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​Younger investors more likely to drop advisers, embrace DIY investing – BNN

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TORONTO — Canadians are increasingly embracing do-it-yourself (DIY) investing, and younger investors appear to be more eager than others to go it alone.

According to research firm Investor Economics, Canadians opened more than 2.3 million new self-directed investment accounts in 2020, up from 846,000 in 2019.

However, the appetite for professional financial advice breaks sharply along generational lines. A May 2021 report from global comparison site Finder.com found that one-third of millennials said they planned to stop working with their financial adviser or were seriously contemplating it, compared with 21 per cent of generation X and 11 per cent of baby boomers.

Some financial experts are concerned that in the age of meme stocks, cryptocurrencies and the current bull market, young people may be overlooking the value of advice and urge DIY investors to exercise caution.

Jason Pereira, partner at Toronto-based Woodgate Financial, explained that since many young people are priced out of buying real estate in major cities, there’s a level of despondency that’s led to risky investments.

“A lot of [DIYers] feel stuck because they can’t do the next thing to get ahead, so they’re buying lottery tickets [in the form of investments],” Pereira said.

“DIY can be fine. Absolutely,” he added, explaining that there are people in the DIY community reading the right blogs or getting the right advice and doing something akin to what a good financial adviser has done for them. However, he doesn’t think that’s the norm.

“I don’t see anyone talking about buying Vanguard’s balanced portfolio, for example, and letting it ride. It’s all GameStop and crypto and Tesla options and whatever the next fast buck is. There is no contemplation around sustainability or around security or around risk tolerance.”

Galen Nuttall, certified financial planner at Freedom 55 Financial in Belleville, Ont., said putting money away in the first place is one of the toughest aspects of investing.

“If DIY investing is helping millennials take that first step to save money, then that part is positive,” he said.

“But how they invest once they are saving gets a bit more tricky,” he added, noting that young people who benefit the least from DIY are those who are confused about where to start and don’t have the desire to figure it all out or are struggling to figure it all out.

For example, one area that DIY investors may overlook is which investments should go in which accounts, such as a TFSA, RRSP or non-registered accounts, Nuttall said.

“I’ve seen DIY investors have investments inside of a registered account that would eventually cause taxation problems that most people would be completely unaware of,” he said.

Some DIYers are unaware that some foreign investments will incur a withholding tax, even inside of a registered account, so they won’t reap the full benefit, he added.

Millie Gormely, a certified financial planner at IG Wealth Management in Thunder Bay, Ont., worries about increased interest in DIY among younger adults because the majority of millennials haven’t lived through a recession as an investor.

“People don’t realize what it’s like when the TSX drops 200 points in a day, and then does it again the next day, and then it does it again the next day and it does it for four months straight, which is pretty much what happened in 2008,” she said.

“A lot of people bailed and got out of the market. They sold their investments when they were down and they learned to regret it because they ended up shooting themselves in the foot long-term.”

While millennials did witness the 2008 financial crisis, either in their adolescence or while entering their early adult years, Gormely pointed out that there’s a difference between observing what happened to your parents and experiencing it for yourself.

“It’s not that I think people shouldn’t invest on their own, but I do worry that not everybody who’s investing on their own is going to be able to stick with it when times are terrible as well as when times are good,” she said.

“In 2008, I spent a lot of time talking people off the ledge, so to speak. Those people were grateful they had someone to run things past and talk things through with.”

Pereira said part of the investment industry’s lack of traction with younger generations is a result of its decision to focus the conversation primarily around fees and returns, instead of explaining the value of advice. “There’s this belief that financial advice has to do with nothing more than investing,” he said.

“If we were smart about it and forward-thinking enough, we would’ve appealed to [millennials] when they were young with digital solutions and with conversations about how we’re going to evolve our services over time and how this is the point where your parents needed me, et cetera. Instead, all we’ve done is let them believe that financial advice is basically akin to gambling.”

For young people who feel priced out of advisory services because they don’t have enough investable assets to meet an adviser’s minimum requirements, Pereira said there are some options.

“There are fee-only planners out there and some have subscriber-based pricing where it’s a Netflix-style monthly price. The reality is just because you don’t have a lot of money in investment dollars, doesn’t mean you can’t get qualified advice.”

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Singapore REITs Double Their Overseas Investment to $12 Billion – BNN

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(Bloomberg) — Singapore’s property managers are accelerating their push abroad as a slow reopening and diminishing returns at home force them to look for growth opportunities elsewhere.

Foreign acquisitions by real estate investment trusts in the city-state jumped to an all-time high of 61 last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The total value of such deals also more than doubled from 2020 to $12.3 billion.

Property managers in Singapore — which boasts the most REITs in Asia outside of Japan — have long shown global ambitions, with overseas investments picking up during the pandemic. But a limited reopening coupled with the anticipated omicron surge is adding impetus to this drive, even as investor concerns over a slowing recovery grow.

