Archive by tag "finance"

Control and risk in retirement

July 10th, 2017

People with defined contribution pension plans or group RRSPs may face a “good news, bad news” situation when they retire. The good news is that many people will receive 6-figure (and sometimes even 7-figure) cheques from such plans. The bad news is that this money has to fund their lifestyle for the rest of their [...]

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Interest Rates and the Black Death

September 19th, 2016

For the last 18 months, I have been volunteering with the Financial Planning Standards Council on the awkwardly-named Projection Assumption Guidelines Committee. This committee publishes, annually, projected rates of return for fixed income, equities and other investments. These projections are guidelines for financial planners building models that demonstrate clients’ financial situation for the next 25 [...]

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Making Sense of RRIF’s, LIRA’s and LIF’s

September 12th, 2016

Many of us know what an RRSP is, but for a lot of people, retirement investment tools like RRIF’s, LIRA’s and LIF’s are an alien language. My goal in this article is to shed some light on these important but sometimes poorly understood tools.

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Recent Changes to the CPP

August 16th, 2016

Although many people are unaware of it, modest enhancements to the Canada Pension Plan were agreed on when federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau met with the provincial finance ministers met in June. The changes are to be submitted to Parliament for approval in October.

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Clarity Coming on Investment Fees

May 21st, 2016

When I ask a client what they are being charged for their mutual fund investments, the answer is usually “I don’t know, but I don’t think that I am being charged anything at all. In fact, every once in a while my advisor takes me out for a very nice lunch.”.

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What’s So Scary About Life Annuities?

February 12th, 2016

My wife Mary and I are getting ready to move into the deaccumulation stage, the stage where we need to draw down on our savings to support our lifestyle.

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Another Dimension to Retirement Risks

September 16th, 2015

As part of my responsibility to clients, I continue to follow the work of several leading experts on the risks of retirement. Steve Vernon, an American actuary, recently surprised me by adding another whole category of retirement risks that he calls behavioral risks.

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Reasonable (and Unreasonable) Rates of Return

September 16th, 2015

The Financial Planning Standards Council recently promulgated Projection Assumption Guidelines. The Guidelines help financial planners set appropriate assumptions when developing financial plans for clients. The most interesting guidelines are those for investment rates of return.

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Retirement Income Planning

September 15th, 2015

NOTE: This newsletter contains three articles that are best read in sequence, starting with this one and followed by Revisiting the Risks of Retirement and Another Dimension of Retirement Risk. Up until two years ago, my work with clients was focused on developing lifestyle and financial plans for their “retirement”. Now, however, I find myself [...]

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A Lesson in Latin

June 22nd, 2015

What can Latin –a language that has been dead for centuries– teach us about mutual fund investing. Quite a bit, it turns out. A report produced by the Brondesbury Group ( sheds light on the issue of compensation for mutual fund sales. The report could have aptly been titled Caveat Emptor, Latin for “Let the buyer [...]

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