Monday, November 29, 2010

Money Management - Portfolio Check Up

As we get closer to the end of 2010, it's time to think about the changes that we will be making with our finances and investments. What a great time to talk to John Scholl to discuss our options.

Here is another article that John is sharing with us:

Your personal health is important to you. That’s why you have periodic check-ups, follow your doctor’s recommendations on diet and exercise, and take your medications. Your financial life is also important to you. That’s why you should periodically perform a portfolio check-up and follow this prescription for maintaining its health.

Why a check-up?

For two very good reasons:
1) the value of each investment in your portfolio will change over time as a result of fluctuations in its market value. By periodically rebalancing your portfolio, you’ll get it back on track to reaching your financial goals.
2) your financial situation and goals change over time – and that means your portfolio probably needs to be revamped to meet your evolving needs.When to check-up?

You get statements from your bank, mutual fund investments, registered plans, stock purchases and sales, and your other investments. Review them at least every three months to compare your current returns against your longer-term goals and overall financial plan and if you’re off-track, make changes. Your prescription for portfolio health.

Here are a few important strategies for successful investing:
- Follow a planned asset allocation strategy by constructing – and, very importantly, maintaining – a portfolio with a mix of investments across the three principal types of financial assets (cash, fixed-income vehicles and equities) that balance risk, create diversification, and will deliver the long-term returns you need to reach your financial goals.
- Diversification is always the right way to go – even to the point of looking beyond Canadian markets. International markets don’t always follow Canadian or U.S. patterns. By adding foreign investments to your portfolio, you can lessen volatility and add the opportunity for enhanced returns.
- Balance is the key. Experts and study after study agree that a balanced portfolio strategy is best over the longer term. Avoid chasing ‘winners’ and quickly dumping ‘losers’. If you do that, your portfolio is bound to become seriously unbalanced.
- Rebalance to match your tolerance for risk. Your optimal asset mix depends on your age, income expectations, retirement dreams and much more – and it should contain investments that allow you to sleep comfortably at night. When the mix is right for you, you are not overly concerned about volatility or which asset class is performing or not performing at any particular time.

Your financial plan is not written in stone; it’s a reflection of your changing life. A professional planner can help you perform a portfolio check-up that maintains your financial health.

John Scholl, CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter),CGA, B. Mathematics, Financial Consultant
Investors Group Financial Services Inc. & Investors Group Insurances Services Inc.
Phone: (905) 450-2891 X529

The above connection is compliments of:
Betty Bartusevicius, Sales Representative
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
905 828 3434
Directly: 416 427 1875

Monday, November 22, 2010

905 Specialist

What makes someone your neighbourhood specialist? I am a specialist in the 905 area, but not the entire 905. In my experience in real estate sales, I have concentrated my energy to see every available home that is possible for me to see and compare. So in reality I need to concentrate and specialize on specific communities within the 905. This gives me the time to do extensive research on these particular neighbourhoods so that I can best serve both buyers and sellers with information about a community and the people. Viewing potential homes outside my comfort zone, will not help my Buyer clients.

I concentrate in Mississauga, in particular Lorne Park, Port Credit, Churchill Meadows, Credit Mills, Sheridan Homelands, Sherwood Forrest, Clarkson, Rattray Marsh, Levi Creek, Meadowvale. Oakville is also across the road. The neighbourhoods here are Joshuas Creek, West Oak Trails, Bronte, Iroquois Ridge, Old Oakville, to name but a few.

I believe selling or buying your home can be a satisfying experience and I have the perseverance, negotiating skills and ability to listen, to make that happen. When you allow me to assist you in your real estate endeavours, you will receive the highest level of professionalism and service. No gimmicks, no high pressure sales tactics - just a quick, efficient and profitable experience in purchasing your dream home or in selling your existing house.

I can provide you with access to some of the finest Mississauga and Oakville real estate on the market today. Some of these homes are featured on Betty's Pic of the Week that is updated on a regular basis. Take a look at the Watercolours update that I provide twice a month with ALL activity in that prestigious neighbourhood. Condo living, waterfront properties and properties of luxury are all there for you to see.

With the resources on my website and the commitment and experience that I provide, the process of finding your dream home becomes more streamlined and straightforward. Let me provide you with a personal touch that has been slowly disappearing. I have improved my technical skills, but I haven't forgotten about the human touch.

Betty Bartusevicius, Sales Representative
Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
Fine Homes in 905
905 828 3434
416 427 1875

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Condo Living in Mississauga

Don't miss this opportunity to purchase a unit at 880 Dundas Street West in Mississauga. This sun soaked Unit in The Kingsmere On The Park has just had a makeover. New flooring was laid in the kitchen, living room, and foyer. The unit has just been freshly painted with a great neutral color. Floor to ceiling windows gives you maximum light and gorgeous views. Fantastic location. Mississauga Public Transit has a stop in front of building with direct access to the TTC. Walk to the grocery store.
Nothing for you to do, except move in and enjoy the sun and your views.

