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When your children leave home and you become an “empty nester,” you’ll probably make several adjustments in your lifestyle. But how will your empty nest status affect your financial situation?

If you're an investor, you know the impact that volatility can have on your portfolio. Ups and downs in financial markets, individual securities and even mutual funds can have you smiling one day, worried the next. However, it is possible to manage volatility so price fluctuations won't be such a concern. When you understand volatility and how it works, you can take steps to manage its impact. 

It’s an unfortunate economic reality, but unemployment can rise during recessions. If you find yourself suddenly out of a job – especially after you may have worked for many years for the same employer – make sure you put a financial strategy in place to help you get through what may be a very challenging time. Here are some tips you may want to consider should you find yourself suddenly out of work...

In life, nothing stays the same. And when life changes, so can your financial situation. In fact, life's major events often call for adjustments in financial strategy. Depending on the nature of those events, your spending, saving, investment, insurance and estate planning strategies can be affected-sometimes taking a turn for the better, sometimes for the worse. 

This summer, you might take a trip to the local amusement park and have some fun riding a roller coaster. Actual roller coasters provide people with thrills. But as an investor, how can you stay calm on the “roller coaster” of the financial markets?

The holiday season is here—which means many Canadians are planning to travel somewhere warmer. You may be looking forward to “getting away from it all,” but, as you know, vacations actually require a fair amount of planning. And it might surprise you to learn that some of the efforts required for successful vacations can impart some valuable lessons in other areas of your life — such as investing.

Some people dream of retiring early. Are you one of them? If so, you’ll need to plan ahead – because a successful early retirement can’t be achieved through last-minute moves.

Few of us have unlimited financial resources — which means that almost all of us need to prioritize our financial goals. Consequently, you’ll have some decisions to make if you’d like to help pay for your children’s post-secondary educations someday while, at the same time, saving for your own retirement.

You have probably heard that diversification is a key to investment success. So, you might think that if diversifying your investments is a good idea, it might also be wise to diversify your investment providers – after all, aren’t two (or more) heads better than one? Before we look at that issue, let’s consider the first half of the “diversification” question – namely, how does diversifying your investment portfolio help you?

Not all investments are created equal. Some are better suited for short-term goals, while others can help you build resources for objectives far in the future. As an investor, then, one of your biggest challenges will be to match your short- and long-term goals with the appropriate investment vehicles. How should you proceed?

New Year’s resolutions are easy to declare but often much harder to actually keep. This year, for a resolution with real significance, why don’t you try committing to improving your personal finances? It might help you stay on target toward key goals, such as a comfortable retirement. Here are four ideas you might want to consider...

Living paycheque to paycheque? Unexpected expenses regularly throwing your retirement savings goals off-track? This is a good time to schedule a financial planning checkup with a financial advisor.  The key to staying on track for retirement is having a plan. And, contrary to what you may think, developing a pro-active plan is just as important (perhaps more) when money is tight than when it's not. 
 

Are you a “do-it-yourselfer”? If you can take care of home repairs, lawn work and other types of maintenance by yourself, you’ll save money and probably gain satisfaction. But you will almost certainly need some help in other areas of your life – one of which may be investing. In fact, you could benefit from the services of a professional financial advisor at several points in your life...

The feeling of spring is in the air, and as we draw nearer to longer days and sunny weather, many of us have gardening on the mind.  Perhaps you are planting some flowers in your garden, or helping to plant trees in your community.  That act of planting and nurturing trees can also guide our behavior in other areas of life — such as investing.  First of all, consider the vision and patience exhibited by tree growers when they plant their saplings. 

To retire comfortably, you need to save and invest regularly using an effective savings and investment strategy. Maximizing RRSPs or other retirement accounts will likely be essential to realizing your retirement goals. Once you retire, you’ll need to “switch gears” somewhat and begin considering wealth transfer strategies.

Is there a magic formula for investment success? Not really-although you might not know it when you see advertisements for investment products and services supposedly designed to make investing a "sure thing."  The truth is that there are few guarantees in the investment world. But once you learn to ignore the exaggerated claims and become familiar with the important principles of investing, you'll find there's much you can do to put yourself on the road to success. Here are five things every investor should know. 

