General Hillier: "Focus on the long-term mission, rely on your 'battle
buddies' and hold out for daylight"
TORONTO, Jan. 7 /CNW/ - When times are tough, call in the troops. General
(Retired) Rick Hillier, former Chief of the Defence Staff and Patricia
Lovett-Reid, Senior Vice-President, TD Waterhouse, can help you navigate
through this year's RRSP season with TD RRSP Boot Camp: sound, strategic
military principles that you can apply to your financial plan. With many
investors currently feeling like they are losing ground in a battle to
preserve their investments, the following, proven military directives can give
you more control, confidence and a plan of action to help you through volatile
"In the chaos of battle, uncertainty, instability and fear are all part
of the scenario. It's intense, but there are methods to counter those emotions
and help you stay focused on the mission," says General Rick Hillier.
"That 'battle' environment describes well how investors have been feeling
in the past few months. And the applicable military principles are
surprisingly appropriate for battle-weary investors contemplating this year's
RRSP contribution," says Patricia Lovett-Reid.
TD RRSP Boot Camp:
Below are five key military principles that General Hillier advocated
during his career as Canada's top soldier and Ms. Lovett-Reid's advice on how
to successfully apply them to your financial planning.
1. Go back to the basics
"Soldiers need to conduct their basic drills first and foremost,
otherwise they'll lose the fight," says General Hillier.
"The same strategy applies to investing in your RRSP. There is a
tendency right now to want to put your financial statement away, but
you've got to confront the facts even though it might be tough," says
Ms. Lovett-Reid. "You need to start off the new year by reviewing
your financial plan and assessing your investment objectives, risk
tolerance, and time horizon. An advisor can work with you to make
sure your portfolio is properly allocated and diversified, and keep
your long-term financial plan on track."
2. Think long
"Leaders in military strategy 'think long'," says General Hillier.
"In battle, it is essential to stay focused on the mission at hand,
which means thinking about the long-term goal and not abandoning
everything to overcome short-term setbacks. It is the difference
between losing the battle and winning the war."
"Think about your long-term strategy, such as saving for your
retirement which might be 20, 30, even 40 years away," echoes
Ms. Lovett-Reid. "History has shown that the current economic
situation will not last, so it is essential to focus on the long-term
goals and not panic when the markets are volatile."
3. You are not alone: rely on your battle buddies
"In the middle of a mission, what's most important to us are our
'battle buddies'," says General Hillier. "It's all about the people
you can rely on, who get you through the worst and who are your
"The same tenet applies during tough economic times. Canadians may
develop what feels like a 'siege mentality', but you need to realize
that you're not alone and that there are experienced professionals
you can rely on for advice and counsel to get you through it," says
4. Always keep a reserve
"Never commit to anything completely and always have a little
something up your sleeve," says General Hillier. "A reserve gives you
"Make sure that you keep a reserve of cash in your portfolio," says
Ms. Lovett-Reid. "It will give you the flexibility to take advantage
of buying opportunities when they present themselves. Be prepared for
the unexpected, keep 3-6 months worth of living expenses in safe,
liquid investments like a cashable GIC or savings account to act as
an emergency source of funds if you need it."
5. Hold out for daylight
"When you are in a siege, nights are the toughest, but in the
morning, daylight will come and your confidence will increase
dramatically," explains General Hillier. "There are always tough
times but we make it through to the good times; we just have to stay
focused on the long-term mission and wait until daylight comes."
"The key is to not let this short-term volatility cause you to
overreact and change your long-term plans. It is likely going to be a
tough year ahead, but history has shown it won't last, so stay
focused on the future: balance your expenses, find focused ways in
your own household to reduce costs and continue to be growth-oriented
by making your RRSP contribution. There is a light at the end of the
tunnel," says Ms. Lovett-Reid.
General (Retired) Rick Hillier joined TD Bank Financial Group in
September 2008 as a senior advisor, to support select client/customer
experience initiatives, and leadership development and training activities.
About TD Bank Financial Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as
TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the seventh largest bank
in North America by branches and serves approximately 17 million customers in
four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial
centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including
TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse
and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking
through TD Banknorth and TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and
Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks
among the world's leading on-line financial services firms, with more than 5.5
million on-line customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$563 billion in
assets as of October 31, 2008. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the
symbol "TD" on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange.
For further information:
For further information: Carolyn Abbass, Jennifer Meneses, Paradigm
Public Relations, (416) 203-2223, email@example.com; Barbara Timmins, TD
Bank Financial Group, (416) 307-6498, firstname.lastname@example.org