April 30, 2008, 6:00 am

My Thoughts on Private Investment Management

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Investment, Market and Risk,Trading

The other day, I explained this new trend called “Private Investment Management”. Is it another complex financial product created only to confuse investors? Or is it the new revelation in term of investment and wealth management? I would say that it is something in between the 2 extremes 😉 In fact, I truly believe that this kind of product has its place on the investment market.


It is good for people who like diversification

The important factor about the PIM is that your money is managed by different fund manager specialized and successful in their niche. You have the possibility of selecting the best managers over the past 10 years for each asset class.

Even better, the financial institution offering the product made the research for you. They already took care of selecting from the best performers and they give them mandates to manage additional money according to their philosophy.

It is tax efficient

Most fund managers are trying to be as tax efficient as possible. This means that they do not sell their whole portfolio every year. Every time that a stock is sold within the fund, a capital gain will be triggered (taxed!) and reported to the government. This is why you receive capital gain slips last year even though your funds went down 5% 😉

MER’s fees are not only lower but they are also tax deductible. You will most likely never see a PIM product with MER’s over 2%. Most of them are between 1% and 2%. Don’t we like paying less for getting more?

It is prestigious

Okay, this point has nothing to do with a rational argument. However, wealthy people like terms like “Private Investment Management” or “Wealth Management” or even “Private Banking Services”. Your statement will still show investments and returns, but it will be written in a nice way with a sophisticated presentation.

Clients usually receive more information on what is included in their portfolio. They will get full financial statements with all the stocks and investment products within their portfolio. It is always fun to know what you are holding!

Private Investment Management is obviously not for everybody. I am thinking of independent investors that would hate this kind of product as they have to give away their decision power to someone else. On the other side, how many independent investors are beating the markets? With a PIM, you have more chances of performing well and avoid most of market debacles.

In the end, it is a really good product for those who don’t have the time or the interest in managing their own portfolio and they are wealthy enough to benefit from a well diversified (high class) type of investment product.

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April 29, 2008, 6:00 am

Integrated Capital Management Review

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Reviews

Showing an aggressive bull as their main icon, I first thought that Integrated Capital Management (ICM) was an investment web site. In fact, they are a Tampa mortgage company. Since they look like to offer many options, I gladly accepted to write a review in order to give you my thoughts on their site.


What is Integrated Capital Management?

ICM is concentrated in mortgage product services and information. It has been created mainly to provide mortgages throughout their website. This is one of the many companies offering mortgages through the Web 2.0.

On their main page, they relate their values being professionalism, accessibility (mortgage specialist that answers all your questions) and to be a client oriented company. The good news is that you don’t do everything online and you get a chance to talk to somebody on the phone. They even have a toll free number: 1-866-767-0831.

What makes you want to visit this site?

I certainly think that internet is not necessarily the best place to purchase goods but certainly the best one to shop around and compare prices. You can sit down comfortably and surf the web looking for the right product for your financial situation.

With Tampa mortgage, you can ask for a quote or ask questions about their mortgage products. Even better, they have a huge section of tools and complementary information.

They offer a qualification calculator along with several other calculators such as interest only calculator and rent vs. buy calculator.

Another great feature is definitely their FAQ, library and glossary sections. They included a wide variety of term definition and explanation in order to help people understand better mortgages. They also go in details in regards to the difference between purchasing, refinancing or applying for a reverse mortgage on your property.

While the ultimate goal of ICM is probably to sell mortgage products, they certainly provide their customers with relevant information.

Are the resources really helpful?

If you are looking for getting more information on loan programs or mortgage information, you should definitely visit Integrated Capital Management. I personally don’t know if their rates and products are competitive as I am not a US resident, but their approach is very professional.

In order to assure a smooth process they also provide you with guidelines about their loan process and they proceed. So you know what is coming next at any stage of your mortgage inquiry. You also have the possibility to inquire about an existing demand through their website.

In general, I really like this website for its calculator and relevant information about mortgages.

Can improvements be done?

To be honest, I think that ICM really wrap-up everything is necessary to know about mortgages. They even compare their own product giving advantages and disadvantages for each of them!

The only thing that can make people reluctant to deal with them is that there is no rate offer anywhere on the website. Therefore, you absolutely have to inquire for a mortgage quote in order to get the full picture. This obviously includes a sale call from one of their mortgage specialist. While this technique is great for business as it increase the success rate of closing a deal, it may make some people think twice before inquiring for a quote.

Posting promotional offers could be a good idea in order to invite people calling without giving them too much information.

Disclaimer: This was an honest but paid review. We did it because we think it is a great financial resource on the Web and our opinion has not been biased. We are now offering to review your website for a highly competitive price. If you wish The Financial Blogger to review your website, please feel free to contact us at thefinancialblogger (at) gmail (dot) com or visit our advertise section.

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April 28, 2008, 6:34 am

Private Investment Management

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Investment, Market and Risk,Trading

There is a new trend in the financial services called Private Investment Management (PIM). In fact, this product is offered only to the most wealthy client as there is always a minimum amount to open an account (it could go from 100K to 1M$ depending the institution). I thought I would give you some info as it could be a very interesting product for some of my reader (most like the one who has 100K to 500K unless I have millionaires reading TFB, that would be cool :-D).


