Affiliated with Sentinel Life & Sentinel Financial Management Corp.
Commentary - Hans H. Mathisen
What's Your Most Valuable Asset? - is the question asked in the July edition of LIFE LETTER. The obvious answer is that our most valuable asset is our ability to make a living. Please contact me for more information about bow you can insure your most valuable asset.
Protect Yourself From Fraud, etc.!- LIFE LETTER for August gives some helpful advice on how to protect yourself from fraud, hoaxes and identity theft.
THE STOCK MARKETS - In spite of the doom and gloom messages we get from the media, the markets have done very well for the first 7 months of 2003. The leader is the NASDAQ Index, which is up by 29.92% for the period. The Dow Jones Index has risen 10.70%; the S & P 500 Index has increased 12.56%; and the Canadian S & P TSX Composite Index has grown by 9.73% January 1 through July 31, 2003.
Are you participating in the new Bull Market? Or are you keeping your investments in fully taxable G.I.C.s and Money Market funds? I would appreciate the opportunity to show you the two very conservative portfolios I have invested in myself; and I may suggest that you try the same investment vehicles:
Portfolio #1: From March 7 to July 31,2003,
the yield is 11.21%
What's Your Most Valuable Asset?
One day Carl was pondering what his most valuable asset is. His house, his business, his SUV, his cottage at the lake. He found out too late that none of these even came close.
Carl had been in business with his brother, Jack, for many years. Without warning, he became disabled and could not work.
Jack tried lo do Carl's work as well as his own. He also had to split the reduced revenue with his brother. After all, half of the company is still his.
The business couldn't support a non-productive partner for very long. The competition was just too tough. Jack couldn't afford to hire a replacement and pay Carl a salary, too. He had no choice but to take on a part-time job to provide for his own family.
What other income sources are there? The Canada Pension Plan has a disability benefit, but the definition of disability means that benefits often take up to a year to start. And if Carl could qualify, it only pays a maximum of $971.26 per month.*
Carl can't get Employment Insurance benefits because he is part owner of the business. Even if he could, payments only last for seventeen weeks. The average disability at his age 37 lasts over 5 years.**
He could try and borrow money from the bank, but banks prefer to lend money that is likely to get repaid. Without a reliable income source, they just won't take the risk with Carl.
Carl could cash in his RRSPs. But withdrawals are fully taxable and will jeopardize his retirement. In 1999, Canadians withdrew over 186 million dollars from their RRSPs because of disability.***
Workers Compensation pays a benefit to someone who has a work related injury or illness. But most injuries occur off the job and very few illnesses can be proven to be work related.
Carl is worried about losing his home as he is having trouble making the mortgage payments. Some 46 of mortgage foreclosures are due to disability.**** And, it is difficult for his wife to work because she is busy raising their children and caring for him.
The best source for income in case of disability is a Disability Income Insurance policy. This policy pays a benefit, usually monthly, after a disability has lasted a certain length of time, called the waiting period. The policy you choose will state how long a benefit will be paid. Some policies even pay if you are only partially disabled.
Carl learned that his most valuable asset is really his ability to earn & living. You insure your house, your vehicles, your business and your cottage for loss by fire, accidents and theft. Doesn't it make sense to insure the asset that makes them all possible?
* CPP benefits for second quarter 2003
Want to know more about protecting your lifestyle in case of disability?
Call Hans Mathisen today at (306)242-7042.
Copyright © 2003 Bowen Financial Inc. All rights reserved
Protect yourself from fraud, hoaxes and identity theft!
Mary answered her door one day and was greeted by a friendly man who told her that he noticed some problems with her shingles. After convincing her that repair work needed to be done, he collected a deposit of half the estimated cost so they could buy shingles and other supplies for the job. She never saw him again, Mary was too embarrassed to tell anyone what had happened to her.
Warren received a letter purportedly from an oil executive in Nigeria who needed help getting millions of dollars out of the country. There was supposed to be a large handling fee as long as the funds could be transferred to Warren's bank account. After giving up certain information, his account was cleaned out and the culprits couldn't be found.
Kathleen received a forwarded e-mail from a friend about a computer virus that can't be detected by anti-virus software. She followed the instructions to search for a particular file name and, if found, to delete it. The file was actually part of her computer's operating system.
Ted forwarded an e-mail he received from a friend with a picture of a supposedly missing child to all his friends. The week before, be had forwarded one that stated that Microsoft is monitoring email and will pay cash to those who use certain software for email. These are both hoaxes.
Brenda clicked the remove link in a bulk e-mail she received. All this did was confirm that her email address works, put it on other junk email lists, and now she is deluged with "spam."
Garry tossed some old back and credit card statements into the re-cycling bin. A few months later, he started getting calls from collection agencies looking for payment on some bills in his name. Identity thieves had started accounts in his name.
You can protect yourself from fraud, hoaxes and identity theft by following some simple "rules":
1. Deal with reputable firms for home repairs. Get referrals from people you know who have had similar work done. You may be required to make a deposit, but the bulk of the work that is done should not be paid for until completed.
2. Don't be greedy. Many scams are successful only because they appeal to the get-rich-quick streak in many of us. Remember, if it's too good to be true, then it's probably a rip-off.
3. Never delete a file because a convincing email tells you to. If your computer is working fine and you have updated your anti-virus software, then you probably have nothing to worry about.
4. As harmless as they may seem, passing on email like a chain letter is nothing more than a tune and resource waster. Five minutes a day wastes more than 20 precious hours per year.
5. Never respond to junk email. Ever.
6. Shred old statements, cancelled cheques and all other documents you are disposing of. Stir up the paper strips so they can't be pieced together.
Want to know more about protecting yourself and your family?
Hans Mathisen today at (306)242-7042.
Copyright © 2003 Bowen Financial Inc. All rights reserved
Mutual confidence is the power that binds together all harmonious human relationships.