There are many financial products in the market, and so choosing the ones that best meet an individual client’s needs can be complicated. Informed decisions about the products in any portfolio are best made after an assessment of individual needs. After a meeting to do this, you should be better informed when the time comes to choose from a comprehensive suite of products and services and select those that address your unique situation.
Products and services include:
- 401(k) retirement plans and Individual Retirement Accounts
- 529 qualified tuition plans
- Mutual funds
- Certificates of Deposit
- U.S. Treasuries Securities
- Group retirement and savings plans
- Qualified Retirement Plans
- Other retirement savings plans designed specifically for employee groups
- Life insurance
- Long-term care and disability insurance
A strong planning process is the best way to create a more financially secure plan. It is crucial to create a financial plan that seeks to protect your needs now, and that plans for the future, in a tax efficient manner. It is our goal to assist you to build a solid financial structure that will stand the test of time and that will grow and build wealth for you and your family.
We have established a process to do this that is based on two key aspects of financial security: asset protection and wealth creation. A plan must help ensure financial security throughout your life, for you and for your loved ones. It must provide income replacement and asset protection in the event that the unthinkable were to happen: disability, critical illness or death. The plan must also aim to build the maximum it can via a solid, tax efficient wealth portfolio.
With these goals in mind, we will work together to assess your total financial planning needs. We will consider important milestones such as major purchases, marriage, children, education, dreams and retirement. This plan will entail regular review of ongoing financial management strategies.
This goal-based financial security planning approach is designed to help you:
- Define customized short and long-term goals that help to ensure you choose only the right financial products and services
- Identify roadblocks or gaps that might impact your financial planning strategy
- Continually monitor your plan to ensure it meets your changing needs
Contact us today to find out more about my financial planning process and learn how a sound financial plan can help you achieve your goals.
When exploring the world of investments, it’s important to gain a broad perspective of the various types for a clear understanding of how each of them can work towards achieving your objectives. Each has its own investment characteristics which, when applied individually, may not be appropriate for your financial profile; however, when they are strategically combined in a portfolio, they can work in concert to meet your investment objectives within your risk parameters. It is, therefore, important to consider all investments in light of your specific objectives and risk tolerance.
Investments for Growth Stocks: You can own a piece of a company on the rise. Companies raise capital for their own investment by issuing shares of stock to the public. After issue, the shares are bought and sold on the open market through stock exchanges. When investors perceive that a company’s future earnings prospects are favorable, they will bid up the price of its shares. Stock prices generally rise in a growing economy, and decline in a shrinking economy. Historically, stock prices have always trended upwards, but the market is always subject to downward swings.
Equity Funds: Rather than trying to do it yourself, you should leave it to the professionals to identify companies with the greatest potential and who manage a whole portfolio of investments on your behalf. This provides you with immediate diversification which is essential to minimizing your risk. You can achieve greater diversification by investing in funds that focus on different industry segments or global regions.
Index Funds: One of the ways to participate in the growth of the markets is to invest in index funds, which are similar to mutual funds in that they consist of a big basket of stocks. Unlike mutual funds, they are not actively managed; they simply track the movement of various stock indexes.
Investments for Income
Government Securities: The U.S. government borrows money in order to finance its debt and expenditures. When you purchase a U.S. Treasury note from the government, you are, in essence, loaning it money for which it pays you a fixed rate of interest. Because these notes are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, they are considered to be one of the safest of investments.
Corporate Bonds: The other way companies raise capital is by borrowing money from investors. A company can sell bonds to individuals, and
Companies can also raise capital by issuing debt securities. An individual who owns a corporate bond is a bondholder who receives interest payments from the company. Bonds are typically issued in $1000 increments are have a fixed rate of interest attached to it. Because bonds trade actively in the open market their prices can fluctuate, however, if held to maturity, the bondholder receives the full face amount of the bond.
Real estate: In recent years, real estate has become less of a sure thing as investments, however, over the long term, they can still be a potential hedge against inflation. Investments such as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) make it possible for smaller investors to participate in various sectors of real estate. REITs, invest in a portfolio of properties in either the commercial market or multi-family residential market.
