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COVID-19 and other economic complexities have left inflation and the economy at a place where we have all been forced to re-think the way we look at our financial journeys. Necessities such as education, home loans, etc., are becoming increasingly difficult to maintain or even afford, which is why it helps if parents start financial planning as early as they can. Wise investment decisions today can help your children achieve their dreams and help us collectively build a stronger, more capable India. Let’s take a look now at key investment strategies and themes that can help you save for your child’s bright future.
Be aware of the cost of professional courses and certifications
Whether your child wants to be a doctor, a journalist, an engineer, or an investment manager, professional qualifications are needed. However, in a country like India, with a rapidly growing population of young people, competition for the limited number of seats for professional courses is intense. This means that the cost of education, and supplementary costs like tuition, will likely be more than today. Over the past 5-10 years, costs in the higher education sector have ballooned by double-digit figures. Right now, MBA fees, for instance, can be as high as INR 20-40 lakh for a two-year program. We don’t expect this trend to reverse itself in the near future, meaning that quality education 10 years down the line will be a substantially costlier proposition than it is right now.
When preparing your investment strategy, it’s critical that you have an awareness of the current and projected costs of professional courses and certifications. That way, you will be able to afford a quality higher education experience for your child, when the time comes.
Monitor the medium to long-term inflation rate
High levels of inflation limit the utility of the gains you make from strategic investments. Over the past two decades, inflation rates have fluctuated dramatically, year-on-year, with a high of 12.3 per cent in 2008, and a low of 3.3 per cent last year. What does this entail when it comes to investing in your child’s future? Conventional assets might not generate a sufficient amount of interest to offset the rate of inflation in the long term. This means that you will want to rethink your risk appetite and incorporate a larger proportion of higher-return products into your portfolio. While this does have implications in terms of overall risk, high returns are the only way to combat a sustained, high level of inflation. Low returns from conventional assets could, in the long term, effectively erode the value of your savings.
What does your cash surplus look like?
On a given month, and across a given year, what does your cash surplus look like? Once you’ve accounted for expenses and discretionary spending, how much cash is left for savings and what are the long-term trends you’ve seen with regards to this amount? Having an adequate monthly and yearly cash surplus is critical to your long-term investment plan for your child’s future. You need to evaluate your current cash surplus situation to identify whether or not it aligns with your investment goals. If your plan is to save a certain amount every month, does your cash surplus actually allow you to do so? If not, you’ll want to take a look at your discretionary spending and pare things down to enable a greater, sustained cash surplus on a month-to-month basis.
What investment vehicles are available and how do you allocate your investments?
In these times of change and greater uncertainty, it’s important to be aware of all the potential investment vehicles available, as well as their ups and downsides. You also want to strategically allocate your investment between different vehicles to minimize risk and meet your target in terms of returns. Fixed deposits, bonds, mutual funds and even exotic instruments like crypto all have different plus and make sense in different contexts. For instance, investing a large proportion of your savings towards an FD will ensure stability. However, higher levels of inflation might mean that the actual value of your investment will either stagnate or even come down slightly over time. In general, FD rates of return range between 3.5 per cent and 7 per cent in India. Looking at historical inflation trends, a lower rate of return would cause your savings to erode in value. Other vehicles come with higher levels of return, but are accompanied by increased risk. You’ll need to sit with your financial advisor and draw up a plan that aligns your investments with your target return for enabling your child’s future.
Conclusion: Plan, monitor, and review your investment
Investing towards your child’s future isn’t a ‘fire-and-forget’ decision. You need to carefully plan your investment strategy, monitor its success and periodically iterate and realign to ensure long-term success. You need to take into account changes in the market and overall economy, as well as personal changes—as they grow older, your child’s interests may change, along with their higher education prospects. The best way to plan and follow through on your investment is to work closely with your financial advisor. Set a plan in action, identify long-term goals, then review the state of your investment on a regular basis with your advisor, allowing for changes, both in terms of allocation, and in terms of what you’re putting in each month. Your child’s future matters. Saving to make their dreams come true can be the greatest gift you can give. But in a volatile economy and environment, it’s important to do this strategically.
Q3 2020 venture capital investment in Canadian tech lowest in two years, CVCA finds – BetaKit
Venture capital investment in Canada took a major dip in the third quarter (Q3) of 2020, according to the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA).
