Archive for the ‘mapleridge’ Category

When the economy (and financial markets) are at it’s extremes, either doing extremely well or extremely poorly, dangerous financial products and ideas become more prevalent. And right now we are seeing an increase in Offering Memorandum products.

Portus, Eron Mortgage Corp, Shire International Real Estate Investments, and Arbour Energy and just a few Canadian examples. The one common denominator they share, is they all are catagorized as Exempt Market Securities.

What are Exempt Market Securities?

…when companies (issuers) sell securities such as stocks, options, or bonds, they are generally required to file a prospectus. This document contains material facts about both the issuer and the security. However, in certain cases securities can be sold without a prospectus and these investments are called exempt securities; the sale is called an exempt distribution or a private placement.

What should I know about Exempt Market Securities?

These investments are not for everyone. A prospectus is meant to ensure an investor has key facts to be able to make an informed decision. Without it, you may be taking a greater risk with your money. Be aware that:

-If you buy an exempt security, you may not have the same legal rights as you do under a prospectus.

-Most exempt securities are subject to resale restrictions. This means you may not be able to sell them for a certain period of time.

-Even if no resale restrictions apply, there might not be a market for the securities you purchased, either because you would not be able to find any purchasers or they may not qualify to purchase the securities.

-Some exempt securities are not liquid. Liquidity means that you can sell an investment in a short period of time and turn it into cash. Some exempt securities, such as hedge funds, may require longer periods to redeem.

-Because these investments are bought without a prospectus, there may be very limited information available on which to base your investment decision.

-When an issuer sells its exempt securities, it may not use a registered dealer as an agent. This means, when you buy from an issuer, you may not get the same protection you would get when you buy from a registered dealer.

–from a release by the Nova Scotia Securities Commission and cirrulated by the other regulators. (footnote 1)

A disclosure document put out by the BCSC includes this simple explanation (footnote 2):

They are called exempt market securities because two parts of securities law do not apply to them. If an issuer wants to sell exempt market securities to you:

-The issuer does not have to give you a prospectus (a document that describes the investment in detail and gives you some legal protections), and
-The securities do not have to be sold by an investment dealer registered with a securities regulatory authority.
There are restrictions on your ability to resell exempt market securities.Exempt market securities are more risky than other securities.

Disclosure documents (be it a Prospectus, when regulated by the Securities Act, or a Policy Contract/Information Folder, when regulated by the Insurance Act), exist for a reason, To protect the investing public. There is no evidence proving the absentence of disclosure documents increases potential return, but it is well known to increase risk.

Policy Contracts and Prospectuses are the financial world’s equivalent to seat belts. Hopefully you won’t have to depend on them in a life or death situation. The best option for most regular folks is to just avoid these dangerous investments. Just like it always advisable to wear your seat belt.

Why are employees leaving free pension money on the table? – The Globe and Mail.

Fred Vettese is the chief actuary at Morneau Shepell, a human resources and actuarial consulting services firm.

Canadians are forgoing as much as $3-billion annually by not taking full advantage of employer matching contributions within their company defined contribution (DC) pension plans, according to a recent Sun Life Financial report. One has to wonder why employees would pass up free money when there are no strings attached.

Employees in most DC plans have the option of contributing extra, and if they do, the employer makes a matching contribution on their behalf. Sometimes it is a partial match, such as 50 cents for every dollar contributed by the employee, and sometimes it is a full match. Employers offer contribution matching to encourage employees to save more for retirement.

To gain some insight into why a significant percentage of DC participants balk at contributing more, I analyzed data from a number of DC pension plans for which Morneau Shepell does record-keeping. My investigation, which encompassed tens of thousands of employee records, turned up the following:

  • About one third of participants in a given plan do not make an optional contribution, even if it is 100 per cent matched by the employer.
  • Up to two thirds will not make an optional contribution if the basic required contribution they are already making is high, such as 4 per cent of pay or more.
  • One would expect older employees to contribute more since they will get their hands on the employer’s money sooner. But it turns out the impact of age is quite minimal, especially if we correct for salary differences. In some groups, a fifth of the employees in their 50s do not make optional contributions.
  • Salary level has a big impact on optional contribution rates but only up to the average national wage level – the low $50,000s. In one case, nearly half of employees in their mid-40s who were earning under $50,000 opted not to contribute versus only 18 per cent of employees in the same age group who were earning over $50,000.
  • In plans where the range of optional contribution rates is limited, the employee’s decision is practically binary. The vast majority either contribute enough to earn the maximum employer matching or they contribute nothing. This suggests that deciding how much to contribute is not based on ability to pay or on perceived retirement income needs, but rather on whether or not one understands the idea behind the optional matching.

