Saturday, December 10, 2011

Canada - Let's Continue To Be Proud of Our Banking System - And Here's Why

If you've tuned out the past reporting of Canada weathering the financial crisis storm and wondered what all the fuss was about (the IMF naming us the strongest banking system in the world during the meltdown), here's an article that might just make you even more proud of our fine country and banking industry.

As quoted near the end of the article, I think this paragraph summarizes the author's argument best:

In my conversations with Canadian bankers, one of the things that struck me was how often they referred to mothers. Nixon [CEO of RBC] mentioned his mother and her good opinion when explaining why he gave back his bonus in 2008; Clark [CEO of TD] uses the mother-in-law test, as in “Would you sell it to your mother-in-law?” to help TD employees figure out if they should be hawking a product to their customers. In an era when Wall Street investment banks issue notes warning their clients they may be short-selling the investments they are marketing, this sounds like a charmingly Canadian attitude. But it is easier to be nice if you don’t need to be nasty just to make a buck.

Read the full article here:

Might I also suggest that you review the definition of securitization here, mortgage-backed securities here, and asset-backed securities here.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Your Money & You - Part Two - The Cost of Learning

(This is part two in a five part CBC Radioactive series. Catch part one here and the audio interview from CBC Radioactive here).

Whether you're saving for your kids' education, putting yourself through university going back to school later in life, it all takes a large sum of money!

Let's start with the kids

I often get asked, when is the best time for parents to start saving for their children's education? And of course, the logical answer is as soon as possible. But how realistic is that? Considering what an expensive time it is in one's life to raise kids, now couples have to fret not only about paying down debt, starting an emergency account, topping up RRSPs but now school too?

I think a better question parents should ask is how much are they willing to save for their children's education and in balance with their own goals. That's a personal one up to your individual family needs. The second question should be, what's the best way to go about saving those dollars?

Read the full article here:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Your Money & You - Part One - LOVE

I've been doing a series this week with CBC's RadioActive on your money and you. Welcome to part one of the series - LOVE! Does love and money mix? Listen here to the audio of the piece.

Whether you're single, married, divorcing or co-habitating - it all involves money. Let's start with the biggie - marriage and what's the most important things people need to keep in mind?

Read my full article here:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Is Cash Still King When it Comes to Reward Credit Cards?

Welcome to the confusing world of reward credit cards. Some have annual fees, some don't. Some charge ridiculous interest rates for carrying a balance yet others offer enticing benefits. And now, there's a newer cash rewards player on the market. Might this type of card be right for you?

Read the full article here:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Secrets to Save More Money Now - Part Two

Marilyn Denis show

Catch part one of my article here and the second part of my interview with Marilyn Dennis the other week here.

The second part of the show featured an extreme couponer and an extreme contester. Sure, these can be great ways to shave big dollars off your budget, but they should be ventured at in moderation and with balance (I know an executive making big bucks that drives for 30 minutes to save a few dollars on gas). And with coupons, always make sure that the retailer isn't leading you to spend money on goods and services you wouldn't make if it wasn't for the coupon. We've all had friends in the past that would only dine if they had a deal from their Entertainment book, right?

Read my full article here:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Secrets to Save More Money Now - Part One

I was on the Marilyn Denis show the other week chatting about ways to save money now. Catch the segment here -

The producer asked me where every family can trim excess spending the most without sacrifice. My answer? A category that can balloon up and blow any household budget without a careful eye and a little negotiating.The financial area in question is no doubt that of a household's phone, internet, cable and cell phone bills. Sure, we all need these lifeline's, but are you possibly paying too much?

Read the full article here:

Friday, September 30, 2011

Don’t let hockey take a slapshot to your wallet

My five-year-old nephew is pretty excited these days, but who could blame him? On Saturday, he’ll be suiting up for his very first hockey game: a momentous occasion for his parents, and sports-loving aunt. And while I don’t quite know what to expect from his tyke league – I’m imagining a pack of boys shuffling aimlessly across the ice for 45 minutes – I do know this: Hockey is one pricey pastime.

By the time league fees are paid and the catalogue of equipment is purchased, parents will be on the hook for hundreds and hundreds of dollars. In fact, according to a study by Harris/Decima, 49 per cent of Canadian families plan to shell out approximately $1,000 per child to play hockey this year.

Sad but true. The cost of partaking in the good old hockey game is incredibly steep, presenting a real barrier to many families.

“It can price a lot of parents out of the market,” says personal finance expert and author Kelley Keehn. “But everything that’s expensive can be managed with the right tools.”

Read the full article here:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cut Your Financial Clutter - Know What to Keep And What to Never Toss

Financial clutter - we all have it. It weighs us down and requires surplus storage. Plus, where should we store these papers? Learn what financial documents should you have at your finger tips, which are fine to file, and what you should shred for good.

Read my full article here:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Doing the coffee-machine math

Watch out, David Bach. A lot has changed since the financial wizard coined the term "latte factor” to show us how our money seeps away. Welcome to the new world of home coffee machines.

Read my full article in the Globe & Mail:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Could You Turn Your Home Into an Income Property?

With the recent popularity of a new home show on HGTV teaching owners how to turn their house into an income generating property and with some of the grants many cities offer, I'm often asked by Canadians about the viability of turning their home into a money maker. Could being a landlord be a lucrative side venture for you?

Read the full article here:

Computer Game Promises to Relax Your Body and Mind; Is It Worth The Investment?

Welcome to the journey of the Wild Divine. That's the name of a new computer game that hopes to bring meditation to the masses, while utilizing cutting-edge technology to bring an ancient practice into the 21st century.

With such power names behind the project as Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dean Ornish, M.D., and Andrew Weil, M.D., the developers promise a deep level of meditation while playing a computer game rich with breath-taking graphics and a bio feedback hand piece. As with all games, technology comes with a hefty price tag. So, cross legged OM's for free or the next generation of meditation 3D style? Does this ancient practice need a transition into the new millennium?

Read the full article here:

Friday, September 2, 2011

Mortgage Tips and Tricks - What type of mortgage is best for you? Tips from financial expert and author Kelley Keehn

Published Aug 24th, 2011

By Jesse Semko, Avenue Magazine Calgary

Mortgage Tips and Tricks for Calgarians

What type of mortgage is best for you? Tips from financial expert and author Kelley Keehn

Read the article here:

Monday, August 29, 2011

CBC Radioactive - the continuing financial saga of Joshica - in their 50s

Our financial columnist Kelley Keehn has the continuing adventures of Josh and Jessica. The fictional couple is now in their fifties. We look at the financial decisions they’re facing in today’s economy.

Click here to listen:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Goal Setting: How Far Are You Willing to Go to be Accountable?

Do you set goals? If you`re like most Canadians, you know you should; they make sense after all. We can`t just go through life hoping to have a fit, healthy body and bank account without doing anything tangible. But unfortunately, not only do most of us not set clear goals (other than those "never going to happen" New Year`s resolutions), we don`t focus on them long enough to ever give them a chance for success.

Well, with a new, and might I add genius website I recently discovered, that`s all over! Better yet, it`s absolutely free. But I will warn you - it works, but it has a tattletale element (that`s the brilliant part - if only you know you ate the entire tub of Ben and Jerry`s or blew your paycheque internet shopping, what`s the point, or pain, right?). And, if you really want to up the ante, you can put your money where your mouth, uh, goals are.

Read my full article here: