You are what you focus on

Sometimes the biggest upgrade needed to help you see what’s possible is to ruthlessly shift what you’re focusing on most

You are what you focus onWe had a fabulous dinner party last weekend where lively conversations and interesting perceptions were shared about relationships, friendships and new experiences. At the end of the wine, there was some agreement that the biggest obstacle facing most people who find themselves with a bit of bleak outlook is that they’re inviting in that perspective.…

Staying ahead of threats to cyber security

A not-so-distant future could see blockchain automatically put in place a retaliatory tariff or assemble a dispute resolution panel

Staying ahead of threats to cyber securityBy Brennen Schmidt ALEUS Technology Group and Allan Bonner Troy Media columnist Studying and working in the area of cyber security keeps us alert – and as things rapidly change, alertness is ever more important. It was good to hear of the scanning machine that makes a digital copy of all receipts for later viewing…

Getting creative about saving money

Follow these guidelines to make a remarkable difference to your bank balance at the end of the month

Getting creative about saving moneyWhile inflation has remained lower than expected, most people seem to find their finances being squeezed more and more every year. There are many reasons for this. Salaries don’t always increase as much as we would like them to. We find new things to spend money on. We work harder and therefore reward ourselves by…

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…

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…

Why you still subsidize some channels when you pay your cable bill

Little wonder that the CRTC has been the focus of so much public contempt

Why you still subsidize some channels when you pay your cable billForget for a moment that roughly five per cent of your cable bill goes to subsidize films and shows that not enough people watch: the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is about to dip back into the 20th century and tell you what to watch and make you pay for it. The federal regulator announced last month…

Choosing and maintaining the right life insurance plan

Examining the three types of permanent insurance: term to 100, whole life and universal life plans

Choosing and maintaining the right life insurance planThere are many types of insurance and many ways to look at how it fits into your financial plan. In my last column I wrote about term insurance being the “if you die prematurely” option. In this column, I'm going to do a basic review of permanent life insurance plans. There are three types of…
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