What is a coffee worth?

Many of us take a cup of “Timmy’s” coffee for granted. On the way to and from work. Maybe even one during the day.

Have you ever thought about the cost? Do you think it would be reasonable to expect to afford a “Timmy’s” a day when you retire?

When I first became a financial consultant, I needed to devise my own story about the importance of saving. The story needed to be something that most people could relate to. Thinking about how my father-in-law met his wife at Tim Horton’s, I realized that many of us likely buy at least a cup of coffee a day. Or more. This is often referred to as “The Latte Factor”. Try tracking every coffee or drink purchase for a month and see what that adds up to for you!

Coffee in retirement.

latteWhat is your latte factor?

In order to afford a cup of coffe a day when you retire, how much do you need to save? The calculations below don’t factor inflation and assumes a rate of return on investments of 8%. That would be considered an aggressive rate of return with no allowance for the expected coffee price increases.


You would need to have approximately $6,000 saved by age 65 to pay for a cup of coffee a day until the age of 92.

Now, let’s back up a bit. How much do you need save per month in order to have that money for a cup of coffee a day? If you start at age 45, you need to save approximately $11/month until age 65 just to pay for a small Tim’s a day.

Do you suffer from The Latte Factor? Will you be able to afford to buy a coffee a day when you retire? Use the links above to calculate your numbers!

This is the time of year we are starting to think about doing our income tax returns. You might want to think about getting together with your financial advisor to think about building a plan to include your latte factor. You are working hard and deserve that coffee a day!

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for financial advisors. I’m thankful for a job that allows me enough to afford a coffee a day. I’m thankful for Tim Horton’s!

What are you thankful for today?


Year end market behaviour.

Headlines like this one “TSX climbs on signals of strength from China, U.S.” on http://ca.reuters.com December 9, 2013 are actually very reassuring.  Just don’t get fooled.  This is normal year end market behaviour.


Portfolio Rebalancing



Many people take the opportunity to re-balance their portfolios this time of year because you need to sell your losers before year end to benefit for income tax purposes.  If you sell your losers after January 1, you have to wait until after the end of that year to make the claim.  Make sure you see your financial advisor before the end of the calendar year!


Look back in history and you will see that the markets typically surge in the first half of December and then trail off until after the holidays.  That’s why the TSX climbing is reassuring.  Not because it’s increasing but because it’s following a normal pattern.  I wonder who will be buying when the prices are falling at the end of the month?


Are you a leader or follower?

3D-Women-Arrow-02Resisting the temptation to follow others when investing is very difficult.  Timing the market is virtually impossible.

Ask anyone who tried to catch the wave during the 2007-2008 period.  That was a classic example of slow and steady wins the race.

Leaders are those who have an investment strategy and work with financial advisors to determine what is best for them.  Followers try to jump into the next great thing and often run right off a fiscal cliff like lemmings.


Year end planning.



Let your year end market behaviour be governed by the plan you made at the end of last year.  Don’t be fooled by the market.  It will trick you!

Work with your financial advisor to establish an ongoing investment plan that fits within your risk tolerance.

Remember, slow and steady wins the race.


Make it a great day,


P.S.  What am I thankful for today?  I’m thankful for the time I spent in financial services.  I’m thankful the markets seem to have returned to normal.  I’m thankful for this wonderful time of year.

What are you thankful for today?


This is meant to encourage you to meet with your financial advisor and work with her/him to establish a plan that will work for you and is in no way intended to be considered advice.  Please meet with your financial advisor as soon as possible!

Do you ever find yourself wondering “if you can do that”?