Do your kids know how much money you have?

In a recent blog, I talked about whether you should consider giving your heirs some of their inheritance in your lifetime rather than having them wait until you die to receive everything from you. If people decide to do this, their heirs, usually their children, will gain some insight into the extent of the giver’s wealth.  This raises the question, do your children know what you’re worth?  And, how much do you want them to know? Some of my clients … Continued

Your Financial Problems are Probably Not as Bad as You Think

Every time I send this newsletter, I get a number of replies with feedback and comments. It will also prompt those of you on the list – people in my broader network – to start a conversation with me about your own finances. I’m grateful for that. What I’ve noticed over the years, is that the motivation on the part of the reader who reaches out to me is often emotionally charged. It usually has less to do with their … Continued

How much will you need when you’re old?

In my previous blog, I explored the factors involved in deciding to give some money away in your life versus making it all part of your estate. The main practical and financial considerations are whether you can afford to and determining how much you can comfortably part with while still leaving yourself in a strong financial position.  That leads to the question, how much money will you need? I believe that at the root of that question is, how much … Continued

Should you give an inheritance now?

After all these years of working as an advisor, I’ve found that what really stirs people up is talking about what will happen to their wealth when they’re gone. Although we spend most of our time talking about investments, that topic doesn’t elicit nearly as much emotion and enthusiasm as talking about estate planning. Because I deal with people who are in good financial shape, I can often suggest that they have the option of passing along some money now … Continued

How a Trip to the Dentist Got Me Thinking About Market Crashes

“Your molar is cracked. You need a root canal.” That’s what the dentist told me a few weeks ago. It didn’t sound like fun. But the truth is, it wasn’t bad at all. As I laid back and the drilling was in progress, I noticed I was a bit tense. I asked myself why.  It didn’t hurt. Everything was frozen. So why was I still, well, afraid? The only thing I could think of was that, although it didn’t hurt … Continued

Young people don’t need to fret about home affordability. Things will work out.

With housing prices skyrocketing, the media are featuring stories every day about affordability for first-time buyers and analysis of renting versus owning. Young people, we are told, feel despair at the prospect of ever being able to own a house. I don’t know if that will be true or not. As a financial planner though, I would say it doesn’t matter. They can still have a strong financial plan whether or not they own a home. This made me think … Continued

Money Can Buy Some Happiness

The Atlantic recently ran a series of articles on happiness by Arthur C Brooks.  That sort of thing always gets my attention.  After all, this is what it is really about.  Whether it’s the way we work, organize our homes, foster friendships or manage our wealth, the end game is to be happy. There is a school of thought that says that happiness is not created by our circumstances.  It’s not something we can achieve.  It’s something we choose.  In … Continued

How do I help clients? Let me count the ways

I reached out to a group of clients and asked for topics that they would like to know more about, so I could write blogs about them. One of my very first clients – someone who has known me and worked with me for over 16 years said this… “Could you explain what you do for people?”. It wasn’t the first time that a client or a non-client needed clarification on what I do besides invest people’s money. The range … Continued

Been There…

Someone who is trying to attract new clients will often highlight their expertise with a certain group with common attributes.  I have a lot of clients that are women on their own so I will often tell someone who has lost her spouse or who is transitioning from a relationship that I have helped many people in their circumstances. But I realized that my connection to a client becomes even more powerful when I’ve had the experience myself.  I thought … Continued

Avoid pain as a learning method

I listened to a podcast interview with one of my favourite people, Jerry Seinfeld.  It was unlike any other I had seen or heard.  He didn’t trace his history in show business or talk about how the idea for the most famous episodes came to life.  Instead, he talked about his personal habits, his routine, and the creative process that he goes through.  He said that he writes every day and maintains several other disciplines to support and nurture himself … Continued