Season’s Greetings! This winter we would foremost like to wish all our clients a Happy 2019 New Year. A new year brings once again new opportunities and exciting new goals for us here at our office of HollisWealth.
For client’s that require an evening appointment Roman has set aside Monday evenings during the winter months. Please be advised due to the demand for evening appointments we are booking a month in advance.
As a reminder during the hours of 9:30 am to 10:30 am, if you call during this period to please leave us a message on our voice mail as we conduct our daily office meeting during this time and phones will not be answered. This time allows us to organize our day’s tasks, review previous day’s work, discuss and complete client reviews and enquiries, as well review rates, markets and get current on the latest news. Speaking of Markets, 2018 definitely proved to be a challenging year with the year ending the TSX down -8.89& and the S&P500 down -7.55%. Later in this newsletter we talk about a term we utilize with our clients here in our office called Strategic Asset Allocation. This process definitely helped our clients beat the markets in 2018. This is why our Annual Reviews are so important, provides us an opportunity not only to get caught up but as well adjust for any changes that have occurred, such as management changes, taxes changes etc., which can then affect our clients’ financial future.
Around the Office:
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
The Canadian demographic landscape is rapidly shifting as baby boomers and older seniors lead the way in breaking the longevity mold. With increased life expectancy come challenges specific to aging.
There are approximately 500,000 Canadians living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia (of which 50,000 are under the age of 60). It is expected that within a generation as Boomers age, this number will rise to 1 to 1.3 million. Women comprise almost 75% of Canadians with Alzheimer's disease.1
What is dementia?
People often equate memory loss alone with dementia. But dementia is actually used to describe a group of symptoms that affect a person’s intellectual and social abilities to function in their daily lives. It is not a normal part of aging and there are different types of dementia. A person diagnosed with dementia has difficulties in at least two aspects of brain function that can include memory loss, impaired insight and judgement, and language. Personality and behaviour changes can also occur.2
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common dementia and in its early stages can be difficult to recognize. It is a progressive and fatal disease as brain cells break down and die. Current statistics suggest that nearly 50% of adults over the age of 85 may have this disease.
Alzheimer’s disease involves:
- impaired thinking and reasoning,
- difficulty understanding abstract concepts like numbers,
- impaired orientation and spatial relations (lose understanding of time and place),
- difficulty planning and performing familiar tasks,
- difficulty speaking and writing.
This is not only a disease that affects the mind.
Physical changes over time include:
- loss of balance,
- decreased mobility,
- difficulty swallowing.
- There is no cure for this devastating disease. Life expectancy can range from six to eight years after diagnosis to 20 years.2
Consider the financial obstacles that Alzheimer’s disease can pose.
Memory loss. Bills including insurance premiums need to be paid. Important documents must be protected and safely stored in a place that is remembered. Otherwise, they may be at risk of getting lost or thrown away. Various appointments, financial decisions that need action or passwords may be forgotten.
Abstract concepts. Managing finances requires sophisticated abstract thinking. Imagine not understanding concepts such as: numbers, basic math calculations, percentage, rate of return, compound interest and the value of money (knowing the difference between 5¢, $50 and $5,000).
Familiar tasks. Writing a cheque or doing on-line financial transactions requires performing a series of actions done in a specific sequence.
Impaired Insight and Judgement. There can be serious consequences if your parent does not understand financial decisions or actions and if she/he is no longer capable of making financial and personal care decisions.
Cost of care. As cognitive and physical abilities decline over time, care is needed. Strategies to approach your parent’s immediate and future care needs are essential. The potential financial, physical and emotional toll on caregivers cannot be ignored.
Financial abuse and neglect. Older seniors can be at risk. People living with dementia can be at additional risk, as they may not have the insight to recognize abuse.
