Cross Border Clients
Cross Border Clients
We help Americans and Canadians who find themselves in the unique situation of having investment accounts on both sides of the border. Whether you are a Canadian resident moving to the US, an American living in Canada, or a US resident who expects to inherit Canadian dollars, we can help.
We are licensed and regulated in both Canada and the U.S., and work closely with clients to translate their personal needs into a strategy for their cross-border accounts. We can also advise clients on cross-border issues such as PFIC rules, IRA and 401(k) rollovers and we maintain professional networks to assist with planning, taxation and legal services.
Canadian residents moving to the United States
Canadians tend to move to the United States to try to escape the cold or to follow an employment opportunity. When they do, they can find themselves in the unfortunate situation of being 'orphaned' by their existing Canadian based investment advisor as most Canadian investment advisory firms are not properly registered to do business with Canadians in the United States.
Americans living in Canada
An American living in Canada can end up in the unfortunate situation of being 'orphaned' by their existing U.S. based advisor as most U.S. broker dealer and investment advisory firms are not properly registered to do business in Canada.
U.S. resident inheriting Canadian dollars
Inheriting money from a Canadian relative? The weakness in the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar can mean you will be in the unfortunate situation of receiving 15–25% less than you thought your inheritance would be. We can assist you by creating a disciplined investment strategy in Canadian dollars, and when there is a better time or a particular need for U.S. dollars, we can handle the foreign exchange conversion for you.
A senior-level bank executive had built his career in Canada, but seized an opportunity to take a position in the US. He planned to relocate and spend at least 10 years across the border, leaving his RSP and other investments in Canada, where he would retire.
Though the move was good for his career, it fractured his financial picture. He would have to enlist a US advisor to handle his IRA and non-registered savings, while keeping his Canadian advisor solely for his RSP accounts.
As we are licensed in both countries, we had the ability to obtain full access to his investments and accounts in US and Canadian currencies. His financial responsibilities were much simpler, requiring a relationship with only one advisor during his time in the US and throughout his retirement in Canada.
Retiring Across the Border
A couple, one Canadian and the other American, worked in New York for many years. They decided to retire north of the border, having focused on their careers and spent little time on their investments.
We found that between the two of them, they had RSPs, IRAs and property on both sides of the border. In addition, one had a relatively simple tax profile, but her partner had tax filing obligations in both countries.
Because their registered investments and taxes were complicated, so were their plans for retirement.
We designed solutions that identified all the opportunities they had, and used our cross-border capabilities to manage all the challenges in the way of their retirement goals.
We incorporated all of this into a comprehensive plan. Overall, they were made compliant with the tax and estate regulations and they were on track to attain a retirement income that was 180% of their target.
The 90-Day Solution
An owner of a successful North American business had operations in Canada and the US. He lived in the US for many years and was married to a US citizen, but he decided to retire in Canada.
He had Canadian RSPs, but he had IRAs and other assets south of the border, so shortly after moving to Toronto he received a letter from his American brokerage firm. He had 90 days to move his account before they would liquidate it and trigger taxes and penalties.
This was in addition to the tax and estate planning challenges that are unique to cross-border finance.
We transferred his IRA before the 90-day deadline, and soon we were able to give the client a more comprehensive retirement income plan, because we could manage both his US IRAs and his Canadian RSPs. We then expanded that picture to include all aspects of his wealth, by establishing relationships with cross-border tax and legal specialists.
The Inaccessible Inheritance
A US citizen left a sizeable inheritance to his nephew in Toronto. The estate included two investment portfolios at separate US brokerage firms, which promptly informed the nephew that they could not take instructions from a Canadian citizen.
While Canadian firms by law cannot hold US estate accounts or many US-based investments, US policy for Canadian residents varies to some degree. In this case, one of the firms was willing to transfer the funds and the other was not.
The nephew could see the money, but he was not able to access it or settle his uncle's estate, which he had a limited amount of time to accomplish. His hands were tied and the clock was ticking.
We are fully licensed in Canada and the US, so we opened a US estate account and instructed both institutions to transfer the accounts to Raymond James (USA) Ltd.
The client was able to obtain all funds within 10 business days. He proceeded to settle the estate and retained us to manage the inheritance and his existing retirement funds.
"I didn't realize how complicated cross-border finance was until I needed to manage new assets in the US, but Darren and his team made things much simpler. I was able to gain a level of access to my wealth that would have been impossible otherwise."
Toronto, ON and New York, NY