Blog - Frost Wealth Management

There a many things that we, as investment professionals, cannot control: 

  • We cannot make Russia behave-- although we wish we could.
  • We cannot make the economy stronger-- although it seems to be doing that by itself. 
  • We cannot control the rate at which the central banks increase interest rates-- althought the decisions they make will affect all capital markets profoundly.

So what can we do-- and what matters about what we do?

 

Our job is to find good companies and good fund managers in which to invest our clients' assets. We do this by:

  • Constantly researching into new names.
  • Constantly monitoring the names we already own.
  • Constantly reading the financial press to understand what is going on in the market in order to find new themes and new ideas.

Warren Buffett says he spends most of his time sitting in a chair reading. It seems to have worked out pretty well as a strategy. We are also voracious consumers of information, and-- for the most part-- it has worked out pretty well for our clients too.

 

One way of knowing if we are doing our job well, is to look at the performance of the companies in our portfolios. We should surely not be looking only at the performance of the stock prices, which, over the short term, have an element of randomness and volatility caused by any number of things.

 

What matters-- and what we should be looking at-- is the actual revenue and earnings of each company and the prospects for increased revenues going forward. We believe-- and history has shown-- that companies that grow their earnings increase in value and, that over time, that value shows up in the stock price.

 

The essence of our job?

  • Building a diversified portfolio of leading companies.
  • Paying attention on a day-by-day basis to the progress of each one.
  • Making changes as required.

That is what matters.

 

"Investor returns are primarily derived by what you do in down markets-- NOT up markets"

-- Greg Frost

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

 

If you are an existing client, you may have noticed that we are asking a lot more questions lately. In a world where you are encouraged not to share more of your personal information than possible, this can seem a little intrusive. Rest assured, this information is necessary and required.

 

In part, these additional questions are due to a change in requirements from the securities industry regulator IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada). The new KYC (Know Your Client) regulations require us to provide more information regarding your current employer or the last employer you had before retiring. We are also mandated to update KYC at least once every 3 years.

 

Another part of the information gathering helps us in our quest to provide you with the best service possible. The more we know about you, the more we can tailor your financial plan. This approach to financial planning is commonly referred to as "holistic planning". So, what does that mean? Just like holistic medicine looks at every aspect of your physical wellness, holistic planning looks at every aspect of your financial wellness. 

 

Creating a plan that is unique to you involves capturing all of your financial picture. It is a snapshot of where you are now and a depiction of where you would like to be. All of the information gathered, helps to create a roadmap of how to get you to your destination in the fastest, most efficient method possible. That doesn't mean that your plan is static. Sometimes your life takes a detour-- and just like your GPS-- we need to "recalculate". That is why annual "check--ups" are necessary.

 

We begin a plan by gathering all of your sources of revenue and all of your expenditures. Earning more money would be the easy answer—but is not so easy to achieve. The key to saving more often lies in reducing your expenses. This could involve helping you pay less taxes or spend less on interest or borrowing costs. Since mortgages are one of the largest expenses for all homeowners, we like to ensure that you get the best available rates by getting a competitive quote. We can even refer you to one of our independent experts.

Big banks rely on borrowers to take the path of least resistance and opt for the "auto-renew". By not exploring other options, you could end up paying thousands more in interest. That money could have gone into your investments and helped to grow your retirement funds.

 

Another area that we look at is risk reduction. How would your loved ones be affected if something were to happen to you? If your ability to earn income was impaired by accident, illness or death, that would have a huge impact on you-- and those close to you. Discussing insurance seems to conjure up a negative connotation for many people. It is somehow equated with being "sold" something unnecessary. Rest assured, the goal of insurance in a financial plan is not to make a sale. In most cases, insurance products are used to protect your loved ones and, in some cases, to help save taxes or pass on funds to you beneficiaries in a timely, tax-efficient manner.