Investment in Q3 dropped by 63 percent year-over-year, with just $891 million across 126 deals (all dollar figures are in CAD). This is also 47 percent less than the total investments made in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020.
“The realities of COVID and the continued strength of valuations is apparent in the deal flow.”
CVCA CEO Kim Furlong attributed the decreased venture capital investment to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The realities of COVID and the continued strength of valuations is apparent in the deal flow,” she said, noting that Q3’s results are more aligned with the deal flow challenges created by the pandemic than those from Q2.
“The strength of Q2 was in many ways a combination of GPs further capitalizing their portfolio and the added capital injections of BDC and EDC matching programs,” said Furlong.
The second quarter of 2020, which was the first quarter that reflected the effect of the COVID-19 on the market, saw Canadian venture capital investment reach a record high – much to the surprise of industry leaders. In the quarter, $1.66 billion was invested across 145 deals, a 23 percent year-over-year increase and more than double the amount invested in the first quarter of 2020.
At the time, Furlong attributed the deal flow to stimulus and incentives from the federal government, as well as VC firms “doubling down” on investing in the “leading stars” in their portfolios.
Last quarter was also the second-biggest quarter for Canadian venture capital investment over the last number of years, only beat out by Q3 2019, which marked the highest dollar amount ever invested in Canadian companies ($2.48 billion).
A direct correlation can be made between Q3 2020 and Q3 2019, as both quarters saw 126 deals, though with notably different dollar amounts invested.
While Q3 2019 saw 12 mega deals, this latest quarter only saw three such deals reported: Vancouver-based Chinook Therapeutics’ $140 million pre-IPO round; Kitchener-based ApplyBoard’s $70 million Series C extension; and Calgary-based Attabotics’ $66 million Series C round.
Much like Q2 2020, the third quarter continued to see the largest amount of capital going towards later-stage deals. Later stage represented 45 percent of the total investment with $1.6 billion over 57 deals. Early-stage received 42 percent of investment, while eight percent went to the seed stage.
The data shows a noticeable change in early-stage venture capital investment in Canada, when compared to Q3 2019. Despite the large number of later stage mega-deals last year, early-stage companies still received the largest portion of investments, with later-stage pulling in just 23 percent.
This reflects trends that have been seen throughout 2020 where investors are looking to bolster their portfolio companies, with limited investment in new and earlier stage companies.
Investment by sector, region, private equity
Investment in the information, communication and technology sector remained strong, as did the regions that receive the most amount of capital. Ontario led the way, followed by Quebec and British Columbia.
An interesting juxtaposition to CVCA’s national report is the recent data from Hockeystick. Disclosure: BetaKit is a Hockeystick Tech Report media partner. In two reports published Wednesday, Hockeystick found that the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and British Columbia (BC) had positive quarters for venture capital investments.
Following two disappointing quarters for venture funding of startups in the GTA, the region reached a yearly high. In BC, the tech ecosystem saw “robust venture capital deal activity” in Q3. Hockeystick’s report stated, “COVID-19 has not slowed down deal activity in the [BC] region, but its impact can be seen in the types of companies raising funds.”
Notably, Hockeystick’s data is sourced through exclusive partnerships with organizations like the CVCA and the National Angel Capital Organization, as well as data from startups using its platform and public data sources.
The CVCA also reported that private equity investment was down in Q3 2020, with $1.4 billion invested over 155 deals compared to $1.9 billion over 177 deals last year. The report stated that year-to-date private equity activity is tracking 25 percent below the four-year average in both dollars invested and deals.
Photo by Adeolu Eletu via Unsplash
New investment in Waterloo Region soared in 2020 despite pandemic – TheRecord.com
WATERLOO REGION — At the start of 2020, back before most of us had even heard of COVID-19, Tony LaMantia had delivered a fairly standard economic forecast to his board of directors at the Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
The Waterloo EDC is often the first point of contact for companies looking to locate, relocate or expand in Waterloo Region, and its president and chief executive had forecast they would help close about a dozen new investment deals and attract about $150 million worth of new investment to Waterloo Region in 2020.
The numbers were certainly attainable — after all, between 2016 when Waterloo EDC launched and the end of 2019, the group had helped deliver more than 40 deals and $800 million worth of investment. The forecast was also a little lower than 2019, which saw about $201 million and 15 deals.
