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Your Money  

Feeling bullish about the markets?

Jul 21, 2012 / 5:00 am
Is It Time To Be Bullish About The Markets? This is probably one of the biggest questions on investors’ minds right now and one that comes up in conversation around the summer BBQ . So let’s take a look and a couple of the reasons that make us feel bullish about the markets. In...

New mortgage rules

Jul 7, 2012 / 5:00 am
Since the height of the credit crisis, finance minister Jim Flaherty has clamped down on mortgage lending. New lending rules were handed down in 2008, 2010 and in 2011. A fourth round of mortgage restrictions was announced in June and will come into effect on July 9, 2012. The new lending rules...

Start saving early

Jun 23, 2012 / 5:00 am
In an ever changing landscape of financial products and what retirement is, young people are encouraged to start saving early for retirement, as the obligation will fall increasingly on them to look after themselves….. There is a big challenge ahead for parents to get their children (and...

Transferring US retirement plans

Jun 9, 2012 / 5:00 am
If you have been living or working in the United States you would likely have accumulated some retirement savings while employed. Now that you have returned to Canada, the question becomes should I transfer the retirement savings that has accumulated to a Canadian RRSP? Overview of the US...

Keep volatility in perspective

Apr 14, 2012 / 5:00 am
Whenever the investment ride gets bumpy, as it was through parts of 2011, it’s important to step back and keep volatility and emotions in perspective. Regardless of what markets are doing from day to day, the long-term trend has historically always been upward. And in any kind of market...

Budget 2012: Changes to OAS & GIS

Mar 31, 2012 / 5:00 am
Yesterday’s budget seemed to be a little bit for everyone with no new taxes or tax increases, increased duty free limits and the eventual elimination of the penny to mention a few things. Depending on how you view it, it was either good or not so good. The one change that has the attention of...

Taxation of Investments 101

Mar 17, 2012 / 5:00 am
In Canada, we have a progressive tax system which means individuals are taxed according to the level of their taxable income. As taxable income increases, we are taxed at a higher rate, up to each point. Each increment of taxable income that is taxed as a specific rate is referred to as a marginal...
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RRSP strategies for today

Feb 4, 2012 / 5:00 am
The right Registered Retirement Savings Plan moves now could be worth thousands of dollars later. This RRSP season, as we face continued economic and market uncertainty, smart strategies can make a huge difference in how much benefit you derive from the tax-deferred investment growth that your RRSP...

2011 Year in Review

Jan 7, 2012 / 5:00 am
Reflecting back on 2011, it is safe to say that we witnessed a number of changes and challenges, the first starting with 2011 being a challenging year for public companies in Canada. At the beginning of January we witnessed markets in negative territory for the first two out of three weeks, setting...

Market news

Dec 24, 2011 / 5:00 am
Incoming Spanish prime minister set to make cuts News out of Spain was positive as new Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, pledged to shrink the nation's public sector and reduce government spending in order to slash the Eurozone's third-largest budget deficit. Prime Minister Rajoy’s...

Registered Disabilities Savings Plan

Dec 10, 2011 / 5:00 am
The RDSP is a savings plan first introduced by the Federal Government in 2008. This is the first plan of its kind in the world and is designed to help people living with disabilities to save and become more financially secure. Below are some of the more common questioned asked: Q. Who...

Market volatility concerns

Nov 26, 2011 / 5:00 am
Over the course of the past two weeks, clients have been concerned about market volatility. This is understandable based on what we are seeing in Europe and how the markets move up one day and down the next. However it is important not to let emotions make financial decisions and is why having a...

Seeking income: another option

Nov 12, 2011 / 5:00 am
In my last column I talked about using the “T” class funds to create a tax efficient income in retirement. In this column I will look at using a Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal (GMW) which is a contract offered by Insurance Companies, and offers predictable, sustainable income in...

Seeking income in retirement

Oct 15, 2011 / 5:00 am
For years you’ve been focusing on saving and accumulating your nest egg, with the hopes of one day using it to enjoy your retirement years. Now that you're approaching or are already in retirement, you need to consider the options for turning your nest egg into a source of income. In...

