The current compensation model for financial industry participants*, who promote the use of investment funds and other managed investment products for retail clients, has been mostly unchanged for over 30 years.
Have you considered putting aside extra funds for the teenage years?
If you have not thought about this, then you may want to if you have a child that is quickly headed towards the adolescent years. This can be a turbulent time, not just with the emotion and drama it can bring, but also with all of the associated expenses that it can add to the family budget.
When you think of your family financial strategy, you need to consider each and every phase of life. To their detriment, many families do not consider just how expensive the adolescent years can be.
Many people have no idea. Some people have a vague idea. A few people, a very few, have it all worked out. When it comes to retirement planning, many people do not take action until forced to by a mid-life event (career change, death of loved one) or by hearing about seniors running out of money.
Most people want to be wealthy, or at least financially independent. The sad truth is that very few people are financially independent when they reach retirement. The rest are dependent to some extent on others or government benefits for their daily money needs.
Far too many people today live a lifestyle that is under a mountain of consumer debt. In many cases, that debt follows them into retirement. There are simple strategies to achieve financial independence; however, they may not necessarily be easy to follow.
A survey conducted by a large Canadian bank found that 10% of Canadians are considering the purchase of a condominium for their adult children. This is up from 5% just a few years earlier and certainly reflects drastically increasing housing costs over the past decade.
When it comes to making financial decisions most people focus on either\or scenarios; that is making a tactical decision that may or may not reflect a larger financial planning or wealth accumulation context.
We often see these types of isolated, one-off decision choices in media articles that pose dilemmas such as: Is it better to invest in an RRSP or pay down your mortgage? Should you take your tax refund and invest in an RRSP or go on Vacation? Are TFSA’s better than RRSPs? Should you pay off your credit card balance or invest in an RRSP? You get the picture.
We are now well into 2015 and your New Year's Resolution to do a better job of managing your money are already being forgotten. As the late Sir John Templeton famously stated, the best time to invest is when you have money! The challenge for many people, with many middle-class people just struggling to make ends meet, is just getting started.
Before a sky scraper can reach for the clouds, it needs a very strong foundation. Once the building is complete, the foundation is virtually unseen. The same goes for our financial strategies. Following are the basics of a strong financial foundation:
Budget - Governments and businesses use budgets to properly allocate resources. It's known as good business. A budget can help you figure out where your hard earned income is going and to identify ways to cut spending or increase savings.
Many parents wrestle with the dilemma of how much financial support to provide their children attending post-secondary programs. The costs today are much greater than what the parents paid for similar schooling some thirty or more years ago.
Tuition costs alone have risen at least tenfold since the 1970's for a basic humanities degree, never mind the enormous cost increases for professional programs such as engineering, business, law and medical school.
A question sometimes asked in the media is exactly what is the role of a financial professional and how do they help the client meet their life goals and dreams. Why do you even need to engage the services of a planner or advisor when so much information is already available for free on the internet and elsewhere?