Over time, you will run into various suggestions for investing successfully. Yet upon closer inspection, many of these ideas turn out to be “myths” – which could cause you trouble if you treat them as solid advice. Here are five of these myths, along with some reasons for ignoring them...

The first few months of a year can be quite busy when it comes to your finances. There may be contributions to make to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). And of course, there’s your personal income tax return to prepare, which thankfully will soon be wrapped up for most of us. 

A map can be invaluable when you’re preparing for a journey, especially one you’ve never taken before. It can help you avoid wrong turns that can cost precious time and cause needless headaches.  This common-sense approach to travel also applies to planning your retirement – which itself is quite the journey. Although the word “retirement” may mean something different to everyone, the better the road map, or strategy, the more likely you can live the retirement lifestyle you’ve dreamed of. 

Saving for retirement takes decades of hard work, dedication and discipline – so it’s a great feeling when you finally reach that point where you feel you have saved enough. 

A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is a great way to save and invest for retirement. But you can't save forever.  At some point, you'll use the funds you've accumulated in your RRSP for retirement income. You can wait, but not past a certain age. Government regulations require you to wind up your RRSP by the end of the year in which you turn 71. 

That's why you should get started on establishing a positive credit history as soon as possible and take care to keep that history positive. Whether you're young, you're a newcomer to Canada or your finances are well established, your credit history is a key element of your financial picture. A credit history is established by borrowing. It starts the moment you apply for your first credit card or take out your first bank loan and builds from there. It's a record of your credit applications, outstanding loans, payments and anything else connected with borrowing.

If you’re a university or college student, you’re probably getting ready to head back to campus. This year, in addition to all the courses you may be taking, how about trying to master some financial lessons, too?  Of course, many students already have at least one foot in the “real world” because they’re not just taking classes — they’re also working many hours a week to help pay for school, rent and living expenses. But even if you’re a full-time student, living on campus and paying for school through a combination of grants, loans, savings and help from your parents, you can learn some financial basics that can help you throughout your adult life. 

If you contribute regularly to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and other retirement accounts, you might think you’ll be in pretty good shape when you retire. Yet none of us can predict the future. And if you were faced with a critical illness, the financial burden could threaten your retirement savings — so it pays to protect yourself and your family. 

High debt levels ... lack of savings ... the inability to budget – these problems all have several causes, but one of them is almost certainly financial illiteracy. Too many of us just never developed the money management skills necessary to cope with our complicated – and expensive – world. But if you have young children, you can teach them some money-smart lessons – and who knows? You could use the opportunity to give yourself a few valuable reminders, too.

Take a look at the latest rates GIC Rates by Edward Jones.​

If you can exercise regularly, you’ll help yourself feel better, control your weight and even reduce the chances of developing certain diseases. But why not extend the concept of “fitness” to other areas of your life – such as your investment portfolio?

Over time, you will run into various suggestions for investing successfully. Yet upon closer inspection, many of these ideas turn out to be “myths” – which could cause you trouble if you treat them as solid advice. Here are five of these myths, along with some reasons for ignoring them...

It’s a good thing to have some savings. When you put the money in a low-risk account, you can be pretty sure it will be readily available when you need it. Nonetheless, “saving” is not “investing” — and knowing the difference could pay off for you far into the future.

We all know that stress can have many adverse affects on our lives and can affect the quality of our health. Cutting out stressors, including in your investment activities can have a positive affect. But how can you cut down on the various stresses associated with investing? 

Some investors find the thought of investing in the stocks of individual companies somewhat intimidating. After all, how do you possibly decide which companies, out of literally thousands, to choose? A good place to start is by taking a closer look at the products and services you use in your own daily routine. Is this anything like your day? 

Living paycheque to paycheque? Unexpected expenses regularly throwing your retirement savings goals off-track? This is a good time to schedule a financial planning checkup with a financial advisor. 
 The key to staying on track for retirement is having a plan. And, contrary to what you may think, developing a pro-active plan is just as important (perhaps more) when money is tight than when it's not. 

A map can be invaluable when you’re preparing for a journey, especially one you’ve never taken before. It can help you avoid wrong turns that can cost precious time and cause needless headaches. This common-sense approach to travel also applies to planning your retirement – which itself is quite the journey. Although the word “retirement” may mean something different to everyone, the better the road map, or strategy, the more likely you can live the retirement lifestyle you’ve dreamed of. 

