Managing your time better, like President Eisenhower

“Successful leadership in sales hinges on your ability to consistently make good choices. The number of issues you’re expected to manage on any given day are considerable and one of the most important skills in your decision making toolbox is the ability to decide quickly what warrants your immediate, direct attention. This is because time isn’t just money: time is a non-renewable resource.

Back in the 1950s, U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower understood this. Lucky for us, he shared his secret time-management recipe – one that helped power him forward just as much as a five-star general on the battlefield as it did as Commander in Chief in the Oval Office,” wrote Colleen Francis Special to The Globe and Mail on May 22, 2015.

“I have two kinds of problems,” said Eisenhower, “the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”

Francis continued, “What Eisenhower was saying – which today is formally recognized as “The Eisenhower Matrix” – is that all business problems can be grouped into one of four categories:

  • Urgent and important: a very short list of items where you must act immediately;
  • Urgent but less important: a short list of tasks where you would be better served to delegate right away;
  • Non urgent but important: a longer list of tasks that you must act on, but later;
  • Non urgent and unimportant: matters that don’t require your attention.”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

Should the Q Ratio be as high as it is right now in the bull market?

“If you sold every share of every company in the U.S. and used the money to buy up all the factories, machines and inventory, you’d have some cash left over. That, in a nutshell, is the math behind a bear case on equities that says prices have outrun reality.

The concept is embodied in a measure known as the Q Ratio developed by James Tobin, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at Yale University who died in 2002. According to Mr. Tobin’s ratio, equities in the U.S. are valued about 10 per cent above the cost of replacing their underlying assets – higher than any time other than the Internet bubble and the 1929 peak,” wrote Lu Wang and Jennifer Kaplan for The Globe and Mail last Monday May 18, 2015.

Wang and Kaplan continued, “Acceptance of Mr. Tobin’s theory is at best uneven, with investors such as Laszlo Birinyi saying the ratio is useless as a signal because it would have kept you out of a bull market that has added $17-trillion (U.S.) to share values. Others see its meaning debased in an economy whose reliance on manufacturing is nothing like it used to be.”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

Were the improvements to RRIF’s enough in the federal budget?

“With an election just a few months away, the recent federal budget clearly had one eye on eliminating the deficit and one eye on Canada’s seniors who — no surprise here — go to the polls in large numbers.

From a personal finance perspective, much of the reaction was centered on Ottawa’s decision to almost double the annual contribution room for tax-free savings accounts to $10,000,” wrote Tom McFeat for CBC News on Monday May 18, 2015.

McFeat continued, “But the budget proposal to change how much of your own retirement money you are forced to access after you turn 71 could have broader impact and will eventually affect millions of RRSP holders.

Here’s why.

When it comes time to begin drawing retirement money from your RRSP, you have three choices:

  1. Collapse the RRSP, take the money in cash, and pay tax on the entire amount.
  2. Use RRSP funds to buy an annuity that will provide guaranteed income for life.
  3. Convert the RRSP to a registered retirement income fund (RRIF).      

Option one means an instant and often hefty income tax hit and no further income in retirement. Option two provides a guarantee but because interest rates are low, the annual payments will be low compared to years ago. And buying an annuity is an irreversible decision that will leave nothing for the kids.

So most people — especially those who want more control over their retirement funds — choose the RRIF. It was this option that the recent federal budget addressed.”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

Advocis Simcoe-Muskoka, meets MPP’s Wilson & Fedeli, discuss value of professional financial advice


(L-R) Vice-Chair CALU Roger Thorpe, Al Jones PAC, 2nd VP Simcoe-Muskoka Chapter Richard Tremblay, TFAAC Chair David Juvet, MPP Jim Wilson, Advocis Simcoe-Muskoka Chapter President Raymond Matt, MPP Vic Fedeli, Advocis member Bruce Boivin, Advocis Simcoe-Muskoka Chapter Membership Chair Jeff Schreiter pose for a picture during their visit to Queen’s Park on May 13, 2015.

It was yet another successful day for Advocis’ Simcoe-Muskoka Chapter during our visit to Ontario’s legislative assembly Queen’s Park for the 10th annual Queen’s Park Day.  More than 75 Advocis members of the nearly 110-year-old professional association were present to personally meet with over 43 MPP’s and discuss issues of importance to Canadian consumers of financial services.

Advocis believes strongly in the value of professional financial advice, along with the availability of that advice, for all Ontario consumers, regardless of their economic status; the need to raise the professional bar so Ontario consumers feel assured that the financial advice given is in their best interest, and to assure access and choice to every Ontario consumer.  We are pleased that so many of our provincial legislators were willing to take the time to meet with us and develop a broader understanding of these important issues as we work towards regulatory reform to protect Ontario consumers.

