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Do you know the world is officially a global village?

on Tue, 08/01/2017 - 10:23

Effective July 1, 2017, Common Reporting Standard (CRS) was implemented in Canada under Part XIX of the Canadian Income Tax Act. CRS was developed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), with support of Canada and other G20 countries to combat global tax evasion and improve tax compliance. In another words, it is going to be harder and harder to try to avoid paying tax, no matter where you go in the world (except if you live in the third world countries).

What does that really means and what was changed?
All financial institutions are now required to collect and

Independent financial advisors - from the eyes of a retired bank executive

on Thu, 05/18/2017 - 21:40

This post was written by a client whom l met close to a decade now. She was an executive at a major Canadian bank and she is sharing her insight on independent financial advisors verses bankers. - And, the last line of thank you note was totally a surprise!! :D

Finance, a word that we read and think about often.  Yet, when it comes to making choices for the one thing closest to our hearts, money, most people feel totally bewildered and lost.  The question that begs to be answered then is, does everyone need the services of financial advisors.

Don’t be too easy on “buying a car”

on Mon, 04/24/2017 - 16:39

Over the years, I realize, living in big cities like Toronto, people always struggle with whether they want to buy a car. 

Car buying is like a mini excise on property buying or renovation. No matter how many times you crunch your numbers, when it happens, there are always things going to cost you more.

I have seen multiple times clients thought it was better off for them to get a car, and that whole things turned out to be a mistake. At the same time, there are of course many cases, car buying only makes sense.

This article is just to raise awareness so that you can think twice before

What impacts you most in the 2017 Budget?

on Sun, 03/26/2017 - 21:23

We had our Federal budget out last week, so what does it mean and what impact does it do to you as an individual?

- Canada Caregiver Credit

The Budget proposes to simplify the current caregiver credit system by replacing the Infirm Dependent Credit Caregiver Credit and Family Caregiver Tax Credit with a new Canada Caregiver Credit. The new credit is consistent with the amounts that could have been claimed previously and better targets those who need it the most.

- Disability Tax Credit

The Budget proposes to add nurse practitioners to the list of medical practitioners who can certify


Too late for RRSPs?

on Mon, 03/13/2017 - 04:30

Deadline for 2016 RRSP contribution had passed. You think it is then too late to do RRSPs? No... Never too late. 

The amount you do now and later, of course, cannot be used to lower your income in 2016 but it can be used towards 2017 and beyond's income level. 

Bear in mind, doing it early is always better than later. Here is why:

1. Less stress

When you have lots on the plate and still have to scramble to get last minute RRSP contribution in, that's very stressful 

2. Less financial burde

You can start a monthly contribution so that you don't have to try come up with a lumpsum at

Still not too late to contribute to RRSP for 2016

on Fri, 02/24/2017 - 23:59

I was chatting with a prospect who stated he would do some RRSP in the last meeting and then changed his mind after the paperwork was submitted. He said he made the decision too fast and decided not to put the money in. Welll, the transaction didn't go through, of course. 

So we chatted on the phone and he said he flavors TFSA more than RRSP. I have no specific preference on either, to me, it comes down to what works best and it is only an "account type". Most of the time (between TFSA and RRSP), you have very similar investment choices under the two. 

He mentioned he "wouldn't be taxed

Credit rebuild - harder than you think

on Thu, 02/02/2017 - 18:42

Headlines on Canadians getting deeper and deeper in debt had been on more frequently in the last few years. Living expenses had risen quite a bit, carrying cost are higher, interest rate is lower only to get us into a bigger debt! 

Along the way, the incapabliliy of us repaying our debt is diminishing. Partly due to some of us lost our jobs or contracts but haven't got a new gig yet; sudden (unplanned) expenses among the family, etc. 

I am not too sure since when Canadians take bankruptcy very light.

The wrong perception of fully invested

on Tue, 09/27/2016 - 14:30

I remember way before I became a financial advisor, I have heard how much cash Larry Sarbit (a famous fund manager, he was at AIC at the time) would hold a large amount of cash while unit holders would be yelling and screaming “why are we paying you to hold cash?!”

Over all these years, Sarbit had never changed a bit on his money managing style ( and 

We had been always hear people talking about fully invested (an article from Forbes -

Do you know one of the best tax shelter strategies will be gone in 6 months?

on Wed, 06/15/2016 - 12:53

Here is the reason why you want to revisit getting a permanent life insurance policy (especially if you have a corporation).

Permanent life insurance policies had been regularly incorporated by financial professionals as a part of tax shelter strategy for decades. Since market crash, life insurance had been we comely used as investment strategy, NBC News' report in May 2008. Come 2017, that benefit will drop substantially. 

To make it easy to understand, when any tool allows the saving/return portion over and above its original purpose, it is an investment vehicle.

What to watch out when YOU switch to a new account?

on Sun, 06/12/2016 - 15:35

Bank account… is probably the first bank product we all encounter with… problem is, you never know what kind of bank account suits you until you try one. 

There are so many account packages out there, and I bet you outgrow your account features along the way too. 

My suggestion to any new account holders is to try a no fee bank account first so that you don’t get charge with unnecessary bank fees.

I have this experience with a few clients who didn’t know which bank account to choose from (seriously there are just way too many account packages out there). And I had young clients - mostly