Solutions Linked to Your Goals

We can work together by identifying and prioritizing your key financial objectives to putting a plan in place that will set you on the right path towards achieving these goals.

The benefits of a goals based approach are clear:

  • Focus on what really matters – staying on track to achieve your goals.
  • Less likely to be affected by and react to ups and downs in the market.
  • Success is measured against your financial goals.
  • Clearer understanding of the risks of each individual goal.

Innovative Asset Allocation.

I consider asset allocation to be the most crucial step in the investment process. Asset allocation is the precise division of each portfolio among asset classes like Canadian stocks, foreign stocks, bonds, and alternative investments. This division sets up boundaries for risk exposure and return potential. Asset allocation changes not only with your needs, goals, investment time horizon, income needs, and age, but also with changing market conditions.

Taxes

The tax-treatment of investment income makes a significant difference in total after-tax return. Foreign dividends are taxed differently than Canadian dividends in both registered and non-registered accounts. Non-registered accounts generally benefit from deferring taxation on income or gains. Interest income is best avoided within a holding company, but we are often eager to realize dividend or capital gain income within a holding company, as these provide for a tax-efficient opportunity to extract funds from the company.

There are a number of corporate class mutual funds that provide income that is treated as capital gains, return of capital (ROC), or dividends even though the underlying investments are fixed income (bonds). Investors receive a lot of value from these funds on tax-treatment alone.

Fees

An open and transparent fee model in an Industrial Alliance Securities Inc. fee based account allows you to understand how much you are paying for services. In a fee based account, investment products that pay no embedded compensation are used. In many cases ETFs Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs have performed better than mutual mutual funds with a similar mandate and typically have much lower management expense ratios.

ETF and Mutual Fund Portfolio Construction

Most investors would benefit from having a large portion of their portfolio invested in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) rather than mutual funds or individual stocks. ETFs have evolved to express a wide variety of investment strategies. Unless there is a compelling reason to own a mutual fund, an ETF is a likely the best choice.

There are some strategies still best expressed through mutual funds.

For non-registered accounts, there are mutual funds which have a tax structure that allow for US dividends to have Canadian tax treatment.

The fixed income portion of a portfolio is supposed to generate yield and preserve capital. However, almost all of the thousands of thousands of mutual funds and ETFs available to Canadians that invest in fixed income share the following characteristic that many investors do not understand: they will lose value when interest rates rise.

The good news is that there are a handful of funds that hedge interest rates and invest in quality bonds.

It is important to use the right tool for the job. Here is a small list of strategies of interest to many investors that I feel are best expressed with an ETF.

Investment Cowards

Do you just hate the idea of losing money so much so you can't stand the risk of participating in the stock market? Do you have some funds that you would like to invest, but need all your capital back in 3-5 years?

Market Linked GICs and a variety of structured products allow you to participate in the upside return of a basket of stocks with the comfort at least your original will be returned to you upon maturity.

Conservative Stock Portfolios

For clients who prefer to own individual securities instead of using mutual funds or separately managed accounts, my approach is to build portfolios designed to preserve and grow capital, and improve overall portfolio cash flow with covered call writing.

Aggressive Investors

Are you looking to speculate with funds that are not required to fund your savings goals?

It is important to have good trade ideas. It is also important to have a prudent cash management strategy and a discipline to risk on a certain amount on each trade.