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Business

The Great Wealth Transfer – Billions To Change Hands By 2026

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9 minute read

Here comes the boom.

What is ‘The Great Wealth Transfer’? 

 

This term has been coined by several major wealth managers across North America; referring to the tremendous amount of wealth that will be transferred to younger generations over the next decade. Wealth amassed by baby boomers will eventually be passed down to their families or beneficiaries, typically with the aid of a trusted wealth manager or financial advisor. 

Similar in a way to climate change, when we visit some of the data that has been reported in both Canada and the US, this issue seems to be far more pressing than most people are aware. Depending on the publication, the exact amount of wealth that will be transferred is questionable. Cited in Forbes, a report done by the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® program and WealthEngine claim that $68 Trillion will change hands in the US by 2030.

We spoke with Gwen Becker and Devin St. Louis, two VP’s, Portfolio Managers and Wealth Advisors for RBC Wealth Management, offering their expert insight into the industry and the vast amount of wealth that is changing hands in Canada. 

According to RBC Wealth Management, their numbers in terms of the wealth transfer report $150 billion is set to change hands by 2026. The industry as a whole is at the forefront of this generational shift, whereas a trusted advisor can onboard younger family members to ensure the highest level of support through the process. Gwen offers her perspective:

“Certainly just around the corner; something that we are definitely paying attention to. My practice has always been very relationship-driven. It has been my privilege to advise many of my clients for decades. I have been intentional to welcome and include multiple generations of the same family. I advise grandparents who are now in their 90s, to which the majority of their children are my clients and even beginning to onboard grandchildren.”

This is an example of what is referred to as multi-generational estate planning. Being in the midst of the ‘great transfer of wealth’, this type of planning is crucial for advisors to implement early so they can continue to support the same family in the future. According to the Canadian Financial Capability Survey conducted in 2019, 51% of Canadians over the age of 65 will refer to a financial advisor to seek literacy and support. Contrary to that, Canadians aged 18-34 show that 51% are more likely to use online resources to aid in their financial literacy. 

Devin offers his perspective on how the importance of family legacy plays a role when an advisor poses this question: What is your wealth for?

“If you sat down with a couple 10 years ago, they may say, when I pass away, whatever wealth is left can be distributed evenly amongst our children. That has changed quite a lot now because elder family members are now more concerned about how their wealth is passed on to the next generation. Onboarding grandchildren can ensure that a family legacy that receives their wealth, uses it to benefit their family and their community.”

An important question to consider. Clearly there is a shift in attitude towards having a family legacy live on through younger generations of a family. Evident that having the support of a financial advisor or wealth manager not only ensures the most efficient use of your money and assets but also ensures financial stability for your family in their future.

If we revisit the above study in how a younger demographic is more likely to utilize online resources, interesting how a more digitally inclined audience will be receptive to advisors. Boiling down to how millennials and younger age groups will perceive wealth management if those in that space fail to offer their services through online communication.

Devin agrees that RBC is uniquely positioned for this digital shift:

“interesting that everybody had to transform their processes online through this COVID-19 pandemic. Every company has been forced to step up their technology means, RBC has definitely risen to that occasion. RBC has adapted quickly, improving a great technology base that already existed. I don’t perceive it at this point to be a challenge. I believe we have the right focus. I think it’ll be a good transition for us.”

Gwen continues:

“I do agree that RBC is very well positioned. The younger generations below millennials that would eventually take over some of this wealth carries some challenges. How does that age demographic think, and what are their expectations of wealth management or financial advisors? It is difficult to understand what that generation will expect out of digital advisors. Estate planning matters, and it will always be tied to you knowing the family, it’s a relationship business”

Consider that RBC Wealth Management oversees $1.05 trillion globally under their administration, has over 4,800 professionals to serve their clients and was the recipient of the highest-ranking bank-owned investment brokerage by the 2020 Investment Executive Brokerage Report Card, safe to say their decades of professionalism, expertise and ‘get it done’ attitude speaks for itself.

So, what does this mean for younger members of families who may not understand the field of wealth management?

Starting the conversation early

Whether you are the elder family member who has their financial ‘quarterback’ preparing their estate to change hands or are younger family members who may be the beneficiary of wealth in the near future, starting the conversation amongst family members early is important for the process to be successful. Considering that some possessions have more than just monetary value, but an emotional tie to the family legacy can be a difficult asset to distribute evenly. Of course, it can be a tough conversation to have, it may involve discussing the passing away of a loved one or even setting a plan to cover future expenses. Gwen mentions:

“I encourage my clients to have open conversations with their children while they are alive so that their intentions are clear. Depending on the dynamics of the family, things such as an annual family meeting with a beneficiary can be effective once it’s put in place. If they are not comfortable leading that conversation, bring a trusted adviser to the table to be impartial and logical.”

There is no way to know what ramifications will come of this ‘great transfer of wealth’. It may be that we see the resurgence of a strong bull market in the near future, we may see new tech innovation that we cannot yet grasp or new business investments that continue to disrupt traditional processes. Only time will tell.

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary

Economy

Prime minister’s misleading capital gains video misses the point

Published on

From the Fraser Institute

By Jake Fuss and Alex Whalen

According to a 2021 study published by the Fraser Institute, 38.4 per cent of those who paid capital gains taxes in Canada earned less than $100,000 per year, and 18.3 per cent earned less than $50,000. Yet in his video, Prime Minister Trudeau claims that his capital gains tax hike will affect only the richest “0.13 per cent of Canadians”

This week, Prime Minister Trudeau released a video about his government’s decision to increase capital gains taxes. Unfortunately, he made several misleading claims while failing to acknowledge the harmful effects this tax increase will have on a broad swath of Canadians.

