Toronto, ON, CANADA

The Case against Buying a Home


The Case against Buying a Home

Scott Barlow, Globe and Mail market strategist

February 3, 2020

The Wealth of Common Sense finance site effectively summarized the cases for and against buying a home in a January 24th post. The information focuses on U.S. investors but might be even more important for Canadians - the domestic real estate market is again surging higher from already-lofty levels in major centers.

Surprisingly, the author Ben Carlson doesn’t mention the most often cited reason for buying a home – you’re paying your own mortgage, not someone else’s – but the remainder of the pro-homebuying arguments are familiar. Stability, financial planning, the ‘psychic value’ of owning your own place and the potential for price appreciation are all mentioned.

The extended ra.

Kicking Debt Down the Road


Kicking Debt Down the Road

By Robb Engen

December 3, 2019

Canadians started piling on the debt after the financial crisis in 2008. Back then our household debt-to-income ratio was sitting around 150 percent ($1.50 owed for every dollar of disposable income). Today that number hovers around 177 percent. We are kicking debt down the road, instead of kicking it to the curb.

It can be reasonable to take on debt for big ticket items such as a mortgage, vehicle, education, or for an investment. We often do so because it’s easier to pay off a loan over time than it is to save enough to pay the full cost upfront. That’s life.

But the pain of debt can be masked by the cheap cost of borrowing. Low monthly payments, interest-only payments, and long amortization periods give the illusion that our debts are manageable. We think a long .

How To Trick Your Lizard Brain Into Saving More Money

How To Trick Your Lizard Brain Into Saving More Money

By Robb Engen

November 27, 2019

Humans aren’t wired to make rational decisions. Our lizard brain, responsible for satisfying all of our primitive survival needs – including safety, hunger and feeling as good as possible at all times – sabotages our behaviour every day. And it can sabotage our bottom line, too.

Lizard brain makes us do the same things – good or bad – over and over again so it’s the king of bad habits. If you’re chronically late to make payments on your credit card or always forget to transfer money to your savings account, your lizard brain could be to blame. That said, you can counter its reluctance to change its well-worn ways of doing things by 

What Makes People Charismatic


What Makes People Charismatic, and How You Can Be, Too 

Simple tips to break through your social anxieties and make real, genuine connections with others.

By Bryan Clark

August 15, 2019

Ask people to name someone they find charming and the answers are often predictable. There’s James Bond, the fictional spy with a penchant for shaken martinis. Maybe they’ll mention Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton or a historical figure, like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi. Now ask the same people to describe, in just a few seconds, what makes these charmers so likable.

It’s here, in defining what exactly charisma is, that most hit a wall. Instinctually, we know that we’re drawn to certain people more than others. Quantifying why we like them is an entirely different exercise.

The ancient Greeks described charisma as a .

11 Ways to be Happier

Want to Be Happier? Science Says Do These 11 Things Every Single Day

Try them. They work. (If you can't trust science, what can you trust?)


By Jeff Haden


Obviously, we all want to be happier. But there's another reason to wish to be more lighthearted and content: Happiness is definitely a result, but happiness is also a driver.


While I'm definitely into finding ways to improve personal productivity (whether a one-day burst of output, or a lifetime of increased effectiveness, or 

4 Ways To Make The Most Out Of Networking


We have all heard the saying, it's not what you know, it’s who you know. And considering that, 70% or more of jobs are never posted online, there is one superpower that will help you secure your dream job or build connections for the future: networking.

I am not saying to forget about your technical skill set (it counts!), but be aware of the value interpersonal skills plays in building a solid community.  

As a career coach who helps clients find jobs, I am surprised to learn how many opt out of networking. I once had a client, we can call her Sarah, come to me for help with making a job transition from sales .

Protect your personal information

October 20, 2017

10 ways to protect your personal information

By Joy Blenman


When it comes to identity theft and the damage it can do, using your common sense along with smart tech tips can help you stay safe.


Having your wallet stolen is an unnerving experience that can leave you feeling panicked, violated and anxious. And as more of our personal and financial information moves online, hackers have new opportunities to steal our virtual wallets – which can be as bad or even worse than a physical theft.


