Ontario Savings Bonds On Sale NOW!

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Yes, sure these are very low risk, however it is an easy way to tuck money aside for 5 years and let it not be touched! Get them before June 21st!!! More info here: http://www.ontariosavingsbonds.com/en/campaign.html 

 

 

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A Day in the Life of a Financial Advisor

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SONY DSCA sleazy salesperson? Someone trying to upscale you on risky investments you shouldn’t have? Someone you can’t trust? Who is it that you picture when you think of a financial advisor? Are you lucky enough to have a financial advisor you like? Or do you not have one for fear that you will end up with a stereotypical one that is described as so above?

While you may think advisors are all about the markets, glam and game, their typical days are a bit different than that. A good advisor is more focused on planning, not performance. (Ask your advisor about diversification next meeting to explain that last line). What I mean though is even though they need to maintain all the licenses and have the technical know-how of financial products and markets, the actual job is a bit different. It is much more relational and sometimes not at all what the public thinks about.

A couple years ago a colleague mentioned a former client. The first time he saw her they were strangers. He went to her bare bones apartment in inner-city Toronto, in the low-income neighbourhood of Parkdale. When arriving at her apartment, he found a very lonely, dirty apartment, covered with cigarette ash trays, smoke, and cat hair. Clutter was the name of the game. The superficial advisor would walk away there, assuming they were not a ‘qualified prospect’ while the good advisor would sit down and do their job. ‘Know your client’ starts here. The two of them chatted for 2 1/2 hours about travelling, he explained the life insurance policy she had, taken out by her parents when she was younger, and explained the importance of naming a beneficiary on the policy, as she currently had none. She thanked him, enjoyed the chat, but didn’t make any changes or additions to her policy or hr financial plan. Over the years this man always followed up on her. They chatted about life, travel and so forth. She never made changes, he accepted that. He jokingly would always nag her that it really did make sense to add a beneficiary. However, it was her call. Years later, dozens of appointments with a no-profit client later, customer service was still this advisor’s most important trait.

He received a phone call one day. Edna, we’ll call her, was in the hospital. It didn’t look good. ‘Do I still have time to change that policy?’. He was touched that he even thought to call her from the hospital. Of course. he said, and was in the hospital that same afternoon to have the very simple form filled out. She passed away in the hospital a day later. If he had not of picked up his phone, it may have been too late. If he had delayed going to see her, it would have been too late. Her money would have gone into the estate and perhaps would have been tied up for months. Instead, her sister received 300,000 dollars tax-free. Her sister, not sure what to do with this, told Charles, we’ll call him, that if he was good enough for her sister, he was good enough for her, and she invested the benefit with him. This unqualified client from Parkdale and turned out into one of his best clients. This solid advisor knew that as a professional, everyone deserves excellent treatment, and that a sale every appointment is not necessarily the proper philosophy to the job.

These and many more like it are what actually happens on the day in the life of a financial advisor. The payout is sometimes not for years, but it is those coffee chats and time spent talking about travelling, or whatever, that is what they do, much of the time.

 

What are some memorable moments with your advisor? How did you find them? Share your stories here as well!

The Best Gift you Can Give your Children is a Good Marriage

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SONY DSCOut to dinner recently with friends (ones that have been married over 40  years, at that) they, in a fashion that is very enthusiastically them, steered the conversation happily in the direction of new love and beginning a family, towards two of us that are about to embark on those new steps, at the other end of the spectrum. As the reminisced over when they first started a family, and began their lives together, some of their stories came as a breath of positive motivation, especially for those just starting off. One of the most poignant points came in a single line explaining that the best gift we could possibly give our children was a good marriage. Simple and clear, the message is just to love each other, respect each other, and always agree to continue committing to working together on this incredible life that you have chosen to pursue together. (Easier said than done, I guess, right). However I think the overlying theme is that it is worth it, and we should always remember that. Especially when family is involved as well, as children have the very keen sense of picking up things we think they don’t notice. It is actually said that a child esteems what their parent’s think of them, and therefore of themselves within the first 15 seconds of seeing them — how’s that for acute senses?

Some relationship thoughts to start your day …

27 Money Tricks Every 20 Something Should Know

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27 Money Tricks Every 20 Something Should Know

Thought Catalog

1. Send a portion of what you earn directly every month (or week) into an account that you don’t touch. If you never even see it, and never count it in your spending money, you will be surprised how much you don’t miss it (and how quickly it can add up).

2. If you find a sale item that you’re interested in buying, check the online version of the store before you purchase — often, their sales are better online, and you can get an even bigger discount.

3. Google the coupon codes for online shopping you’re doing, as you never know when you can get an additional 15 percent off at checkout.

4. Always take out the money you’re planning on spending on a night out in cash, at the beginning, and leave your card at home. That way you have a budget set up from the get-go that…

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Taxes: This weekend’s project

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SONY DSCWho wants free money? Well, okay, it’s not free – but it is money entitled to you if you qualify, and for those that don’t know, that would be your TAX REFUND. How do you get more money, you might ask? You do this by filing your taxes! If you have everything ready, perhaps even this weekend! No time like the present for a weekend a project, and if you are feeling very adventurous (wait for it) you can even stop by the post office, and pick up a booklet so you can file your taxes. Yourself. Granted there are other options. Turbo Tax is probably the most common way to file yourself with easy step by step instruction to make sure you get everything in check. This is an online software that guides you through the entire tax return. Your 3rd option would be to go to a place like H&R Block, with accountants on demand and no appointment necessary (but advisable to help with your wait time) and further if you at that stage, you can hire an actual accountant.

Granted, there is another option. Chinatown is full of tax-filers that are willing to do your return for 20 dollars. And they probably got near perfect scores on the SAT yet you’re able to catch them in a break and get a break on fees.

 

It’s up to you, but just see this as a reminder to get it done! God luck and happy tax season!