While we wait on the ECB, OPEC and Employment Data, lets check in on our list of good Wealth Management practices that we should be thinking about as we head into the last month of the year.
1) While it is usually prudent to have had a look at your Wealth Forecast (or financial plan) over the course of the year, time does get away from the best of us, so if you haven't, best have a look at this years progress. It is always important to monitor the "where you are" at this point vs. "where you expected to be" and make any adjustments.
2) When was the last time your advisor re-balanced your portfolio? Do you own over priced assets that are over-weight in your portfolio (according to your asset allocation strategy)? Do you have under performing assets that have become under-weight?
3) Time to have a look at your realized capital gains and their tax implications. Can you or do you need to take advantage of capital losses to offset some or all of those gains? (aka Tax Loss Selling or "harvesting").
4) This may be the last year to get the $10,000 contribution into your TFSA. This is the most important account that you have because of the ability to shelter the growth of a portion of your wealth from tax. The new government may reduce the maximum annual contribution (although the majority of Canadians are against this move), so best take advantage of it while you can (before December 31).
5) If you have not yet opened or contributed to an RESP (and your children / grandchildren may attend a post-secondary academic institution), this is also a great vehicle because of the Federal (and in some cases Provincial) grants that will accompany any contribution that you make (you can contribute an additional $ amount for each year that you have not previously done so). This should be part of any Wealth Forecast (or financial plan) if you have children, ask your advisor for more details.
6) Will it make sense to contribute to your RRSP? (you do have more time to think on this one, you have until late February 2016 to do so), the maximum contribution (to be applied to your 2015 tax return) is $24,930.
7) Charitable donations: there is some mild tax relief for those who give charitably and it is a great time of year to think of those less fortunate (or other organizations that depend upon public support). You can donate securities that have capital gains, thereby avoiding the tax consequences on those.
A few things to look into if you have not done so already.
Today is webinar day at High Rock. We shall discuss the global economy, financial markets and other wealth management ideas. The call is live for our clients at 4:15, but we will post a recorded version on our website at about 5pm for those who cannot attend the live version.
Scott Tomenson,CIM Managing Partner, Chief Investment Strategist