“Singapore’s commercial REITs may continue to rely on overseas M&A to achieve income growth in 2022, especially if omicron brings more uncertainty on further easing of social and traveling curbs to boost retail and office leasing demand in the country,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Patrick Wong.  

A $3.1 billion merger of Mapletree Commercial Trust with Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust proposed last month is the latest in a series of moves that have seen managers long comfortable with a domestic presence favor a more global footprint. Also in December, another REIT targeting retail outlets in the city-state, CapitaLand Integrated Commercial Trust, made a foray into its second overseas market with office acquisitions in Australia.

Investors like the stability a local focus can offer, Sharon Lim, the chief executive officer of the manager of Mapletree Commercial to told reporters last month, but her trust needs to be better placed to take on new opportunities overseas and achieve “meaningful long-term expansion.” Lim’s REIT, which she described as the “last of the Mohicans” with only Singapore-centric assets will see its domestic holdings shrink to 51% within the new merged entity.

Increased Risks

Overseas diversification may alienate some investors, however, with Mapletree Commercial’s shares having declined more than 8% since the merger was announced. “Investors whose mandate demands only Singapore exposure may look at other counters,” said Krishna Guha, a senior analyst at Jefferies Financial Group Inc, adding that execution and foreign exchange risks may rise.

Still, while the CEO of Singapore’s tourism board Keith Tan has warned that a full recovery in visitor numbers is unlikely until 2025, a reopening dividend might yet emerge. Officials in the financial center have affirmed their determination to live with the virus and keep its borders open, while easing some restrictions, including allowing some workers back into offices.

Singapore’s latest property investment manager Capitaland Investment Ltd. — a spinoff of one of the country’s largest developers — said it will remain committed to local investments despite a growing foreign portfolio.

Singapore will continue to be a “core market” and is attracting strong interest from wealthy individuals, including a growing number of family offices, said CEO Lee Chee Koon in an emailed response to questions about its plans. “But given the physical growth constraints, the relative size of our Singapore business within our portfolio will become smaller over time, as we expand and deepen our interests in overseas markets.”

Investors have validated this strategy so far, with Capitaland Investment emerging as the second-best performer on the benchmark Straits Times Index since its trading debut in September last year, having advanced by over 21%.

The overseas growth fervor is unlikely to dim. A limited pool of good quality assets as well as increasing competition from global funds have also pushed yields lower, said Vijay Natarajan, a real estate analyst at RHB Research Institute. Capitaland’s Lee also expects stronger Asian-based competition to emerge over time.

Instead, deep liquidity pools in overseas markets like the U.K., U.S. and Australia, as well as more alluring freehold and longer lease terms will maintain the draw of markets abroad, said Natarajan. “We expect this trend of overseas acquisitions to continue.”

Footnotes to second chart: 

  • Chart displays % of foreign AUM of top eight REITs by market capitalization
  • Excluded names are Capitaland Integrated Commercial Trust, created through a merger in 2020, while Mapletree Commercial Trust and Frasers Logistics & Commercial Trust are pure geographical plays
  • Mapletree REITs’ financial years end in March (E.g. For FY 2020: March 2021 rather than Dec. 2020)

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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Ontario investment to add 300 student, 88 child care spaces in London, Ont. – Globalnews.ca

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The Ontario government says it’s investing nearly $10 million to build and improve two London, Ont., schools.

In a release issued Saturday, the provincial government said the investment will aim to support the creation of 300 student spaces and 88 licensed child care spaces.

Read more:

COVID-19: TVDSB families rallying to buy additional HEPA filters for schools

The first project involves $7.2 million in improvements to Eagle Heights Public School at 284 Oxford St. W. It will add 300 new elementary student spaces.

The other project will see the government provide $2.7 million for a new child care centre at Northeast London Elementary School at a London site to be acquired.

This project includes adding 88 child care spaces, an infant room, two toddler rooms and two preschool rooms.

Read more:

COVID-19: London rapid test site will no longer test school-aged children, TVFHT says

“The projects are part of a provincewide investment of more than $600 million to support new school and child care spaces,” the statement read. “The overall investment will support 78 school and child care related projects.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Disclosures Show Dr. Fauci’s Household Made $1.7 Million In 2020, Including Income, Royalties, Travel Perks And Investment Gains – Forbes

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Last night, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall received Dr. Anthony Fauci’s unredacted FY2020 financial disclosures. The release following a heated Senate exchange between Fauci and Marshall which concluded with Fauci called the senator a “moron.”

The financial disclosures contain a wealth of previously unknown information. For example, the Fauci household’s net worth exceeds $10.4 million.

During the pandemic year of 2020, their household income, perks and benefits, and unrealized gains totaled $1,782,807 — including federal income and benefits of $868,812; outside royalties and travel perks totaling $119,626; and investment accounts increasing by $794,369.

Here are the numbers as compiled by the auditors at OpenTheBooks.com, an organization I lead. This analysis used previously known information plus the newly released disclosures.

