Wow! What a fast and hot Summer that was! Now, we jump into Autumn! In these uncertain and stressful times, we can still rely on and enjoy the beauty of the leaves changing colours. We hope that everyone is still remaining safe, and would like to remind you that we are still working in the office, not remotely and are here whenever you need us! Currently, our office is open by appointment only, but please feel free to call our office as we would love to hear from you!
We would like to thank those of you who nominated us for the 2020 Reader’s Choice Awards. We have been nominated in 3 categories: Best Financial Advisor, Best Financial Planning Services, and Best Investment Company. We are very appreciative of these acknowledgements.
We completely understand how busy you are during these trying times. 2020 certainly has been a challenge to all of us for scheduling our doctor, dentist and other personal appointments! As a reminder, every year we prepare an Annual Review for each of our clients. This is an important process to ensure we are current with the times, as well as ensuring your information is current, accurate and meeting your Financial Lifestyle needs. Preparing your review involves a detailed process that not only has us look back on the past year but also look at the upcoming year for potential needs that might arise and ensuring client files are up to date and accurate. To help ease some of your scheduling stress, we currently are booking Annual Reviews via Webex meeting, telephone, or in person depending on your preference and comfort level. Annual Reviews will be uploaded to your Client Portal and/or mailed before the scheduled meeting date for those who wish to do their Reviews by Webex meeting or by telephone.
For those clients who wish to have their Annual Review in person, we are asking that you please wear a face covering during your time in the office and sanitize your hands upon arrival (we have hand sanitizer available for you at the front reception).
Please note: For clients that require an evening appointment, Roman has set aside Monday and Tuesday evenings during the next few months. Please be advised that due to the demand for evening appointments, we are booking a month in advance.
Reminder: Daily Office Meetings
During the hours between 9:30 am to 10:30 am: should you call during this period, please leave us a message on our voicemail 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 the previous day’s work, discuss and complete client reviews and enquiries, as well as, review current rates, markets and updates on the latest news.
Online Deposits/Contributions to your Investment Accounts:
For deposits that you make online throughout the year, please update your Online Banking company name from “HollisWealth Advisory Services Inc.” to “Investia Financial Services Inc” or “Investia Services Financiers”. This will ensure that your deposits/payments are received in a timely manner into your account. Your account numbers for online deposits have not changed. Do not hesitate to contact us for clarification.
Around the Office:
Client Portal & New E-Signature Tool
If you have not registered for your New Client Portal which changed and improved November 2019, we highly advise you to take advantage of this great tool! We can securely upload important documents to you through this portal, and you can do the same for us. You will have access to tax receipts, statements, and more. With this comes a new E-Signature process for signing order instructions and updating your Client Information. This allows you to sign documents directly on your computer or smart phone from the comfort of your own home (or even on the go!). Please contact our office for more information or assistance in registering.
As an office, we have been joining in on conference calls to listen to what the managers have to say about the current and future states of the markets, so that we can best advise our clients in this uncertain time.
Ontario's move to scrap out-of-country health insurance was wrong, court rules:
The ruling affirms the right of Ontario residents to out-of-country emergency insurance coverage as required by the Canada Health Act. The program covered out-of-country inpatient services up to $400 per day for a higher level of care, and up to $50 per day for emergency outpatient and doctor services.
Strategic Asset Allocation
As mentioned in our previous newsletters, we are very proud of how our portfolios have weathered through these uncertain times. Our Strategic Asset Allocation has continued to be successful. 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 (Not used by this office is 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. If you have any questions regarding your portfolio and Strategic Asset Allocation, please give us a call!
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month in the City of Welland!!!
The internet is an efficient way for you to stay connected with family and friends. On the flipside, like any public environment, you need to be aware and cautious. Just as locks on your doors can help you secure your home and belongings, there are steps you can take to safeguard your computer and personal information. Even the most tech-savvy among us can become the target of con artists. Recognizing the signs of online fraud is an important first line of defense – and, fortunately, there are a few simple tactics you can use to protect yourself.
Common internet scams
Phishing/spoofing is when someone tries to trick you, typically by email or text message, into revealing valuable personal information, like your Social Insurance Number (SIN). A typical scenario involves a scammer impersonating your bank in an email to get you to enter your personal or banking details into a fraudulent website to gain access to your money.
Forex and investment scams use false or fraudulent claims to solicit investments or loans. You might notice claims on social media (Facebook, Twitter), on websites or in your email promising outsized returns for trading in foreign currency and offshore investment “opportunities.” These scams typically ask for help moving money out of a country, with the offer to share the proceeds.
Malware/scareware/ransomware is malicious software designed to damage or disable computer systems. In the case of ransomware, the cybercriminal will block your access to your computer until you pay a ransom, typically in virtual currency such as bitcoin (which will make their crime less traceable).
Cybersecurity best practices
Critical steps to protecting your digital life include:
Using passwords and a password manager. A good password manager will generate and save strong passwords, then autofill them on the associated website or login screen as needed. No more memorizing or keeping unsafe paper records.
