Don’t bank on ‘savings’

Q – I am a 35 year old school bus driver and have very little savings in the bank. I would like to see my money grow, but I don’t like to take risks with what I already have. Can you recommend an investment that would be suitable? – Sue S., Woodstock, Ontario

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Benchmarking returns

Q – I am tired of seeing negative numbers on my quarterly performance reports. When I speak to my advisor, he assures me that I have done better than the “market” and that other people are worse off than me. Frankly, I do not care about “other people.” How can I figure out if my advisor is actually providing value? – John G., Willowdale, Ontario

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Single female seeks planner for long-term relationship

Q – I am a 35-year-old single female, and I have a good grasp of investing. I currently hold all my investments through a self-directed brokerage. I do need help with some planning, and I have met with a few potential advisors. But most want my investments to manage and I am not comfortable with that. Do you know where I can find help with the planning side? – Yvonne T., Toronto, Ontario

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Planning for 100

Q – I am getting set to retire this September. I’ve held the same job at an automotive manufacturer for 20 years. Lately I have begun to worry about the amount of savings I have for the future. I am now 70 years old and have set financial parameters in my financial plan until I am 90. I don’t want to run out of money. Do I need to look at extending my plan past 90? – Robert L., Vaughan, Ontario
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Mortgage rule changes kick in July 9

Q – My husband and I are young newlyweds, and we are in the process of starting to look for our first home. We were preapproved by my bank, but now the rules have changed. How will the new mortgage rules affect me? – June R., Niagara Falls, Ontario

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Annuities and estates

Q – I am worried about protecting my income during retirement. At the same time, I want to leave something to my grandchildren in my will. I’ve heard that annuities can provide a guaranteed stream of income. But once the annuity is paid out, there won’t be much left for my estate. Do you have any advice on the best type of annuity in this case? Thanks. – Peter G., Welland, Ontario

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Selling in May could make your gains go away

Q – We’ve often heard the old market saying, “Sell in May and go away.” What is your opinion about this? Do you recommend it as a strategy? – Mark N., Guelph, Ontario

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Mid-life investment planning

Q – My wife and I own our own home. We have been diligent about paying down our mortgage but at the cost of investing in the equity markets. Our house is fully paid for now, and we are both in our mid-40s. What is your advice on how to start investing in the markets? – Jason S., Calgary, Alberta

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Inflation and investment returns

Q – I am planning for my retirement and would like some advice on inflation. What rate of return should I aim for to cover inflation and still see some investment growth over the span of my retirement? – Candice S., Toronto, Ontario

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Is it time to invest?

Q – The markets seem to go in one direction these days – down. Is now the time to invest my money, or should I wait? – Craig R., East York, Ontario

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