Friday, December 11, 2015

Answering your financial questions with Ryan Jespersen - 630 CHED Radio

It was my absolute pleasure to be in studio with Ryan Jesperson of 630 CHED radio yesterday.  And we spent the top hour of the show answering your texts and calls on a variety of financial questions.

No surprise that inquiries on credit topped the list - how do you check it, does it hurt your score to pull your report, what's the score range and how do you know if your score is a good one?

Here's the link for the entire segment in case you missed it -

Monday, November 2, 2015

Fraud trends in Victoria B.C.

Fraud is growing in it's multifaceted forms across Canada and has it's unique trends in each city, including Victoria, BC where I'll be speaking on the subject later this week.

A couple of months ago, aggressive calls by fraudsters pretending to be the Canada Revenue Agency were threatening Victoria residents that they owed back taxes and must pay up now.  Victoria Police issued a public alert on the scam - read it here

The Globe and Mail reported that an online romance turned sour as a Victoria victim lost $88,000 on such scam - read more here

In 2013, Canadians had lost more than $13-million through romance scams – a 20-fold increase since 2008, according to statistics from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

British Columbia accounted for more than $1-million of the loss, 62 times higher than in 2008. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reported that only around five per cent of scam victims report the incident to the police.

Lastly, investment fraud hasn't been a stranger to Victoria either.

The B.C. Securities Commission convicted Victoria-area financial adviser David Michael Michaels of perpetrating a massive fraud that cost hundreds of investors a total of $65 million.

CBC news reported that with a weekly CFAX radio show to trumpet his claims, Michaels drew elderly investors like lambs to the slaughter.

Join me this week in Victoria B.C. as I join Larry Berman's, Investors Guide To Thriving tour.  I'll be speaking on avoiding identity theft and investment fraud.  The event is free to attend - but seats are filling up fast.  Join us on Thursday, November 5th from 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm at The Westin Bear Mountain.  Register at

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Should you take that credit card increase? From the Toronto Star

I was interviewed last week by Vikram Barhat for an article published in the Toronto Star last week titled, To Accept or Reject the Credit Limit Increase.  Read the full article here.

This is a common question.  You can likely remember a time you receive a notification that your $3,000 credit limit has now been increased to $5,500.  Is that a good or a bad thing?  Do you have to accept the increase?  And how do they know if you should get that increase anyway (hint: it's in the terms and conditions agreement that you read - right?)

Read the Toronto Star article to find out.

And if you're not on the side of the bank's offering up an increase but would like one, check out this article on 6 Ways To Increase Your Credit Limit.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Can you create a better life by simply doing something different?

Last week I spoke for the WXN - The Women's Executive Network - in Toronto to a sold out crowd of passionate women.

I was speaking on the topic of embracing strategic risk in your life which also presupposes possible failure.

Two quotes from Albert Einstein started off the evening.

The first:

The quote is elegantly simply.  However, as you unpack it, you realize that to do something different you open yourself up to the possibility of failure and uncomfortableness.  That's why we continue to act in the same manor - we know the result (even if we don't necessarily like it) and because it is comfortable.  It can be really uncomfortable at times to do even the smallest tasks differently.

And the second:

This quote of Einstein's almost contracts the first.  Here he's telling us that you need an outside force to assist you with knowing when your thinking is flawed.

That's why we need to attend events like the ones at WXN.  We need to read books, engage with coaches, mentors and do things differently and expose ourselves to new and unknown stimulus - while being courageous enough to embrace risk (which could mean failing) and get out of our comfort zone.

What are you willing to do differently today to shake up your efficient, but not always so risk embracing brain?  Here's some easy to try ideas:
  • Drive to work a different way
  • Go out of your way to visit a coffee shop in a part of your city you've never been
  • Switch coffee for tea, or hot chocolate or a flavour of pop you haven't had since you were a kid
  • Listen to 3 songs from a genre you never would consider
  • Pick up a book or magazine that's the polar opposite from what you normally read
  • Brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand
Some of the most brilliant minds of our time had insights and made discoveries not while they were focused on the problem at hand, but when their body and mind were engaged in a novel activity.  Try something new today and graduate from simple tasks like the examples on my list to greater challenges.

I'll be speaking for the Calgary women at WXN this Wednesday, October 28th.  For more information, visit WXN.  There's still a few tickets - would love to see you there!