Spousal RRSPs: Split Income, Save Tax

Over the years, the government has eliminated many income-splitting opportunities available to investors. However, for those who have a spouse or common-law partner, a key investment opportunity is a spousal Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).
A spousal RRSP may be a good income-splitting opportunity for a situation in which you would earn a higher level of income in retirement, while your spouse will have little or no source of retirement income. A spousal RRSP is a plan that you contribute to […]


Dispelling Myths about RRSPs

Participation rates for the RRSP have been declining over recent years. In fact, some Canadians believe there is “no point” in investing in the RRSP because of the taxes due in retirement. But the RRSP can provide a substantial tax advantage. Let’s look at a couple of the myths:

Myth: There is no point in investing in an RRSP.  You pay all the savings back in taxes when you retire.

While you do pay tax on RRSP withdrawals, don’t forget […]


New Year’s Resolutions for Investing in 2019

The year 2018 will be remembered as a difficult one for the Canadian equity markets. Trade tensions and tariffs imposed by the U.S. created ongoing volatility at home and abroad. Concerns over Canada’s competitiveness have been put under the spotlight—the result of falling foreign direct investment, slowing gross domestic product growth and problems in getting our deeply discounted oil to broader markets. While the federal government acknowledged the need to support business competitiveness in its late November fiscal update, […]


Business Owners: Tips for Year End Tax-Planning

Is it too early to think about year end? As a business owner, if you are thinking about tax-planning strategies, not at all. Now is the time to take steps in order to help minimize 2018 corporate taxes and plan ahead for 2019. Here are some helpful tips to review with your professional advisor: 
1. Consider the New Passive Income and Refundable Dividend Rules

For taxation years starting after 2018, certain passive income earned in the company, and associated companies, in […]


Maintain Optimism during Economic Headwinds

It is interesting how quickly the primary focus of many market commentators can shift as they look for things to worry about, perpetuating a pessimistic narrative about market fluctuations.
Today’s Economic Headwinds
A major change in global trade continues to dominate the news as the U.S. imposes tariffs globally. At home, Canada remained side-lined in NAFTA negotiations throughout the summer and the Trans Mountain pipeline project continued to experience setbacks. Italy’s ongoing debt issues, complicated by new political changes, as well […]


The Positives (and Perils!) of Joint Ownership

(NOTE: not applicable to Québec residents)
Joint ownership of assets has been growing in popularity with spouses, and now more frequently between parents and children. While there may be benefits, be aware of the potential pitfalls prior to transferring assets into joint ownership.
Joint ownership occurs when an asset is owned by more than one person. Generally, there are two forms of joint ownership:

joint tenancy (with the right to survivorship)—an arrangement in which the ownership of the asset passes directly to […]


Tax Savings: Use Capital Losses to Offset Capital Gains

Plan Ahead Before Year End
Given the extended bull market, some investors may be considering realizing gains to rebalance their portfolios. As capital gains are subject to tax, one of the more common ways to offset this tax is to use available capital losses. Here is a reminder on how losses may be an opportunity from a tax perspective.
In general, when you sell an investment you must calculate the gain or loss, which is the difference between the proceeds from […]


The Bulls and the Bears

This past August, both Canadian and U.S. equity markets boasted a new record for having one of the longest bull markets in modern financial times. What does that mean for your portfolio?

What Historic Markets Show Us
Let’s take a look back at the history of the bull and bear markets of the S&P/TSX Composite Index since 1970. There have been eight bull markets and seven bear markets. Bull markets have been longer, averaging around 63.5 months, whereas bear markets have […]


Are You a Do-It-Yourself-er?

If you consider yourself a “do-it-yourself-er,” and you like to use mutual funds, you are most likely paying higher fees than you should be.
Most mutual funds that are used in discount brokerages are set up to pay approximately a 1% annual servicing commission to an advisor. If there is no advice being provided or an advisor attached to the account, why would you pay an extra 1% annually for nothing? The disturbing part relates to the number of no […]


Take Care to Manage Your “Digital Footprint”

The Facebook data breach this past spring highlighted how significantly the internet impacts our lives. Years ago, it would have been absurd to consider that a social media application, once created as an online gathering place for university students, would end up under U.S. congressional scrutiny. Would you have thought that by answering a seemingly innocuous quiz, your information could potentially be used to meddle in a national election?
With Canadians now spending, on average, over 24 hours per week […]