Insurance Planning for Kids

Sep 17, 2011 / 5:00 am
When you sit down with your financial planner, you review your investment portfolio, talk about the markets, the kids' RESP accounts and at the end of the meeting you might review your Insurance contracts. We spend the time to ensure that our future is looked after and that our families are...

Gold, is it ready to tumble?

Sep 4, 2011 / 5:00 am
During recent conversations with clients, the question that always comes up is Gold and whether it is going to continue to increase or will prices pull back. During the 1970's, Gold prices soared to record highs just to see prices fall almost 70%. With this history in mind, it has...

Market Commentary

Aug 20, 2011 / 5:00 am
This week’s column is written to provide some additional perspective on the recent volatility on financial markets. Following a gradual decline from May to July, global stock prices dropped sharply at the start of August. The Canadian stock market, for example, was down 8% from August...

2011 Second Quarter Recap

Jul 23, 2011 / 5:00 am
There were mixed results on the global capital markets during the second quarter of this year. While bond prices rose, stocks in general pulled back. Even then, markets such as Germany and Japan made gains, while China and North America markets were down. The performance of the S&P/TSX...

Pension Income Tax Credit

Jul 9, 2011 / 5:00 am
If you or your spouse are 65 or older and do not have income from a RRIF or private pension plan, there is another alternative to take advantage of the pension income tax credit. What is the Pension Income Tax Credit? Great question, as a number of people do not know that it exists. If you...

Corporate Class Funds

Jun 25, 2011 / 5:00 am
A Mutual Fund Corporation is a single taxable entity consisting of several classes of shares, with each class representing a different mutual fund. This allows Mutual Fund Corporations to offer several tax benefits to those investors with non-registered funds. As an investor, you can buy into...

Government Benefits

Jun 11, 2011 / 5:00 am
This week, I will be looking at the Government Benefits available to Canadians at or nearing retirement. There remains a bit of a mystery as to who qualifies, if the pension income is taxable and where to apply. Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) The CPP and QPP are...

Spousal RRSPs/RRIFs & Tax Planning

May 14, 2011 / 5:00 am
Spousal RRSPs are an important tax-planning tool when establishing a financial plan. An RRSP is designated as spousal when one spouse contributes to a plan in the other spouse's name. It is possible for an individual plan to become a spousal RRSP if the spouse later contributes to the plan or...

Taxation of Investments 101

Apr 30, 2011 / 5:00 am
In Canada, we have a progressive tax system which means individuals are taxed according to the level of their taxable income. As taxable income increases, we are taxed at a higher rate, up to each point. Each increment of taxable income that is taxed as a specific rate is referred to as a...

Inflation…..it is inevitable

Apr 16, 2011 / 5:00 am
Inflation is a fact of life in Canada, and the higher inflation goes, the lower your future purchasing power will be, so prepare now. Canada’s Consumer Price Index shows that Canadians have had a low-inflation holiday for some time, creating a generation of people who have not experienced...

Japan earthquake adds uncertainty to global outlook

Apr 2, 2011 / 5:00 am
Over the past several weeks we have been watching the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami and what effects it could have on the Global Markets. Questions are still in the forefront of investors’ minds so in my column this week I have submitted a client communication that we...

Loonie and buying power soars

Mar 19, 2011 / 5:00 am
These are good times for the Canadian dollar, which means it’s also an excellent time to review your U.S. investment strategy. Here’s how to take advantage of the opportunities created by the strong loonie. Invest in the U.S. Whenever the Canadian dollar rises above parity, U.S. securities...

A moving target

Mar 5, 2011 / 5:00 am
Investors who own non-registered investments in mutual funds or segregated fund contracts receive a capital gain or capital loss, subject to tax, whenever a portion of the investment is sold. The capital gain or loss is calculated as the difference between your sale price and your adjusted cost...

Show a parent how much you care

Feb 19, 2011 / 5:00 am
Is it too late to consider long-term care insurance for an aging parent? If your parent is in good health, the answer is no. Many healthy aging parents have no coverage for a simple reason: it’s just not a concern. But if the need for long-term care moves from being a remote possibility to a...