What is noteworthy is that many of the employees who elect not to make optional contributions to their DC plans still contribute to their own Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs). According to Statistics Canada data, over half of the participants in pension plans, including DC plans, also contribute to RRSPs. A rough estimate is that several hundred thousand DC plan participants are forgoing employer matching contributions in their DC plans and instead make personal RRSP contributions that are not matched.

Read the rest of the article here…

Why are employees leaving free pension money on the table? – The Globe and Mail.

How Scary is the US National Debt? Almost as scary as the fact Tony Robbins, yes the motivational speaker, is the one delivery this most depressing of economic insight.

Hell no, we won’t pay: How technology transformed our perception of value

Open Source. The backlash against Software Patents. Cloud Computing. Bitcoin. 3D Printing. Post-PC. Cord-Cutting. Electric Vehicles and Alternative Energy.

There are ideological and social drivers that are unique to every single one of these things, and yet there is a common thread that ties them together. I call this trend “anti-spendism”.

Anti-spendism is not necessarily a social movement that is tied to the betterment of society as a whole. It’s not like socialism or communism, where we are talking about a desire to more equitably distribute wealth to the have-nots.

It is by definition, the personal, self-centered desire not to expend capital at all. Or to put a more modern take on it, rapid advances in technology have so lowered our perceptions of what things should cost, that ultimately many goods and services have become devalued far below what people are willing to pay for them.

To put it bluntly, anti-spendism is “Hell no, we won’t pay” syndrome.

via Hell no, we won’t pay: How technology transformed our perception of value | ZDNet.

How to transfer cottage ownership – and reduce the tax bite

TIM CESTNICK

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Jun. 11 2014, 5:38 PM EDT

Last updated Thursday, Jun. 12 2014, 2:21 PM EDT

 

Cottage memories are like none other.

If you’re visiting a friend’s cottage this summer, here are a few tips that will be sure to create lasting memories for everyone: Bring four very large suitcases (store one in each bedroom if necessary), bring at least two dogs (those with digestive problems are best), start a fire (preferably outside the cottage, and big enough to burn a picnic table), roast marshmallows (bring those mini ones with toothpicks and see who can stand the heat) and scare the kids (ghost stories to give them nightmares for three days can add to the fun).

How to transfer cottage ownership – and reduce the tax bite – The Globe and Mail.

Vancouver company hopes to kickstart micro home revolution with $25,000 units – BC | Globalnews.ca.

Imagine being able to own a brand-new home for $25,000.

A Vancouver man hopes to revolutionize homeownership and small space living with his easy-to-assemble micro homes.

Nomad Micro Homes and its President Ian Kent are raising funds on the crowd-funding website indiegogo to make affordable micro homes a reality.

Kent says there are multiple uses for homes which are about 160 square feet in size.

“There’s a wide range of uses, from people using them as additional accommodation, to recreational property — you could basically drive this home in and assemble it in a week.”

The homes are easy to assemble and set-up.

“At least one handyman with a helper could assemble it in less than a week, it’s kind of an IKEA type model,” says Kent.

Three different models are proposed, starting at $25,000 for the base model, and $28,000 for the “Live” model that includes kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures.

The homes don’t have a traditional foundation, instead they sit on screw piles. Screw piles are piles you can screw into the ground with your hands.

“You would be feeling very good about establishing a trend-setting mode of sustainability,” says Kent.

“You’re flexible in location – you could pick up and move it somewhere else.”

Buyers who want to go “off the grid” can upgrade to a composting toilet, solar power system, greywater treatment system and rainwater collection system.

All of the models can be hooked up to existing sewer, water and electrical systems.

The micro homes could be an answer to B.C.’s high real estate prices, but first, cities and municipalities need to change their bylaws, says Kent.

“The bylaws in many municipalities and cities don’t quite allow something like this, it’s something that we are going to start lobbying for once we have this product fully established.”