Using security software. Install anti-virus software and anti-spyware on your devices from a reliable source and keep it updated. Steer clear of apparent security updates from pop-up ads or emails – they may be malware that could infect your computer. Using a firewall is another step you can take to fend off hackers who might try to crash your computer or delete or steal sensitive information.
Having the latest operating system. Be sure your computer operating system reflects the most recent update, which can include patches to fix newly identified security holes.
Being watchful with downloads. Carelessly downloading attachments from your email can circumvent even the most vigilant anti-virus software. Never open email attachments from people you don’t know and be wary of any unexpected attachments forwarded to you from those who you do know, but who may be unwittingly spreading malicious code because their accounts were hacked.
Turning off your computer. Shutting down your computer severs an attacker’s connection, be it spyware or a botnet, which is a string of connected computers that may be using your computer’s resources to find other unwitting victims.
When online, embrace your inner skeptic
While there’s no foolproof method for staying safe online, you can take meaningful steps to avoid and deter criminal encounters. A healthy dose of skepticism is useful here. Take what you see online with a grain of salt, question claims that seem too good to be true and keep important details about yourself private. All these actions can go a long way in ensuring you’re as safe on your computer as you are in real life – or IRL, for the tech-savvy.
Managing Caregiver Stress
Caregiving for loved ones can be both tough and transformational. Managed well, caregivers report that the opportunity to give back contributed to a sense of personal growth, meaning and purpose, strengthened the relationship with the care recipient, and provided comfort in knowing that their loved one was receiving attentive and compassionate care.
And yet—we hear the warnings of caregiver stress and burnout. Indeed, much has been written about the toll it can take on our physical, emotional, and mental health, with collateral impacts on our family life, work demands, and personal self-care. Manifestations of stress and burnout include reduced sleep and increased exhaustion, depression, feelings of anger, frustration and guilt, irritability, difficulty concentrating, lower immune response and susceptibility to colds and flu. It is not unusual for caregivers to operate in a sense of denial, believing that they are handling it well and are able to continue to sprint this marathon…until they can’t.
I can relate to all of these issues – especially the denial! I remember well working full time, and with my brothers, providing support and care while our parents were in and out of hospitals, with time spent in intensive care units and on life support for periods of time. Then came their release from hospital and need for ongoing home care without the benefit of 24/7 nursing care in a hospital. “I’m fine – I’m doing ok,” was the typical response to folks asking how it is going. In hindsight, I can see that I was not fine. Although I put on my ‘taking care of business hat,’ I was exhausted, scared, and feeling that no matter what we did, events were unfolding outside of our control. It is no surprise that one day I looked into the mirror to see that half of my face was frozen in a wide-eyed startled expression with a case of Bell’s Palsy. Luckily, the paralysis eventually resolved itself, and the residual permanent numbness in sections of my face is a constant reminder to pay attention to the warning signs and appreciate the importance of better self-care.
Self-care is a noble platitude – but not typically that easy to apply. Here are some tips that can help make the journey serve you as a caregiver as well as your cherished care receiver.
- Put the oxygen mask on yourself first! Get regular sleep, keep up your good nutritional habits, and do some form of exercise each day. Even a short walk down the street can provide the so needed mental and physical reset and recharge.
- Give yourself permission for a break. Read a book, take a luxurious bath, or go to a movie with a friend.
- You probably have some important relationships you have put on temporary hold – reach out and re-connect, even if it is only for a few minutes.
- Find a way to laugh out loud! Watch that crazy comedy that makes you chuckle or google funny animal videos on YouTube. Ask your friends to send comical and whimsical links to brighten each day. You can share these with your loved ones you are caring for – everyone is uplifted with a laugh shared.
- Ask a friend, family member or perhaps a colleague to research support services in your community with details and contact numbers. Make sure the list also includes options for respite care that can allow you to get away for longer periods of time for a fuller re-charge.
- Join a support caregivers group. Imagine spending time with folks who know exactly what you are going through – where they can likely finish a sentence for you in a spirit of unconditional rapport and compassion. You will receive practical and relevant tips and suggestions from others navigating the same rough waters.
- Most of all – be kind to yourself. You will have feelings of guilt, frustration, and anger over the situation – that is normal. No matter how much you do and give, it often never feels enough. Appreciate the whole of you. What you may think of as the good, bad, and the ugly, is probably just a rich expression of your full humanity.
As we said at the beginning of this article, caregiving can be both tough and transformational. Some of my most cherished memories with my parents and family were the intimate times of giving, sharing, and receiving. The love, laughter and even the fear, tears, and sadness. I am grateful for the honour to have walked that path, and perhaps next time I can do so without offending my face!
Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO
*“This article is reproduced with permission from Age-Friendly Business, no reproduction in part or in whole is permitted without consent.”
When Stress is Good
This edition addressed the need to mitigate long-term and prolonged stress. However –brief bouts of episodic stress can offer some positive outcomes. Short-term stress can stimulate creativity, boost your brain power, increase strength of your muscles, motivate you, and improve your short-range immunity.
“Simply let experience take place very freely, so that your open heart is suffused with the tenderness of true compassion."
~ Tsoknyi Rinpoche
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.