Know What Fees You’re Paying and How to Minimize Them

Know What Fees You're Paying and How to Minimize ThemFew things in life are free. Sure, there are free samples of protein bars at grocery stores and free hand-me-downs from grandma, but it costs you time to wait in line for the snack and effort to drop unwanted items off at donation centres. So it should come as no surprise that it costs you money to manage your money — whether it’s banking fees, ATM fees or mutual fund…

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6 Ways to Cut Your Banking Fees

6 Ways to Cut Your Banking FeesNearly half of Canadians live pay cheque to pay cheque.  A recent survey by the Canadian Payroll Association reported that 47 per cent of us would face financial hardship if our pay was delayed as little as a week. One of the easiest ways to save money is to take a close look at your banking fees. But when you’re living on the edge, it can be tough to change…

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Cross-border banking made easy

Cross-border banking made easyCanadians are always looking for better ways to bank in the U.S. Snowbirds need a U.S. bank account to take care of the bills at their condo. Canadian shoppers want easier ways to pay their Macy’s or J.C. Penney account after cross-border shopping sprees. Opening an account at a U.S. bank is an option, but you might not be able to get a U.S. credit card because you don’t have…

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Banks Lose Trust As Service Charges Rise

Banks Lose Trust As Service Charges RiseCanada’s banks are solid, but their service seems to be slipping. After keeping fees stable for awhile, banks are raising charges on a variety of services. Interest rates on lines of credit are being adjusted. At the same time, banks are reporting record profits and senior executives are earning compensation packages that put them ahead of other sectors.  Read More…

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Will Actively Managed Mutual Funds Ever Go Away?

Will Actively Managed Mutual Funds Ever Go Away?These days, the passive investing movement is gaining momentum faster than I get rejected for dates by attractive ladies. And for good reason. Actively managed mutual funds may sometimes outperform the index, but are more often than not surpassed by their passive brethren. Math would indicate that the average fund would match the overall stock market, since mutual funds are such large participants. And this is true, except for one…

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Spend Prepaid Visa Cards Quickly to Avoid Fees

Spend Prepaid Visa Cards Quickly to Avoid FeesSam Bornstein paid a penalty for his delay in using a Christmas gift he’d received in December 2009. His $50 prepaid MyTreat Visa card was refused as payment for a $48.08 purchase at a Boxing Day sale last weekend. What happened? The card’s $2 monthly maintenance fee, which kicked in after 12 months, reduced its value to $48. So he was short by 8 cents. “I was not advised of…

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N.S. Payday Loans Under Microscope

N.S. Payday Loans Under MicroscopeThe Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board is taking another look at the way payday loan companies do business and will examine the issue at hearings scheduled to begin Monday in Halifax. The board will determine whether the companies are charging too much to borrow money. In Nova Scotia, they can charge up to $31 for every $100 borrowed — the highest rate in the country. The UARB set the…

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Low Cost Ways To Buy Dividend Stocks

Low Cost Ways To Buy Dividend StocksI recently did a review of ShareOwner discount brokerage, which promotes regular dividend stock purchases.  One thing that came out of that review, is that regardless of how cheap the trading costs are – regular purchases of stocks are quite expensive. In this post, I’m going to discuss some strategies to buy dividend stocks (or any other kind of stocks) in the cheapest manner possible at discount brokerages. Some low…

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Proposed Federal Securities Regulator – Little Help for the Individual Investor

Proposed Federal Securities Regulator - Little Help for the Individual InvestorWorth reading: IndependentInvestor.info‘s Proposed Canadian Securities Act and investor protection: a failing grade. The thoughtful, detailed analysis and judgment of the proposed move by the federal government to create a national securities regulator shows how little improvement there really is likely to be for the individual investor in solving key problems: high fees for mutual funds, costly access to government of Canada securities, lack of fiduciary responsibility by the industry…

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Beware the M2 Credit Card

Beware the M2 Credit CardI got caught out! Here is what I learned the hard way about credit cards and interest charges on late payments. Mea culpa, through simply not paying attention, I was a day late paying the full balance. Of course, that means interest is charged and not just for the one or two days that payment was late but for the whole time since the purchase date up to the payment…

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