Beginners' Guide to Asset Allocation, Diversification, and Rebalancing

I personally believe that asset allocation is your single-most important investment decision.   Asset allocation involves dividing an investment portfolio among different asset categories, such as stocks, bonds, and cash. Your choice of asset allocation, and a plan to re-balance to your selected mix, is far more important than your choice in individual stocks or bonds. Choosing your asset mix is a personal decision based on your risk profile, and the ideal asset allocation will also depend on your age and life stage.


This chart  breaks down performance of various asset classes over the last decade. It’s sorted by different baskets of assets such as bonds, commodities, gold, stocks, real estate, and emerging markets. The importance of diversification is almost self-evident.


If you only want to ever look at two charts on investing, look at these. From J.P. Morgan's Retirement Guide - "cash may not be an effective long-term solution" and "plan to stay invested".

This Brilliant Chart Reveals How Patience Pays Off For Investors

This eye-opening chart comes from JP Morgan Asset Management. It shows the range of returns on an annualized basis for stocks, bonds, and a 50/50 stock-bond portfolio over 1-year, 5-year, 10-year, and 20-year periods. The returns data is from 1950-2013.


Financial planning is more than budgeting, saving or having the perfect investment strategy. Financial planning is a process that sets you on a course toward achievement of your personal goals, needs and priorities through the proper management of your financial affairs. This overview has been prepared by the Financial Planning Standards Council.

Financial Planning Standards Council Projection Assumptions Guidelines

Financial planners project your financial future, including retirement needs and income, insurance needs, children’s education, and more. In making these projections, we are bound by method rather than results. This document explicitly maps out the assumptions used in the preparation of your financial projections. If you’re not up for a long and technical document, read The Globe and Mail article below.

Projected Investment Returns: Why These New Guidelines Are Golden

The Globe and Mail comments, in May 2015, on the FPSC Projected Investment Returns (original FPSC document found above).

Investment Risk Tolerance Quiz

Want to improve your personal finances? Start by taking this quiz to get an idea of your risk tolerance--one of the fundamental issues to consider when planning your investment strategy.

Creating a Budget

Your budget is the most important variable in your financial plan. It’s also the only variable over which you have complete control. Without an accurate picture of your annual spending going forward, it becomes difficult to create a reliable plan for the future. This document takes you step by step through the process of creating a budget.

Completing An Inventory of Your Financial Assets

Before we can get started on your personal financial plan, we will need to compile a comprehensive list of all your financial assets and liabilities.  

Sample Financial Plan Report

If you want to know what you actually get when you work with us, download this sample report.  While the financial plan and report we prepare for you will be totally customized to your particular circumstances, this will give you some idea of the final report.  You also receive your lifelong, year-by-year financial model as an Excel workbook that permits changes to alter the possible scenarios.