Accelerating Mortgage Payments will Free up Cash for RESP, Retirement Savings

Accelerating Mortgage Payments will Free up Cash for RESP, Retirement SavingsA couple we’ll call Harry, 35, and Tina, 37, are thriving in their careers. Harry, a geologist with a large company, brings home $5,730 a month. Tina, a management consultant in the chemical industry, adds $3,880, for total monthly disposable income of $9,610 a month. They have a two-year-old child. You could say that Harry and Tina are typical Canadians. Their income, though above average, is just enough to get…

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What Lessons Investors Can Learn From the $1.5-billion Powerball Lottery?

What Lessons Investors Can Learn From the $1.5-billion Powerball Lottery?The U.S. Powerball lottery and its “world record” US$1.5-billion jackpot (or thereabouts) certainly caused quite a stir over the past few days. Even Canadians, apparently, were scrambling to get in on the action, flocking to American border towns to buy tickets. Jeesh. I don’t want to be a party pooper, and 1.5 billion is a lot of shekels, but really, you’d probably have been better off putting the price of…

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How to Make Your Portfolio As Inefficient As Possible – Pay Down the Mortgage

How to Make Your Portfolio As Inefficient As Possible - Pay Down the MortgageThere’s been no shortage of fear-mongering about the Canadian housing market – whether that’s Deutsche Bank stating it is overvalued by 65 per cent, or U.S. hedge funds shorting the country’s banks and mortgage providers. Jerome Hass, a portfolio manager at Lightwater Partners Ltd., had similar views about the London, England, property market just under a decade ago, as well as Australian housing prices 15 to 20 years ago. “I…

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Top 5 things you need to worry about financially

Top 5 things you need to worry about financiallyThe financial situation of 2008-09 was the kind of disaster that instilled in a lot of people serious jitters, whether they were lifelong investors or simply beginners. Many still have deep fears of the market crashing. But there are far more concrete things to worry about financially. Inflation “There are a number of people I meet who are 50 and 60 that think that what they need to be most…

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The Perils of Being House Poor

The Perils of Being House PoorYounger homebuyers don’t want to max out on their mortgage payments, according to a recent TD survey. Could it be that Gen Xers have learned a few lessons from older home owners who qualify as house poor? The survey found that Gen X Canadians overwhelmingly consider themselves “house plus” buyers who want enough flexibility in the budget to afford things like travel after their monthly payments. Just 14 per cent…

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Mortgage First RRSP Later

Mortgage First RRSP LaterJudging by the barrage of Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) information you would think making a contribution before the March 3rd deadline is a slam dunk no matter who you are. The truth is; it doesn’t make sense for a lot of people – especially if you’re young. In most cases it’s better to pay down debt than contribute to a registered retirement savings plan. In some cases paying down…

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Financial Advice that is Popular And Wrong

Financial Advice that is Popular And WrongSome financial advice is so oft-repeated that everyone takes it for granted: You shouldn’t bring debt into retirement. Debit cards are safer than credit cards. Older folks should invest more conservatively. As they used to say on Seinfeld, yadda yadda yadda. The problem is, a lot of that is bad advice. At best it fit a bygone era; at worst it was never right and is dangerous. Here is a…

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The Realities of Home Ownership

The Realities of Home OwnershipSometimes folks say they want something, but then do things that totally work against them achieving their goal. Home ownership is a perfect example. I get letters every week from people who say they want to own their own homes. They can even paint a pretty clear picture of what that home will be like, where it will be and what it will feel like to live there. What some…

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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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Why We Need Higher Property Taxes. Really.

Why We Need Higher Property Taxes. Really.When Canadian cities want to build infrastructure, they politely request provincial and federal funding-and then beg, cry, slobber, stomp their feet, hold their breath and turn blue until they get their money. You’d think our mayors would resent a system that trades their dignity for new curling rinks and overpasses, but they put up with it because it’s in their political interests to remain helpless. That way, they can blame…

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