Digest Archive

The complete list of past ARG resources, from most recent to oldest.  Scroll through the H2 guides and tools to find information that interests you.

Digest: February 24th

Retirement Coaching: Is it new, or is it just new packaging?

Published: February 4th, 2016 --- A significant amount of ink and newsprint has been dedicated to Retirement Coaching over the past six months. For Advisors who have always taken great care to know their clients, and advise and guide them on more than investment matters, “coaching” has been there mainstay.

New Parents and Grandparents: Dependents make all the difference

Published: February 4th, 2016 ---Every day new parents and new grandparents are born! It’s a magical, busy, exhausting time for all involved. It can also be a very stressful time for families once the realities of parenthood (and grandparenthood) sink in. Much has changed in the 25-30 years since the parents were babies themselves, and the grandparents were actively involved with newborns themselves.

Who are your ideal clients? By Grant Hicks, Guest Editor

Published: February 4, 2016 --- Financial advisors who are successful at attracting ideal clients are faced with one challenge. The challenge is segmenting your clients. If you are growing at 15% or more in revenue or number of clients, then segmenting your ideal and non-ideal clients is an annual process.

Corporate Class Funds: The right choice for some investors

Published: February 4th, 2016 --- Corporate Class funds offer an additional tax management capability that regular funds do not. This is especially true for investments held outside of registered accounts.
Digest: January 14th

A Grant Hicks Thought - Best practices of the BEST advisors

August 1 2018-- Grant Hicks is a guest editor with the Advisor Research Group. As an ex-advisor, director of training and business development, and current coach and mentor, and published author, we are pleased to bring you his latest thoughts and best practices on an ongoing basis.

Insurance Changes for 2017 - Introduction to the Changes: Part 1

Published: January 14th, 2016 --- Starting in 2017 the rules for corporately owned insurance will change.  Your clients should consider the effects on these changes and take advantage soon before it’s too late.

Stock Summary Resources You Should Be Using

January 14th, 2016 --- As explained in our 2015 Year in Review article, last year was terrible for the TSX, use these grids with clients, pass them to them to demonstrate the depth of the drop, across the board.

Movie Review – Lessons from “The Big Short”

Published: January 14th, 2016 --- The messages and themes from the movie based on Michael Lewis’ wonderful book, The Big Short, should be incorporated into your investment practice for your clients’ benefit and for yours.

Registered Accounts for Americans

Published January 14th, 2016 --- The rules can seem tedious and intertwining.  Use this guide to quickly understand and communicate to clients how they should use Canadian Registered Accounts if they are American citizens residing in Canada.
Digest: December 21st

TFSAs – The Latest Change 2018

January 25 2018 --- Review and educate your clients on the current allowable investment that can be made in their TFSA.

Physicians and Their Compensation

Published: December 21st, 2015 --- Ontario physician compensation is under pressure from cash-strapped governments. If you have doctors as clients and prospects you should understand the size of that niche and how their compensation might affect their investing.

Monetary Policy – How the U.S. Fed Affects Canada

Published: December 21, 2015 --- On December 16, 2015, the United States Federal Reserve Bank raised its benchmark lending rate for the first time in nearly a decade.  Do investors know what that means?
Digest: December 2nd

Tax Loss Selling Update

Published: December 3 2017 - December is the time of year to sell off some of the under-performing, under-water securities.  Stocks that won’t regain their value before the end of the year can be sold and reduce income tax.

Health Spending Accounts: For Your Clients That Own Their Own Business

Published: October 13, 2016 --- If you’re like most Advisors, you are trying to expand your client-base with Business Owners.  Health Spending Accounts are a wonderful way to prove your expertise.

Ethical Investing – Is it worth the trouble?

Published: December 2nd, 2015 --- Social responsibility continues to grow on everyone’s personal agenda, and the money is now beginning to follow a conscience path, be ready to start the discussion with this introduction to the topic.

Disaster Recovery Planning 101 – Start now to get ready

Published: December 2nd, 2015 --- It’s unlikely you and your practice would suffer a catastrophic event interrupting your ability to serve your clients, or is it?  It doesn’t have to be a tremendous natural disaster to disable you or your key team members from providing valuable service to your clients.

Warn Your Clients About Advisor Fraud

Published: December 2nd, 2015 --- Almost daily, stories are appearing in the news about elderly (and not so elderly) investors losing their life-savings to a dishonest advisor. Provide your prospects with this list of warning-signs to protect them and create stronger credibility for yourself.
Digest: November 17th

Final RRSP Contributions – the last chance to save some tax?

