At True North Retirement Counsel, we’ve intentionally chosen not to offer individual stocks and bonds to our clients. If you’re looking for a stock trader, we’re not the firm for you. Instead we use “managed money solutions” and hire professional money management firms to do the investing for our clients.
It’s our belief that you can’t be everything to everyone, nor can you be an expert at all things financial. This way we can focus on what we do best - understanding our clients situation in order to best complete their financial plans. When it comes to the investments for our clients we focus on investment manager oversight. Here we try to ensure we use the most appropriate money management firms to implement our clients plans, and that those firms continue to do the job we hired them to do over the long run.
When looking to implement a plan for our clients the specific investment choice will be determined by a number of factors unique to each client. That said, we have a wide range of options available with Mutual Funds provided through our Mutual Fund Dealer Investia Financial Services Inc.
Through our various licenses & registrations we are able to sell the following types of investments:
- Mutual Funds
- Segregated Funds
- Pooled Investments (minimum account size applies)
- High Net Worth Investment Programs (minimum account size applies)
- Separately Managed Accounts (SMAs) by qualified referral only
- Guaranteed Investment Certificates
- Income annuities
Investments can play a key role when implementing your financial plan. This is true no matter if it’s a basic or comprehensive plan. For individuals, a mix of registered and non-registered savings, income and pension plans can help achieve short- and long-term goals. For employee groups, we can offer advice on registered and non-registered savings and pension plans.
- Registered retirement savings plans and Registered education savings plans
- Tax Free Savings Plans
- Tax-efficient non-registered savings plans
- Segregated Fund Policies
RRSPs and RESPs
A registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) has several advantages. For investors under 72, it can allow tax-deferred compound interest and help accumulate savings to achieve long-term retirement goals. It also allows for a variety of choice of specific investment options. For families with children, a registered education savings plan (RESP) can help finance post-secondary education.
Some of the advantages of RRSPs and RESPs include:
- Tax-deductible RRSP contributions
- Tax deferral of compounding income and growth
- For RESPs, based on a family’s net income and the amount contributed, a government RESP grant is available
- When money is withdrawn from an RESP, the student typically pays little tax, due to a low income tax rate
Working together, we can examine RRSP and RESP investment options in order to build a customized portfolio that takes into consideration your financial security goals, tolerance to risk, timeline and other behavioural factors. Contact us today to find out more.
Tax free savings accounts (TFSA) introduced in 2009 are a relatively new investment vehicle for Canadians. They are available to anyone who has reached 18 years of age and is a Canadian citizen. Investment options available in these plans is very broad and is NOT limited to low or no interest savings accounts that their name would suggest.
While they can be used for short to medium term savings goals, TFSAs are most effective when used for retirement savings and later as a component in a comprehensive retirement income strategy. While there are no tax deductions available when contributing to a TFSA, they do provide many other advantages.
Some of the advantages of TFSAs include:
- Tax deferral of compounding income and growth
- Tax free withdrawals from the plan at any age (pre and post retirement)
- Ability to generate a tax free income stream in retirement, helping to avoid OAS claw-back
- Ability to name a successor annuitant (when you have a spouse)
- Ability to bypass probate by naming a direct beneficiary
Tax Efficient Non-Registered Plans
RRSPs and TFSAs are certainly at the core of most Canadians savings plans. However, given the design of these plans there are limits to how much you can invest in them. If you’ve maxed your contributions to your RRSP and TFSA, or you’ve come into a large sum of money form an inheritance, windfall or the sale of property or business you have to use a non-registered investment vehicle.
The problem with non-registered investment plans is that in most cases they are fully taxable. At True North Retirement Counsel we believe that it’s not what you earn on your investment, but what you get to keep that’s most important. There are tax-efficient options available that allow you to defer much of the taxable income in non-registered investments. We’ve sourced some of the best options for our clients and are always looking for legitimate ways to help you reduce taxes and keep more of your own money. Ask us how.
Segregated fund policies
In a segregated fund policy, professional fund managers invest in a variety of individual securities. Depending on the performance of the segregated funds you select, your investment’s unit values will increase or decrease.
As a form of life insurance, it’s important to note that segregated fund policies have distinct advantages for some investors. These can include:
- 75% or 100% Capital Guarantee’s available
- Capital Value resets available
- Potential for creditor protection
Estate Planning Advantages
- Savings on potential probate fees
- Savings on potential lawyer’s fees
- No trustee fees
- Paid out quickly after death to your named beneficiaries
- Settlement options at death can include annuities when required
At True North Retirement Counsel our advisors are fully licensed as Life Insurance Advisors. Therefore we have access to a wide variety of segregated funds from a number of Canada’s top insurance companies. As always, if your financial plan calls for the use of this type of product we will complete our due diligence to ensure that the most appropriate product is sourced to fit your objectives, risk tolerance and time horizon. Contact us today to discuss how segregated funds might strengthen your investment portfolio, and estate plan.
Note that any amount allocated to a segregated fund may increase or decrease in value and is not guaranteed beyond the terms of any maturity or death benefit guarantee that may be applicable. Any money invested is done so at the risk of the policyholder.