Successful investing is smart investing. Investment is all about making the right choices, so that not only are you able to satisfy your immediate needs and requirements, but are also able to ensure the same for the medium and long term future. Just as no two individuals can be exactly the same, the financial needs and investment patterns vary from person to person. However one can follow certain definite markers to ensure that the path taken is the right one.Understand Your Needs: Investment goals come with different time frames and different objectives. One may invest for a short term goal like buying a car or even a holiday abroad. On the other hand, one could consider a long term investment plan to cater for the period when one has retired from work. How much one is able to commit to investment is dependent entirely upon one’s risk taking ability.When it comes to risk taking there is some truth in the adage that greater the risk, more the reward. That does not however mean that one should be reckless. Everyone possesses a risk threshold that they will not consider crossing. Factors like the level of a person’s income, one’s net worth, one’s ability to understand the investment scenario and the objectives behind investing drive how and how much a person invests.Early Bird Catches The Worm: The younger that one embarks on one’s investment journey, the better are the gains. The compound interest that you will make as a young man would fetch quite impressive gains by the time you started getting along in years. For instance if one started investing $93 every two weeks starting age 25 one would reach an amount of $500,000 when one hits sixty.This is a painless and easy way of building up a fine retirement fund. At age 25 if you are not married; you would hardly have any major expenses to worry about, and could afford to put away some money. As the years go by your responsibilities and expenses will increase, but so will your income, and you will not feel the pinch of the regular installment you committed to paying when you were so much younger.Invest Regularly: This definitely makes a lot of sense for most people considering that it is far easier to invest small sums regularly than investing a large sum at one go. Firstly one might not be able to afford the latter and secondly one does need money for things other than investment, which will get tied up in large investments. Also it gets you used to the idea of setting aside a certain sum of money regularly. Monthly and quarterly investment options, where a certain fixed sum gets debited from one’s account regularly is a fine approach to take.Spread your investment: That you don’t put all your eggs in one basket, applies to investment more than it applies anywhere else. Taking care to spread one’s investments over a diverse range of options will both reduce your exposure to risks and optimize your long term returns. You will be better inured against downturns in any specific sectors. So even if a part of your investments takes a temporary hit, there will be the other part still working well for you.Track your investments: Your investments come out of your hard earned money, and you should therefore track them with a hawk’s eye. An annual appraisal, either with the help of a finance industry professional or on one’s own is very much in order to see that one’s investment objectives remain on track. There is nothing that stops you from recasting your goals in light of the changes one goes through in life over a period of time. These may be on account of personal milestones like marriage, children’s education, impending retirements or even the prevailing market situation. The idea is to guard one’s money zealously and make every penny count.Make the right kind of investment: One needs to make different kinds of investments for the short term and the long term. Short term investments need to be less risk averse and easily encashable. The latter type of investment on the other hand need be of the late maturing growth oriented type.Sound investment may not be rocket science, but one would be amazed at how often people, who should know better make a hash of things. The above steps can be used as basic template for sound investment. As one goes along the path of planned and systematic investment one is better able to understand the finer nuances and nitty gritty of the process and obtain optimal results.
As the world around us continues to adapt to a new sense of normal in light of COVID-19, we at Smythe LLP (Smythe), recently sat down (virtually) with Kendall Hanson from CHEK News to discuss how we’re adapting to working from home and what is means for us as a firm, as well as the communities we live and work in.
Although we may be smack dab in the middle of our busiest time of year, things at Smythe are still business as usual – with a few notable exceptions.
The first, and probably most obvious, is that nearly all our staff have now transitioned to working from home.
“The first week of office closures and having everyone work from home was definitely a week of transition, but I think everyone’s really quickly adapted to it and gotten used to it and a lot of people are really enjoying it,” said Partner, Trevor Topping.
During a time where our offices would normally be a buzz with client visits and meetings, our offices are now closed to the public and a skeleton crew has been put in place to ensure clients are able to safely drop off necessary files and mail is being received and sent out.
