By Staff | September 24, 2007 | Last updated on September 24, 2007
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(September 24, 2007) The majority of Canadians saw little improvement in their real income between 1992 and 2004, according to a study by StatsCan released today. But life was considerably better for the 20% of the population earning the highest income.

“Between 1992 and 2004, constant-dollar income for people in the top 20% of the tax-filer population rose substantially, and the gains got bigger the higher up the income distribution,” the report says.

To make it into the top 5% of tax-filers, Canadians only had to earn $89,000. An income of $181,000 put them in the top 1%, while those earning $2.8 million or more found themselves in the top 0.01%.

Not surprisingly, Canadians between the ages of 45 and 64 made up the bulk of the wealthiest 0.01%, representing three out of five in the cohort. Seniors made up the second largest group in this highest bracket, at 23%.

Of the top 5% of tax-filers, 46% lived in Ontario, 18% in Quebec, 15% in Alberta and 13% in British Columbia.

Wealthy families tended to live in large urban areas, with 51% of those earning in excess of $250,000 per year living in Toronto, 11% in Montreal, and 8% in both Vancouver and Calgary.

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Investors Group launches more SRI funds

(September 24, 2007) Investors Group has announced plans to expand its existing SRI fund program, with the addition of the Investors Summa Global SRI Fund and Investors Summa Global Environmental Leaders Fund.

The new funds add a pair of global investment options to IG’s current Canadian-focused Investors Summa Fund (soon to be renamed as the Investors Summa SRI Fund). Each of the funds will also be available as a corporate class fund.

All of the Summa fund mandates will use third-party global SRI screening services to assist portfolio managers in evaluating companies for their inclusion in each fund’s investment universe.

“The introduction of these new mandates as part of the Investors Summa Fund Family enhances Investors Group’s long history of socially responsible investing,” says John Wiltshire, senior vice-president of product and financial planning at IG. “Investors Group was one of the first major Canadian financial institutions to launch an SRI fund — the Investors Summa Fund in 1987. Twenty years later, [it’s] the biggest SRI fund in the country.”

The funds are expected to be available for investment in November, subject to regulatory approval. Preliminary prospectuses for the new funds will be filed shortly.

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Feds scrap cross-border withholding tax

(September 24, 2007) The federal government has followed through on a promise made in this year’s budget: modifying the tax treaty with the U.S. to eliminate the withholding tax on cross-border interest payments. The signing ceremony was held Friday in Quebec.

The Canadian Bankers Association welcomed the move, dubbing the withholding tax a barrier to the free flow of capital.

“The elimination of this tax will result in increased investment and a reduced cost of capital,” said Nancy Hughes Anthony, president and CEO of the CBA. “This is a very positive step in the government’s efforts to simplify the Canadian tax system and give Canada a more competitive tax environment.”

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HSBC joins bond pricing index

(September 24, 2007) HSBC Securities (Canada) has begun contributing bond data to the PC-Bond Canadian Fixed Income Indices, a service operated by TSX subsidiary PC-Bond.

“We are pleased to add the fixed income expertise and quality that HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc. brings to the PC-Bond and indices platform, and we look forward to how this will benefit the entire investment community,” says Richard Nesbitt, TSX Group CEO.

HSBC will contribute pricing data on a wide array of fixed income securities, which will be included in PC-Bond’s Universe Bond Index, and Universe + Maple Bond Index.

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Franklin Templeton expands T-series

(September 24, 2007) Franklin Templeton has announced the expansion of its tax-efficient Series T option to 14 funds in its corporate class structure.

“As your lifestyle changes the closer you get to retirement, it is important to start thinking about tax-efficiency and the flexibility to rebalance your portfolio,” said Jennifer Ball, senior vice-president, marketing, Franklin Templeton Investments. “For baby boomers who are five to 10 years away from retirement, it is crucial for them to get the benefits of tax accrual before they start to redeem from the structure.”

The CorPLUS-Series T offers a monthly distribution based on return of capital. The new T-series funds will be available October 1, 2007.

The company has also adjusted the branding of its Quotential program. As of October 12, all portfolios will drop “Franklin Templeton” from their names, replacing it with “Quotential.” For example, Franklin Templeton Growth Portfolio will be renamed Quotential Growth Portfolio.

(09/24/07) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.