Investing isn't easy. It can take time, research, patience and knowledge of financial markets. Fortunately, you can simplify the process and increase your chances of success by working with an investment professional. 

The first few months of a year can be quite busy when it comes to your finances. There may be contributions to make to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). And of course, there’s your personal income tax return to prepare, which thankfully will soon be wrapped up for most of us. 

You’ve got one investment account here, your RRSP and TFSA there, and some more assets over at that other place. You’re “diversifying,” right? That tactic could, however, be raising your risk, inviting costly fees and preventing you from creating a sound retirement strategy.

The kids are back at school and summer vacations are now just fading memories, so it must be autumn. But the seasons don’t just move on the calendar — they also change in your life. And, speaking of changes, you’ll have to make many of them as you move through the years — and that includes changes to your investment portfolio. But how will you know when it’s time to take action? 

There’s a lot to know about investing, so it’s a good idea to get some professional help. But with so many financial advisors out there, how can you choose one that’s right for you? You may have to interview several prospective financial advisors before deciding on one. When you talk to them, see if you can get a sense of how they might work with you. Specifically, try to answer the following questions...

When it comes to an investment portfolio, one size does not fit all. Like many things in life, your investment portfolio should be customized to meet your particular needs. A good place to begin is determining your desired asset allocation – the relative proportion of equities, cash, and fixed-income investments you want to hold. Although asset allocation does not guarantee a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market, it is extremely important. 

The investment world can be complex — so you may not want to navigate it alone. But when it comes to getting professional advice, you certainly have an abundance of choices. How can you know which approach is right for you?  The answer depends, to a large extent, on how you choose to work with a qualified financial advisor — someone with the training and experience to help you work toward your financial goals. When you work with a financial advisor, he or she will analyze your financial situation — your income, current assets, family status and short- and long-term investment goals, such as helping pay for your children’s (or grandchildren’s) college education and attaining a comfortable retirement. 

A successful financial life is like taking a road trip: unless you know where you want to go, you're not going to get there. Just like you would plan a trip, you should map out your finances. Realizing your financial dreams requires goals and a strategy for reaching them. No matter what you want from your financial life, a good plan will get you there faster. 

With the holiday season upon us, you may well be busier than usual. However, by spending a few minutes reviewing your investment scenario of this past year, you can see where you’ve been, where you might be going, and what you need to do to keep moving forward toward your long-term financial goals.

When it comes to investing, it's important to know how you're doing. Now is a good time to take the opportunity to determine if you’re on the right path toward meeting your financial goals.

When it comes to investing, it's important to know how you're doing. Now is a good time to take the opportunity to determine if you’re on the right path toward meeting your financial goals.

Many families have an emotional attachment to the cottage. It is a place rich with memories of family gatherings and happy times. However, the prices of vacation properties have risen dramatically over the past several years, and without proper tax and estate planning, these memories can be tarnished.

It’s a good thing to have some savings. When you put the money in a low-risk account, you can be pretty sure it will be readily available when you need it. Nonetheless, “saving” is not “investing” — and knowing the difference could pay off for you far into the future.

When it comes to money, everybody's objectives are different. By paying close attention to what you need and want from your finances and investments, you'll have a better chance of getting ahead in your financial life. It's important to differentiate between needs and goals. This will help you allocate income to the areas of your finances that require immediate attention, as well as plan and invest for the long-term.

When people hear the words “estate planning,” they often assume it’s an activity only for retirees or near-retirees, but if you have a family, it’s never too soon to create your estate plan.

Seniors are the fastest growing demographic in Canada and The Council on Aging of Ottawa estimates that 40 per cent of seniors will, at some point, need long-term care to help them perform regular activities of daily living, be it going to the bathroom, dressing or eating. 

If you’re buying your first home, or moving into a different one or negotiating a new mortgage, you will probably be asked if you want to purchase mortgage insurance so that your mortgage will get paid in case you or your spouse dies. Many Canadians do buy this insurance, which is typically offered by the mortgage lender. But is mortgage insurance really such a good idea, or is there an alternative? 

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) was introduced in 2008 to help individuals with severe and prolonged disabilities save for their long-term financial security. However, many Canadians have not yet taken advantage of its benefits, which can help disabled individuals provide a better future for themselves and their families. 

That's why you should get started on establishing a positive credit history as soon as possible and take care to keep that history positive. Whether you're young, you're a newcomer to Canada or your finances are well established, your credit history is a key element of your financial picture.

Many Canadians look forward to an annual tax refund from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). It's a mini-windfall-and it's tempting to spend the money on something frivolous. But there are other uses for your refund. When you use the money you receive wisely, it can pay big dividends over time. Here are a few suggestions for making the most of your refund.

You may have heard that some mutual fund companies are reducing management fees. You might even own funds that have recently cut fees. But what are management fees, and how do they affect your investments? Management fees are paid by mutual funds to the organizations that manage fund assets. These are the professional money managers who run fund portfolios. Among other things, their job includes researching, building and managing the portfolio. In return for investing the money contributed to a fund by unit holders, these managers are paid for their services and the costs they incur. It's similar to an individual investor hiring a professional to manage assets, only on a larger scale. 

 

When it comes to an investment portfolio, one size does not fit all. Like many things in life, your investment portfolio should be customized to meet your particular needs.  A good place to begin is determining your desired asset allocation – the relative proportion of equities, cash, and fixed-income investments you want to hold. Although asset allocation does not guarantee a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market, it is extremely important. As described in a report in Financial Analysts Journal by researchers Gary P. Brinson, Brian Singer and Gilbert Breebower, asset allocation typically accounts for more than 90 per cent of your portfolio’s long-term performance. 

 

You may have heard that some mutual fund companies are reducing management fees. You might even own funds that have recently cut fees. But what are management fees, and how do they affect your investments? 

 

 

You’ve got one investment account here, your RRSP and TFSA there, and some more assets over at that other place. You’re “diversifying,” right? That tactic could, however, be raising your risk, inviting costly fees and preventing you from creating a sound retirement strategy.

By subtracting your expenses from your income, you'll see how much you have left over for savings. But don't stop there. Take a second look. Where can you cut down on expenses to divert more to savings and investments? Almost everybody can make changes to free up cash-for example, by cutting down on restaurant meals or paying off debt quickly. 

 

The kids are back at school and summer vacations are now just fading memories, so it must be autumn. But the seasons don’tjust move on the calendar — they also change in your life. And, speaking of changes, you’ll have to make many of them as you move through the years — and that includes changes to your investment portfolio. But how will you know when it’s time to take action? 

 

 

When you’re working to achieve your financial objectives, you will encounter obstacles. Some of these can be anticipated — for example, you won’t be able to invest as much as you want for retirement because you have to pay for your mortgage. Other challenges can’t be easily anticipated, but you can still plan for them — and you should. 

 

A successful financial life is like taking a road trip: unless you know where you want to go, you're not going to get there. Just like you would plan a trip, you should map out your finances. Realizing your financial dreams requires goals and a strategy for reaching them. No matter what you want from your financial life, a good plan will get you there faster. 

 

Like everyone, you hope for a comfortable retirement. That’s why you should put money away for your retirement. But once you reach retirement, which financial and investment strategies should you follow to help yourself enjoy the lifestyle you’ve envisioned? 

 

With year-end quickly approaching, your "to do" list is likely to grow. Make sure a portfolio review is part of your list. Market volatility has increased and economic conditions are shifting, so now is an important time to assess your progress. Consider the following checklist as a guide.

 

 

You’ve no doubt heard about the risks associated with investing. This investment carries this type of risk, while that investment carries another one. And it is certainly true that all investments do involve some form of risk. But what about not investing? Isn’t there some risk associated with that, too? 

Unless you keep close track of obscure holidays and observances, you probably didn’t know that August is “What Will Be Your Legacy?" Month. Still, you might want to use this particular month as a useful reminder to take action on what could be one of your most important financial goals: leaving a meaningful legacy.A legacy isn’t simply a document or a bunch of numbers — it’s what you will be remembered for, and what you have left behind that will be remembered. It’s essentially your chance to contribute positively to the future, whether that means providing financial resources for the next generation, helping those charitable organizations whose work you support, or a combination of both.

It's one of the most common and vexing decisions for an investor - is it better to put your money into individual stocks or mutual funds? The simple answer is that both can be appropriate and they're not mutually exclusive. It just depends on your personal circumstances. 

