O'Neill Today

Fall 2017

Dear Friends,
Well, Summer is winding down and it's been an extraordinary one here on the West Coast. Not so much for our Friends back East but happy to hear September is treating us all well, at least in the weather category. So far the markets continue to plod along and in positive territory despite all the rhetoric and volatility around N. Korea and other conflicts in the world. Let's hope there is a positive outcome but it just seems to me that we continue to live in a world of volatility.
I took a little break this Summer and journeyed back to my original homeland of Scotland where I played golf at some of Scotland's most famous golf courses( Old Course at St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Troon, Turnberry) with a group of 16  Boys from Western Canada. It was truly a delight and before long I had my Scottish accent down pat. I was born in Scotland and my brave Father relocated us to Canada when I was a boy of just 3. I'm very happy to have been raised in this tremendous country. 

(The Famous Bridge on the 18th Hole - Old Course St. Andrews)
In this issue of our newsletter, we are featuring Patrick Weeks and Devin Roch from RE/MAX Select Properties in Kerrisdale.  I have known Devin for many years now and he is a very personable young Man. Dedicated, loyal and hard working, it is a pleasure to be associated with him. 

Our team has grown yet again; this September we have welcomed Nancy Tania to our team. She will be providing administrative assistance to Matti Allas and comes with a background in office administration and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UBC.

Hope you and yours' enjoy a productive and successful rest of the year. 

Thomas O'Neill
In This Issue
Featured Articles:

Great West Life introduces new mobile app to manage your medications - you don't have to be a Great West Life customer to use it!

Learn More.

Our Company

Products & Services 



Manulife Uncovers the Investment Truth

There's more to smart investing than low fees. Uncover the investment truth.
Manulife Investments presents "uncovering the truth behind investing"
*             Not all investments are the same
*             Not all portfolio managers are the same
*             Not all financial services firms are the same
These are among the truths we wish to share with Canadians.
While "investing" has never been easier, it's difficult for investors to sort through all the noise and invest in a way that gives them the best chance to achieve their goals.
Join us in "Uncovering the truth" and see how investing can be done differently at Manulife Investments.

Introducing Manulife Private Wealth Success

Approximately five years ago, Manulife launched the Manulife Private Wealth platform to serve Canadian high net worth clients who have a broad range of needs and can benefit from their unique approach to wealth management. In a nutshell, Manulife Private Wealth looks after their clients' assets the way Manulife manages its own balance sheet - which makes them unique in Canada. 
Manulife Private Wealth's unique investment platform is a key differentiator that resonates with their clients. Their Investment Counselors are seasoned professionals that work with clients to design and implement personalized investment strategies. They leverage the know-how and track record of some of the top institutional money managers from around the world and are always looking to ensure that clients have the best possible managers, and asset mixes, to both grow and to protect in market fluctuations.
In addition to their unique investment platform, their Private Bankers are able to assist you with your credit and cash management needs, bringing the experience of both personal and commercial lending together. Through our relationship with Manulife Private
Wealth we can help you build your financial goals and ensure you have a truly integrated financial team to support you.
Manulife Private Wealth currently has a threshold of $1,000,000 of investable assets in order to open an account. I have attached a brief piece which provides some further information on the features and benefits of their platform.
If you are interested, we can coordinate a meeting with Manulife Private Wealth via our office and further explore whether this opportunity may provide a good fit for your overall wealth portfolio.

Click here for more information.

Do You Need an Estate Plan? Plan

As the summer winds down and the fun in the sun gets put behind us, we are forced to get back on with life and left to tackle those priorities that were pushed aside for the fall.   One of those priorities often enough is updating your financial plan and addressing areas of concern.
With another year passed, many changes may have occurred in your life.  When changes occur it is always good to check in with your overall financial plan to ensure you are still on track to reach your desired financial goals.  An area that is often overlooked is your estate plan.  Estate planning is important at any age, and your plan should be reviewed every 3-5 years.   There are many life events that can trigger the need to update your plan from the acquisition of new assets to new income tax law changes.  Updates to your plan can be as simple as a beneficiary change on your life insurance or as complex as building a family trust. Whatever the need may be, it is an area that should be re-visited frequently.  The goal of estate planning is always to anticipate a variety of "what-if" scenarios and allows you to plan for them to the best of your abilities.

