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OTHER, SELF-PUBLISHED

Rent or buy a home: factoring affordability

Q – My husband and I are thinking of starting a family and we feel we need more space. We are currently renting a downtown condo unit, but we’re wondering whether we can afford to borrow to buy a home. Is there some rule of thumb we can use to calculate the type of...

OTHER, SELF-PUBLISHED

The importance of a tax-efficient portfolio

Q – I manage my own investment portfolio, and I’m an active trader with an online account. However, I just paid my tax bill for 2012, and it was a doozy! A large part of it was due to tax on investments, particularly on income on distributions and sales of some...

OTHER, SELF-PUBLISHED

Year-end investment and tax tips

’Tis the season…for tips. Year-end is a great time for advisors, investment counsellors, pundits, and other financial experts. They can fire off opinions and advice, filling websites, YouTube videos, and newspapers with reams of predictions, analysis, advice, and...

OTHER, SELF-PUBLISHED

Term life insurance offers pure protection

Q – My husband and I have just had our first child. We are in our early 30s and have a very large mortgage and substantial credit card debt. My husband was recently laid off, and we are strapped for cash. We know we need insurance, but permanent insurance is very...

OTHER, SELF-PUBLISHED

Balanced investor’s benchmark

Q – Like many investors, I am yet another person disappointed with my investment returns. My advisor tells me I have done well against the benchmark. What benchmark should I be looking at? I am a balanced-risk investor. Thank you. – Chris S., Vancouver, BC A – One...

OTHER, SELF-PUBLISHED

Where, oh where, do I put my money?

Let’s say you’re a professional woman with a nice little nest-egg put aside. You’re perhaps juggling a career and a family. Maybe you’ve got a house and a mortgage. You’re crazy busy. But your nest-egg? Not so much. It’s just sitting there. It could be in what...

OTHER, SELF-PUBLISHED

How to determine life insurance needs

Q – How do I figure out how much life insurance I need and what type of insurance to buy? – Ralph J., Ajax, Ontario A – To estimate how much life insurance you need, consider the following: The amount needed to pay off your debts; any final expenses and taxes that...

OTHER, SELF-PUBLISHED

Seeking cash flow

Q – What types of investments do you recommend to invest in, given the continued uncertainly in the stock market? I am looking for stocks that provide cash flow. – Jim W., Fort Erie, Ontario A – There is no question that in today’s markets, it’s a tough time to be...

OTHER, SELF-PUBLISHED

The $366,000 latté

We love our lattés. There’s no question about that. It’s what’s made Starbucks one of the most successful coffee shop chains in the world. But for that delicious creamy, foamy taste of coffee heaven, you’re paying…what? Most of us don’t even know and couldn’t tell...

OTHER, SELF-PUBLISHED

Don’t bank on ‘savings’

Q – I am a 35 year old school bus driver and have very little savings in the bank. I would like to see my money grow, but I don’t like to take risks with what I already have. Can you recommend an investment that would be suitable? – Sue S., Woodstock, Ontario A – A...

OTHER, SELF-PUBLISHED

Benchmarking returns

Q – I am tired of seeing negative numbers on my quarterly performance reports. When I speak to my advisor, he assures me that I have done better than the “market” and that other people are worse off than me. Frankly, I do not care about “other people.” How can I...