Published: November 17th, 2015 --- As Canadians convert their RRSPs to RRIFs, at the latest by December 31st in the year they turn 71, the window to save some tax closes.  Do a little to save a lot, and your clients will be grateful.

OAS and CPP update – When is the best time to take them?

Published: December 13 2017 --- With discounts and premiums based on the age Canadians start each of these pensions, when is the best time to start them?

Cash Flow Planning 101

Published: November 17th, 2015 --- According to a CIBC study in 2012, 59% of retirees end their working lives in debt. Today, half of Canadians report that they expect to retire in debt. The popular press, television experts and financial professionals espouse messages about ‘what’ we should spend or save, but we seem to be missing the ‘how’.
Digest: October 30th

What you Need to Know about the Pension Income Tax Credit

Published: February 11th, 2015 --- Many Canadians will agree: it is not always the amount of money you earn that counts but rather it is the amount of money you get to keep that is really important. That is why familiarizing yourself with the numerous Canadian tax credits offered like the Pension Income Tax Credit can prove beneficial for both your clients and your financial practice. Offering tax tips is a steadily growing niche in the financial advisory industry and could give you the competitive edge you’ve been looking for.

Canada Pension Plan: Should you be Early, On-Time, or Late?

Published: October 30th, 2015 --- As with every financial decision, planning and analysis is required. Just like you wouldn’t finance a car purchase without understanding the total cost of borrowing, deciding when to collect Canada Pension Plan (CPP) payments should be done with care. If you take your pension early, your benefit will be permanently reduced until your death. On the contrary, if you start taking it later, then your benefit is permanently increased. This penalty and bonus is calculated to provide a little incentive to delay collecting.

Teaching Your Clients Kids the ABC's of Financial Planning

Published: October 30th, 2015 --- Attached is ready made presentation on the basics of financial planning for your clients children.

The Steps in Building your True Value Proposition

Published: October 30th, 2015 --- Value propositions are the heart and soul of successful marketing campaigns. You’ll find dozens of definitions and name variations. The simplest definition we know is that the value proposition for a product is: “the reasons WHY someone buys a product.” However, the question, “Why does someone buy your product?” is not easily answered. Imagine you’re holding the latest iPhone side-by-side with the latest Samsung phone. At any point in time one will be slightly larger than the other. One will have a more powerful camera. And, one will always boast of some new feature such as “eye movement sensitivity.” Which will you buy?

Foreign Content: What’s the right amount?

Published: October 30th, 2015 --- If the question is whether North American investors should invest overseas, then the answer is always “maybe”. Once an investor has accumulated enough assets, perhaps more than $100,000, mitigating the risk of loss by investing in different geographies makes as much a sense as investing in different industries and sectors and in different asset classes. However, an Investment Policy Statement based on an investor’s risk tolerances and investment objectives must guide every decision, including foreign investment.
Digest: October 10th

Corporations and Taxation Across Canada

July 4 2018 --- A recent update on the taxes for your clients that own businesses

Robo-Advisors – Don’t be fooled, they’re good news!

Published: October 10, 2015 --- There has been lots of news lately about the emergence of Robo-Advisors, for clients who need full-service and the Advisors who deliver it, they will match up even better now.

Staff Incentives – How to get the behaviour you need, not the behaviour you don’t want

Published: October 10, 2015 --- The world is full of misplaced incentive programs that only raise the cost-of-doing-business.  Spend wisely and you can get thousands of dollars of benefits for only hundreds of dollars of investment

Retirement Planning Meetings – Getting it Right!

Published: October 10, 2015 --- It’s not all about the money!!  Yes, Advisors are in the money management business, and always will be, but their role is expanding in order combat the commodity competition of discount brokerage, DIY, managed products and RoboAdvisors

Cottages, Tax and Life Insurance – When a door closes, a window doesn’t always open!

Published: October 10, 2015 --- Starting January 1, 2017 new rules affecting life insurance policies and tax will take effect.  Use the ‘grandfathering’ of existing and new 2015 and 2016 policies to protect the cottage asset from the Taxman.
Digest: September 22nd

Linking Powers of Attorney, Beneficiaries, Wills and Estates

Published: September 22nd, 2015 ---- There are two types of Powers-of-Attorney; personal care and financial matters. Both are equally important when they need to be utilized and must be aligned and integrated with an individual’s stated beneficiaries; their Will and Estate documentation. One of the simplest ways to demonstrate your responsible and knowledgeable care for your clients is to address the important issues before they become urgent problems. End of life financial matters are the ultimate test of a relationship, both with your client and the next generation.

