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Financial Library

Cooler heads will prevail

The newspaper headlines read: 'Roller coaster stock markets have investors feeling queasy' (The Globe and Mail; 'The stock market crash: History repeating itself?' (The Calgary Herald); 'Uncertainty continues to pummel stock markets' (Sudbury Star); 'The next market boom may be a lifetime away' (Financial Times). Interestingly enough, these headlines are from November 2002. One year later, the S&P/TSX Equity Index was up 20.8%; and two years later had soared by 40.7%.

Guaranteed Minimum Withdrawal Benefit

Roger and Linda are approaching their retirement. With continuing volatility in the markets, they are concerned about what effect a market downturn in the few years leading up to or just after retirement would have on their income. They also think that GIC investments would not protect their retirement income very well from inflation.

A great new opportunity

The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) was introduced in the February 2008 Federal Budget and will be available January 1, 2009. It is touted by the Government of Canada as 'the single most important personal savings vehicle since the introduction of the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)' in 1957. As always, there are some rules:

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Great Depression 2.0?

It's been a long and volatile quarter in the financial world. Markets are taking most investors on a wild and sometimes frightening ride, the news about corporate failures and bailouts is confusing and the economic news is almost certainly disheartening.

As some in the media eagerly seek to assign blame for the current stock market turmoil, others are predicting a global doom reminiscent of the 1930s.

Despite the media's best efforts to draw comparisons between today and the Great Depression, there are KEY facts that often get overlooked.

Cycle of Market Emotions

Getting emotional about investments can easily lead to poor decisions as investors fall prey to negative thoughts and fears. The chart below helps to illustrate the emotional aspects of investing.

The human brain constantly searches for trends or patterns in things, trying to make sense out of even random events and data. This essential life skill is not very helpful when it comes to investing.

How To Care

Our parents raised us; we moved out, had children of our own and raised them. Then our children moved out and had children of their own to raise. It was supposed to stop there for us, but then one day we had to look after one or both of our parents.

According to a 2007 survey by Market Probe Canada, 38% of those between age 35 and 75 have already provided long term care to a family member or friend. www.Howtocare.com suggests that we may spend as many years caring for a parent as we did raising a child.

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