Lectures & Seminars

This is the current list of courses available through fyi seminars:

These courses are variously booked for delivery by different professional organizations.  Here is a currently scheduled list of upcoming seminars.If a seminar that you are particularly interested in is not being offered on the current calendar, you can consider booking it yourself for private delivery in a smaller group. The event can be hosted either here in our Board Room or in some other private location. The fee for the group will be $750 per half day and $1,500 per full day, and shared amongst the participants. This will provide an intimate PD environment where the small group can set their own appropriate pace and ask all the questions they wish. Full printed materials will be provided. Lunch will also be provided where the group can discuss matters of mutual interest.If you cannot form a small group yourself, then you can log onto www.canfpa.com and go to the “Professional Development” blogpost and indicate what course(s) you are interested in.
fyi seminars will contact you to coordinate and organize the event.Webcasts can be delivered for interested parties outside of the Vancouver region.


Dinner with DonAt my seminars, there will be a silent auction for a dinner evening with me at a location of the winner’s choice and upon a mutually agree-able date.
Auction proceeds to go to the Professional Education Foundation. Dinner is on me. It is one-on-one only. We will talk about whatever interests you… your career advancement, practice management, creative thinking, becoming a polymath…….


2013 Practitioners Boot Camp Retreat New!Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa
October 25 to 27, 2013This event is dedicated specifically to practice management issues. There will be no technical material at the course. Practitioners will spend the time thinking about and analyzing their practices.
The sessions will consist of:

  • Presentations from the Retreat Leader
  • Group time together with all participants
  • Solo time for each practitioner to reflect and plan
  • One-on-one time for each practitioner with the Retreat Leader

For more information, see the brochure (Brochure will be updated soon)

TFSAs: Beyond the Rules and into Strategy

This course looks at the long term implications for TFSAs with respect to overall investment strategy.

Wealth Management Primer

This half-day course will share 10 Investing Caveats that will provide a solid frame of reference for long term portfolio success.

  • Work to a plan
  • Its about Diversification and Discipline
  • Respect the body of knowledge
  • Understand what you invest in
  • Spend the “right amount” of time on your investments
  • Manage greed
  • Apply tax smart investing principles
  • Get control of the tax gate
  • Minimize investment management costs
  • Using an advisor effectively

Financial Planning Primer

This half-day course attempts to demystify what financial planning entails. Topics include:

  • Financial planning industry structure in Canada
  • Canadian attitudes to financial planning
  • Review of the scope of financial planning
  • Holistic overview
  • Formalized 6-step and “modular” planning processes
  • Real-life examples from the trenches

Here’s what past participants have said:

  • “The content and delivery of the seminar was outstanding. I enjoyed it a lot and would recommend it to anyone”
  • “I think the seminar was great”
  • “I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar. It was very informative, well prepared and well delivered”
  • “The speaker was excellent and the materials covered were very informative”
  • “The seminar was very good. It was one of the most interesting non-accounting related seminars I have attended”
  • “The seminar was interesting and enjoyable. The handout materials (provided) lots of valuable information”

Tax Update

Don has delivered an Annual Tax Update course every winter since the early ’90’s. The half-day seminar is delivered at various locations in the Lower Mainland. It focuses specifically on changes in tax law in the past year.

Taxation of Investment Income: Tips and Traps

This course arises from the blend of Don’s dual role as a tax practitioner and an Investment Manager. The result provides practitioners with very useful background on investment matters. The course starts by reviewing the taxation of property income and capital gains for both residents and non-residents, and for individuals, corporations and trusts.

Other topics include:

  • income splitting and attribution
  • investor tax rates
  • tax-smart investing principles
  • corporate structures
  • taxation of specific investment vehicles
  • tax-free savings accounts
  • deductions from property income

There is also a corporate module which demystifies the functioning and rationale of Part IV, RDTOH, Part I Refundable, Eligible and Ineligible Dividends and Capital Dividend Accounts in the context of integration of passive income for private companies. Individual or Corporate modules are available in 1/2 day format. Both modules together require a full day.

Here’s what past participants have said:

  • “Good suggestions for value-added to clients”
  • “Extensive coverage of material — lots of knowledge — very precise and clear”
  • “Material is very relevant — delivery is good”
  • “Excellent real-life examples based on [Don’s] extensive experience”

Estate Planning Primer

This 1/2 day course provides a valuable background to trusts and estates.

Topics include:
  • Issues and opportunities in will drafting
  • Probate fees and strategies
  • Background on trusts
  • Review of the different kinds of trusts
  • Taxation of trusts

The course is full of Stories from the Trenches of real situations.

What past participants have said:
  • “Speaker very, very good”
  • “Good presentation and useful topics”
  • “Very entertaining and informative”
  • “Excellent seminar”
  • “Speaker very knowledgeable – really good”

Introduction to Personal Tax

This full day program is intended as a training course for professionals entering the world of personal tax practice. The course builds the ground-work for competency in personal taxation and also covers various tips and traps to deliver value to your clients.

