Home is where the heart is – and where the costs can pile up

When it comes to owning a home versus renting, you can’t just compare the amount of rent you would pay to the amount of a mortgage payment

Home is where the heart is – and where the costs can pile upShould I buy a home or rent? It’s a common question but the answer isn’t as simple you may think – it totally depends on your situation, since there are advantages and disadvantages to both. It’s usually better to own an asset that’s likely to go up in value than to rent an asset that’s…

Hidden or visible, you’re paying investment fees

Be smart, shop around and make sure you’re aware of the total fees you pay and what you're getting for them

Hidden or visible, you’re paying investment feesSome fees for investments are hidden, some are visible. But there’s always some type of fee or cost involved in investing. Some people will disagree with my broad use of the word fee, but I believe that any money paid out, regardless of how it’s paid, is a fee. Every business sets out to make…

Third of Canadians face some degree of financial stage fright

Households with an average income of $50,000 worry twice as much (2.25 hours) a day than households with an average income of more than $100,000

Third of Canadians face some degree of financial stage frightThere’s no question that Canadians these days are worrying a lot more about their personal finances, according to new surveys from Scotiabank. The surveys indicate 65 per cent of Canadians with debt struggle to save or invest money while paying down debt and 67 per cent said they find the amount of information about investing overwhelming.…

Mortgage requirements a barrier to homeownership

The second biggest worry for buyers is whether they can afford the mortgage payment, say more than half of Canadians

Mortgage requirements a barrier to homeownershipA new survey says 56 per cent of Canadians see qualifying for a mortgage as a barrier to homeownership. This is up six points from a year ago. The report by Zillow also found that this concern rises to 64 per cent for consumers who recently purchased a home, likely linked to the mortgage regulation…

Protect yourself from financial phishing

Welcome to the predatory online scamming world. Fraudulent emails, often containing links or attachments, are dangerous. If it seems too good to be true, it is

Protect yourself from financial phishingBeware the phishing hook. Phishing describes an attempt to get you to unknowingly disclose personal information such as credit card details, banking information, usernames and passwords. The party trying to gather your information will try to hook you by sending you an email and asking you to click on a link. The email will look…

Living within your means can be a fun adventure

Living within your means can be fun

Living within your means can be a fun adventureHave you ever thought that paring your budget meant giving up on travelling to places you haven’t been to before? Gritted your teeth and grimaced as you sat down to pare fun from your cost of living? Worried that if employers, colleagues, or potential clients see you scrimping at conferences, they will question your professionalism?…

Debt-burdened Canadians want to dig themselves out

Top financial concerns are the rising cost of goods, the low Canadian dollar , low wages and household debt, according to CIBC survey

Debt-burdened Canadians want to dig themselves outCanadians have had their fill of debt. For the 10th straight year, Canadians have told a CIBC poll that getting out of debt is their top financial priority. Numerous surveys and statistics over the past year have demonstrated how far into personal debt many Canadians have fallen. Now, those economic concerns are weighing on their…

Debt doesn’t always have to be a four-letter word

Using debt in your financial planning is a good strategy, but exercise caution and discuss all the risks and rewards with your accountant and planner first

Debt doesn’t always have to be a four-letter wordDebt is often a four-letter word – but, when used correctly, it can be a real benefit to your financial planning. Most of us use debt when we buy a home, a second property, automobiles and other large purchases. We simply don’t have enough cash available to do otherwise. Many people are very comfortable using…

RRSP or TFSA? Sorting out an investor’s dilemma

If you build up the money in your TFSA while you’re working, you can draw from it tax-free any time

RRSP or TFSA? Sorting out an investor’s dilemmaK.M. wrote to ask if she should stop making registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) contributions and instead focus on her tax-free savings account (TFSA). With a little personal information from K.M., we decided it would be best for her to focus on her TFSA. Here’s why: K.M. works in a job she’s likely to leave…

The secret to enjoying a Christmas that’s easy on your wallet

Whether tough times force your hand or you just want to start January without a credit card bill, you can still enjoy a glittering, happy holiday season

The secret to enjoying a Christmas that’s easy on your walletWhat if I told you that ‘cutting corners’ can transform Christmas from a hectic, stressful money drain into a joyous, energizing experience? I understand if you are skeptical, but let me show you how it is possible to save money at the same time you enjoy a sumptuous, all the trimmings holiday season. The secret…

Understanding and comparing investment returns

Keep in mind that, despite new disclosure rules to increase transparency, the fee shown on your investment report may not be the total fee you paid your adviser

Understanding and comparing investment returnsWhen comparing your investment returns to that of others or those you see published, selection and timing are two critical issues. Make sure you’re comparing apples to apples: that you’re weighing similar investments. Each investor has their own risk tolerance and objectives. What’s right for your friend, neighbour or family member may not be right for…

Do you need mortgage insurance?

It depends. As with all financial planning questions, no one answer fits every situation

Do you need mortgage insurance?“Did I need to take the insurance the bank sold me when I got my mortgage? Do I need mortgage insurance at all?” C.P. wrote and asked. I’m often asked this and the answer is usually the same: That depends. As with all financial planning questions, no one answer fits every situation. The simple answer in…

Two in five Canadians expect lifelong debt

'There is a financial wellness crisis, and it's affecting Canadians of all demographics' -- Manulife

Two in five Canadians expect lifelong debtHousehold debt is growing so large, it may be cracking Canada's financial foundation.  A Manulife Financial Corporation survey found that two-in-five Canadians do not expect to escape debt in their lifetime and the spending-to-income ratio is trending negatively in Canada. The Manulife Bank Debt Survey found: 94 per cent of Canadians say the average household…

How to be an adult, one sound financial decision at a time

Many people take a long time to launch on adult life because they've never been taught to spend less than they make

How to be an adult, one sound financial decision at a time“The first responsibility of adulthood is paying your own bills,” according to Jamaica Finance Minister Peter Phillips. That country has worked hard to wean itself of dependency on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is in a position to stand on its own feet economically. Paying your bills is a definition of adulthood that applies…

ASC launches campaign for Financial Literacy Month

‘Albertans can better manage their personal finances and protect themselves from unsuitable investments and scams’

ASC launches campaign for Financial Literacy MonthWith Financial Literacy Month underway, the Alberta Securities Commission has launched a campaign encouraging people to gain more financial knowledge. “Building financial literacy is a critical step for Albertans to take in making informed and effective investment decisions,” says Alison Trollope, director of communications and investor education at Alberta Securities Commission. “Our goal is to…
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