One issue being encouraged by Advocis Simcoe-Muskoka Chapter President, Raymond Matt, is the requirement for all those that hold themselves out as financial advisor be required to belong to a professional association that has a code of professional conduct.  Advocis’ code requires, among other things, that its members act with integrity, competency and diligently.  Currently in Canada, anyone, regardless of education or experience, can call themselves a financial advisor and there is no requirement to belong to a professional association.  Advocis wants to change this by raising the professional bar.

Visit Advocis website here.

Global economic inequality



The Munk Debates

In this series, Rudyard Griffiths, chair of the Munk Debates, Canada’s leading public-affairs forum, discusses issues and trends just over the horizon with renowned analysts and policy-makers.



“The debate over economic inequality has gone global since the 2011 Occupy movements. Yet, the last five years have seen little, if any, concrete action by governments on the issue. Why the disconnect?

I think one of the main reasons is that, in the years following 2008 and the global financial crisis, our collective attention was focused on survival. Would the economy recover? Could we get it to grow again? What would we do about employment? There is a political element in this as well. In the first three years of recovery in the United States, 91 per cent of all the income gains went to the upper 1 per cent. For an economy that claims to be a success, this is an outrage. Seventy per cent of Americans believe it is an outrage; they believe something should be done. And yet our fractured politics in Washington and the ideology of the right has put up road block after road block to prevent meaningful reform,” wrote Rudyard Griffiths Special to The Globe and Mail last Friday May 8, 2015.

Griffiths continued, “Where does the debate over inequality go from here?

Whenever you have the kind of economic inequality that we have in the United States and in other countries, it translates into political inequality. Some of the people at the top understandably want to keep the current system working for their benefit. So, this is not going to be an easy battle. But I think there is an increasingly large number of people who understand that things are not working and that we are not living in the land of opportunity that we thought we were. Ultimately, I am optimistic, given that the issue of economic inequality has reached the top of the public agenda. There are now grassroots movements in the context of minimum wages and, when I talk”
This interview has been edited and condensed.

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS


BEST Fund delivers value on investments

“Not all labour-sponsored venture capital funds – with their high management fees and generous tax credits – end up as investment disasters.

But to become investor favourites, the VC funds – which are in the process of being wound down in most of the country – are required to transform themselves, and in one case take a path that has not been trodden before.

Consider the path taken by the Business, Engineering Science & Engineering Discoveries (BEST) Fund, which started life in the late 1990s. It is now a publicly listed limited partnership, that pays its owners $0.50 per share per year. Shareholders of the company with $38.6 million in assets received one quarter of that payment last week,” writes Barry Critchley for the Financial Post May 5, 2015.

Critchley continued, “The transformation for the BEST fund started about eight years back when the manager, who also manages other investment funds, decided that fixed-income investments made better sense than equity investments.

The solution: re-organize the BEST fund into a publicly listed LP that was similar to the private debt LPs it was already providing to friends and family and accredited investors. Those private active LPs were attractive because they generated active business income, were Canadian controlled, were tax efficient – and suited investor needs.”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

First dividend increase from Sun-Life Financial since 2008

“Sun Life Financial Inc.’s profits climbed slightly in the first quarter and the insurer increased its dividend for the first time since before the financial crisis.

The Toronto-based company’s profit was $441-million, or 72 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 31. That compared with $400-million, or 65 cents, in the same time in 2014.

Sun Life, which is now 150 years old, said it would boost its quarterly dividend by 6 per cent, or two cents, to 38 cents a common share. The company never trimmed its dividend during the financial turmoil and this is the first dividend increase since early 2008. The increase was based on the company’s solid profits and business momentum, Sun Life’s chief executive officer Dean Connor said in a statement,” writes Jacqueline Nelson for The Globe and Mail on Tuesday, May.5, 2015.

Nelson continued, “Sun Life calculates its performance with an “underlying” profit figure, used to show results without the impact of such items as interest rates, equity-market movements and some other considerations. On that basis, the insurer earned $516-million or 84 cents a share, compared with $440-million, or 72 cents, in the same period a year earlier. Analysts estimates were for 78 cents a share.”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

Canadian veterans honour the fallen in Holland

“Seven decades ago, Donald Somerville’s life was spared by a twist of fate during the liberation of Holland and this week the Canadian veteran paid what will likely be his final respects to the man who took a deadly sniper’s bullet that should have killed him instead.

Mr. Martel had switched places with Mr. Somerville in an assault boat and was felled by a shot in April, 1945. He is one of about 1,350 Canadian soldiers who died in the bloody assault on German defences in Holland and Germany, and who are buried in Holten,” writes Steven Chase for The Globe and Mail on Monday of this week.

Chase continued, “This year, which marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Holland, the numbers of Canadian vets making the trip is between 115 to 130, according to Ottawa’s estimates. For many, now in their 90s, this may be their final visit. It’s a major change from the 50th anniversary in 1995 when more than 1,000 Canadian veterans marched through the streets of Apeldoorn, Netherlands.”


Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS


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