Then COVID-19 hit, shocking the global economy. LaMantia was forced to revise and lower his projection to about five or six deals worth about $90 million, and there were several board meetings between March and May to discuss how the agency should respond.
“Unlike other organizations across the country, we didn’t retrench,” said LaMantia in an interview with The Record. “My board said … don’t worry about this year, just do what we need to do.”
When the dust settles on 2020, the Waterloo EDC will have fallen short of its early target for deals — it closed 11 by the end of October — but the agency blew past its initial investment goal of $150 million by helping to bring in more than $221 million, along with 416 new jobs to the region.
“We actually did better than 2019. That’s one hell of a story,” LaMantia said ahead of the annual Waterloo EDC public information meeting Thursday morning when the numbers were officially announced.
The final numbers for 2020 also don’t include the expansion of Amazon into Cambridge and Kitchener, and the announced expansion of Google in Kitchener — deals that were made without the direct aid of Waterloo EDC, LaMantia said, and should create hundreds of more jobs.
When the pandemic first struck, LaMantia — along with local political and business leaders — got right to work and developed a Business and Economic Support Team to help ensure two-way communication was strengthened between politicians at all levels and the business community to help both groups respond quickly to the ever-changing pandemic landscape.
One of the biggest success stories in this region in 2020 has been its ability to pivot and retool to meet the increased need for personal protective equipment (PPE). Waterloo Region went from almost no local suppliers at the start of the year to more than 90, bringing in approximately $80 million of new investment in just a few months.
LaMantia can remember calling PPE manufacturers around the world trying to secure more equipment for Waterloo Region in the earliest days of the pandemic.
“I never want to go through that again,” he said.
How did Waterloo Region respond so quickly to the need for PPE?
“The short answer is because we could,” said LaMantia. “We had the ingredients, we had the manufacturing base, we had the know-how, but more importantly there was the underlying attitude of ‘this is the need so let’s just do it.’”
In 2019, the non-profit Waterloo EDC received roughly $3 million in funding from federal, provincial and municipal governments, according to the group’s 2019 annual report. The bulk ($2 million) came from municipalities.
Including the recent 2020 numbers, the Waterloo EDC has helped close 56 deals that have brought in more than $1 billion in new investment to this community, and creating approximately 3,500 new jobs since 2016.
About 39 per cent of that investment has been in Kitchener, followed by Cambridge (37.5 per cent), Waterloo (11.9 per cent) and the Townships (11.5 per cent).
Looking ahead to 2021, it’s tough to say if Waterloo Region will continue to see strong investment as the pandemic continues. LaMantia couldn’t say for certain if there would be a lag on new investment that could spill over to next year as companies rein in spending while the pandemic drags on.
LaMantia is hopeful that news of numerous promising vaccines are in development, along with a new administration in the White House, could go a long way in easing global uncertainty.
“Q1 will be really, really important,” for understanding how the rest of the year will go, he said.
Waterloo EDC has forecast about six deals and about $57.5 million worth of investment in this region should close in the first few months of 2021, and even more deals worth an estimated $108 million look very promising and could close by the end of the year.
More investment in non-profit, affordable housing is needed : Adsum for Women and Children – HalifaxToday.ca
With the help of federal funding, Adsum for Women and Children will be building affordable and accessible housing for up to 60 people.
Adsum, along with the North End Community Health Association and the Mi’kmaq Friendship Centre, are on the receiving end of $8.7 million through Ottawa’s Rapid Housing Initiative.
The program aims to help cities and housing providers buy properties and turn them quickly into affordable units.
Sheri Lecker is the Executive Director of Adsum for Women and Children, and says the $4 million it has been allocated will go towards 25 new apartments – nine of which will be accessible.
“We are really committed to developing truly affordable housing for women, families, for trans, and gender non-conforming persons,” she says. “We want to build homes that people can live in for the long-term, in a neighbourhood and community that they are proud of, included and a part of.”
She says the units being creating through the rapid housing initiative are only a small amount of what is needed.
“It’s not a secret to anyone in Nova Scotia that we are in crisis, with a lack of truly affordable housing,” she says. “What we are proposing is just a drop in the bucket of what’s needed.”
Lecker says it is inspiring one dozen non-profit housing groups submitted proposals for the funding within about a month.
“Now we know there are lots of projects that partners can be working on to realize housing,” she says. “We need to see really deep investment, in non-profit owned affordable housing.”
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