 

How and where your funds are invested does play a big role in achieving your financial goals, but often times, advisors focus solely on this portion of your financial picture. Many of the online platforms claim that lower fees will ensure financial success. While it is true that lower fees can help you invest more, that is only a fraction of the story. Having reliable advice that is tailored to your situation can far outweigh any savings in fees. Not convinced? See what the experts at FPCA (Financial Planning for Canadians) have to say:

 

"Financial planning is more than budgeting, saving or the perfect investment strategy. It sets you on a course toward achieving your life goals through the proper management of your financial affairs. Canadians who engage in financial planning report significantly higher levels of financial and emotional well-being than those who don’t. They say they feel more on track with their financial goals and retirement plans, have improved their ability to save, are more confident that they can deal with life's challenges, and feel better able to indulge in vacations and other luxuries."

 

No matter where you are investing your money, you are paying fees. Some institutions are not required to disclose these fees as transparently as others-- and-- some of those same institutions offer no advice in return for those fees. This practice has resulted in class-action lawsuits filed against divisions of the six major banks and other major mutual-fund providers. (Read the entire article on the Toronto Star website). We believe that you should get your money's worth and always disclose our fees. We do better when you do better. That's why we ask so many questions-- and hope that you have lots of questions for us. We’re happy to answer. 

 

If you are ready to feel more "on track" with your finances-- let's talk.

-Greg Frost

 

Contact the office and speak to Sharon to book a check-up or financial planning meeting: 

519-741-8478 extension #3

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

LET’S TALK ABOUT FEES

 

 

 

Lately, there seems to be a lot of noise generated by the banks and online trading platforms about fees. In speaking with our clients, we have discovered that there a lot of misconceptions about the percentage and different types of fees. In some cases, clients have been misled by online trading platforms and local bank branches into believing that they are much lower-- or have no fees at all. And of course, the biggest issue is always what’s not discussed – the value of advice. It has been documented, and in the news,that the banks brokerage firms have taken in mutual fund trailer fees to compensate them on advice they did not provide.

Its important to compare apples to apples. ​  

 

Did you know that there are several different types of account management fees?
 

1. the advisory fee that is paid for the management of your account (in this case Frost Wealth Management) and on non-registered accounts, that fee is tax deductible
 

2. the product cost for the management of the mutual fund that you are invested in. This is often referred to as MER (management expense ratio). Lower fees are paid on ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) and there are no product costs associated with stocks.

 

As iA Securities is a dealer member of IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada), Frost Wealth Management (FWM) adheres to IIROC regulations. Most of our client accounts are feebased, which means that we charge a flat fee of 1% to 1.5% depending of the size and complexity of your portfolio. 

 

Your advisory fee is clearly shown on the fee-based agreement that you signed with your account opening documents. It is clearly visible on the statements that you receive from HollisWealth (soon to be iA Private Wealth) and on the recap sent to you in January. We also post the percentage and an estimate of your annual fees on page 5 of your meeting agenda at every review. As your portfolio grows, we endeavour to lower your Frost Wealth Management advisory fee. If you are concerned about fees, please bring it up at your review or book a time to discuss. Complete transparency is a cornerstone of how we do business. We appreciate an opportunity to discuss how we add value. Did you know that some advisors charge substantial fees for a financial plan? At FWM, financial plans are included in your fee.

 

Many non-brokerage financial institutions use A class funds, which bundle their management fees and product costs together. The fee is included in the fund’s daily pricing, which does not provide transparency. As a result, some investors are led to believe that there are no management fees.

 

The MER can vary greatly, depending the type of product that you are invested in. Don’t be afraid to ask about the MER and always read the prospectus to make sure that you understand the fee.

 

Having said all of that, selecting a product or advisor based on the lowest fee is not always the best option. Like anything in life, sometimes it is more prudent to pay more for better performance, better service, and most importantly, better advice. Bad investment decisions can be far more costly than fees.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about fees, we recommend a few articles from MoneySense:

 

Opinion: Simple steps would help investors make more informed decisions

 

How much should you pay in investment fees?

 

Thank you for entrusting the Frost Wealth Management Team with your hard-earned savings. We appreciate the confidence that you have shown in us and are grateful to our clients for referring family and friends.

