6 Areas of Finance

The 6 Areas of Finance

  1. Tax
  2. Estate
  3. Risk
  4. Insurance
  5. Investments
  6. Debt/Cash Flow

Action Items

Do you have your total financial house in order in all 6 areas above?

This week take 10 minutes go through the 6 areas and see if everything is in order.

  • By that I mean is everything your doing tax efficient?
  • Are you doing tax planning?
  • Is your estate in order - I read earlier this week Aretha Franklin died without a will. She is not the only one and it goes to show you few people have everything planned. At the very least get your will done if you don't have it.
  • Have you properly protected yourself against all risks
  • When was the last time you had your insurance reviewed? 
    • Is it enough?
    • Do you have critical illness and life insurance?
  • Investments - it might be time for a second option.
    • how much are you paying your advisor?
  • how can you increase your cash flow?

How to Earn Extra Income

One of the keys to paying off debt is your income gap. Heck that's even a key when saving for retirement. The greater the gap between what you spend and what you earn the more money you can put towards your goals or debt or retirement. 

Lots of financial people will tell you create a budget stick to it. But if like me you've cut as much as you can or cut your cable to bare minimum, phone is down to a minimum and more then the only thing left is your income. Maybe you in fact don't have a debt problem but you have an income problem. So how do you increase your income. Below are a couple ways you can increase your income. 

Sell stuff on Kijiji, Ebay, craigslist

If you have kids you have lots of toys they don't need anymore. Sell them. You might only get half of what you paid for it but it adds up. I've sold lots of stuff on Kijiji from hockey gloves to kids table. Not only will you earn some extra money but also clean up your house too. 

Create a side hustle

Start a blog and write in it, start a network marketing company and make some extra money on the side.  

Have a garage sale

This is best done together with another family. Go through your house one day and put a tag on everything and a price, advertise it on Facebook or newspaper and signs. Spend a Saturday morning chatting with people as they haggle down your prices. At the end you now have some extra money and a lot less stuff in the house 

Work more

If an hourly worker, work more hours - I know it will suck that you're spending less time at home but imagine the feeling when the debt is paid off, or you now can on that vacation. My wife did that early on in our financial journey. She worked extra hours when she could to help us get ahead. 

Ask your boss for a raise

Before you do this you've got to be prepared to show the value that you bring to the company. Make sure you document what you have done how it got results. 

Rent out your room for Air BNB

Become an Uber driver

Sign up for Focus groups or Mystery Shopper

A google search for the above can generate results 

What I would do now is pick one of these and do it. Plan one day this week to start and take action. Post your comment below on what you did and how it went. 

I look forward to hearing from you. 


One Major Mistake Many of You Are Making

Do you save enough money?

How much money should you be saving each month?

In all the meetings with people one of the biggest mistakes I see is they are not saving enough money… for anything, retirement, emergencies, kids education.

I am not saving enough. For me that changes today as I write this to you guys.

Let’s take a look at a couple examples and perhaps why.

I believe one of the reasons most of you don’t save enough is because you don’t know how much to save.

For instance, many business owners I know all their money is going back into the business. Their hope is that one day they will sell their business and use that money to retire on.

Second I believe many of you are living pay check to pay check and have no spare money after all expenses. According to BMO, more than half of Canadians have less than $10,000 set aside for emergencies (https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/household-finances/more-than-half-of-canadians-have-less-than-10000-set-aside-for-emergencies-bmo/article26172527/ )

Here’s some good news according to a 2017 CBC article 65% of you are saving for retirement. That’s good. The problem is probably not enough. (https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/census-canadian-saving-1.4287219)

And for whatever reason money scares people. They don’t like to talk about money. I can tell you from personal experience the minute Erin and I talked about money and itemized where everything is going was a huge eye opener and sense of relief. Now we talk weekly about it.

So what’s the answer?

How do you save more?

How much should you be saving?

Those answers depend on a variety of factors but to start

  • get your financial road map done

  • Get clarity around your values and your goals and put it on paper

  • Take action

  • Protect yourself in case something happens.

Let me help you out with some ideas and strategies.

  • If you have a mortgage and kids you should have enough insurance on each parent to cover the cost of the mortgage and some income for the kids should you die - have mortgage insurance that’s a different question all together.

