Every year has a distinct personality: this is true for each of our families, and amid the events that shape our world news and our human family. Individually we change too: we reach new horizons, gather new experiences, enjoy certain successes. Our journey, with all its ups and downs, is the path of life! This Christmas and holiday season I pray you have loved ones nearby, joyful conversation among friends, and a happy outlook for the New Year which is coming so soon. May 2020 bring the very best for you and your loved ones.
Rewards of 2019 – all eyes now to 2020.
As 2018 closed last year forecasts of doom prevailed over investment markets. We felt differently, believing 2019 would offer at minimum four strong months of growth, with further review in April. In fact 2019 proved one of the strongest years since year-2000. This will not soon be repeated. Our Canadian and Global Dividend funds have largely risen 20-24%. Global Real Estate and Infrastructure funds have gained 12-18%. Strategic Income positions remarkably grew near 10% with stricter fixed-income ranging 2-to-6%. It’s noteworthy that our seniors who draw regular income for their expenses yet have higher assets today than a year ago.
We are continually testing the winds for change and if the Grinch misses Christmas a new-year appearance is always possible. Canada’s nearest neighbour is continually threatening tougher tariffs against other nations. Tariffs reduce world trade and shrink local and global production, with a resulting hit to wider investment markets. Interest rates can go two ways: if they fall it either supports investment or reflects economic weakness; if % rates rise it either suggests economic strength or heralds a fire-sale on investments. Employment rates are a factor too: if people are working we believe they have the money to spend, consume, and support the general economy. Lower taxes, higher employment, all help foster continued growth. With central bank support, and “services” so dominant in our modern economy, we are fairly insulated from a drop in manufacturing. Recession for now seems indefinitely “postponed”.
While 2020 should bring growth we must not be complacent. Some sectors have outpaced their intended allocation – potentially increasing portfolio risks and reducing future growth. If this were a sailboat we could check for bumps and barnacles, trim the sails, prudently ensure our future course by adjusting where needed. That’s why we need time together in the early months of 2020 – especially people we haven’t seen for some time. Let’s get time between January and April when we can review your financial progress, the security of your accounts, and any changes in your personal needs and circumstances.
Opportunities for Younger Clients, Retired Clients, and In Between.
We have a lively stream of younger clients coming in for our services. Certainly it helps as we have an excellent and dedicated young staff. Also we have no minimum requirements for new clients. Most of all they come to us because we’re helping them build a personalized plan even from their first-dollar of investment. This means we give unique clarity to the goals and needs of our young clients. Our process assures you have money for immediate goals and long term plans, in sickness and in health, and we fit this to benefits where you’re employed (and even if you’re self-employed, under-employed, or home-based). This is a most valuable and magnificent time of life to be building a strong foundation for all your financial decisions: in future you will be appreciating your continual progress.
Retired and senior clients are about half of our client-family. This is natural because our clients have continued to growing with us, and they introduce friends and others for our service. These are people at a time of life when it is vital that money continue working to support their living needs, today and tomorrow, while reducing many layers of risk. You’ve come to understand our focus on income mandates to protect value and create life-income while calming the storms of world news and markets. Our approach uniquely passes the test of every market meltdown of the past 200 years. If someone is worried about outliving their money, or they didn’t know how to increase their income from dividends, infrastructure- and real estate income, then let’s help them experience the comfort of enduring wealth and lasting life-income!
Nearing retirement – getting things right. There is a time in our 40s, 50s, early 60s, as you anticipate the soon-coming decades you’d like to remain happily retired, many feel sorrow or anxiety of having saved too little. Don’t let this weigh you down or darken the future but let’s focus together now to avoid that crisis and re-write your future. There’s no shame to realize you were putting all you could into life and family … but today we can turn our eyes forward, move forward, and keep you going forward. We align every possible source of wealth to support the lifestyle you choose in the years and seasons to come. We stay with you on this journey and will continue in every possible way to assure your personal comfort and a safe, happy, financial future.
If you know someone who is needing help … don’t keep us a secret. Our team continues to grow and we are always anxious to serve.
Christmas and Holiday Wishes to you and yours.
On behalf of our SWM team and our many associated partners (see footnote) we all wish you the greatest happiness this season and the whole year ahead. We are grateful to be in your service, immensely grateful for your trust and friendship, and we promise you our heart-and-soul commitment in the seasons of 2020 and beyond!
Yours in Financial Security for LIFE!
Brian Weatherdon, MA, CFP, CLU, CPCA. 905-637-3500
627 Guelph Line, Burlington, Ont. L7R 3M7. 1-877-937-3500
** This monthly letter touches on key strategies in Canadian and global investing and financial planning. This letter is not an offer to sell any kind of security, insurance, or program. Historical returns and risk measures are not a valid guide to future performance. Returns are from publicly available sources and research from a variety of firms including but not limited to GLC, RBC, CIBC, Mackenzie, Franklin Templeton. Opinions reflected in this letter belong solely to the author and no other body is responsible for the content expressed here. We value opportunity to consult alongside your legal and accounting firms to advance your financial security and unique goals. We are grateful always to receive your comments and questions.