Please find here the link to the article which explains how estate planning is a crucial part to your overall financial plan, and how a variety of different life events or changes should prompt a review of your plan.  

Client Spotlight: 
Patrick Weeks Real Estate
Top 1% of Vancouver Realtors 
The summer of 2017 draws close to an end as school starts up again and the regular routines ensue. The summer saw an interesting real estate shift with a tale of two markets: 'higher end' detached homes and 'affordable' attached homes.

The Westside market saw a significant slowdown in sales of 'higher end' detached homes while condos and townhomes continued to sell at record prices. As prices continued to rise throughout the early part of 2017 buyers seemed to be hesitant to pay huge prices for detached homes. Normally this would cause a trickledown effect and cause condos and townhomes to slow down, however quite the opposite occurred. Lack of affordable inventory and increased demand from local buyers continues to keep pressure on this segment of the market. Pre-sale condos and townhouse projects saw similar pressure as both local and foreign buyers flocked to these opportunities.

With the second interest rate hike this year just recently announced and the resulting rise of the Canadian dollar, we may see a continued slowdown in the real estate market for the foreseeable future, but only time will tell to what degree. The fall may be a good time to consider upgrading from a townhouse or condo to a detached home if inventory continues to ramp up for detached houses. Hot sub markets of Vancouver continue to see strong sales for detached homes. The hottest sub areas continue to be: Kitsilano, Main, Fraser and Mount Pleasant. These areas continue to see strong sales and increased prices as they considered the best "family oriented" neighbourhoods to live in.

My team and I utilize our top 0.1% ranking of all greater Vancouver realtors to help our clients achieve success. This coupled with our industry leading marketing practices which include our ability to reach out to our over 5,000 client database, the leveraging of our long standing relationships with other top agents, and our outside of the box experienced thinking to provide our clients with the best service and advice available in the marketplace.

If you are interested in getting together to discuss your unique real estate plans, I welcome the opportunity to come to your home or place of work to sit down for a coffee and learn about your goals.

We look forward to meeting with you soon.

Patrick Weeks Real Estate Team
Patrick Weeks - Team leader
Nancy Ho - Senior Associate Realtor
Devin Roch - Senior Associate Realtor
Ayla White - Associate Realtor
Celine Tse - Marketing and Client Service Manager
Client spotlight

Sun Life Enhances Their Drug Management Program  Enhance

In response to the increased frequency of high-cost specialty medications coming to market, Sun Life will be enhancing their Drug Risk Management (DRM) program effective November 1st.  The goal of the DRM program is to ensure benefits plans remain sustainable by implementing effective cost management strategies. 
Sun Life has developed a rigorous pharmacoeconomic assessment process for new drugs coming to market, as well as existing drugs approved for new usages.  After of November 1st, for a new medication to be covered by your Sun Life plan it must undergo a Drug Evaluation.  Sun Life will assess the eligibility of the drug based on factors such as:
  • Comparative analysis of the drug's cost and its clinical effectiveness
  • Recommendations by health organizations and provincial reviews
  • Availability of other drugs treating the same or similar conditions
Manulife launched a similar program back in 2015. While initially this approach caused some concern in the industry, Manulife has since gained a great deal of respect for their cost containment strategies, as they have been very effective in reducing costs for these new drugs, while having limited impact on the treatment plans for plan members.  Sun Life has followed suit to better align their practices with the industry.  It is clear that such measures are required in order to maintain the sustainability of benefits programs for the long term.

Thomas O'Neill & Associates Inc. |
Toll Free: 800.757.2799