Leave your money into the hand of a professional

The main purpose of private investment management is to give mandates to one or a few fund managers to manage your money according to predetermine guidelines.

However, in order to do so, you must leave all decision powers (buy, sell, hold) in the hand of the managers. You always have the possibility to change the guidelines in order to reflect your investment profile.

You get access to the best of the best

Financial institutions offering this type of product will include some of the best portfolio managers of all time. Even better, they are selected based on their specialty (Canadian/American/International stocks, emerging markets, bonds, etc.).

So you end-up with a fully diversified portfolio managed by the best funds managers in their category. On top of that, management fees are cheaper than mutual funds and they are tax deductible for non-registered account!

More options than regular mutual funds

Another characteristic of the PIM is their accessibility to different asset class. Forget about the classic fixed income, Canadian equity and international equity. Now you have access to high paying yield bonds, privilege shares, emerging markets, real assets (bridges, structures and pipelines), tactical deviation and alternative management.

It may confuse you as an investor but your financial advisor should be in a good position to help you out determining what is best for you.

The main goals of Private Investment Management are usually wealth preservation, long term growth and tax efficiency. This is a really good product for wealthy people who don’t want to manage their money but still hope to get a good return.

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April 26, 2008, 7:36 am

Financial Ramblings

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Financial Rambling

Man, it smells like golf and the Stanley Cup at the same time! Fortunately, I’m going to play golf before my Montreal Canadiens! Boy I wish I could by my team one day… After all, it would only cost 300 to 350M$ 😉 Nothing is out of reach when you think big! In the meantime, I’ll go shine my golf clubs and do some practice swings at the driving range.


I really love to play golf but it is an expensive sport. Not only expensive in term of what it costs to play and to buy the proper equipment, but also expensive in term of time spent on the field. I wish I could play overnight so I could see my little children during the day that the same time 😉 Since I can’t do both, I’ll sacrifice my favourite sport for the benefit of my favourite people. My family is much more important than my 6 Iron (but not my big Bertha, she is also a member of the family!).

The Bank of Canada announced last Tuesday that rates will go down by another .50%. I understand that this is not a good sign for the global economy as we are desperately trying to escape from the American credit cough, but for my budget, things cannot go better! This allows me to keep my $400 a month into my Smith Manoeuvre with an additional $450 into my HELOC. So now, I don’t have to count on my Smith Manoeuvre contribution to reimburse my parents in 3 years 😀 I will most likely be able to pay them from my other savings.

I met with my accountant last Saturday for my taxes and our incorporation. I am proud to announce that M-35 has been born on April 19th at 2:24 PM. It is 14 inches long and weight about 1/10 pounds 😉 I’ll discuss this point further in another post 😀 For now, I’ll leave you with my carnival picks.

Carnival picks:

Carnival of Personal Finance hosted at The Happy Rock:

I am Not Going To Cut On My Cup Of Coffee by Saving to Invest. Being frugal is nice, but drinking a good coffee in the morning is priceless!

 

Carnival of Money Stories presented by Can I Get Rich On A Salary.

Patience Pays Off by Stop The Ride! Hopefully, I will be patient enough to buy my new car too!!!

 

Festival of Frugality done at Rather Be Shopping.

The Frugal Lifestyle: Are We Missing Out On Life? written by Flexo. Frugality and enjoying life can live in the same human mind! Hum… I guess I have to work on that… someday!

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April 25, 2008, 6:00 am

The Power of Systematic Investments

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Investment, Market and Risk

Building a nice investment account of your retirement is a goal that many people have. Unfortunately, most people don’t really take action in order to have enough money to retire at 55 or 60. They think the government or their pension plan is good enough to guaranty a golden retirement. In fact, I think that the only person you can really trust is yourself. This is why you need to start to think about retirement early in your life.

 


 

Going Up


One of the best ways to accumulate money is the use the “pay yourself first” cliché. Finance is like a hockey game, it is with cliché such as “we must shoot as many times as possible” that you can win!

 

When we combine the power of compounding interest with the power of systematic investment, we are absolutely sure to become millionaire one day. The problem is that we need to start young in order to become rich faster 😉

I do random calculation all the time since I started as a financial planner. You should see people’s face when they realize that they can get 2M$ in their pocket by the age of 65. This is something they would have never thought to be possible.

So here’s a great example to prove my point. Let’s say that you are 30 and you plan to retire at the age of 60. That leaves you exactly 30 years to get enough money in order to realize your dream.

You would need to put $1,000 aside per month at 6% (so 8% minus a 2% inflation rate) in order to get 1M$ at retirement. So 360K of capital over 30 years will put you in a millionaire’s seat.

Then, if you get lazy and wait 5 years and start putting money aside at 35, you would need to put about $1450 a month to get to the exact same result. Therefore, you would not only increase your monthly payment but also the amount of capital. So at the age of 35, you would need 435K over 25 years to get your million.

I did the calculation for my own situation too. At the age of 26, I must put only $708 a month in order to create my million. As I am putting only $400 a month in my Smith Manoeuvre I am short of $308… Time is surely rough when you have a young family and a full mortgage on your back!!

 


 

 

image source: flickr

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