GIC Corner
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GIC Corner

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Your Advisor Has Got Your Back!

By Russ Wigle

Sometimes as an Investment Advisor it’s hard to describe what you do for people. Everyone has a unique set of circumstances and the advice we give is tailored to that. To generalize, I would have to say that an advisor is like your financial body guard. We are constantly looking out for things that could derail your plans and goals. In other words, we’ve got your back!

For example, we spend a lot of time reviewing portfolios to make sure the investments are appropriate for your objectives and the risks are properly balanced. Having too much of your assets in just the Canadian market means you are missing out on the other 96% of the world.

Another typical mistake is to load up on one sector, like energy. Guys are making good money working in the oil sands and decide that’s the only place to invest, so they put 100% of their portfolio into oil and gas stocks. This is a mistake. Too much concentration in one sector increases risk and puts your portfolio out of balance. An advisor will catch and correct this.

It’s good to have your advisor review your life insurance policies to make sure you’re allocating the right amount to insurance. Sometimes insurance policies come with investment features that may not be of benefit if you aren’t maximizing your RRSP and TFSA. You advisor can assess this and make sure you’re getting the right coverage at the right price.

Estate planning is another area where an advisor is beneficial. We can guide you through the basics and help arrange your assets to minimize taxes at death. We often work with accountants and lawyers to develop a comprehensive plan to make sure things are properly structured.

No one wants to pay more tax than they need to. Advisors are always preaching the benefits of maximizing your RRSP and TFSA account. Once you’ve covered those, you can take steps to minimize tax on other non-registered investment. Many mutual fund companies offer corporate or class structures that can reduce or eliminate tax until you sell the investment, regardless of the income or gains produced each year. Have your advisor review all your investments.

When it comes to watching your financial success, advisors are a valuable resource to your financial success and should be leaned on when you are looking for answers. Because, after all, we’ve got your back!

This article was originally published in the May 2014 edition of the Comox Valley Business Gazette.