All of these investments entail market risk which means there is always the possibility of selling an investment for less than its purchase price. Investors should fully understand their own tolerance for risk and should only consider investing as a long-term proposition. Market risk can be reduced through a well-conceived, broadly-diversified investment strategy consisting of multiple asset classes. Working together, we can help you identify your investment objectives and risk profile in order to create a customized, long-term investment plan.
Contact us today to learn more about our personalized investment services.
Insurance is essential to any comprehensive financial security plan. If tragic events like death, disability or critical illness strike, insurance can help protect you and your family from undue hardship.
We have access to a variety of insurance products that can help meet your financial security planning needs. No matter your personal situation—if you’re single or a family; a professional or a seasonal employee; an executive or small business owner—we can work together to design a customized plan.
In the event of death, life insurance offers surviving family members increased financial security. As a tax-free lump sum payment, it can pay for final expenses and debts, as well as provide income for the deceased’s dependents.
The advantages of life insurance include:
- An instant estate for your loved ones at a time when funds are most needed
- Death benefits that are usually non-taxable for named beneficiaries
- Avoid probate costs for the beneficiary
- Build tax-advantaged capital for retirement purposes or provide liquid savings through some permanent life insurance plans
Life insurance can play a vital role in your financial security plan. We can help you select coverage from a variety of life insurance options to meet the needs identified in your financial security plan - contact us today to find out how.
Disability and Long-Term Care
Regardless of your stage in life, an unexpected illness or injury can be financial devastating without the proper protection in place. We can work with you to develop a complete risk management plan to protect your income and your assets in the event of a disability, a critical illness, or the need for long-term care.
Income is important for both current financial obligations (e.g. grocery bills and mortgage payments) and for future financial security (e.g. planning for your children’s education or for retirement). Just think what might happen if you suddenly lost your income stream through a long-term illness or disability.
Disability insurance products help protect your ability to earn an income, which can be affected if you become disabled for a period of time.
We can help you choose the disability insurance products that provide advantages like:
- Helping maintain your financial independence, lifestyle and long-term financial security plan in the event your income is impacted by disability
- Assist with paying fixed expenses for your business if you become disabled
- Support the buy-out of a disabled partner’s share of a business
Working together, we can help you tailor your financial security plan so it protects your income with disability insurance. Contact us today to find out how.
Long-Term Care Insurance
The need for long-term care is usually triggered when a person is unable to perform one or more of the activities of daily living, such as getting out of bed, walking, dressing, bathing, or eating. When assisted care is required, and a spouse or personal caregiver is unable or unavailable to provide it, the only option may be to hire the services of a caregiver, home health care nurse, or seek admission to a nursing home.
Long-term care insurance is designed to cover the costs of nursing home care (some policies or riders can be purchased to cover the cost of home care as well). The benefits are typically payable for a certain period of time and the premium cost is based on the benefit amount, your age, certain health factors, and the length of the waiting period before benefits are payable.
We can work with you to design a long-term care insurance plan to provide the most economical protection for your specific needs.
Contact us today to learn more about benefits products and services that fit the needs of your business.
Everyone has their own reason for gifting their assets or a portion of their income to charitable organizations. Some find comfort in helping others who are less fortunate, while others simply want to share their good fortune. Many of the institutions of art, sciences and education are supported in large part by those who want to give something back in appreciation for their contributions to the community or the individuals themselves.
Presently, the tax code offers incentives for gifting of one’s assets or incomes. Tax deductions are given for current contributions and, for estate owners, charitable gifts can reduce the size of the estate to help minimize estate taxes.
Often times, an individual will designate a charitable beneficiary in their will to benefit the organization after the individual dies. By using charitable gifting techniques, a donor may be able to benefit the charity while living without having to sacrifice the income that an asset can generate. Understanding how properly structured charitable gifts can provide current benefits for both the donor and the charity could be important for the charitably inclined.
For more information of charitable planning, please contact us today.
Managing your finances is an important component to any financial security plan. Along with the protection offered through insurance and the goal setting provided by investment choices, money management strategies help you manage your savings on a daily basis.
From mortgage payments to tax savings, we can help you manage your money as effectively as possible, given your personal situation.
Depending on your stage of life, chances are you’ll have a distinct approach to saving. New graduates or young couples have different needs than retirees or mid-career families. But no matter your personal situation, we can help you develop financial habits that will lay a strong foundation for your savings.
