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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...

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...

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]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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