Things to Consider as We Approach the Holidays

1. Saving for Your Child’s Education
If you are expecting or recently have had a child, consider carefully your options in opening a registered education savings plan. Read more here.
Want to Know How Much Have You Saved?
If you have an RESP, consider requesting a  Statement of Account.  The statement will provide information on the amount you have contributed, the financial institution where it is held and the associated amount of grant provided.
2. How to Understand How Your Investments Have Performed and What You’ve Paid in Fees
Review your annual account statement so as to better understand your investments – including what you have made and what you have paid. See ourvideo series that can guide you through the information.
3. Considering an Investment?
If you are considering an investment, remember to Check Registration and to review our 5 Rules for Avoiding Investment Fraud.
4. Looking for a Financial Planner?
If you think you want to engage a financial planner, then take your time and do your homework. You can start by reviewing this.
5. Want to Use Online Investing or Robo-advice?
If you think you want to use a robo-advisor or discount broker, again, take your time and do your homework. You can start by reviewing this. If you need to transfer your investments or funds from your current firm to another firm (including a discount brokerage), then start here.
6. Putting in Place Arrangements to Protect Individuals from Elder Financial Exploitation or Diminished Mental Capacity
When gathering over the holidays, people may wish to consider what they can do to help protect themselves or someone they care about in the future from elder financial exploitation or diminished mental capacity.
Many investment firms and their representatives do not have robust protocols in place to address the issues of elder financial abuse, undue influence and loss of mental capacity and, while wanting to assist, are often “damned if they do, and damned if they don’t” given the current framework and rules. Some firms, on the other hand, have developed protocols to try to address these issues.
Canadians should know that elder abuse in Canada is surprisingsly prevalent. 8.2%  of Canadians have been victims of elder abuse, according to a recent national survey and, according to a recent VanCity credit union study, 41% have had at least one situation of financial abuse. Elder abuse is often perpetrated by family members, friends, caregivers or those close to the older individual (two-thirds of all elder abuse).
Individuals may want to consider the risks and benefits of granting a power of attorney, or designating someone on the account as a trusted contact person if their firm now provides this option on a contractual basis as part of the client relationship process. Contact your Province or Territory’s securities commission or provincial guardian and trustee for specific information about  powers of attorney in your province.
December 18, 2017