated, you can fully understand what you’re paying for your investments
The fee-based solution provides the medium for developing a strong, customized portfolio at a cost that is generally less than the cost associated with traditional mutual funds.
- Fees can be paid outside of your portfolio; this means your portfolio return need not be reduced to pay fees and assets can grow faster
- When a fee is paid for investment advisory services on a portfolio outside of an RRSP, the fee is generally tax deductible
- Because compensation can be based on portfolio value, fees will rise or decline based on the performance of the portfolio; this assures you that my primary interest is the growth of your portfolio
To learn more, please click here or contact me.
Working with a professional financial advisor: Worth more than 1%?
Like many investors considering working with a financial advisor, you have probably asked: “What will I get for the fee I’m paying?” The simple answer: a professional dedicated to helping you stay focused on your financial plan to help achieve your financial goals.
Please click here to read more about the significant value you'll receive from working with a professional financial advisor.
Your Will Planning Workbook
A great deal of thought and planning needs to go into preparing your Will. Not only should you consider what your estate is currently worth, you should also consider your future sources of wealth. Click here to download a helpful will planning guide.
When you become an Executor you are really becoming a legal Trustee with all the rights and responsibilities that come with that position. This handbook provides you with a solid overview of estate settlement and will hopefully provide you with some useful information and tools to expedite your responsibilities in a timely and competent fashion. Read more.
Manulife Private Wealth
Manulife Private Wealth, a unique, seamless and integrated approach to wealth management that includes banking, investment management, and advisory services. Manulife Private Wealth is designed as a collaborative service model allowing clients to retain existing trusted advisors, while receiving highly personalized private banking and investment management services, with access to an integrated team of financial planning, tax and estate experts, accountants and lawyers.
Manulife Private Wealth’s goals-based investment management approach uses a team model to leverage Manulife Asset Management’s extensive experience in domestic and international institutional investment management with expertise across asset classes and investment styles.
To learn more, click here.
Market Update - April 2017
Considering the year began with such uncertainty, equity and fixed income markets performed exceptionally well in the first quarter. Investors overestimated the magnitude of market volatility that would ensue from an Obama to Trump transition of power and markets shrugged off the political drama and took equities higher.
Challenges in the quarter
This past quarter exemplifies what investors should consider with regard to their portfolios. There are many sentimental reasons to fear the stock market, including recent examples like Brexit, Grexit, the Fiscal Cliff, the Debt Ceiling, the election, and the budget. Markets can be swayed over the short term by daily headlines. Equity markets can move up or down for any and all reasons on a daily basis. However, over the long term, market valuations tend to return to their fundamentals—and the fundamentals over the past two quarters have justified markets moving higher.
Starting in Canada, oil prices seem to have stabilized through the first quarter to nearly US$50 per barrel, bringing less volatility for Canadian stocks. The S&P/TSX Composite Index gained 2.4 per cent factoring in dividends through the quarter. Oil prices are expected to remain near their current level, which has multiple implications. First, stable oil prices are positive for the Canadian energy sector and Canadian stocks overall. Secondly, as oil prices remain a strong influence on the Canadian dollar, stable prices should translate into a stable dollar with an average exchange rate near its current US$0.75.
The United States
South of the border, the newly appointed Trump administration added a new element to conversation–and not just for talk shows! Putting politics aside, companies are reporting better year-over-year results on sales and earnings. Unemployment continues to fall. Economic growth continues to improve. In short, the U.S. economy is on the right track. And with it, come prospects for equities through the remainder of the year. The benchmark S&P 500 Index gained 6.1 per cent in the first quarter including dividends, in U.S. dollar terms, or 5.3 per cent, in Canadian dollar terms, reflecting improvements in company results.
Overseas markets showed healthy gains with international equities up 6.6 per cent in Canadian dollars as measured by the MSCI EAFE Index. Brexit considerations aside, the European economic outlook has improved, akin to that of the United States. On the other side of the world, Asia is showing improvement in its regional economies and stock markets—suggesting the growth we see is truly global in nature.
Central Bank Policy
This quarter marked the third time in two years, and since the Great Recession, that the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate. The Bank of Canada didn’t and hasn’t followed suit as the Canadian economy hasn’t performed as strongly as the U.S. economy. The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to continue to raise its benchmark rate another two or three times this year. The environment is meeting the conditions of low unemployment and stable inflation, allowing the Fed to act.
We continue to believe the U.S., Canadian and international economic environment will improve over what it was a year ago but it bears repeating that a positive economic environment doesn’t necessarily mean better returns. While we may be confident that equity markets will deliver another year of positive returns, market volatility is likely to remain through much of 2017—driven mainly by headline news and politics. We continue to advise a balanced approach to asset allocation matched to your individual goals.
As always, if you have any questions about the markets or your investments, we're here to talk.