The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario will help reduce regulatory burden and make Ontario open for business

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Fairfax Financial says chief financial officer David Bonham died suddenly


Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. says chief financial David Bonham died suddenly during the weekend.

Fairfax chief executive Prem Watsa says the entire Fairfax family mourns the sudden and unexpected loss.

John Varnell, Fairfax’s vice-president, corporate development, has been appointed to serve as chief financial officer on an interim basis.

Varnell previously served as the chief financial officer of Fairfax on two occasions, as well as the chief financial officer of Northbridge Financial Corp. and Fairfax India Holdings Corp.

Fairfax is a holding company with subsidiaries in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance.


Technical CE Credits for BC Insurance Licensees

Technical CE Credits for BC Insurance Licensees

Continuing Education requirements for insurance licensees in British Columbia varies based on your experience and if you have any professional designations.

All BC Insurance licensees must meet the CE requirements for their class of license, annually from June 1 to May 31 .

Only technical courses qualify for CE credits.

What are technical CE credits?

For General insurance, if you are a Level 1 or Level 2 licensee, the only qualifying insurance continuing education is technical material directly related to:

  • General insurance products.
  • Compliance with insurance legislation and licensee requirements such as Council Rules, Council’s Code of Conduct, the Insurance Act, and privacy legislation.
  • Ethics.
  • Errors and Omissions.

For level 3 licensees, “technical material” is broadened to include courses relating to management, accounting, and human resources.

For Life/A&S insurance, the only qualifying continuing education is technical material directly related to:

  • Life insurance products.
  • Financial planning, provided the education is geared to life insurance and not a non-insurance sector, such as securities or mutual funds.
  • Compliance with insurance legislation and requirements such as Council Rules, Council’s Code of Conduct, the Insurance Act, privacy legislation, and anti-terrorism/money laundering legislation.
  • Ethics.
  • Errors and Omissions.


ILScorp online courses will display the word Technical in the course credit type.  For example, the online course Cyber Insurance, which covers topics such as privacy and actual cyber coverage forms has the credit type: General/Adjuster – Technical, which will display in the course description as well as on your completed CE certificates.

Other courses such as, Dealing with Difficult People and A Structured Approach for Terminating Employees, deals with topics related to management and human resources. ILScorp does not display the word Technical in the course description or the CE Certificate of these soft skill type courses however, they do qualify as Technical CE for Level 3 Licensees only.

Before starting your online courses with ILScorp, be sure to check the credit type, and accrediting provinces associated with your course. Some courses are Technical in nature, some courses are not, some courses are accredited in BC, while others are accredited in Ontario only.

Your course description with display all the valid accreditation criteria so be sure to double check all the details before you start the course.

ILScorp offers General/Adjuster – Technical CE as well as Life/A&S-Technical CE credits.

All courses are provincially accredited and completed entirely online. ILScorp will also keep your completed course history and CE certificates on file for up to 7 years in case of audit.

Remember BC, your deadline is May 31, 2019 and you can only complete a maximum of 7 technical CE credits per day and excess credits cannot be carried over into the next annual license period.

Contact ILScorp today to meet your CE requirements!

Ontario is finally regulating the terms financial planner & financial adviser


The recent 2019 Ontario Budget finally introduced a proposal that is long overdue – formally regulating the terms financial planner and financial adviser. While specific details about proficiency standards are yet to come, most of us in the financial advice and investment industry are eager to have a valid framework in place as soon as possible.

There is a difference between a financial adviser and a financial planner. A financial adviser typically helps clients manage their investments, while a financial planner helps clients identify and meet major goals, such as retiring comfortably or paying for a child’s education. While appropriate licensing is required for someone to advise in the purchase or sale of a mutual fund, a stock, or an insurance policy, anyone can offer general financial advice without any evidence of qualification. As a result, many investors can fall prey to a regular stream of frauds and incompetent advisers.

For the past few years, our industry has been focused on a few key issues, such as the fees investors pay. While regulators have concerns with respect to their transparency, many players in the industry seem to be focused on whether or not they are too high in terms of their fees. Both of these perspectives are important, but miss the point.

In my view, the big issue is whether or not the advice is qualified, competent, and valuable. How one pays for it, and what one pays for it, are secondary.

It’s critical that investors are able to tell financial advisers apart, first to help protect themselves from fraudsters, and second, to help guide them to properly qualified practitioners. You don’t have to spend too long on Google or reading newspapers to find stories about investors being scammed out of their money. But regulating the use of financial adviser and financial planner titles is a simple and effective first line of defence against criminals. It’s like locking your doors and closing your windows.

