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TriDelta Insight
January 2013
Contents
TriDelta Financial
Toronto: (416) 733-3292
Oakville: (905) 901-3429
Creemore: (705) 520-0093
Email: tedr@tridelta.ca


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Dear reader,
Happy 2013.

Not only did we survive a really tough year, but delivered great performance. The year ahead requires more global rehabilitation although again we remain confident.

At this time of year most of us take time to plan for the year ahead. Our January newsletter is jam packed with planning ideas, explanations, updates and news.

Enjoy and be well,

TriDelta Financial

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Financial to-do's this month
1. Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit:

The Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit is a permanent, refundable personal income tax credit for seniors and family members who live with them. As a senior 65 years or older in Ontario, you could qualify for this tax
Financial to-do's
credit to help with the cost of making your home safer and more accessible.

If you qualify, you can claim up to $10,000 worth of eligible home improvements on your tax return each year.

For more information about the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit you can also go to

http://www.ontario.ca/taxes-and-benefits/healthy-homes-renovation-tax-credit

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TriDelta blog
Many of you already follow the TriDelta blog for our regular news updates and interesting articles. We constantly get requests from others on how to participate and follow us. Financial to-do's

Here is the link to an article we published a few months back explaining what a blog is; http://tridelta.ca/newsletters/2011_06/art_02.php

To follow the TriDelta Financial blog simply click this link and subscribe via email (see top right of screen). You will immediately be sent an email requesting that you click a link to complete your subscription. Click this link; The Canadian Financial Planner

Here is a short video that explains how to use Google Reader, which will help you manage blogs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSPZ2Uu_X3Y

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Segregated funds
They say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. I think the same applies to investment products.

Segregated funds have some real flaws, but in specific cases, can be very powerful.

Segregated funds are basically mutual funds offered and administered by Canadian
Segregated fundsAsher Tward
insurance companies in the form of individual variable life insurance contracts with certain guarantees such as reimbursement of capital upon death.

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Travel tips
The busy winter travel season is now firmly here. To avoid the many pitfalls of travel, here are a few pointers to ensure your trip is properly organized.
  1. Valid passport. Check that your passport has at least six months before expiry. Many countries refuse entry to individuals who do not have six months or more before expiry. Starting in July 2013, Canadians will be able to renew their passports for 5 or 10 years. See http://travel.gc.ca/
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Canadian real estate update
We continue to believe that Canadian real estate prices have reached the top of the cycle as we have cautioned in various articles, http://tridelta.ca/The-Canadian-Financial-Planner/2012/11/30/1718/ Canadian real estate update

We have seen a continuous uptread since 2001, which is unlikely to last. Buyers should be very cautious at this stage, particularly with investment properties.

Macleans published a great article on this very topic recently, which is well worth reading, see http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/01/09/crash-and-burn/

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'TriDelta Alzheimer's Gathering' - a walk down memory lane
Save this date: June 23, 2013

Time: Registration opens at 9.30am

Venue: Erchless Estate / Lakeside Park on Navy Street

Erchless Estate

Planning is well underway for our first annual 'TriDelta Alzheimer's Gathering' event, which will take place in the beautiful setting, beneath the huge Oak trees on the Erchless Estate and neighbouring Lakeside Park at the end of Navy street in Downtown Oakville.

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4th Quarter Investment Review and 2013 Forecast
2012 was another year of recovery with some scary moments along the way.

Globally, there continues to be many signs of improvement, but still a very slow recovery from a deep recession. The key from an investment point of view is not to get caught up in your current surroundings,
4th Quarter Investment Review and 2013 Forecast
but to focus on the direction. Today, that direction is positive. As a result, we are optimistic for the year ahead.

Even with a positive general outlook, we see a few red flags ahead of us this year which will likely see temporary pull backs in the market. We will try to use these pullbacks as buying opportunities. These might include:
  1. The United States will see meaningful government spending cuts take place which will slow their growth a little this year. It will come about as part of the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling. These cuts didn’t get done with the Fiscal Cliff negotiations, but look for them to happen around March – and will likely hurt markets in the weeks leading to an announcement.
  2. The quiet in Europe is a little disconcerting. Expect some noise as new governments come in to power, continued austerity measures cause public uproar, and look for more standoffs between expectations of EU bailouts and countries that still don’t meet the criteria required to receive them.
  3. Asia and Emerging Markets seem to be moving in the right direction at the moment, but when it comes to China in particular, it is often hard to really know the whole picture. As a result, you always want to be wary about counting on China to lead markets forward. We will be looking for any government announcements that could lead to a slowdown in growth.
  4. Canada faces some challenges around possible declines in real estate valuations and the increasing energy production out of the United States. Despite these concerns, we continue to see many positives in Canada, but in some cases there may be less room for growth here than in other recovering nations.
How did we do?

