Volatile Markets: Can You Protect Yourself?!

It’s easier than you think

Volatile Markets: Can You Protect Yourself?!

2018 was the worst year for stocks since 2008 but even more worrisome was the volatility we experienced. The Dow swung 1,000 points in one single session alone! This has happened only eight times in its history and five of those took place in 2018.* 
The good news is the Dow Jones had one of its best January’s on record which helped ease the pain of December’s losses. But the question people are asking is, “is there a way to grow our money and have access to it without worrying about market volatility?”

The answer is yes!

If you’re a business owner with a corporation, it’s even better. You can:

·  Grow your assets·  Access your invested cash·  Limit the volatility on your investment
·  Increase the value of your estate and
·  Transfer money to your heirs in the most tax efficient way available today

Joanna’s Story
This strategy was a lifesaver last year for my client Joanna, a business owner who needed some extra funds to grow her business. The problem for Joanna was, when she spoke with her investment advisor, he told her that the market was down and her funds were not performing well at the time, so she wasn’t eager to cash them out. When she asked me what her options were, I explained to her that we could borrow from the cash in her life insurance policy. This allowed her the funds she needed, without worrying about timing the market or market losses and minimized tax consequences for her.  It was the best solution all around.

To find out how this strategy can fit in with your current investments, schedule a call with me today for a complimentary 30-minute consultation.

*To read the CNN article, click here.

Aviva Abraham is a group benefits and insurance advisor at Creative Planning. She has been providing healthcare solutions for self-employed and business owners since 2010. 

Anna Kendrick Photo by Steve Granitz/

Anna Kendrick’s important message after her hospitalization

If you enjoyed watching Pitch Perfect (1,2 and 3), you’d recognize the name Anna Kendrick – the musically gifted star of these movies.

Recently, Anna experienced several extremely painful episodes, it turns out, from kidney stones. She admitted to trying to work through the pain, hoping everything would subside and she wouldn’t have to miss time from her busy schedule!

Does this sound familiar, especially to the women who are reading this?

A recent study from Yale University found that men are more likely to complain of symptoms caused by illness or injury, while women often downplay pain out of fear of neglecting their daily tasks. However, this neglect can cause serious consequences if symptoms are ignored for too long. 

What did Anna learn from this that she wants to pass on (excuse the pun!) to all women?

After expressing her thanks to the nurses who treated her, the actress pleaded with women to put their health first and seek medical help rather than trying to push through their illness.

“I was worried that my pain would turn out to be “nothing serious” or something that I should have been able to fight through. I’m so grateful to these women (who treated her)…..” she said.

Definitely, something to keep in mind the next time you’re in pain or get sick…

Want to find out how you can protect your health and get the care you need? Contact me to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation.

If you like Anna’s music as much as I do, click here and enjoy!

Aviva Abraham is a group benefits and insurance advisor at Creative Planning. She has been providing healthcare solutions for self-employed and business owners since 2010. 

What Happens When Marijuana Becomes Legal in 2018?

Last year, Canada set in motion plans to legalize marijuana use by July 1, 2018. Ontario is the first province to announce its plans to sell and distribute recreational marijuana once it becomes legal. (Note: medical marijuana has been legal since 2015).

The proposed strategy would be to regulate marijuana providers and supervise quality control of the supply chain – similar to the regulation and control of alcohol and tobacco use.

So what does this mean for Canadians? Some of the most common questions I’m hearing are:

1. “Will I be able to purchase marijuana anywhere?”

No! Distribution and sale will only be legal if purchased through approved providers – exactly who would be able to sell marijuana in Canada is still being determined. So far, Ontario has announced plans to open 80 stand-alone stores by July 1, 2019.

2. “Can I grow or produce my own marijuana?”

No! It will still be illegal to:

  • Possess or distribute a budding or flowering plant
  • Possess or distribute more than 4 non-budding plants
  • Possessing more than 30 dried grams in public

3. “Once people buy marijuana, where can they smoke it?”
Unlike regular cigarettes and cigars, consuming the drug will only be allowed in private residences. It will be prohibited in public spaces, cars or workplaces; users won’t be able to smoke in a park, or at their desk at work.

4. “What if I observe someone getting high at work?”

