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Monthly Commentary

Mutual Funds, RRSPs, money management, insurance, investments;  the opportunities and strategies available to the Canadian investor are constantly changing. Every month or so I like to provide a commentary for my clients on a Financial Advisory article called LIFE LETTER.

LIFE LETTER is written by Greg Bowen, an experienced Alberta Financial Advisor. Greg's advice has benefited thousands of satisfied customers. Please feel free to view the archives.

Check out LIFE LETTER MATURE, Greg's new articles aimed at the "over 55" generation.

[March/April 2015]
Who do you know that has had a serious illness? What can you do to protect your earning potential?
How much insurance is too much?

[January/February 2015]
You've mad some new financial resolutions. What's the effect if you don't follow them?
How to avoid money leaks.

[November/December 2014]
How to avoid some financial mistakes by learning from the wealthy.
9 things you should know about RRSPs in Canada.

How you can benefit from using a financial advisor.
Some important financial and estate planning for common-law couples.

[July/August 2014]
Some ideas to help protect your home from break-ins.
How to prepare a personal estate checklist.

[May/June 2014]
Valuable ideas and suggestions for all home buyers.
If you should be so fortunate as to receive a large sum of money, what is the best way to handle it?

[March/April 2014]
Unforseen situations that can have an effect on your financial plans.
The way we spend has changed, what can you do to reduce your debt.

[January/February 2014]
Are you prepared for attacks on your lifestyle? - It is going to rain!
Take advantage of this financial "to-do" list for 2014.

[November/December 2013]
Is there really only 3 steps to a successful financial plan?
Learn the basic RRSP strategies.

[September/October 2013]
When deciding where your money should go, you need to ask - "will it, or won't it contribute to your overall wealth?
Learn 3 very important reasons for life insurance.

[July/August 2013]
In this day and age, what are the options for so-called "safe investing"?
Should we insure our kids?

[May/June 2013]
Will there be enough cash to offset such common risks as death, disability or serious illness?
You have to live your lifestyle, but don't forget that emergencies and opportunities need to be dealt with.

[March/April 2013]
the right allocation plan for your paycheck can prepare you for just about any eventuality.
you need to be in control of your insurance.

[January/February 2013]
-A look at some financial resolutions you should make in the new year.
the value of a portfolio should not only be based on the return, but also the tax implications of the investment.

[November/December 2012]
-A discussion about Divorce and dealing with your financial plans.
Looking at insuring our most valuable asset - our ability to earn an income.

[September/October 2012]
-A discussion of the insurance needs for small business owners.
Various ways seniors can use to distribute their wealth to their children and grandchildren while they are still alive.

[July/August 2012]
-What's the difference between an RRSP and a TFSA.
-There are some financial incentives available in the Income Tax Act for homebuyers.

[May/June 2012]
-The high cost of delaying saving for retirement.
-5 keys to achieve sanity in your personal finance.

[March/April 2012]
-Tax planning strategies for sole proprietors.
-Rock-bottom mortage rates may offer an ideal opportunity to improve your cash flow.

[January/February 2012]
-Debt reduction as a retirement savings strategy.
-A look at some small daily choices you can make that can lead to financial freedom.

[November/December 2011]
-A look at tax planning for small business owners.
-What do you know about Tax Free Savings Accounts? Let's have another look.

[September/October 2011]
-What is the right "wealth building" strategy for you?
-Are you really aware of your retirement needs?

[July/August 2011]
-Planning ahead can ease the worry when facing an audit.
-How to prepare for the expensive adolescent years.

[May/June 2011]
-What is a "living trust", and can you avoid probate?
-The focal point of a wise financial strategy.

[March/April 2011]
-why do we need life insurance?
-Income tax strategies for 2011.

[January/February 2011]
-A few credit card tactics to help keep your debt down.
-Are you prepared if you should suffer a critical illness?

[November/December 2010]
-Understand some of the basics of a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).
-Would you buy insurance from a car salesman?

[September/October 2010]
-Do you suffer from Affluenza?
-Do you realize that your accidents or injuries could put your parents' retirement at risk?

[July/August 2010]
-What does the taxman want to take from our children?
-Beware how you help your kids financially - protect their inheritence.

[May/June 2010]
-Some good advice to protect yourself from identity theft?
-An economical way to protect ourselves from the financial loss a tragedy can bring.

[March/April 2010]
-How early should you start your RRSP?
-How you can save money on your mortgage!

[January/February 2010]
-How early should you start your RRSP?
-How you can save money on your mortgage!

