DEC 23, 2013

WEALTH WITH WISDOM – “HOW TO THINK LIKE A TURKEY”

BY KEITH THOMSON

Clearly, I realize this video is a TV advert for the British retailer John Lewis. Cleverly, it utilizes a John Lennon song to amplify the commercial’s impact. Creatively, it is a slick piece of marketing that is directly targeted to tug on our heart strings. And ultimately – at least from my perspective – how did the producers know that I’m partial to penguins? Taking…

DEC 16, 2013

CAN WE BEAT OUR OWN DRUM?

BY KEITH THOMSON

Please read the Globe & Mail article on Stonegate’s parent company CI Financial. This is not just a recent blip on the screen, but rather a continuous multi year track record of success.  CI stock for years and years has traded at one of the highest multiples in our industry. Analysts and the Market expect CI’s performance to lead its publicly traded peers (Scotia Bank Daily Edge) with management adapting well to…

SEP 26, 2013

COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE TAKING ON MORE DEBT THAN EVER BEFORE

BY KEITH THOMSON

I’ve always been a strong advocate for the importance of higher education in Canada. College opens so many doors for students after graduation, helping them to network, learn valuable skills, and prove they have what it takes to succeed in a particular field. With all that said, we can’t forget the side of higher education that isn’t sunny and optimistic: paying for it. The good…

SEP 18, 2013

TORONTO GARLIC FESTIVAL

BY KEITH THOMSON

Pack your silverware and breath mints—seriously, bring some gum or something—the Toronto Garlic Festival is almost here! The annual event, now in its third year, will take place on Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto. The festival is open to all garlic lovers, growers, and chefs—plus, there is a guarantee that no vampires will be present. There…

SEP 10, 2013

ECONOMISTS EXPECT WEAK LOONIE TO STICK AROUND FOR MONTHS

BY KEITH THOMSON

As many in the financial industry have alluded to, the weak loonie is expected to continue the downward trend in value. According to a recent Business News Network article, the Canadian dollar is predicted to drop even further against the U.S. dollar in the next few months, and remain weaker for a longer period of time than earlier predictions stated. The most recent predictions of…

SEP 4, 2013

LIMITED-TIME EXHIBITS AT THE ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM IN TORONTO

BY KEITH THOMSON

As a proud Toronto business, we highly encourage clients and visitors to check out the Royal Ontario Museum whenever they’re in the city. Truly one of the great cultural spectacles of Toronto, the museum gives guests a rounded view of ancient civilizations, biodiversity, Canadian history, contemporary culture, earth and space science, fossils and evolution, fashion, and world art. There are a few limited-time exhibits currently…

AUG 28, 2013

CLIMB THE CN TOWER IN TORONTO

BY KEITH THOMSON

A member of our Toronto community once held a title for 30 years (no, it’s not the Leafs, unfortunately). That impressive champ still stands tall—literally—as part of Toronto’s skyline. Once the world’s tallest structure, the CN Tower has now been eclipsed by the Burj Dubai. The CN Tower was completed in 1976 by railroad giant Canadian National. The pillar of hollow concrete stands at 553…

AUG 22, 2013

CANADIAN FINANCIAL CHALLENGES

BY KEITH THOMSON

As Canada’s economy continues to recover, the Bank of Canada is maintaining a policy rate of 1%, declaring that the monetary stimulus will remain until the economic improvement. Despite positive steps, the country is not quite in the clear. A recent article from the Financial Post highlights four challenges facing Canada’s economy. This would create raise in U.S. private demand. It would likely be accompanied by…

AUG 14, 2013

CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION IN TORONTO

BY KEITH THOMSON

As a proud Toronto-based business, it’s amazing to see the national and international events that this great city hosts, showing off just how great Toronto is. Coming up soon is one of our favorite events, demonstrating the pride, heritage, and culture of Canada. The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is set for Aug. 16 to Sep. 2 in Toronto. With so much to do and see, it…