Today, Canadians are facing a retirement-income crisis. Here’s what is driving the severity and urgency of the problem:

  • The fastest growing segment of the population is baby boomers. By 2024, one in five Canadians will be over 65.
  • Fewer than 23 per cent of tax filers made an RRSP contribution in 2016, according to the most recent data from Statistics Canada. The result is that there is nearly $1-trillion in unused RRSP contribution room available.
  • While TFSAs are popular, they are used as much for short-term savings as for long term, with 47 cents in withdrawals for every $1 contributed.

According to MNP, a leading consulting firm for accounting, tax and business, 46 per cent of Canadians are within $200 of financial insolvency.

The fact is more Canadians are reaching retirement age faster than we realize. And they are getting there with less money put aside in order to live longer than they expect to. There is a sense here of burning the candle at both ends.

While many things can impact your economic reality, it is clear that financial illiteracy is widespread. Most Canadians are really passengers in their own financial lives and are headed for disaster. When they do decide to grab the wheel, most of them need help, advice, and assistance to get back on track. When they seek the help of a professional, they deserve to get qualified, experienced advice. Indeed, a great adviser can make an enormous difference.

But lousy ones can derail us in disastrous ways. An important aspect of my work is something I refer to as “forensic financial planning.” It involves finding and correcting the damage that bad advice has done. Think of dentists who must fix problems other dentists have created. But then not everyone can be a dentist. My industry is different since, until now, anyone could hang a shingle.

What kind of mistakes happen? Here are four big ones:

  1. The incorrect use of leverage.
  2. Over-allocating to securities that are high-risk.
  3. Buying mutual funds that are too expensive and proprietary.
  4. The excessive use of whole life insurance.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Often the salesperson is well meaning, but not particularly competent. Let’s hope that this new initiative from the Ontario government makes it easier for clients/consumers to find qualified professionals.


I want to become a general insurance agent. What are the qualifications and how do I apply? Here’s how.

Swap These Financial Stocks to Reduce Risk

Victoria Hetherington

Rising household debt, falling house prices, slowing credit applications – it’s a wonder anyone is still buying shares in Canada’s Big Six banks. Indeed, from financing weed suppliers to exposing itself to a potentially volatile American market, big Bay Street bankers may be too rich by half for the low-risk appetites of domestic investors looking to them for stability.

Take Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS)(NYSE:BNS), with its exposure to the U.S. economy, for instance. Scotiabank does substantial business south of the border, and as such may have left itself vulnerable to the potential of a widespread market downturn in the U.S. Even with this leg up, though, it still managed to underperform the Canadian banking industry as well as the TSX index for the past year.

More shares have been bought than sold by Bank of Nova Scotia insiders in the past three months, though not in vastly significant volumes. The usual boxes are ticked by its value, indicating P/E of 10.6 times earnings and P/B of 1.4 times book, while a stable dividend yield of 4.88% is augmented by a good-for-a-bank-stock 6.6% expected annual growth in earnings.

Again, overexposure to the United States market is an issue with Bank of Montreal(TSX:BMO)(NYSE:BMO). Specifically, this comes from BMO Harris Bank, a large personal and commercial bank; BMO Private Bank, which offers wealth management across the U.S.; plus BMO Capital Markets, an investment and corporate banking arm of the parent banker.

With year-on-year returns of 8.1%, BMO outperformed the industry and the market, and as such seems a safe bet on the face of it. Its one-year past earnings growth of 24.6% shows rapid recent improvement given its five-year average growth rate of 6.1%. Meanwhile, a P/E of 11.3 times earnings and P/B of 1.5 times book show near-market valuation, and a dividend yield of 3.9% is matched with a 3.6% expected annual growth in earnings.

Try the “insulated” alternatives

An example of domestic alternative on the TSX index would be Laurentian Bank of Canada (TSX:LB). Although its one-year past earnings dropped by 4.2%, a five-year average past earnings growth of 14.3% shows overall positivity, while a P/E of 9 times earnings and P/B of 0.8 times book illustrate Laurentian Bank of Canada’s characteristic good value. A dividend yield of 6.3% coupled with a 9.2% expected annual growth in earnings gives the Big Six a run for their money.

