Believes wealth management should be based on facts and repeatable processes, rather than stories about the future.
Behavioural Finance
Family Playing Board Games Snakes And Ladders

Snakes and Ladders

I visited my sister in the UK last summer and spent time with my young nieces and nephews. One evening, we found a compendium of board games and I introduced my five-year-old nephew to Snakes and Ladders. The rules were explained, although not completely absorbed, and off we started.

Market Research
Young Girl Hugging Her White Dog by Marek Szturc on Unsplash

Bad Times

Stock markets around the world have been in decline since the beginning of 2016. Most investors have seen any gains of last year wiped out in two weeks. Under these circumstances it is easy to lose sight of our investment goals that span years, if not decades.

Market Research
Happy Person Jumping Up Hiking Rocks

Fiduciary Alpha

While sharing lunch with a competitor recently I spoke about some of PWL’s initiatives to promote fiduciary standards for independent investment advisors in Canada. A fiduciary standard is one that puts the client’s interest ahead of the advisor. His response was simply, “That’s great, but you can’t sell ethics.”

Living in Retirement
Senior Couple Travelling Sitting Back Van With Their Dog

Securing Income in Retirement

When advising clients who are heading for retirement we see a shift in perspective from a focus on capital appreciation to a focus on income generation and protection. Specifically, we work with clients to understand how much future income they wish to protect and for how long.

Market Research
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Canada Sleeps (Part 2)

US health care consumes 17% of GDP compared with the Canadian healthcare system that consumes only 11% of GDP, yet Americans have a worse life expectancy than most developed countries1. Strange then, that the US is a leader in stripping out unnecessary costs for investors, leaving Canada in the dust.

Market Research
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Canada Sleeps (Part 1)

A recent study concludes, on average, financial advisors provide poor value to Canadians. Recently an investor came to us concerned about his portfolio which was managed by an investment advisor who was a Vice President at a bank brokerage.

Starting Out
Busy Office Employee Working On the Phone Computer

Defined Contribution Savings Plans

The ‘free money” arises from the offer of employers to match their employees’ contributions, often up to 3-6% of employee earnings. According to the report, over half of the employer contributions go unused because either employees do not contribute at all or because their contribution is less than the maximum.

Living in Retirement
Senior Woman Worried Looking Out Window

The Crisis in Retirement Planning

The title is from a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, by Robert C Merton, a Nobel prize winner in economics and Professor of Finance at MIT. The crisis he refers to is not what you might expect: this is not another plea from the financial industry for investors to save more.

Advanced Investing
Men Measuring Wall Pencil

Weighed, measured and found wanting

Investment firms will soon be obliged to benchmark their performance or explain why they choose not to do so. At PWL we see ourselves as investor advocates and so the case for benchmarking performance seems, at first glance, unassailable. To be unwilling to benchmark performance raises the question of “What have you got to hide?”

Starting Out
Young Teacher Teaching Math Students Board

RESPs – A Failing Grade?

A Registered Educations Saving Plan (RESP) is an effective way of saving for the cost of a child’s post secondary education. The maximum contribution allowed for each child within an RRSP is $50,000. The Government matches contributions with the Canada Education Savings Grants up to a maximum of $7,200 per child.

Starting Out
Couple Shaking Hands Advisor Banks Loaning Money

Should I save or pay down debt?

This is one of most common questions we are asked when financial planning with clients. Usually it arises when there is surplus cash from income that could be used either to accelerate paying a mortgage or a line of credit versus investing in savings for retirement.

Market Research
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Is Canada an Emerging Market?

Since the 1980s the phrase emerging markets has been used to distinguish between developed and developing countries. Emerging markets have been identified as a separate asset class for investors characterized by higher returns but also higher risk.

Market Research
Canadian Money Bills: 100$, 50$, 20$, 10$

The Colour of Money

Colour maps are a visual representation of how different asset returns. change over time. In this example, there are eight asset classes, each represented by a different colour. They are ranked, with the highest performing asset for a particular quarter in the top row and the worst performer in the bottom row.