AUG 8, 2013

GM CANADA RETIREES WIN CASE

BY KEITH THOMSON

After retiring from a company in Canada, especially a large corporation, most employees expect a safety net for their financial future to be upheld by their former employer. In a recent case, an Ontario court ruled that General Motors Canada broke an agreement with some of its retired workers when it cut health care and life insurance benefits in 2009. This was part of GM’s effort…

JUL 23, 2013

EXIT STRATEGY OPTIONS

BY KEITH THOMSON

Something that many entrepreneurs overlook early in the development of a company is their goodbye. A successful exit strategy is something that takes time and planning; the sooner you start, the smoother and more rewarding your eventual exit is likely to be. An article from Inc. discusses a few basic exit strategy options for leaving a company. Here, I’ll highlight three of the most common…

JUL 15, 2013

SUMMER SAVING ACROSS CANADA

BY KEITH THOMSON

This summer, Canadians are zipping up their purses and closing up their wallets, as saving is the trend. A recent article from Financial Post tells why the piggy banks are trying to put on a little extra weight. A BMO report released on June 6 shows that the majority of Canadians will be looking to save money for the next few months. The summer spending…

JUL 8, 2013

MAJOR JAZZ FESTIVAL A TORONTO TRADITION

BY KEITH THOMSON

If you’re a jazz enthusiast, casual listener, or are just looking for a summer party, then Toronto has the event for you. Embracing the cultural diversity of Toronto, the Beaches International Jazz Festival is set for July 19-28. The event is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and is expected to continue in Toronto for years to come. The festival began in 1989, when top…

JUL 1, 2013

OUTDOOR ART SHOW IN TORONTO

BY KEITH THOMSON

As a business owner in Toronto, I recognize the importance of continued cultural and artistic growth. Art is important to our city’s ingenuity and creativity, and I want to promote upcoming events in the area. On July 5, 6, and 7, experience the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, held at Nathan Phillips Square and only a 20-minute walk from my office.

JUN 25, 2013

TIME TO EXPAND THE PENSION PLAN

BY KEITH THOMSON

There is a lot of debate regarding whether or not the Canada pension plan should be expanded. In June, Finance Ministers will meet to further discuss and ultimately decide whether or not the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) should be expanded, according to the article. The plan put forth by the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) would, over time, increase CPP benefits.

JUN 18, 2013

TORONTO JAZZ FESTIVAL

BY KEITH THOMSON

Calling all jazz fans: the TD Toronto Jazz Festival will offer an outstanding line-up of jazz musicians this month, from June 29 through June 29! Join more than half a million other jazz fans at over 60 locations in Toronto to experience exciting musical performances. More than 1,500 musicians, including Smokey Robinson, Eliane Elias, Boz Scaggs, and Willie Nelson & Family, will perform 350 concerts…

JUN 11, 2013

5 ESTATE PLANNING MISTAKES TO AVOID

BY KEITH THOMSON

For many, estate planning isn’t exactly an appealing activity. However, it is an important thing to do in order to ensure your last wishes are properly carried out and that your loved ones are taken care of. Here are some common mistakes to be on the lookout for: 1.) Not giving enough thought to the executor. Being the executor of an estate is a BIG…

JUN 4, 2013

SCARBOROUGH FILM FESTIVAL IN TORONTO

BY KEITH THOMSON

Are you a movie buff? Do you love checking out the latest non-Hollywood films? If so, be sure to check out this year’s Scarborough Film Festival. The Scarborough Film Festival is yearly event that lasts six days. The festival showcases local, Canadian, and world cinema in a variety of genres, including feature length and short films. In addition to film screenings, the festival will present…

MAY 27, 2013

NEWS STORY: PAPER OR PLASTIQ

BY KEITH THOMSON

This year, Canadians have a new option for paying taxes: Plastic (credit card). Jamie Golombek reports in “Will that be Cash or Plastiq?” Plastiq Inc., an online payment provider headquartered in Boston, MA, announced in March that Canadians can now pay their personal income tax to the Canada Revenue Agency with any credit card. This option is not only convenient (in comparison to using a…

MAY 20, 2013

DOORS OPEN TORONTO

BY KEITH THOMSON

Toronto holds a lot to be discovered in terms of everything from architecture to culture. Even residents who have lived in the great city their entire lives probably haven’t stumbled upon all of its hidden gems. However, the Doors Open Toronto event is a great opportunity to explore the city. Doors Open Toronto is an annual festival that was first held in 2000 and is…

MAY 13, 2013

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE FAMILY BUSINESS AFTER YOUR DEATH?