Talking to your Advisor is an important step in addressing the range of issues that you or an older family member may face when changes in health occur or are anticipated. Are your Powers of Attorney (POA) for property and personal care along with a Will in place and up to date? These are legal decisions that require cognitive capacity. Have the designated POA’s and Executors been introduced to the Advisor in advance of any need? Have you had conversations about anticipated care costs?
If you have care concerns regarding a parent or yourself, please call me. I am here to help you assess your specific situation, provide direction and put appropriate plans in place.
1 Rising Tide – The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society. Alzheimer Society of Canada
2 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2011).
This article is a basic overview of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Diagnosing a person with dementia requires a variety of medical tests and neuropsychological assessments conducted over time. Certain conditions may have similarities to dementia and therefore one should exercise caution in identifying a person as having dementia.
Debbie Gilbert is a Certified Professional Consultant on Aging in private practice and the Founder of Generations (www.debbiegilbert.ca). With a focus on eldercare, self-care and care for the caregiver, Debbie works with Baby Boomers and older seniors walking the care years. The following article does not replace medical care or advice, financial and/or legal advice and is not intended to do so. © Debbie Gilbert July 15, 2013.
Reproduced from Dynamic Funds’ Snapshots program with permission.
© 2018 1832 Asset Management L.P. – All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part of this content without the written consent of the copyright owner is forbidden. Snapshots™ is a trademark of its owner, used under licence.
Strategic Asset Allocation
Strategic Asset Allocation is a portfolio strategy that involves setting target allocations for various asset classes and then periodically rebalancing back to the targets. Our specific asset classes involve the following: Cash (Savings Accounts & GIC’s which will mature within 1 year), Income (longer term GIC’s as well as Fixed Income / Bond Investments), Equity (Stock Market diversified related investments) Aggressive (Stock Market “specific” sector investments such as Precious Metals or Emerging Markets). The portfolio is rebalanced to the original allocations when they deviate or move away significantly from their original settings. Target allocations depend on several client factors such as “Risk Tolerance” and “Time Horizon” and obviously will change over time as these parameters change. “Strategic” Asset Allocation is compatible with a “buy-and-hold” strategy as opposed to “Tactical” Asset Allocation which is more suited to an “Active Trading” approach. Both approaches emphasize diversification in order to reduce risk and improve portfolio returns. As a basic example of strategic asset allocation we could illustrate the following: Mr. Jones has a portfolio consisting of 60% in equities (such as Stocks) and 40% in Fixed Income (such as Bonds or GIC’s). If the equity markets perform well and the returns are decent Mr. Jones may end the year with his Portfolio balance consisting of 68% Equities and 32% Fixed Income. In this case Mr. Jones would, as part of his annual review, have a/some rebalancing trade/s in order to switch 8% from his Equity Portion to his Fixed Income portion in order to reposition back to his original target of 60 / 40. On the flip side if the Equity markets underperform, returns are weaker and Fixed Income grows to become a larger weighting in the portfolio a rebalancing trade or trades from Fixed Income to Equities can be executed.
Within each portion there can be further diversification such as geographical allocations whereby part of the Equities or Fixed Income is invested in global markets, part in the United States markets and part in the Canadian markets. Even further diversification can be achieved by investing in smaller companies (small capitalization or “Small Cap”) and larger companies (large capitalization or “Large Cap”) within each Geographic location. Within Fixed Income there is the possibility of investing in Government Bonds both Domestic and International as well as Corporate Bonds and GIC’s to add diversification. Maintaining the target allocations with annual rebalancing is the underlying key and as you can see there can many moving parts underneath the surface.
Caregiving “To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” Tia Walker
This newsletter was prepared by Roman A. Groch who is a registered representative of Investia Financial Services Inc. (a member of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada and the MFDA Investor Protection Corporation). This newsletter is not a publication of Investia Financial Services Inc. and the views and opinions, including any recommendations, expressed in this newsletter are those of Roman A. Groch alone and not those of Investia Financial Services Inc.
Investia Financial Services Inc. does not provide income tax preparation services nor does it supervise or review other persons who may provide such services.