Whether you are saving for a major purchase or for your retirement, you need to put your savings somewhere. Under your mattress is not only unsafe, but will not earn a return. Meanwhile, inflation will increase the cost of living over time, so you need to earn some return just to avoid losing the purchasing value of your savings.
There are literally thousands of vehicles in which to invest your savings. Each option will have certain risks and provide some expectation of a return on your investment. Building an investment portfolio involves selecting holdings that match your return objectives for each of your goals, while respecting your ability to tolerate risk. More sophisticated portfolio designs combine various holdings which offset each others’ risks to allow for higher return potential with lower overall risk.
Through our dealer, Worldsource Financial Management Inc., we can design and manage investment portfolios for you using a wide variety of instruments.
If you want to eliminate all uncertainty about your return on investment and the return of your capital, you may find deposit instruments like cash deposits, term deposits or Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) to be the most suitable option.
These instruments are usually issued by financial institutions like chartered banks, trust companies and credit unions. They offer a guaranteed rate of interest payable on your deposit, and guarantee the return of 100% of your deposit at the maturity date. The term between the date of your deposit and the maturity date may be as short as 1 day or as long as 10 years or more. Most terms are 5 years or less, to be eligible for deposit insurance.
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If you seek a return higher than the interest rates available on GICs, you’ll need to look at non-guaranteed or ‘variable’ investments.
Bonds, mortgages, stocks and real estate all have values which fluctuate over time, and may not return all of your investment when you want to sell them. This uncertainty results from various risks associated with these investments. Generally, the higher the potential return of an investment, the higher its inherent risks.
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The return you earn on your investments is generally considered taxable income. However, most adults in Canada can hold some or all of their investments in a ‘ Registered ‘ plan to defer or eliminate tax on their investment incomes. The most familiar such plan is the Registered Retirement Savings Plan or RRSP, which has been available since 1957. Since then, a variety of related plan types has evolved, including the Spousal RRSP, Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA), Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) and Life Income Fund (LIF). Most recently, the Tax-Free Savings Account or TFSA was introduced in 2009. There is also a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) available for children and disabled persons.
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The use of registered plans to reduce income taxes is a key component of financial planning, and the decision on which types of investments to hold in each type of plan should be considered as part of your portfolio construction and management. Because of the difference in the tax treatment of different types of investment income and registered plan contributions and withdrawals, the mix of assets that is ideal for one type of plan will not be the same as the ideal allocation to other plans or your taxable investment portfolio.
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Comprehensive Investment Management Services
Some of our clients prefer to use only guaranteed investments. Many will prefer to take on some amount of risk to have the opportunity for a better return.
Some clients prefer to use one or more balanced portfolios where all asset classes and the allocation among them is managed by a single management firm. This approach simplifies reporting and minimizes the need for the client to be involved in rebalancing decisions.