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Planner’s Perspective

As a financial planner,  I assume the role of 'teacher' in my relationships with clients and the public. There are timely and timeless subjects I address in the “Planner’s Perspective”. A lack of understanding breeds fear, suspicion and doubt. These are not attributes leading toward a successful financial plan or reaching your financial goals. I endeavour to dispel misunderstandings that can become broadly accepted while highlighting less common thinking on a particular subject. I am pleased to address issues or topics that are forwarded to me. I hope you find these articles helpful and demonstrative of our comprehensive approach. 


In what we offer, "there is simply no comparison"


 See our complete archive here.

July 2015

How Can Silver Diversify your Portfolio?


As I review portfolios and consider the most conservative positions, virtually everything has some exposure to the stock market.  The stock market is up more than 175% in 6 years.  In addition, the most conservative products have considerable levels of non-stock investments like bonds and mortgage backed securities.  The investments that rely on interest rates have a ‘wall to overcome’.  As interest rates begin to rise, this will present a drag on performance for almost anything invested in income producing products.  There is very little ‘upside’ to bond and bond like investments and with an inevitable ‘reset’ to the rise in the stock market, looking to diversify seems prudent at this time.  What investment can be considered that has already experienced considerable downside?


We are always looking for investments that are ‘on sale’.  Bullion (gold, silver etc.) are hedges to risk and inflation.  Both gold and silver are trading significantly below (Gold is 40% and Silver more than 60%)  their peak prices of a few years ago.  Of the two metals, silver has industrial applications in electronics and many other uses.  I would consider investing a portion of any portfolio in silver. This allocation would be primarily invested in the metal itself with a smaller portion in the companies that mine for silver.  The silver bullion is considered a medium risk investment.  However, the companies that mine for silver and their stocks trading on the stock market are considered as high risk investments.  These companies and their shares are highly variable (fluctuate wildly) and will normally accelerate faster as silver drops and similarly as it rises. 


One key objective in portfolio composition is to create a balanced and diversified portfolio.  For many years balanced meant owning stocks and bonds but with very little future for bonds and inherent risks to an ever rising stock market, balance should incorporate something else.  At these prices and the industrial applications of silver, it rises above most other ideas.  Achieving an above average consistent return is a difficult art to perfect. 


In what we offer,  "there simply is no comparison!"  Pattison Financial Group is open for business.  Please contact me, or




November 30, 2016

Year-end Planning: Are you paying too much in taxes?


As we draw towards the close of the year, our minds can often be preoccupied with the Christmas season. However, the end of the year marks an important time to review your financial situation and consider relevant tax planning strategies. Please review the following questions, there may be important tax planning strategies for you to implement.


Is your income higher than usual this year? – If your income this year is unusually high you may find yourself in a higher tax bracket than is normal. This may mean an increase in the benefit of a lump sum contribution into an RRSP.  In addition, if contributing to a spousal RRSP is an option, making this contribution before December 31st can have tax planning implications.


Have you received EI this year? – If you have received EI payments this year then there may be tax planning to consider.  If you receive EI and have other income during the year, the government may require you to payback your EI. Proper planning can help you keep your EI payments.


Been laid off or planning some time off? – Your income may be going down in future years if you are nearing a work stoppage due to sabbatical, retirement, etc. If this is the case then you may want to consider a lump sum contribution to an RRSP this year as your income will be high relative to the ensuing years.


Is your income lower than usual this year? – If your income is lower than usual, you may want to consider withdrawing a lump sum from your RRSP/RRIF and rolling it over to your TFSA. This can help to significantly reduce the lifetime taxes you may pay on your RRSPs/RRIF.


Are you retired with growing RRSP balances? – With recent tax changes, the highest tax rate in NB on income over $200,000 is greater than 53%.  This affects very few people while they are living but can be relevant to your estate. It may be better to pay taxes now at a lower rate to save yourself from paying more than half of your estate to the government.


If you have answered yes to any of these questions, or know anyone who falls into one of these situations, you should meet with a financial professional who can help you take advantage of the tax situation.


In what we offer,  "there simply is no comparison!"   Pattison Financial Group is open for business.  Please contact me, or 





January 2016

Tax Free Savings Account -
It is as good as it sounds!


There is often some doubt in what “the Feds” have in mind when they “innovate” and launch new ideas. The 8 year old investment plan, the Tax Free Savings Account, generated many similar thoughts.


However, it simply is as good as it sounds! This is how it works.


Investments:  The T.F.S.Account is an investment plan.  Many believe and are in fact guided to think that that a TFSA consists of only a low interest bearing 'savings account'.  Savings Accounts at the bank pay so very little today, who would even care whether the interest was tax free!?  You can invest your TFSA contributions in virtually any investment you would like.  From as little, to as much risk as you are comfortable.  If you are earning less than 5% per year since the TFSA was launched, you need a financial checkup!


Contributions:  Each year the government allows anyone 18 years or older to contribute. The annual limit in 2016 is $5500.  The annual contribution limit will increase over time but slowly as it is based on inflation rates.  If you have never contributed before you may be able to contribute up to a maximum of $46,500 (depending on your age).   This is because if in a given year you do not contribute any or all of your allowable contribution, it will be added to the subsequent years contribution limit. This accumulates each year.


Any amounts that are withdrawn are not taxed in any way or included in income.  In addition, the amount withdrawn will be added to next year’s contribution limit.


Strategies:  If you have any investments that are non-registered (open) and you have not "maxed" out your TFSA contributions, you should consider moving $$$ into the TFSA. However, consider any tax consequences on the open money first.


TFSA’s allow a spouse to be listed as the successor. This allows, upon a death of a spouse, the full transfer of the deceased’s TFSA balance to the surviving spouse's TFSA.  This is regardless of whether the surviving spouse has "maxed" their TFSA or not.


TFSA's allow the appointment of beneficiaries. This will convey a TFSA directly to the list of beneficiaries without attracting tax or the complication of probate.


Are you thinking of ‘swinging for the fences'? If you have any aggressive investments in your portfolios, consider investing those particular holdings in a TFSA. If you ‘strike it rich,’ all profits are tax free.


In what we offer,  "there simply is no comparison!"   Pattison Financial Group is open for business.  Please contact me, or 


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