Younger individuals and couples have a number of benefits in terms of financial management. Low insurance costs and a long investment horizon, combined with few responsibilities, can make for an excellent financial base. We can help you build on these advantages, while at the same time considering a debt load that might include student loans, car payments or perhaps a mortgage.
Couples planning for a first child enter into a new level of commitment—both personally and financially. Learn how to save for a child through specialized insurance and investment products.
Mid-career professionals typically have higher incomes than younger investors—but they also carry more responsibilities. From mortgage payments to a child’s education, consider a financial plan that balances your needs and obligations.
Retirees have worked hard at their careers, and now is the time for relaxation and celebration. Chances are children have moved from home, the mortgage is mostly paid off and a few investments are coming to fruition. However, income levels may have dropped after retirement. Find out how to manage your finances in a way that allows you to fully enjoy the fruits of your hard work.
In short, no matter your life stage, contact us today to learn how to balance savings and investing with your other commitments.
No one likes taxes. But through the advice of a professional financial advisor, you can access products and services that help ease the burden. Charitable contributions, life insurance policies and investment products can all be useful tools in an effective tax strategy. Working together, we will consider your personal situation and design a tax plan that fits your needs.
Choose from a variety of products and services, such as:
- Income-splitting for spouses or common-law couples.
- Charitable donations, which benefits important not-for-profit work and allows donors to maximize tax credits.
- Life insurance products that build tax-advantaged capital for retirement.
Contact us today to learn more about tax-planning products and services that are specifically tailored for your needs.
Preparing for succession after death is a difficult issue to discuss, but it is also an important part of any comprehensive financial plan.
We can help you and your loved ones approach succession planning in a constructive manner that ensures they avoid problems and are well cared for in the event of your death. The process involves two main considerations: life insurance and preparing a will.
Life insurance can ease the financial burden and provide security for your loved ones in the event of your death. A lump-sum payment can be used for mortgage costs or to supplement lost income, helping your successors during a difficult period. Financial security and stability can make it easier to cope with the loss of a loved one.
A written will provides a means to guide your loved ones through the succession process. By naming your executors and providing instructions on the distribution of your estate, your surviving loved ones avoid having to guess your wishes. Rather than provincial law determining how your assets are to be divided—a situation that can result in lengthy court proceedings—a clear, carefully considered written will provides clear instructions to your successors. Save your loved ones the stress of dealing with financial issues by planning for your succession while you are alive.
Contact us today to discuss succession planning in more detail.
Buying a home can be one of the most exciting purchases of your life—but it is also a big decision that will have a major impact on financial planning. Whether you’re looking at a one-bedroom condominium or a five-bedroom house, we will work with you to help plan a mortgage strategy that fits your needs and considers your other financial responsibilities.
From choosing the right time to buy a house to deciding whether it is even a good idea, we can help guide you through this important decision. By assessing all the costs involved - from taxes to renovations - we will work with you to determine whether taking out a mortgage makes sense for your budget.
If you are considering taking out a mortgage, contact us today to discuss how to do so in a way that best fits your situation.
Retirement planning today has taken on many new dimensions that never had to be considered by earlier generations. For one, people are living longer. A person who turns 65 today could be expected to live as many as 20 years in retirement as compared to a retiree in 1950 who lived, on average, an additional 15 years. Longer life spans have created a number of new issues that need to be taken into consideration when planning for retirement.
Lifetime Income Need
There actually is a lifetime after retirement and the need to be able to provide for a steady stream of income that cannot be outlived is more important than ever. With the prospect of paying for retirement needs for as many as 20 years, retirees need to be concerned with maintaining their cost-of-living.
Health Care Needs
Longer life spans can also translate into more health issues that arise in the process of aging. The federal government provides a safety net in the form of Medicare, however, it may not provide the coverage needed especially in chronic illness cases. Planning for long-term care, in the event of a serious disability or chronic illness, is becoming a key element of retirement plans today.
Planning for the transfer of assets at death is a critical element of retirement planning especially if there are survivors who are dependent upon the assets for their financial security. Planning for estate transfer can be as simple as drafting a will, which is essential to ensure that assets are transferred according to the wishes of the decedent. Larger estates may be confronted with settlement costs and sizable death taxes which could force liquidation if the proper planning is not done.
