COVID-19 UPDATE - JAN. '21

BY DREW FINERTY - FINANCIAL ADVISOR



Happy 2021 Everyone,

I hope you all had a peaceful holiday season, given the health restrictions prevented us all celebrating normal year-end traditions. I am sure you all remained closed to home and stayed safe over a very unusual time to be sure. It was the first time in 36 years we didn’t have any kids/grandkids over the holidays that translated into a very quiet and relaxing few weeks. Thank goodness for Zoom and Facetime!

Goodbye 2020 and Hello 2021!

For the most part, I think most will agree it is a relief to see 2020 in the rear-view mirror and welcome in a fresh new year that will hopefully see our lives return to some normalcy by the summer or fall. There is lots to be optimistic about this year, even with the new strain of COVID and the high increase in new cases still happening daily. The roll-out of the vaccine has been slow to start, but I am confident that as the process improves the numbers of people receiving vaccinations will speed up over the next few months and, hopefully, anyone wishing to receive it will have had their shots before the summer ends.

More to Look Forward to:

It is only a few days until a new US Administration is sworn in and the anxiety & unrest of the previous regime is behind us. However, this week will be somewhat volatile with the impending second Impeachment and a slim possibility of the 25th Amendment being invoked to remove the POTUS. What does this possibly mean? Given the results in the Senate run-off in Georgia last week, it’s confirmed the Democrats will control the White House & the House of Representatives, while the Senate has become split, with the VP holding the vote tie-breaker. This could mean “a positive-scenario” for the Markets. Having control of the Senate, should allow smoother passages of programs (like the COVID Relief Stimulus, Green Tech, etc), that would be good, but might also allow other changes like raising Corporate Taxes, Big Tech split ups and Regulation changes to pass with little push-back. Rumoured Infrastructure investment would likely be received positively by all States no matter the party in place and as such, pass in the Senate and add to the economic recovery. Interest rates will be kept at all-time lows for the foreseeable future, thereby stimulating the recovering economy, aiding the consumer and servicing the high levels of Government & Consumer debt. Vaccinations are slowly rolling out and it is expected the rate of progress should increase as the weeks go by, now that the processes are becoming better managed.

Year-end Returns:

The portfolio performance for 2020 has been astonishing. What started in the first two months of the year as a positive end to the longest Bull-run in history, soon gave way to the sharpest decline of all time, when COVID-19 hit North America in mid-March. Since late April, the global Stock markets have recovered in record time and Bond markets ended positive, due to the lowering of interest rates during the pandemic. Client returns have been quite positive (some outstanding, if you were in Tech, Emerging Markets, Streaming, On-line Commerce and other work-from-home winners) as I review my December 31st returns.

RRSP & TFSA Top-Ups:

One thing hasn’t changed…and that is the RRSP contribution deadline…it is still March 1st. Although TFSA’s can be done anytime of the year, it’s always best to make your contribution early in the year to gain the compounding effect over time. We don’t plan to re-open the office until the COVID spread is under control and we see the impact of the vaccines, but meeting clients has been relatively seamless throughout the year, as more and more clients are now comfortable with a Zoom meeting to meet face-to-face, but the phone and email are still an old-school option for those who prefer that mode. Now that the Health Orders have extend the deadline to “stay home” for another month, we will need to make alternate arrangements, if we had an appointment set this month…I will contact you to discuss your contribution plans and review your portfolio, if I haven’t heard from you first. Technology has certainly accelerated our ways of “doing business” in a new world. Worldsource does allow me to accept email instructions, so if you know what you want to contribute, you can certainly email me your request and I will send you back copies for your records.

Referrals:

If you have family, friends and/or work colleagues that are looking for Financial Advice & Service, we have the capacity now at Colwood Shores to take on more clients and we would love to help anyone in your circle with their Retirement, Investing & Insurance needs, so feel free to provide them my contact details (& our website – see below…if they want to check out our team and culture)…or you can send me their name and best way to contact them and we will certainly provide the best service we offer. My colleague Jennifer offers Life, Disability and Critical Illness Insurance and is a Pro with Registered Disability & Education Plans. We also now offer “Group Retirement & Health Plans” through Employers and it is a great way to save through payroll deduction, pay less taxes at source and access health, dental and insurance protection from the work-place.

Financial Literacy Foundation:

My New Year’s Resolution is a BIG one….Together with my siblings (Mike, Maire, Janie, Ali & Dell) and the “Millennial Cousins”, we are in the process of creating a Non-Profit Foundation to advocate, promote and support Financial Literacy on Vancouver Island. Educating people on saving, investing, taxation, money-management, and protecting an estate is my greatest passion…and with the amazing help and support from my family and clients/friends, I am fortunate to be in a position to do more in my Community to help others gain financial awareness & education.

For some time, I have been considering ways I can make a difference in people’s lives on the island, and this new endeavour will allow me to use my professional experience along with the tremendous skill-sets of my siblings, children, nieces, nephews, clients/friends and others, to deliver programs, educational material and events to those lacking the knowledge, awareness and experience to become self sufficient, or financially independent. We will be hosting our First AGM (by Zoom) on Tuesday, February 2nd at 6:30pm, and if you would like to “zoom-in” and hear what we have planned, and potentially participate in our organization in whatever role you would like to volunteer, we would love to see you attend. All I need is an email from you to participate and I will send you a Zoom-Invite before then. No Obligations or Expectations.

Protect you and your loved ones!

Best wishes for a much better and healthier 2021…stay safe, wash your hands frequently, wear a mask in public and be sure to social distance yourself whenever possible…cheers.

(The information provided is solely for general and educational purposes and is based on the perspectives and opinions of the owners and writers. It is provided with the understanding that it may not be relied upon as, nor considered to be, the rendering of tax, legal, accounting, or professional advice. Please consult an appropriate professional regarding your particular circumstances. Every effort has been made to compile this material from reliable sources, however, no warranty can be made as to its accuracy or completeness. It may also include forward looking statements concerning anticipated results, circumstances, and expectations regarding future events. Forward-looking statements require assumptions to be made and are, therefore, subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. There is significant risk that predictions and other forward looking statements will not prove to be accurate. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus and/or the fund facts before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Worldsource Financial Management Inc., sponsoring mutual fund dealer. All insurance products and services are offered through Jennifer Frederiksen-Browne.)


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*Mutual Funds and Segregated Funds provided by the Fund Companies are offered through Worldsource Financial Management Inc., sponsoring mutual fund dealer. All other Products and Services are offered through Jennifer Frederiksen-Browne.

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