3 Top REIT Picks For 2017

3 Top REIT Picks For 2017It has been an interesting year for Canada’s REITs. The early part of the year was marked by weakness in Alberta, especially the office market. Demand dried up as many oil companies either went bankrupt or downsized. The rest of the year was dominated by interest rates. First rates crashed with negative rates in Japan and Switzerland making headlines. This sent the price of REITs higher. That was followed by a steady…

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5 Reasons to Love Dividends

5 Reasons to Love DividendsMany investors I spoke to at a three-day investment conference last week extolled the virtues of the dividend stocks they owned. These investors loved how dividend-paying companies seem to just to keep going up, and the dividend money just keeps rolling in. “It almost seems like a scam,” one investor told me. “I do nothing, and the company keeps paying me, quarter after quarter, year after year.” Well, it is…

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Retirement Saving Should Be Realistic Not Idealistic

Retirement Saving Should Be Realistic Not IdealisticPlanning for retirement can be overwhelming. It requires thinking about long-term goals and it forces consideration of a more sensitive subject — one’s own mortality. An RBC study reports that only 52% of Canadian boomers actually put a plan on paper despite understanding its importance. However, they worry about it. According to a recent Investors Group survey, financial concerns affect 32% of Canadian couples and 60% of them put retirement…

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Why you’re earning less than you think

Why you're earning less than you thinkDo you know how much money you’re earning for the amount of time you work? Of course you know that your salary is “x” amount of dollars and your typical work week might be 35 to 40 hours. However, there’s a real trade-off in time, energy and money that’s directly associated with your job. Here are six reasons why you’re earning less than you think: 1. Transportation Getting to and…

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Canadian Debt Levels Keep Rising

Canadian Debt Levels Keep RisingCanadians continued to rack up debt in the second quarter of the year as they took advantage of low interest rates, Statistics Canada said Tuesday. The ratio of credit market debt to personal disposable income crept to 148.7 per cent in the July-September period, topping the old record of 147.3 set in the previous quarter. Credit market debt includes mortgages and consumer loans. Statistics Canada said the ratio increased as…

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Family Debt-to-Income Ratio Hits Record

Family Debt-to-Income Ratio Hits RecordThe average family debt-to-income ratio in Canada has now hit a record 150 per cent, the Vanier Institute of the Family said Thursday. That means for every $1,000 in after-tax income, Canadian families owe $1,500, the institute said, while releasing its 12th annual assessment of Canadian family finances. It found the average family borrowing — including mortgage debt — now totals $100,000. The Ottawa-based institute, which describes itself as a…

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Are Taxes In Canada Really That High?

Are Taxes In Canada Really That High?A Press release by Fraser Institute showed the total tax bill of the average Canadian family has increased by 1,624 per cent since 1961, while expenditures on housing increased by 1,198 per cent, food by 559 per cent and clothing by 526 per cent from 1961 to 2009. The report was widely distributed by several media outlets including this one in the Calgary Herald. There’s no question that we pay…

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Book Review: Your Money or Your Life

Book Review: Your Money or Your LifeThere are a few books that are beloved and can be a bit dangerous to review.  YMOYL is the bible to a number of people, so I’ll start with saying that I think there’s a lot of good stuff in there, it’s a solid book and just about everyone should read it.  In spite of this, I think there are some major weaknesses in it. Overview Joe Dominguez was a…

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A Joint Bank Account Strategy for Couples

A Joint Bank Account Strategy for CouplesI’m a feminist (of the Cathy Young brand of equality feminism, not the cuckoo-for-coco-puffs Andrea Dworkin or difference feminism brands of feminism).  Sometimes I’ve grappled with the best way to divide expenses within a romantic relationship.  As an ideal, splitting the costs evenly seems to make sense, but I’m certainly aware that often two people will differ in their disposable income or earning potential.  The actual mechanics can sometimes be…

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