52 Weeks to Success in 2013

Happy New Year! The time for fresh starts and better endings. The time for setting resolutions that this year will be different. Did you know that the top three New Year’s Resolutions are:
1. Lose weight / get in shape
2. Improve your financial position / make more money / get out of debt
3. Stop smoking

Personally I am not a fan of resolutions. I find resolutions rarely, if ever, work. Resolutions are all about the start. The moment you have a hiccup, fall off the wagon, or don’t do something absolutely perfect you quit. The standing joke about New Year’s Resolutions lasting till about January 2 is unfortunately way too accurate.

On the other hand I am a huge fan of goals. Goals on the other hand are all about how you finish. Goals are more realistic, have a plan, and don’t expect you to be perfect, just persistent. Goals deal with the daily and weekly steps you need to take in order to achieve your objective.

Over the next year, in 52 easy steps, we are going to take you through everything you need to look at to set up a healthy and balanced financial plan. If you are committed to doing the work you will be astounded at the positive changes you will see in your bottom line, your plans for the future, and your general state of being.

Financial success is not rocket science and doesn’t require anything more than a decision followed by simple daily and weekly actions. I challenge you to make the choice to really make 2013 different, not just for the first few days or weeks, but for the entire year. Build upon the things you already know and do by making small, incremental steps towards the life you really want.

I look forward to taking this journey with you and seeing where we end up on December 31, 2013. Please feel to write me with any questions or comments you may have.

“Fall down seven times, get up eight.”
Japanese Proverb

Is Your Car Taking You To Your Retirement Dreams?

When a mechanic is fixing your car, it’s probably a good idea for that mechanic to have as many tools he can. Your car is a complex system with many moving parts that, when working properly, takes you to your destination.

When you and your advisor are putting together your financial tools to reach your retirement destination, it’s also a good idea to have as many tools working for you to give you the best chance to reach your goal.

With conventional investments, the structure of the tools is fairly uniform… mutual funds.

In the Exempt Market, the structure of the tools varies, which in a lot of ways provides a complementary relationship for the overall tool kit. Here are a few tools to help the drive to your retirement destination be as smooth as possible…

Mortgage Investment Corporations (MICs) are investment structures that collect money from investors and then lends that money out in the form of mortgages. These investments are generally lower risk with the protection of the capital coming from the collateral. Unfortunately, these investments pay dividends that are taxed as interest income, so it will take the full brunt from Revenue Canada.

Flow Through Shares are special type of share that allows certain expenses to “flow through” to the end investor. Companies in the mining, oil and gas industries will use these structures to obtain capital to fund their operations. The strongest elements of these types of investments are their tax effectiveness. One of the best ways to minimize your tax bill is utilizing flow through shares.

Real Estate Income Trusts (REITs) are a way to participate in real estate, without having to collect late rent cheques or clean toilets. The good manager of the REIT will manage the asset while ensuring that it is in good order and revenue is coming in on a consistent basis.

Private Equity allows investors to be part of the ownership of an operating company through structures such as preferred shares or limited partnership units. Companies who are looking for growth capital, finance assets or to buy out competitors will often come to the Exempt Market to fund their initiatives.

These are just a few types of investment tools in the Exempt Market. Future articles will include more types and the benefits associated with them.


Marty Gunderson is a self proclaimed Exempt Market geek. He has served in a variety of leadership positions in the industry, from sales to issuer to dealer. He is the founder of www.BetterReturns.ca, a site that highlights a few quality exempt market offerings.  To contact Marty, please email marty (at) idealeader.ca