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financial strategies

Basics For a Wise Financial Strategy

Before a sky scraper can reach for the clouds, it needs a very strong foundation. Once the building is complete, the foundation is virtually unseen. The same goes for our financial strategies. Following are the basics of a strong financial foundation:

Budget - Governments and businesses use budgets to properly allocate resources. It's known as good business. A budget can help you figure out where your hard earned income is going and to identify ways to cut spending or increase savings.

Financial Strategies for the "University Years"

Many parents wrestle with the dilemma of how much financial support to provide their children attending post-secondary programs. The costs today are much greater than what the parents paid for similar schooling some thirty or more years ago.

Tuition costs alone have risen at least tenfold since the 1970's for a basic humanities degree, never mind the enormous cost increases for professional programs such as engineering, business, law and medical school.

The Planning Continuum

A question sometimes asked in the media is exactly what is the role of a financial professional and how do they help the client meet their life goals and dreams. Why do you even need to engage the services of a planner or advisor when so much information is already available for free on the internet and elsewhere?

Talking To Your Parents While There is Still Time

Many clients in their 50's and 60's are increasingly worried about the finances of their aging parents. This is especially true in an era of unprecedented low interest rates. They often ask: 'How do I talk to them about their care and their finances?'

This topic raises many sensitive family dynamics including the adult child who is uncomfortable raising the topic with their parents and parents who are in denial or not comfortable discussing these personal care and financial issues with their children.

It's One Economy

The financial planner responded by saying that if the public stock markets were going down the drain, then real estate would follow as well. Why? Well it is one economy and we are all connected at the end of the day! Shocked, the veteran of 30-years in real estate responded that he had never thought of it that way and walked away shaking his head.

So, You Got a Tax Refund

According to the Minister of National Revenue, the average tax refund is over $1,500 for the 2011 tax year. Surprisingly, many Canadians are thrilled about getting a big refund. While certain situations can lead to an unusual tax refund, far too many Canadians lend large sums of money to the government at 0% interest year after year. Two things you can do to make your refunds smaller are:

Strategic or Target-Based Planning

Financial success methodologies have evolved over the past 30 years with the advent of increasing computational power. Originally, planning was a simple spread-sheet based projection of your current situation, plus some assumptions, such as savings rates, tax rates, investment returns and inflation rates. This would give you an idea of what your final destination would look like with much of the calculations being driven by Future Value and Present Value tables.

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