Just starting out - Fred Snyder Seminars -

Hello Fred & David,

I listened to your show for the first time on Sunday morning, and I have some just-starting-out questions for you.

I am a sole proprietor (read, "freelancer") who currently has enough work to sustain 1.5 people, but who does not have any employees as of yet.  I work from a home office, and delight in the home-business tax write offs.

However, with no pension-earning job, and little to no familiarity in money management, save how to pay my bills, do my own taxes, and stick to a budget, I would like to get some advice.  I've looked up a few financial advisors, but they won't bother with me until I hit a benchmark of $100-250k.

So, here is my question:

How can I find an advisor that can create a plan for me and help me maximize investments so I don't have to work until I'm 102 (either of you willing to take an appointment)?

a) I have just over $30k in RRSPs, distributed through a variety of funds, and getting about 11% return.  I want to find out if I'm making the best choices as I'm doing this by guess and by golly.

b) I have a mortgage with about $199k left to pay off, on a townhouse just assessed at $260k.  Should I pay it down while it's at a nice 4.7% interest, or invest instead?  Or  do a small amount of each?

c) I have bank savings of around $20k (expected to drop a few thousand when I pay my income tax / CPP and submit the GST I've collected).

d) I am age 30, with no kids, no plan for any, and parents who are unlikely ever to become any sort of financial burden (well appointed property owners with good pensions).  I have a self-sufficient common law partner, whose tidy income does not affect my own income or choices (no joint accounts, etc).

e) Goals are to change house to one with rental potential and more space (range of $450-650k at today's market), to be comfortable by 55 so by then I'll only have to work part time on what I enjoy doing best, and to determine if it's worthwhile becoming a "real" business with staff to do it for me (kinda scary).

If I can find someone to help me with a comfortable plan, I hope to get a-e answered...

Thanks much for any direction you can provide.

Kind regards,
david ingram replies:

I work from my home office as well.  I love it and hate it.  Today I hated it.  There were disagreements all over about the territorial limitatiosn of the residence and office areas by my 2 sons and daughter and myself.  Who was going to vacuum, etc., etc., etc.  Those who have been to my home office will be surprized that the subject of vacuuming even came up.  I shouild have a sign at the front door that says:  IF YOU CAME TO SEE ME, COME ON IN, IF YOU CAME TO SEE A CLEAN HOUSE, PHONE FIRST AND COME BACK IN A WEEK".

You need a written financial plan and should attend some or all of Fred's free Thursday seminars (there are 23 different topics) to get more information, education and confidence. 

Call his office at (604) 731-8900 to book a seminar.  when you go to the seminars, you can also book a free written financial plan.  In the 1970's when I was in the first  Yellow Page listings as  a 'Financial Planner' ,  I charged $2,000 to $3,000 for a written plan.  Of course, they were done by hand, using calculators  that had just come out and added, subtracted, multiplied and heavenly were now dividing.  (my first printing calculator that did all four functions was an Olivetti Dimisuma 12 which cost over $1,000 in 1968 as I remember) .  My first non-printing electronic calculator was a SHARP and cost $1,200 the same year.  My first Financial Calculator was an HP-80 which was $900+ in 1973.  My first computer was a $275,000 Lougheed System III which actually had a 1,000,000 character tape drive.  The tapes were $100.00 each in 1977. 

You can see why I just shake my head when Fred runs off a written financial plan in an hour and gives it to the prospective client.

Fred also has no problems with dealing with someone starting out with $5,000 and has no minimums that i know of.

The other good part aboput Fred is that he is a financial planner who tells you what he really believes.  I have seen and heard him tell a hundred people (who came to him to buy an RRSP, etc.) to buy a house.  It can take him two hours to talk you out of an RRSP when you should be paying off your credit cards first or buying a house. He could have sold you the RRSP in ten minutes and made a commission because that is how he is paid.  He receives commissions for most (not all) of the products he recommends.  However, I have also seen him look at someone's portfolio and send them back to the advisor they have because they are doing the job right.

I charge $400 an hour.  Start with Fred and come to see me if HE THINKS YOU NEED ME and sends you over.

and keep on tuning in to Fred's Sunday Morning show "It's YOUR Money" on 600AM from 9 to 10:30 AM -- you can hear older shows archived at www.600am.com or hear it live on Sunday Mornings every place in the world with the internet at www.centa.com.

Canadians anywhere in the world can listen and get their questions answered.  I am usually on the last Sunday of each month to answer those US/Canada questions.


