Think Smart Podcast – Advisor Series with Financial Advisor Steve Lowrie

Recently, I sat down with Rob McClelland to join an episode of the Think Smart with TMFG podcast. Rob is with McClelland Financial Group of Assante Capital Management. We had a great conversation and I had the opportunity to describe my core business values and strategies on investing including... click through to find out.

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What Is the Cost of a Financial Advisor?

If organizing your financial interests has become an endless game of whack-a-mole, the cost of a financial advisor might be worth it to help you tame the tangle. Remember that it's better to focus on the value that the cost of a financial advisor brings you. "Free Advice" can cost you. Fee-based advice allows you to become the boss of your financial interests. Also, the cost of an independent financial advisor should cover far more than merely helping you buy or sell this or that security in your investment portfolio. Determine what the long-term value of financial advice is worth to you. Check out these insights that you can use to assess the value of independent financial advice vs. just looking at the cost of a financial advisor.

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This Is Your Investment Brain on Pessimism

Have you been reading the headlines, viewing your investment portfolio, and assuming the worst is yet to come? Welcome to your painful crash course on what market risk really looks like—and more importantly, how it feels. Most investors say they’re ok living with periodic market risk, as long as it helps them achieve better returns over the long run. We accept (in theory) that tolerating the interim damage done to our own investment portfolios will help us meet our long-term financial goals. But that’s investment risk in theory. Since it’s been a long time since we’ve encountered an extended bear market climate, you may have forgotten or never known the reality of it. It may not have clicked then, when significant market declines happen, it is usually due to despairingly bad news … amplified by headlines screaming how things are only going to get worse from here. The reality is, when we’re in the middle of a storm of stuff, our behavioural biases make it very difficult to believe we’ll ever see better days.

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Opportunity Cost Impact of Your Daily Financial Decisions on Your Retirement Plans

As my husband and I approached our late 40s/early 50s, we decided it was time to solidify our previous hastily sketched plans for early retirement. We had worked hard for many years and skimped in places and were confident that we had done everything right to retire early and live our best early retirement lives. However, when we sat down with the numbers, we realized our dreams of an early retirement with travel and adventure were farther from reach than we thought. We both had well paying careers and didn’t feel that we had splurged so much that we should be this far behind. What happened? And, more importantly… How do we get back on track? Once panic-mode subsided, we sat down with some spreadsheets to see what had gone awry and figure out how (and if?) we could still retire early and be able to comfortably afford the things we wanted from retirement. Here’s what we did to right the (sinking?) ship...

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Time to Go on a Financial Media Diet

Stock and bond markets plummeting in tandem, the war in the Ukraine, rises in interest rates, threats of a looming recession … You’re probably already well aware of the volume of news wearing us down. As I wrote to my clients, “the financial press has gone on a feeding frenzy in response, serving up heaping helpings of negativity upon negativity.” On many fronts, times are indeed disheartening, and we’re as worn out as you are by the weight of the world. That said, there are already way too many outlets cramming worst-case scenarios down our throats and crushing investment resolve. To offset a bitter pill overdose, following are a few more nutritious news sources to reinforce why we remain confident that capital markets will continue to prevail over time, and that long-term investors should just stick to their plan.

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What Should I Do with My Tax Refund?

This time of year, I find that one of the most common questions my clients pose is what they should do with their tax refunds. With so many tempting options like finally taking that long-awaited vacation or taking on some home renovations that are long overdue, it may be difficult to stick to focusing on your long-term financial goals. So, given the push/pull of the economy and your well-deserved desire to enjoy the tax refund windfall today, how can you achieve some balance? And what’s the best way to use your tax refund to keep you on-track for the future? A few tips from the Globe and Mail’s article echo some of the advice you may have read here at Lowrie Financial’s blog in “What to Do with Excess Cash?”. These tax refund tips might be helpful to assist you in achieving that balance:

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Understanding Inflation, Interest Rates, and Market Reaction

Most investors understand or perhaps accept the fact that they are not able to time stock markets (sell out before they go down or buy in before they advance). The simple rationale is that stock markets are forward looking by anticipating or “pricing in” future expectations. While the screaming negative headlines may capture attention, stock markets are looking out to what may happen well into the future. It is easy to understand why we might be scared about the recent headline inflation numbers and concerned about rising interest. It is very important to keep this in context, which is what we will address today.

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Behavioural Finance Focus: Cost Savings Tips to Attain Financial Freedom

As a personal financial advisor, I am often asked about “the secret” to attaining financial freedom. You are among the few drivers you have much control over. One great way to sharpen your financial acumen is by combining behavioural finance with an evidence-based perspective. By recognizing and understanding the basics of behavioural finance, you can fight those financial urges and focus on an evidence-based approach to wealth management. Are you ready to change your financial behaviour, uncover cost savings, and significantly improve your chance of reaching those long-term financial goals?

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Retirement Planning for Gen Xers: Build Wealth and Retire Happy

Family financial planning: focusing on your short-term and long-term financial goals. Are you a Gen Xer? Not quite a baby boomer, but too, ahem, mature to be a millennial? If you are in your 40s to mid-50s, your family financial planning has probably been on a wild ride lately. You may be wondering if you’ll ever get to retire with any wealth left to spend.

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Retirement Planning for Baby Boomers: Getting Ready to Retire Comfortably

Are you a baby boomer with retirement planning on your mind? If you’re among the surge of citizens born in a large urban center like Toronto and across North America during the 20ish years after World War II, you may be noticing a different sort of booming sound lately. Search the Internet for “Retirement Planning Toronto” and you’re likely to see a lot of fear out there, along with plenty of headline-grabbing stats on how ill-prepared many boomers are to retire. Following are some of the most frequent topics of conversation I’ve found key to achieving your short- and long-term financial goals in retirement.

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