The government is asking employers across Canada to implement and/or update their workplace policies.  Recreational use of marijuana would be dealt in a similar manner to that of someone who comes to work drunk or behaves incorrectly in the work environment. In the event an employee is unclear on how to handle a situation at work, it’s important that they’re able to discuss this with their employer as soon as possible.

5. “What about employees who use marijuana for medical purposes?” 

The government is now requiring all employers to establish workplace policies to protect employers and employees. Medical marijuana laws are different than those for recreational users since it is necessary for health reasons, I will cover this issue in a future post.

Want to find out more about marijuana in the workplace and other healthcare issues?  Contact me for a complimentary 30-minute consultation.

To learn more about the cannabis industry, check out Marcus Lemonis’ documentary on CNBC as he unfolds why cannabis production is booming across North America.



Aviva Abraham is a group benefits and insurance advisor at Creative Planning. She has been providing healthcare solutions for self employed and business owners since 2010. 

What Are You Waiting For?

Last week we learned that Michael Bublé is putting his career on hold because his son is battling liver cancer. Earlier in the year, the music world gathered at Gord Downie’s Tragically Hip farewell tour; Gord is battling brain cancer.These stories remind us that illness and death do not discriminate – young or old, rich or poor – it affects everyone of us.

Now is the Time 
We always think we have time to take care of the important things- but Michael and Gord would tell you otherwise (watch this interview with Gord ). And especially for those of us who are self-employed, life can be very unpredictable. Taking care of the important things now, making sure you have solid healthcare coverage for yourself, your family and your business, will ensure that you and your loved ones have the means to deal with whatever medical issue comes into your life.

This blog is aimed at helping you understand the latest trends in health and healthcare in Canada today. As many of you have heard me say, the cost of healthcare is the biggest disrupter to our finances- what can you do to make sure you and your family are taken care of?

Michael Buble

Photo: Instagram

Although we have not yet found a way to prevent disease, medical advancements are such that Canadians today are surviving for years after their diagnoses, but their lives change dramatically. 1 in every 3 Canadians will be diagnosed with a Critical Illness before age 65, and half of those people will live 5 years past diagnoses. When a health issue arises, would you be able to get the care you need? Would you know where to turn to get help? Would you have the money you need not just to survive but to live life the way you want?

Won’t OHIP Take Care of Me?
According to Sunlife Financial more than 60% of Canadians between the ages of 20-50 do NOT have any critical illness coverage, Why? For one thing, many think the government will cover their healthcare costs- but that is far from true. With only a few exceptions, Canadians must pay for those costly drugs needed not just for terminal conditions like cancer, but also for more common chronic conditions such as high cholesterol, chronic pain and diabetes. What can you do to protect yourself and your family? Here are some tips, first steps you can take today:

  • Review your current healthcare coverage. Find out exactly what you are covered and not covered for. Most people I meet don’t know these details, but they are important to find out before you need any medical care. The main question is- how much drug coverage do you have?
  • Ask some hard questions.It’s not pleasant thinking about “what if” but it is always better to be proactive rather than reactive, you have more choices and better options when planning ahead. Some questions to ask:
    • “Who will take care of me should I be unable to take care of myself?” Setting up a Power Of Attorney for Health and Finances is key to making sure your wishes are followed
    •  “How will my family manage if I get sick?” Think about how much money you need monthly, and where would that come from
    • “Who will be in charge of my business?” Having money coming into your business should you not be able to manage things for a while can help, or having money to hire a replacement should you not be able to perform your duties
  • Crunch some numbers. Take a look at your savings and other assets, do you have enough to get you through a health crisis? Can insurance help you even in the short term? A lot has changed in the last few years; when was the last time you checked into:
    • critical illness insurance,
    • disability income protection,
    • long term care coverage and
    • health plans
Getting covered is more affordable than you think! Especially if you are self-employed, there are more possibilities than ever before to get the medical care you need. Would you rather pay a few hundred a month for insurance, or tens of thousands of dollars a month for medications?
Thinking about getting sick isn’t easy. But it’s necessary today in our world of rising healthcare costs. Awe head towards yearend and you set your goals for the coming year, put yourself, your family and your health at the top of the list.

Aviva Abraham is a group benefits and insurance advisor at Creative Planning. She has been providing healthcare solutions for self employed and business owners since 2010. You can reach her at or 416-545-5310.

Want to learn more about your health insurance options? Click here to request Aviva’s free report: Five Ways to Avoid Costly Out of Pocket Medical Expenses.