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Feb 8, 2013

Canada housing starts plunge in January

TORONTO, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Canadian housing starts plunged
in January as both single and multiple starts fell, particularly
in Ontario, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp said on Friday in a
report that showed the housing market was weakening even faster
than expected.

The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of housing starts
was 160,577 units in January, down from 197,118 in December. The
December figure was revised down from the 197,976 units reported
previously.

Feb 7, 2013

Canada wealth managers see growth in philanthropic advice

TORONTO (Reuters) – Gina McDonnell’s ancestors ran the family’s diverse charitable foundation for two generations before a retiring uncle turned to the Bank of Nova Scotia for help.

For the past 20 years, the bank’s Scotia Trust and Scotia Asset Management units have done everything from managing the assets and sorting through grants to ensuring compliance and providing independent auditors. They even host the meetings – and order the sandwiches – when the family gathers four times a year to discuss its charity.

Feb 1, 2013

Too many clients pose tough choices for Canada wealth advisers

TORONTO, Feb 1 (Reuters) – Canadian financial adviser Taylor
Hewson said it can be little awkward when he approaches clients
of his father’s who haven’t been contacted in years. But most of
the time, he comes away with an interested investor to add to
his own business.

As second-generation financial advisers in Regina, Hewson
and his brother have full permission to mine his father’s list
of old, less profitable or neglected clients as they seek to
build a partnership and plan for eventual business succession.

Jan 30, 2013

Alberta wealth manager urges leadership, eschews trendy products

TORONTO (Reuters) – Comparing wealth managers who exploit niche markets to tobacco companies who make “light” cigarettes, the head of investment at Alberta’s largest bank said it is time the industry started leading investors rather than feeding them trendy products.

“Far too many firms are cranking out whatever advisers and clients are asking for at the moment, and we’ve ended up with thousands and thousands of funds, most of them are quite mediocre,” said Sheldon Dyck, president of ATB Investor Services, the wealth management arm of ATB Financial, Alberta’s state-owned bank.

Jan 30, 2013

AGF Management profit tops expectations

TORONTO, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Canadian fund manager AGF
Management Ltd reported higher-than-expected quarterly
earnings on Wednesday and said it intends to renew its share
repurchase program.

Fourth-quarter net income from continuing operations fell to
C$13.0 million from C$18.0 million a year earlier. Revenue and
assets under management declined 14.9 percent amid weak investor
confidence and an overall industry slump.

Jan 25, 2013

For financial advisers, good prospects are hard to find

TORONTO (Reuters) – Every financial adviser faces the uphill battle of building a customer base through referrals, networking, cold-calling and marketing – and the memory of his early days of seeking clients still haunts Christopher Dewdney.

“The first years were very difficult,” recalls the Toronto financial adviser, who now has nine years under his belt.

Jan 24, 2013

Canadian financial advisers turn to coaches, mentors

TORONTO, Jan 24 (Reuters) – It often starts with a case of
weekly dread. Frustrated financial advisers, overwhelmed or
under water, need objective advice. With few formal supports
available in an industry that breeds fierce competition, they
seek out a coach or mentor.

“It’s typically someone sitting late on a Sunday night,
playing ‘Gee ain’t it awful,’ in their mind, and then getting up
on Monday morning and saying ‘I need some help’,” said business
coach George Hartman.

Jan 23, 2013

Canada house prices fall in December from Nov-Teranet

TORONTO, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Canadian home prices fell in
December from November and year-over-year price gains were the
lowest in three years as Canada’s housing market continued to
cool, the Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index
showed on Wednesday.

The index, which measures price changes for repeat sales of
single-family homes, showed overall prices fell 0.4 percent in
December from a month earlier, the fourth straight monthly
decline, a first outside of a recession, and the fourth December
monthly decline in 13 years of data.

Jan 17, 2013

Canada wealth managers lure clients with websites

TORONTO, Jan 17 (Reuters) – The Bank of Montreal’s
relatively new website has everything an investor might need,
from wealth calculators to videos, worksheets, checklists and
information to tie it all together. But with so much free advice
on offer, is there still a need for investors to contact the
bank’s financial advisers?

The executives who designed the site believe so.

“It’s like WebMD – you might check your symptoms, but in the
end, you’re always going to go see the doctor if you’re really
concerned,” said Lisa Parise, director of Enterprise Wealth
Planning at BMO, Canada’s fourth-largest bank.

Jan 15, 2013

Wealth managers battle Canadian reluctance to save

TORONTO, Jan 15 (Reuters) – With more Canadians saying they
can’t afford to invest, the country’s big banks are struggling
to persuade people that socking away a little money now is the
only path to a secure retirement.

While Canadians once outpaced their U.S. counterparts in
terms of savings, the nation’s luck in avoiding the worst of the
recession and financial crisis meant few learned the painful
lesson of too much debt, and fewer than ever feel able to save
for retirement.