The Strategist February 2023


Two puzzle pieces joining each other.

A common saying in the wealth management industry that you’ve likely heard before is “don’t keep all your eggs in one basket”. While this could mean a number of things like avoiding concentration risk (holding a large percentage of your portfolio in one position), or splitting up accounts with multiple institutions - we have found that the latter typically complicates things more than you may know. This holds true with our Canadian clients, and more so with our cross-border clients who may hold Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA’s and Roth IRA’s), or employer sponsored retirement plans accounts (401(k) and 403(b)), receive some form of U.S pensions (social security) and/or may have IRS filing requirements due to their U.S citizenship.

Let’s look at an example:

John Smith wants to be closer to his son and daughter who both live in the Victoria area. As a result, Mr. Smith decides to relocate from the United States to Canada and plans to spend retirement in Canada. While John has worked hard at saving, he holds multiple Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA’s) in the U.S as well as a taxable investment account across multiple financial institutions. In our discovery process, John explains that one of the financial institutions can no longer serve him due to his change of address and non-residency in the U.S, as a result his IRA account is now restricted and he can only hold his current investments or sell them (no buying of new securities or rebalancing is possible). This forces John to either forgo an actively managed IRA account or move the account to another financial institution. After meeting with John and developing his 360° Wealth Strategy, he decides to have Aspira Wealth manage all of his retirement accounts.

Our team comes across the above example fairly often where clients have multiple accounts spread across multiple institutions. There typically seems to be redundancies in the overall wealth strategy, stemming from concentration risk, tax inefficiencies, asset allocation and/or asset location. The left hand doesn’t seem to know what the right hand is doing.

Benefits of Consolidation:

The building and implementation of the 360° Wealth Strategy continues to be one of the most important pieces in your overall financial strategy. It allows us to understand your situation and helps uncover a number of areas where there can be improvement, simplification, clarity and consistency to ensure that you continue to live out your greatest aspirations. Benefits of consolidation come in a number of ways:

  • Cash flow management (when is the optimal time to collect government benefits (CPP, OAS, Social Security)
  • Tax efficiencies (where and when to draw money from IRA accounts vs. taxable investment accounts)
  • Investment strategies (what should your asset allocation and location be, compliments tax efficiencies above)
  • Estate planning including wills, powers of attorney and beneficiary designations

Aspira Wealth Cross Border Services:

  • Cross-border wealth, retirement and investment planning
  • Management of Canadian and U.S. retirement accounts
  • Analysis on retirement benefits including pension plan and government assisted plans (CPP, OAS, Social Security)
  • Estate planning and risk management strategies

Should you be in a situation where you find you are overwhelmed, hold multiple accounts and want to simplify and better understand your finances, Aspira Wealth is here to help. Whether the accounts are held on both sides of the border or only in Canada, we can help you consolidate and manage your hard earned money to ensure retirement or financial freedom become a reality for you.

Clarke White, CFP®, CRPC® (USA)

Financial Planner

Update on the Team

Man holding a toddler

Yes, we all got some rest over the holidays and came back to the office hitting the refresh button on our way in the door. On a personal level, here are some highlights:

  • Melissa was treated to a White Christmas up in Nanaimo which she was thrilled about.
  • Alex had a snowboarding trip to Mount Washington with two of his daughters
  • Chris was over the moon with his first Christmas as Grampie to Willa Elizabeth
  • Ben was involved in his annual family New Year’s Olympics game night, where he was knocked off the throne as defending two-time championship
  • Clarke, being located in Kelowna, enjoyed some time on the slopes and is now an instructor with The Adaptive Ski Program
  • Joanne strolled through the beautiful Butchart Gardens with her family

Quarterly Reminders

2022 RRSP Contribution Deadline

  • March 1st

2022 Personal Tax Filing Deadline

  • April 30th

Upcoming Holiday Closures

  • February 20th (B.C. Family Day)
  • April 7th (Good Friday)

The information contained in this report was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, however, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete and it should not be considered personal tax advice. This report is provided as a general source of information and should not be considered personal investment advice or solicitation to buy or sell securities. The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James. We are not tax advisors and we recommend that clients seek independent advice from a professional advisor on tax-related matters. This provides links to other Internet sites for the convenience of users. Raymond James Ltd. is not responsible for the availability or content of these external sites, nor does Raymond James Ltd endorse, warrant or guarantee the products, services or information described or offered at these other Internet sites. Users cannot assume that the external sites will abide by the same Privacy Policy which Raymond James Ltd adheres to. Raymond James Ltd., Member—Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Raymond James (USA) Ltd. (RJLU) advisors may only conduct business with residents of the states and/or jurisdictions for which they are properly registered. Raymond James (USA) Ltd. is a member of FINRA/SIPC.