This article presents several viewpoints with respect to the intersection of financial planning and genetic testing. As a fee-for-service financial planner, my role is to create financial models that project your household’s financial situation into the future. I believe that my clients will benefit substantially from the progress made in medicine and genetic testing. The better we can understand the opportunities and constraints that lie ahead of us, the more knowledgeable our decisions will be with respect to the delicate balance between living for today and protecting ourselves from outliving our wealth.


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In reading this article, I was reminded of clients who not only want to know, “will I be OK?” but are interested in learning about what others in similar situations are doing with their wealth. This article identifies 10 common ways in which wealth is used and shared.  In my experience, clients do like to spend on vacations, hobbies and services – especially as they age. I don’t see many people who want to isolate themselves as the article describes but I am increasingly seeing the focus turn towards inter-generational transfers and philanthropy.


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An emergency fund is the least sexy of all the financial planning topics. However, knowing that your financial obligations will be covered for a period of time—no matter what happens to your job, health, or personal circumstances—is critical. This is true whether you’re just starting out or already have substantial savings.


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I have taken countless exams over the course of many years of study. Frequently, they use multiple-choice questions. Yet, I’ve never seen the option, “It Depends”—which is often the most accurate response in financial planning. Here are some issues to consider and discuss with your financial planner and/or accountant.


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In the coming weeks, we’ll be busy collecting receipts, following up on t-slips that have been misplaced and wishing that we could have done a better job of our tax planning. Unfortunately, by the time we’re in the middle of tax reporting, it may be too late to do much tax planning.


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For the past 17 years, I’ve been a certified financial planning professional (CFP). During all that time, I’ve been explaining to people what I do because they’re confused. I blame industry jargon on this problem, so let me straighten things out a little…


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I am thrilled to announce that I have been invited to participate in the Spring “Investor’s Guide To Thriving” Series alongside BNN Bloomberg’s Larry Berman! I will be appearing in Toronto, Markham and Calgary presenting “Would You Rather Die Rich or Live Richly?”.

As the Head of Financial Life Strategies at ETF Capital Management and UPotential, I help clients translate the wealth that they have accumulated into the lifestyle and legacy that they have always wanted. Like Mr. Berman, I believe that education is empowerment. The better you understand the factors that could differentiate between an ample retirement and a retirement at risk, the more capable and confident you will be when making financial decisions. And those factors may surprise you…

So visit to enrol in the Investor’s Guide To Thriving series! Registration is FREE and I hope to see you there!


You can view last season’s presentation, “The Two Comma Club”, by clicking here.

Have you ever stuck to a New Year’s resolution? Me neither. It doesn’t take long for the best of intentions to get side-tracked by something more urgent, tempting or simply more comfortable and familiar. In many ways, our resolutions fail because they take time and repetitive effort when there is a myriad of opportunities to change our minds. This year take 30 minutes to set yourself up for success.


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Family get-togethers for U.S. Thanksgiving are quickly followed up by retail therapy on Cyber Monday. After all, who doesn’t need a little retail therapy after spending time with family?

We’ve got Black Friday, Cyber Monday, now what about “Giving Tuesday”? Launched in 2012, the movement has generated over $632-million US dollars in donations. Giving Tuesday encourages “social philanthropy” where donors large and small can invite their social networks to join them, match them and celebrate their reasons for giving. Philanthropy is your way of directing and controlling the social and research-based change that you want to see.


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Ah, retirement! Finally, we can live exactly the way we want to. In my case, that’s learning to cook international cuisines, dancing with Javier Bardem on a beach in Bali, and relaxing in a Muskoka chair surrounded by our beautiful, multicultural grandchildren.

I encourage my clients to dream of their ideal retirement as well as planning for what is inevitably an unsettling experience— going from a steady pay-cheque to drawing upon savings to cover expenses. Few people have reliable and inflation-adjusted employer pensions any more. Fewer still, have sufficient investment portfolios to produce enough income to live on. The reality is we’re all concerned about outliving our money and this can— and often does—prevent us from fulfilling our retirement dreams.


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