I love summertime for one reason—the golf season. Each summer my dad and I play a match on the course. Every year is different. One year could be match play, playing with internal games like presses; other years, simply just seeing who scores best. But, however different, all matches have something on the line. When I was younger and learning how to drive, we would play for driving privileges for the week. As I got older, the stakes increased, money has been paid, and dinner bought— generally by me. Nevertheless, our competition is something I look forward to each year.
Some of my earliest memories are of Dad coming home with trophies and other golfing merchandise from local golf tournaments. He was good, really good (and still is). For me, every round was more frustrating than the last. And the angrier I got at my game; the more Dad refused to let up. He would keep winning, hole after hole, year after year.Read More
2021 is turning out to be a great year for equity investors. The market continues to hit new all-time highs after a strong recovery in 2020. However, inflation has picked up recently and is dampening investors’ enthusiasm.
As inflation expectations continue to gain momentum in the US and Canada, investors are afraid of runaway inflation which will cause the central banks to raise rates and shorten the strong recovery the economies are experiencing by raising rates. Currently, the Feds stance is that the rising inflation is transitory due to disconnect between supply (covid) and demand (reopening). The Fed has a mixed track record on inflation and on numerous occasions has back tracked their statements.Read More
When it comes to investing, how much of the return you can keep at the end of the year is important for long-term investment outcomes. While asset allocation and investment selection are key components that affect your long-term returns, minimizing the tax burden and other costs are a sure-fire way of increasing your overall gain.
The good news is, without needing to illicit the services of tax professionals, one of the simplest ways to ensure you are maximizing the tax efficiency of your overall financial portfolio is to incorporate Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA).
In 2009, the government of Canada introduced the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). The idea was to give Canadians the best opportunity to reach their savings goals, by allowing them to set money aside in eligible investment vehicles and have their investments grow tax free.
A TFSA is now one of the most versatile financial planning tools. It is an effective instrument for short-term goals, such as emergency savings or a down payment, or long-term goals such as supplementing retirement income or other estate planning objectives.
Here are some questions to consider when determining if a TFSA is right for you...
2020 was different; we were all scared and many of us faced financial uncertainties that we have not experienced before. However, if there is a silver lining from 2020, it is that we were forced to take a hard look at our personal financial plans. For many of us, it even resulted in building a financial plan for the first time. The reality is this is not the last time the world will experiences uncertainty. There will be another recession. There will be another massive market correction like we saw last year.
I believe that we have learned something from 2020 and hopefully have a newfound discipline when it comes to our own financial planning so that when the next time financial fear strikes, we will all be prepared both financially and emotionally.Read More
Volatility has once again returned to the markets as of late. The choppy sessions, ironically, were not because of negative news that we have grown accustomed but rather due to magnitude of positive news—quicker vaccine distribution, additional stimulus, and the eventual re-opening.
This leads to an increase in the yields of longer maturity government bonds, such as the 10-year US treasury. When these yields rise and the Fed keeps short term rates low, it results in the yield curve steeping. Usually this means the economy is trending in a positive direction. However, the sizable move in rates has ignited fear that the Fed will lose control of economy and the yield curve control.Read More
Time after time, many people look at their bank accounts and credit card statements and wonder how they do not have enough cash left over at the month-end. At Ciccone McKay, we have a saying: you must treat your household as if you are the personal CFO. It is crucial to take stock of your finances, specifically your cash flow, and understand where every dollar you earn is going. From there, you can better assess your actual financial situation and reach your financial objectives. This is important because the ability to free-up cash flow is critical, whether in normal times or during the extended volatility like we are currently experiencing.Read More
When I tell people what we do as a firm or more specifically, what I do as an insurance coordinator, people just get bored. That’s the reality of it! Oh, you handle life insurance? Sounds grim. People don’t like to think about their own mortality. While it’s kind of morbid, we all know death will come one day, and the later the better!
My role at Ciccone McKay is to ensure you get the best experience when you apply for life insurance. No, it will not happen in one day, and I agree that the process can get quite overwhelming. But the process is worth going through.
A Message from Anthony Ciccone, President.
With the recent market movements, many people are being reminded of the feelings we all experienced when I wrote my original note in mid-March 2020. This feeling is uncomfortable; we are all feeling angst. However, this recent uncertainty is another reminder of why being well-prepared with a sound financial plan is essential.
As mentioned in my last note, perspective is crucial in times like these. As we continue along in our financial plans, we will experience more dramatic upswings and downswings that lead us to learning moments on certain things we should and should not do when investing.Read More
August 2020 saw an increase of 36.6% over 2019 in terms of sales, and a 55% increase in listings compared with one year ago in Metro Vancouver, likely a result of the slowing of transactions in the spring due to the pandemic.
