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News

June 29

Direct response marketing – it can help you reach clients, build relationships, garner trust and grow your business, all in a fast, low-cost and effective way! Read this article to find out about the many benefits of modern marketing. #PPI #AdvisorTalk

June 29

Join us today for PPI’s Tax Talk: Case Updates, Leveraging Reminders and More! We also have some highlights from the STEP 2022 National Conference, so don’t miss out. It’s not too late to register (Login required): English:

June 28

In this industry, client relationships are everything! Join us at 11:30AM (EDT) today for PPI’s Digital Talk: Connections to Valued Clients webinar (English) and learn how to build deeper client connections using digital tools. (Advisor login required):

June 21

Today, let’s recognize National Indigenous Peoples Day and learn more about the diverse heritage of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. #NationalIndigenousPeoplesDay

June 17

PPI proudly supports Brescia University College’s Centre for Leadership research project focused on overcoming gender bias and intersectional discrimination with new methods of generating awareness and action. Cathy Hiscott and Patty O’Neill attended the inaugural event May 30.

June 29

Direct response marketing – it can help you reach clients, build relationships, garner trust and grow your business, all in a fast, low-cost and effective way! Read this article to find out about the many benefits of modern marketing. #PPI #AdvisorTalk

June 29

Join us today for PPI’s Tax Talk: Case Updates, Leveraging Reminders and More! We also have some highlights from the STEP 2022 National Conference, so don’t miss out. It’s not too late to register (Login required): English:

June 28

In this industry, client relationships are everything! Join us at 11:30AM (EDT) today for PPI’s Digital Talk: Connections to Valued Clients webinar (English) and learn how to build deeper client connections using digital tools. (Advisor login required):

June 21

Today, let’s recognize National Indigenous Peoples Day and learn more about the diverse heritage of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. #NationalIndigenousPeoplesDay

June 29

Direct response marketing – it can help you reach clients, build relationships, garner trust and grow your business, all in a fast, low-cost and effective way! Read this article to find out about the many benefits of modern marketing. #PPI #AdvisorTalk

June 29

Join us today for PPI’s Tax Talk: Case Updates, Leveraging Reminders and More! We also have some highlights from the STEP 2022 National Conference, so don’t miss out. It’s not too late to register (Login required): English:

June 28

In this industry, client relationships are everything! Join us at 11:30AM (EDT) today for PPI’s Digital Talk: Connections to Valued Clients webinar (English) and learn how to build deeper client connections using digital tools. (Advisor login required):

June 21

Today, let’s recognize National Indigenous Peoples Day and learn more about the diverse heritage of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. #NationalIndigenousPeoplesDay

June 17

PPI proudly supports Brescia University College’s Centre for Leadership research project focused on overcoming gender bias and intersectional discrimination with new methods of generating awareness and action. Cathy Hiscott and Patty O’Neill attended the inaugural event May 30.

June 8

Do your clients ever wonder how much they need to save to retire, or how far their savings will go? Share the “Will the Money Last” calculator with them and tell them to stop wondering and start planning!

June 8

We made it just for you. PPI’s Your Link Between lets you add your business branding to create your own website! From here, share PPI’s client-friendly content with your clients via social media or email. Build your own site today (Advisor login required):

June 7

Oh, the many wonders of PPI’s Insurance for Your Whole Life applet! It can calculate and deliver cash value and death benefit analysis via ledger/graphs. It can also examine rates of return and potential loans as retirement supplements. Login required:

June 6

Toolkit, Compulife, CapIntel, Cascades, AmpLiFi, Your Link Between and financial calculators – only a few of the exceptional tools available on PPI’s Stratosphere to help support your insurance and wealth practice. Have a look: #PPI #insurancesolutions

June 1

In June we celebrate Pride and honour our family, friends, colleagues and LGBTQIA+ advocates who fought so hard for equality and the freedom to be who they are without prejudice. We stand and celebrate with you – Happy Pride! #PrideMonth22

June 1

Join PPI’s Digital Sales Enablement Team at 1:30PM (HE) today to learn how tools in Toolkit Direct can help your clients mitigate the negative impacts that come with death and taxes (French event). You can still register here (Advisor login required):

June 1

Your business-owner client has purchased corporate owned life insurance – great planning! But did they select the right beneficiary? Read this article to learn more and be sure to share the client-friendly version with your clients!

May 31

If your client has financial goals in mind, share this Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator. It will help them recognize financial challenges and opportunities in order to reach their financial objectives sooner. Check it out here:

May 31

Join PPI’s Digital Sales Enablement Team at 11:30AM (ET) today to learn how tools in Toolkit Direct can help your clients mitigate the negative impacts that come with death and taxes (English event). You can still register here (Advisor login required):

May 30

Are you still combing the internet trying to answer insurance related tax/estate planning questions? Stop scrolling aimlessly and log into PPI’s Professional Resource Centre for all your tax/estate planning tools. Check it out (Advisor login required):

May 27

From regulatory requirements to editable documents for your practice and your clients, PPI’s Practice Assistant on Toolkit Direct is your one-stop-shop for all things compliance. Get acquainted today (Advisor login required):

May 26

CapIntel now offers a PPI Valet/CI Direct Investing proposal template – create custom client proposals incorporating CI Direct Investing marketing material with portfolio comparison data. We have loads more templates to come in 2022, stay tuned!

May 25

What were PPI’s top 3 investment-related blogs in 2021 you ask? Compound interest, seg funds during a volatile market and TFSAs vs RRSPs – check them out here and be sure to share the client-friendly versions with your clients. #PPI #AdvisorTalk

May 24

Is it almost time to renew your insurance license and E&O? APEXA streamlines the process allowing Advisors to make updates directly in one place. Learn more with PPI’s quick reference page and then get started! Advisor login required: #PPI

May 20

Victoria Day can only mean one thing – Summer is almost here! So throw on your shades, put on some flip flops, crank up the grill and have a brilliant and memorable Victoria Day weekend! #VictoriaDay2022 #StartOfSummer

Recent Articles

Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More than just Social Media

June 29, 2022

Today, it’s no longer about those old, templated letters or phone dialing campaigns that… let’s be honest… were highly time consuming and largely ineffective in getting the attention of your clients. Social media has changed the way we promote and do business – all with better results at a fraction of the cost. So, why should you join the social media party and how can you make an impact through direct response marketing? Direct Response Marketing – What is it and why does it matter to you? One of the most important types of marketing, direct response marketing, uses social media tools to engage with and inspire an immediate action from the person you are communicating with. The virtual or social world will continue to evolve and expand. So, if you are not taking advantage of modern marketing, you are probably missing out on a fast, inexpensive and effective way to reach your clients, build relationships, build trust and grow your business – merely with a few clicks on your social media. The Benefits of Direct Response Marketing So, what are some of the benefits of this type of marketing? Increase Brand Awareness – If you have a business, you have a brand. If you’re an independent advisor – well, you ARE your brand. Remember that your brand is not just a logo, a splash of colours and a big sign on a building – you are the face of your brand. Humanize Your Brand or Industry – Some customers are nervous about working with big corporations, however modern marketing allows you to humanize your brand, making a human connection. Promote Content – Direct response marketing allows you to promote content which can be extremely powerful in marketing your business and making sales. It allows you to get your message out, reach new people, reach existing clients and promote your value as well as the services that you provide. Engage Your Audience – It allows you to engage with your clients or audience, which in turn can build stronger relationships and trust. Learn About Your Customers – This type of marketing can also help you learn more about your clients so that you can better understand their need, wants, interests, fears, goals and more – then deliver exactly what they are asking for to guarantee a satisfied client. Target Your Advertising – It makes targeted advertising easier. You can drill down to very specific areas, interests, demographics, industries and much more. And what does targeted advertising help you do? Boost sales! Establish Yourself as A Thought Leader – Direct response marketing allows you to establish your brand as a thought leader. Likewise, it enables you to brand yourself as someone who is innovative, maintains a service level that is above and beyond their industry competitors, or even someone who specializes in working with specific types of clients – all of which builds trust. Stay Top of Mind – Staying top of mind is the next benefit. You want to be the first person your client thinks of when their friends on social media ask for recommendations for their financial planning. Partner With Influencers to Grow Your Audience – It allows you to partner with influencers to increase your audience. This could be anyone in this industry that is already a thought leader – someone who has a large following and sway. For advisors, this could be lawyers, accountants, referral partners, mortgage brokers and so on. Think about who has a similar audience to you, who can be beneficial to your audience and whose audience you could be beneficial to. Increase Website Traffic – Direct response marketing can help you increase your website traffic, especially if you consistently have new and valuable content that is on your website or blog. Boost Sales and Generate Leads – And last, but certainly not least, it can help you generate leads. This is a way to generate leads in a way that is authentic, trustworthy and builds genuine, long-term relationships. Modern direct response marketing is all about providing value and creating those client connections; developing the know, like and trust relationship that can help move someone from a prospect to a valued client (and even an advocate!). The truth is that social media is here to stay, so be sure to BE where your clients are so that you can continue to engage your audience, build trust and provide value. If you’d like to know more about direct response marketing and how to optimize your business with this modern marketing tool, please contact your local PPI office.
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Will the Money Last?

June 8, 2022

Help your clients calculate and compare scenarios for how long their savings will last when they start using it as income. Share the “Will the Money Last” calculator with them today. And, for a more comprehensive review of your clients optimized retirement income cash flows and withdrawal strategy comparisons use the Cascades tool available to PPI Advisors through the Stratosphere suite of tools.
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Corporate Owned Life Insurance and Beneficiary Designations

June 1, 2022

Many of your business-owner clients have corporate owned life insurance – an excellent and tax efficient way for your client to achieve their estate and succession planning goals. However, to avoid unintended tax consequences, it is critical that the beneficiary designations of the corporate owned policies be reviewed. Where the corporation is the owner and payor of the life insurance, the corporation (or a subsidiary of the corporation) needs to be the beneficiary of the life insurance – not the shareholder’s estate or members of the shareholder’s family! Why? Well, when corporate funds are used to provide personal benefits to shareholders and their family members, a taxable shareholder benefit will result, and the corporation does not get a deduction for the benefit. This results in double tax for your client! This is exactly what happened during a recent Tax Court case, Harding v The Queen. A shareholder benefit was assessed since the company owned life insurance policies on Mr. Harding (the sole shareholder) but the beneficiaries of those policies were Mr. Harding’s spouse and children. Not good planning. Mr. Harding tried to argue that he was not aware of who the beneficiaries were and did not mean to confer a benefit. Not surprisingly, the Canada Revenue Agency and the court did not see these reasons as valid arguments and assessed a shareholder benefit for the life insurance premiums paid. The Harding case is a good reminder of what not to do when there is corporate owned life insurance, as well as the importance of reviewing the beneficiary designations on corporate owned life insurance with your clients. For more information on this case and how to effectively structure corporate owned life insurance, read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Harding Case – A ruling on beneficiaries and corporate life insurance policies, located on PPI’s Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). And if you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, please contact your local PPI office.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Investment Blogs