  • Retirement - what do you want to be doing? What lifestyle do you want to live in retirement?

  • How much do you currently have saved for retirement? Most likely not enough so increase the monthly savings by $25 this week.

  • Get your emergency fund funded.

  • Take action daily and give your money the attention it deserves.

So here’s the bottom line most Canadians aren’t saving enough. Start finding ways you can increase your income and put the extra money to savings.

If you do that  you’ll be well on your way to financial freedom

Successful Investing

Would you rather have $1,000,000 today or $0.01 doubled everyday for 30 days? 


If you started today you would have $1,000,000 if you chose A.

If you chose the penny route you would have $0.01.  

Sidetracking and then coming back. Have you ever tried to lose weight or know someone who has?  

Did it happen overnight? Or was it small incremental changes and progress made daily? Yes you're right. It was small changes made daily. Then one day all of a sudden your at a party and someone who hasn't seen you in X amount of months says WOW you look great. What did you do?  

It wasn't an overnight success. They didn't see the hours spent prepping food, working out and more.  

Let's circle back now to our finance because I believe weight loss and finance are identical.  

So which would you rather have $1,000,000 today or $0.01 doubled every day for 30 days? 

Read below... 


Day 1: $.01
Day 2: $.02
Day 3: $.04
Day 4: $.08
Day 5: $.16
Day 6: $.32
Day 7: $.64
Day 8: $1.28
Day 9: $2.56
Day 10: $5.12
Day 11: $10.24
Day 12: $20.48
Day 13: $40.96
Day 14: $81.92
Day 15: $163.84
Day 16: $327.68
Day 17: $655.36
Day 18: $1,310.72
Day 19: $2,621.44
Day 20: $5,242.88
Day 21: $10,485.76
Day 22: $20,971.52
Day 23: $41,943.04
Day 24: $83,886.08
Day 25: $167,772.16
Day 26: $335,544.32
Day 27: $671,088.64
Day 28: $1,342,177.28
Day 29: $2,684,354.56
Day 30: $5,368,709.12 

To go back to our weight loss story Day 28 is when you meet the person who hasn't seen you in years.... 

Successful investing takes time. 

It is a marathon not a sprint. Like weight loss it is incremental changes made daily. In terms of investing it is incremental amounts put towards your future self.

One of the major regrets of retirees is that they didn't start soon enough.

I know life gets in the way. I get it. You've got kids, you've got a business to run I get it. I've got 2 kids of my own too and I am running a financial services practise. 

But it doesn't mean you can't put some money away for your future self.

It doesn't mean you can't protect yourself and the business.

The answer is you've just got to do it. The amount at this point is not as important. Put something away. Every month. Your 65 year old self will thank you.  

As we close out let's do an exercise. I want you to imagine you have just retired. It's day one of retirement or in the case of business owners you've decided to slow down and step away from the business.

  • What are you doing?
    • are you travelling on the Rhine River
    • looking after grandkids?
    • golfing with friends
  • What does the week look like?
  • Who are you spending your time with?
    • family
    • friends
    • colleagues
    • members of the country club
  • What does the next 5 years look like?
  • What is the dream goal of yours and if I told you, you could do it would you do it?

Spend a few minutes tonight and reflect on those answers with your spouse. Get on the same page and think about what you will be doing. 

In closing, if any of this resonated with you and you thought it was valuable please share it with your friends and family and co-workers.

Lastly, if it resonated and you'd like to know more about how to make those dreams happen; send me a reply and we'll schedule a 15 minute chat to see if we can help you get there.

Yours in Finance
Blake Linklater

Happy Summer!!!

Happy Summer!!!

This week is coming out a day late because I wanted to include pictures from a recent family trip to Niagara Falls.

The trip was earned because I made a promise to my kids that if I don't eat sugar and only eat whole natural foods for 30 days I will take them to Niagara Falls. My eldest daughter made sure to hold me accountable as every day she reminded me and even if i was eating salt she made sure to ask if I can eat that!

That being said let's get on to the topic. 

Welcome to summer. It's a time when most people forget about finances and relax. 
Well let me be one of the first to tell you don't. Don't slack on your finances. Instead be proactive, the year is half way through how close are you to achieving your financial goals? Now is the time to check in on your finances, prepare your savings for vacation or emergencies. 

