Canadian household credit accelerates

HELOCs often used for home improvement and renovation spending has been on a steep climb for 18 years: Scotiabank report

Canadian household credit acceleratesTotal chartered bank household credit growth in Canada accelerated in August, supported by an expansion in residential mortgage credit and non-mortgage credit that was the fastest in about two years, says a new report by Scotiabank. But the report also said that growth in home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) has slowed since its peak…

Do you have a financial plan or an investment plan?

A financial plan is a six-step financial planning process that starts with having an initial meeting with your prospective planner

Do you have a financial plan or an investment plan?Many people don’t understand the difference between a financial plan and an investment plan, and often assume that they’re one and the same. They’re not. An investment plan is focused solely on your investments and the return on those investments, which is important. But that’s only part of the story. What happens to your investment plan…

Paying a high price for success, even after you die

There’s no hiding from the success tax, but several things can help legally reduce or even eliminate the amount your estate or your heirs pay

Paying a high price for success, even after you dieThere’s no official estate tax in Canada but we do have what I call the success tax. It's what we pay if we’ve been financially successful in a lifetime of investing and asset accumulation. The more successful you’ve been, the greater the tax could be. If you have assets that will be taxable when sold or when deemed to have been…

Protect your business from the unexpected realities of life

Seek professional help if your financial plan doesn't protect you from the four Ds: death, divorce, disability and disaster

Protect your business from the unexpected realities of lifeYour financial plan should provide you with as much protection as possible from the four Ds: death, divorce, disability and disaster. While you can’t totally protect yourself from any of these events, you should at least have a good plan in place in case something does happen. Death is the only D that can’t be avoided,…

A clear-eyed look at the first-time home buyers aid program

Robert McLister, managing editor of Rates.ca, talks about the pitfalls of the government program and why fewer Canadians are likely to take part than anticipated

A clear-eyed look at the first-time home buyers aid programRobert McLister is managing editor at Rates.ca. What is Rates.ca? McLister: Rates.ca compares insurance, mortgages and credit cards from dozens of companies across Canada. By juxtaposing numerous providers, it's easier for consumers to quickly compare terms and find the best prices. How does the new down payment assistance program for first-time homebuyers work? McLister: The…

Is cash doomed to extinction?

Yes, but probably not for at least another 20 to 30 years

Is cash doomed to extinction?Eliminating cash has huge potential benefits including convenience, security, and cost reduction for retailers, banks, and governments. For customers, there is the benefit of flexibility – a priority increasingly driven by younger generations more comfortable with digital technology and the online world. The combination of these forces means the need for cash has reduced significantly.…

Does government debt really matter?

Let’s be very careful about electing a government that’s bribing us with our own money

Does government debt really matter?Before we select our next set of national leaders in the Oct. 21 federal election, we should be paying attention to matters that don’t usually concern us day to day, like the treasury. What the treasury does we call fiscal policy, but it’s essentially budgeting: determining levels of revenue (taxes) and expenditure (all the programs…

Canadians $1.77 in debt for every dollar of disposable income

The "good news" is that debt is growing at a slower pace

Canadians $1.77 in debt for every dollar of disposable incomeHousehold credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income fell to 177.1 per cent in the second quarter of this year, the third consecutive quarterly decline, as income grew slightly faster than debt, according to a report released Friday by Statistics Canada. “In other words, there was $1.77 in credit market debt for…

Moral investment constraints too onerous for pension funds

Never mind that reducing the choices available to a fund manager can result in negative consequences for pensioners

Moral investment constraints too onerous for pension fundsSome Canadian institutional investment and pension funds have faced scrutiny recently because they owned or own shares in American prison-management companies GEO and CoreCivic. That criticism is unwarranted and unfair. These firms operate prisons, detention centres and rehabilitation facilities in the U.S. Given that the U.S. incarcerates more people than anywhere else in the world,…

Is your bad behaviour risking your retirement?

Choosing investments that fit your emotional limits will help you to minimize your bad investment behaviour

Is your bad behaviour risking your retirement?There are three main reasons why investors consistently under-perform the investment indices: bad investor behaviour high investment costs, and high investment Portfolio Turnover Ratios (PTRs) Of the three reasons listed above, No. 1 (bad investor behaviour) is the biggy – accounting for over half of all lost investment returns. When it comes to our investment…
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