BY KEITH THOMSON

Estate planning can be a complex and difficult series of decisions. Not only does it ask one to consider his or her own mortality but also to decide who should get the things acquired after a lifetime of work. However, when a family business is involved, the estate planning process can take on a whole new dimension. Will you leave the business to your children…

MAY 6, 2013

TORONTO SCIENCE RENDEZVOUS

BY KEITH THOMSON

If you consider yourself a bit of a “nerd” or just want to enjoy a free educational event, make sure you don’t miss out on Science Rendezvous this year! Science Rendezvous is a unique event; it is the only national science festival hosted by 40 of Canada’s top institutions over a period of just one day. The goal? To reinvigorate the interest of Canadians (especially…

APR 23, 2013

BETTER OPTIONS FOR GIVING TO CHARITY THAN THROUGH YOUR WILL

BY KEITH THOMSON

For many Canadians, philanthropy is an important part of their legacy—myself included. Unfortunately, when planning how they will give to their preferred charities, many individuals and families do not realize that they can maximize their impact. And the failure to do so means that these well-meaning people are paying needless taxes and are minimizing the amount that they could be giving to the causes closest…

APR 16, 2013

BIG 6 BANKS IN CANADA DEEMED "TOO BIG TO FAIL"

BY KEITH THOMSON

Federal regulators have recent deemed Canada’s largest banks “too big to be allowed to fail for the country,” according to a recent article by The Canadian Press. The classification was given based on a framework from the Basel committee on banking oversight, which guides the assessment of Canada’s financial institutions, reported the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OFSI).

APR 9, 2013

TORONTO ART EXPO OFFERS EXCITING FINDS

BY KEITH THOMSON

One of the most-loved art events in Toronto, the Toronto Art Expo offers guests the opportunity to explore a myriad of captivating works of art. The expo, which attracts art connoisseurs from across the globe, will feature works from over 200 Canadian and international artists and galleries. Several of this year’s “must-see” works include “A Touch of Glass & Stone, Metal & Wood: Sculpture North,”…

APR 3, 2013

TORONTO SILENT FILM FESTIVAL BRINGS SILENT FILMS TO LIFE

BY KEITH THOMSON

The Toronto Silent Film Festival is more than the average trip to the movie theatre: it is a unique, thrilling artistic experience. Each year, the six-day festival shows some of the most outstanding silent films throughout history. At each of these screenings, the films are accompanied by live, improvised music performed by talented musicians. Following the sweeping success of the Oscar-winning silent film The Artist,…

MAR 24, 2013

THE WATER CZAR: R.C. HARRIS WORKS FOR TORONTO, 1912-45

BY KEITH THOMSON

March is the last chance to visit this fun exhibit, The Water Czar: R.C. Harris Works for Toronto, 1912-45. The exhibit is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the City of Toronto Market Gallery. Admission to the event is free, but donations are suggested. The exhibit follows R. C. Harris’s “unmatched 33-year career as…

MAR 18, 2013

RATINGS CUT FOR SIX CANADIAN LENDERS

BY KEITH THOMSON

Moody’s Investors Service has cut the ratings of six Canadian lenders, “due to concerns about rising consumer debt and high housing prices,” according to Yahoo! Finance. Moody’s cut the “Aaa” rating of Toronto-Dominion Bank, which was not expected. Toronto-Dominion, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Bank of Montreal, National Bank of Canada, and Caisse Central Desjardins were all downgraded in Moody’s most…

MAR 11, 2013

TORONTO PHOTOGRAPHY CAMP

BY KEITH THOMSON

Throughout the month of March, GTA Photography Classes offers Toronto’s Photography Camp 2013 for teens, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. This is a fun class, particularly for teens that might not have the opportunity to take an art class in school. Every day of camp, students get to shoot in new locations near the GTA studio. Students visit places like Harbourfront, Sugar Beach, Distillery…

MAR 4, 2013

YOUR RRSP: SURPRISING TRUTHS

BY KEITH THOMSON

Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) used to be simple because there were few variations. The days of simply contributing to an RRSP and watching your money grow are over. According to an article in MoneySense, “Things radically changed in 2009” when Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) came to be. Some might see that TFSAs are more beneficial for them than the traditional RRSP.