Right now, individuals and businesses who sell capital assets pay taxes on 50 per cent of the gain (based on their full marginal rate). Beginning on June 25, however, the Trudeau government will increase that share to 66.7 per cent for capital gains above $250,000. People with gains above that amount will again pay their full marginal rate, but now on two-thirds of the gain.

In the video, which you can view online, the prime minister claims that this tax increase will affect only the “very richest” people in Canada and will generate significant new revenue—$20 billion, according to him—to pay for social programs. But economic research and data on capital gains taxes reveal a different picture.

For starters, it simply isn’t true that capital gains taxes only affect the wealthy. Many Canadians who incur capital gains taxes, such as small business owners, may only do so once in their lifetimes.

For example, a plumber who makes $90,000 annually may choose to sell his business for $500,000 at retirement. In that year, the plumber’s income is exaggerated because it includes the capital gain rather than only his normal income. In fact, according to a 2021 study published by the Fraser Institute, 38.4 per cent of those who paid capital gains taxes in Canada earned less than $100,000 per year, and 18.3 per cent earned less than $50,000. Yet in his video, Prime Minister Trudeau claims that his capital gains tax hike will affect only the richest “0.13 per cent of Canadians” with an “average income of $1.4 million a year.”

But this is a misleading statement. Why? Because it creates a distorted view of who will pay these capital gains taxes. Many Canadians with modest annual incomes own businesses, second homes or stocks and could end up paying these higher taxes following a onetime sale where the appreciation of their asset equals at least $250,000.

Moreover, economic research finds that capital taxes remain among the most economically damaging forms of taxation precisely because they reduce the incentive to innovate and invest. By increasing them the government will deter investment in Canada and chase away capital at a time when we badly need it. Business investment, which is crucial to boost living standards and incomes for Canadians, is collapsing in Canada. This tax hike will make a bad economic situation worse.

Finally, as noted, in the video the prime minister claims that this tax increase will generate “almost $20 billion in new revenue.” But investors do not incur capital gains taxes until they sell an asset and realize a gain. A higher capital gains tax rate gives them an incentive to hold onto their investments, perhaps until the rate is reduced after a change in government. According to economists, this “lock-in” effect can stifle economic activity. The Trudeau government likely bases its “$20 billion” number on an assumption that investors will sell their assets sooner rather than later—perhaps before June 25, to take advantage of the old inclusion rate before it disappears (although because the government has not revealed exactly how the new rate will apply that seems less likely). Of course, if revenue from the tax hike does turn out to be less than anticipated, the government will incur larger budget deficits than planned and plunge us further into debt.

Contrary to Prime Minister Trudeau’s claims, raising capital gains taxes will not improve fairness. It’s bad for investment, the economy and the living standards of Canadians.

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Business

Ottawa should end war on plastics for sake of the environment

Published on

From the Fraser Institute

By Kenneth P. Green

Here’s the shocker: Meng shows that for 15 out of the 16 uses, plastic products incur fewer GHG emissions than their alternatives…

For example, when you swap plastic grocery bags for paper, you get 80 per cent higher GHG emissions. Substituting plastic furniture for wood—50 per cent higher GHG emissions. Substitute plastic-based carpeting with wool—80 per cent higher GHG emissions.

It’s been known for years that efforts to ban plastic products—and encourage people to use alternatives such as paper, metal or glass—can backfire. By banning plastic waste and plastic products, governments lead consumers to switch to substitutes, but those substitutes, mainly bulkier and heavier paper-based products, mean more waste to manage.

Now a new study by Fanran Meng of the University of Sheffield drives the point home—plastic substitutes are not inherently better for the environment. Meng uses comprehensive life-cycle analysis to understand how plastic substitutes increase or decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by assessing the GHG emissions of 16 uses of plastics in five major plastic-using sectors: packaging, building and construction, automotive, textiles and consumer durables. These plastics, according to Meng, account for about 90 per cent of global plastic volume.

Here’s the shocker: Meng shows that for 15 out of the 16 uses, plastic products incur fewer GHG emissions than their alternatives. Read that again. When considering 90 per cent of global plastic use, alternatives to plastic lead to greater GHG emissions than the plastic products they displace. For example, when you swap plastic grocery bags for paper, you get 80 per cent higher GHG emissions. Substituting plastic furniture for wood—50 per cent higher GHG emissions. Substitute plastic-based carpeting with wool—80 per cent higher GHG emissions.

A few substitutions were GHG neutral, such as swapping plastic drinking cups and milk containers with paper alternatives. But overall, in the 13 uses where a plastic product has lower emissions than its non-plastic alternatives, the GHG emission impact is between 10 per cent and 90 per cent lower than the next-best alternatives.

Meng concludes that “Across most applications, simply switching from plastics to currently available non-plastic alternatives is not a viable solution for reducing GHG emissions. Therefore, care should be taken when formulating policies or interventions to reduce plastic demand that they result in the removal of the plastics from use rather than a switch to an alternative material” adding that “applying material substitution strategies to plastics never really makes sense.” Instead, Meng suggests that policies encouraging re-use of plastic products would more effectively reduce GHG emissions associated with plastics, which, globally, are responsible for 4.5 per cent of global emissions.

The Meng study should drive the last nail into the coffin of the war on plastics. This study shows that encouraging substitutes for plastic—a key element of the Trudeau government’s climate plan—will lead to higher GHG emissions than sticking with plastics, making it more difficult to achieve the government’s goal of making Canada a “net-zero” emitter of GHG by 2050.

Clearly, the Trudeau government should end its misguided campaign against plastic products, “single use” or otherwise. According to the evidence, plastic bans and substitution policies not only deprive Canadians of products they value (and in many cases, products that protect human health), they are bad for the environment and bad for the climate. The government should encourage Canadians to reuse their plastic products rather than replace them.

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