Extracting Equity from Real Estate – House Rich, Retirement Poor

Published: September 22nd, 2015 --- Over the past decade housing prices have continued to rise, as have the dire warnings of a “bubble” hitting the major markets in Canada. Some of these comments are based on economic factors like debt load and payments as a percentage of household income, some on the belief that these rises at roughly double the rate of inflation can continue. What should you recommend to your clients in this situation? Like all recommendations, it should be based on client needs, and balancing risk and reward.

Dealing with Dementia

Published: September 22nd, 2015 --- Dealing with dementia with financial services and investment clients will become increasingly complicated over time. The number of people who are aging, the ever extending length of their lives, and the activity that they display well into retirement, coupled with the complexity of capital markets and products can produce a difficult situation for many clients. The boundaries of the Boomer generation has them aged from 52 to 70 in 2015. Advances in all types of medical diagnostic and treatment regimens has increased the life expectancy well into the 80s for both men and women in Canada and the United States.

Longevity and Retirement – How long will your savings have to last?

Published: September 22nd, 2015 --- It is all over the news; life expectancy is growing continuously for Canadians. A look inside the statistics to calculate life expectancy and retirement savings needs doesn’t bode well for most investors. The plan to overcome this situation must include several factors like a disciplined saving approach matched to active management, either personally or structurally, as well as excellent investment picks with corrective action when they aren’t so “excellent”.
Digest: September 3rd

Market Volatility Communication Email

Published: September 3rd, 2015 --- When clients ask about wild swings in markets, the TSX or the Dow Jones losing, and then gaining back huge losses, what are they really trying to discover? Clients need to know that the current situation will end soon enough because it will be replaced by a new underlying reason for markets to move quickly. And they need to know that because if/when another market shock is headed our way you/they are prepared and protected (at least to a degree). Download this document to have ready at your disposal when such issues occur.

Annual Client Reviews – Are they worth the effort?

Published: September 3rd, 2015 --- Annual Client Reviews (ACR) should be the foundation of servicing your clients. The planning, anticipatory steps, and the initiative that an ACR demonstrates are invaluable to your relationship. With increasing demands to Know Your Client, and to provide suitable recommendations, the most efficient way to gather information and provide sound advice is to meet with your clients’ in-person at an Annual Client Review.

Client Account Management 101 – Why bother?

August 1 2018--- Determining how you manage your clients’ accounts depends entirely on your business strategy and the capabilities that you currently have or plan to possess as a practice. What are you easily able to provide to your clients based on your experience, expertise, licensing and training?

Individual Pension Plans 101 – What you need to know first

Published: September 3rd, 2015 --- Individual Pension Plans (IPPs) can make a significant difference for business owners, executives and incorporated professionals. There are more than a few rules, but understanding them can be well worth the effort for the right investor.

Successful Introduction Calls – Speak From the Heart

Published: September 3rd, 2015 --- Scripts, scripts and more scripts…it’s what all the sales calls we get seem to be made of. Every call you get from (insert corporation here)’s call center seem to use the same format for their calls and they all sound like they’re reading from the page in front of them. They’re long, they’re boring, and right out of the gate you’re not interested. Even if there is a chance that what they are calling about could be very valuable to you, you are just not listening. Don’t you ever wish they would speak from the heart? Tell you why they truly believe the product or service they’ve called to discuss with you is something you should know about? Really and sincerely try to make you a believer too?

Market Volatility – A meaningful way to speak with clients

Published: September 3rd, 2015 --- When clients ask about wild swings in markets, the TSX or the Dow Jones losing, and then gaining back huge losses, what are they really trying to discover? Most Advisors begin a rational, true explanation of the conditions that have led to the situation that has occurred. Clients need to know that the current situation will end soon enough because it will be replaced by a new underlying reason for markets to move quickly. And they need to know that because if/when another market shock is headed our way you/they are prepared and protected (at least to a degree).
Digest: August 15th

SnowBirds and U.S. Tax

August 2018 --- Provide tax advice to Canadians who spend significant time in the United States with these tools and articles


Published: August 15th, 2015 --- In this exercise, Leaders can improve upon six elements of leadership that lead to sub-optimal results. The absence of any one of them can lead to serious problems, and, if in place, they can all be improved.