FEB 25, 2013

MANY CANADIANS GIVING UP ON RETIREMENT SAVINGS

BY KEITH THOMSON

A shockingly low number of Canadians place retirement savings as a high priority on their financial planning to-do list, according to a recent article in the Financial Post. In 1957, the Canadian government created the RRSP to supplement the Canada Pension Plan and encourage citizens to save for retirement. However, few take advantage of the fact that they can contribute as much as 18% of…

FEB 18, 2013

PALETTE OF POP CULTURE

BY KEITH THOMSON

The Palette of Pop Culture exhibit has been at the Legends Gallery of Fine Art Photography since October 2012, but February is the last month it will be on display! We know that sometimes you learn some event has passed and think, ‘Oh I really wanted to see that!’ Well, here’s your chance! There is no entry fee, and you can buy the photos on…

FEB 11, 2013

MYTHBUSTERS: CANADIAN RETIREMENT

BY KEITH THOMSON

Often, in the news, we hear about the retirement crisis and how Canadians struggle with building a nest egg. Yahoo! Finance reports that there is a new book out to dispel this popular myth. The book is called The Real Retirement: Why You Could Be Better Off Than You Think, and How to Make That Happen, co-authored by Fred Vettese and Bill Morneau. Fred Vettese is…

FEB 4, 2013

THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES COME TO TORONTO

BY KEITH THOMSON

The Marvelous Wonderettes come to the Lower Ossington Theatre in Toronto! The shows goes on from February 1-10, 2013 on Sunday at 2 p.m. and Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. What are the Marvelous Wonderettes? This fun show takes place in 1958 at a high school prom. The Wonderettes are four girls with big hopes and dreams. Audiences get to see how their lives have played…

JAN 22, 2013

TORONTO'S WINTERLICIOUS

BY KEITH THOMSON

Winterlicious 2013 is Toronto’s biggest winter culinary celebration! At Winterlicious, you will be able to discover unique culinary events as well as almost 200 local restaurants from January 25 to February 7, 2013. You can buy tickets to the event for one day or multiple days! Make sure you make reservations for the local restaurants by January 10, 2013. The restaurants are offering prix fixe…

JAN 15, 2013

WILL 2013 BRING AN EMPLOYMENT BOOM?

BY KEITH THOMSON

The New Year is predicted to bring in new jobs for Canadians, according to Yahoo! Finance. Transportation and public utility companies are the most confident going into the new year, but they still remain careful. Yahoo! Finance reports that a recently released quarterly survey of more than 1,900 Canadian employers shows a net 13% expected to add jobs in the first 3 months of 2013…

JAN 8, 2013

TORONTO TURNS US ON

BY KEITH THOMSON

The Toronto Community Foundation exemplifies the art of wise philanthropic giving by helping Toronto residents donate to the community in the most impactful way possible. Recently, the foundation has put together a video for Toronto Turns Us On called “Toronto’s Final Timelapse.” Please visit the Toronto Community Foundation to view the whole video.

JAN 1, 2013

CANADA’S TRIPLE-A RATING REAFFIRMED

BY KEITH THOMSON

Standard & Poor’s upheld the government of Canada’s Triple-A rating and praised Canada for its strong economy. While some countries are seeing high unemployment and low stock values, Canada is holding tough. According to the Department of Finance, Minister of Finance, The Honourable Jim Flaherty, issued a statement in response to Standard & Poor’s ratings report:...

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Keith

Thomson

    CFP®, CIM®, FCSI®

15 York Street, Second Floor,
Suite 101
Toronto, ON M5J 0A3

Phone: (416) 681-7152
Fax: (416) 681-7170
Email: kthomson@stonegatepc.com