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Need help understanding your account statements?
Are your investments doing as well as you expected? Do you know what they are worth? Your investment account statement gives you the information to answer these important questions.


Snowbirds: On the road again...
Travel agents and insurance experts expects sales of travel medical insurance to peak in October/November - a sure sign that 'snowbirds' are beginning to flock to the borders and migrate south for the winter. To help ensure a trouble-free extended vacation, auto clubs are encouraging senior sun-seekers to take a few extra precautions to protect themselves, along with their homes and belongings, while they're away.


Top 10 tips for selecting a residence for your aging relative
Selecting a residence for your aging relative can present challenges. The variety of residences available (from long-term care to retirement to Alzheimer-specific residences) can cause confusion. In addition, many people have entrenched ideas about what a residence is and looks like - and given that residences have changed drastically in the past several years, those ideas can be wrong!


Lifestyles & Relationships
People in retirement often find satisfaction and enjoyment in a wide variety of hobbies and activities. For many, this could mean the chance to revisit the pastimes of youth, while others may discover a completely new interest that reveals another side of their character.


Looking for a different type of accommodation in retirement - check out a Life lease property
Life lease is a unique housing option for mature adults and seniors. A life lease project provides an opportunity to purchase an interest in the project and to "share" in any appreciated value of the building and property. The market value life lease model, provides seniors with the potential to earn a return on investment similar to the equity growth in a private home, without the headaches and worries associated with the maintenance of private property. Life lease communities create a sense of security and well-being for residents.


Hindsighting investments - Income funds, GICs or both?
We all wish we had invested in “that sure thing”. The problem is the Sure-Thing racehorse “could” have won the Belmont stakes. Life’s like that - some you win, some come in fourth. However, for most the sure-thing investment is fixed term deposit instruments, like guaranteed investment certificate. Financial planning experts counsel that a portion of your portfolio be investor in fixed income securities.


The future of credit cards? More features, higher costs!
Considering applying for a credit card and feeling overwhelmed by all the options? Platinum, gold, low-rate, travel benefits, rewards - the choices are endless. Many credit cards offer a variety of features such as travel protection, cash back and extended warranty insurance. However, these options are often packaged together and to get some of the features you really want, you end up paying for many features you may not use.


Surprise, your bank branch is closing - What you need to know
When a bank decides to close a branch, the closure can be very hard on a community. Due to recent amendments to the Bank Act, consumers now have a process to discuss the closure with the bank before it happens.


Investment habits of men vs. women
Here's an interesting point of debate: men and women differ in their approach to the investment game. and the difference is quite marked during the initial process. Research has shown that men tend not to want too much detail while women want more information. Women tend to really want to understand what's being suggested, and why.


Will that be debit or credit?
It used to be "will that be cash or on your credit card" when you go through the cashier. With the introduction of debit cards, more and more Canadians are discovering the convenience of using the debit card. Should you use a debit or credit card?


Business Succession Planning 101
As you edge closer to the age of retirement, have you given any thought to what comes next? Who will you hand the reins of your business to as you take the next important step in your life’s journey? Will this heady responsibility go to an heir or to a professional manager? And what happens if there is more than one heir? How can I hope to maintain financial security of my business and myself throughout this important transition and whom do I turn to for help?


The market's down... What do you do now?
If you can't make any sense of the stock market these days and question whether you should risk more of your hard earned savings and be an opportunistic buyer of depressed equities or finally throw in the towel, dump the dogs you so enthusiastically purchased a few years ago and put your money in a piggy bank, you're in good company. One has only to read the financial section of any newspaper to notice that there are many different opinions about future stock market direction from people who's job it is to study these things. How can there be such a polarity of belief?


June 12th marked as another milestone in Canadian banking circles
The Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) program is designed to assist individuals who are now following a different career path and looking for money to cover the educational costs. This Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) lets you withdraw up to $10,000. per year to a maximum of $20,000 from your registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for you or your spouse or common-law partner.


Good Records: What to keep, what to toss
How many of us can honestly say that we actually live by and obey the rules of good record keeping: A place for every paper and receipt and every paper and receipt in its place? The truth is, while we may have great intentions, they often get pushed by the wayside as we live our busy lives. Receipts that started off as small piles of paper can quickly grow into mountains without a little intervention. So, take a look at our Good Recordkeeping Checklist for simple ideas of how to bring order to your house of records in no time at all.


An inside look: Out of country travel insurance
Most people who love to travel, or those who travel frequently know the importance of purchasing a comprehensive travel insurance package before leaving on a trip. Travel insurance protects you out of province or country from unforeseen accidents or illnesses. Without travel insurance, the cost of prescription drugs or hospital care can skyrocket.


Garth Turner.. Homeowner's Guide reviewed
Garth Turner's book The Strategy claims to be "a homeowner's guide to wealth creation". In the book, he outlines a plan, focusing largely on using real estate, to show us how to attain the comfortable retirement that we all desire.


When money gets nervous
When interest rates fall for investments such as GICs, traditional low-risk investors tend to turn towards vehicles like mutual funds that offer a higher rate of return, which can boost the value of the market considerably. But what happens to these new investors when an event like a drop in the Federal rate occurs? What happens when new money gets nervous?


Bre-X marks the spot
The Bre-X scandal will always serve as a reminder of one of the biggest stock market frauds in our history. However it should also act as a wake-up call to investors who enter into investments with blind faith. Every investor owes it to themselves to do research into any new investment they may be considering which may work to prevent another Bre-X in the future.


Unused capital gains offset
This article contains information that will be of great interest to executors who have had to deal with taxable capital gains for estates after 1994 where mutual funds were involved and for anyone else who has sold all mutual fund units after filing the election form with their 1994 return.


CDIC Insurance may not always apply
Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) insurance exists to protect investments of up to $100,000 made at CDIC-member institutions. However this does not mean that CDIC insurance is applicable in all situations just because records indicate that you are within the insurable limits.


Spring ahead into tax season
The arrival of tax season each year has been known the strike fear into the heart of many normally fearless individuals. For those who invest money outside of an RRSP, preparing an income tax return can go from being unpleasant to down right confusing thanks to the various tax implications involved.





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General Interest

Need help understanding your account statements?

Snowbirds: On the road again...

Top 10 tips for selecting a residence for your aging relative

Lifestyles & Relationships

Looking for a different type of accommodation in retirement - check out a Life lease property

Hindsighting investments - Income funds, GICs or both?

Surprise, your bank branch is closing - What you need to know

The future of credit cards? More features, higher costs!


Investment habits of men vs. women

Will that be debit or credit?

Business Succession Planning 101

The market's down... What do you do now?

June 12th is being marked as another milestone in Canadian banking circles

Good Records: What to keep, what to toss

An inside look: Out of country travel insurance

Garth Turner.. Homeowner's Guide reviewed

When money gets nervous

Bre-X marks the spot

Unused capital gains offset

CDIC Insurance may not always apply

Spring and taxes are coming



The Companion Advisor:
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General Interest