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investment planning

The Question That Is Rarely Asked

After speaking with many clients and potential clients over the years, a pattern emerges in the direction that the interview takes. There is often a sense of give and take with the client wanting to get certain questions answered in their mind, giving out small bits of information, but withholding the rest as if to keep control of the situation. Perhaps there is a sense that full and complete disclosure can be used against them since information is often thought of as power.

Investing Like the Rich Do

"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."
George Foreman.

With RRSP season upon us, it might be useful to see how the wealthy invest their funds for some indication as to how they differ from average Canadians. As Baron Rothschild famously stated, “The time to buy is when there's blood in the streets…”, and so do the wealthy, even in difficult times. In other words, they are contrarian investors who do the opposite of what everyone else does, which is a lesson that all investors can profit from.

The Client Interview

There is often a sense of nervousness when you go to your first meeting with a new financial planner or advisor. How should you approach the meeting? What and how much should you tell them? What results do you expect from the meeting and from any future interactions?

Generally speaking, there are two approaches that can be taken when dealing with a new advisor. The first approach is to have the advisor review everything in the hopes that he/she will tell you that everything is going to be alright with some modest adjustments.

World Reserve Currency Regime

Canadians, like many nationalities, have a home bias when it comes to investing. The majority, if not all of their investments, such as RRSPs, real estate, mutual funds, segregated funds and businesses, are in Canada and are tied to its future economic growth.

These Canadian investments could see reduced returns in the future, however, due to a growing shift in the balance of economic power towards China and the East and away from the U.S. and Western countries.

QE Continues

Quantitative Easing, otherwise referred to in the media as 'QE', refers to governments printing money out of thin air in order to stimulate economic growth. The US ended their program of QE in late 2014. The impression this left with many people was that the need for economic stimulus ended.

This also goes hand in hand with the media theme that U.S. consumers have been deleveraging by paying down household debt such as mortgages, credit cards, car loans etc. since the 2008 credit crises. The reality is much different than what is being portrayed in the mainstream media.

Predicting the Future

Human nature includes the desire to predict and or anticipate both the immediate and longer term future. The reason for doing so is often to eliminate or reduce the fear or anxiety about the unknown. Human beings detest uncertainty and will do almost anything to reduce this uncertainty.

In ancient times people made special offers to local gods. In modern times, people watch news broadcasts and try to interpret how current events will impact their investments.

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