investment planning

Building Wealth

There are many definitions and meanings for the term 'wealth'. It is often said that it is easier to build wealth over time than it is to keep it! Some confuse high incomes with wealth while others point to assets owned as an indicator of wealth. And, many people use the terms 'assets' and 'wealth' interchangeably assuming they mean the same thing.

The distinction between these two concepts may have an impact on your actions and strategies as you work to build your pot of money or savings during your lifetime.

Reaching for Yield in a World of Low Interest Rates

While we can talk about concepts such as inflation and purchasing power the struggle for many people today is earning enough income on their savings to meet their lifestyle needs. Interest rates and the earnings from capital through dividends, bonds and real estate rental income have dropped dramatically in the past few years.

TFSA Time Bomb !

The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) was introduced in 2009 as a new way for Canadians to build assets and wealth on a tax-advantaged basis. Any capital gains, dividends or interest income are tax-free upon redemption from the account. The initial contribution amount was $5,000 with annual increases of $5,000. This has been increased to $5,500 in 2013 to offset inflation. This brings the maximum contribution amount for a new subscriber, in 2013, to $25,500.

Investing vs. Trading

In the last article we defined investing as buying an ownership stake in companies who are profitable today and whose profits are expected to rise over time. Trading is any other form of managing your money which may or may not take into account corporate profits as part of the decision-making process.

Business Adaptation Mechanism

There is a concept in biology about the ability of organisms to adapt to changes in the environment. This adaptation process increases the odds of survival for organisms under stress due to environmental changes. A similar mechanism exists in finance that allows economic organizations, otherwise known as companies, to survive and thrive in changing or shifting economic landscapes.

Integrated Investment Management Can Save Taxes

High net worth investors are now sitting back and enjoying the summer weather, breathing a sigh of relief now that they are done with their annual tax filings. The work involved in assembling all of the relevant tax information is made more complicated by the fact they often deal with several investment firms.

U.S. financial research firm, Cerulli Associates, recently found that high net worth investors had, on average, 3.7 investment advisors. Ultra-affluent investors often spread their investments across many more.

The Safe Investing Dilemma

John was concerned because his 82-year old mother, Betty, was having trouble generating sufficient income to cover her cost of living with interest rates at rock bottom levels. Along with many other investors globally who have poured some $4 Trillion dollars into government bonds since the 2008 Credit Crises, she wanted to feel safe and have her money guaranteed. But the price of safety in a low interest rate world is higher than you may realize.

Diversification is Key

As with many retirement savers, it took two stock market crashes (2001, 2008) and a global financial crisis to convince Adam and Sonya that trying to 'time the market' or pick specific sectors was a costly exercise in futility. But, with the value of their RRSPs nearly halved in the 2008 crash, they also recognized that they could not afford to avoid equities if they were going to have any chance of meeting their retirement goals.

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