In The Press


February 1st, 2017

Danielle Kubes, Special to Financial Post

The TFSA is new enough that Canadians haven’t had time to experience its long-term investing implications, generally preferring to focus more on the S-for-savings.

But that could be a mistake.

“The TFSA is the ideal place for long-term equity investment and the power of it comes from that long-term compound growth and not as a savings account with cash in it,” says Steve Bridge, a money coach from Money Coaches Canada.

He gives the example of someone in a 40 per cent marginal tax bracket stashing $5,000 in cash at one per cent interest. They earn $50, so only save $20 from sheltering it within a TFSA. If you compare that to an equity investment that grows at 5 per cent, earning you $250, they’re now saving $100 in taxes.

“That’s five times the amount of just having cash in there,” he says. “If you add in the long-term power of compounding, now you’ve gotten yourself a powerful retirement tool.”

The best fit for a TFSA, most advisors will tell you, are equities that have steady and stable growth.

“It’s not a place for speculative securities,” says Ian Black, a fee-only financial advisor at Macdonald, Shymko & Company Ltd. “If it works out, you’re fine, but speculative more often than not doesn’t work out.”

Instead, Black suggests ETFs.

“Not just picking one or two stocks, but using more exchange-trade funds to get exposure; reducing the risk,” says Black.

Click here to read the rest of the article

Can’t make heads or tails of your finances? Learn with your kids

January 30th, 2017

The Globe and Mail – Kira Vermond


When Jason Heath, a certified financial planner with Objective Financial Partners Inc., in Markham Ont., is on a shopping excursion with his three kids, the 38-year-old dad has a convenient, ready-made response when faced with pleas for a new stuffed animal or treat.

The word starts with “N” and ends with “O.”

“It’s important to not always give your kids everything they want,” he explains. “I say no more often than I say yes.”

Mr. Heath is trying to instill family values in his children that place experiences above accumulating things. (Those stuffies will likely just end up forgotten in a heap on the floor within days anyway.) Teaching the kids to delay gratification now, he hopes, will leave an impression and help them stay out of debt as adults.

Giving their children a jump-start on financial literacy is a tactic that many thirtysomething parents are trying, particularly as they face 2017 with a pledge to get their own finances in order. Money is often a top stress at this age as mortgages, car payments, daycare costs and piano lesson fees converge.

Here are a few tips to get you off on the right track this year.

Gina Macdonalda fee-only financial adviser and portfolio manager with Macdonald, Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver, teaches her four kids, aged 10 and under, about good spending habits while at the grocery store. They evaluate prices between large tubs of yogurt and lunchtime convenience packs. When comparing price and volume, the larger tubs are the cheaper, better bet.

“These are such basic life survival skills,” she says.

Click here to read the rest of the article.


January 27th, 2017

Financial Facelift Revisited: Special to The Globe and Mail – By Dianne Maley

Brent and Janice have one over-arching goal at the moment: to improve their financial situation. Doing so will involve studying part-time to upgrade their professional designations. Together, they bring in $142,000 a year. He is aged 37, she is 36. They also want to save for their toddler’s higher education.

Like so many people, they are turning their attention to real estate. They’d like to buy a townhouse at some point and keep their B.C. condo to rent out. In the meantime, they are thinking of buying a share of a sibling’s condo in Toronto as an investment.

“We love our travelling lifestyle once a year, and small pleasures here and there – eating out, buying nice gifts once a year,” Brent writes in an e-mail. “But since we had our son, we started thinking of what else we should be doing to improve our financial health,” he writes.

We asked Ngoc Day, a financial planner and portfolio manager at Macdonald Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver, to look at Brent and Janice’s situation. Macdonald Shymko is a fee-only financial-planning firm.

Click here to read the rest of the article 

‘Can we retire at 55 and still be able to afford a good quality of life?’

November 25th, 2016

Special to The Globe and Mail – By Dianne Maley


Cory and Cole have just moved into their forever home and are wondering how to deal with competing demands on their income. They have well-paying jobs, grossing more than $180,000 a year between them and live in a part of the country where houses are not hugely expensive.

“We made the move to be closer to work and school so we could spend more time as a family, not stuck in a car commuting,” Cole writes in an e-mail. Cory is 37, Cole 38. Their children are eight and 10. Paying for their children’s higher education is among their long-term goals.

Cory is a teacher, while Cole works as a manager in a government agency. Both have defined benefit pension plans. They hope to retire from full-time work at the age of 55 and pick up short-term contracts “as needed.” In addition, they want to do a major renovation of their new home in the next three to five years.

“Can we retire at 55 and still be able to afford a good quality of life with travel while financing some or most of our children’s education?” Cole asks.

We asked Gina Macdonald, a financial planner at Macdonald Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver, to look at Cory and Cole’s situation. Macdonald Shymko is a fee-only financial planner. Ms. Macdonald holds the registered financial planner (RFP) designation. Click here to read the rest of the story.


November 21st, 2016

Financial Facelift Revisited: Special to The Globe and Mail – By Dianne Maley

web_gmmSix years ago, Jill and Darby were hoping to ease into retirement gradually. He had just quit his media job to strike out on his own. She ran her own profitable business. Both age 62, they were netting $10,000 a month between them. Could they get by on less when they retired, they wondered.

At the time, they were up to their ears in real estate. They had a cottage on Georgian Bay, a home in a Toronto bedroom community and three rental properties. While they had substantial assets – including loans to their children – they also had $565,000 of mortgage debt. They planned to sell the rental properties one day. Their retirement spending goal was $80,000 a year. “Can we survive in retirement?” Jill asked in an e-mail at the time.

Gina Macdonald, a financial planner at Macdonald, Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver, saw some potential problems with the couple’s plan. Their savings and investments, plus government benefits, would give them an income stream of $92,000 a year, but would that be enough, the planner asked.  Click here to read the rest of the story.

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