Common mistakes

Feb 5, 2011 / 5:00 am
With only a few more weeks left to contribute to your RSP for tax year 2010, it is a great time to review your current holdings and make changes as necessary. Mutual funds are a great way to get where you want to go with your investment portfolio. Yet many people fail to make the most of what...

Yield in all the right places

Jan 22, 2011 / 5:00 am
Every balanced portfolio should include fixed-income investments, but in today’s financial climate, selecting the right ones for your particular goals and risk tolerance involves some unusual challenges. Investments that have traditionally offered safety and decent income are now generating such...

Areas that can derail your retirement

Jan 8, 2011 / 5:00 am
Happy New Year! At the beginning of the year many of us sit down and make New Year’s resolutions. We take the time to write them down and tell our significant others what we are going to do to be better in the coming year. Like many people your list probably includes things like working out...

Here’s to the year that was

Dec 18, 2010 / 5:00 am
As 2010 comes to a close, it is time to look back and reflect on the events and happenings of the past year. As 2010 opened, the recovery from the international economic crisis continued, although the situation was and is still somewhat fragile depending on the country considered. The stimulus...

Five RRSP strategies for today

Dec 4, 2010 / 5:00 am
The right Registered Retirement Savings Plan moves now could be worth thousands of dollars later. This RRSP season, as we face continued economic and market uncertainty, smart strategies can make a huge difference in how much benefit you derive from the tax-deferred investment growth that your RRSP...

Three reasons to use a Spousal RSP

Nov 20, 2010 / 5:00 am
The one topic that comes up regularly with clients is, “What more can we do to reduce income taxes and keep more in our pockets”. There are a number of strategies that can be implemented including making maximum RSP contributions, but the one that tends to be forgotten is contributing to a...

A little more style

Nov 6, 2010 / 5:00 am
Could your mutual fund portfolio benefit from more style? Management style that is. Diversifying your portfolio by a variety of management styles lets you take advantage of a wider range of investment potential and possibly give your portfolio an added performance edge. Many mutual fund managers...

Are you ready to retire?

Oct 23, 2010 / 5:00 am
What does Retirement mean to you? For many of our clients retirement means different things but the common trend is that it means having the opportunity to travel, spend more time with their grandkids, spend more time doing the things they enjoy and just simply enjoying a simpler life after many...

Are you under an inheritance illusion?

Oct 9, 2010 / 5:00 am
We’ve read a lot about Canada’s $1-trillion inter-generational wealth transfer, but some individuals may inherit far less than they expect from their parents. Here are some reasons why: Retirees have a lot of demands on their savings, which may reduce their final estate. They are living...

TFSA: what you need to know

Sep 25, 2010 / 5:00 am
Confusion reigned around TFSAs this year as the Canada Revenue Agency moved to punish excess contributions with tax penalties, while giving lei way to those you genuinely misinterpreted the new savings vehicles rules. Here is what you need to know going forward. Q. What is the TFSA contribution...

Eliminate your tax refund

Sep 11, 2010 / 5:00 am
Every year, many Canadians celebrate the arrival of a tax refund. It feels like an unexpected bonus, a pleasant surprise in April when you are completing your tax return. In reality, however, a tax refund simply means that you have paid the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) too much tax throughout the...

Looking for income - another option

Aug 28, 2010 / 5:00 am
In my last column I talked about using the “T” class funds to create a tax efficient income in retirement. In this column I will look at using a Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal (GMW) which is a contract offered by Insurance Companies, and offers predictable, sustainable income in retirement. As...
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About the Author

Kevin J. Zakus has over a decade of experience in Financial and Investment Planning. He has a diverse practice which includes individuals and families starting the financial planning process, to established individuals and corporations requiring more complex planning.

Most recently Kevin served as a Branch Manager and Financial Consultant with a National Financial Planning Firm in their Calgary and Kelowna Offices. In 2006 Kevin and his family relocated to Kelowna where he continues to build his practice and spend time with his family.

When he is not meeting with clients, Kevin and his wife Julie, try to keep up with their four children and the many activities they are involved in. When they aren't running kids from one event to another, they enjoy spending time boating on Okanagan Lake, travelling, horseback riding and touring local wineries.

Areas of Practice include: Investment, Retirement, Insurance, Estate and Tax Planning.

Email: [email protected]



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.


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