Independent Financial Advisor in Winnipeg, Manitoba
Welcome to SmartWealth!
As an independent financial advisor in Winnipeg, my team and I are committed to delivering transparent financial advisory services focused on client benefit. Our role as your financial advisor is to provide guidance on how to protect your assets through proper insurance planning and how to grow your wealth through a practical, easy-to-implement financial roadmap.
We offer a holistic financial advisory service in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and nearby towns.
Financial advisors can help you in many different areas of your financial life, including retirement planning, estate planning, investment planning, and risk management. If you are looking for a financial advisor in Winnipeg, we would be glad to earn your business.
When choosing a financial advisor, it is important to choose someone who you feel comfortable with and who you trust to provide you with sound financial advice.
Please book an appointment with us by clicking or tapping on the button on the right for an exploratory meeting to learn more about how our services may benefit you and your household.
Winnipeg Financial Services
Risk Management and Asset Protection
As opposed to popular belief, how much you make or how much you’ve invested aren’t the foundation of a solid financial plan. Financial risk management is. Should your ability to earn a living ever get affected by a serious life event, your income STOPS.
Most Canadians who have experienced such roadblocks had to dip into their investments or even acquire debts in order to support themselves and/or loved ones to supplement the household’s loss of or reduced income.
Protecting your #1 asset
A well-planned risk management strategy protects your number 1 asset, so you need not liquidate your other assets and investments or go into debt should a serious life event posts a potential risk in achieving your financial goals.
By identifying and recognizing these potential risks and taking steps to mitigate them, you can help safeguard your assets and protect yourself and your loved ones from financial difficulties at an already difficult time.
So, what is your most important asset?
Is it the house you live in?
The car you drive?
Or, your investments?
If you have to work to earn income, your most important asset is “You, when you’re at WORK!” Everything else is secondary, and you risk losing all your other assets if you lose your ability to earn a living. If you fall under this financial category, you need to have a contingency plan, so the “what ifs”, don’t turn into “what nows”.
Book an appointment here to explore your financial risk management options. As independent Winnipeg financial advisors, we can help you implement risk management plans that take care of your financial well-being, so you never have to be poor, no matter what curved-balls life throws your way.
The Financial Risk of Premature Death
Life insurance provides financial protection for your loved ones if you should die prematurely. The premiums are usually paid monthly, semi-annually, or annually, depending on the type of policy.
There are two main types of policies: term and whole life. The term covers only the period of time specified in the policy; whole life continues as long as you continue to pay premiums or when your policy is considered “paid-up”.
Some people shy away from implementing life insurance policies because they feel that they will not benefit from the policy and that it will only pay out in the event of their death.
This isn’t always the case, there are life insurance policies that allow you to build equity or investment from within the policy, which gives you the ability to cash out even when you’re still alive.
Regardless of which type of life insurance you implement, it’s important that your coverage is adequate to meet your family’s needs in the event of a breadwinner’s premature death. The right amount should cover all your financial obligations, like your income, mortgage, business, and personal debts, your children’s educational funds, and final expenses like funeral costs and taxes at death.
Critical Illness Insurance
While the costs of most medical services are often covered by the Manitoba provincial health system, your other costs aren’t.
When a person gets inflicted with a serious illness, he or she may not be able to actively work to earn a living.
This means that your income may stop!
Instead of drawing money from your investments, retirement funds, or liquidating your solid assets, it’s wise to plan ahead in case of a serious illness.
Since most Canadians who were diagnosed with a critical illness survive, chances are, you can get back on your feet and back at work but it may not be as fast as you would hope for. If you rely on your savings and investments for income while you’re recovering from an illness, it may not be long before your investments run low.
Critical illness insurance not only helps you protect your financial security, but it can also protect your financial future by providing you money while you’re unable to actively work for income, avoiding the possibility of using up your life savings and retirement funds.
Disability Insurance helps protect you and your family from loss of or reduced income in the case that you lose your ability to make a living due to injury or illness. It can help replace your monthly income if you are unable to work for an extended period of time. For many people, Disability Insurance is pretty much an “I hope I never need it” product.
