Don’t Let Short-Term Events Impact Your Long-Term Investing Success

By Anthony LarsenBAS, CFP®

Investment success can be reduced to four simple words: buy low, sell high; just as diet success can be boiled down to: eat less, move more. So why aren’t we all wealthy and in stellar health? Because fear, excitement and everything else that makes us human, can short circuit our thinking.

We sometimes allow a rough day to excuse a break from our health goals, just as we sometimes grant world events the power to shake our investment confidence. But it’s never wise to make decisions, with long term consequences, while relying on short term emotions.

When it comes to investing, the most powerful emotion driving bad decisions is fear — fear of making a mistake, of looking foolish and of losing money. When we understand the factors that trigger our fears, we are better able to guard against them.

We’ve identified three things you can do today, to dispel your fears and help generate the long-term investing results that will shape the life you live now and in retirement. Continue reading

Posted in Investing, Money Coaching, Retirement savings

Are You Ready for the Truth About Your Investments?

By Karin Mizgala, Co-founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

CRM2 provides transparency

Choosing a focus word for the year ahead has become a popular New Year’s activity. Words like flourish and balance are trendy, unless you work in the financial services industry, where the word on everyone’s lips in 2017 will be transparency. Starting this year Canadian investors will receive two new reports: one will clear the fog around the cost of investment advice; the other will provide shareholders essential information on how well their investments have performed.

These new reports are required by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) as phase 2 of the Client Relationship Model, or CRM2. We think these changes have been far too long in the making, and find it a bit shocking that the industry needed mandating to provide such basic information as fees charged for advice and how effective that advice was in generating investment returns. The good news is the change has finally come.

CRM2 went into effect in July 2016 but most people won’t see their first reports until early this year. You may be astonished or confused by what you read, especially if you haven’t had much contact or service from your advisor.

This article will provide a brief overview of what to expect in each report and explain what we at Money Coaches Canada believe are the strengths of CRM2 and how we think it could have been even stronger. But more important are our suggestions for turning this information into a tool for you to better understand and assess your investments. Continue reading

Posted in Ask Your Money Coach, Financial Literacy, Investing, Money Coaching

Gratitude is the Key to Reducing Money Stress and Enjoying the Holidays

By Sabine LayCertified Money Coach

Being grateful has been shown in study after study to positively impact our lives. Our ability to experience and express gratitude influences our relationships, our emotional and physical health and even our careers. But unfortunately, the message “be grateful” is so prevalent, (89,000,000 google search results for the word gratitude), that it may be at risk of losing some of its meaning. Saying I’m grateful, as readily as we say thank you when someone holds open a door, robs us of the benefits that come from deeply felt gratitude.

We also live in a culture that encourages us to be grateful while simultaneously telling us we need more. At no time of year is that contradiction more obvious than Christmas. So much pressure and expense in service of a “perfect” holiday experience that fades before the New Year begins.

If you are struggling with your finances, worried about retirement or your children’s education needs, the expectations inherent in the season can make you far more weary than grateful. Even if you are doing well financially, the temptation to spend in ways not aligned with your goals and values can create stress and regret. Continue reading

Posted in Money Coaching, Relationship to money

The Trouble with Financial Literacy – It’s a Matter of Trust

By Sheila Walkington, co-founder and CFO Money Coaches Canada

Financial Education on Computer Keyboard Background.

Every year, our nation dedicates an entire month to improving the financial literacy of Canadians, but we don’t seem to be making much progress. According to statistics provided by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada:

  • Less than half (46%) of Canadians have a budget
  • Only 8% of Canadians know that they can obtain a credit report for free by mail
  • 42% of 35 to 44-year old’s either struggle to or are not keeping up with bills and financial obligations
  • 51% of Canadians incorrectly believe that you won’t pay interest on a cash advance if you pay your credit card balance in full by the due date
  • 52% of Canadians believe that their household could not cover at least six months’ worth of living expenses if they lost their main source of income

To date, the main strategy to improve Canadian’s financial literacy has been almost entirely based on increasing an individual’s knowledge. But knowledge by itself is not enough!

Information Overload

Canadians, like many in the Western world, live hectic lives. They worry that they don’t have the time necessary to successfully navigate the financial complexities of modern life on their own. They are anxious about their finances. Seven out of 10 Canadians say they worry a lot about their financial situation and nearly 80% don’t have confidence that they’ll achieve their financial life goals. Continue reading

Posted in Financial Literacy

A Financial Plan is a Roadmap

Financial RoadmapIn today’s hectic world, most people have neither the time nor the expertise necessary to navigate the financial complexities of modern life. They need help making sense of it all, and would benefit from a comprehensive, thoughtful approach to money matters. They need a financial plan.