Take some time to review your goals.

  • When was the last time you had your insurance reviewed? If you got sick today what would do? do you have enough coverage in place? 
  • If your spouse passed away would you be able to live in the house? 
  • Summer also means education preparation, do you know a 3 year old only has 180 months until they are off to college. How close are you to saving for them? How much do you want to save for their cottage?
  • Do you have mortgage insurance? Do you know what it is? Did you know there might be a better option.
  • If you own an incorporated business do you know how to take money out tax free?
    • do you have a buy sell agreement in place?

Take a few minutes today to answer those questions. Spend some time in introspection, create clarity and get on the path to building real wealth, and if you want some help with it, or have questions send a reply back. As I work with my clients we create clarity around their values and goals and put it on paper and create the road map for them to achieve their goals.

Retirement Planning

Today we're going to go over a basic retirement planning. 

How much do you need for you to have a comfortable retirement?

For instance, how do you know if you're on the right track.  

Retirement planning is like any other goal. Where are you starting from and where do you want to go. For instance if you're on a flight from New York to LA you need to know how long it will take to get there, the path you're going to take and land safely. 

Or another example is weight loss. If you want to lose 30 pounds by the end of the year you need a plan. To do that we start with the end in mind. Let us say year end is 6 months away.  

So you want to lose 30 pounds in 6 months.  

Well how many pounds per month is that? 5.  

And now how many pounds per week is that? Just over 1. 

So in essence you need to lose 1 pound per week to achieve your goal of 30 pounds lost in 6 months.  

Then you would look at the calorie intake and exercise. You would start by exercising at least once a week to three times a week. Then a reduction in calories. Again figure out how many calories you're eating now and reduce the amount. Test and track. 

The same is true in retirement planning. We must begin with the end in mind.  

When do you want to retire? 

What do you want to do in retirement? Do you want to travel? Go to Florida twice a year? Stay at home spend time with kids? Where do you want to live? 

What lifestyle do you want to live? 

Those questions need to be answered before you do any sort of planning. Maybe you've never thought of them before. If that's the case give it some thought because those questions will determine the amount of income you need in retirement. 

Then you need to look at where you are starting from.  

How much have you saved currently?  

How much are you saving currently?  

Do you have any pensions? 

Is government assistance available such as social security or Canada Pension Plan? 

There are many online calculators you can use to help with the next steps. A few of them I like are  




I have no allegiance to one or the other. I just like the way they work and simplify things. 

Once you figured out what you want to be doing in retirement we need to take a look at how much income you will need. Here is a retirement spending worksheet from Vanguard https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insights/retirement/tool/retirement-expense-worksheet 

It will help give insight into how much you plan on spending when you retire. 

Now we’ve discovered what the end goal is in retirement we need to figure out how to get there.  

Use the calculators above to help determine how much you need to be saving on a monthly or annual basis. 

You might be surprised by how large the number is. Statistically you're likely to live until about 90. That's 25 years or more in retirement. Plus the cost of inflation. In fact inflation is the biggest killer in retirement. A dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. 

Think back 5 years ago, a stamp cost what $0.70. Now they are $1.00. Or the cost of food. That's why the amount of money you need to save might be quite high. The greatest threat to your retirement is the loss of purchasing power.  

A couple other key things to consider when looking at retirement.  

  • Health 

  • Long term care 

  • Family history

Each of those will impact your retirement and you'll want to make sure you are protected. A stroke or heart attack could cause you to dip into your retirement savings early. Will you need a nursing home? Take a look back at your family history and that might provide some insight. Those costs can add up. 

To summarize: planning for retirement is very similar to planning to lose weight.  

  • Figure out where you want to go and work backwards.  

  • Then determine what you need to do to get there.  

  • Use the calculators above to help you come up with a number  

  • Start taking action. If you can't afford that much check out my book here by seeing how to manage money, check out the blog post here to save money and/or put away whatever money you can today. 

  • Take action today. 


Kid's Education

Did you know that if you have a 3 year old in 180 months they could be going off to college?

The average tuition for college or university in Ontario is 2018 varies between $6,000 ad $7,000 a year! And that doesn’t include room or board. (https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/170906/t003b-eng.htm)

Macleans Magazine did an awesome post that says the average cost of school is almost $20,000 per year when you factor in travel, groceries etc. https://www.macleans.ca/education/the-cost-of-a-canadian-university-education-in-six-charts/

Let me ask you what do believe the cost of tuition will be in 2033 when your child has to go to school? How much do you need to have saved? How much have you saved for school right now?

