Managed Money Reporter Newsletter — Issue 302, December 2017


Editors: Carl Spiess & Allan McGlade


Featured Articles



Season's Greetings from the Spiess McGlade Team

By Carl Spiess, CFP, CIM, FMA, FCSI, MBA

Dear clients and friends of the Spiess McGlade team, we would like to wish you and your family all the best for the holidays and look forward to a prosperous 2018 together. As per our annual tradition, below you'll find our team photo updated for 2017! Fashion runways in Milan and Glasgow were showing minimalist plaid this season – so I doffed my tartan jacket for this year's holiday photo in favour of a more discrete bowtie. Remember to hover over the photo for a fun contrast.

We are also pleased to note that our team members Debbie Ann Espiritu and Brenda Cordeiro ran another successful toy drive on our floor. Here is a photo of the wonderful gifts that have been given to children in need.

2017 Toy Drive

 
2017 Toy Drive

In addition to the toy drive, ScotiaMcLeod also has an internal charity that I am very proud of. I began volunteering on the cabinet of the ScotiaMcLeod Charitable Foundation in 2015. That first year we awarded grants to 3 charities that our colleagues across the country had volunteered at. In 2016 we gave out 8 awards and this December we have distributed 36 $6,500 cheques to our colleague's charities. For more on that feel good story for the holidays:

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Market commentary – 2017 wrap up

Statistics Canada has released new information about the state of Canadian households' financial health. It is a good news–bad news story for sure. The median family has a net worth of $295,100, up almost 15% in 4 the last years (the survey is done every 4 years). 61.7% of Canadians own a home, but almost all of those (57.3% of Canadians) have a mortgage. The average mortgage rate was 2.94% and affordability could be a challenge if interest rates rise. A worrying sign is that only 29.6% of families are debt free, and the amount of debt that the average family carries has risen 27.1% in the last 4 years!

For a complete look at the statistics see the Survey of Financial Security 2016

Overall (and assuming markets remain stable to the end of 2017) our clients of the Spiess McGlade team have seen another year of solid growth on portfolios. A balanced path forward, taking some gains and rebalancing to an appropriate risk level will continue to ensure appropriate returns into the future. We expect both challenges and opportunities to continue into 2018. Our firm's analysts have a good range of short and longer term commentaries:

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Year-end investment planning

With the strong markets over the last few years, many investment funds have realized gains on the transactions in their portfolios in 2017. That profit taking by your managers results in a taxable distribution in your fund, even though you did not sell anything. Most distributions are paid in mid-December and several funds on our recommended list (Edgepoint, Capital, Fidelity etc.) have seen distributions in 2017. Of course, distributions from investment funds are generally only taxable when those funds are held in non-registered accounts. In TFSAs and RRSPs, distributions just change your average cost and book value. For more information on how distributions work, please see:

CRA has confirmed that the TFSA limit will remain at $5,500 for 2018. So cumulative TFSA room for someone who has never contributed (and has been 18 years of age or older and resident in Canada since 2009) would be $57,500 as of January 1, 2018. As of today's date, it is only $52,000. We look forward to helping with TFSA, RRSP and RESP contributions early in the new year. Here is a link to our contribution form.

Scotia Wealth Management has provided a good document with dates and information about tax deadlines. December 27th is the last day for tax loss selling – and of course December 31st is the last day for charitable contributions. Our offices will be open with limited staff on December 27th, 28th and 29th, and will be back in the new year on January 2nd.

For 2018, we will be encouraging our clients to make use of ScotiaMcLeod and CRA's online tax reporting tools. If you aren't paperless yet, you can register for paperless record-keeping on Scotia Online. Not on Scotia Online yet? You can set up online account access at:

With paperless record-keeping, all statements are held for 7 years and you can access your RRSP and other receipts at any time. For clients who already have Online access, please note that your next login will provide an update to your online agreement and an option to continue receiving paper documents.

CRA has a great online tool called My Account where you can find your RRSP room, tax slips etc. You can register online and then when you have your CRA security code you can even access the CRA site or MyCRA mobile app through your Scotia Online banking through the Sign-In Partner. To get set up, see:

Aside - Some reporting like T5008s can be confusing. Not to worry - we will be providing more information on this in a future issue of our newsletter.

This information is only a reminder of the general year-end tax considerations and deadlines. Each individual's situation is unique and any general tax planning opportunity may not benefit every person. A tax advisor should always be consulted before implementing any tax strategies

This publication has been prepared by Scotia Capital Inc. and is intended as a general source of information only and should not be considered or relied upon as personal and/or specific financial, tax, pension, legal or investment advice. We are not tax or legal advisors and individuals should consult with their own tax and legal advisors before taking any action based upon the information contained in this publication. Opinions and projections contained in this publication are our own as of the date hereof and are subject to change without notice. While care and attention has been taken to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the material in this publication, neither Scotia Capital Inc. nor any of its affiliates make any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of such material and disclaim any liability resulting from any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of this publication or the information contained herein. This publication and all the information, opinions and conclusions contained herein are protected by copyright. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the prior express consent of Scotia Capital Inc.

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Your New Year's financial resolution (AKA 8 Financial Mistakes to Avoid)

Scotia Wealth Management has published a list of 8 common financial mistakes to avoid.

If I had to pick just one financial mistake to avoid, it would be #1 - no plan. If you've been putting it off, maybe your new year's resolution could be to revisit your financial plan with a member of our team. Simply email us and we'll get you set up for a review of your financial plan and a prosperous 2018.

Do it now!

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John Zufelt 1950-2017

We are sad to report that former ScotiaMcLeod advisor John Zufelt passed away on December 1, 2017. Our condolences go out to his family. 5 of the 10 members of your investment team were already working together in 2001 when John Zufelt retired from ScotiaMcLeod and also many of our long term clients will remember him. We all owe a debt of gratitude to John for his vision for our business.

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Recommended Link of the Month

Wikipedia - a seasonal article

I am a big fan of Wikipedia. It is the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. It now has 5,534,024 articles in English and continues to grow in other languages. If you are a Wikipedia editor yourself, I'd love to know what pages you've worked on!

This month's link of the month is a fun seasonal finance-related article from Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus_rally

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T.  416.863.RRSP (7777)
     1.800.387.9273
F.  416.863.7479
E. carl.spiess@scotiawealth.com
    allan.mcglade@scotiawealth.com

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