Paying for Retirement
Retirees who have prepared for their retirement usually rely upon three main sources of income: Social Security, individual or employer-sponsored qualified retirement plans, and their own savings or investments. A sound retirement plan will emphasize qualified plans and personal savings as the primary sources with Social Security as a safety net for steady income.
Social Security was established in the 1930’s as a safety net for people who, after paying into the system from their earnings, could rely upon a steady stream of income for the rest of their lives. The age of retirement, when the income benefit starts was, originally, age 65 which was referred to as the “normal retirement age”. Now, for a person born after 1937, the normal retirement age is being increased gradually until it reaches age 67 for all people born in 1960 and beyond. The amount paid in benefits is based upon the earnings of an individual while working. If a person wanted to continue to work and delay receiving benefits, they could do so build up a larger benefit. Conversely, early retirement benefits are available, at a reduced level, as early as age 62.
Employer-Sponsored Qualified Plans
Most employer-sponsored plans today are established as “defined contribution” plans whereby an employee contributes a percentage of his earnings into an account that will accumulate until retirement. As a qualified plan, the contributions are deductible from the employee’s current income. The amount of income received at retirement is based on the total amount of contributions, the returns earned, and the employee’s retirement time horizon. As in all qualified plans, withdrawals made prior to age 59 ½ may be subject to a penalty of 10% on top of ordinary taxes that are due.
Depending on the size and type of the organization, they may offer a 401(k) Plan, a Simplified Employee Pension Plan or, in the case of a non-profit organization, a 403(b) plan.
Traditional and Roth IRAs
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) are tax qualified retirement plans that were established as way for individuals to save for retirement with the benefit of tax favored treatment. The traditional IRA allows for contributions to be made on a tax deductible basis and to accumulate without current taxation of earnings inside the account. Distributions from a traditional IRA are taxable. A Roth IRA is different in that the contributions are not tax deductible, however, the earnings growth is not currently taxable. To qualify for tax-free and penalty-free withdrawals of earnings, a Roth IRA must be in place for at least five tax years, and the distribution must take place after age 59 ½ or due to death, disability, or a first-time home purchase (up to a $10,000 lifetime maximum). Depending on state law, Roth IRA distributions may be subject to state taxes.
Distributions from traditional IRAs and employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken prior to reaching 59 ½ , may be subject to an additional 10% federal tax penalty.
For more information on retirement income needs and income sources, please contact us today.
Asset allocation is the process of selecting a mix of asset classes that closely matches an investor’s financial profile in terms of their investment preferences and tolerance for risk. It is based on the premise that the different asset classes have varying cycles of performance, and that by investing in multiple classes, the overall investment returns will be more stable and less susceptible to adverse movements in any one class.
All investments involve some sort of risk, whether it’s market risk, interest risk, inflation risk liquidity risk, tax risk. An individualized asset allocation strategy seeks to mitigate the risks of any one asset class though diversification and balance.
When done properly, an investor’s allocation of assets will reflect his desired goals, priorities, investment preferences and his tolerance for risk. Asset allocation is an individualized strategy, so there really is no perfect mix of assets. Each individual’s strategy is built on the careful consideration of the key elements of their financial profile:
Investment Objectives: What it is the investor hopes to achieve using his investment dollars – improve current lifestyle; achieve capital growth; fund a specific goal, such as a college education
Risk Tolerance: This reflects the investor’s comfort level with market fluctuations that can result in losses. Inflation risk and interest risk need to be considered as well.
Investment Preferences: An investor may prefer one asset class over another based on a certain bias or interest towards the characteristics of that class.
Time Horizon: The length of time an investor is willing to commit to achieving his objectives.
Taxation: Investing in a mix of asset classes will have varying tax consequences.
An Evolving Strategy
A sound asset allocation strategy includes periodic reviews.
About the only certainty when it comes to the financial markets is that they will change, and so will your financial situation. Through market gains and losses, a portfolio can become unbalanced and it may be important to make adjustments to your allocation. As people move through life’s stages their needs, preferences, priorities and risk tolerance change and so too must their asset allocation strategy.
Asset allocation, which is driven by complex mathematical models, should not be confused with the much simpler concept of diversification.