Dear friends, I’m back from our travels in Quebec and have a few brief notes for you to enjoy here. Any questions you may have, give me a call or simply ‘reply’ at your leisure. Often we pass on an August letter but it's worth glancing at the recent rise of investment accounts, plus a time-sensitive note or caution for wealth insurance. Between these items I’m adding some holiday pictures. Send me some of yours too! And now please have a look and reach me to discuss anything you have in mind.
BEST SUMMER IN YEARS (INVESTMENTS UP STRONGLY).
Values have increased remarkably since mid-year making one of the most profitable summers in many years. Many accounts rose 3% or more in the month of July.
U.S. news has the NASDAQ in record territory, finally surpassing where it was in year 2000. That was a painful 16-year journey for people who were deeply invested in high-tech innovation back then. Other US indexes recovered from the 2008-2009 pit in 6 years (2014) and are in all-time record territory now. This pales beside the Y2K forecasts which expected the DOW to quadruple to 40,000 by 2010. At 18,000 the DOW is struggling for oxygen against high currency and uncertain earnings. US markets may need to consolidate and release steam before continuing their ascent.
In Canada and much of Europe the situation is quite different. European markets are concerned about Brexit, immigration, terrorism, persistent debt-levels, and future impact of negative interest rates. Canada faces continuing low prices for oil and also real estate in the energy provinces, looming threats to exports of lumber, canola, etc., and low interest rates squeezing the earnings of our banks and insurers. Despite such worries, Canada and Europe have stronger earnings ratios and higher dividends than the U.S. and probably have much farther to grow over the coming seasons.
Worries are often overblown – especially worries you hear on TV or the internet. On this theme if you like, look back at a picture in my March letter (here). Seeing the normal range for our Canadian index right now you’ll find we are in the lower section of that channel where things tend to rise easily, and worries tend to fade. That’s fairly safe ground and we can see continued growth over the year ahead.
Life Income Mandates as we design personally for your investing and financial planning are clearly more cautious than the raw stock markets. We hold value in Canada, US, Europe, and emerging economies. We seek strong earnings and higher-than-average dividend yield, as well as income from real estate and infrastructure. Our approach cuts risk, and ensures a continuing stream of income to support your personal goals and desired lifestyles.
CHANGING TAX LAWS WILL HIT WEALTH INSURANCE.
You may have heard recently, tax laws are changing Dec 31st as they’ve done before in 1982, 1989, etc. The government continues to reduce the tax-free growth available in new life insurance contracts. If we’re re-doing your insurance, or if you want to bypass some of the taxes and risks that hit other types of investment while you're living or for your family estate, then you want to look at this now.
After 2016 you won’t have the same options. Value we can bring today will never again be matched in 2017 and beyond. As insurance can seem a boring subject I’ve splashed some "fun" into this page you can explore at (LINK) and we can discuss it in person. A few highlights you would pick out of this page include:
- Simplify family inheritance.
- Supplement retirement living.
Every time I lead estate planning seminars people inevitably ask about family cottages and other properties. You can listen in, as some of these conversations appear in the following link: (here) and we can discuss if you like. Remember, time is limited so we would need to put this in our calendars right away.
OUR FOCUS, NOW AND ALWAYS.
In everything we do, our focus is Life and Wealth. Effective planning aligns these two to support your personal dreams and lasting goals ...and make them less taxing! Whatever your needs or questions, please make sure that we are focusing on these together, speaking often, and continuing to prepare a secure future for your life and those most dear to you.
Yours in Financial Security for LIFE!