McComb Team: Services

By: Weston Mccomb  09-12-2011
Keywords: mutual funds, Investment Advisor, retirement savings

Individual Services

As independent advisors, we can provide you with access to stocks, fixed-income securities, mutual funds and a host of other financial instruments. Above and beyond these services, of course, we also provide our clients with informed advice, culled from our years of experience. We will help you analyze your situation with an approach that takes into account not only financial objectives, but also economic conditions and market trends that may affect your investments in the future. This will help you develop a long-term framework within which we will execute your financial transactions.

Some of the services we offer include:

Technically speaking, these are not actually investments themselves, but “envelope plans” that can hold a great variety of investments and shelter them from taxes. RSPs and RIFs are essential instruments for anyone who wants to ensure a comfortable retirement. A recognized expert in the field, National Bank Financial manages more than $9 billion in retirement savings assets and offers three types of RSPs: the Fully Guaranteed Investment RSP, which holds 100%-guaranteed fixed-income securities, the Transition RSP, which allows you to combine mutual funds and guaranteed investments in a single account, and the self-directed Portfolio RSP, which gives you maximum flexibility and control over your retirement savings. With options like these, you’re sure to find a solution that meets your specific financial objectives.

Like retirement savings plans (RSPs), education savings plans (ESPs) are “envelope plans” in which your investments can grow in a tax-sheltered environment. Income tax is payable only when the earnings are withdrawn. The difference is that RSPs are designed for retirement income, while ESPs are used to finance the post-secondary education of individuals you designate as beneficiaries, usually your children or grandchildren. Here, too, National
Bank Financial offers a number of solutions, one of which will be just right for you.

This asset class encompasses a wide range of products with the rate of return and value at maturity guaranteed by the issuer. Guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) are probably the most common. However, there are also bonds, savings bonds, stripped coupons, and other securities issued by governments and other government-guaranteed organizations which offer a three-fold advantage over GICs. First, they are not limited to a maximum term of 5 years. Government-issued fixed-income securities are available with terms of up to 30 years, which is very useful when considering long-range investment projects, such as saving for retirement. Second, they are guaranteed unconditionally and without limit by the issuer. This is particularly attractive when you consider that GICs and other deposit certificates are covered by deposit insurance up to only $60,000 per issuer. Third, and perhaps most important, they can be re-sold at any time prior to maturity.

Many of the world’s most senior corporations also issue bonds. Although corporate bonds are perceived as carrying more investment risk than government-issued or guaranteed bonds, they can also play a useful part in building your portfolio.

Stocks are shares of publicly owned companies which are bought and sold on stock exchanges. Through its offices in London, Geneva and New York, as well as strategic alliances with a number of global partners, National Bank Financial has access to all the major financial markets around the world. In Canada, we are members of the Montreal, Toronto, and Canadian Venture Exchange stock exchanges, and we have a seat on the Toronto Futures Exchange and the Winnipeg Commodities Exchange. In addition to the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), we belong to the TMX Group (Toronto Stock Exchange, TSX Venture Exchange and Montreal Exchange), Ice Futures Canada, the Securities Industry Association (United States) and the Securities and Futures Authority (United Kingdom).

National Bank Financial has 140 investment and corporate banking professionals working out of Toronto, Montreal and Calgary, who are highly regarded by issuing corporations. This helps ensure priority access for our clients to the best new share issues.

Mutual funds represent an ideal way to diversify your holdings without having to invest huge sums of money. For as little as $500, you can purchase units of a fund that invests in a well-diversified portfolio of securities. Some funds buy mainly bonds and other debt securities (fixed-income funds), others focus primarily on stocks (equity funds), and still others are called “balanced” funds because of the mix of securities in their portfolio. A number of funds also operate internationally, which allows you to diversify your investments geographically.

With more than 1,400 funds available in Canada, choosing the right one is not easy. In fact, there are almost as many mutual funds in Canada as there are companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange! Enlightened decision-making cannot be spur-of-the-moment. Your Investment Advisor makes it his or her business to study the content and performance of mutual funds, and will help you identify those most appropriate for your portfolio.

When you choose the Partnership accounts option, you replace conventional
commissions with management fees based not on the cost or number of transactions, but on the value of the assets we manage for you.

Most people will agree that the commission system is certainly one of the more equitable. The cost of ongoing advice and service is built into these transaction fees, so the only time you actually have to pay anything is when a security is bought or sold in one of your accounts. However, for some clients, such a payment structure is less than ideal. Since a commission is charged for each transaction, investors may find their decisions easily influenced by the costs associated with a sale or purchase — or they may even question the motivation of their Investment Advisor — and possibly miss out on some very
good opportunities.

Our Partnership accounts offer a different approach, with a fee that is simply based on the value of your assets. Asset growth then becomes your only concern. And it is our only concern as well. When your asset value goes up, so does our compensation. If the value drops temporarily, our compensation does, too. That’s what being partners means.

With discretionary portfolio management, clients whose assets have reached a certain level can delegate complete management of those assets to a team of investment experts.

The service adds a new dimension to your relationship with your Investment Advisor. Whereas your advisor serves as a consultant, helping you build your portfolio and make the best investment decisions, the portfolio management service acts on a discretionary basis: you delegate the decision-making authority to a specialized team, which, in accordance with your investment objectives, does what it thinks best to make your assets grow, and takes care of the necessary transactions without consulting you every time.

Emissary Portfolio Service is based on a sophisticated profiling process that allows you, with the help of your Investment Advisor, to determine the optimal composition of your portfolio — the composition that offers you the highest potential return for the lowest level of risk, based on your investor profile.

This process draws on the principle of the “efficient frontier,” a term that modern economic science uses to describe optimised portfolios, i.e. portfolios that present the minimum of risk for each given level of potential return. The process ultimately tells you which of our various Emissary Portfolios best matches your particular profile. There are five basic Emissary Portfolios to complement the five investor profiles, plus five matching portfolios designed for registered plan accounts (RSPs, RIFs, etc.).

Each portfolio consists of the most appropriate investment classes, allocated according to scientifically determined ratios, and is actively managed by investment managers who are acknowledged to be among the world's best. Each of these managers has been given a specific investment mandate in their area of expertise.

To further ensure effectiveness and consistency over time, the process is constantly monitored by our team. The result? You benefit at all times from superior portfolio management that is truly tailored to your needs.

One of the primary, and very legitimate, concerns of investors in choosing a financial institution to do business with is the protection of the funds they deposit there. In opting for our firm, you can be sure you’ve made the right choice.

Anyone who decides to invest his or her money soon becomes familiar with the notion of risk. And one of every investor’s first and most important decisions is to establish a personal level of tolerance with respect to market volatility — an easy task when based on a judicious investment strategy.

However, choosing a financial institution to which to entrust your money must not be associated with risk of any sort. Your choice should not be a gamble, and at no time should your money be endangered by the possible insolvency of the firm concerned.

National Bank Financial clients are particularly fortunate in this regard, as they benefit from the most solid protection the industry has to offer. The four major elements of this protection are:

  • complementary private insurance that raises your coverage to a minimum of $20 million;
  • extremely rigorous procedures for administering all assets on deposit;
  • the recognized solidity of our firm.
The information in this article was current at 06 Dec 2011

Keywords: Investment Advisor, mutual funds, retirement savings, Savings Plans

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