Thursday, March 30, 2017

Financial Planning Code of Ethics

You may have noticed that over the last few weeks there has been a lot of negative press in the media about Canadian banks; their practices, education, lack of ethical behavior and lack of fiduciary responsibility. We would like to extend our concern and regret to anyone this has affected. 

At Continuum II Inc. we take all of these areas very seriously.   With a quick look at our website, you will find ALL the credentials the team has worked particularly hard to earn and maintain. Please take a moment to have a look at what the credentials mean and why they are important to you - As an office we have always held the Certified Financial Planner (CFP)  designation in the highest regard, which is why Lise, Lori, Stuart and Peter all felt it was so important to attain this premier qualification.  We are dedicated to continually build our education as investment professionals and insurance specialists, and rely on the CFP Continuing Education credits to keep us sharp all the time. 

This week, Peter spent the morning with the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) enrolled in a session specifically tailored to ethics in this industry. The FPSC (completely independent 3rd party governing body) has always taken ethics seriously, thereby creating the Guidance to FPSC® Code of Ethics, that  holds all  CFP professionals accountable to a higher level of service. 

Guidance to FPSC® Code of Ethics

Principle 1: Client First
Principle 2: Integrity
Principle 3: Objectivity
Principle 4: Competence
Principle 5: Fairness
Principle 6: Confidentiality
Principle 7: Diligence
Principle 8: Professionalism 

Hopefully you will gather that we take your financial success extremely seriously, including an immense focus on education, caring, and consistently doing the right thing all the time.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fraud Prevention

Did you know that March is fraud prevention month?

Every year, thousands of Canadians are defrauded out of millions of dollars. As your financial advisors we want to help protect our clients from all sorts of fraudulent activity. Protect yourself from falling victim to fraudulent activity by taking these preventative measures.
  • Suspicious email? Protect your identity and never divulge personal information. Always make sure it’s legitimate before providing anything.
  • When shopping online make sure you’re purchasing from a secure website – these can be distinguished by a lock or key symbol, or an “https” in the URL.
  • Don’t believe every phone call. Scammers have been known to pretend they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency, collecting fake overdue tax debts.
  • Be wary of responding to text messages from unknown numbers.
  • Always treat your wallet and credit cards like cash. Never leave them around.
  • Avoid sending money to a person or organization that you don’t know and trust.
  • Keep your passwords secure. Don't leave them on notes in your wallet or around the house.

Stop fraud today! If you or someone you know believe you are a victim of fraud-report it. Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at, or call 1-888-495-8501. You could save yourself and others from falling victim to fraud.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Utilizing your retirement income

Retirement Planning

For many of us, retirement will mean big changes to our financial lifestyle.
When the time comes, you might find yourself asking, how do I go about dipping into my retirement savings?

As financial planners, we have heard it all. One of the biggest myths we hear is that people believe they should use their non-registered money first, so that their tax-deferred registered money remains sheltered from tax until needed. While it appears a sensible plan at first glance, it wouldn't be our first suggestion.

What do we suggest? We recommend using a combination of both registered and non-registered funds together.
  • Non-registered funds, pertain to funds that are not registered with CRA, otherwise known as open accounts. These types of savings plans don't typically have restrictions in terms of how and when you access your money, as well as how much you can contribute to them.
  • Registered funds, pertain to funds that have been registered with the CRA such as RRSPs and TFSAs. These types of savings plans offer great potential for investment growth, as well as tax deferred growth.
Because both types of plans have different benefits, it is always a good idea to hold both in your investment portfolio-allowing you the opportunity to pull from both during retirement.

Why? By using a combination, you could find that your retirement income lasts longer and there's the potential to see after-tax savings. 

To help you get a better understanding of just how beneficial combination withdrawals can be in retirement, take a look at the following case study.

The study was based on the following client information:
  •         Retirement assets totalling $1,725,000
  •      $500,000 is non-registered and $1,225,000 is registered 
  •         Requires $62,500 per year in retirement income
  •        Tax rate is 15% on the first $40,000 of income and 40% thereafter
  •        Zero growth is assumed on the investments

Make the most of your retirement savings. Contact our office today and let us help you plan for your future.