2023 Q1 Update

April 14, 2023 | Sam Rook


We’re trying something new - a quarterly update available to all of you via email and also on our website at www.samuelrook.com. It won’t be that long, and hopefully, never boring. We will focus on all sorts of important things, including...

Dear Clients, Friends and Colleagues,


          We’re trying something new - a quarterly update available to all of you via email and also on our website at www.samuelrook.com.


          It won’t be that long, and hopefully, never boring. We will focus on all sorts of important things, including the stock market, income tax changes, financial planning, and life.


          We always welcome your feedback. If there is something you would love to see us write about we want to know.


          Without any further delay….


What Happened:

          While stock markets had a positive quarter across nearly all major markets, it wasn’t without some swings up and down. We’ve had a good start on the expectation of slowing interest rate increases but the concerns about a US recession continue to create a confusing time for most. In my opinion, this likely continues until it becomes clear that interest rates have stopped going up (in the US which is driving the bus on this) or we have an actual recession which likely forces interest rates to at least stay put.


          The big news of the quarter was the failure of 3 US regional banks, highlighted by the sudden failure of Silicon Valley Bank after they employed some rather awful risk management decisions in early 2022 and invested their deposits into long term bonds and mortgages at the worst possible time. Matt Levine of Bloomberg gives the most entertaining breakdown of what happened to Silicon Valley Bank if you want to go deeper.


What about my bank stocks?

          The question I got most in the last month was “What does this mean for my (insert bank name) stock?” We held relatively tiny amounts in US Bank and Charles Schwab and we sold for clients immediately to protect against further downside. Mostly we have exposure to JP Morgan and the best of the Canadian banks, all of which are flooded with plenty of capital/cash. We continue to monitor things as always, but we can rest easy knowing that owning quality and profitable companies gives us a measure of lower risk.


The Federal Budget

          FinMin Chrystia Freeland unveiled the latest Federal Government budget and after lots of handwringing about the top tax rate going up and/or capital gains taxes going up, there was little change to personal income tax rules.

          The one item that is worth noting were the changes to Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) calculations. I’m working with some experts to better understand how these changes might impact you and will have a much more in-depth piece on these changes later in the year.



          We got the details on the First Homebuyers Savings Account in the Budget and it is a pretty interesting change. If you own a home already, sorry but you are out of luck on this front. But there are a few interesting planning opportunities around the FHSA that Chelsea and I will be discussing with many of you during the year.


Team Notes

          It’s income tax time and we are typically very busy. If you are missing slips, receipts, forms etc. please reach out to our Associate, Scarlett Shi, at Yangwenting.shi@rbc.com and she will get what you need to you or your Accountants ASAP.


          We continue to work with you and your tax people to streamline tax season. Rather than trying to figure out if you have everything from us, we can send ALL your tax documents directly to your accountant. If you want us to do this please let Scarlett and I know. Save yourself the hassle at tax time.


Financial Planning Process

          Many of you have done some level of planning with us over the years but one of the big changes to our service offering is that we are now pushing to go through the process of planning every 3-4 years.


          Financial Planning has nothing to do with trying to create a budget for you. It is ALL ABOUT trying to work with you to meet your goals and to help you live the life you want to live. Planning helps us better understand you and your needs and it has been shown time and again to help us do a better job for you.


          Chelsea’s role has now moved into managing this part of my business and you will eventually hear from her over the next couple of years to set up a time for us to start building a new plan or to update your existing plan. After that, we will keep coming back to you every 3-4 years. Maybe nothing changed, maybe lots has changed but the only way for us to offer you the best of what we can do is to have these planning talks on a regular basis. Of course if something major happens in between we will absolutely do your updates at that time.


          The goal is to make sure we are doing everything to help you.


Looking forward to spring!