Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Key Questions to Ask Before Investing - AOL's WalletPop Canada

Now that the RRSP season has passed, you may be patting yourself on the back for getting your contribution in on time. And that's a great start. But if you're like many Canadians, you don't want to have those funds sitting in a holding account earning next to nothing.

During the RRSP rush, many bankers and advisors have you plunk your contribution into a savings type account as it`s not the time to rush through a risk-return analysis. The idea is that you`ll both meet in the coming months to properly allocate the funds. You might also have a tidy tax refund awaiting you to add to your savings. But before investing your hard earned dollars, consider the following questions to ask the professionals you deal with before investing:

Read the full article here:

Friday, March 25, 2011

Money Myths - Top Five Excuses Holding You Back From Wealth - AOL's WalletPop Canada

At thirty-five, I find myself feeling old and dated. I think back to my youth, before the Internet, a TV in every room of the house and the major social taboo was sex. Today, the new shame, the new taboo, exists outside of the bedroom. We don't dare ask a potential spouse about their spending habits, credit history or assets for fear of being thought of as a swindler. It would be boorish to ask a friend what her bonus was this year and rarely will golf mates honestly discuss financial troubles on the greens.

Why has talking about money and the lack thereof, become the accepted pink elephant at each and every cocktail party?

Read on to discover the top five money myths that, with some simple awareness and courage to speak the unspoken, could change your financial future.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Should they get back in the housing market? Globe & Mail's Cash Clash

Wayne, 46, and Susan, 51, Calgary

Did this couple foul up their finances by selling their home last year? She wanted to move closer to her troubled teen’s school, so they’re renting in a ritzy part of town. He wants to buy a house now before Calgary booms again. Real estate: investment or insanity?

Read the full article and my advice here:

Friday, March 18, 2011

CBC Radio series - Financial basics for 50 something's

If you missed our 50-something segment with CBC Radio's Peter Brown (fourth in the series), catch it here:

Financial expert Kelley Keehn looks at opportunities at different times in your life. 'Larry, Lisa, & Ricky' need to be serious with insurance, inheritance, and key income earning years

Should they reno their rental? Globe & Mail's Cash Clash

Katarzyna and Tomasz, 27, Ottawa

Should these newlyweds renovate their rental at their own expense? Hoping to save for their first home, she wants to gussy up the two-bedroom apartment so they can stay there longer. He thinks it’s a waste of money. Facelift or folly?

Read the full article and my advice here:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Key Questions to Ask Before Renovating Your Home - AOL's WalletPop Canada

Spring is finally in the air; well, at least we know it's around the corner. And with a fresh start to 2011, many Canadians are looking to liven up their homes and yards as well. However, if you're going to allow anyone to work on your property, from a minor fence repair to a kitchen or bathroom overhaul, there are a number of things you need to know to avoid being swindled or putting your home at risk of litigation.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Should they use their savings to buy out her boss? Globe & Mail's Cash Clash

Tom, 28, and Heidi, 26, Toronto

Do love and business mix? These two young engineers are shacked up with healthy savings, but he wants to use them to buy her boss’s firm. She doesn’t want to take the risk. Is his scheme a blueprint for disaster?

Read the full article and my advice here:

The 1% Solution to Building Wealth - AOL's WalletPop Canada

After being in the financial industry for over a decade, I'm asked nearly on a daily basis the secret to wealth.

Unfortunately, there is no illusion that needs revealing, no sexiness or even excitement in the true answer.

Fortunately though, there is a simpler formula that nearly any working individual can apply. Patience, time and awareness must be cultivated. But there's a surreptitious enemy of sorts indeed and the answer lies within.

To paraphrase Earl Nightengale, "people care about their health and money to the extent that they don't have it." Money and wealth accumulation can best be illustrated by thinking of one's health.

Read the full article here:

CBC Radio Series - Financial basics for 30 something's

If you missed our 30-something segment with CBC Radio's Peter Brown (second in the series), catch it here

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Couple wonders, is it time for him to get a 'real' job? Globe & Mail's Cash Clash

Rupert, 27, and Charlotte, 30, Calgary

Young, in love, and living in a basement suite, this playwright and grad student want to start a family and buy their first home. He thinks the only way they can afford it is if he gets a restaurant job or painting work; she doesn’t want to compromise his writing career (or their marriage). Can they hack it?

Read the full article and my advice here:

Mini Money Make-over: The Hidden Asset Class You Need to Know About - AOL's WalletPop Canada

Niles is doing everything right; at first blush anyway. He's 55 years old, has zero debt, $82,000 in his RRSP and $225,000 in his company's stock.

His RRSP portfolio is well diversified. His basic asset mix is 55% equity (various mutual funds), 40% debt (various bond and balanced mutual funds) and 5% cash. That's based on the careful analysis of his advisor and tailored to his situation (when he'll retire, his tolerance for volatility, etc.)

However, Niles' portfolio is grossly under-diversified if his company stocks are added to the mix and given the fact that his employment is in the same sector as his largest asset holding. If his industry were to face a sudden downturn, not only might his job be at risk, but too his biggest asset, his stocks.

Read on to see what changes Niles needs to consider.