May 25, 2022

Investing – a great way for your client to put away some of their hard-earned dollars towards their retirement and future security. At PPI, we have more than a few great investment articles that you can share with your clients. We did a little digging and found the top three investment-related blogs from 2021. Check them out below and then consider sharing the client-friendly versions with your clients and prospects. The Power of Compound Interest for your Client – What is compound interest and how can it help your client maximize their savings? Find out how your client can do this via monthly, pre-authorized deposits – because a few dollars can go a long way! Be sure to share this client-friendly article. Seg Funds – Protecting your Client from a Volatile Market – Volatile markets are nothing new. In fact, the markets are constantly fluctuating. But if your client is an investor or nearing their retirement years, this type of instability can be quite stressful. Find out how segregated funds just might be the solution to such an uncertain market. Be sure to share this client-friendly article. TFSA vs RRSP vs Both. What’s best for your client? – TFSAs and RRSPs – both are excellent investment options, but which one is right for your client? Learn a little more about the ins and outs of both and which one is the best investment solution for your client. Be sure to share this client-friendly article. If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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Referrals: A Critical Part of Your Growth Strategy

May 18, 2022

There is a quote made famous by American author William S. Burroughs that says, “When you stop growing, you start dying.” While the idea behind this might apply to many aspects of life, it’s perhaps especially relevant when framed within the context of the insurance industry. Each advisor is unique. Varying skill sets, approaches in process and attitudes allow each of you to build a practice that fits you. However, there are certain practices that are utilized by almost all top successful advisors, one of the most important of these being the implementation of an effective referral process. Most advisors would agree that finding new clients is one of the more challenging aspects of this business. Simply finding someone who is prepared to have a discussion can prove difficult. Coupled with DNC (Do Not Call) constraints, privacy restrictions and even just the social stigma surrounding the insurance industry, it is sometimes a wonder how an advisor can grow their business at all. What is so striking is that many advisors work so hard to secure a new client, but then fail to utilize that relationship to allow for new clients to follow with much less effort. When it comes to referrals, most advisors have concerns. In fact, many feel that asking for referrals makes their client feel uneasy. It can also make an advisor feel like a bit of a salesperson and that utilizing this approach might damage the new relationship with their client. An advisor doesn’t want to do anything that may impact the trusted relationship you are building. All understandable and valid concerns. The idea of pulling out a pen and paper and asking your new client for a few names of people that you can approach for a new sale can indeed feel aggressive. We want to treat the client with dignity and respect, and this type of old school approach is not always ideal – so, what’s an advisor to do? As mentioned earlier, virtually all successful top advisors have found a referral strategy that works for them. However, just because something works for one person in no way guarantees that it will work for others, so although you can study the strategies that others use, you will still need to find something that fits for you. Although it doesn’t pay immediate dividends, there is one low-pressure approach that can be quite effective over time. Once you acquire a new client, perhaps after delivering the first policy, plant your first referral seed. Begin by confirming that you and the client had done important work together and that they saw value in your new relationship. Continue by explaining that you’re currently building your practice and actively looking for new clients. Follow up by asking if at any point in the future they come across someone who they feel could take advantage of your skill set, would they do you the honour of an introduction. You may never walk away from that initial conversation with a long list of names. At this early stage, the client does not know you well enough to determine if you are worthy of an introduction to their friends, family or co-workers quite yet. Sure, you’ve done some effective planning together, but the relationship is still new. Will you continue to provide good service and advice? Will you continue to deliver on your promises? Will they even hear from you again now that your business transaction has been completed? These are all fair questions that your client will need answered before they truly consider you their trusted advisor. The truth is that you must continue to deliver for those clients. It sounds simple, but you have to follow through on your promises and continue to demonstrate your value and dedication. Time to plant the next seed. At the first review with your new client, typically the 12-month mark, reiterate your desire to grow your business. At that point you may start to see some actual referrals. Continue this approach every year until you are no longer looking to grow your practice. As you continue to prove your professional worth, clients will feel more comfortable referring you and your client list will indeed grow. There are many approaches to building referrals from your client base, and no one can determine what will work best for you personally. However, whether you use the approach mentioned earlier, or something completely different, you should be doing something. The PPI Sales team would be happy to help you find ways to build a referral process into your practice. We want to help you find ways to truly work smarter, not harder. So, when considering the referral process, keep this Wayne Gretzky quote in mind, “You miss 100% percent of the shots you don’t take.”
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INFOclip: The Value of Advice

May 11, 2022

You know this industry inside and out – you’re a pro! In fact, nobody else is as suited to provide sound, up-to-date and in-depth financial planning advice to your clients as you are. However, many prospects continue to seek answers to their financial queries online or even worse, simply forgo financial matters altogether because it is just too daunting to even contemplate. We’re here to help with this short video outlining the many benefits of working with a professional advisor such as yourself. Be sure to share it with your prospects today to highlight how your advice is not only valuable but can help them achieve their financial goals for today and the future.
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Strengthening Your Client’s Safety Net with Critical Illness Insurance

May 4, 2022

Risks are inevitable and in your line of work, you consider risks all the time – after all, your speciality is building the safety net your clients need to protect against associated financial consequences. This Strengthening Your Safety Net tool will help give your clients some perspective on the risk and economic impact of a critical illness and demonstrate how you can assist in rounding out their insurance portfolio with critical illness insurance. Share it with your clients or use it to support your next critical illness insurance consultation.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Insurance Blogs

April 27, 2022

The results are in! We found the top 3 insurance-related articles preferred by your clients in 2021. Check out these articles below and consider sharing them with your new clients and prospects. Estate Protection for your Client Your client has worked hard all their life and they’ve saved a few dollars. However, how can they protect their assets from the inevitable tax liability upon death? Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client Critical illness insurance is still one of the most important protection products on the market today. Not only does it financially protect your client during an unexpected illness, it also offers a return of premium option. That’s a win-win! Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Love and Money Love is a wonderful thing, but sometimes financial worries can get in the way. Here are a few tips to share with your clients to keep their pocketbooks full and the love lights burning. Be sure to share this client-friendly article! If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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More Articles

To Freeze or Not to Freeze, That Is the Question

April 13, 2022

Before we dive into this interesting topic, let’s start with the definition of an estate freeze. An estate freeze is a common planning strategy for business owners to pass the growth of their company onto the next generation and cap the value that will be subject to income tax on the sale of their shares in the company or on their death. The question of whether to freeze and when, is something your business owner clients should consider.  Many things come into play when deciding when to freeze, including the value of the company, age of the parents who are considering a freeze, as well as the ages of the children to whom the growth is to be passed. Additionally, in today’s market, there are many other reasons to contemplate freezing the value of the company now – has the pandemic caused the value of the company to decline? Speculation that the capital gains rate might increase from 50% to 75%, which would increase the tax liability on death for the shares, is another reason to look at implementation of an estate freeze sooner rather than later. To learn more about the ways of implementing an estate freeze for your clients and the many potential advantages of using life insurance for estate and business succession planning purposes, be sure to read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Estate Freezes, located on our Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). If you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, contact your local PPI office.
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Insuring Your Client’s Greatest Asset with Disability Insurance

April 6, 2022

What does your client consider their greatest asset? Home and vehicles are among the most common answers, however, your client’s earning power has the biggest impact on their financial health. More likely, their home and vehicles are ensured, but what about their earning power? Have a look at PPI’s Insuring Your Greatest Asset tool below, then share it with your clients to give them a little perspective on the importance of their earning power and how to safeguard it.
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What becomes of the broken-hearted? Stress and the Human Heart

March 30, 2022

The Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, observed that the heart was made to be broken. Indeed, the experience of being alive is almost certain to contain at least one heartbreak, perhaps even adding to the richness of our humanity or sowing the seed of a future happiness. The medical community has long questioned whether heartbreak or its’ frequent companion, severe or chronic physical or emotional stress, can damage the human heart, the muscle responsible for each life sustaining breath. Let’s take a look at possible answers to those questions. For millennia, doctors have treated patients with physical ailments suspected to be associated with strong emotion or suspected psychological causes. For some, those emotion related ailments might include headaches, stomach pain or just a general malaise. But what about the heart? Decades ago, astute Japanese researchers began to note a pattern of a weakened heart muscle, occurring most often in post-menopausal women who have recently undergone physical or emotional stress (1). Described in 1990 as stress cardiomyopathy and dubbed “Takotsubo Syndrome”, the Japanese name for a plant that resembles the affected heart, this condition often presents with chest pain and possible ECG and blood test changes seen with a heart attack. This can present a diagnostic challenge as the patient is wheeled to undergo a coronary angiogram and unblocking of the diseased arteries, only to find there are no significant blockages at all. In those cases, further investigation will reveal the main pumping chamber of the heart to be weakened, hence the term cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle). As stated, older women are affected with one study reporting nearly 90% female, with a mean age of nearly 67. Interestingly, and in keeping with the stress component of the cardiomyopathy, higher rates of neurologic or psychiatric disorders (55.8%) were reported in the group with this condition versus the 25.7% presenting with true heart attacks (2). Cardiomyopathies come in different sub-types and are generally serious underwriting concerns. These concerns relate to a greater risk for more severe and potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. These cases will often be heavily rated or uninsurable. The good news with stress cardiomyopathy is that it is often treatable with common heart medications, with excellent prospects for a full recovery, perhaps in excess of 90% (2). For these cases, the prospects for insurance are also good, though a waiting period or extra premium may still be required. The mind-body connection continues to challenge medical professionals but continues to provide insight into overall health and enhancing the ability to diagnose and treat certain ailments. Continue to keep up with PPI’s Risk Bits for more news on the mind-body connection and good health. Kazuo Komamura et al., Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. World Journal of Cardiology. July 26, 2014. Christian Templin et al., Clinical Features ad Outcomes of Takotsubo (Stress) Cardiomyopathy. The New England Journal of Medicine. September 3, 2015.
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SMART TALK… about choosing the right insurance

March 25, 2022

As an advisor, you know the many categories and variations that exist within insurance – all of it can be quite perplexing for anyone who is not familiar with the insurance world. This video describes the difference between term and permanent insurance, as well as living benefits like critical illness, long term disability and long-term care in a way that is easy for clients to understand. Share the client-friendly link below with your clients to help them decide which insurance is right for them. If you have any questions, please be sure to contact your local PPI office.
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SMART TALK… about your insurance options

March 24, 2022

When it comes to life insurance, the process can be a little daunting, especially for those clients that don’t know what to expect. Needs analysis, the application and underwriting process, payment options… it’s a lot. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to help them understand the process of purchasing life insurance. If you have any questions, please be sure to reach out to your local PPI office – we’re here to help!
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SMART TALK… about insurance

March 17, 2022

You know how tumultuous life can get and insurance exists to provide peace of mind during the toughest of moments. If your client is faced with an unexpected illness, disability or even death, insurance can provide options to cover ongoing expenses or help to build and protect assets that can be passed on to heirs. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to illustrate the many benefits of life insurance. If you have any questions, please contact your local PPI office – we’re here to help you connect with your clients!
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What is Sequence of Returns Risk and How Does it Affect Your Client?

