Well, well, well….I looked back to the beginning of the year and I see that one of my first blog posts was, whaddya know, a checklist for your New Year’s Financial Resolutions.
So here we are at the end of 2019 already (!) and I thought I’d round things out with a post about a few things to do at the end of the year for good financial health.
- Tax Loss Selling. Take a look at your non-registered accounts for positions with an unrealized capital loss. You can apply those losses to offset any gains going back 3 years and forward indefinitely. Unused 2018 losses can be carried back to 2015, 2016 and 2017. Be careful to avoid a superficial loss – the rules here are that you (or an affiliated person) can’t have acquired the property 30 calendar days before the sale or 30 calendar days after the sale.There are lots of reasons to hold on to a stock when it’s down. It might be hard to replace the dividend or you might expect good news soon. Something to keep in mind - at a time when the U.S. recessionary scorecard is flashing a couple of warnings – it’s a good time to up the quality of your portfolio as a defensive measure.When carrying back losses you only have to file a CRA T1A form, you don’t have to re-file an amended return.
- Charitable Giving. I wrote a post a few months ago about donating securities in-in kind and the extra tax benefits you get. To recap in brief: if you donate shares with an imbedded capital gain, you’ll get a tax receipt for the full market value of the shares and not have to pay the capital gains tax. It’s a win-win for you and the charitable organization.
- Financial Review. Did you have an annual investment review this year? A lot of people like to take care of this at the end of the year - some for the reasons above - and some people prefer the beginning of the year so they can talk about TFSA or RSP contributions or RIF payments. Either way, the most important thing is that you took some time to review your portfolio for adherence to your financial plan/goals. If you didn’t, resolve to make that a priority in 2020.
Speaking of 2020 – we’re just a few short weeks away from the Roaring 20’s Redux. (I’m predicting a lot of Gatsby New Year’s Eve parties.) The 20’s have been short-hand for the Jazz Age and all that evokes but did you know that in the 1920’s:
- American First Lady Edith Wilson was the de-facto U.S. president for a year and a half after President Woodrow Wilson suffered a blood clot. (The French even recognized her as Madame President.)
- Annnndddd….women in the U.S. won the right to vote. Coincidence? It would take another 2 years for Canadian women to be granted full suffrage.
- The League of Nations was founded. So was the NFL.
- The Yankees won their first World Series, TV was invented, Agatha Christie published her first book and the French hosted the very first Winter Olympics.
- Other firsts – the Oscars, Mickey Mouse and the first transatlantic flight.
What firsts will we see in this brand-new decade ahead? When you think about how it was only 24 years from Kitty Hawk to Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic and then only 42 years to the moon landing it’s amazing to think of the progress that can be made in such a short time. Cheers to human ingenuity and a very happy holiday to you and yours. Wishing you health and wealth in the new decade.
Until the new year,
Look for me on Facebook – H.J. LeBar of the Harper Wealth Management Group of RBC Dominion Securities or LinkedIn – Heather J. LeBar, for more frequent updates.