Investment Income: $794,369

Disclosures show $794,369 in gains in the Fauci stock, bond, and money market portfolio during 2020. The total value of Dr. Fauci’s investment account was $8.4 million and his wife’s investments totaled another $2.1 million.

These funds were held in a mix of trust, retirement, and college education accounts. Fauci has an IRA worth $638,519 (up $42,291); a defined benefit brokerage account totaling $2,403,522 (up $241,418); and a revocable trust worth $5,295,898 (up $342,694). His wife’s revocable trust is worth $1,962,819 (up $156,123) and an IRA totaling $120,277 (up $11,843).

Some on the right have speculated that Fauci may have profited off the pandemic. The disclosures show that he’s invested in fairly broadly targeted mutual funds, with no reported holdings of individual stocks.

Fauci’s disclosures show that he owns a stake in a San Francisco restaurant, Jackson Fillmore, worth between $1,000 and $15,000: but received no income from the restaurant in FY2020 (or in FY2019).

Previously, NIH had released heavily redacted financial disclosures of Dr. Fauci. Redactions included the fund balances, so a net worth analysis was impossible until now.

Salaries: $668,312

Dr. Fauci is the director of the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and his wife Christine Grady is the chief bio-ethicist at the National Institutes of Health.  

Background: Fauci earned $434,312 in cash compensation (FY2020) outearning all 4.3 million federal employees including the president and four-star generals in the U.S. military. Between 2010 and 2020, Dr. Fauci earned cash compensation of $3.7 million from his federal employer. Review Fauci’s ten-year salary history in my previous column published at Forbes.

Fauci’s wife, Christine Grady is the chief bio-ethicist at the National Institutes of Health and made $234,284 in FY2020, as disclosed by FOIA to OpenTheBooks.com in August 2021. Grady’s FY2019 pay was also $234,284 and since 2015, Grady made $1.3 million in cash compensation.

However, Fauci’s financial disclosures only show that Grady made $176,000 for FY2020.

NIH does still not disclose Fauci’s current salary (FY2022) or last year’s salary (FY2021), despite comment requests for the information. Therefore, Fauci earned an estimated total of roughly $900,000 during the period.

Perks And Pension Benefits: Est. $200,500

Federal employees have a lucrative amount of paid time off, subsidized healthcare, pension benefits and a myriad of other perquisites. For example, after just three-years, a rank-and-file federal employee receives 44 days of paid time off. Dr. Fauci has held a federal job for 55 years.

A good faith estimate of the taxpayer cost of those benefits is 30-percent multiplied by the salary amount for Dr. Fauci and his wife.

Background: In December, published at Forbes, Fauci stands to reap a golden parachute retirement pension estimated at $350,000 per year, the highest in federal history. With cost of living increases, Fauci would receive over $1 million during his first three years of retirement.

Royalties And Professional Reimbursements: $106,328

Disclosures show that Dr. Fauci edits the medical textbook, Harrison’s Principals of Internal Medicine and serves on the board of the publisher, McGraw Hill. In 2020, Fauci received $100,000 as an editor of the publication. In July 2020, Fauci also received $6,328 for a six-day trip to La Jolla, CA to attend a board meeting of McGraw Hill, the publisher.

Background: OpenTheBooks filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to get a copy of all royalties paid to current and retired NIH scientists since 2005. When NIH would not release the information, a federal lawsuit was filed in October with Judicial Watch and production is scheduled to start on February 1st.

Gifts And Travel Reimbursements: $13,298

Galas: Fauci and his wife collected $8,100 to attend three virtual galas.

Here is the breakdown: $5,000 in for the Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) “Ripple of Hope” gala in December 2020. $1,600 to attend “An Evening Of Hope” virtual event in April 2020 and $1,500 to attend a “Prepared For Life” virtual gala in October 2020.

When Fauci was named Federal Employee Of The Year at the 2020 Samuael J. Heyman Service To America Medals awards program he was paid $5,198 for the virtual star-studded event.

Background: Fauci’s FY2021 disclosure is scheduled for release in May. The disclosure should contain interesting information. For example, in January 2021, as reported by NPR, Fauci received a $1 million prize for the prestigious Dan David Prize affiliated with Tel Aviv University for “speaking truth to power.”

Most likely Fauci kept $900,000 of that prize with 10-percent awarded to Fauci-picked scholarship winners.

Comment was requested from Dr. Fauci and NIH; updates forthcoming with any response.

Further Reading:

No, Fauci’s Records Aren’t Available. Why Won’t NIH Immediately Release Them? Published January 12, 2022 | Forbes

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Golden Parachute Will Exceed $350,000 Per Year – The Largest in U.S. Federal Government History Published December 28, 2021 | Forbes

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Little Known Biodefense Work. It’s How He Became The Highest Paid Federal Employee. Published October 20, 2021 | Forbes

Dr. Anthony Fauci: The Highest Paid Employee In The Entire U.S. Federal Government Published January 21, 2021 | Forbes

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