March 16, 2022

Investors are frequently instructed to own a well diversified portfolio in accordance with their risk tolerance and hold it through all market conditions until their situation changes or they are facing a life event. This is all well and true, but for investors entering their retirement years, generating a high return, while important, is only one factor which ultimately influences how long their savings will last. Another important factor is the order in which returns are earned. To put it simply, regular withdrawals diminish the dollar value of a portfolio, and it is precisely this dollar value upon which future returns are compounded. In fact, experiencing negative returns early on can result in running out of savings much sooner than if the portfolio experienced positive returns at the outset. Let us consider the two client scenarios below. In both cases, the new retiree is beginning with $1 million in capital, and both clients will withdraw $50,000 per year. The only difference here is that the sequence of returns has been reversed. That is, Mrs. Green experienced positive returns early in her retirement years whereas Mrs. Red experienced negative returns early on. As you can see, the annual average growth rate is the same across both scenarios and if there were no withdrawals, the final dollar amounts would be the same too. What we see, however, is that in the scenario where withdrawals are made, the sequence in which returns are earned absolutely matters – Mrs. Red is left with a shortfall at age 83 while Mrs. Green still has $2.5 million at age 90. That’s quite the difference in retirement savings. Mitigating the effects of market volatility is one way to reduce a client’s sequence of returns risk. Proper diversification among multiple asset classes that don’t correlate and create lower portfolio volatility especially when nearing the decumulation years, can generate income and minimize the risk of drawing down on assets during a down market. While the numbers used in the above example are extreme and unlikely to manifest in actual market conditions, they do illustrate the concept well, namely that the sequence of returns from an investment portfolio experiencing withdrawals can have a material impact on the overall retirement picture and it is prudent to manage this risk. For more information on sequence of returns risk, contact your local Wealth Team member.
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How to Build Your Online Social Network

March 9, 2022

We live in a new world – COVID-19 has forced many of us to think about how we connect with others and find new ways to engage with family, friends, co-workers and clients. Undeniably, the digital era is now upon us and finding success may be the difference between embracing technology versus thwarting it. As an advisor, it’s crucial for you to have and maintain an active online presence in order to promote your business and showcase who you are and what you stand for. But how do you build the RIGHT network of followers – that ideal group of clients who are interested in what you have to offer and are willing to engage with you? Here are a few guiding principles to keep in mind: Know Your Audience It’s imperative that you understand your client. Who are you speaking to? What are their fears and goals? What keeps them up at night? In order for you to swoop in and provide your financial expertise, you first need to understand what problem your client is trying to solve. Once you have a better understanding of your target client, you will be able to speak to them in a relevant manner and provide them with the valuable solutions they are seeking to their problems. Engage and Build Relationships Just as you would at a networking event or during a face-to-face conversation, it’s important to actively engage with your audience online. Yes, it’s an online connection, but it’s still a relationship that needs to be nurtured, encouraged and strengthened on an ongoing basis. Your online audience needs to feel like they know you, like you and trust you enough to come to you with their insurance or investment needs. Be sure to engage consistently with your online audience in order to make them feel both heard and understood. Provide Value Today, we are bombarded with online information and messaging – it’s overwhelming and quite noisy! This means it’s up to you to cut through all that noise and provide potential clients with useful content – content that is informational, educational, valuable and reliable. This makes you indispensable and that is exactly where you want to be – an indispensable expert in your field ready to provide real solutions to your clients’ problems. Be Proactive You cannot expect your audience to come to you; unfortunately, it just doesn’t work this way on social media. Instead, you are going to need to reach out and engage with your ideal client audience where they are on social media. Find out where your audience is active on social media (rule #1 – know your audience) – you can do this in a variety of ways including on their profile, within similar interest groups or by searching relevant hashtags that they may be following. Meet your audience on their platforms, dazzle them with all of your interesting and useful content (don’t be afraid to get creative), then gently nudge them towards your online business platforms. Once your ideal audience is active with you on your social sites, it’s much easier to communicate, build on relationships and ultimately get those sales! For a similar article on social media, read and share Content is King and if you have any questions relating to your online presence, contact PPI’s Digital Enablement Specialist Team.
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Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator

March 2, 2022

It’s certainly important to have financial objectives in mind. But just like sports, your client needs to understand where those goal posts are in order to score those important financial goals. Take a moment today to share this Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator with your client and help them get started with a game plan to score those triumphant financial goals! If you have any questions about this calculator or how to help your clients reach their financial objectives, please contact your local PPI office.
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Duties of an Executor – What Your Client Should Consider

February 17, 2022

When you or your client are selecting an executor (or liquidator in Quebec), or when your client is deciding whether to act as an executor or liquidator, it is important to consider the duties and responsibilities that this would entail, and whether you or the person you are considering have the ability and desire to perform the functions. This decision gets more complicated where the assets in question include business assets or assets in other jurisdictions. Beyond having the administrative duties that will be discussed below, an executor is a fiduciary who has moral and ethical duties to act honestly, reasonably and in the best interests of the beneficiaries. The executor holds the estate “in trust” for the beneficiaries and must be impartial, avoid conflict of interests, not comingle estate property with their own, or use estate property personally. An executor is typically expected to complete the administration of the estate within one year (often called the “executor’s year”), but this may not be possible for complex estates or estates subject to litigation. An executor can be compensated, and the amount may be stated in the will; in the absence of a remuneration clause in the will, executor compensation may still be paid but may be subject to court approval. If a trust company is selected as an executor, fees will typically be charged based on a fee agreement prepared at the time the will is executed. Trust companies are a good option for complex and/or estates that may be ongoing for a period of years. Duties of an executor So, what are the main duties of an executor? While not an exhaustive list, some of the key duties include: Locating the will Arranging the funeral Probating the will Locating the beneficiaries Ascertaining all the estate assets and preserving them until sold or distributed to the beneficiaries Determining the deceased’s liabilities (known and potential) Filing tax returns and distributing bequests Let’s take a brief look at some points to consider with respect to each of these: Locate the will – in many cases, the will is retained by the lawyer who prepared the will but sometimes the client retains the will.  If this is the case, hopefully the deceased has informed the executor as to its location – maybe a safe or filing cabinet in the deceased’s home or maybe a safety deposit box (which could cause issues since the financial institution may require a probated will to grant authority to access the safety deposit box). Funeral – The executor should review the will or any letter of wishes to determine whether funeral arrangements have already been made or whether there are any specific instructions. The funeral is the executor’s responsibility, and they must ensure that the funeral expenses are paid even though, where the executor is not a family member, the family will likely take the lead in the planning. If the executor doesn’t have access to bank accounts of the deceased’s estate yet, they can sometimes get the necessary funds from a beneficiary or pay the amount themselves and get reimbursed later from the estate (or sometimes from the Canada Pension Plan death benefit). Probate – Most provinces have some version of probate fees. There are provincial forms that must be completed and getting legal advice for obtaining probate is often needed. Probate is necessary to prove that the executor has the authority to deal with the assets of the estate. Probate fees and laws vary by province. In some provinces, multiple wills are used to reduce probate by segregating assets that require probate (such as non-registered investment funds and bank deposits) from those that do not require probate (such as private corporation shares). This strategy is most often used in B.C. and Ontario. There are certain assets that are not subject to probate because they do not pass to the estate. These include proceeds from life insurance policies or registered plans paid to a named beneficiary and jointly-owned property that passes by right of survivorship. For a summary of probate rules in each province, review question 10 for the relevant province in PPI’s Reference Guide to Provincial Wills and Estate Law in Canada. Locate and deal with beneficiaries – Locating beneficiaries should generally be simple, especially where one or more family members are acting as executor. It can, however, be difficult in some cases if there are minors, those who lack legal capacity, non-residents or children of unmarried parents who may not be known to rest of the family. Beneficiaries are owed a fiduciary duty and can therefore challenge an executor’s actions and fees. Disputes among beneficiaries can arise, which can put the executor in a difficult position and, on occasion, in the middle of litigation. Regular ongoing communication with the beneficiaries is recommended to avoid questions and challenges in the future. Ascertain assets – This task can be the most time consuming. Usually, the largest asset of the estate is the deceased’s house. Unless the house has passed by right of survivorship, the executor’s job is to ensure both the house and its contents are secure. This usually means creating an inventory of the contents, making sure there is adequate property insurance and possibly changing the locks. The executor should locate banking information and notify banks and other financial institutions about the death, which usually means providing a probated will and death certificate. The executor may also need to ascertain the deceased’s digital assets, which may require determining passwords! For more information on digital assets and what they are, read this article, Protecting Your Client’s Digital Assets, and watch this short video SMART TALK… about digital assets. If the deceased had business assets, then the job of executor just got more complex. Hopefully the deceased had a succession plan in place for the business. In this case, the executor should consult the deceased’s professional advisors regarding the plan, and also discuss possible post-mortem tax planning. If not, the executor will have to implement a plan to manage the business interests as soon as possible. Advice of professional advisors will be paramount. Determine liabilities – The deceased’s old tax returns should be located to determine what has been filed and if there are any outstanding taxes. Canada Revenue Agency has some resources that are helpful including What to Do Following a Death and What to Do When Someone has Died. In addition, the executor should consult tax advisors regarding post-mortem planning, graduated rate estate status and filing additional terminal year returns. The other known liabilities like mortgages, promissory notes, funeral debts, etc. must also be determined. The executor should ascertain if there are any contingent liabilities such as family law claims. If an executor fails to pay known liabilities, they are personally responsible; therefore, it is prudent for executors to advertise to notify potential creditors. Distribute estate property – The deceased’s will sometimes contains bequests to beneficiaries, after which the residue is distributed to the residual beneficiaries. Sometimes assets are left in trusts for beneficiaries and the executor may be the trustee for these ongoing trusts or other individuals may be named as trustees. If there are illiquid and liquid assets, this can lead to beneficiary disputes. The executor may have to liquidate certain assets in order to make distributions to the beneficiaries. With respect to personal assets, hopefully the deceased’s will describes how they are to be distributed. If not, the executor will have to determine a process for beneficiaries to claim personal assets – this is often the most emotional process and disputes between beneficiaries often arise that the executor must be prepared to handle. Before making the final distribution from the estate, the executor should get a tax clearance certificate from the Canada Revenue Agency (and Revenue Quebec). The certificate ensures that the executor is not personally liable for any unpaid taxes or other amounts under the Income Tax Act (or the Taxation Act of Quebec). In addition, the executor should get a written release from the beneficiaries that they have received their full share of the estate. In some cases, it is necessary to get a court-approved passing of accounts to approve estate distribution and executor’s compensation. Again, legal advice should be obtained. An executor’s commitment Being appointed as an executor to someone’s will, is in fact a privilege and shows the great respect and faith that person has in your client and their ability to fulfill their final wishes. It also comes with a lot of responsibility, can be emotionally draining and, as can be seen from the duties outlined above, can be a significant time commitment for your client. For smaller or simpler estates where family members are the executors and the beneficiaries, the role may not be as complex or time consuming, but even with smaller estates emotions can run high with respect to certain assets. Communication between the proposed executor and the person preparing their will is important so that the testator’s wishes are fully understood. Communication with the beneficiaries during the planning stage is recommended as a means of reducing potential disagreements after death. And of course, professional advice is paramount.
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Debt Consolidation Calculator

February 9, 2022

Just like we purge our cupboards and closets during Spring cleaning to make our day-to-day life more manageable, your client can now organize their debt in a way that makes their monthly budget far more manageable. So, go on and share this Debt Consolidation Calculator with your clients and help them pave the way to financial security and freedom. If you have any questions about this calculator or other debt consolidation strategies, please contact your local PPI office.
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Exploring Your Client’s Life Insurance Options

February 2, 2022

All life insurance plans start with the same basic precept. Your client policyholder pays a premium in exchange for a tax-free lump sum benefit that’s payable to their selected beneficiaries upon their death. But there’s more! Because life insurance enjoys favourable tax treatment under the Income Tax Act1, it’s a valuable financial instrument that can do more than just pay a lump sum death benefit. Most Insurers design plans that offer features and benefits — added value for consumers that comes at a premium. We’ve made it simple for your prospects and clients to check out the basic life insurance options with a new tool, Exploring Your Life Insurance Options.  Be sure to share it with them to enhance your next conversation about the option that’s best for their circumstances. If you have any questions about the many benefits of life insurance, please contact your local PPI office. Along with the tax-free death benefit, the tax treatment of Canadian exempt life insurance policies includes tax-deferred accumulation. When there is a disposition of the life insurance policy (for instance on withdrawal, surrender, or policy loan) or when a dividend is paid to the policyholder, taxation may apply.
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Recent Articles

Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More than just Social Media

June 29, 2022

Today, it’s no longer about those old, templated letters or phone dialing campaigns that… let’s be honest… were highly time consuming and largely ineffective in getting the attention of your clients. Social media has changed the way we promote and do business – all with better results at a fraction of the cost. So, why should you join the social media party and how can you make an impact through direct response marketing? Direct Response Marketing – What is it and why does it matter to you? One of the most important types of marketing, direct response marketing, uses social media tools to engage with and inspire an immediate action from the person you are communicating with. The virtual or social world will continue to evolve and expand. So, if you are not taking advantage of modern marketing, you are probably missing out on a fast, inexpensive and effective way to reach your clients, build relationships, build trust and grow your business – merely with a few clicks on your social media. The Benefits of Direct Response Marketing So, what are some of the benefits of this type of marketing? Increase Brand Awareness – If you have a business, you have a brand. If you’re an independent advisor – well, you ARE your brand. Remember that your brand is not just a logo, a splash of colours and a big sign on a building – you are the face of your brand. Humanize Your Brand or Industry – Some customers are nervous about working with big corporations, however modern marketing allows you to humanize your brand, making a human connection. Promote Content – Direct response marketing allows you to promote content which can be extremely powerful in marketing your business and making sales. It allows you to get your message out, reach new people, reach existing clients and promote your value as well as the services that you provide. Engage Your Audience – It allows you to engage with your clients or audience, which in turn can build stronger relationships and trust. Learn About Your Customers – This type of marketing can also help you learn more about your clients so that you can better understand their need, wants, interests, fears, goals and more – then deliver exactly what they are asking for to guarantee a satisfied client. Target Your Advertising – It makes targeted advertising easier. You can drill down to very specific areas, interests, demographics, industries and much more. And what does targeted advertising help you do? Boost sales! Establish Yourself as A Thought Leader – Direct response marketing allows you to establish your brand as a thought leader. Likewise, it enables you to brand yourself as someone who is innovative, maintains a service level that is above and beyond their industry competitors, or even someone who specializes in working with specific types of clients – all of which builds trust. Stay Top of Mind – Staying top of mind is the next benefit. You want to be the first person your client thinks of when their friends on social media ask for recommendations for their financial planning. Partner With Influencers to Grow Your Audience – It allows you to partner with influencers to increase your audience. This could be anyone in this industry that is already a thought leader – someone who has a large following and sway. For advisors, this could be lawyers, accountants, referral partners, mortgage brokers and so on. Think about who has a similar audience to you, who can be beneficial to your audience and whose audience you could be beneficial to. Increase Website Traffic – Direct response marketing can help you increase your website traffic, especially if you consistently have new and valuable content that is on your website or blog. Boost Sales and Generate Leads – And last, but certainly not least, it can help you generate leads. This is a way to generate leads in a way that is authentic, trustworthy and builds genuine, long-term relationships. Modern direct response marketing is all about providing value and creating those client connections; developing the know, like and trust relationship that can help move someone from a prospect to a valued client (and even an advocate!). The truth is that social media is here to stay, so be sure to BE where your clients are so that you can continue to engage your audience, build trust and provide value. If you’d like to know more about direct response marketing and how to optimize your business with this modern marketing tool, please contact your local PPI office.
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Will the Money Last?

June 8, 2022

Help your clients calculate and compare scenarios for how long their savings will last when they start using it as income. Share the “Will the Money Last” calculator with them today. And, for a more comprehensive review of your clients optimized retirement income cash flows and withdrawal strategy comparisons use the Cascades tool available to PPI Advisors through the Stratosphere suite of tools.
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Corporate Owned Life Insurance and Beneficiary Designations

June 1, 2022

Many of your business-owner clients have corporate owned life insurance – an excellent and tax efficient way for your client to achieve their estate and succession planning goals. However, to avoid unintended tax consequences, it is critical that the beneficiary designations of the corporate owned policies be reviewed. Where the corporation is the owner and payor of the life insurance, the corporation (or a subsidiary of the corporation) needs to be the beneficiary of the life insurance – not the shareholder’s estate or members of the shareholder’s family! Why? Well, when corporate funds are used to provide personal benefits to shareholders and their family members, a taxable shareholder benefit will result, and the corporation does not get a deduction for the benefit. This results in double tax for your client! This is exactly what happened during a recent Tax Court case, Harding v The Queen. A shareholder benefit was assessed since the company owned life insurance policies on Mr. Harding (the sole shareholder) but the beneficiaries of those policies were Mr. Harding’s spouse and children. Not good planning. Mr. Harding tried to argue that he was not aware of who the beneficiaries were and did not mean to confer a benefit. Not surprisingly, the Canada Revenue Agency and the court did not see these reasons as valid arguments and assessed a shareholder benefit for the life insurance premiums paid. The Harding case is a good reminder of what not to do when there is corporate owned life insurance, as well as the importance of reviewing the beneficiary designations on corporate owned life insurance with your clients. For more information on this case and how to effectively structure corporate owned life insurance, read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Harding Case – A ruling on beneficiaries and corporate life insurance policies, located on PPI’s Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). And if you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, please contact your local PPI office.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Investment Blogs

May 25, 2022

Investing – a great way for your client to put away some of their hard-earned dollars towards their retirement and future security. At PPI, we have more than a few great investment articles that you can share with your clients. We did a little digging and found the top three investment-related blogs from 2021. Check them out below and then consider sharing the client-friendly versions with your clients and prospects. The Power of Compound Interest for your Client – What is compound interest and how can it help your client maximize their savings? Find out how your client can do this via monthly, pre-authorized deposits – because a few dollars can go a long way! Be sure to share this client-friendly article. Seg Funds – Protecting your Client from a Volatile Market – Volatile markets are nothing new. In fact, the markets are constantly fluctuating. But if your client is an investor or nearing their retirement years, this type of instability can be quite stressful. Find out how segregated funds just might be the solution to such an uncertain market. Be sure to share this client-friendly article. TFSA vs RRSP vs Both. What’s best for your client? – TFSAs and RRSPs – both are excellent investment options, but which one is right for your client? Learn a little more about the ins and outs of both and which one is the best investment solution for your client. Be sure to share this client-friendly article. If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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Referrals: A Critical Part of Your Growth Strategy

May 18, 2022

There is a quote made famous by American author William S. Burroughs that says, “When you stop growing, you start dying.” While the idea behind this might apply to many aspects of life, it’s perhaps especially relevant when framed within the context of the insurance industry. Each advisor is unique. Varying skill sets, approaches in process and attitudes allow each of you to build a practice that fits you. However, there are certain practices that are utilized by almost all top successful advisors, one of the most important of these being the implementation of an effective referral process. Most advisors would agree that finding new clients is one of the more challenging aspects of this business. Simply finding someone who is prepared to have a discussion can prove difficult. Coupled with DNC (Do Not Call) constraints, privacy restrictions and even just the social stigma surrounding the insurance industry, it is sometimes a wonder how an advisor can grow their business at all. What is so striking is that many advisors work so hard to secure a new client, but then fail to utilize that relationship to allow for new clients to follow with much less effort. When it comes to referrals, most advisors have concerns. In fact, many feel that asking for referrals makes their client feel uneasy. It can also make an advisor feel like a bit of a salesperson and that utilizing this approach might damage the new relationship with their client. An advisor doesn’t want to do anything that may impact the trusted relationship you are building. All understandable and valid concerns. The idea of pulling out a pen and paper and asking your new client for a few names of people that you can approach for a new sale can indeed feel aggressive. We want to treat the client with dignity and respect, and this type of old school approach is not always ideal – so, what’s an advisor to do? As mentioned earlier, virtually all successful top advisors have found a referral strategy that works for them. However, just because something works for one person in no way guarantees that it will work for others, so although you can study the strategies that others use, you will still need to find something that fits for you. Although it doesn’t pay immediate dividends, there is one low-pressure approach that can be quite effective over time. Once you acquire a new client, perhaps after delivering the first policy, plant your first referral seed. Begin by confirming that you and the client had done important work together and that they saw value in your new relationship. Continue by explaining that you’re currently building your practice and actively looking for new clients. Follow up by asking if at any point in the future they come across someone who they feel could take advantage of your skill set, would they do you the honour of an introduction. You may never walk away from that initial conversation with a long list of names. At this early stage, the client does not know you well enough to determine if you are worthy of an introduction to their friends, family or co-workers quite yet. Sure, you’ve done some effective planning together, but the relationship is still new. Will you continue to provide good service and advice? Will you continue to deliver on your promises? Will they even hear from you again now that your business transaction has been completed? These are all fair questions that your client will need answered before they truly consider you their trusted advisor. The truth is that you must continue to deliver for those clients. It sounds simple, but you have to follow through on your promises and continue to demonstrate your value and dedication. Time to plant the next seed. At the first review with your new client, typically the 12-month mark, reiterate your desire to grow your business. At that point you may start to see some actual referrals. Continue this approach every year until you are no longer looking to grow your practice. As you continue to prove your professional worth, clients will feel more comfortable referring you and your client list will indeed grow. There are many approaches to building referrals from your client base, and no one can determine what will work best for you personally. However, whether you use the approach mentioned earlier, or something completely different, you should be doing something. The PPI Sales team would be happy to help you find ways to build a referral process into your practice. We want to help you find ways to truly work smarter, not harder. So, when considering the referral process, keep this Wayne Gretzky quote in mind, “You miss 100% percent of the shots you don’t take.”
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INFOclip: The Value of Advice

May 11, 2022

You know this industry inside and out – you’re a pro! In fact, nobody else is as suited to provide sound, up-to-date and in-depth financial planning advice to your clients as you are. However, many prospects continue to seek answers to their financial queries online or even worse, simply forgo financial matters altogether because it is just too daunting to even contemplate. We’re here to help with this short video outlining the many benefits of working with a professional advisor such as yourself. Be sure to share it with your prospects today to highlight how your advice is not only valuable but can help them achieve their financial goals for today and the future.
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More Articles

Strengthening Your Client’s Safety Net with Critical Illness Insurance

May 4, 2022

Risks are inevitable and in your line of work, you consider risks all the time – after all, your speciality is building the safety net your clients need to protect against associated financial consequences. This Strengthening Your Safety Net tool will help give your clients some perspective on the risk and economic impact of a critical illness and demonstrate how you can assist in rounding out their insurance portfolio with critical illness insurance. Share it with your clients or use it to support your next critical illness insurance consultation.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Insurance Blogs

April 27, 2022

The results are in! We found the top 3 insurance-related articles preferred by your clients in 2021. Check out these articles below and consider sharing them with your new clients and prospects. Estate Protection for your Client Your client has worked hard all their life and they’ve saved a few dollars. However, how can they protect their assets from the inevitable tax liability upon death? Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client Critical illness insurance is still one of the most important protection products on the market today. Not only does it financially protect your client during an unexpected illness, it also offers a return of premium option. That’s a win-win! Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Love and Money Love is a wonderful thing, but sometimes financial worries can get in the way. Here are a few tips to share with your clients to keep their pocketbooks full and the love lights burning. Be sure to share this client-friendly article! If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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To Freeze or Not to Freeze, That Is the Question

April 13, 2022

Before we dive into this interesting topic, let’s start with the definition of an estate freeze. An estate freeze is a common planning strategy for business owners to pass the growth of their company onto the next generation and cap the value that will be subject to income tax on the sale of their shares in the company or on their death. The question of whether to freeze and when, is something your business owner clients should consider.  Many things come into play when deciding when to freeze, including the value of the company, age of the parents who are considering a freeze, as well as the ages of the children to whom the growth is to be passed. Additionally, in today’s market, there are many other reasons to contemplate freezing the value of the company now – has the pandemic caused the value of the company to decline? Speculation that the capital gains rate might increase from 50% to 75%, which would increase the tax liability on death for the shares, is another reason to look at implementation of an estate freeze sooner rather than later. To learn more about the ways of implementing an estate freeze for your clients and the many potential advantages of using life insurance for estate and business succession planning purposes, be sure to read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Estate Freezes, located on our Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). If you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, contact your local PPI office.
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Insuring Your Client’s Greatest Asset with Disability Insurance

April 6, 2022

What does your client consider their greatest asset? Home and vehicles are among the most common answers, however, your client’s earning power has the biggest impact on their financial health. More likely, their home and vehicles are ensured, but what about their earning power? Have a look at PPI’s Insuring Your Greatest Asset tool below, then share it with your clients to give them a little perspective on the importance of their earning power and how to safeguard it.
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What becomes of the broken-hearted? Stress and the Human Heart

March 30, 2022

The Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, observed that the heart was made to be broken. Indeed, the experience of being alive is almost certain to contain at least one heartbreak, perhaps even adding to the richness of our humanity or sowing the seed of a future happiness. The medical community has long questioned whether heartbreak or its’ frequent companion, severe or chronic physical or emotional stress, can damage the human heart, the muscle responsible for each life sustaining breath. Let’s take a look at possible answers to those questions. For millennia, doctors have treated patients with physical ailments suspected to be associated with strong emotion or suspected psychological causes. For some, those emotion related ailments might include headaches, stomach pain or just a general malaise. But what about the heart? Decades ago, astute Japanese researchers began to note a pattern of a weakened heart muscle, occurring most often in post-menopausal women who have recently undergone physical or emotional stress (1). Described in 1990 as stress cardiomyopathy and dubbed “Takotsubo Syndrome”, the Japanese name for a plant that resembles the affected heart, this condition often presents with chest pain and possible ECG and blood test changes seen with a heart attack. This can present a diagnostic challenge as the patient is wheeled to undergo a coronary angiogram and unblocking of the diseased arteries, only to find there are no significant blockages at all. In those cases, further investigation will reveal the main pumping chamber of the heart to be weakened, hence the term cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle). As stated, older women are affected with one study reporting nearly 90% female, with a mean age of nearly 67. Interestingly, and in keeping with the stress component of the cardiomyopathy, higher rates of neurologic or psychiatric disorders (55.8%) were reported in the group with this condition versus the 25.7% presenting with true heart attacks (2). Cardiomyopathies come in different sub-types and are generally serious underwriting concerns. These concerns relate to a greater risk for more severe and potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. These cases will often be heavily rated or uninsurable. The good news with stress cardiomyopathy is that it is often treatable with common heart medications, with excellent prospects for a full recovery, perhaps in excess of 90% (2). For these cases, the prospects for insurance are also good, though a waiting period or extra premium may still be required. The mind-body connection continues to challenge medical professionals but continues to provide insight into overall health and enhancing the ability to diagnose and treat certain ailments. Continue to keep up with PPI’s Risk Bits for more news on the mind-body connection and good health. Kazuo Komamura et al., Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. World Journal of Cardiology. July 26, 2014. Christian Templin et al., Clinical Features ad Outcomes of Takotsubo (Stress) Cardiomyopathy. The New England Journal of Medicine. September 3, 2015.
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SMART TALK… about choosing the right insurance

March 25, 2022

As an advisor, you know the many categories and variations that exist within insurance – all of it can be quite perplexing for anyone who is not familiar with the insurance world. This video describes the difference between term and permanent insurance, as well as living benefits like critical illness, long term disability and long-term care in a way that is easy for clients to understand. Share the client-friendly link below with your clients to help them decide which insurance is right for them. If you have any questions, please be sure to contact your local PPI office.
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SMART TALK… about your insurance options

March 24, 2022

When it comes to life insurance, the process can be a little daunting, especially for those clients that don’t know what to expect. Needs analysis, the application and underwriting process, payment options… it’s a lot. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to help them understand the process of purchasing life insurance. If you have any questions, please be sure to reach out to your local PPI office – we’re here to help!
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SMART TALK… about insurance

March 17, 2022

You know how tumultuous life can get and insurance exists to provide peace of mind during the toughest of moments. If your client is faced with an unexpected illness, disability or even death, insurance can provide options to cover ongoing expenses or help to build and protect assets that can be passed on to heirs. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to illustrate the many benefits of life insurance. If you have any questions, please contact your local PPI office – we’re here to help you connect with your clients!
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What is Sequence of Returns Risk and How Does it Affect Your Client?

March 16, 2022

Investors are frequently instructed to own a well diversified portfolio in accordance with their risk tolerance and hold it through all market conditions until their situation changes or they are facing a life event. This is all well and true, but for investors entering their retirement years, generating a high return, while important, is only one factor which ultimately influences how long their savings will last. Another important factor is the order in which returns are earned. To put it simply, regular withdrawals diminish the dollar value of a portfolio, and it is precisely this dollar value upon which future returns are compounded. In fact, experiencing negative returns early on can result in running out of savings much sooner than if the portfolio experienced positive returns at the outset. Let us consider the two client scenarios below. In both cases, the new retiree is beginning with $1 million in capital, and both clients will withdraw $50,000 per year. The only difference here is that the sequence of returns has been reversed. That is, Mrs. Green experienced positive returns early in her retirement years whereas Mrs. Red experienced negative returns early on. As you can see, the annual average growth rate is the same across both scenarios and if there were no withdrawals, the final dollar amounts would be the same too. What we see, however, is that in the scenario where withdrawals are made, the sequence in which returns are earned absolutely matters – Mrs. Red is left with a shortfall at age 83 while Mrs. Green still has $2.5 million at age 90. That’s quite the difference in retirement savings. Mitigating the effects of market volatility is one way to reduce a client’s sequence of returns risk. Proper diversification among multiple asset classes that don’t correlate and create lower portfolio volatility especially when nearing the decumulation years, can generate income and minimize the risk of drawing down on assets during a down market. While the numbers used in the above example are extreme and unlikely to manifest in actual market conditions, they do illustrate the concept well, namely that the sequence of returns from an investment portfolio experiencing withdrawals can have a material impact on the overall retirement picture and it is prudent to manage this risk. For more information on sequence of returns risk, contact your local Wealth Team member.
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How to Build Your Online Social Network

March 9, 2022

We live in a new world – COVID-19 has forced many of us to think about how we connect with others and find new ways to engage with family, friends, co-workers and clients. Undeniably, the digital era is now upon us and finding success may be the difference between embracing technology versus thwarting it. As an advisor, it’s crucial for you to have and maintain an active online presence in order to promote your business and showcase who you are and what you stand for. But how do you build the RIGHT network of followers – that ideal group of clients who are interested in what you have to offer and are willing to engage with you? Here are a few guiding principles to keep in mind: Know Your Audience It’s imperative that you understand your client. Who are you speaking to? What are their fears and goals? What keeps them up at night? In order for you to swoop in and provide your financial expertise, you first need to understand what problem your client is trying to solve. Once you have a better understanding of your target client, you will be able to speak to them in a relevant manner and provide them with the valuable solutions they are seeking to their problems. Engage and Build Relationships Just as you would at a networking event or during a face-to-face conversation, it’s important to actively engage with your audience online. Yes, it’s an online connection, but it’s still a relationship that needs to be nurtured, encouraged and strengthened on an ongoing basis. Your online audience needs to feel like they know you, like you and trust you enough to come to you with their insurance or investment needs. Be sure to engage consistently with your online audience in order to make them feel both heard and understood. Provide Value Today, we are bombarded with online information and messaging – it’s overwhelming and quite noisy! This means it’s up to you to cut through all that noise and provide potential clients with useful content – content that is informational, educational, valuable and reliable. This makes you indispensable and that is exactly where you want to be – an indispensable expert in your field ready to provide real solutions to your clients’ problems. Be Proactive You cannot expect your audience to come to you; unfortunately, it just doesn’t work this way on social media. Instead, you are going to need to reach out and engage with your ideal client audience where they are on social media. Find out where your audience is active on social media (rule #1 – know your audience) – you can do this in a variety of ways including on their profile, within similar interest groups or by searching relevant hashtags that they may be following. Meet your audience on their platforms, dazzle them with all of your interesting and useful content (don’t be afraid to get creative), then gently nudge them towards your online business platforms. Once your ideal audience is active with you on your social sites, it’s much easier to communicate, build on relationships and ultimately get those sales! For a similar article on social media, read and share Content is King and if you have any questions relating to your online presence, contact PPI’s Digital Enablement Specialist Team.
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Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator

March 2, 2022

It’s certainly important to have financial objectives in mind. But just like sports, your client needs to understand where those goal posts are in order to score those important financial goals. Take a moment today to share this Savings to Reach a Goal Calculator with your client and help them get started with a game plan to score those triumphant financial goals! If you have any questions about this calculator or how to help your clients reach their financial objectives, please contact your local PPI office.
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Duties of an Executor – What Your Client Should Consider

February 17, 2022

When you or your client are selecting an executor (or liquidator in Quebec), or when your client is deciding whether to act as an executor or liquidator, it is important to consider the duties and responsibilities that this would entail, and whether you or the person you are considering have the ability and desire to perform the functions. This decision gets more complicated where the assets in question include business assets or assets in other jurisdictions. Beyond having the administrative duties that will be discussed below, an executor is a fiduciary who has moral and ethical duties to act honestly, reasonably and in the best interests of the beneficiaries. The executor holds the estate “in trust” for the beneficiaries and must be impartial, avoid conflict of interests, not comingle estate property with their own, or use estate property personally. An executor is typically expected to complete the administration of the estate within one year (often called the “executor’s year”), but this may not be possible for complex estates or estates subject to litigation. An executor can be compensated, and the amount may be stated in the will; in the absence of a remuneration clause in the will, executor compensation may still be paid but may be subject to court approval. If a trust company is selected as an executor, fees will typically be charged based on a fee agreement prepared at the time the will is executed. Trust companies are a good option for complex and/or estates that may be ongoing for a period of years. Duties of an executor So, what are the main duties of an executor? While not an exhaustive list, some of the key duties include: Locating the will Arranging the funeral Probating the will Locating the beneficiaries Ascertaining all the estate assets and preserving them until sold or distributed to the beneficiaries Determining the deceased’s liabilities (known and potential) Filing tax returns and distributing bequests Let’s take a brief look at some points to consider with respect to each of these: Locate the will – in many cases, the will is retained by the lawyer who prepared the will but sometimes the client retains the will.  If this is the case, hopefully the deceased has informed the executor as to its location – maybe a safe or filing cabinet in the deceased’s home or maybe a safety deposit box (which could cause issues since the financial institution may require a probated will to grant authority to access the safety deposit box). Funeral – The executor should review the will or any letter of wishes to determine whether funeral arrangements have already been made or whether there are any specific instructions. The funeral is the executor’s responsibility, and they must ensure that the funeral expenses are paid even though, where the executor is not a family member, the family will likely take the lead in the planning. If the executor doesn’t have access to bank accounts of the deceased’s estate yet, they can sometimes get the necessary funds from a beneficiary or pay the amount themselves and get reimbursed later from the estate (or sometimes from the Canada Pension Plan death benefit). Probate – Most provinces have some version of probate fees. There are provincial forms that must be completed and getting legal advice for obtaining probate is often needed. Probate is necessary to prove that the executor has the authority to deal with the assets of the estate. Probate fees and laws vary by province. In some provinces, multiple wills are used to reduce probate by segregating assets that require probate (such as non-registered investment funds and bank deposits) from those that do not require probate (such as private corporation shares). This strategy is most often used in B.C. and Ontario. There are certain assets that are not subject to probate because they do not pass to the estate. These include proceeds from life insurance policies or registered plans paid to a named beneficiary and jointly-owned property that passes by right of survivorship. For a summary of probate rules in each province, review question 10 for the relevant province in PPI’s Reference Guide to Provincial Wills and Estate Law in Canada. Locate and deal with beneficiaries – Locating beneficiaries should generally be simple, especially where one or more family members are acting as executor. It can, however, be difficult in some cases if there are minors, those who lack legal capacity, non-residents or children of unmarried parents who may not be known to rest of the family. Beneficiaries are owed a fiduciary duty and can therefore challenge an executor’s actions and fees. Disputes among beneficiaries can arise, which can put the executor in a difficult position and, on occasion, in the middle of litigation. Regular ongoing communication with the beneficiaries is recommended to avoid questions and challenges in the future. Ascertain assets – This task can be the most time consuming. Usually, the largest asset of the estate is the deceased’s house. Unless the house has passed by right of survivorship, the executor’s job is to ensure both the house and its contents are secure. This usually means creating an inventory of the contents, making sure there is adequate property insurance and possibly changing the locks. The executor should locate banking information and notify banks and other financial institutions about the death, which usually means providing a probated will and death certificate. The executor may also need to ascertain the deceased’s digital assets, which may require determining passwords! For more information on digital assets and what they are, read this article, Protecting Your Client’s Digital Assets, and watch this short video SMART TALK… about digital assets. If the deceased had business assets, then the job of executor just got more complex. Hopefully the deceased had a succession plan in place for the business. In this case, the executor should consult the deceased’s professional advisors regarding the plan, and also discuss possible post-mortem tax planning. If not, the executor will have to implement a plan to manage the business interests as soon as possible. Advice of professional advisors will be paramount. Determine liabilities – The deceased’s old tax returns should be located to determine what has been filed and if there are any outstanding taxes. Canada Revenue Agency has some resources that are helpful including What to Do Following a Death and What to Do When Someone has Died. In addition, the executor should consult tax advisors regarding post-mortem planning, graduated rate estate status and filing additional terminal year returns. The other known liabilities like mortgages, promissory notes, funeral debts, etc. must also be determined. The executor should ascertain if there are any contingent liabilities such as family law claims. If an executor fails to pay known liabilities, they are personally responsible; therefore, it is prudent for executors to advertise to notify potential creditors. Distribute estate property – The deceased’s will sometimes contains bequests to beneficiaries, after which the residue is distributed to the residual beneficiaries. Sometimes assets are left in trusts for beneficiaries and the executor may be the trustee for these ongoing trusts or other individuals may be named as trustees. If there are illiquid and liquid assets, this can lead to beneficiary disputes. The executor may have to liquidate certain assets in order to make distributions to the beneficiaries. With respect to personal assets, hopefully the deceased’s will describes how they are to be distributed. If not, the executor will have to determine a process for beneficiaries to claim personal assets – this is often the most emotional process and disputes between beneficiaries often arise that the executor must be prepared to handle. Before making the final distribution from the estate, the executor should get a tax clearance certificate from the Canada Revenue Agency (and Revenue Quebec). The certificate ensures that the executor is not personally liable for any unpaid taxes or other amounts under the Income Tax Act (or the Taxation Act of Quebec). In addition, the executor should get a written release from the beneficiaries that they have received their full share of the estate. In some cases, it is necessary to get a court-approved passing of accounts to approve estate distribution and executor’s compensation. Again, legal advice should be obtained. An executor’s commitment Being appointed as an executor to someone’s will, is in fact a privilege and shows the great respect and faith that person has in your client and their ability to fulfill their final wishes. It also comes with a lot of responsibility, can be emotionally draining and, as can be seen from the duties outlined above, can be a significant time commitment for your client. For smaller or simpler estates where family members are the executors and the beneficiaries, the role may not be as complex or time consuming, but even with smaller estates emotions can run high with respect to certain assets. Communication between the proposed executor and the person preparing their will is important so that the testator’s wishes are fully understood. Communication with the beneficiaries during the planning stage is recommended as a means of reducing potential disagreements after death. And of course, professional advice is paramount.
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Debt Consolidation Calculator

February 9, 2022

Just like we purge our cupboards and closets during Spring cleaning to make our day-to-day life more manageable, your client can now organize their debt in a way that makes their monthly budget far more manageable. So, go on and share this Debt Consolidation Calculator with your clients and help them pave the way to financial security and freedom. If you have any questions about this calculator or other debt consolidation strategies, please contact your local PPI office.
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Exploring Your Client’s Life Insurance Options

February 2, 2022

All life insurance plans start with the same basic precept. Your client policyholder pays a premium in exchange for a tax-free lump sum benefit that’s payable to their selected beneficiaries upon their death. But there’s more! Because life insurance enjoys favourable tax treatment under the Income Tax Act1, it’s a valuable financial instrument that can do more than just pay a lump sum death benefit. Most Insurers design plans that offer features and benefits — added value for consumers that comes at a premium. We’ve made it simple for your prospects and clients to check out the basic life insurance options with a new tool, Exploring Your Life Insurance Options.  Be sure to share it with them to enhance your next conversation about the option that’s best for their circumstances. If you have any questions about the many benefits of life insurance, please contact your local PPI office. Along with the tax-free death benefit, the tax treatment of Canadian exempt life insurance policies includes tax-deferred accumulation. When there is a disposition of the life insurance policy (for instance on withdrawal, surrender, or policy loan) or when a dividend is paid to the policyholder, taxation may apply.
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Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More than just Social Media

June 29, 2022

Today, it’s no longer about those old, templated letters or phone dialing campaigns that… let’s be honest… were highly time consuming and largely ineffective in getting the attention of your clients. Social media has changed the way we promote and do business – all with better results at a fraction of the cost. So, why should you join the social media party and how can you make an impact through direct response marketing? Direct Response Marketing – What is it and why does it matter to you? One of the most important types of marketing, direct response marketing, uses social media tools to engage with and inspire an immediate action from the person you are communicating with. The virtual or social world will continue to evolve and expand. So, if you are not taking advantage of modern marketing, you are probably missing out on a fast, inexpensive and effective way to reach your clients, build relationships, build trust and grow your business – merely with a few clicks on your social media. The Benefits of Direct Response Marketing So, what are some of the benefits of this type of marketing? Increase Brand Awareness – If you have a business, you have a brand. If you’re an independent advisor – well, you ARE your brand. Remember that your brand is not just a logo, a splash of colours and a big sign on a building – you are the face of your brand. Humanize Your Brand or Industry – Some customers are nervous about working with big corporations, however modern marketing allows you to humanize your brand, making a human connection. Promote Content – Direct response marketing allows you to promote content which can be extremely powerful in marketing your business and making sales. It allows you to get your message out, reach new people, reach existing clients and promote your value as well as the services that you provide. Engage Your Audience – It allows you to engage with your clients or audience, which in turn can build stronger relationships and trust. Learn About Your Customers – This type of marketing can also help you learn more about your clients so that you can better understand their need, wants, interests, fears, goals and more – then deliver exactly what they are asking for to guarantee a satisfied client. Target Your Advertising – It makes targeted advertising easier. You can drill down to very specific areas, interests, demographics, industries and much more. And what does targeted advertising help you do? Boost sales! Establish Yourself as A Thought Leader – Direct response marketing allows you to establish your brand as a thought leader. Likewise, it enables you to brand yourself as someone who is innovative, maintains a service level that is above and beyond their industry competitors, or even someone who specializes in working with specific types of clients – all of which builds trust. Stay Top of Mind – Staying top of mind is the next benefit. You want to be the first person your client thinks of when their friends on social media ask for recommendations for their financial planning. Partner With Influencers to Grow Your Audience – It allows you to partner with influencers to increase your audience. This could be anyone in this industry that is already a thought leader – someone who has a large following and sway. For advisors, this could be lawyers, accountants, referral partners, mortgage brokers and so on. Think about who has a similar audience to you, who can be beneficial to your audience and whose audience you could be beneficial to. Increase Website Traffic – Direct response marketing can help you increase your website traffic, especially if you consistently have new and valuable content that is on your website or blog. Boost Sales and Generate Leads – And last, but certainly not least, it can help you generate leads. This is a way to generate leads in a way that is authentic, trustworthy and builds genuine, long-term relationships. Modern direct response marketing is all about providing value and creating those client connections; developing the know, like and trust relationship that can help move someone from a prospect to a valued client (and even an advocate!). The truth is that social media is here to stay, so be sure to BE where your clients are so that you can continue to engage your audience, build trust and provide value. If you’d like to know more about direct response marketing and how to optimize your business with this modern marketing tool, please contact your local PPI office.
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Will the Money Last?