If that wasn’t surprising enough, the September 2020 numbers are in, and sales grew again! It was the hottest September market on record, with sales 56.2% over September 2019. This is an increase of nearly 20% over August.
With activity now at record levels, we thought it would be timely to remind you of a common mistake people make when establishing a mortgage.Read More
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military leader and emperor who conquered much of Europe in the early 19th century; he had a quote to define military genius: “The man who can do the average thing when all those around him are going crazy.” I read this quote for the first time in Morgan Housel’s book The Psychology of Money; my mind immediately went to what has been transpiring in the stock market as of late; particularly the boom in recent retail trading.Read More
Most people fail to understand they are putting themselves at far greater risk by not insuring themselves against disability and illness, in contrast to death. They somehow feel that the impact of their death (financially speaking) would be far worse than the financial impact of being incapacitated.Read More
Estate Planning in a Digital World: The Importance of Including your Digital Assets in your Estate Plan
The way society interacts on a daily basis has changed forever due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Gone are the days of meeting rooms filled with both staff and clients, or stores filled with people shoulder to shoulder waiting for the changing room. The coronavirus pandemic has altered nearly every part of our lives. But what about our estates?Read More
This week, I wanted to take a step back and write a bit more broadly about the work that we do at our firm. I’ve learned that many of my longtime friends, Analysts and even some clients don’t fully understand the scope of our work and how it has evolved over the last three decades.
The direction our firm has taken has really shifted to where we are now; a comprehensive financial planning firm. We have expanded our team over the years and have credentialed experts in every area who collaborate on customized, comprehensive, and holistic strategies that ensure everything happens the way you envision.Read More
Depending on the dynamics of your family, discussing money with your parents can be a complicated subject to broach. Yet, whether you are a Millennial, Gen Xer or a Boomer, conversations about financial health and eventual transition of wealth will help answer key questions regardless of which stage your parents are in; pre-retirement, early retirement or beyond. Hopefully, they have done an excellent job in preparing for these life changes. While it is uncomfortable, and depending on your family, it’s possible that money conversations are almost a ‘taboo’ topic, it is essential to have these talks.Read More
If I can find a silver lining in COVID-19, it’s that it has compelled us to press pause in our lives, allowing us to reflect on matters that our pre-COVID lives didn’t afford us because we were too busy.
I hope for many of you, you’ve had a chance to reflect on what truly matters most to you. I’ve found in my own life that this reflection happened naturally. The pandemic and the anxieties it has brought up, both in terms of our family’s health and our finances, has brought into sharper focus my priorities: providing a secure and comfortable lifestyle for my family.Read More
Goal-based investing: How comprehensive planning before investing ensures you reach the future you want
With the uncertainty the world is currently experiencing, it is more important than ever to understand why working with an advisor to develop a financial plan that incorporates goal-based investing is so essential to success in achieving what matters most to you. This articles describes the two biggest mistakes that investors make, and why the goal-based investing strategy is the solution.Read More
A message from Anthony Ciccone, President
Many of you are feeling concerned about the unprecedented events we are experiencing, and specifically, the severe impact on the financial markets. Three months ago, no one knew what COVID-19 was; now it is impacting everyone. This is uncomfortable; we are all feeling the angst. The ups and downs of the stock market over the last few months are a great reminder as to why being well-prepared is essential.Read More
With the situation occurring in the global economy, many of our clients have been reaching out to us, indicating they feel that now is a great opportunity to invest assets that they otherwise had sitting on the sideline, perhaps stored away in savings accounts, GICs, or Term Deposits. Although we agree that the recent decline in the markets provides certain investors great opportunity, sound strategy must guide investor actions in times such as this.Read More
Financial markets fell further this morning, pushing major US, Canadian and Global indexes closer to bear-market territory as a price war for oil began between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia and as the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak is reaching potentially pandemic proportions.Read More
Logic and emotion: Determine your investment risk by understanding both your ability and willingness
Ever opened an investment account? Part of the procedure was most likely completing a risk-tolerance questionnaire. You answered a few simple questions, along with specifying your time horizon. Then, suddenly – you were perhaps categorized as an aggressive investor. Typically, this means an investor for whom an equity-heavy portfolio is appropriate.Read More
As an investor, you probably remember the how-to rules when you first started investing. Buy low, sell high. Diversify. Invest for retirement. Save before you spend. And you’ve adhered to these rules completely. Or…have you? The problem we often see with clients is an all-too-human one: their tendency to rely on emotions – and make unsound financial decisions as a result.Read More