In September 2017, the credit bureau Equifax revealed that the files of 145.5 million American consumers had been compromised. These files contained clients’ personal information such as their names, addresses, social security numbers and, in some cases, driver’s licence numbers. In Canada, the breach affected around 8,000 people, according to the firm’s

5 Financial Resolutions for 2017


5 Financial Resolutions for 2017

Dec 22, 2016


Written by Kevin O'Leary


1.    Pay Your Debts

Nobody will be surprised that this is at the top of my recommended resolutions. It’s common sense - everybody knows that debt is the enemy, right? You’d think so, yet every single day my inbox is flooded with dozens of people asking me questions like “should I use my Christmas bonus to pay my credit card bill or should I use it to buy x, y, z?”

My answer is always the same! As long as you have debt, you should be using every penny of your paycheck to repay it (after your other bills and necessities are accounted for of course). You can’t find financial freedom when you owe somebody else money, it’s simple.


2.    Calculate Your 90-Day Number

Your 90-day n.

Seven steps toward financial security


Seven steps toward financial security

To be ‘wealthy,’ you just have to insulate from shocks that could send you down the economic ladder

Toronto Star

21 Nov 2016


Financial security isn’t a number or a threshold. It has to do with what you spend, and save, relative to your income.

Nothing proves that quite like research on millionaires by wealth management firm UBS. Sixty per cent of those with more than $5 million (U.S.) defined themselves as wealthy, compared with 28 per cent of those worth $1 million to $5 million. Yet what millionaires mean by “wealthy” is not necessarily financial independence: Only 10 per cent defined wealthy as not having to work. It’s not even a number; only 16 per cent said surpassing a certain asset threshold automatically mad.

Gender wage gap sits at 35-cent disparity in Canada


Canadian women equal men in skills but wage gap persists, study finds

Rachelle Younglai

The Globe and Mail

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016


Women in Canada earn 65 cents for every dollar men are paid even though they have the same skills, says a report released on Wednesday.

Women are on par with men in education, literacy and skills, according to the World Economic Forum’s annual study on the gender gap. That is showing up in white-collar jobs, where there are now more women than men in high-skilled positions.

“There is equality in the types of skills women are acquiring,” said Saadia Zahidi, a member of the forum’s executive committee.

The report looked at who was employed in professional and technical positions, such as medicine and computer.

Women & Money: How to take charge


Women & Money:  How to take charge

Five ways for women to help overcome a lack of confidence about money and investing.

By Fidelity Investments

APRIL 2016


Here are five ways that may help you to become more financially engaged.

1.   Learn at your own pace. It is not as hard as many women think. Once you have an understanding of investment basics, you’ll feel much more comfortable making decisions. The good news: It is never too late – even small adjustments to savings rates or investment plans can have a big impact over time. To help get you started, there are numerous tools, tips, and articles that can help you take your financial knowledge to the next level. Your financial advisor can provide guidance on sourcing these materials.

For basics about mutual funds, visit “Learning about mutual funds” on

A target date fund ma.

What to do if you lose your job


What to do if you lose your job

Avoid acting rashly and take time to get back on your feet.

By Beth A. Berk, CPA, CGMA


August 18, 2016


There may come a time in your career when you lose your job. This could be due to reasons outside of your control—a merger or acquisition, or having your employer shut down or relocate. Or you may have done something (that you were possibly not aware of) that caused you to be let go. Whatever the reason, losing your job can seriously disrupt your career plans—and your emotions. Getting back into the job-hunting frame of mind can be a challenge.

Regardless of whether you left your job, or your job left you, there are some steps you should take to get your career back on track. Consider the following:

Take time to regroup. Take a few days or more off to think about your next steps and a strategy for.

How I saved $5,000 a year by cutting expenses

How I saved $5,000 a year by cutting expenses


Amrita, Singh, 42, Toronto

Sometimes a brief moment in your life can change you forever. That moment happened for me in 1998. I’d been trying to make a living as a freelance video producer and had accumulated $8,000 in debt. I felt horrible and, struggling for a way out, found myself at the bank negotiating the consolidation of my personal debt into a single line of credit.

This was the moment I vowed to change my ways. So I set out to cut expenses and adopt a do-it-yourselfer attitude. The result? I cut $5,000 from my annual expenses without making a dent in my lifestyle.

