Summer 2014










The Many Uses of Life Insurance


Florence Marino discusses the importance of including life insurance in your retirement plans.  Click here for the article.







Dear clients and friends,


Well summer is finally here and what better place to spend it than in the beautiful city of Vancouver. All our friends in Toronto and across Canada are also having a good start to their summer too. This is what we wait for all year so we can get out and enjoy the great outdoors!


We are pleased to announce that we have two new team members to welcome onboard. First, Lena Keshysheva is now leading our Individual Insurance department, and is available to answer any questions you may have regarding your life, disability, or critical illness insurance. Lena comes to us from a larger investment and financial planning firm, and is looking forward to speaking with you!


Secondly, Michelle Whalen joined us in the role of Administrative Assistant. If you've called our office recently, you've probably already spoken with Michelle! She provides general office support as well as administrative support to Matti Allas in the Investment department.


These two individuals are a fantastic addition to our already sound team of experts in the areas of insurance, benefits, and investment / retirement solutions.


I am happy to report that after my bad fall in late March when I broke my fibula, I am now starting to work my way back into a shoe again. Having never broken anything in my life before it was rather debilitating to discover I would require surgery, a plate and nine screws to repair my fractured leg.


Thanks to all of you for the many well wishes that I received. Most thanks goes to my lovely wife Sherry Thodos who during this period was my everything including chauffeur, cook, cleaner, nurse and dearest companion. Sherry works in commercials so I thought I would also share one of her recent ones for Pearl Vision where instead of being my nurse she plays a doctor. Click here for the video.


All the best for the summer!




Thomas O'Neill



Recovering poolside




Watching the Stanley Cup with friends Jackson Sayers, young Cole and David Laniado.




Financial Planning 

Over 50% of Canadians Are Doing It. Are You?


Introduced in 2009, Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) have been slowly gaining traction with Canadian investors. With current annual contributions set at $5,500 per year, those who have yet to set-up a TFSA account have a total contribution limit of $31,000. All interest, dividends and gains are tax free when accruing and withdrawn from your TFSA account making it a smart addition to your investment portfolio.


The following brief article provides an overview of TFSA's. Please feel free to get in touch for more information on TFSA accounts and some specific investment strategies within the TFSA structure. Click here for the full article.





Insurance Planning

Protect Yourself, Not The Bank


Should you protect your mortgage with the insurance offered through the bank or with a personal life insurance plan? There are many important differences between these two types of coverage that one should consider before making a decision.


When purchasing an individual life insurance plan, you own the policy contract and have complete control over it.  It is fully portable and will stay in force as long as you are paying the premiums.  In contrast, when purchasing insurance through a bank, if you decide to change mortgage providers in the future that coverage will terminate.  Moreover, if your health has deteriorated, new coverage may be challenging or impossible to obtain.


In addition, individual policies offer much greater flexibility.  You can choose to change the coverage amount, and you have the option to convert from a Term policy to a permanent one without medical evidence up until a designated age (often 75).  Moreover, you can designate the beneficiary of your choosing, and that beneficiary can decide whether to use the funds to pay off the mortgage or for other financial needs. 


With the bank coverage, at the time of death the insurance proceeds can only be used to pay off the mortgage balance, giving your heirs limited flexibility.  Furthermore, as you pay off your mortgage, the amount of your death benefit decreases, meaning you are paying more for less coverage. 


The following video shows a CBC Market Place report that highlights some other pitfalls with creditor insurance. 


CBC Marketplace - In Denial - Mortgage Insurance Canada - Part 1

CBC Marketplace - In Denial - Mortgage Insurance Canada - Part 1





Group Benefits

Losing your Employee Benefits? Consider FollowMe...     


 Whether you're between companies, retiring, or self-employed, Manulife Financial's FollowMe program can provide you with an affordable way to supplement your provincial health coverage. With four plan designs offering different levels of health and/or dental coverage, you can choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.


If you apply for a FollowMe plan within 60 days from the time your employee group benefits coverage terminates, you will not be required to provide medical evidence for the coverage. Rather, Manulife will guarantee your acceptance to the FollowMe program. Moreover, it will cover you for any pre-existing conditions and medications you may be taking.


For more information, please consult the attached brochure or contact Jennifer Harris in our office.





Suite 1918 - 925 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC, V6C3L2

Phone: 604-484-4170  Email:   Web: