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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.

Jan 15, 2013

Canada December home sales dip, prices hold steady

TORONTO, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Sales of existing homes in
Canada fell in December from November and year-over year sales
tumbled, the Canadian Real Estate Association said on Tuesday,
further evidence Canada’s once-hot housing market has slumped.

CREA, the industry group for Canadian real estate agents,
said in a report that sales activity was down 0.5 percent in
December from November, the third consecutive monthly decline.

Jan 10, 2013

Claymore founder launches Canada asset manager

TORONTO, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Som Seif, founder and former
president of Claymore Investments Inc, has launched a Canadian
asset management firm aimed at low-fee investments for
institutional and retail investors, unveiling its first fund on

The new firm, Toronto-based Purpose Investments, promises to
use rules-based investment management to keep fees low and risk
in check, a semi-passive management structure that hopes to
appeal to investors who like the low fees of the exchange traded
funds (ETFs) that made Claymore such a success.

Jan 10, 2013

Canadians pin retirement dreams on not-so-safe houses

TORONTO, Jan 10 (Reuters) – A long bull run in Canadian
house prices and painful memories of the 2009 financial crisis
have convinced many Canadians that their retirement dreams are
best left at their own doorsteps – a strategy that many
financial planners consider risky.

Indeed, more Canadians than ever are relying on appreciation
in the value of their homes to pay the bills in their golden
years. It’s a trend that worries advisers, especially as savings
rates decline and more people say they are comfortable carrying
debt into retirement.