Hazzardous Notes Newsletter for February, 2020

February 11, 2020 | Kevin J. Hazzard


First mentioned in last month's newsletter, our RBC DS "e for a tree" campaign is in full stride. For every household that converts from paper statements to e-documents by August 31, 2020, our local Sarnia office will plant a tree in the community!

Opening Notes

The month of February is upon us and 2020 is already off to an eventful start.  Strong, but sometimes volatile, markets keep pressing upward despite headlines about a potential U.S. war with Iran, the ongoing saga of Brexit, and even a growing and slowly spreading health epidemic in China.  As I said in a conversation with a client this morning, at the end of the day, markets ultimately respond to earnings growth - and earnings have continued to be quite good.

On a more personal note, our family has been pulled into the current job action of the teacher's unions.  My wife, Josie, has been a long-time elementary teacher here in Sarnia.  It is unfortunate for all involved when conflicts between the provincial government and our teachers end up with teachers on picket lines rather than in the classroom.  Let's hope for a speedy and fair resolution.

Pay special attention to the highlighted articles below.  With RRSP season closing March 2nd, Michelle has some advice for those thinking of making contributions this year - hint - you may not want to leave it to the last day if you want to ensure that your contribution gets recorded on time.

As our cover photo has already highlighted, we are hoping to convert as many households as possible to our e-document option for statements and even tax receipts.  If you would like to try this option (and allow for another tree to be planted), please contact Michelle on how to easily make that change.  Enjoy the month of February!

2019 RRSP Deadline is March 2, 2020

The RRSP contribution deadline is fast approaching again.  Cheques can be deposited right up until the last day.  Client RRSP online contributions will not be backdated past the contribution deadline date.  Therefore clients should initiate their online payments by Feb 27, 2020 or earlier in order to be received into their RBC Wealth Management account before the deadline.

Upcoming budget - Potential for Change in the Capital Gains Inclusion Rate

With the Liberal Party of Canada currently leading a minority government, they may be reliant on support from the NDP to pass the 2020 Federal budget.  In the recent NDP election platform, the NDP proposed increasing the capital gains inclusion rate to 75% from the current 50% - basically meaning that 75% of a realized capital gain would be taxable rather than the current 50% level.  If a change is made in this year's March budget, it is still unclear if the change would be effective immediately after the budget is released, be retroactive, or start at a future date.  Read this report for more information - especially if you are thinking of realizing significant capital gains (or losses) in the near future: Planning for Possible Increase in Capital Gains Rate (press the back button to return to the blog)

Especially for Farmers - Introducing "Last Fridays"

We have all heard of Sarnia downtown's "First Fridays" where local stores and restaurants try and draw customers to our downtown core each month.  Not to be outdone, our Hazzard team has partnered with RBC Royal Bank and Allied Associates LLP, a chartered accounting firm that focuses on the farm community, to offer "Last Fridays".  Together we are offering joint meetings on the last Fridays of each month to meet individually with farm families to discuss their farm succession planning.  Having a diverse range of expertise all at the same table has proven very productive thus far - and participants are actually making progress on what is often a slow-moving topic.  Contact Michelle for more information or to schedule an appointment.

E for a tree Initiative

We first introduced this campaign last month but thought we would remind everyone again of this branch initiative to decrease paper statements in favour of e-documents.  Switching your accounts to e-statements between January 1 and August 31, 2020 will allow us to plant a tree in your honour. Through our ongoing commitment to creating a low carbon economy, RBC Dominion Securities aims to plant 300 trees in Lambton Kent this year. Click on this link for more information: E for a tree Initiative (press the back button to return to the blog)