Monday, November 25, 2013

Women and Finance Event a Great Success!

The night: November 21st, 2013.

The guests: 16 bright and curious women of all ages and backgrounds.

The venue: Stir Kitchen Store, Brant Street, Burlington, Ontario.

The reason: Continuum II Inc. knows from experience that women aren't always involved with the investment planning and wealth management in their family, no matter how smart, educated, and able they may be. We also know how important it is for women to be empowered with the information they need to make informed decisions, plan well for their future, and feel secure. That's why we created our Women and Finance Events series, the first of which kicked off earlier this month with fantastic results!

Welcomed by Peter Andreana, CFP, and Anita Fair from Continuum II Inc., our guests were introduced to a trusted local Estate Lawyer and some fascinating speakers from NEI Investments. Along with a delicious feast prepared by registered nutritionist Sarah Powell in Stir! Kitchen Store's private kitchen and event space, attendees were treated to a wealth of information on topics as varied as estate planning and socially responsible investments.  

Guests asked a myriad of unique questions of our experts, helping them understand things like how to protect their daughter's real estate ownership and rights if a boyfriend moves in, and how more and more clothing companies are being encouraged to implement socially responsible business practices so that socially-minded investors can feel good about investing in their stock.

With so much good food and valuable info, it's no wonder we had a waiting list!

More Women and Finance Events are coming soon, so connect with us by phone or social media to stay in the loop. We'd love to see you there.

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Call us anytime at 905-332-6633

Monday, November 18, 2013

Budget Worksheet and Best Practices

There are many ways to reduce the expenses in your monthly budget. The most obvious is to eliminate frills.  For example, consider whether you need to buy a muffin on the way to work when you could bake a dozen every weekend for a fraction of the cost.  Make coffee at home instead of grabbing it from the drivethru window.  Wait for sales before you do your holiday shopping.

When it comes to the essentials, clipping coupons has become much more popular in recent years - and it’s easier than ever because so many deals are advertised online. Searchable sites such as collect and summarize discounts on goods and services across the country. Meanwhile, lets you order a range of coupons on brand name products that are mailed to you free of charge.

In categories such as cable and communications, consolidating services with one company can save you money through bundling. If you have several providers, call them up and ask for their best deal on the telephone, internet, and television services your family needs. While you may not enjoy playing hardball, the reality is that you will often only get their best deals by threatening to leave for a competitor, so don't be shy.  

Many Canadians can also quickly reduce their debt costs by paying off high-interest credit card balances and consolidating debt in a lower interest single line of credit.

Get your whole family involved in the quest for new saving strategies because this works best when it is a joint effort. If you have children or grandchildren, keep them motivated by rewarding them for their best ideas with a money free treat - such as a game of catch at your favourite park.

A simple budget doesn’t take much time to set up and can help you see very clearly where your money goes each month - and where there may be opportunities to reduce costs. Collect your household’s bank statements and bills and then record your expenses in categories such as those listed on the following Budget Worksheet. This will help identify where your money is going and how much you are spending monthly.  Next, turn to your income. Add it all up and calculate a monthly average for your income as well.  Lack of awareness is the single biggest obstacle to creating a great savings plan for you and your family.  Get started with this worksheet (just click to enlarge), and give us a call at 905-332-6633 when you're ready to build your wealth and put together a successful retirement plan for you and your loved ones.  For more tools & tips, visit the Continuum II Inc. Resources page of our website.  

monthly budget worksheet template

Monday, November 11, 2013

Health and Benefits Plans: Tips and Best Practices

Navigating the world of Health and Benefits plans can seem overwhelming to a business owner.  With so many options, so many conditions, and so much paperwork involved, it can become a full-time job (just make sure it isn’t you, or your employee’s, full time job and deal with a broker that handles all the “admin” for you.)

We know how complex it can be, so to help you ensure you are making the most of the plan that you have, and avoiding common mistakes that can be costly to both you and your employees, we've developed a list of tips to help you.  To enlarge and/or print this list, simply click on each image below.

Health and Benefits Plan Tips and Best Practices

Tips for Health and Benefits Plans

As always, if you would like further clarification or assistance, we're here to help - anytime.  Just call Continuum II Inc. in Burlington at 905-332-6633.  For more tools & tips, visit the Continuum II Inc. Resources page of our website.

Monday, November 4, 2013

How To Find The Right Financial Advisor & Insurance Broker

Finding the right financial advisor is one of life's most important tasks, whether you're a prudent individual, investing wisely for your own retirement, or a savvy business owner with more complex needs to consider like succession planning.

It's wise to explore a few different options before making a final decision on whose style, credentials, and services will best match up with what you need.

There are many factors to consider, and to help you make sense of them all, we've developed a handy checklist to help you choose the right financial planner.  Simply click on the image below if you'd like to see it in larger format and print it out.

How To Choose The Best Financial Planner

Finding the right Insurance Broker is equally important, especially for Entrepreneurs.  As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate and time is finite.  You're building your team, your client base, and your legacy.  With such important tasks ahead of you, there is good reason to delegate what's left.  

When it comes to the Health and Benefits Plan you provide your employees, you can't be sidetracked by explaining all the details to each member of your team when they have questions, or stepping in to help during the claims process.  Even if you have a Human Resources department to help, there are always more productive ways they can contribute to your organization.  You and your team deserve to partner with a Benefits Broker who takes all the workload off of you, leaving you with more time to focus on what's truly important to your company's future.

If you or your employees are forced to deal with 1-800 numbers for questions, or you don't see your Broker at least four times a year, then you need to re-evaluate the level of service you're getting.  It could be much, much better.  And no, it doesn't have to be more expensive at all.  In fact, there's a good chance it could be less.

To help you explore whether you should be expecting more from your Benefits Broker, we've developed a short quiz:

If you would like clarification on any of the points listed above, please don't hesitate to call us at 905-332-6633.  Making sure you have the right financial advisor and insurance broker to set you up for long term success is our top priority.

For more tips & helpful tools, visit the Continuum II Inc. Resources section of our website.