September 2011
Up and Autumn......



Do you feel it?  That brisk morning air, summer clawing onto the days as they become shorter....Autumn makes its way into the city.  The colour and splendor of fall brings a refreshing air, the leaves change as they come full circle and bid summer - adieu.  
Much like the markets, they remind us of where we were 5, 10 even 15 years ago.  Rather cyclical, yet unpredictable; we watch and wait.  But the lesson here is: vigilance.  Hence, our regular meetings and discussions with you.  The updates and communications that we rely upon, are always an invitation to review your objectives and your investments. 
We are always here for you.
Thank you
Peter     Richard     Claudio

A primer on how to withdraw from RESPs

By Roma Luciw, The Globe and Mail August, 2011


There's a slew of rules surrounding RESP withdrawals that you need to know if your child is heading off to school

Mike Holman, an expert on registered education savings plans and the author of The RESP Book , has a secret.  Although he has opened a family RESP account for his two children, aged 3 and 5, it is not maxed out. The money in there has been donated by extended family like grandparents and aunts.


"At least I have RESPs - it would be embarrassing if I did not," he says sheepishly.

Actually, Mr. Holman and his wife have chosen to focus on paying off their mortgage, which they expect to do by next year. Once that financial burden is gone, they will have a lot more cash and plan to revisit other financial priorities, like their kids' RESPs.

Mr. Holman, who writes the Money Smarts blog [], says there are plenty of misconceptions about RESPs, especially surrounding how to withdraw money .


RESPs have only been around in their current format since 1998, so the amount they held for students entering school five years ago were small. "Now you have kids where the non-contribution part of their RESP is $20,000 to $30,000, and that is enough money that you could run into tax problems."


In order to avoid those, here are Mr. Holman's RESP withdrawal tips:

1. Don't wait until the last minute

Normally, it should only take a few business days for the RESP withdrawal to be paid out, however if there are any issues with the proof of enrolment, there could be delays.

2. Withdrawals can be made before your child starts classes

As soon as your child is enrolled in an eligible post-secondary educational institution, an RESP withdrawal can be requested. You do not need to wait until they are attending classes. . If necessary, the government has provided a Verification of Enrolment form , which most educational institutions will fill out for you.

3. You don't have to justify RESP withdrawals or show receipts

If your child is enrolled and you want to withdraw money from an RESP account, all you have to do is ask for the money. You don't have to provide receipts or any other kind of justification for your payment request. Don't be afraid to ask for more than you need.

4. Specify if the withdrawal is to be from contributions, non-contributions or both

There are two parts to an RESP account: The contribution amount, which is the money you have put in, and the non-contribution amount, which is the government grant money as well as any investment gains. If you child is attending school, you can do either a Post-Secondary Education Payment (PSE) - a withdrawal from the contribution amount - or an Educational Assistance Payment (EAP) - a withdrawal from the non-contribution amount. This distinction is important because PSE payments are not taxable income and there are no limits on withdrawals. EAPs are taxable in the student's hands and there is a $5,000 limit for EAPs withdrawals in the first 13 weeks of schooling.

5. Watch the taxes

EAPs are treated as taxable income in the hands of the student. Most students don't pay much, if any, income taxes. If the student is in a taxable situation, it might be worthwhile to adjust the payments to reduce the amount of EAP which will reduce the taxable income for that year.

6. The child can still receive grants, even while doing withdrawals

Yes, that's right. As long as your child is still eligible for grants, you can continue to make contributions and receive grants in the RESP account, even while doing withdrawals.

7. Don't withdraw more than $7,200 of grant money per beneficiary

If you have a family plan RESP, make sure you don't withdraw more than $7,200 of grant money per child. Every EAP contains some grant money and it is possible to withdraw more grants than the $7,200 lifetime limit for one child. If that happens, the excess grants will be returned to the government.

8. Don't leave non-contribution money in the account

There are heavy penalties if you don't withdraw non-contribution money as an EAP. If your child finishes school early or doesn't need all the non-contribution money in the RESP, withdraw it all as an EAP anyway, to avoid the penalties. You can also take advantage of the six-month rule which allows you to do an EAP for six months after the child has stopped going to school.


The coin-jar approach to saving

Angela Self, The Globe and Mail, August 2011


Every spring, the women in Stacy Benmore's family head over to Vancouver Island for a spa weekend. All year, the Vancouver woman saves her toonies in a bucket specifically for this trip. For the past three years, she's saved an average of $350, more than half the cost of the weekend.

"Anyone who saves their change will be really surprised how fast it adds up," says Barb Stark, of Lora Bay, Ont. She started putting away loonies and toonies years ago as a way to save up for Christmas with two small children.

The first year, she collected close to $1,000 - more than enough for the season. She was hooked on this method of saving for special goals, and earmarks her coin collection for something different every year. One year, it funded the purchase of the family dog. This year it's a weekend getaway with her husband.


Ms. Stark goes to the bank once a month to take out a set amount of cash for everyday spending. When she gets change from a purchase, it goes straight into the glass jar on her desk. It feels good to watch your savings grow, she says, and makes you think more about what you're spending your money on. When you're handed change, you can either drop the $2 on a bag of pretzels, or move one small step closer to your goal.


Inspired by these two women, I've started a little coin jar of my own. It may take some time to grow my change pile, since I only use cash for smaller purchases, but in less than two weeks I'm already $12 closer to a spa getaway of my own.


Neon bike to become city-wide art project

Posted by Derek Flack on


An impromptu art project involving an abandoned bike outside the OCAD U Student Gallery appears set to become a city-wide phenomenon. Put together by Councillor Gary Crawford, "The Good Bike Project" will see Caroline Macfarlane and Vanessa Nicholas, the artists responsible for the original neon bike, restore an unspecified number of Toronto's 150 abandoned bikes for placement throughout Toronto neighbourhoods. According to a press release sent out by Councillor Crawford, the bikes are meant to "to mark sites that promote the ethos of regeneration and community that sparked their creativity."

"I am very pleased that we are able to announce this public art project today. Over the coming weeks residents will see these bicycles appear in their neighbourhoods. Hopefully, this will help draw attention to local sites, attractions, businesses and organizations," said the Ward 36 councillor.


Wow. I guess I owe you a bit of an aplogogy, Gary. Good on you and the artists for putting this all together - and most especially for getting the mayor on board. "The Good Bike project is an example of creativity that exists within young artists in our City. It certainly will be exciting when these bikes appear around Toronto this summer," said Rob Ford of the project.

"The positive reaction that the bike has received is certainly evidence of the thirst for public art in Toronto," said Nicholas of the first bike. Not to play Debbie Downer, but it's tough to know exactly what to think about just how the City has embraced this project. After all, didn't the original iteration come to existence in a manner very similar to that of graffiti or other vandalism?

Spontaneous and unauthorized beautification hasn't exactly been well received around these parts in 2011. So, one has to ask: does this project signal some sort of change or heart, or is it just a carefully executed exception to the rule? I'm not really complaining if it's the latter, but it sets some interesting precedence as far as other unsolicited art goes.

Issue: 9
Financial Markets
In This Issue
A primer on how to withdraw from RESPs
The coin-jar approach to saving
Neon bike to become city-wide art project
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Peter Bailey
Worldsource Financial Management
272 Lawrence Avenue West, Suite 203
Toronto, Ontario M5M 4M1