Vancouver currently stipulates that a home cannot not be smaller than 320 square feet.

“The bylaw may be a bit antiquated for the new sustainable housing models coming out. They’ve allowed laneway houses, but they still seem to be quite expensive to build and rent.”

“People are building small houses on trailers and remove locations where there are no bylaws to contend with,” says Kent.

Living in a smaller space would also force people to do more with less, says Kent.

“Your consumerism would drop, because you wouldn’t be able to fit in things that people usually buy. You would become very efficient and that’s going to be a forced savings in your bank account. Plus, you are going to become a fantastic recycler and you are going to come up with new methods of recycling, because you can’t fit garbage in your unit.”

Vancouver company hopes to kickstart micro home revolution with $25,000 units – BC | Globalnews.ca.

First and foremost is the BC Provincial Government’s Guide of Seniors

bcsenior

More specific to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows area is the Seniors’ Network Guide

katzie

investrightCSA

Two great documents available online every senior should read.  One about the dangers of private placement investments from investright.org.  The other from Canadian Securities Administrators about frauds and scams

As always, I am welling to address any questions

What is critical illness insurance?

Answer: Critical illness insurance is a form of health insurance that provides a lump-sum payment should you become seriously ill.

What are the types of illnesses covered by critical illness insurance?

Answer: Although they differ from company to company, typical illnesses and diseases covered by critical illness insurance may include:

  1. cancer
  2. heart attack
  3. stroke
  4. blindness
  5. Alzheimer’s
  6. multiple sclerosis
  7. organ transplants
  8. kidney failure
  9. paralysis

Coverage can also vary according to the degree of severity of, or conditions associated with, an illness or disease. For example, if you are diagnosed with a type of cancer that is treatable and that results in minimal “down time”, you may not be eligible to make a claim. Coverage cannot be purchased for a pre-existing condition or illness. It is important to ask your insurance representative to provide you with a complete explanation of your coverage.

Do I need critical illness insurance?

Answer: Almost certainly, Yes! The risk of suffering a critical illness or disability is unbelievably high.  Calculate your risk here.  You should also consider your personal circumstances and the added financial strain that could be brought about by dealing with a serious illness or disease. Public and private health insurance plans typically do not provide coverage for day-to-day living expenses such as travel to and from treatments, home care and child care.

How much does it cost?

Answer: Generally, the younger and healthier you are, the lower the premium (cost). However, the cost varies depending on your age, medical condition, the amount of coverage, the number of illnesses covered by the policy, and the insurance company. When shopping for a critical illness plan, you should consider your income, financial obligations, dependants  and health care needs.

How can I make a claim?

Answer:You can make a claim if a physician, licensed to practice medicine in Canada and specializing in your particular illness, diagnoses you with a critical illness or disease covered by your policy. Generally, a lump-sum benefit payment will be made to you 30 days after the claim has been approved. There are no restrictions on how you use the money. Once your claim is paid, your critical illness insurance policy ceases.

What if I never make a claim?

Answer: If you die for a reason not covered by the critical illness policy, the premiums you paid may be refunded to your named beneficiary. Some plans will return the premium or a portion of the premiums paid during the life of the policy if the policy matures and no claim has been paid.

Is long-term care insurance the same as critical illness insurance?

Answer: No. Long-term care insurance provides for personal care on a long-term basis if you need supervision or assistance with daily living activities due to a chronic illness, disabling condition or cognitive impairment. Long-term care policies generally reimburse, up to a specified limit, the expenses incurred for various types of care, such as nursing home or home health care; or they pay a pre-determined benefit amount on a daily or monthly basis.

Is disability insurance the same as critical illness insurance?

Answer: No. Disability insurance, also known as “income replacement” insurance, provides a monthly income replacement benefit if you become disabled and can no longer perform the normal duties of your work. Generally, the benefit is limited to a percentage of your regular income and ceases once you earn an income or you no longer meet the definition of disability in the contract.  Unlike critical illness insurance which provides the full policy benefit in a lump sum payment on diagnosis of a critical illness, long-term disability policies may have a waiting period from the onset of disability. Unlike critical illness benefits, long-term disability benefits may be affected by other income you receive or by your full recovery from the illness.

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