The answer is a lot higher.

And yes, I know the Ontario government is offering free tuition yet not everyone qualifies or gets all the amount paid for.

The point I want you to understand is the need to prepare. You need to prepare in every aspect so that your child doesn’t get a mountain of student debt.

So how do you do that? How do you know?

  1. Determine how much of your kids education you want to pay for? Do you want to pay for all of it? All including room and board? All four years plus grad school?

  2. Once you have that number how much do you have saved up currently for your kids education?

  3. Now you will need some calculators that can help you. Industrial Alliance has a simple calculator to help you, working with a financial planner can you you even more so.  (https://ia.ca/resp?Calculateur=true)

  4. Choose one or multiple tools to help you get there. The RESP in Canada is only one option. Insurance is another option, and regular savings are another. By working with a financial planner we can help you pick the best tool or tools from the toolbox to help you achieve your goal.

Tuition rates are not going down, in the above example we have not even factored in inflation.

The main point I want you to get is to prepare.

The more prepared you are, the less debt your child will have to incur, the less you will have to dip into your home equity line of credit or your own savings. You need better planning and preparation to help you reach the goal.

I want you to be prepared and aware of the costs of education and work your way towards it.

I want you to be prepared in all aspects of your life. Tax, estate, risk, insurance, investments and debt/cash flow.

So get better prepared. Use the calculator above or reach out to me and get started towards helping your child with his or her future.

The Financial Advisor And the Pilot

About 2 years ago my family and i went on a Disney Cruise. The trip was amazing. However to get to the port in Miami we had to fly from Toronto to Miami and on the flight I felt a great resemblance to investing and market volatility.  

First off let's begin we board the plane, luggage gets checked, the pilot updates us tells us the weather and for the most part is on autopilot all the way to Miami. Sometimes he tells us to buckle up other times he tells us to walk around. 

The same job an airline pilot does is the same job a financial advisor does. A financial advisors job is like an airline pilot. His job is to get you to your destination safely. He doesn't control the weather, he didn't make the plane but it's the tool to help you take off, fly and land safely.  

The taking off is like the beginning of investing. It takes a lot in the beginning to see the benefits of putting money aside to get in the air to your destination. The same is true when investing you start slowly, you build up momentum.  

There were times on the flight to Miami we experienced turbulence, quite a bit and it made me scared. As we hit the turbulence I thought this is exactly what my clients feel when the market volatility hits. They get a little scared because we hit some bumps. The goal hasn't changed. We're still trying to get to Miami but we're hitting some bumps and the seat light sign is on. Isn't that exactly what market volatility is or the ups and downs of the market? 

As we got to cruising altitude it was smooth sailing. Clear skies and the seat belt sign was removed. Same as markets are good everything is doing well.  

Then as we descended to the ground we hit some more volatility. Buckle up. But it was only a short time of it. 

Finally the landing. We can see the destination on the map, and we can see Miami. The pilot makes some tweaks to the route, announces the weather and Presto - we've arrived at our destination. We've arrived at our goal, be it retirement or kids education.  

As we landed I knew I had always used this analogy but on the this flight it hit me. I used it because I found it through Don Connelly of www.donconnelly.com, a trainer to financial advisors but now experiencing it was totally different.  

An advisor job is to get you to your destination safely. Just like a pilot. Along the way we are going to experience some turbulence but like the pilot he's don't this thousands of times and knows the route and knows his vehicle. There are times where the turbulence scared me but it didn't change the fact I was still going to Miami. The same in investing, market volatility may scare you but it doesn't change the fact that you're saving for retirement or kids education or a new house.  

The vehicle the plane may change to help get you there faster or it may be newer but it doesn't matter as much as you think. Quality of it does. Same in investing the plane is like the mutual funds, or ETFs or stocks in your portfolio. The pilot didn't build the plane he is just the pilot and his job is to get you from in my case from Toronto to Miami safely. 

The experience of turbulence is a great analogy to market volatility. It's the same thing and yes I got a little scared but I was still working towards my goal and trusted the path we were taking.