 

We work hard every day to earn your trust and look forward working with you in 2021.

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

Join the Frost Freedom Riders

Earlier this year, Greg registered for the TELUS Ride for Dad with the intention of inviting family friends and clients to join him on this fundraising motorcycle ride to support prostate cancer.
Unfortunately, the mass ride was postponed due to the pandemic. With the easing of the restricitions in our area, participants have the option of organizing a smaller "Ride Alone Together" event.
Greg has decided to ride on Saturday July 11th (weather permitting) and would like to invite his fellow motorcycle enthusiasts to join his team "Frost Freedom Riders". You can also donate to the event using the link below.

 

Register or Donate


For more information, please contact Sharon:
[email protected]
519-741-8478 x3

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

Navigating your finances during the pandemic

 

Since mid-March, life has been anything but normal. We have all been sailing in uncharted waters at home, work and school. The financial world was blown far off course in one sudden gust. The impact on the markets was quite dramatic in the early days, but we are starting to see some signs of recovery.

In the first few weeks, the team at Frost Wealth Management reached out to every single client just to touch base and ensure everyone's safety and peace of mind. For the next 6 weeks, we invited clients to join us on a conference call each Tuesday to hear fund managers from many leading investment companies as they outlined their recovery plans.  In the meantime, myself and the FWM staff immersed ourselves in research and set out to come up with some recovery strategies of our own.

Once we devised a plan of action, we resumed our regular schedule of client reviews. Although we are still meeting by phone or by zoom, we hope to welcome all of our valued clients back into the office soon. Our aim is to ensure that each client has the best possible outcome from this change of course. 

If you wish to speak with me or any of the staff before your next scheduled review, please reach out to the office and arrange a meeting time or even a quick chat. If there is one thing that we have learned from all of this, is that relationships are the most important thing in life. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

 

Ride Postponed!

 

This event has been postponed due to the pandemic. Further details to follow. Once we have a new date, Greg will be suiting up and mounting his bike to help fight prostate cancer. He would love to have the support of friends family and clients.

 

Are you a rider?

 

Join the team

 

More of a supporter?

 

Donate to the cause

 
Find out more about the event:

 

Grand River Ride

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

Welcome to 2020!

 

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to all of you for your continued confidence in the ability of the Frost Wealth Management Team to be the steward of your capital.

Our overall principal of investment advice is always goal-focused and planning-driven. This is in contrast to common approaches that are market-focused and driven by current events.

Long-term investment success comes from continually acting on a plan. Investment failure often results from reacting to current events in the economy and the markets.

You and I are long-term equity investors, working steadily toward the achievement of most cherished lifetime goals. We make no attempt to forecast-- much less time-- the equity market. Indeed, we believe this to be a fool's errand.

 

More thoughts from Greg

 

2019 Recap

 

 

2019 was practically a mirror-image of 2018

 

The previous year, we saw a dramatic 19.8% peak-to-trough decline through Christmas Eve 2018.

This past year, we saw the exact opposite with an exceptionally good year for the market. Even though the economy slowed somewhat, manufacturing went into decline and the earnings of the S&P 500 ended 2019 down slightly year-over-year.

 

Read the whole post

 

2020 Outlook

 

 

Stay the course

 

A good portion of my time is spent in research.
All of my current reading and past experience suggest to me that meaningful market setbacks have not historically occurred during huge waves of public pessimism and fear-- quite the contrary.

This is not intended as a market forecast.
It is simply an invitation, as we look to the new year, to take some comfort from the rampant fear abroad in the land. Even after a decade or more of stellar returns-- let's hold off on the worrying. That is, until the stock market has become cocktail party conversation, your Uber driver starts giving stock recommendations and everyone around us gets excitedly bullish.

It is quite possible 2020 will not be as good for returns as 2019 has been. The fact-- or the truth-- is that those of us who are goal-focused, planning-driven investors enjoyed an exceptional year in 2019. We did so-- not by forecasting, nor jumping in and out of markets, but by patiently hewing to our long-term, balanced portfolios.