If you're concerned about social and ethical issues, why not speak out with your investment portfolio? Through socially responsible investing, your portfolio can reflect your values.  As an investor, you can support businesses that are doing their part to make the world a better place. Socially responsible investing-also known as ethical investing-is a good way to invest in companies with social, ethical or environmental policies you support. 

In recent months, stocks have fallen sharply from their record highs, with one-day drops that can rightfully be called “dizzying.” As an investor, what are you to make of this volatility? For one thing, you may find it useful to know the probable causes of the market gyrations. Most experts cite global fears about China’s economic slowdown and falling oil prices as some of the key factors behind the stock market’s volatility. It’s only natural that you might feel some trepidation over what’s been happening in the financial markets over the past few weeks. So, what should you do?

As an investor, what are your goals? You can probably think of quite a few — but over the course of your lifetime, your objectives typically will fall into four key categories. And once you’re familiar with these areas, you can start thinking of what they’ll mean to you in terms of your financial and investment strategies. 

 

It could be the discomfort of having to face one’s mortality, the lack of any immediate tangible benefits, or simply not knowing where to start. Whatever the reasons, one fact is clear when it comes to estate planning: People tend to procrastinate, putting the task on the backburner year after year. But tragedy can strike anytime, and if you die without a will, your assets may not be distributed as you want them to be. So put an end to the delays and start today.

You've probably heard the financial experts say it often-diversify your investment portfolio. And there's a good reason this piece of advice is repeated over and over again. By ensuring your portfolio contains a healthy mix of investments, you increase your wealth-building potential.

When it comes to investing, there's not a one-size-fits-all approach. Your portfolio should be tailored to your situation and the amount of risk you're comfortable taking. In this short video, Investment Strategist Craig Fehr discusses a few key considerations related to your risk tolerance.

How do you choose a financial advisor? Like most people, you probably are busy with your work and family, and may not have the time or expertise needed to thoroughly understand the investment world.

While an RRSP and TFSA both allow you to save money and reduce taxes now or in the future, each has unique features to consider when contributing and withdrawing money. The chief advantage driving contributions to a spousal registered Retirement Savings Plan (Spousal RRSP) is to minimize taxes owing down the road when you each retire by splitting potential taxable income when you withdrawal the money.

At various times, many people may feel frustrated by the performance of their investments. For example, they expect growth, and they don’t get it — or they think the value of their investment won’t fluctuate much, but it does. However, some of this frustration might be alleviated if investors were more familiar with the nature of their investment vehicles. Specifically, it’s important to keep in mind the difference between long-term and short-term investments. 

Of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World,” the only one still in existence is the Great Pyramid of Giza. This tells you something about the strength of the pyramid structure, but it also suggests that the pyramid may be a good metaphor for other endeavours that you wish to pursue — such as your investment strategy.

With today's changing investment landscape, now is a good time to assess your investment goals, comfort level with risk and portfolio mix. In this short video, Investment Strategist Craig Fehr discusses...

June is a popular month for weddings. If you’re getting married this month, you no doubt have many exciting details to discuss with your spouse-to-be. But after you get back from the honeymoon, you’ll want to have another discussion — about your finances. It might not sound glamorous, but couples who quickly “get on the same page” regarding their financial situation are actually taking a step that can help them immensely as they build their lives together.

 

If you're an investor, you know the impact that volatility can have on your portfolio. Ups and downs in financial markets, individual securities and even mutual funds can have you smiling one day, worried the next.  However, it is possible to manage volatility so price fluctuations won't be such a concern. When you understand volatility and how it works, you can take steps to manage its impact.

 

In most endeavors, concentration is quite helpful. But that may not be the case when it comes to investing. In fact, if your portfolio contains too high a concentration of a single investment, you could run into trouble. Fortunately, it’s not hard to recognize the signs of “overconcentration” — and once you do, you can take steps to correct it.

Springtime is almost here. If you’re like many people, the arrival of spring means it’s time to spruce up your home. But why stop there? This year, consider applying some of those same spring-cleaning techniques to your investment portfolio.

 

It’s time to make a contribution toward your retirement and other savings goals. Which savings vehicle is the best option? It’s a perennial challenge for many Canadians — contribute to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).