On December 25, 2007, David Ingram wrote:

It is very unlikely that blind or unexpected email to me will be answered.  I receive anywhere from 100 to 700  unsolicited emails a day and usually answer anywhere from 2 to 20 if they are not from existing clients.  Existing clients are advised to put their 'name and PAYING CUSTOMER' in the subject line and get answered first.  I also refuse to be a slave to email and do not look at it every day and have never ever looked at it when I am out of town. 
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However, I regularly search for the words"PAYING CUSTOMER" and always answer them first if they did not get spammed out. For the last two weeks, I have just found out that my own email notes to myself have been spammed out and as an example, as I write this on Dec 25, 2007 since June 16th, my 'spammed out' box has 47,941 unread messages, my deleted box has 16645 I have actually looked at and deleted and I have actually answered 1234 email questions for clients and strangers without sending a bill.  I have also put aside 847 messages that I am maybe going to try and answer because they look interesting. -e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax service and  help
Therefore, if an email is not answered in 24 to 36 hours, it is likely lost in space.  You can try and resend it but if important AND YOU TRULY WANT OR NEED AN ANSWER from 'me', you will have to phone to make an appointment.  Gillian Bryan generally accepts appointment requests for me between 10:30 AM and 4:00 PM Monday to Friday VANCOUVER (Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles) time at (604) 980-0321.  david ingram expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help.
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My Home office is at:
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Cell (604) 657-8451 -
(604) 980-0321 Fax (604) 980-0325

Calls welcomed from 10 AM to 9 PM 7 days a week  Vancouver (LA) time -  (please do not fax or phone outside of those hours as this is a home office) expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service help.
Disclaimer:  This question has been answered without detailed information or consultation and is to be regarded only as general comment.   Nothing in this message is or should be construed as advice in any particular circumstances. No contract exists between the reader and the author and any and all non-contractual duties are expressly denied. All readers should obtain formal advice from a competent and appropriately qualified legal practitioner or tax specialist for expert help, assistance, preparation, or consultation  in connection with personal or business affairs such as at www.centa.com. If you forward this message, this disclaimer must be included." e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help.
David Ingram gives expert income tax & immigration help to non-resident Americans & Canadians from New York to California to Mexico  family, estate, income trust trusts Cross border, dual citizen - out of country investments are all handled with competence & authority.
Phone consultations are $400 for 15 minutes to 50 minutes (professional hour). Please note that GST is added if product remains in Canada or is to be returned to Canada or a phone consultation is in Canada. expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help.
This is not intended to be definitive but in general I am quoting $900 to $2,900 for a dual country tax return.
$900 would be one T4 slip one W2 slip one or two interest slips and you lived in one country only (but were filing both countries) - no self employment or rentals or capital gains - you did not move into or out of the country in this year.
$1,100 would be the same with one rental
$1,300 would be the same with one business no rental
$1,300 would be the minimum with a move in or out of the country. These are complicated because of the back and forth foreign tax credits. - The IRS says a foreign tax credit takes 1 hour and 53 minutes.
$1,600 would be the minimum with a rental or two in the country you do not live in or a rental and a business and foreign tax credits  no move in or out

$1,700 would be for two people with income from two countries

$2,900 would be all of the above and you moved in and out of the country.
This is just a guideline for US / Canadian returns
We will still prepare Canadian only (lives in Canada, no US connection period) with two or three slips and no capital gains, etc. for $200.00 up.
With a Rental for $400, two or three rentals for $550 to $700 (i.e. $150 per rental) First year Rental - plus $250.
A Business for $400 - Rental and business likely $550 to $700
And an American only (lives in the US with no Canadian income or filing period) with about the same things in the same range with a little bit more if there is a state return.
Moving in or out of the country or part year earnings in the US will ALWAYS be $900 and up.
TDF 90-22.1 forms are $50 for the first and $25.00 each after that when part of a tax return.
8891 forms are generally $50.00 to $100.00 each.
18 RRSPs would be $900.00 - (maybe amalgamate a couple)
Capital gains *sales)  are likely $50.00 for the first and $20.00 each after that.

Catch - up returns for the US where we use the Canadian return as a guide for seven years at a time will be $150 to $500.00 per year depending upon numbers of bank accounts, RRSP's, existence of rental houses, self employment, etc.

Just a guideline not etched in stone.
This from "ask an income trusts tax service and immigration expert" from www.centa.com or www.jurock.com or www.featureweb.com. David Ingram deals on a daily basis with expatriate tax returns with multi jurisdictional cross and trans border expatriate problems  for the United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, China, New Zealand, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Georgia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Scotland, Ireland, Hawaii, Florida, Montana, Morocco, Israel, Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mali, Bangkok, Greenland, Iceland, Cuba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Barbados, St Vincent, Grenada,, Virgin Islands, US, UK, GB, and any of the 43 states with state tax returns, etc. Rockwall, Dallas, San Antonio Houston, Denmark, Finland, Sweden Norway Bulgaria Croatia Income Tax and Immigration Tips, Income Tax  Immigration Wizard Antarctica Rwanda Guru  Consultant Specialist Section 216(4) 216(1) NR6 NR-6 NR 6 Non-Resident Real Estate tax specialist expert preparer expatriate anti money laundering money seasoning FINTRAC E677 E667 105 106 TDF-90 Reporting $10,000 cross border transactions Grand Cayman Aruba Zimbabwe South Africa Namibia help USA US Income Tax Convention. Advice on bankruptcy  e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax service and help .

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