To read the full article and to hear what Trevor had to say about Smythe’s new normal, click here.
For more information on our response to COVID-19, or to learn what support is available to you, please visit our COVID-19 Resource Centre, or reach out to your Smythe Partner directly.
Given the current economic uncertainty, effective cash flow management will be critical for the success of many businesses. This will likely involve a combination of:
Managing working capital levels
Managing discretionary expenses
Obtaining additional financing
Working capital management can take the form of:
Implementing Credit Policies
By implementing credit policies with your customers you can speed up the collection process. This could include requiring upfront deposits, reducing the credit terms or offering incentives for early payment. Always ensure you follow-up on overdue accounts.
Utilizing a Just-in-Time Inventory System
Unless it will hurt your ability to sell, don’t carry extra inventory.
Using Credit Terms to your Advantage
Unless they are offering worthwhile incentives, don’t pay your suppliers until it is necessary.
A tool that should be utilized to help with managements’ decision making, is a cash flow forecast. This will help you assess the impact of working capital and expense management decisions, as well as determine whether additional financing will be required.
If you decide that you need to obtain financing (see below), it is likely that the lender will require a forecast as part of the application process.
Obtaining Additional Financing
As part of the economic stimulus package, the Government of Canada is working to ensure businesses have access to traditional financing, from both the government and private lenders.
Among the products being targeted to COVID-19 relief are:
Working Capital Loans
Funds to provide working capital for the operations, and cover general operating expenses, as opposed to capital purchases or expansions. There are currently programs in place where loans can be approved within 48 hours or maybe available without any payments for the first six months. BDC loans of up to $100,000 can be applied for online.
Loan Guarantee for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
As part of the Business Credit Availability Program, EDC is partnering with financial institutions to guarantee 80% of new loans or credit requests up to $6.25 million for small and medium-sized enterprises. Financing is meant to be used for operating costs and is available to exporting and non-exporting companies. The idea behind the program is to encourage additional funding from banks as the EDC provides a re-payment guarantee of 80%. This program is now available through your bank or credit union.
Bridge Financing Program
Offered through BDC Capital, this special program may match (with a convertible note) a current financing round being raised through qualified existing and/or new investors made into eligible Canadian start-ups. This program is best suited for high-potential companies that have venture capital investors willing to support them. BDC will then invest alongside these groups. There are separate criteria for both companies and investors who wish to take advantage of this program – for full details, click here.
Term Loan and Lease Payment Relief
Ability to delay payment of principal for up to six months on existing loans.
Increases to Existing Line of Credit
Financial institutions are providing increases to the borrowing limits on existing lines of credit.
Purchase Order Financing
Flexible terms are being offered to ensure existing and future orders can be fulfilled.
Export Development Canada is providing buyer financing and direct financing for international sales to ensure Canadian businesses are able to participate in international trade opportunities.
If your business requires cash flow management or additional financing, please contact your Smythe Partner directly as additional reporting may be required. Our team can match your business with the appropriate product and guide you through the process and provide financial information to the lending institutions.
the Government of Canada announced the Canada Emergency Business Account interest-free loans that provide up to $40,000 for small businesses and not-for-profits that have been financially impacted by COVID-19. On December 4, 2020, the program was expanded to offer an additional $20,000 to businesses that continue to be seriously impacted by the pandemic. The loans are available through eligible financial institutions, and businesses must apply through a financial institution where they had an existing relationship. The loans are interest-free, and 25% of the original $40,000 of the balance and 50% of the additional $20,000 of the balance is forgivable if the business repays the loan by the end of 2022. Businesses are required to have had an annual payroll of $20,000 to $1,500,000 or non-deferrable expenses of at least $40,000 in 2019 to qualify.
Businesses have until March 31, 2021, to apply for a loan or the $20,000 expansion. In the case where applicants are waiting for their financial institution to finalize the submission of additional information, they will have until May 7, 2021, to complete the submission.