[November/December 2009]
-How early should you start your RRSP?
-How you can save money on your mortgage!

[September/October 2009]
-Putting a plan in place for those "rainy days".
-We can all benefit by taking lessons from the wealthy!

[July/August 2009]
-Buying and selling a business when the owner dies.
-Should you insure your mortgage through the lender?

[May/June 2009]
-Check out the benefits of a Tax-Free Savings Plan (TSFP).
-Did you get a tax refund? Do you know you are lending money to the government for free?

[March/April 2009]
-Its important to understand the benefits of naming your beneficiaries.
-Important financial information for those finding themselves facing a marriage breakdown..

[January/February 2009]
-Insurance is a lousy investment. Or is it...?
-How you can benefit from the flexibility of Universal Life Insurance.

[November/December 2008]
-Should the current market slide have investors worried?
-Here are some often overlooked RRSP tricks you should be aware of.

[September/October 2008]
-Maybe its time for some of us to run our finances the way the very rich do.
-A great new opportunity - the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).

[July/August 2008]
-The truth about term insurance. Is it really the "cheap" alternative?
-But I'm invincible - Do we need Critical Illness Insurance?

[May/June 2008 ]
-Can this business be saved? - When it's owner/operator dies, a business will need money, regardless of its destiny.
-Will your beneficiaries have to wait for their inheritance?

[March/April 2008 ]
-What to do when you've had a car accident..
-The basics of financial planning.

[January/February 2008 ]
-Financial resolutions for 2008.
-These financial mistakes can cost you a fortune.

[November/December 2007 ]
-The mini-budget and you.
-Overlooked RRSP strategies.

[September/October 2007 ]
-The five types of insurance everyone should have.
-Why should we insure our kids?

[July/August 2007 ]
-What Will You Do - A case for critical illness insurance.
-Identity theft and fraud glossary.

[May/June 2007 ]
-A case for segregated funds.
-Prepare yourself for emergencies and opportunities.

[March/April 2007 ]
-Suddenly, you're an executor. What do you do?
-Highlights of the 2007 Budget.

[January/February 2007 ]
-Is whole life insurance a rip-off?
-What about retroactive life insurance?

[November/December 2006]
-RRSP questions and answers.
-What should I put in my safety deposit box?

[September/October 2006]
-How much time do you spend planning your financial future?
-Financial Strategies for newlyweds.

[July/August 2006]
-How's your debt?
-Avoid these seven financial planning mistakes!

[May/June 2006]
-Another look at Critical Illness Insurance and Disability Insurance.
-What will happen to your dreams?
-Where will the money come from?

[March/April 2006]
-Why should you review your life insurance coverage.

-Three ways to help you reduce taxes for 2006.

[January/February 2006]
-How to pay yourself first for financial success.

-The power of naming a beneficiary.





[November/December 2005]
-RRSPs aren't just for retirement.

-Canada Pension Plan: Many Canadians are unsure of what the benefitsreally are.

[September/October 2005]
-Do you think your group insurance will meet you needs. Read this!

-With energy costs going up and up, what can you do to save some money?

[July/August 2005]
-10 things you can do to live longer.

-How will you handle a financial emergency?

[May/June 2005]
-Are you over-insured?

-How you can create your own equity linked GIC.

[March/April 2005 ]
-What to do with a large lump sum. A sudden windfall, such as a lottery jackpot or an inheritance. It's sound advice not to spend more money than one takes in.

-Should you buy insurance from the bank?

[January/February 2005]
-Financial to-do list for 2005.
How will you pay for long term care? The government says they're out of money!

[November/December 2004]
-Pay down your mortgage or increase your RRSP contribution?
Some tax saving tips you may not have thought about.

[September/October 2004]
-Is Credit Balance Insurance a rip-off? Yes!
Should you lock in your mortgage rate now?

[January/February 2004]
-Seven Life Insurance Mistakes; We're all guilty of a few of these.
How to Make Your Heirs Hate You; Many people are just too busy to set aside the time it takes to arrange their affairs properly.

[November/December 2003]
-How to pay less tax on your RRSP income. Income splitting is a very effective tax saving strategy.
-How to achieve financial success

[September/October 2003]
-How can you benefit financially from being charitible?
-How to pay your life insurance premiums with untaxed dollars
-How to make your mortgage interest tax deductible

[July/August 2003]
-Your ability to make a living. How can you insure your most valuable asset?
-Some helpful advice on how to protect yourself from fraud, hoaxes and identity theft.