If you’re like most of us, you need to actively work to earn a living, should an injury or illness prevent you from actively working to make money, disability insurance can replace between 60% to 80% of your active income. In case of a serious life event, it can provide life-long financial security for you and your family, depending on the plan, it can provide you with disability income of up to age 65.
The word “investment” or “investing” is quite scary or confusing to most people because they think that it’s just too complicated to them and unfortunately, that’s what most experts would have you believe.
At SmartWealth, we believe that investing doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to learn how to read charts, master price action, or any price indicator. The most important thing when it comes to investing is in deciding that you do want to invest to achieve wealth milestones and your long-term financial goals.
You see, investing isn’t about “timing the market”, rather it’s about “time in the market”.
The longer time that you’re invested in the market, the higher your investments would have grown.
In reality, no one has a complete grasp of the market’s up and downs but the general trend is always upwards, and it’s been going up since the 1800s. Do expect volatility along the way but stay invested during periods of volatility or even buy more if you have the budget to take advantage of low prices. The worst thing to do is to sell or withdraw your funds at times of market dips.
At SmartWealth, we start you off with a risk profile questionnaire so we understand your risk tolerance and goals for the specific investment account you’re opening then suggest investment portfolio that best match your risk profile.
Tax-Free or Tax-Deferred Wealth Accumulation
Tax Free Savings Account
A Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) is an investment account that allows you to accumulate compounded wealth on a tax-free basis. The account offers tax-free growth on the original contributions and the income they earn. Meaning, you don’t get taxed every time your investment grows inside the account, and don’t worry, you also don’t get taxed on withdrawals (except when you break the rules).
Most Canadians get confused as to what a TFSA is since it’s oddly named as a Savings Account when it is actually an investment tax shelter that allows you to invest in stock and bonds portfolios or even buy individual stocks from within the shelter.
TFSA is best for people who don’t want to contribute to an RRSP or those who want to take advantage of tax-free asset growth who are not in the higher income tax bracket.
You can use TFSA as a savings vehicle for an emergency fund, to buy real estate, or even to build wealth for retirement.
Registered Education Savings Plan
A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) is a plan that allows you to save and invest money for your child’s post-secondary education and get a matching government grant for your contribution. Setting up an RESP is easy and affordable and your contributions grow tax-free until they’re used and taxed based on your child’s income at the time of withdrawal.
There are three types of RESP Account, and they are as follows:
- Individual RESP
- Group RESP
- Family Plan
Individual plans are established to pay for the education of one person. Anyone may establish an individual plan and contribute funds to it. You can even set up your own plan.
You rarely need to invest a minimum amount. If the beneficiary doesn’t continue their education after high school, you may be able to designate another recipient.
Contributions: You choose when and how much money to put in, up to the lifetime limit of $50,000 for a beneficiary. You direct how your money is invested if you have an RESP with a financial institution. If you have an RESP through a scholarship plan dealer, your investment is handled for you.
A family plan can have more than one beneficiary. However, each beneficiary must be related to the subscriber (you or someone else who opens the account, i.e. grandparents, aunts, uncles, or even siblings), and under the age of 21 when you open the account for them.
Group plans are distinct from individual and family health insurance policies, and each plan has its own set of conditions.
You can open a group plan for one child. The child doesn’t have to be related to you. When you establish the program, you must make a minimum deposit.
Registered Retirement Savings Plan
A Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is a retirement investment plan registered with the Canadian government, which allows Canadians to defer income taxes on money earned inside the account and its corresponding compounded growth. When you contribute to an RRSP, your taxable income is reduced by the amount of the contribution. This means you pay less income tax on your tax return for that year.
RRSPs are very flexible and can be used to help you meet your long-term financial goals by contributing to your account until the end of the calendar year in which you turn 71 years old. After that time, the government sets strict limits on how much money you can contribute to an RRSP.
Any money you contribute to your RRSP is deductible from your income, which reduces the amount of tax you pay for that year. For example, if you made $30,000 in taxable income last year but contributed $4,000 to an RRSP, only $26,000 would be taxed, resulting in less money to pay for taxes.
Final RRSP contributions must be made by December 31st of the year you turn 71, after which time they are no longer deductible on your income tax return.
