The stories of four Albertans working to slay their debt demons

Albertans are racking up debt in record levels but help is available

The stories of four Albertans working to slay their debt demonsSpecial Report Part 1 in our 5-part series Back in Balance Albertans are drowning in debt and many don’t even realize it until the creditors come knocking. Almost every week, another distressing report emerges about Canadians’ rising household debt. Albertans consistently sit at the top of the in-the-red list. This province has just come through…

The hard truth about CPP’s failures

Canadians receive meagre rates of return on CPP contributions and the program has other key shortcomings

The hard truth about CPP’s failuresBy Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute Misperceptions plague the public’s view of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), despite efforts to provide some clarity. Mark Machin, chief executive officer of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) – the organization tasked with investing CPP contributions – recently hit the road in a cross-country…

Lofty valuations, volatile markets leave investors anxious

It seems as if investors have forgotten how to gauge market uncertainty. Any potential bad news has them panicking

Lofty valuations, volatile markets leave investors anxiousBy Kenneth Kaczkowski and Isaac Maresky Troy Media exclusive The start of 2018 has seen markets flashing red, with investors questioning the stability of the market. February’s meltdown led to a significant market correction of over 10 per cent. Volatility has become just one of several fears, with the recent technology selloff and fears of…

Investing with your conscience – and with common sense

Ethical investing is a bit broader than donating, since the benefits extend beyond supporting a cause to also expecting a financial return

Investing with your conscience – and with common senseMany financial new-age thinkers encourage people to invest ‘ethically,’ based on the notion that your money should be invested in things that do good – for your community, your country or humanity more broadly – instead of just creating financial returns. We’ve been programmed to consider return and risk as the primary (if not only)…

Should you defer collecting CPP and OAS?

Can you afford to hold off and increase your payments later? Will you need more CPP and OAS later in life? And how long do you expect to live?

Should you defer collecting CPP and OAS?Most people know they can start collecting their Canada Pension Plan (CPP) at age 60, even though they’ll get smaller monthly payments than if they waited until 65. Many people just want the money now and don’t care about any added benefits to delaying CPP and Old Age Security (OAS). The standard CPP and OAS…

Looking backward to predict future investment performance

Be sure to read the fine print if you see a variable-rate investment such as an ETF or a mutual fund advertising what looks like a promised future return

Looking backward to predict future investment performanceLong-term investors need to be concerned about personal annualized return – the return on their money over the entire period of the investment. When investing in guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), your annualized return is known when you make your investment. For example, you buy a five-year GIC that pays three per cent so you know…

RRSP or TFSA? Sorting out an investor’s dilemma

TFSAs provide great options. 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…

Fed’s tax policies hurt families striving to join the middle class

A tax cut rewards families who work hard. Increased transfers make them more reliant on government

By Charles Lammam and Hugh MacIntyre The Fraser Institute Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has repeatedly said it wants to help families “working hard to join the middle class.” But has the government lived up to this rhetoric on personal income taxes, a key policy area where it’s been particularly active? Over their two years in government,…

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…

A tax turnaround that punishes the risk-takers

By targeting small business owners, the federal government is undermining the very essence of economic growth

A tax turnaround that punishes the risk-takersThe federal government has proposed significant changes to the Income Tax Act that would harm small business owners. We've seen this kind of tax turnabout before and it's both ugly and unfair. Some politicians and much of the media are describing these business owners as tax cheats, and have demonized them. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation…