Summer 2017 SWM Letter

I trust you are enjoying a wonderful summertime.  I have much to share with you but will keep it brief.  With any questions you may have, call me or simply reply and we’ll arrange time to speak soonest.  Now in this mid-summer edition, have a look for what interests you most, and be sure to catch the peculiar story of how the world’s oldest widow got the last laugh over a lawyer.

Several have asked me about the 80 cent "looney" having risen against the US$ and also comparing with Europe and other regions.  A lower dollar can accelerate our exports, and will boost values of our foreign investments.  A rising dollar can choke exports for a time, yet Canadian firms have continually proven nimble to build strong foreign trade relationships.  In our own planning we find it seldom helps to bet on currency fluctuations;  over time these factors balance out.  The prudent approach is holding both domestic and international assets, also balancing “value” and “growth”, to reduce risks and smooth the journey.

  • Despite a good first-half, May and June had to weather the Cdn$ rising to (now) 80 cents U.S.  The real story is a withering outlook, state-side, for their president’s capacity to pass legislation.  Sentiment therefore has weighed on the US$ and lifted our “looney”.  As Canada needs to export more to the wider world, Ottawa will be talking our dollar down again, with a likely target of 74c or lower, possibly even 69c (RBC). 

Some ask me if rising interest rates are a worry.  We know historically that investment markets can rise very well through several interest rate rises.  Today’s slight leaning toward higher rates reflects growing economic optimism.  Canada, Europe and elsewhere, continue to show increasing productivity and stronger domestic and international trade.  If interest rates can normalize over time, this fits a bigger picture with vigorous production, trade, and investor returns both domestically and globally.

  • Recent interest-rate forecasts (RBC) suggest that over the next year, overnight rates may rise in the US by 0.38% but stay flat in Canada, Europe, UK, and drop slightly in Japan. 10-year bond forecasts for the same period suggest slight increase in US and Germany, no change in UK and Japan, and a modest drop in Canadian 10-year rates.  This bodes well for our fixed-income holdings among government and corporate bonds, both domestic and globally.

For investment accounts, June 30th marked a successful first-half in 2017 returns, showing healthy returns despite the drop in Canadian markets.  As 2016 was particularly strong for Canada, global positions have risen more since January.  We continue to see healthy growth, Canadian and globally, through 2017-2018.

  • For more on such discussions (GLC, CIBC, RBC, other analysts) I can forward links or PDFs depending on the questions that are top of mind for you.


Have you or family members ever forgotten Travel Medical Insurance?  Here’s a story to keep in mind.  An Ontario couple traveling in the US had never bought travel-medical coverage.  This time was different because his wife got the coverage without telling him.  So as shared with me, this fellow had a horrifying accident which put him into intensive care, resulting in a bill near $800,000 (US).

The wife nearly lost a husband.  Without coverage they would have lost $1Million Cdn.  Overall, the woman could have lost both her husband and the million.  The insurance saved a fortune and eased a horrible tragedy for them both.  So remember when traveling over provincial or country borders – it’s worth having travelers’ medical insurance.

  • (Our med coverage for BC, Aug 23-Sept5,  is $41 for $10 Million.)

Younger and middle-aged families have a lot of expenses these days.   Finding how to cut costs can help them greatly.  A couple recently approached me as they’ve been paying $400 monthly to the bank for mortgage life/health insurance.  It’s good they reached us because we can give more protection while cutting costs by half or more.  Explore this yourself, or share with others at:  When you need help like this, let us tailor the solution for your family’s needs, budget, and lasting security.

“Cottage” and other estate questions seem to arise more in the summer than any other time of year.  Perhaps it’s because families are getting together, and it may take place at a family property you want to preserve for the next generation or grandchildren.  Yes you can preserve the cottage, investment accounts, even your pension values, for children or grandchildren.  Knowing how and why will need some heart-to-heart conversations among family and with your professional advisors.  I link I’ve shared on this (needs an edit but you’ll get the point) is here if you are interested.

In closing as promised here is the story about a widow who got the last laugh over a lawyer.  It happens that there was a 47 year old lawyer who felt he could make a stunning great deal to get his hands on a widow’s property.  She was already 90 – what could possibly go wrong?  What he proposed was to pay her 2,500 francs monthly for an apartment in southern France, and if she died the property would pass to him in her Will.  Time passed, the lawyer died at 77, and the widow continued to the ripe age of 122 becoming the oldest person in the world at that time.  While the property indeed passed to the lawyer’s family, Mme. Calment enjoyed a steady income all her years, said to be more than twice the value of the home.  (July 8th, Economist.) 

We wish you continued renewal and enjoyment all summer.  Have fun with family and friends:  make the good moments shine!  And if there are any questions or opportunities for us to help please reach me or our staff directly here.  (Aug 25 to Sept 6 reach Ben or Christine directly at SWM.)  We are grateful always to be of service to you.  As we pause this letter in August I will have more to share here with you in September.  Health and happiness to all of you now and let’s speak soon.

Yours in Financial Security for LIFE!

Brian Weatherdon, MA CFP CLU CPCA. 
Certified Financial Planner.  Certified Retirement Coach.
627 Guelph Line, Burlington, Ont. L7R 3M7. 905-637-3500 x 223
Author of : 
> A Lifetime Of Wealth - And How Not To Lose It. (2013). 
> Protecting Life, Loved Ones, and Future Dreams (2013).
> Your Business - Your Retirement:  Halton Retirement Study (2015)

** This monthly letter touches on key strategies in Canadian and global investing and Ret.Coach SEALfinancial 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 whether historical or forecast 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.

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