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Multiple Wills May Reduce Probate Fees
If you have shares or loans receivable in private corporations or other assets that can be transferred without "probate", Multiple Wills could reduce the Estate Administration Tax ("probate fees") payable in your estate.



7 Habits of wealthy Canadians
Far too often we are lured by the thought that there may be a shortcut to wealth. We all dream about winning the lottery, or investing in the next great investment, or starting a wonder business that becomes a license to print money. I was up late this week and I had the TV running in the background only to hear an infomercial about a stock trading system guaranteed to make your rich. Our society is filled with schemes to go from rags to riches in less time than you think. If it is really so easy, why is 80% of the wealth in Canada in the hands of 20% of the people?


Borrowing to invest - an Overview
Are you an experienced investor? Do you have a good credit history? Are you looking for alternative strategies to grow your wealth? If so, leveraging or investing with borrowed money may be right for you.


Benefiting from a changing interest rate environment
Conservative Investor(s) in a search for income today may be concerned about the impact of changing interest rates on their investments' real return potential. Two common approaches to manage portfolio uncertainty are diversification and active management. However, strategies for acheiving these goals can vary.



Keep emotion from posing wealth risk
Money gets people emotional. When we're making it, we want to make more. When we're losing it, we're anxious and fearful of losing it all. Will emotions and money ever go their separate ways? Not likely. The best we can hope for is to introduce some logic to the situation so there is some rational thought involved with money choices - so when we're making money we don't get swept up and forget to be discriminating investors, and when we lose some we can exercise some good judgment about what to do next.


As equity markets show signs of growth - perhaps it's time to review your portfolio for signs of drift?
Over time your original portfolio weightings may change as some investments perform better than others and as such the new weightings may distort the overall risk and style balance you initially set out to achieve. This phenomenon is called Portfolio Drift.


Spousal loans
Tad Peterson, 39, is a securities lawyer and partner at a downtown Toronto law firm who pulls in a very healthy $400,000 a year. His wife, Julie, spends most of her time looking after their four kids but recently began working part time and expects to earn about $10,000 this year.


Consider a Debt Swap during down times
The idea has to do with converting your bad debt into good debt. There are three characteristics of debt that you need to look at: The interest rate on the debt (high interest or low); The purpose of the borrowing (for personal consumption, to acquire depreciating or appreciating assets); Whether the interest is deductible for tax purposes.


Seven easy ways to save money
Contributed by author Ellen Roseman, this article provides seven techniques that anyone can take advantage of to shrink expenditures and build savings.


Borrowing to invest can be advantageous to your wealth
With interest rates close to 40-year lows, the concept of borrowing to invest is a strategy worth considering in building your long-term wealth. Prudent borrowing, and wise investment of the proceeds, can lead to significant wealth creation over time.


Potential benefits of maintaining a minimum monthly balance
Maintaining a minimum monthly balance can often waive the monthly fee associated with your services package. However, any cost savings should be compared to the returns or other opportunities you forego by keeping your money in your bank account (this concept is known as "opportunity cost"). For example, if you have a loan, it may be more cost effective to pay it down than to keep the funds in your bank account to save the monthly service fees.


Why the smart money remains fully invested
If you had invested a hypothetical $10,000 in the TSE 300 Total Return Index on June 30, 1991, over 10 years, your $10,000 would have grown to $27,611 - an average annual total compound return of 10.69 per cent. But suppose that during that period there were times when you decided to get out of the market and, as a result, you missed the market's 10 best single-day performances over this 10-year period (remember, this is just 10 out of a total of 2,520 business days). In this case, your 10.69 per cent return would have fallen to 6.47 per cent.


Spreading Your Wealth Around - Using Asset Allocation and Diversification Strategies
Many investors believe that investment performance depends primarily on picking the "right" investments or getting in and out of the markets at opportune times. It's easy for you to be swayed by the opinions of the media not to mention all the other information that bombards you every day; there are countless programs on television about "what's hot" and newspaper and magazine journalists aren't shy about recommending the stock pick of the day.


Investing for the Long Term
On any given day, which way the market is headed is anybody's guess. Historically, equity markets have gone up over the long term. Since 1956, the Toronto Stock Exchange Total Return Index for the top 300 stocks, which includes reinvested distributions, has increased 81-fold.


Home ownership works with borrowed money; investing can too
Can a financially secure retirement be possible without borrowed money? Some say you'll need 75% of your income earned during peak earnings years. This could be $40,000, $50,000 a year or even more depending on a variety of things, including the type of lifestyle you want. Unfortunately, even if you've set modest financial retirement goals, chances are it may not be enough.


Market benchmarks
Dow Jones, TSE300, and other market benchmarks, it's helpful to understand how those numbers are derived.


The power of compounding
A Maharaja ruled the Indus Valley, in northern India, in the sixth century. Bored, he asked his court gamesman to develop a new game for him. The gamesman created chaturanga, the army game, the precursor of chess and played on a board of sixty-four squares. The Maharaja was delighted and asked the gamesman what he would like as a reward.


Derivatives: Not so scary
If you limited your reading to reports about boating and swimming accidents just before going to the cottage, your holiday would be ruined. Likewise, recent press attention has focussed on isolated cases of large investment losses through the mismanagement of leveraged derivatives. This has created a common perception of derivatives as scary and dangerous, a perception which contains more fancy than fact.


Finding the money to invest
Investing is sometimes like exercise; we know we should, but we never seem to get around to it. At least exercise only requires energy and time, both of which are free. Investing requires the money to start, and finding the sources of investment dollars is often harder than finding good investments.


The nature of diversity
If you stand on tiptoe, you may be temporarily balanced, but you are easy to tip over (hence the name, tip toe). If you get down on all fours, with your hands and knees on the floor, you are also balanced but hard to tip over. That's because your weight is now spread among four places-- you have diversified your balance points.


How to analyze risk
A tightrope walker ready to traverse a cable over Niagara Falls takes a risk and a chance. The risk can be increased or decreased depending on the walker's skills, courage, amount of practice, safety measures, and equipment. You or I would be taking more risk than an experienced performer.


Sources of investment information
People in the movies used to gather investment information. Now, we may hear from a friend or broker, see a news item on television, or read an article in the newspaper. How can we analyze investment information, and how can we make sure our sources are credible?




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Companion Advisor
Techniques & Methods
Consider a Debt Swap during down times

Seven easy ways to save money

Borrowing to invest can be advantageous to your wealth

Potential benefits of maintaining a minimum monthly balance

Why the smart money remains fully invested

Spreading Your Wealth Around

Investing for the Long Term

Home ownership works with borrowed money; investing can too

Market benchmarks

The power of compounding

Derivatives: Not so scary

Finding the money to invest

The nature of diversity

How to analyze risk

Sources of investment information