June 8, 2022

Help your clients calculate and compare scenarios for how long their savings will last when they start using it as income. Share the “Will the Money Last” calculator with them today. And, for a more comprehensive review of your clients optimized retirement income cash flows and withdrawal strategy comparisons use the Cascades tool available to PPI Advisors through the Stratosphere suite of tools.
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Corporate Owned Life Insurance and Beneficiary Designations

June 1, 2022

Many of your business-owner clients have corporate owned life insurance – an excellent and tax efficient way for your client to achieve their estate and succession planning goals. However, to avoid unintended tax consequences, it is critical that the beneficiary designations of the corporate owned policies be reviewed. Where the corporation is the owner and payor of the life insurance, the corporation (or a subsidiary of the corporation) needs to be the beneficiary of the life insurance – not the shareholder’s estate or members of the shareholder’s family! Why? Well, when corporate funds are used to provide personal benefits to shareholders and their family members, a taxable shareholder benefit will result, and the corporation does not get a deduction for the benefit. This results in double tax for your client! This is exactly what happened during a recent Tax Court case, Harding v The Queen. A shareholder benefit was assessed since the company owned life insurance policies on Mr. Harding (the sole shareholder) but the beneficiaries of those policies were Mr. Harding’s spouse and children. Not good planning. Mr. Harding tried to argue that he was not aware of who the beneficiaries were and did not mean to confer a benefit. Not surprisingly, the Canada Revenue Agency and the court did not see these reasons as valid arguments and assessed a shareholder benefit for the life insurance premiums paid. The Harding case is a good reminder of what not to do when there is corporate owned life insurance, as well as the importance of reviewing the beneficiary designations on corporate owned life insurance with your clients. For more information on this case and how to effectively structure corporate owned life insurance, read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Harding Case – A ruling on beneficiaries and corporate life insurance policies, located on PPI’s Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). And if you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, please contact your local PPI office.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Investment Blogs

May 25, 2022

Investing – a great way for your client to put away some of their hard-earned dollars towards their retirement and future security. At PPI, we have more than a few great investment articles that you can share with your clients. We did a little digging and found the top three investment-related blogs from 2021. Check them out below and then consider sharing the client-friendly versions with your clients and prospects. The Power of Compound Interest for your Client – What is compound interest and how can it help your client maximize their savings? Find out how your client can do this via monthly, pre-authorized deposits – because a few dollars can go a long way! Be sure to share this client-friendly article. Seg Funds – Protecting your Client from a Volatile Market – Volatile markets are nothing new. In fact, the markets are constantly fluctuating. But if your client is an investor or nearing their retirement years, this type of instability can be quite stressful. Find out how segregated funds just might be the solution to such an uncertain market. Be sure to share this client-friendly article. TFSA vs RRSP vs Both. What’s best for your client? – TFSAs and RRSPs – both are excellent investment options, but which one is right for your client? Learn a little more about the ins and outs of both and which one is the best investment solution for your client. Be sure to share this client-friendly article. If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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Referrals: A Critical Part of Your Growth Strategy

May 18, 2022

There is a quote made famous by American author William S. Burroughs that says, “When you stop growing, you start dying.” While the idea behind this might apply to many aspects of life, it’s perhaps especially relevant when framed within the context of the insurance industry. Each advisor is unique. Varying skill sets, approaches in process and attitudes allow each of you to build a practice that fits you. However, there are certain practices that are utilized by almost all top successful advisors, one of the most important of these being the implementation of an effective referral process. Most advisors would agree that finding new clients is one of the more challenging aspects of this business. Simply finding someone who is prepared to have a discussion can prove difficult. Coupled with DNC (Do Not Call) constraints, privacy restrictions and even just the social stigma surrounding the insurance industry, it is sometimes a wonder how an advisor can grow their business at all. What is so striking is that many advisors work so hard to secure a new client, but then fail to utilize that relationship to allow for new clients to follow with much less effort. When it comes to referrals, most advisors have concerns. In fact, many feel that asking for referrals makes their client feel uneasy. It can also make an advisor feel like a bit of a salesperson and that utilizing this approach might damage the new relationship with their client. An advisor doesn’t want to do anything that may impact the trusted relationship you are building. All understandable and valid concerns. The idea of pulling out a pen and paper and asking your new client for a few names of people that you can approach for a new sale can indeed feel aggressive. We want to treat the client with dignity and respect, and this type of old school approach is not always ideal – so, what’s an advisor to do? As mentioned earlier, virtually all successful top advisors have found a referral strategy that works for them. However, just because something works for one person in no way guarantees that it will work for others, so although you can study the strategies that others use, you will still need to find something that fits for you. Although it doesn’t pay immediate dividends, there is one low-pressure approach that can be quite effective over time. Once you acquire a new client, perhaps after delivering the first policy, plant your first referral seed. Begin by confirming that you and the client had done important work together and that they saw value in your new relationship. Continue by explaining that you’re currently building your practice and actively looking for new clients. Follow up by asking if at any point in the future they come across someone who they feel could take advantage of your skill set, would they do you the honour of an introduction. You may never walk away from that initial conversation with a long list of names. At this early stage, the client does not know you well enough to determine if you are worthy of an introduction to their friends, family or co-workers quite yet. Sure, you’ve done some effective planning together, but the relationship is still new. Will you continue to provide good service and advice? Will you continue to deliver on your promises? Will they even hear from you again now that your business transaction has been completed? These are all fair questions that your client will need answered before they truly consider you their trusted advisor. The truth is that you must continue to deliver for those clients. It sounds simple, but you have to follow through on your promises and continue to demonstrate your value and dedication. Time to plant the next seed. At the first review with your new client, typically the 12-month mark, reiterate your desire to grow your business. At that point you may start to see some actual referrals. Continue this approach every year until you are no longer looking to grow your practice. As you continue to prove your professional worth, clients will feel more comfortable referring you and your client list will indeed grow. There are many approaches to building referrals from your client base, and no one can determine what will work best for you personally. However, whether you use the approach mentioned earlier, or something completely different, you should be doing something. The PPI Sales team would be happy to help you find ways to build a referral process into your practice. We want to help you find ways to truly work smarter, not harder. So, when considering the referral process, keep this Wayne Gretzky quote in mind, “You miss 100% percent of the shots you don’t take.”
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INFOclip: The Value of Advice

May 11, 2022

You know this industry inside and out – you’re a pro! In fact, nobody else is as suited to provide sound, up-to-date and in-depth financial planning advice to your clients as you are. However, many prospects continue to seek answers to their financial queries online or even worse, simply forgo financial matters altogether because it is just too daunting to even contemplate. We’re here to help with this short video outlining the many benefits of working with a professional advisor such as yourself. Be sure to share it with your prospects today to highlight how your advice is not only valuable but can help them achieve their financial goals for today and the future.
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Strengthening Your Client’s Safety Net with Critical Illness Insurance

May 4, 2022

Risks are inevitable and in your line of work, you consider risks all the time – after all, your speciality is building the safety net your clients need to protect against associated financial consequences. This Strengthening Your Safety Net tool will help give your clients some perspective on the risk and economic impact of a critical illness and demonstrate how you can assist in rounding out their insurance portfolio with critical illness insurance. Share it with your clients or use it to support your next critical illness insurance consultation.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Insurance Blogs

April 27, 2022

The results are in! We found the top 3 insurance-related articles preferred by your clients in 2021. Check out these articles below and consider sharing them with your new clients and prospects. Estate Protection for your Client Your client has worked hard all their life and they’ve saved a few dollars. However, how can they protect their assets from the inevitable tax liability upon death? Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Critical Illness Insurance – Financial Protection for Your Client Critical illness insurance is still one of the most important protection products on the market today. Not only does it financially protect your client during an unexpected illness, it also offers a return of premium option. That’s a win-win! Be sure to share this client-friendly article! Love and Money Love is a wonderful thing, but sometimes financial worries can get in the way. Here are a few tips to share with your clients to keep their pocketbooks full and the love lights burning. Be sure to share this client-friendly article! If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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To Freeze or Not to Freeze, That Is the Question

April 13, 2022

Before we dive into this interesting topic, let’s start with the definition of an estate freeze. An estate freeze is a common planning strategy for business owners to pass the growth of their company onto the next generation and cap the value that will be subject to income tax on the sale of their shares in the company or on their death. The question of whether to freeze and when, is something your business owner clients should consider.  Many things come into play when deciding when to freeze, including the value of the company, age of the parents who are considering a freeze, as well as the ages of the children to whom the growth is to be passed. Additionally, in today’s market, there are many other reasons to contemplate freezing the value of the company now – has the pandemic caused the value of the company to decline? Speculation that the capital gains rate might increase from 50% to 75%, which would increase the tax liability on death for the shares, is another reason to look at implementation of an estate freeze sooner rather than later. To learn more about the ways of implementing an estate freeze for your clients and the many potential advantages of using life insurance for estate and business succession planning purposes, be sure to read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Estate Freezes, located on our Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). If you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, contact your local PPI office.
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Insuring Your Client’s Greatest Asset with Disability Insurance

April 6, 2022

What does your client consider their greatest asset? Home and vehicles are among the most common answers, however, your client’s earning power has the biggest impact on their financial health. More likely, their home and vehicles are ensured, but what about their earning power? Have a look at PPI’s Insuring Your Greatest Asset tool below, then share it with your clients to give them a little perspective on the importance of their earning power and how to safeguard it.
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What becomes of the broken-hearted? Stress and the Human Heart

March 30, 2022

The Irish playwright, Oscar Wilde, observed that the heart was made to be broken. Indeed, the experience of being alive is almost certain to contain at least one heartbreak, perhaps even adding to the richness of our humanity or sowing the seed of a future happiness. The medical community has long questioned whether heartbreak or its’ frequent companion, severe or chronic physical or emotional stress, can damage the human heart, the muscle responsible for each life sustaining breath. Let’s take a look at possible answers to those questions. For millennia, doctors have treated patients with physical ailments suspected to be associated with strong emotion or suspected psychological causes. For some, those emotion related ailments might include headaches, stomach pain or just a general malaise. But what about the heart? Decades ago, astute Japanese researchers began to note a pattern of a weakened heart muscle, occurring most often in post-menopausal women who have recently undergone physical or emotional stress (1). Described in 1990 as stress cardiomyopathy and dubbed “Takotsubo Syndrome”, the Japanese name for a plant that resembles the affected heart, this condition often presents with chest pain and possible ECG and blood test changes seen with a heart attack. This can present a diagnostic challenge as the patient is wheeled to undergo a coronary angiogram and unblocking of the diseased arteries, only to find there are no significant blockages at all. In those cases, further investigation will reveal the main pumping chamber of the heart to be weakened, hence the term cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle). As stated, older women are affected with one study reporting nearly 90% female, with a mean age of nearly 67. Interestingly, and in keeping with the stress component of the cardiomyopathy, higher rates of neurologic or psychiatric disorders (55.8%) were reported in the group with this condition versus the 25.7% presenting with true heart attacks (2). Cardiomyopathies come in different sub-types and are generally serious underwriting concerns. These concerns relate to a greater risk for more severe and potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. These cases will often be heavily rated or uninsurable. The good news with stress cardiomyopathy is that it is often treatable with common heart medications, with excellent prospects for a full recovery, perhaps in excess of 90% (2). For these cases, the prospects for insurance are also good, though a waiting period or extra premium may still be required. The mind-body connection continues to challenge medical professionals but continues to provide insight into overall health and enhancing the ability to diagnose and treat certain ailments. Continue to keep up with PPI’s Risk Bits for more news on the mind-body connection and good health. Kazuo Komamura et al., Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: Pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. World Journal of Cardiology. July 26, 2014. Christian Templin et al., Clinical Features ad Outcomes of Takotsubo (Stress) Cardiomyopathy. The New England Journal of Medicine. September 3, 2015.
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SMART TALK… about choosing the right insurance

March 25, 2022

As an advisor, you know the many categories and variations that exist within insurance – all of it can be quite perplexing for anyone who is not familiar with the insurance world. This video describes the difference between term and permanent insurance, as well as living benefits like critical illness, long term disability and long-term care in a way that is easy for clients to understand. Share the client-friendly link below with your clients to help them decide which insurance is right for them. If you have any questions, please be sure to contact your local PPI office.
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SMART TALK… about your insurance options

