Why it’s Time for Canada’s Financial Industry to Put the Customer First

Why it's Time for Canada's Financial Industry to Put the Customer FirstScrutiny of the financial industry has been on the rise in recent months, fuelled in part by CBC News reports alleging unscrupulous practices at Canada’s big banks. The CBC’s findings may not have been surprising to insiders, who have been witness to the industry’s indiscretions for years. What is surprising is the government’s continued hesitation to force advisers to do what is right — to act in clients’ and customers’…

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Why its time for investors to take some chips off the table

Why its time for investors to take some chips off the tableOn Dec. 6, 1941, while Europe was engulfed in a war that saw Germany control all of Western Europe except Britain, Americans were spending an ordinary Saturday, wrapped in their collective isolationist blanket. Whether getting some Christmas shopping done, listening to game shows on the radio, or taking in a movie such as Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon or Dumbo, the battles being fought on the far sides of the Atlantic…

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Investors Have Little Trust in Financial Services

Investors Have Little Trust in Financial ServicesThe recent global financial crisis did more than ravage investment portfolios, wipe out employment and force people out of their homes. It also obliterated trust in the financial services industry by the people who use it most – investors. A new international study says a mere 53 per cent of investors in the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Canada and Australia have faith in investment firms. What’s more, the…

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The Investors Guide to Rate Hikes

The Investors Guide to Rate HikesRising interest rates are bad — very, very bad. That’s the prevalent message being made loud and ominously clear to investors as markets brace for the inevitable end to the ultra-loose monetary policies south of the border and elsewhere around the world. The warning, while important to heed, doesn’t quite add up. It’s true that many investors will take a hit from interest rate increases down the road — and,…

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Markets messing with your mind? The Most Common Investor Head Fakes

Markets messing with your mind? The Most Common Investor Head FakesWe like to think of ourselves as rational beings, but when it comes to investing our own money we can all get a little loopy. In a recent poll by BMO, two-thirds of respondents admitted they are not in total control of their emotions when making investment decisions, and most have invested on impulse. With so many non-professional investors participating in the markets a growing field of study called behavioral…

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Investing In Gold And Silver

Investing In Gold And SilverFirst, it’s necessary to decide how you want to deal with these precious metals. (I’m adding silver into the discussion, though other metals, like platinum and copper, are also significant.) People have been using them for coinage and ornamental purposes for thousands of years; early civilizations like the Sumerians and Egyptians seem to have focused primarily on gold for jewelry and ornamentation. Weighing your choices Gold is measured by troy…

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Harder for Gen Y First-Time Home Buyers to Get Into Market?

Harder for Gen Y First-Time Home Buyers to Get Into Market?Andrew MacLeod is part of demographic that apparently is being priced out of Canada’s housing market, but that didn’t prevent the 34-year-old from finding a way to buy his first home. MacLeod and his wife, 33, overcame current economic hurdles such as high property prices, tighter lending conditions and shaky job markets to purchase their four-bedroom, two storey semi-detached house in Ottawa’s Lindenlea neighbourhood, which MacLeod cheekily describes as the…

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Level of Credit Protection Unclear in Wake of Major Loss

Level of Credit Protection Unclear in Wake of Major LossIn the wake of a class action lawsuit, the federal government now says it will provide a “credit flag” service for nearly 600,000 Canadians whose data was lost in November. But it is not the same level of credit protection it advised those affected to get, and pay for themselves. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) said the hard drive was lost in November from an office in Gatineau,…

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How to Make the Most of Your Tax-Free Account

How to Make the Most of Your Tax-Free AccountAlmost half of all Canadians have opened a tax-free savings account, according to a survey released last week by CIBC. That’s a remarkable take-up considering that TFSAs haven’t even been around for four years. That’s the good news. The bad news is that about half of those people aren’t actively contributing. According to the survey, 47 per cent have not put any money into the plan this year. What’s more,…

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Want to Retire Early? Start Saving Now

Want to Retire Early? Start Saving NowIf you’re dreaming of an early retirement, you need to start saving at an early age, too. That can be difficult if you’re just stepping into your first full-time job, or if you’re also saving for a house or paying off a student loan. While it’s true that paying down debt and saving for a home are important, the earlier you start saving for retirement, the greater the benefits of…

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