Alternatively, Manulife Finanical (TSX:MFC)(NYSE:MFC) offers a way to stick with financials but ditch the banks. This ever-popular insurance stock was up 2.33% in the last five days at the time of writing and is very attractive in term of value at the moment, with a P/E of 10.3 times earnings and P/B of 1.1 times book.

Manulife Financial’s 3.5% year-on-year returns managed to beat the Canadian insurance industry, but just missed out on walloping the TSX index’s 4.2%. In terms of the company’s track record, its one-year past earnings growth of 138.1% eclipsed the market and its industry, though its five-year average is sadly negative. Its balance sheet is solid, however, with its level of debt reduced over the past five years from 60.2% to the current 41% today.

The bottom line

Sidestepping banks may be a shrewd move at the moment, with other forms of financials offering a more insulated route to a broader space. While more regionalized banks like Laurentian Bank of Canada are one option, stocks like Manulife Financial, with its dividend yield of 4.17% and 11.3% expected annual growth in earnings offer a similar but less risky play on the TSX index’s financial sector.

5 Top Canadian Stocks to Start a Balanced Retirement Portfolio Today

Andrew Walker | The Motely Fool

Canadian investors in all stages of their careers are dreaming about the day they can wake up every morning without having to think about work.

While company and government pensions might be adequate to cover the cost of living in retirement, most people are also using RRSPs and TFSAs to set aside additional cash. In the case of contract workers and others who are self-employed, the self-directed portfolios are key to ensuring a comfortable life in the golden years.

Let’s take a look at five Canadian stocks that might be interesting picks to start a diversified retirement portfolio.

Brookfield Asset Management (TSX:BAM.A)(NYSE:BAM)

Brookfield Asset Management is a great option for investors who want access to alternative investments located around the world. The company owns a massive global real estate portfolio that includes office towers, hotels, storage, industrial, and student housing properties. Renewable power facilities and major infrastructure assets are also part of the mix. In total, the company has 2,000 assets spread out across 30 countries.

Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS)(NYSE:BNS)

Bank of Nova Scotia is Canada’s third-largest bank with a market capitalization of close to $90 billion.

The company has focused most of its international investment on the Mexico, Chile, Colombia, and Peru. The four countries make up the Pacific Alliance trade bloc and are home to more than 200 million potential banking customers.

Bank of Nova Scotia continues to grow its presence in the region through strategic acquisitions, and the 2018 results suggest the strategy is paying off. Earnings growth in the international group is outpacing the Canadian operations, and that trend should continue.

The dividend provides a yield of 4.7%.


Nutrien is a giant in the global fertilizer industry. The company was formed last year through the merger of Potash and Agrium, and the integration process is going well. In fact, run-rate synergies came in above the $500 million expected last year, and management anticipates it will hit $600 million in 2019.

Crop nutrient prices are recovering after a multi-year downturn, and long-term demand for the company’s products is expected to grow in step with a rising global population and increasing pressure on farmers to get better yield out of less available land.

Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR)(NYSE:CNI)

CN is a key player in the operation of the North American economy. The company’s tracks connect three coasts, and the locomotives and rail cars carry everything from oil, grain, and lumber to coal, cars, and finished goods.

The company is investing the capital needed to meet growing demand, remain competitive, and reduce expenses. At the same time, CN generates enough free cash flow to provide investors with generous dividend increases and has a large share-buyback program. CN raised its dividend by 18% for 2019.

Telus (TSX:T)(NYSE:TU)

Telus is a leader in the Canadian communications industry, providing mobile, TV, and internet services to Canadian customers across its state-of-the-art network infrastructure. The company does a good job of keeping customers once they have signed up, regularly reporting the industry’s lowest post-paid churn rate.

Longer term, the Telus Health division, which provides digital services and solutions to physicians, hospitals, and insurance companies, could become a significant contributor to revenue and cash flow. The business unit is already a leader in the segment in Canada, and disruption in the healthcare space is expected to continue.

The dividend yield is 4.6%.

The bottom line

All five companies are leaders in their respective markets and should be solid buy-and-hold picks to start a balanced TFSA retirement fund.

Few people have… yet some of the greatest minds in the world believe this innovative technology could change the world.

Amazon doesn’t want anyone to know about this top-secret project, but there’s something even Amazon doesn’t know…

One grassroots Canadian company has already begun introducing this technology to the market – which is why legendary Canadian investor Iain Butler thinks they have a leg up on Amazon in this once-in-a-generation tech race.

But you’ll need to hurry if you want to pick up this TSX stock before its name is on everyone’s lips.

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