The course format follows through the preparation of a personal tax return, from employment income through to MINTAX and refundable tax credits. You will also be shown how to utilize the power of tax software to help you be smarter and more efficient, using (for instance) tailored diagnostics to identify potential errors and opportunities.

Here’s what past participants have said:

  • “This was an excellent seminar. Don is a great teacher and presenter, with lots of experience and real life examples to reinforce his materials.”
  • “There were very relevant important things I took away from the course”
  • “Extremely relevant and useful information-liked how he related most points to real world examples”

Taxation of Real Estate
(New in 2009)

This all-day course surveys the breadth and depth of real estate taxation.

Topics include:

  • passive income tax rates
  • ownership structures
  • property vs. business vs. capital gains
  • deductible expenses
  • reserves
  • replacement property rules
  • demolition
  • principal residence and cottages
  • non-resident taxation
  • change-in-use rules
  • estate planning issues

Here’s what past participants have said:

  • “Very informative course”
  • “A very worthwhile class”
  • “The instructor is very knowledgeable and qualified”
  • “Absolutely excellent! Great content and a great presenter”

Using Tax Returns as a Road Map to Financial Planning

It is an easy trap to become too task-oriented at tax time. But April is the time of year when all of your clients’ personal affairs cross your desk. The progressive practitioner can serve clients better by wearing multiple lenses whilst processing all of those T-slips. As a result, the routine tax return can be a gold mine of inspiration for higher-level application of financial and wealth management strategies.

This 1/2 day course can teach you how to systematize the integration of taxation and financial planning into your annual Tax Season. Commercial tax preparation software easily can be programmed with “If statements” to create filtered lists and tailored diagnostic checklists to facilitate your value-added integrated approach.

Here’s what past participants have said:

  • “Very informative and very well presented”
  • “I will be paying attention to my client’s tax returns with a different perspective after today — thanks”
  • “Well done — humorous — great presentation”
  • “One of the best presentations I saw all year — chock full of information”
  • “I love this webinar. It is so jam packed with valuable information for the participants.
    You give great examples of wealth management experience.
    Thank you , Thank you, Thank you.”

Income Splitting: from A to Z

This 1/2 day course surveys the law and opportunities for income splitting across family members and related corporations and family trusts.

Income splitting opportunities are reviewed in the context of:

  • financial planning
  • estate planning
  • investment planning
  • tax planning
  • tax compliance

Ten Commandments of a True Professional

This seminar is best suited to a luncheon or dinner address. It addresses ten habits of a consummate professional, which don’t appear in regular ethics courses. These habits cross-fertilize lessons from philosophers, stock brokers, religious leaders, mathematicians, actors, accountants.. and even a cartoon character.

What recent attendees had to say:

  • “Your inspirational words have life-changing energy. I have revisited them quite a few times.”
  • “I thank you for inspiring me.”

Thinking 101: Creating a Fertile Mind
(New in 2011)

This course has been under development for two years now, and I’m thrilled to finally be able to share it with you. From neuroscience to thinking models, this full-day course runs the gamut of contemporary knowledge on the thinking process, and hopes to offer some valuable insight into helping you create a more fertile thinking environment. It is suited for a small classroom environment.

“An exploration and survey of logical problem solving, drawing on the insights of great modern and historical thinkers.”

What recent attendees had to say:

  • “The whole day was worthwhile. You captivated me and gave me lots to think about.” – CR
  • “Just like the morning after watching a great movie, many bits and pieces bubble to the surface the next morning, extending the enjoyment.” – RN
  • “You have done an impressive job of distilling and synthesizing a lot of material on this subject, giving participants lots of value. This course would be useful for high-functioning individuals (or those who want to be) who are curious and have a hunger for knowledge and a desire to get the most out of life.” – PR

Details, Details… (50 things you probably don’t know)
(New in 2011)

This half-day course is geared towards professionals who work in tax on a regular basis. It explores the nooks and crannies of both personal and corporate tax law.

It drills down in various areas, including:

  • Structural planning
  • Capital dividends
  • Change in use
  • Capital Gains deductions
  • PUPs in a corporation
  • Reserves
  • RDTOH in wind-ups
  • Replacement property

Practice Management: Raising the Bar on Serving the Entrepreneurial Sector
(New in 2011)

For those who wish to raise the bar in their practices, this 1/2 day course exposes the weaknesses in the value proposition of general public practice. It then focuses on the entrepreneurial sector and offers insights and suggestions to help change the clients’ perception of practitioners and their value-added. We will review the service cycle for a year-end engagement and identify areas where client delight can be raised by providing additional value beyond the norm in the practice sector. This course will be invaluable for practitioners who seek to set themselves apart, bring more meaning to their work and, along the way, raise their income.

What recent attendees had to say:

  • “The seminar left me with a profound new way of looking at my career, as well as how I perceive my clients. I came away with so many ideas that will not only increase my bottom line, but also enhance value for my clients. You definitely did make a difference.” – K.W. Nanaimo
  • “Excellent seminar. I walked away feeling a winner with all the valuable ideas.”
  • “I hope most accountants have the foresight Don has. He has great ideas.”