Archive for 2016


February 3rd, 2016

The Globe and Mail – By Dianne Maley

Being frozen with fear

After so many months of volatility and falling prices, people become paralyzed with fear, says Ngoc Day, a financial planner and portfolio manager at Macdonald Shymko & Co. Ltd. In Vancouver. “They get scared and just sit on the sidelines.”

You may spare yourself some short-term gyrations, but it’s unlikely you’ll catch the market on the way up. “By the time you realize it’s rebounding, the train is long gone.”

Not having a plan

“The biggest one for me is that people don’t have a plan,” Ms. Day says. They have an idea of where they want to go but no road map. “You end up falling into the hottest and latest” investment products, she says.

Investors with a plan will be able to more clearly see the opportunity in a weak market and rebalance.

“Canadian equities are low so that’s where I’m going to put my money,” Ms. Day says. “Having a plan forces you to be disciplined. You buy when things are on sale. That’s very hard to do,” she says.

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January 25th, 2016

The Globe and Mail – By Dianne Maley


After her husband died last year, Eloise set about sorting out her financial affairs. They each had their own financial advisers.

“I’m now trying to assess how to manage the total of household expenses, which we had split, and both portfolios of funds,” Eloise writes in an e-mail.

Each adviser has a different approach to investing, she adds. She’s not sure how much of her savings she can use to supplement her pension without running out of money. She is 68 and retired in 2012.

“I own a modest home in a hot market, but don’t plan to sell and move at least for several years if my health remains good,” Eloise writes.

She is spending about $45,000 a year after tax – enough to take the odd bicycle tour through the south of France and give to charity. She has substantial savings and investments and owns her Toronto-area house, which needs a little work.

Eloise also would like to be able to help her grandchildren with their post-secondary education expenses.

We asked Gina Macdonald, a fee-only financial planner and portfolio manager at Macdonald Shymko & Co. Ltd. in Vancouver, to look at Eloise’s situation.

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January 20th, 2016

The Globe and Mail – By Dianne Maley

Often, clients are responding to their upbringing or other events in their lives, says Ngoc Day, a financial planner and portfolio manager at Macdonald, Shymko & Co. Ltd., in Vancouver. “It may not have anything to do with investment.”

She tells of an elderly client, well off, who sincerely wanted to help her grandchildren through university but just couldn’t part with the money. She and her late husband had grown up during the Depression and were extraordinarily careful with money.

In such cases, visual aids such as simple charts and graphs can help, Ms. Day says. “Show her the numbers. Say, ‘Look, you have more than enough to last your lifetime and beyond. Your grandchildren need help now. Wouldn’t you like to see the fruit of your gift and enjoy it all your life rather than saying they’re going to get it when you’re gone?’”

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January 7th, 2016

The Globe and Mail – By Clare O’Hara

web_gmmWith markets starting off the year to a rocky start, wealth managers are taking time to reassure clients not to jump the gun, as well as seeking out potential buying opportunities.

Here’s what some advisers are saying:

“We have educated our clients and have appropriate asset allocations in place that they are comfortable staying the course. If there is available cash or the asset allocation is out of balance, then there could be a buying opportunity. Our firm doesn’t counsel market timing per se, but given it is the start of the year and if any adjustments were delayed because of the deferral of triggering tax, now would be a good time to sell/buy.”

Gina Macdonald, a fee-only financial planner with Macdonald Shymko & Co. Ltd.

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