Published: August 15th, 2015 --- Use this simple tool as a thought-starter with your team to identify issues and problems, and resolutions to them.


Published: August 15th, 2015 --- This one-page internal communication tool is based on the service standards of Ritz-Carlton hotels. If you need to set the tone, and provide clear direction to staff to improve the customer experience for your clients.

Grant Hicks: Interview with a Business Coach

Published: August 15th, 2015 --- Grant Hicks, Advisor Research Group’s Editor, discusses trends, influences, and challenges facing financial professionals in the Canadian market with President, Dane Aulph.

RDSPs 101: What You Need to Know

August 15th, 2015 --- RDSP was designed to allow Canadians with disabilities and their families to save. Unfortunately, many disabled individuals have diminished earning capabilities, and an increased cost of living. They and their families shoulder much of this burden, and RDSPs provide assistance.

The Value of Advice for Clients in the Medical Profession

August 15th, 2015 --- With portfolios growing to $3-5 million for retiring physicians and other healthcare professionals, the difference between $3 million and $5 million, can certainly be attributed to following a disciplined plan of regular contributions and investment decisions that balance risk and reward, as well as active management.
Digest for August 1st

RRSP vs TFSA update: Take Your Pick

Published: February 24th, 2016 --- This article originally appeared in March of 2015, approximately one month prior to some significant changes introduced in the Federal Budget of April, 2015. The annual contribution limit was doubled from the maximum contribution when it was introduced. The limit is now $10,000 per person per year, and each year the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will publish the limits for subsequent years.

Client On-Boarding: Start Strong to Finish Stronger

Published: August 1st, 2015 --- It is a common mistake for a leader to develop an elegant solution in isolation. As you develop your on-boarding process, include everyone on your team in the discussion. The decisions should rest with you, and you should declare this, but others will provide valuable insight. Also, your team will likely execute most of the activities, and on-time, so they cannot simply be told what and when to “just do it”.

RRIFs – Fact and Fiction

Published: August 1st, 2015 --- CRA stipulates that a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) must be created no later than December 31st of the year that an individual turns age 71. Most are created during this 71st year, but can be created earlier. When a client says, “we need to do this in three years, because I am 68” they are not entirely correct.

Performance Indicators 101

Published: August 1st, 2015 --- Measuring your practice's performance in a balanced way will allow you to address client, company, cultural, and financial issues. Publishing your results among your team and with your client base will allow them to participate and contribute to your success.
Digest for July 15th

Blogging: Why, How, and Where do I Start?

Published: July 11th, 2015 --- With so many online options and more coming out every week, it is becoming increasingly difficult to know where to start. Should you focus on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or any of the other 500 social media sites? For financial advisors, like any business, how much time should you spend using social media and what social media outlets are the best bet? The answer is blogging

Staff Evaluations – Make it a Meaningful Meeting

Published: July 15th, 2015 --- All too often evaluating staff members is a hurried and harried event. Instead it should be a thoughtful element of an annual process. Make the most of these meetings, for you and your staff.

Foreign Investment – Watch out at tax time

Published: July 15th, 2015 ---If you or your client directly owned foreign property (like US stocks traded on a US exchange) and its cost basis exceeded $100,000 CDN at any point during the year, then the T1135 must be filed. This can be difficult to track since both underlying cost of the security and the foreign exchange could move in tandem to increase its Canadian value, offset one another, or cause the value to fall. This calculation is not performed at year-end, it must be completed daily over the course of the year. Additionally, it is the value of all of their foreign holdings, each with their own cost basis and a different daily exchange rate for each foreign country involved.

Cultivating COIs – The Basics, Again!

Published: July 15th, 2015 ---"Centres of Influence", the branch manager’s mantra! Getting referrals from other professionals is not as easy or as quick as Advisors wish it was. There are many factors to consider, many “good ideas” and better ways to gain referrals.

Client Passing – Best Practice

Published: July 15th, 2015 --- If you have been in practice as an Investment Professional long enough, or even if you haven’t this difficult event will present itself. For many Advisors, this is the opportunity to provide the most compassionate and influential service when dealing with the grieving widow(er) and his or her family.

RESPs and Grandparents – Connect with Clients

UPDATED: June 15th, 2016 --- For most new grandparents, RESPs were not utilized when their adult children passed through post-secondary education. Don't miss the chance to utilize it for their grandkids, and connect with the Sandwich Generation in-between.

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