[May/June 2003]
-Is Mail Order Life Insurance a good deal?
-Should I provide Group Benefits for my Employees?
- Dollar Cost Averaging. A proven Investment Strategy.
- Using Other People's Money - How an Investment Loan can help you invest.

[March/April 2003]
-How should I Life Insure my Mortgage?
-Critical Illness - It Won't Happen to Me. Yeah, right!

[January/February 2003]
-How will I pay for Long Term Care?
-Financial Plans and Divorce.
-Don't let your retirement dreams slip away!

[November/December 2002]
-Should you borrow to Invest in your RRSP?
-12 Step Financial Program. This could help you in planning for your future needs.

[September/October 2002]
-Where should you invest your money?
-How long will you need life insurance?
-What about disability insurance for retirees?

[July/August 2002]
-The importance of keeping an up-to-date Estate Plan.
-How to start an investment plan.
-The state of the Stock Market.
-And a commentary by Garth Turner

[May/June 2002]
-Your Personal Estate Record
-Help to organize your estate and get your affairs in order should something happen to you

[March/April 2002]
-What can YOU do to protect yourself and your family in case of a Critical Illness?
- Once again, we look at ways to Insure Your Debts.

[January/February 2002]
-New Years Financial Resolutions that you might want to think about.
- Look at some of the respective guarantees offered by Canadian banks and life insurance companies.

[November/December 2001]
-Strategies to Enhance Your RRSPs
(Here are a few top strategies to help you get the most from your RRSP and retirement plans).
-The Income Tax Bond
(Maximize your kids inheritance)

[September/October 2001]
-Where's The Money?
(Want to protect some of your assets and reduce estate costs?).
-Term Insurance or Permanent?
(Choose the right plan for your needs)

[July/August 2001]
-Feel Good Tax Relief
(Make a charity your Life Insurance beneficiary, and get the tax relief while you live).
-Should You Do Your Own Will?
(You've seen the advertisements on TV. Should you use a "Will Kit", or a lawyer?)

[May/June 2001]
-Buy Now, Pay Big Time Later!
(The high cost of servicing debt.)
-Where to Get the Cash to Save a Business!
-Annual Index Returns.
(This table goes back 20 years.)

[March/April 2001]
-How Much Is Enough?
(how much insurance do you need?)
-How Is Your Financial Parachute?
(Do you need disability insurance?)
-Should we be optimistic about the upcoming stock markets?

[January/February 2001]
-Dirty Bank Tricks
(mutual funds offered by your bank)
-We Are Living Longer

[November/December 2000]
-Get More From Your RRSP
-Grandpa and Grandma Santa
-Annual Review Checklist

[September/October 2000]
-Suddenly You're an Executor
-Seven Steps to Switching Insurance

[July/August 2000]
-Is Group Insurance a Rip-off?
-The Cost of Glenda's Stroke

[May/June 2000]
-Protect Yourself From Information Thieves
-Mortgage Life Insurance and the Banks

[March/April 2000]
-We Should Pay Ourselves First
-Features of Paul Martin's Latest Budget
-Why the TSE 300 Needs More Helping Hands
-Commentary on Mutual Funds - by Gordon Pape

[January/February 2000]
-Basic Financial Planning Strategies
-How to Beat the Tax Man
-Chart of Ing Life Fund Performance

[November/December 1999]
-Insuring Car Payments
The Last Great Tax Shelter

[September/October 1999]
-If Anything Should Happen to Me...
-How Safe is Your Money?
-Clone Funds - Investing Outside Canada

[July/August 1999]
-Cheap Dollars to Pay the Tax Man
-Is Mail Order Life Insurance a Better Deal?
-Should You Fire Your Bank?

[June 1999]
-Start Taking Your Canada Pension -Plan Benefits at Age 60

[March/April 1999]
-Get A Government Grant for Your Kids
-Can You Afford a Critical Illness?

[February 1999]
-Surviving Low Interest Rates

[January 1999]
-Jean's RRSP Income Options
(part 2)

[July/August 2004]
-How's your group life insurance. Do you want more control over your affairs?
How will you handle critical illness? Only about 3% of home foreclosures are due to death, but some 48% are due to serious illness.

[May/June 2004]
-Can you benefit from borrowing to invest. Of course you can!...
How's your net worth? What is net worth? How can you improve it?

[March/April 2004]
-Advice to a future widow; good advice for both spouses.
How to get income out of your RRSPs. For those of you that are approaching that age, this is a good reminder for you.

LIFE LETTER is used by permission - Greg Bowen

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335 Redberry Road
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7K 4W5
Bus. (306) 242-7042 Fax. (306) 242-4314