Author: Seun Adeyemi

The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan: Ontario’s Solution to the Looming Retirement Crisis

It’s no coincidence that retirement is a hot button election issue. With the aging baby boomer population already starting to enter retirement, pensions are once again at the forefront of the conversation. There’s a looming retirement crisis in Canada: Canadians are living longer than ever, yet workplace pension plans are disappearing at an alarming rate. The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (or ORPP for short) is meant to address this mismatch.   In Ontario, just like the rest of Canada there are two groups: the pension ‘haves’ and the pension ‘have nots’. The trend is not the friend of those...

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3 Winners and Losers from the Weaker Canadian Dollar

The Canadian dollar has been in news headlines a lot lately for all the wrong reasons. How low can the Canadian dollar go? The loonie is fresh off an 11-year low last week. Weak GDP growth, coupled with the falling price of oil, has had the loonie on a freefall in recent months. While a low Canadian dollar is good for some, it’s bad news for others. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of a low loonie and how it affects the average Canadian.   Winners 1. Manufacturing and exports Ontario’s economy has been struggling over...

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The Universal Child Care Benefit: How Much Will Parents Actually Pocket?

With the federal election set for the fall on October 19, 2015, the Conservatives wasted no time in depositing money directly into the bank accounts of parents who qualify for the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB). 3.8 million families with children 17 years old and under received a large payment last month. The payments were retroactive to January 1, 2015, so parents with two children under age six would have received a lump sum payment worth $1,040.   Before you go out and spent the money, it’s important to understand the facts. Although you have extra money now, you...

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The Low Interest Rate Fallacy – Part 2: Why Savings Still Matter

In last week’s blog post, we discussed low interest rates and household debt. While the low interest rate environment is encouraging Canadians to borrow money like never before, what about savings? The statistics speak for themselves: savings rates in this country are near a five-year low. Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between low interest rates and savings and why it still makes sense to save. Low Interest Rates and Savings While low interest rates are encouraging us to borrow, the same can’t be said about the sad state of savings in this country. The household savings...

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Market Commentary – A Security Blanket for Your Investments?

We identify with Linus van Pelt, brother to Lucy, and best friend to Charlie Brown, all of whom characters from the innovative mind of Charles Schultz. Schultz didn’t work for peanuts, but Peanuts sure worked for him. But back to Linus: Linus had several quirks, the most famous of which was the security blanket he used to walk around with. But each Halloween night, while the rest of the neighborhood kids were out trick-or-treating, Linus would plant himself in his pumpkin patch, awaiting the appearance of the “Great Pumpkin” who would distribute toys to all the kids present. Meaning, usually, just him. Of course, all of his friends tried to talking him out of it, and indeed the Great Pumpkin never did actually appear. We are not waiting for the Great Pumpkin, but rather for the market to turn into it. It’s not that we don’t think the market can rise from here; we are wondering whether or not any additional upside the market may offer is worth the additional risk the investor is taking on in order to attain it. Indeed equity market have been trading  sideways for most of the year, but with increased volatility, so that by definition risk-adjusted returns have declined. We are, in a sense, looking for our own security blanket. The dominant theme over the first half of 2015, at least from the...

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