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TriDelta Alzheimer’s Gathering’ – a walk down memory lane

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Save this date: June 23, 2013

Time: Registration opens at 9.30am

Venue: Erchless Estate / Lakeside Park on Navy Street

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.

erchless

We’re hosting a family fun day full of activities and access to St Jude’s, the Old Post Office, Thomas House, the Oakville Armory and much more. Our special guests include the seniors home residents throughout Oakville and their families, but everyone is invited.

Our wonderful event partners include the Alzheimer’s Society, Oakville Historical Society and Oakville Museums along with many generous volunteers.

Details to follow.

The Saturday Star featured a great Q & A article recently with a dementia and Alzheimer’s expert, Dr. Tiffany Chow. This is a short, must read for all of us, see ‘Senior moment or sign of something more serious?’

 

Do “Good” Through Your Investment Portfolio

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With all the occupying going on, and dissatisfaction everywhere, I thought I might do my part to give the movement some direction.

Last I checked, one of the best ways to influence a corporation is to impact its bottom line.

With the ability of social media to influence behaviour, there is now greater power than ever for consumers to quickly support one company over another. Is there a way for investors to get in front of the curve on this?

I believe there might be, but first we need to understand how a company can be affected by being seen as a ‘good’ company versus a ‘bad’ company.

If you want to see this influence in action, check out Goodguide. This site has been gaining a lot of attention from the media and from large, multi-national companies, as it rates consumer products on their “degree of sustainability practice compliance,” against their competition. The site and others like it can potentially have a huge impact on sales by educating shoppers about the ramifications of buying a particular type of soap, shirt, car, investment, or other good.

Photo by schmopinions

Now that these types of sites or social movements can act so quickly and in such scale, a smart company might start focusing more attention on ways to make their products and services more sustainable – in a way that this large segment of the market will approve of. If as an example, the “Occupy” movement, believes that Bank A is the best of the big banks and Bank B is the worst, based on how they treat employees, how they treat the environment, the companies they partner with, and other measures, there is a real possibility of Bank A gaining market share. This can apply to grocery stores, gas stations, deodorant makers, and car manufacturers. Almost any consumer-related business. Keep in mind that these opinions can now take shape very quickly.

So what is sustainability and how might it impact how one invests?

According to David Wright, a leading sustainability and brand expert, “Sustainability not only looks at how an organization impacts the environment, but it also looks at its human resource policies, its social and community support initiatives, what company it keeps in terms of partners, and how its business efforts will influence others positively or negatively.”

Mr. Wright is president of Toronto-based Corbrico Consulting, and works with Canadian companies on their sustainability strategies, branding and implementation. “Sustainability has gained significant traction in Asia, Europe and the U.S, but has been slower to take hold in Canada. This is starting to change in a big way,” Mr. Wright said.

Of particular interest to investors is the growth of sustainability indexes across the globe. In Canada, there is the Jantzi Social Index, and globally you would find the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the NASDAQ OMX CRD Global Sustainability Index and the FTSE4Good Index (U.K.), with all at differing stages of maturity.

As an example, the Dow Global Sustainability Index (DJSI) has been in existence since 1999. On their 40-company North American index, you will find six Canadian companies (Bank of Nova Scotia, Manulife Financial, Potash, Royal Bank of Canada, Suncor and Toronto-Dominion Bank).

Now to the bottom line for investors. Does sustainability lead to investment performance?

Certain studies claim that corporate sustainability practices correlate positively with investment return. Why might this be? Here are some potential reasons:

  • It is generally indicative of good management
  • It helps companies take advantage of new trends and new markets
  • It mitigates regulatory and legal risks
  • It reduces costs by reducing waste
  • It builds brand loyalty
  • It boosts employee enthusiasm and retention

Well, so far in many cases, the numbers have not clearly shown outperformance.

For instance, the DJSI-United States Index has had a five-year performance of -1.56 per cent. versus the Dow Jones Industrial Average which performed at -1.4 per cent over the same period.

The DJSI-World Index, has had a 10-year performance of 3.79 per cent in U.S. dollars. While the Average World Stock Fund returned 4.75 per cent over the same period, according to Vanguard.

Over the past five to 10 years, the numbers wouldn’t suggest any investment magic, but I think that might be changing. With greater awareness, and most importantly the speed of Twitter and Facebook to alter public opinion, I believe that sustainability can be a tool for outperformance in the future.

Companies that want to impact what is important to a growing segment of their market, will be placing more time, resources and attention in this space. Of course, the service industries and web-based businesses that support the sustainability movement may be some of the best places to invest your money.

If the “Occupy” movement wants to focus its efforts on impacting share prices – they may just have the ability to do so. Then they will have definitely Wall Street’s attention.

