Tim Paziuk’s Blog

How Many Degrees of Separation Are Between You and Your Money?

May 22nd, 2013

Have you ever considered how many degrees of separation exist between you and your money?

When it comes to people, the theory is that everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. This is referred to as “Six Degrees of Separation,” popularized by John Guare, who wrote a play in 1990 and later a film in 1993 by the same title.

Notwithstanding the popularity of this theory, I don’t know whether it’s true or not. What I do know is that the more degrees of separation that exists between you and your money, the more it’s going to cost you and the less you’re going to get.

Let’s start with zero degrees of separation. An example would be an investment in you, […]

Financial Planners May Not Have Your Best Interests in Mind

May 10th, 2013

There is a major battle going on in the financial services industry, and your welfare is at stake.

At war is the Government of Canada, represented by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and the entire financial services industry including investment firms, mutual fund companies, banks, insurance companies and just about everyone else who handles your money.

What’s the war over? Whether or not the person you’re trusting to invest your money is legally required to act in your best interest. Right now, they only have to make sure the investments they’re selling you are “suitable.”

Just to be fair, no shots have been fired and no one has lost his or her life. As a matter of fact, all theCSA has done so […]

Have Some Life-Long Debt, Son

May 2nd, 2013

Most people would agree that you shouldn’t have to pay someone else’s tax bill. Despite all of the myths surrounding tax filing, this one is actually in accordance with Canadian law.

If a relative of yours were to die owing money, you have no obligation to pay their debts. It doesn’t matter who they are, parents, siblings, aunts or uncles. If they have spent all their money, and die having nothing but debts, you’re in the clear. However, unlike people whose debts die with them, a government’s debt is carried forward forever (or until it’s paid off). As we move through time, we’re getting closer and closer to the point where it will be impossible to “clear our tab.”

Debt numbers are always […]

You’re Being Taxed on Your Tax-Free Savings Account

April 25th, 2013

If you’re a parent, you know that feeling when your child doesn’t want to listen to you. Sometimes you just want to send them to their room and make them stay there until they’ll listen. When I was growing up, my “time outs” for being defiant were dealt with in a little more physical manner. Regardless, you know what I’m talking about.

The point is that I wish we could call a “time out” for politicians. Wouldn’t it be great if we could send them to some dark room in Parliament and make them think about what they’re doing? Case in point is the constant barrage of reports and media articles telling us that Canadians are not saving enough for retirement.

A typical […]

The Top Five Ways to Save For Retirement

April 19th, 2013

As promised, here is the sequel to my blog “Why Canadians Are Being Set Up to Fail for Retirement.”When it comes to dealing with money, there are two simple ways to break it down: things you can control and things you can’t. Once you understand the things that you can control, the next thing is to “try” not to worry about the things you can’t. Here are my top five ways to take control.

1. Investment Choices

If you’re involved with a company defined contribution plan (DCPP) or group RRSP, you may only have control of the investment choices. If that’s all you have control over, then make sure you understand what costs are associated with each investment and how to get the […]

RBC’s CEO Isn’t the Only Boss With an Obscene Salary

April 11th, 2013

This blog was meant to be a sequel to last week’s about how Canadians are being set up to fail with retirement; however, in response to the backlash surrounding RBC this week, and in particular, against RBC CEO Gordon Nixon, let’s look at how CEOs are compensated. Last year, RBC posted record earnings of $7.5 Billion and CEO Nixon received a pay hike of $2.5 million — with millions in stock and option-based awards, incentives, and bonuses — for meeting or exceeding expectations set out by the board of directors.

I thought that was pretty shocking until I read that Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. Chief Executive, Hunter Harrison “earned” $49.2 million in 2012. Comparatively, Dean Connor, the Chief Executive of Sun Life Financial Inc., only “earned” […]

Why Canadians Are Being Set Up to Fail for Retirement

April 4th, 2013

It is clearer than ever that most Canadians have to fend for themselves when it comes to retirement.

A few decades ago, most working Canadians had access to a Defined Benefit Pension Plan. This meant that when you retired you would receive some form of regular income for the rest of your life. To make sure that all working Canadians had access to this kind of security, the government established the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) in 1966.

For most retired Canadians, the combination of an employer’s Defined Benefit Pension Plan, CPP and Old Age Security (OAS) provided them with a secure retirement lifestyle. Back in the “good old days,” people didn’t have to worry about how their money was being managed. They […]

The Real Meaning of “Private” and “Exclusive” in the Banking World.

March 26th, 2013

When it comes to marketing, a name can mean everything. When it comes to investing, it means absolutely nothing.

Over the last year, for example, there has been an increase in the number of firms that are offering Private Investment Council or Private Investment Pools. Why? Because people are foolish enough to believe that these things are special. What a load of crap!

When I started in the life insurance business, I remember a trainer saying that if you packaged it right you could sell ‘sh#!’. I had forgotten about that until the day I was driving down a rural road and saw bags of the stuff for sale. Of course it was horse manure, but I had to smile when I […]

Cyprus Joins the List of Top 10 Bank Heists!

March 25th, 2013

With thousands of large depositors in Cyprus losing as much as 40% of their money to bail out a near-bankrupt government, it brings to mind the legendary words of bank robber Willie Sutton, “I rob banks because that’s where the money is.” Willie may be credited with saying these words, but his career earnings (estimated at $2 million) pale by comparison to the 10 most incredible bank heists in history.

Here’s a list

Saddam Hussein Steals 1 Billion from the Iraq Bank in 2003
Bank Guards Steal $300 Million from Iraq Bank 2007
Kent Security Depot Robbery of $92.5 Million 2006
Knightsbridge Security Deposit Robbery of $98 Million 1987
The Reichsbank Robbery in Berlin (estimated at $3 Billion)
Banco Central burglary at Fortaleza 2005 $94 Million
The Great Train Robbery 1963 […]

News 1130 Radio Interview

March 25th, 2013

Tim recently spoke with Tammy Moyer of Vancouver’s News 1130 radio about what to do with your tax return and how important it is to seek independent advice.

Listen to the radio spot here: Tim Paziuk News1130

If you have any questions or comments about the interview please feel free to contact us.


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