That is the lesson that I will carry into 2020.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

 

Every December, in lieu of Christmas cards, the Frost Wealth Management team invites clients to take advantage of our Charitable Giving Fund. 

To date, our clients have donated $20,908 to their favourite charity-- and we have matched it. The information is on our website under "Beliefs & Values>Charitable Giving" 365 days of the year. In truth, we would love to give even more, so I decided to make this the focus of my December blog post. 

 

We all have causes that are near and dear to us. What’s important to you, is important to us. Many of you already give at the holidays (and throughout the year). Why not let us add to that generosity?
 

When you donate to your favourite organization, we will match up to $50 per client.
It’s easy to do:

  1. Print and complete the attached Contribution Form below
  2. Return it to us by December 13th (email, regular post or even call it in)
  3. Enclose the cheque made payable to the charity of your choice, or a copy of your donation receipt
  4. We will match your donation (up to $50 per client) and submit everything to your charity in time for this year’s tax receipt.

$41,815

That's how much we have given over the years.

 

For 2019, we would love our Charitable Giving total to hit

$50,000

 

Let's do this! 

Charitable Giving Form

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

Recently, I attended the iA Securities Advisor Summit in Quebec City.

While there were many fascinating topics and speakers, I would like to share highlights from Clement Gignac's presentation. Clement is Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at our parent company iA Financial Group.

Summarized from Clement Gignac’s presentation on September 23, 2019 at the iAS Advisor Summit:

 

  • We are currently experiencing the longest bull market in history, but bull markets do not die of old age
  • The service sector is resilient however, the manufacturing sector is slowing down
  • ISM Manufacturing Index is at 50, signalling a slowdown, which is confirmed by a CEO survey indicating that 60-70% expect a slowdown
  • GDP expected to end at 2.9%, down from 3.6% in 2018
  • Policy mistakes or external market shocks could jeopardize business cycle
  • Financial markets are very sensitive to trade settlements developing in USA
  • Global trade contraction outside of recession is a first, due to the rise in protectionism
  • Analysts are not calling a recession yet, however, if USA imposes additional tariffs in December, this will have a significant impact
  • Historically, a US president has never been re-elected in a recession. The emphasis will be on President Trump to get changes enacted before additional tariffs are enacted in mid-December
  • The labour market is posting its best results in 16 years
  • Canada has the highest immigration growth of the OECD countries and the highest level of education with 65% of immigrants aged 25-45 having post-secondary education
  • Fair value of the Canadian dollar is closer to 80 cents
  • Bond yields are very low. Global bond yields have hit a record low. There are now 14 trillion bonds in the world with negative interest rates—this means that citizens are financing government funds to borrow from them

International perspectives—bottom line

 

Risk factors:

 

  • The trade relationship between China and the US remains tense and brings significant uncertainty to global supply chains
  • The weakness of manufacturing activity could lead to larger global economic downturn, especially in Europe with Germany
  • Geopolitical risks remain high (tensions in the middle east)
  • Political uncertainty around Brexit

Positive elements:

  • The US consumer remains confident and has an adequate level of savings
  • China is using its fiscal policy in a recession scenario
  • Germany is open to using its fiscal policy in a recession scenario
  • Many central banks are now pointing to further monetary easing

 

 

This information has been prepared by Greg Frost who is an Investment Advisor for HollisWealth®. Opinions expressed in this article are those of the Investment Advisor only and do not necessarily reflect those of HollisWealth. HollisWealth® is a division of Industrial Alliance Securities Inc., a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn

 

One of the biggest challenges that many investors face, is understanding the reports and statements that update your portfolio's performance. There are just so many different ways of reporting and so many different numbers. How do you know how your money is really doing?

With the changeable nature of financial markets, there are always going to be peaks and valleys along the way. What is important to know, is how much money you put in (invested capital) and where you are now (market value). So why do so many statements list book value? What is it-- and why do I need to know?

I recently discovered this great 5 minute video from Edgepoint that clarifies the confusion. With their permission, I have shared the link below:

 

Decoding your investment returns 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on Google+ Share on LinkedIn