March 24, 2022

When it comes to life insurance, the process can be a little daunting, especially for those clients that don’t know what to expect. Needs analysis, the application and underwriting process, payment options… it’s a lot. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to help them understand the process of purchasing life insurance. If you have any questions, please be sure to reach out to your local PPI office – we’re here to help!
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SMART TALK… about insurance

March 17, 2022

You know how tumultuous life can get and insurance exists to provide peace of mind during the toughest of moments. If your client is faced with an unexpected illness, disability or even death, insurance can provide options to cover ongoing expenses or help to build and protect assets that can be passed on to heirs. Watch this video, then share it with your clients to illustrate the many benefits of life insurance. If you have any questions, please contact your local PPI office – we’re here to help you connect with your clients!
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Recent Articles

Building Connections Through Direct Response Marketing… More than just Social Media

June 29, 2022

Today, it’s no longer about those old, templated letters or phone dialing campaigns that… let’s be honest… were highly time consuming and largely ineffective in getting the attention of your clients. Social media has changed the way we promote and do business – all with better results at a fraction of the cost. So, why should you join the social media party and how can you make an impact through direct response marketing? Direct Response Marketing – What is it and why does it matter to you? One of the most important types of marketing, direct response marketing, uses social media tools to engage with and inspire an immediate action from the person you are communicating with. The virtual or social world will continue to evolve and expand. So, if you are not taking advantage of modern marketing, you are probably missing out on a fast, inexpensive and effective way to reach your clients, build relationships, build trust and grow your business – merely with a few clicks on your social media. The Benefits of Direct Response Marketing So, what are some of the benefits of this type of marketing? Increase Brand Awareness – If you have a business, you have a brand. If you’re an independent advisor – well, you ARE your brand. Remember that your brand is not just a logo, a splash of colours and a big sign on a building – you are the face of your brand. Humanize Your Brand or Industry – Some customers are nervous about working with big corporations, however modern marketing allows you to humanize your brand, making a human connection. Promote Content – Direct response marketing allows you to promote content which can be extremely powerful in marketing your business and making sales. It allows you to get your message out, reach new people, reach existing clients and promote your value as well as the services that you provide. Engage Your Audience – It allows you to engage with your clients or audience, which in turn can build stronger relationships and trust. Learn About Your Customers – This type of marketing can also help you learn more about your clients so that you can better understand their need, wants, interests, fears, goals and more – then deliver exactly what they are asking for to guarantee a satisfied client. Target Your Advertising – It makes targeted advertising easier. You can drill down to very specific areas, interests, demographics, industries and much more. And what does targeted advertising help you do? Boost sales! Establish Yourself as A Thought Leader – Direct response marketing allows you to establish your brand as a thought leader. Likewise, it enables you to brand yourself as someone who is innovative, maintains a service level that is above and beyond their industry competitors, or even someone who specializes in working with specific types of clients – all of which builds trust. Stay Top of Mind – Staying top of mind is the next benefit. You want to be the first person your client thinks of when their friends on social media ask for recommendations for their financial planning. Partner With Influencers to Grow Your Audience – It allows you to partner with influencers to increase your audience. This could be anyone in this industry that is already a thought leader – someone who has a large following and sway. For advisors, this could be lawyers, accountants, referral partners, mortgage brokers and so on. Think about who has a similar audience to you, who can be beneficial to your audience and whose audience you could be beneficial to. Increase Website Traffic – Direct response marketing can help you increase your website traffic, especially if you consistently have new and valuable content that is on your website or blog. Boost Sales and Generate Leads – And last, but certainly not least, it can help you generate leads. This is a way to generate leads in a way that is authentic, trustworthy and builds genuine, long-term relationships. Modern direct response marketing is all about providing value and creating those client connections; developing the know, like and trust relationship that can help move someone from a prospect to a valued client (and even an advocate!). The truth is that social media is here to stay, so be sure to BE where your clients are so that you can continue to engage your audience, build trust and provide value. If you’d like to know more about direct response marketing and how to optimize your business with this modern marketing tool, please contact your local PPI office.
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Will the Money Last?

June 8, 2022

Help your clients calculate and compare scenarios for how long their savings will last when they start using it as income. Share the “Will the Money Last” calculator with them today. And, for a more comprehensive review of your clients optimized retirement income cash flows and withdrawal strategy comparisons use the Cascades tool available to PPI Advisors through the Stratosphere suite of tools.
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Corporate Owned Life Insurance and Beneficiary Designations

June 1, 2022

Many of your business-owner clients have corporate owned life insurance – an excellent and tax efficient way for your client to achieve their estate and succession planning goals. However, to avoid unintended tax consequences, it is critical that the beneficiary designations of the corporate owned policies be reviewed. Where the corporation is the owner and payor of the life insurance, the corporation (or a subsidiary of the corporation) needs to be the beneficiary of the life insurance – not the shareholder’s estate or members of the shareholder’s family! Why? Well, when corporate funds are used to provide personal benefits to shareholders and their family members, a taxable shareholder benefit will result, and the corporation does not get a deduction for the benefit. This results in double tax for your client! This is exactly what happened during a recent Tax Court case, Harding v The Queen. A shareholder benefit was assessed since the company owned life insurance policies on Mr. Harding (the sole shareholder) but the beneficiaries of those policies were Mr. Harding’s spouse and children. Not good planning. Mr. Harding tried to argue that he was not aware of who the beneficiaries were and did not mean to confer a benefit. Not surprisingly, the Canada Revenue Agency and the court did not see these reasons as valid arguments and assessed a shareholder benefit for the life insurance premiums paid. The Harding case is a good reminder of what not to do when there is corporate owned life insurance, as well as the importance of reviewing the beneficiary designations on corporate owned life insurance with your clients. For more information on this case and how to effectively structure corporate owned life insurance, read Glenn Stephens’, PPI’s VP of Planning Services, article for Forum magazine Harding Case – A ruling on beneficiaries and corporate life insurance policies, located on PPI’s Professional Resource Centre (Advisor login required). And if you have questions regarding estate and tax planning, please contact your local PPI office.
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The Greatest Hits: Your Clients’ Top 3 Investment Blogs

May 25, 2022

Investing – a great way for your client to put away some of their hard-earned dollars towards their retirement and future security. At PPI, we have more than a few great investment articles that you can share with your clients. We did a little digging and found the top three investment-related blogs from 2021. Check them out below and then consider sharing the client-friendly versions with your clients and prospects. The Power of Compound Interest for your Client – What is compound interest and how can it help your client maximize their savings? Find out how your client can do this via monthly, pre-authorized deposits – because a few dollars can go a long way! Be sure to share this client-friendly article. Seg Funds – Protecting your Client from a Volatile Market – Volatile markets are nothing new. In fact, the markets are constantly fluctuating. But if your client is an investor or nearing their retirement years, this type of instability can be quite stressful. Find out how segregated funds just might be the solution to such an uncertain market. Be sure to share this client-friendly article. TFSA vs RRSP vs Both. What’s best for your client? – TFSAs and RRSPs – both are excellent investment options, but which one is right for your client? Learn a little more about the ins and outs of both and which one is the best investment solution for your client. Be sure to share this client-friendly article. If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact your local PPI office – we are here to help you grow your business!
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Referrals: A Critical Part of Your Growth Strategy

May 18, 2022

There is a quote made famous by American author William S. Burroughs that says, “When you stop growing, you start dying.” While the idea behind this might apply to many aspects of life, it’s perhaps especially relevant when framed within the context of the insurance industry. Each advisor is unique. Varying skill sets, approaches in process and attitudes allow each of you to build a practice that fits you. However, there are certain practices that are utilized by almost all top successful advisors, one of the most important of these being the implementation of an effective referral process. Most advisors would agree that finding new clients is one of the more challenging aspects of this business. Simply finding someone who is prepared to have a discussion can prove difficult. Coupled with DNC (Do Not Call) constraints, privacy restrictions and even just the social stigma surrounding the insurance industry, it is sometimes a wonder how an advisor can grow their business at all. What is so striking is that many advisors work so hard to secure a new client, but then fail to utilize that relationship to allow for new clients to follow with much less effort. When it comes to referrals, most advisors have concerns. In fact, many feel that asking for referrals makes their client feel uneasy. It can also make an advisor feel like a bit of a salesperson and that utilizing this approach might damage the new relationship with their client. An advisor doesn’t want to do anything that may impact the trusted relationship you are building. All understandable and valid concerns. The idea of pulling out a pen and paper and asking your new client for a few names of people that you can approach for a new sale can indeed feel aggressive. We want to treat the client with dignity and respect, and this type of old school approach is not always ideal – so, what’s an advisor to do? As mentioned earlier, virtually all successful top advisors have found a referral strategy that works for them. However, just because something works for one person in no way guarantees that it will work for others, so although you can study the strategies that others use, you will still need to find something that fits for you. Although it doesn’t pay immediate dividends, there is one low-pressure approach that can be quite effective over time. Once you acquire a new client, perhaps after delivering the first policy, plant your first referral seed. Begin by confirming that you and the client had done important work together and that they saw value in your new relationship. Continue by explaining that you’re currently building your practice and actively looking for new clients. Follow up by asking if at any point in the future they come across someone who they feel could take advantage of your skill set, would they do you the honour of an introduction. You may never walk away from that initial conversation with a long list of names. At this early stage, the client does not know you well enough to determine if you are worthy of an introduction to their friends, family or co-workers quite yet. Sure, you’ve done some effective planning together, but the relationship is still new. Will you continue to provide good service and advice? Will you continue to deliver on your promises? Will they even hear from you again now that your business transaction has been completed? These are all fair questions that your client will need answered before they truly consider you their trusted advisor. The truth is that you must continue to deliver for those clients. It sounds simple, but you have to follow through on your promises and continue to demonstrate your value and dedication. Time to plant the next seed. At the first review with your new client, typically the 12-month mark, reiterate your desire to grow your business. At that point you may start to see some actual referrals. Continue this approach every year until you are no longer looking to grow your practice. As you continue to prove your professional worth, clients will feel more comfortable referring you and your client list will indeed grow. There are many approaches to building referrals from your client base, and no one can determine what will work best for you personally. However, whether you use the approach mentioned earlier, or something completely different, you should be doing something. The PPI Sales team would be happy to help you find ways to build a referral process into your practice. We want to help you find ways to truly work smarter, not harder. So, when considering the referral process, keep this Wayne Gretzky quote in mind, “You miss 100% percent of the shots you don’t take.”
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INFOclip: The Value of Advice

May 11, 2022

You know this industry inside and out – you’re a pro! In fact, nobody else is as suited to provide sound, up-to-date and in-depth financial planning advice to your clients as you are. However, many prospects continue to seek answers to their financial queries online or even worse, simply forgo financial matters altogether because it is just too daunting to even contemplate. We’re here to help with this short video outlining the many benefits of working with a professional advisor such as yourself. Be sure to share it with your prospects today to highlight how your advice is not only valuable but can help them achieve their financial goals for today and the future.
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Strengthening Your Client’s Safety Net with Critical Illness Insurance

May 4, 2022

Risks are inevitable and in your line of work, you consider risks all the time – after all, your speciality is building the safety net your clients need to protect against associated financial consequences. This Strengthening Your Safety Net tool will help give your clients some perspective on the risk and economic impact of a critical illness and demonstrate how you can assist in rounding out their insurance portfolio with critical illness insurance. Share it with your clients or use it to support your next critical illness insurance consultation.
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