I wasn’t raised with poor money h.

Automated Savings


Why automatic payments (almost) always makes sense

Automatic deductions are smart when paying yourself but less so when paying your credit card bill

by Robert R. Brown
March 2nd, 2016

From the February/March 2016 issue of the magazine.

I occasionally go to the gym. I don’t go regularly, I don’t go consistently and I certainly don’t go automatically. It’s not that I don’t like going to the gym; but, like everyone else’s, my life is busy and my schedule constantly changing. It seems there is always something more pressing that has to get done first. It would be so much easier if I could just transport myself there, Star Trek–style, and then be .

an Investing Guide for Beginners


An Investing Guide for Beginners

by Robb Engen | Mar 20, 2016 |

Young readers often ask for investing tips and wonder how to get started. My typical response is that once you have a good handle on your finances – no credit card debt, student loans fully paid (or close to it), some cash saved up for emergencies, short-term goals are funded (or on the way) – then it’s probably a good time to start your investing journey.

Finding the right investing approach can be tricky for beginners. There are plenty of options available, from GIC’s and bonds to mutual funds, stocks and ETFs. Then you need to consider your age and risk tolerance. Do you have the stomach to handle stock market fluctuations of 25 percent or more, or would you prefer to see returns that are lower, yet less volatile?

If you’re serious abou.

22 Best Quotes for a Fearless Life


22 Best Quotes on the Fearless Life

Say what you want to say

Jill Jacinto Updated Nov 10th 2014 8:41PM


I had the good fortune to attend Cosmo's Fun Fearless Life weekend, the inaugural women's conference of Cosmopolitan magazine. Inspiring? Where do I begin? Here are 22 nuggets of wisdom I picked up from the awesome attendees.

TwitterGabby Bernstein

"Our presence is our greatest source of power. Our presence is what makes people want to hire us." @GabbyBernstein

Motivational speaker, Gabby Bernstein explained how your projection to the world is what captures an employer's attention. You could say all the 'right' things but if you don't believe in what you're saying and present confidence – y.

Get A Handle On Your Expenses: Simplify And Save


Get A Handle On Your Expenses: Simplify And Save 

Posted on November 19, 2015 by Robb Engen

I challenged readers a while back to take a day off during the week to work on their finances. That means going through recurring bills, such as cable, internet, bank fees, car insurance, and monthly subscriptions to ensure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

You might also use the time to look for ways to earn more money, exploring opportunities to run a small side-business, switching to a more lucrative rewards credit card, or finding a better return on your savings and investments.

The 20's


Financial Management By The Decade: The 20’s

Posted on October 27, 2015 by Marie Engen


Your twenties are exciting years, full of big changes and all kinds of opportunities – finishing university or college, starting a full-time job, seeing a regular pay cheque for the first time. Maybe you’re moving into your own place. Or, perhaps you’ve been working for a while and you’re ready to start setting some financial goals.

If you start making the right financial decisions now, you’ll get a head start on the road to prosperity. The most important thing to remember is time is on your side – you just need a bit of discipline. To build a strong and stable future you need to lay the foundation now.


The Power of a planned vacation

The Power of a planned vacation

The benefits of time away from work go beyond simply ‘recharging the batteries.

by Sandra Wiley
October 15, 2015

Research has shown that workers are more productive and less stressed when they take regular vacations. And a sometimes-forgotten part of taking a vacation, if you spend it with a friend, significant other, or family: You’re having a shared experience that helps to grow that relationship. Yet plenty of finance professionals don’t take their allotted vacation. Some even take pride in not taking a break.

I often hear people say they are supposed to be scheduling vacation days or they wish they could take some days off, but they’re too busy. Sometimes, I&.

Half of First Nations children live in poverty


September 22, 2015

David Macdonald

First Nations communities face some of the most distressing levels of child poverty in this country. A history of colonialism, racism, residential schools, and the inequitable distribution of resources has resulted in a range of devastating social and economic inequities for Indigenous communities—and the impacts of these inequities can be seen in the shocking poverty rates and living conditions experienced by many Indigenous children. 

While some of these experiences have been documented, most recently by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, woefully little action has been taken to address the desperate economic conditions facing many Indigenous children today. 

We need to do much, much better..

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