Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


What’s Wrong With Failure? (via Magiawen’s Hideout II)

January 8, 2011

Below is posted an excellent commentary on the positive aspects of failure. It can be best described by the following fallacy: “this thing we (often) call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”

There is no failure except in no longer trying. -Elbert Hubbard A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing. -George Bernard Shaw If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down. -Mary Pickford So anyway. We have all these quotes and adage … Read More

via Magiawen's Hideout II


West Hants Historical Society

December 7, 2010

I am proud to be a part of promoting awareness of this important historical society. It’s always important to support the history, people, and culture of your local community.

On Feb 19, 2011 the Society will host its annual banquet.  I am yet to announce the guest speaker; but will do so in January.  I hope you review this page (see below) so that you are a little more aware of the history of Windsor, NS


Cookie cutters and Changes to Business.

December 6, 2010

You should never receive a “cookie-cutter” financial plan. If you do, then you should question the relevance of its content. There are as many plans as there are financial scenarios. In fact, it’s rather nebulous to explain. Each person, business, or family has an innumerable number of variables that have to be juggled by the Advisor before a proper plan can be accepted. I have never come across the same situation twice. For the systematic minded Advisor to keep up, they must leave system in their processes and not in their client interactions.

Lately we have seen the propensity for large, recruitment focused, investment firms to draw much of their revenue from a few apps from a lot of recruits. In other words, it may look as if they accept a bit more inexperience in the name of volume. If a hundred (cheaper) agents  have a minuscule closing percentage, that’s better than twenty (higher cost) agents with a higher closing percentage. Not that this is always intentional, but is a consequence of the the business. It is very costly and time consuming to train new advisors (one estimate I saw had it at 70-80k for the first year-a risky proposition if a large percentage fall out after the first year).

Not only that, being an advisor takes a certain skill set, social dynamism, educational eclecticism, business savvy, and intangible nuance in personality. These traits are very difficult to “train into” someone. In the next generation of Advisor’s you should look for exactly these traits before you consider the relevance of the company they work for.

Having said that, the Desjardins Group has a powerful reputation for its recruitment rigidity. The organization has been so potent for over one hundred years because they have resisted fad opportunities and searched for strong and dynamic recruits for the next generation. It has remained focused on keeping it a closed club to experts and not made it a recruitment house for volume applications. It’s quality and not quantity; and I can tell you from my extensive experience interviewing those who wished to hire me, that there is a huge difference in support (financial and otherwise), knowledge, dynamism,  and quality in some firms vs others.

Though I am superficially young for this career (the average age is 53), I am proud to have navigated the selective community that is DFSIN. My focus is on radicalizing the business (within compliance limits) to make it more relevant for this century. I believe that being one step ahead is key in an otherwise lagging industry.


Desjardins Group named top Canadian Bank.

December 3, 2010

Read the report from Investment Executive Magazine here:


Expenses ignored. “It won’t happen to me.”

December 2, 2010

Provincial health plans reimburse most drugs if they’re taken in hospital. But if they’re taken at home, the patient pays. Today, half of all new cancer drugs can be taken at home. The annual cost of medication if you have Cancer (renal cell carcinoma) is $65,000; Rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease, $32,000 a year; and so on. What good is your RRSP then?

If you’re lucky enough to have your provincial health plan supplemented by group coverage through your employer, will you lose that coverage when you retire? Most jobs do not continue group benefits when you retire. Now you are on the hook for these costs.

Again, I ask: What good is it to flip houses for profit if you are too sick to work and have to pay thousands or tens of thousands a year in drug costs? With proper coverage, the self-employed individual (who also claims premium payments as a tax deduction) can have his/her income protected from emergency long-term expenses.

For the employed person on a group plan, the private plans are always better than group plans: they pay for a longer period of time, they offer more services, have greater reimbursement amounts, and do not lapse until you are 70.


A great source for partnership.

November 25, 2010

Quickly summarized in the following note:


Future Priority?

November 22, 2010

Everyone worries about protecting your future income and planning for ‘Retirement.” Do you know that nearly 20% of people do not even make it to Retirement. For those who do, 50% of them will earn a combined household income of less than 25k! Think about it. Right now the average family household income (in Canada) is 63k per year. If we agree that that constitutes half of the population we are forced to ask: “how did half making 63k become half making less than 25k?” Probably a fanciful misunderstanding of what they would obtain for a pension, or a mid-term sickness, or simply lack of planning. Could you live with that type of dramatic reduction in family income? Most people cannot.

Back to the retired. Another 29% earn between 25k and 50k and the remaining 21% earns 50k or more during retirement. So nearly two-thirds of the population shifts to a dramatically lower-income bracket without changing their spending habits. After all, who can blame them? They worked for 35 years to be able to retire and live their dreams. However, we still have a major problem with people spending 145% of their income.

Not only that, 80% of mortgage foreclosures in Canada are related to a catastrophic health event of the mortgagee! These catastrophic health events are, in nearly 80% of cases, survivable but cost tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars to treat (you may be thinking that provincial health care plans will kick in; well there is an 80 page list of drugs related to these health events that are NOT covered). In either case, your only source of liquid cash is your house, so you’re forced to sell your family home? This is a terrible situation. If you use your RRSP as “emergency” money it is a ridiculously costly scenario. To withdraw 100k from your RRSP you need its value to be 189k because you will receive a Revenue Canada bill for 89k if you were to withdraw 100k   (I can explain if need be). If you protected your current income (for very low cost) you wouldn’t have any of these worries.

Why then do we ignore the question of protecting today’s income as well as future income. This is something that it is my mission to address with you. Only then do we talk about growth of investments.