If you are like many Canadians, you’re anxious about your finances. Seven out of 10 Canadians say they worry a lot about their financial situation and nearly 80% don’t have confidence that they’ll achieve their financial life goals. These result aren’t terribly surprising – Canadians are facing the most challenging economic times in decades. Personal debt is at an all-time high, the cost of home ownership is out of reach for many, and day-to-day living expenses are outpacing income growth. Don’t forget about the ongoing concerns about funding retirement, and your child’s education. Add in the potential for having to cover some health care costs for aging parents and it’s no wonder Canadian’s are financially stressed out. Continue reading

Posted in Investing, Money Coaching

How do I achieve financial success? The 7 Stages of Financial Well-Being quiz has the answers

By Karin Mizgala, co-founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

November is designated as Financial Literacy Month in Canada. Each year since 2011, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), coordinates efforts between the private, public and non-profit sectors to promote financial literacy for all Canadians. This year’s theme: Managing money and debt wisely: It pays to know! is intended to highlight the importance of living within your means, knowing your financial rights and responsibilities and having a spending and savings plan that adapts to the different stages of your life.

At Money Coaches Canada, financial literacy and empowerment have always been part of our core values. Our financial coaching approach facilitates what Canadians want; to spend smarter, manage better and to have a proactive and adaptable plan for their financial future.

Clarity on your current financial situation is vital to developing concise, attainable goals. With that in mind, we created the 7 Stages of Financial Well-Being®, a framework Canadians can use to identify their current feelings and behaviours around money, and to provide them with a clear and measurable way forward. We invite you to take the 7 Stages of Financial Well-Being quiz to assess your current situation. The quiz will provide you with an understanding of where you are today and offer concrete action steps to improve your financial well-being.  Continue reading

Posted in 7 Stages of Financial Well-Being®, Financial Literacy, Relationship to money

Top 4 Money Challenges Women Face

By Karin Mizgala, co-founder and CEO Money Coaches Canada

Woman at Computer /Money Coaches Canada Blog

Canadian women have the freedom to create wealth, and make their own financial decisions, but it hasn’t always been that way. Less than 45 years ago, women had a difficult time obtaining a credit card in their own name, without it being co-signed by a husband or father.

Women’s rights, economic and otherwise, have come a long way, but the cultural baggage of a male dominated financial system hasn’t completely left us. Many women, especially those over 40, were often raised in households where dad took the lead in family finance. The result of lingering financial gender roles is that men and women view financial planning differently. In fact, the 2014 Canadian Financial Capability Survey, (CFCS), noted that women were 12% less likely than men to consider themselves, “financially knowledgeable.” That self-perception may lead women to avoid or defer financial decisions to others; which increases their risk of being disadvantaged in retirement.

Here are four specific money issues that affect women, and what women can do to take charge of their financial future. Continue reading

Posted in Financial Literacy, Investing, Relationship to money, Retirement savings

A Powerful Framework to Teach Kids about Money

By Kathryn Mandelcorn, FMA

A girl shows money in hand.

How we feel about money, and how we manage it, has a lot to do with what our parents did or did not do. We carry our money beliefs, positive and negative, from our childhood straight into adulthood and they affect our relationships and our earning potential.

As parents, part of acknowledging the impact of our childhood experiences on our adult money habits; is reflecting on what we are teaching our own children. Are we passing on the best of what we know? Are we even aware of the messages we are sending?

Childhood in 2016 is a very different world

Continue reading

Posted in Kids and Money, Relationship to money

RRSP vs RESP: How to Make the Right Choice?

By Bruce Q. Thompson, B.Admin, CFP®

Family in kitchen with laptop smiling

From the moment our children are born we want the best for their future. Success is never guaranteed, but we hope to be able to offer them opportunities. And what better opportunity is there than education? So it seems like a straight forward assumption that we would contribute to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).

But what about our own future? What about contributing to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)? Canadians are living longer, and the cost of living is always on the rise. If we don’t have a solid retirement plan, are we at risk of living in our well educated child’s basement? OK, that may be a tongue-in-cheek option, but the question of where to place our investment dollars is valid. What’s a parent to do?

The Fundamentals: What You Need to Know

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Posted in Ask Your Money Coach, Investing, Money Coaching, Retirement savings

Don’t Let Back to School Break the Bank

By Karen Richardson, FPSC Level 1® and Christine White, P.Eng., FPSC Level 1®

The back to school cliché is that kids dread it and parents are gleefully counting the hours. But in reality, lots of kids are excited to go back to school (albeit an excitement that usually fades with the first homework assignment) and many parents dread September because it feels like open season on their bank accounts. Back to school spending seems to escalate every year, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You may not be able to keep your kids excited about school, but saving on back to school expenses is possible with some planning.

Back to school basics

Don’t start from scratch

A costly mistake many parents make is buying everything new. School ended roughly 8 weeks ago. It is entirely likely that much of what your children wore last spring still fits them. The same goes for school supplies; rulers, binders, folders, pencil cases, calculators, erasers, etc… are often in fine shape for the new school year. Before you head to the mall make an inventory of what you already have.

Kids don’t need everything on the first day

Even if your stock taking reveals that the kids will need several new items to get through the year, they won’t likely need winter boots in the first several weeks. Keep purchases to the essentials by building on what they have and then start watching for sales. The holidays are just around the corner and adding to the kids’ wardrobe through birthday and Christmas gifts is also a great idea. Continue reading

Posted in Budgeting and Cash Flow, Money Coaching