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ADVISOR FOCUS - a newsletter from
25 Sep 2003

Current Issue | Subscribe to Advisor Focus | Back Issues

SPOTLIGHT: Focus on Insurance
  • Put Insurance Trusts To Work For Your Clients
    Globe and Mail Tax Columnist Tim Cestnick tackles insurance trusts, plus which clients and situations they fit. Find out some of the nuances of special needs trusts, spousal trusts, and more.
  • Critical Illness Insurance May Fill Important Niche
    Your clients may think having disability insurance means they don't need critical illness insurance, but this primer explains why CI is a key part of any complete insurance portfolio. Read what makes CI valuable, how and why it kicks in, and some details on available products.

FINANCIAL PLANNING: Fund Fee Inquiry; Client Case Study

  • It's Time For Mutual Funds to Stop Burying Fees in Muddy MERs
    The MER provides some indication of how much your client pays for owning a fund, but is it adequate? Here, Rob Carrick discusses what fund companies are required to disclose, and what a fuller fee breakout might look like.

  • Heavy Debt Proves Hazardous for Couple
    Living large on a modest salary is a party that has to end sometime. Read how a financial planner advised a couple on how to stop living beyond their means. Plus: why debt is like "compound interest in reverse".

MARKETS: S&P/TSX Index Surges; Small Cap Stocks Set to Outperform?

  • Manager Bullish On Small Caps
    Small caps have had a solid run over the past year, and word from some of those in the know is we haven't seen the half of it. Read why this Scotia Cassels fund manager thinks Canadian small-cap issues are in the early stages of a long-overdue period of outperformance.
  • Tech, Travel Propel Indexes Higher
    Bay Street analysts' predictions of mounting demand in key sectors are sending Canada's benchmark S&P/ TSX index higher. Read which gainers are leading the pack.

BOARD GAMES: A Report On Corporate Governance

  • Governance Changes More Than Skin Deep
    The annual Report on Business assessment of corporate governance in Canada shows that practices have improved over the past year. It's getting better but we're not there yet, Janet McFarland explains. Read the details on progress, plus what remains to be done.
  • Independent Has Many Meanings
    The OSC is asking corporate Canada for feedback on defining an "independent" member of a board of directors. Once an official definition is in place, putting Uncle Bob on the board may not qualify.
  • Stock Options Debate Heats Up
    Many companies are still handing out stock options to execs at a "dizzying rate", this report from Report on Business writer Elizabeth Church finds. This controversial form of compensation serves to reduce shareholders' stake in the company.

ON FUNDAMENTALS: Inflation and Currency Predictions

  • Inflation Continues Six-Month Decrease
    Canada's core inflation rate is "dropping like a stone", which analysts say means the central bank will leave interest rates unchanged until later next year.
  • Whither An 80-Cent Dollar?
    The chief economist and strategist of National Bank Financial has forecast that the Canadian dollar could rise to 80 cents (U.S.) by the fall of next year.

INDUSTRY NEWS: Moves By IPC & Berkshire

  • IPC Back in Play After Rejecting Offer
    IPC Financial Network is still on the block. Read about the potential bidders who may score a place on the "short list" of interested buyers.

    Berkshire Acquires TWC In Cash, Stock Deal
    Berkshire Group of Companies has just acquired privately held TWC Group of Companies Inc. The merged entity will boast more than a thousand advisors, and Berkshire head Michael Lee-Chin says they will remain "fiercely independent".