Betty Bartusevicius, Sales Representative
Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
Fine Homes In Nine Oh Five
Office: 905-828-3434
Fax: 905-828-2829
Direct: 416-427-1875
Web Site:

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this is not intended to solicit buyers or sellers under brokerage contract

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My First Raptor Game of The Season

Well, I finally went to my first Raptor game the other night. I took a few hours off and my hubby and I went on a date!! I knew what I was getting into as the Toronto Raptors do not have a great record this year, and most nay-sayers are predicting even a worse season than when they started.

I was more disappointed with the condition of the centre. Hubby is very fortunate to score a couple of seats at least to one game a season. (In previous years, one of the kids went with him). I remember going and the place at least looked clean. I looked at the condition of the seats and they are well worn and torn. There was garbage on the floors - peanut shells, empty cups, etc. I was under the assumption that this place got, at the very least, swept after every game. I guess when you assume.... The number of fans was not great. Taking a walk at half time used to be a chore. But, you would bump into people you don't see very often. Most are fans of the game, as we are. This time, however, we walked freely. There were NO lines for beer drinkers (I don't think it's because there were no drinkers there).

The Raptors lost :( That's okay. We did enjoy a lively attempt at a comeback in the fourth quarter. We left with about 45 seconds remaining in the game. We didn't want to fight the 'BIG' crowds leaving.

I'm looking forward to the next game.

Betty Bartusevicius
Fine Homes in 905

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mortgages: Bank vs Mortgage Broker

When meeting with a client for the first time, I try to gather as much information about the buyers as I can while keeping the buyers as comfortable as possible. We have to discuss finances. Not a comfortable subject when you don't know eachother. It is very important to get your finances in order as you start your journey into home purchase. The more information that you can gather, the easier your journey will become. One of the mortgage broker's that I have recommended in the past has provided some information that might be useful to you. Read on and make your own conclusions.

What your bank does not want you to know

A lot of clients come to us with a familiar situation: Two, three or four years ago they were tempted by what seemed like reasonable rates to lock into a 5 year mortgage. Now, needing to break their mortgage - to pay out some debts, renovate, and so on - they are presented with a penalty that seems to bear no relation to reality, a penalty sometimes running $5,000, $10,000 or more. The primary reason for these high penalties is the use of “posted rates” by the banks. It sounds great to get a large discount from these bank posted rates until you realize that when you break your mortgage, they will come into play again, this time in reverse. Banks will calculate your mortgage penalty as if they had given you the higher, posted rate, and that high rate makes for the excessive penalty you pay.

To deal with this penalty, banks typically present clients with a few options: clients can break the mortgage and pay the penalty and start again with a new term at today’s rates, or they can accept a ‘blended’ rate which extends their mortgage back out to 5 years at a rate that combines their current mortgage with the going market rate for a 5 year term. No penalty needs to be paid up front because the fee is buried in the new ‘blended’ rate.

So clients are tempted with the same offer: rates that seem reasonable, and the possibility of locking those low rates in for another 5 years. The conversation your bank doesn’t want to have with you is the one that outlines what your new penalty will look like down the road if you need to break your mortgage again. Which, statistically, you will probably want to do. Remember, before signing on the dotted line...GET THE FACTS YOUR BANK WON’T TELL YOU.

What you should know

So what is the right thing to do in this situation? The short and easy answer is that if the cost of breaking your mortgage, (including any associated costs like discharge fees and legal fees) is less than what you will save over the remaining length of your current term, then it is advisable to break your mortgage and reap the benefits. Even with high penalties that sound extravagant, we have helped clients save thousands of dollars breaking their mortgages.

Beware of the temptation to lock back into a 5 year mortgage with your current lender. After all, if you are considering breaking your mortgage before your term is up, you are just doing what the banks know their customers will do: most Canadians will not see their mortgage through to the end of their 5 year terms. So why, knowing this, would the banks recommend that their clients lock in to 5 year fixed rate mortgages? Because the bank will get its money whether you pay them faithfully for 5 years, or whether you pay them a penalty after 3.

We do things differently. will assess your personal situation to uncover the most suitable lender and product so that you get the mortgage rate, terms and conditions that are right for you...and NOT YOUR BANK!! And because many of the over twenty lenders that we recommend our clients use do not use posted rates, if locking in at today’s historically low rates is the right strategy for you then you can avoid a harsh penalty should you need to break your mortgage down the road. By opting for variable mortgages, or a shorter fixed term mortgage, many of our clients avoid these large penalties altogether.

So the question is, why do many people lock back in to a term they probably won’t complete? Habit I guess, and a history of the banks selling you advice that contributes to their bottom line and not yours. We are all creatures of habit. Call me today and break your bank habit. We will review your mortgage and present you with a strategy that helps you pay down your mortgage faster.

Compliments of:
Betty Bartusevicius, Sales Representative
Re/Max Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage
OFFICE: 905 828 3434
DIRECT: 416 427 1875

not intended to solicit buyers or sellers under brokerage contract