Why a Fixed Rate Mortgage is now Better than a Variable Rate Mortgage

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[VIDEO] How to Prepare for a Recession

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In the case of a future recession, there are many things you can do to manage your financial situation. How may job losses effect you and what can you do to prepare? What should you do with your debts, and your outstanding investments? What about savings? In this video, I share some of my best tips, and invite readers to share theirs as well.

Write us a comment, and tell us how you would prepare for a recession.

Being Prepared for Volatile Markets

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The key investing question right now is this: How do you prepare when you don’t know what is coming next?

On Tuesday the guru said the sky was falling and on Wednesday the next guru said today is the best day to get back in the market. What is coming next?

I believe that you can be invested properly without this knowledge.

It is a bit like packing for a vacation to an unknown destination if
you really think about it. Imagine your significant other says to you “I have a surprise trip planned. It will happen next week. I have arranged everything and you have the time off. Your only job is to pack for yourself – and I won’t say where we are going.”

Let’s look a little deeper.

If you are young and carefree, you may just pack for the beach. It makes the packing light, and you guess that the worst case scenario is you stay inside to keep warm. This is a risky approach if your trip ends up in the Yukon.

If you are middle aged, and a little cautious, you may underpack, but bring some warm and cold weather clothes. You will almost certainly be re-wearing your clothes often on the trip, but at least you will have some of the right clothes. Besides, if necessary you can pay through the nose to buy what you need there. You know it will be expensive but you can afford it.

If you are older, and more cautious you may just say no to the whole thing. Too much uncertainty. Of course, you may also have passed on one of the best trips of your life. If you are convinced to go, you are going to be prepared, you will pack three suitcases, one for each type of weather. It will be heavy, the new baggage fees will be expensive, but you just never know.

All three of these approaches might be right for the different individuals.

Of course, you may have some insight. After all, you have been together for years. Would the trip planner want to go someplace quiet or adventurous? Hot or cold? Where did you go last time? What was their favourite holiday? Did they mention a certain place they always wanted to go? What is the global weather picture looking like? Is this a global warming year or a deep freeze year?

Three steps to knowing when you are ready for retirement

You will try and use this insight to help determine whether to take an extra blanket or bathing suit.

You may also think about your own comfort in the elements. Do you mind wearing shorts when it is five degrees outside? People call you crazy, but you almost never wear a winter jacket. Or maybe you’ve already worn your winter jacket a couple of times this late summer. You simply don’t like the cold.

Depending on your personal comfort with the elements, you may tend to err on the side of warmth or err on the side of a smaller bag.

The fact is, the markets, just like your vacation destination, are very uncertain at the moment. We are all trying to search for clues, and you may be more confident in one direction than the other.

In my opinion, it is all of the other things that are most important for you. It isn’t so important to know the destination, but it is important to know you. Know your hopes and those of your family. Know what type of person you are. Know whether you are just fine buying your $300 hiking gear for $600 at the base camp, or whether that would be enough to ruin the trip for you. To understand how important it is to you to have all your clothes laid out for the week, or whether you are okay with a little more chaos. Do you like to travel light or do you want to have everything with you?

I truly think that the job of a financial professional today is more about making sure that you and your family are prepared properly for your goals, your needs and your fears. Especially now. If that part is taken care of, then you will be able to manage whichever market is directly ahead of us. If those goals, needs and fears are not directly driving your investment strategy and the makeup of your portfolio, it is time to review how it is being done.

Of course, if you guess right you will be further ahead than if you guess wrong, but do you really want to be guessing about your financial future in these markets – especially if your retirement is on the line? Not me. I want to be prepared for all of them.

TriDelta Challenge for Alzheimer’s: Official Launch

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This newsletter marks our official launch of the TriDelta Challenge for Alzheimer Research.

At TriDelta we focus on the goals and aspirations of those approaching or in retirement and increasingly see the effects of Alzheimer’s. We see many clients that have worked hard, raised a family and are looking forward to their retirement – just as one of their parents becomes increasingly dependent due to the disease. It completely changes the lives and adds expense to the parents and often their children.

At TriDelta we felt a close connection to Alzheimer’s and decided to take some tangible action in providing renewed hope and raise much needed funds for Alzheimer’s research.

Our objectives are as follows:

  1. Raise funds for Alzheimer’s research to find the elusive cure.
  2. Increase awareness by delivering knowledge to reduce our complacency to this serious threat.
    Recent research shows that while more than half of us know someone with Alzheimer’s, 90% of us don’t know much about the disease. At TriDelta we hope to improve awareness and knowledge about the disease.

Here is a powerful Alzheimer’s advertisement from the UK effectively demonstrating why TriDelta chose to support this worthy cause.

Please click here to view our new donations page, which will enable you to contribute to the Canadian Alzheimer’s Society via our ‘TriDelta Challenge for Alzheimer Research’.

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