2012 was a positive year for TriDelta clients. While the TSX returned 4.0% and the DEX Bond Universe returned 3.6%, most TriDelta clients had a net return somewhere in the 4% to 10% range depending on their risk tolerance.

In addition to strong net returns, our clients had a much smoother ride than the Toronto stock index. Most clients never had a month with a loss of more than 1.3% during the year, while the TSX suffered a loss of 6.3% in May. This risk minimization is important for our clients as they are looking for peace of mind from their long term financial plan, and from their month to month investment portfolio.

This combination of beating the stock market and bond market index with lower than average volatility is a fairly rare feat, and one that we are quite proud of.

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Claire's reading pick
Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle
by Ingrid Betancourt

It was around the summer of 2008 when I first heard of Ingrid Betancourt when I read newspaper articles about her release following her abduction and detention at the hands of Columbian Gorillas.
silence

At the time of her abduction she was considered to be a rising political figure championing the rights and freedoms of her native Columbians with a strong anti-corruption mandate. While her stance was popular with most Columbians it exposed her to substantial risk of retaliation and targeting by the unlawful enterprises that profit from crime in her unstable homeland. Although warned that her life was in danger she was determined to continue to forge ahead.

In 2002 those risks became reality when, while campaigning for the Presidency in a rural and dangerous area, she was abducted by a criminal organization called the FARC. For the next six and a half years she was held, with fellow abductees, in squalid conditions constantly being moved from place to place to avoid any chance of being rescued.

This book describes in detail her relationship with both her kidnappers and fellow hostages. It is about how a woman managed to maintain her sanity and retain hope when deprived of basic freedoms and retain her dignity in most appalling conditions. She stated, ""I had just lost my freedom, but I was not willing to surrender my identity."

Constantly looking for opportunities to escape and undeterred by the beatings that follow any attempts, she draws the ire of her fellow hostages as all are made to suffer when such attempts occur. Following the release of her book much was made of the often sour relationship she had with her fellow hostages but for me it demonstrates the great strength of character that she has and as most leaders and successful people know, popularity may not always accompany success.

This book details the dramatic events that occurred, Ingrid's experiences and intimate thoughts. It is a must read.

By Claire Corrie - Director, Client Service.
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Claire's viewing pick
ARGO
Following the showing of the movie ARGO at the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), much was written in the Canadian Press about the 'less than significant' credit given to Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor in his role in helping the six American Hostages escape Iran in 1979.

argo
So much so that the director and star Ben Affleck has since publically accepted that they may have downplayed his part a little. While we who live north of the border can be a little sensitive to these type of things, living in the shadow of our neighbours, that should not deter you from seeing this excellent and nail-biting movie. I know we all know the ending but as you watch the movie it still doesn't stop you wondering how they are going to manage to get out with the authorities close on their tails.

In November, 1979 when the original version of the escape publically unfolded the U.S. authorities heaped unbounded and deliberate praise on Canada for pulling off this major coup, right under the nose of the Iranians, so as to avoid retaliatory acts against the hostages that remained. While the brave and courageous role of Ken Taylor is undeniable, what was held back from public consumption until recently was the ingenious part taken by the C.I.A. in making it all happen.

The movie has been shot in such a way that you feel you are actually in Iran has the uprising against the Shah are occurring as the director has shot sequences as if they were live newsreel footages. The Americans Embassy was under siege and eventually overrun as a result of the deposed Shah of Iran being permitted to escape to the U.S. putting the numerous staff in the embassy in peril. While most of the staff were held hostage six managed to escape and found their way through the back streets to the Canadian Embassy where they waited in hope that they could be rescued, and that is really where the story begins. For those who love action movies based on real life situations I am sure you and your family will enjoy it as much as I did, I guess you could call it a little bit of escapism.

By Claire Corrie - Director, Client Service.
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