A Comprehensive Financial Plan: You Need One to be On Track

Financial plans are important to reach your goals. The problem is that many Canadians do not have one, or they don’t know if their plan is working for them. A comprehensive financial plan will help you set clear financial goals and develop strategies to achieve these goals. A comprehensive financial plan can be the difference […]

Why financial planning needs to change in 2021

12,000 years ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors began to think differently. Hunting and gathering was a painstaking and dangerous process that yielded short term results and often left them hungry. They tried their hand at farming and their food supply became relatively more predictable, if they planned ahead. Their efforts also yielded surpluses that they could […]

Who do you trust?

As published in The Richmond News. We are born to trust. Without trust, we would never have learned to walk, talk, take care of ourselves and others nor learned to give our value to the world through the relationships we foster and the careers we pursue. If we have had a good experience of trust […]

Be a Truth Teller

On April 30, 2009, near the bottom of the massive global credit crisis, Chrysler LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to renegotiate its debt and other obligations. The result was that most of its assets were sold to a new company, Chrysler Group LLC. Although several groups cooperated in the reorganization, the leadership for […]

What Gratitude Means to Us

There is a phrase that we use a lot in our family: “We stand on the shoulder of giants.” To us it means that so many people came before us and by their blood, sweat, tears, and sacrifices we are here today. This all comes down to the principle of gratitude. The biggest enemy working […]

Don’t Let Your Fear Outweigh Your Faith

We spend our lives either pursuing pleasure or avoiding pain. Obviously, pleasure is a far more desirable outcome than pain but I would like to focus on the acts of pursuit (guided by faith) and avoidance (guided by fear), as they will determine our outcomes. Faith and fear are both necessary and it’s status quo […]

Always Create More Than You Consume

While listening to a podcast by Robin Sharma on “Why So Few Succeed,” one passage profoundly struck me: We live in a civilization of consumers. Buy this, eat this, do this, consume this. But the top 5%, those who play in the rare air of world class are not consumers, they’re creators. Let’s be clear. […]

The Power of Volunteering

A good friend of mine once told me that most people are not born volunteers. However, we are hard wired to help others when asked. I’m asking. The world needs you and you need it. We are all built for community! The United Nations Volunteer site says it well: “People the world over engage in […]

The Mortgage vs. Savings Dilemma

After all the bills are paid, we sometimes find ourselves with a surplus of cash and wondering how best to use it. Your options for available cash fall into three categories: spend it, invest it, or pay down debt. Trying to balance saving as much as possible while still trying to pay down a mortgage […]

Do Nothing With Your Inheritance – for Now.


Occasionally, we may receive a windfall – a large, unexpected sum of money. In most cases, these windfalls come from inheritances, usually from parents or grandparents. The fact is, the money usually comes as a result of hard work and a series of prudent investment choices over time. This gift implies a level of responsibility […]

5 Ways to Be Smart When the Markets Drop

We all love market volatility – as long as it is on the upside!.  Unfortunately, history has shown us that every bull market is often followed by an aggressive bear market.   Sometimes the market falls hard and fast, but that doesn’t have to mean catastrophe. Being smart when times are tough can be just as […]

A Financial Plan – the Missing Piece of the Puzzle?

Doesn’t it drive you crazy when you get to the end of a jigsaw puzzle and it’s ruined because you’re missing one final piece of the puzzle? Why then are we not more disturbed when we realize that the key piece of our own life’s masterpiece is missing? The Financial Planning Standards Council conducted a […]

Making Your Mark

The work is almost done. You’ve accumulated a nest egg that will assure the retirement lifestyle you planned for. The golf course beckons, as does that year-long world cruise.  You are happy – or are you?  I like to focus on the positive, but we need to address a disturbing trend – traditional retirement often fosters decay and depression.  The problem is simple. Human beings are goal […]

Pay Down Mortgage or Top Up TFSA?

The problem with accumulating more wealth is in deciding what to do with your excess cash. The biggest question has always been: “contribute to investments or pay off the mortgage?” Opting for both, reducing debt and increasing savings, is the ideal. As for which is better, however, really depends on the you, your goals,  feelings […]

The Relationship Between Health and Wealth

“A man who has his health has a thousand dreams. The man who doesn’t have his health has but one” Author unknown Tweet As many of us know, financial stress can impact many areas of our lives. A study conducted by Fidelity in collaboration with Stanford University found that the worse financial shape we are […]

The Financial Procrastination Breakthrough

Everybody procrastinates about something You are not alone. We all think that others have it together, but the truth is that we are all financial procrastinators. From years of experience with clients, I know that reality and perception can be totally different. In varying degrees, we all have masks that hide the full truth of […]

The 6D Tax Planning Approach

I am told that the full version of our Federal Income Tax Act is more than 3,000 pages. I don’t believe it. If you’ve ever tried to look something up on the CRA website, you’ll understand that it has almost infinite dimensions! This also does not account for the various provincial tax regimes. Although we […]

Will Someone Please Teach the Kids About Money?

Over the years spent teaching financial planning courses, I could count on two common comments: I should have taken this course years ago. My children should take this course. Although we’re not currently offering our courses, we are reaching out through WealthSmarts to help people more effectively reach their goals through sound wealth management. Our […]

Dollar-Cost Averaging – the Right Thing to Do

Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) is a simple systematic approach to buying investments.  DCA tempers the volatility of your investment portfolio by breaking down large investments into smaller ones over time. Instead of buying a large single investment all at once, the intended purchase is parceled into smaller pieces and spread over a period of time. […]

The Transformational and Annoying Power of “Why”?

Most of us have forgotten life’s shortest and most transformational question: “Why?” As children we’ve learned important life lessons by asking “why?” almost nonstop until we think we’re smart enough (usually when we become teenagers!). Then one day, we stop asking. Perhaps we have become so fatigued at hearing our younger siblings, children or grandchildren […]