RRSP contributions are made with before-tax dollars, which means that whatever taxes you would have paid for that portion of your earned income will be returned to you at the tax year it’s earned. However, when you withdraw money from your RRSP,
your capital, which is pre-taxed dollars, together with the compounded growth, are taxed at withdrawal, that’s why it’s advisable to withdraw RRSP funds when you’re already retired when your tax bracket is much lower than when you’re actively working.
The best benefit that you can get from investing within an RRSP aside from the tax break on your active income is the tax-free compounded growth of your funds, which remain untaxed until the date of withdrawal.
Other Financial Services We Ofer Clients
If you’re switching to another company and have worked for about 5 years with your previous employer, you have the option to move your pension fund (LIRA, RPP) into an individual RRSP. In most cases, these are locked-in funds and should be transferred out into the same type of individual locked-in funds because these types of group pensions are for retirement purposes.
We can help you move such funds into your individual account so they remain invested, and could still grow overtime for a higher amount later on, instead of just leaving the funds on your previous group pension account, since you’re no longer part of the aforementioned group pension plan.
Whether you’re self-employed, a contract employee, a retiree, or a business owner, we can provide you with an affordable health benefits plan to avoid huge out-of-pocket expenses in case of dental, vision, or health-related services that aren’t covered by the Manitoba Universal health insurance.
Health Spending Account
A Health Spending Account or a Private Health Services Plan is a unique alternative to the usual group health benefits.
It helps incorporated business owners and self-employed individuals with employees pay the health and dental expenses of themselves and their employees in a tax-effective and cost-efficient manner.
Health Spending Accounts work very differently than traditional group or individual health and dental insurance programs in that there are no ongoing premium payments required following a one-time set-up fee.
An employer enters into a contract with a Health Spending Account administrator to provide for the reimbursement of employees’ health and dental benefits. The employer agrees to provide funding for these expense amounts plus the applicable fees and taxes up to a limit the company sets in advance. The total amount paid by the employer may be 100% tax-deductible to the business and the employees may receive a tax-free benefit.
Every tax situation is different and can be quite complex. Clients should always seek independent tax advice before putting a health spending plan in place or deducting expenses related to a health spending account.
Personal and Corporate Insured Retirement Plans
Insured retirement plans are life insurance policies with an investment or cash value component. The aim is to save up and invest within the policy taking advantage of the insurance coverage while you’re actively working and using the equity build-up inside the policy to supplement your retirement income or as a main source of your retirement funds.
No Medical Life Insurance Plans
Not everyone who applies for life insurance gets approved, some get declined due to lifestyle or pre-existing health conditions. No-Medical life insurance plans offer coverage to those who can’t get insurance through traditional carriers.
Emergency Medical Travel Insurance
Our provincial health has limits as to how much it can cover us when traveling abroad, that’s why it’s wise to always carry emergency travel medical insurance when traveling so you don’t have to deal with surprised spending that could turn your trip into a nightmare.
Student & Visitor Medical Insurance
International students and visitors to Canada aren’t covered by our universal health system, should they need medical services in case of an illness or injury, they or their sponsors will be billed for the costs of medical services. As you may know, healthcare costs in Canada when paid out of pocket can shake your financial security. If you have visitors or international students coming to live with you. Always make it a point they’re duly covered for medical emergencies to protect your and their financial well-being.
When you pass away at old age and you’ve managed to accumulate wealth that is going to be passed on to your heirs, know that any other asset that you’re going to leave behind except your primary residence is all subject to capital gains taxes.
If your heirs don’t have the means to pay off these capital gains, the assets passed on may need to be liquidated to pay off taxes at death since all assets left behind are considered disposed of before the person’s death.
One of the best ways to transfer wealth, tax-free to your next generation is through life insurance as they don’t pay any taxes on the life insurance proceeds, and if you’re leaving other assets to your heirs, you can consult with your accountant as to how much the capital gains are going to be and make it a point that these taxes are covered by life insurance so your heirs won’t be forced to liquidate the assets you leave behind to pay for taxes which results to asset disposition.
(Office meeting by appointment only)