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Five basics about managing money

Investments, Personal Finance

A disturbing number of aging Canadians today aren’t saving or aren’t saving enough for retirement.1 They are seeking financial freedom. That’s not freedom from money. It’s the kind of freedom they feel when they can do what they want to do and when they want to do it. Yet we all know that how we manage, invest and spend our money can have a huge impact on our life and our lifestyle.

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Emblem Portfolios in Action

Investments, Tactical Updates

Tactically Increased Canadian Equities, Decreased U.S. Equities

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Converting assets into income

Investments, Personal Finance

Life is about choices - having them and deciding which ones work best for you. Retirees, for example, often feel that they must choose from a few possible alternatives for converting their retirement assets into income:

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Vetting your Investment Manager

Investment Views, Investments

Now that the digital age is upon us, we’ve become experts at comparing various products and services. Conducting due diligence has never been easier. At the click of a button we can compare product features, sort by top sellers, and even read reviews and recommendations from other customers.

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Retirees' Three Dominant Concerns

Investments, Personal Finance

Retirees have three dominant concerns:

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Retire later: What a difference a year makes

Investments, Personal Finance

Going, going, gone are the days when we are forced into retirement because we hit a certain age. And boomers are redefining what that "R" word means to them. Retirement isn't about hitting a certain age or completely quitting what you have been doing. It may involve work, albeit perhaps on different terms or in a different field. It may mean adjusting that planned retirement date. There’s no shame in that. Late savers especially may need to consider what a difference an extra year of work can make in their lives.

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Downside Protection Applications

Investment Views, Investments

Asset Allocation

The conventional method to reduce risk in a balanced portfolio involves decreasing the portfolio’s riskier asset class, which for most investors is likely the equity allocation. For example, shifting from 55% equities and 45% bonds to 30% equities and 70% bonds. The following graphic illustrates this as the move to the “lower risk benchmark portfolio”.

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Yield Verboten

Investment Views, Investments

Global bond yields have been on a multi-decade decline; therefore, it should be no surprise that today’s yields are at or close to historically low levels. Chart #1 shows the extent of this decline for the 10 year Government of Canada (“GoC”) and U.S. Treasury (“UST”) bonds. From December 1990 to June 2016, the GoC yield started the period at 10.3%, averaged 5.1%, and closed at a mere 1.06%. Over the same period, the UST yield started at 8.4%, averaged 4.8%, and closed at a mere 1.5%.

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When do people retire and why?

Investments, Personal Finance

There is no normal retirement date anymore. There is no hard-fast retirement date everyone has to hit. The answer to the question; "when will you retire?" is becoming a very individual decision, and one you need to plan for and periodically stress test to make sure it's still going to work for you. Here's what we do know. 

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Evaluating Downside Protection

Investment Views, Investments

Semi-deviation (also called downside deviation) is a variation of the more commonly used metric, standard deviation. Both measures track the historic variability of returns around an investment’s average return, however, semi-deviation only considers those returns that fall below the investment’s average. A lower semi-deviation indicates an investment with lower downside risk.

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