The telltale signs of a tax scam

How criminals are conning people out of millions posing as the CRA

The telltale signs of a tax scam“They were so convincing that in minutes I had gone to the corner store, bought $500 worth of prepaid credit cards and read the numbers to a voice at the other end of the phone.” A client shared this story with me nearly in tears, which were a combination of anger and embarrassment. Over the…

The hidden costs of feel-good stocks

The hidden costs of feel-good stocksThe stakeholder-shareholder debate in finance has narrowed down to a false dichotomy between good capitalism and bad capitalism. Good capitalism means funding green energy to fight global warming, while bad capitalism means investing in fossil fuels, tobacco, or other “sin stocks.” However, the economic downturn should be a wake-up call to investors regarding the hidden…

Financial strain top source of worry in COVID-19 mental health crisis

Researcher studies tools for recovery from tax clinics to guaranteed basic income

Financial strain top source of worry in COVID-19 mental health crisisFinancial strain is affecting Canadians’ mental and physical health and addressing it will be key to the country’s post-COVID-19 social and economic recovery, according to public health professor Candace Nykiforuk. Nykiforuk and her team received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to study ways to address the health impacts of the pandemic related to…

The trouble with money

We crave, mythologize, demonize and fight wars over money. Why can’t we just treat it with respect and maintain harmony in the home?

The trouble with moneyMy husband and I once got into a mild argument over finances. It started with calculating costs for a trip east with friends to see a football game. It ended with a tally of summer bills and how on earth they would ever get paid. This happens in countless households. Money – or lack of…

Why do we obsess over money?

Why do we obsess over money?In the days before credit cards, before microwave machines, before The Ed Sullivan Show broadcast across the night TV screens, bread was a dime, pop a nickel or less, and my grandfather worked for a mill in the Canadian great northwest. Years ago, I would visit my grandfather in his Richmond, B.C., apartment. We would…

Canadians with disabilities face barriers to financial security

Study shows those living with disabilities average 25% less in assets and COVID-19 is making the situation worse

Canadians with disabilities face barriers to financial securityWhen sociologist Michelle Maroto came across a Toronto Star article about an Ontario woman struggling to make ends meet while battling Type 1 diabetes, she knew the story was just the tip of the iceberg. Anna Costa was juggling four low-paying jobs without benefits, and after paying more than $300 per month for insulin and blood tests…

How to manage your finances in the time of COVID-19

An accounting expert offers a wealth of advice – starting with not letting your net worth define your self-worth

How to manage your finances in the time of COVID-19People struggling to pay their debts in a crippled COVID-19 economy can’t avoid tough choices but shouldn’t let it crush them, says a University of Alberta financial expert. Feelings of fear, frustration or shame can overwhelm the clear-headed thinking needed to tackle tough times, but try not to internalize it, advised Mike Maier, an accounting…

Diversifying your portfolio in one neat package

An ETF is a low-cost mutual-like fund that trades on the stock market, with a significantly different fee structure

Diversifying your portfolio in one neat packageExchange-traded funds (ETFs) seem to be all the rage. There are more than 600 ETFs traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and it seems like new ones are being created almost every day. An ETF is basically a diversified investment pool that’s very similar to a mutual fund, with the exception that they’re sold or…

Comparing investment returns is a tricky task

Each investor is unique in their goals and personal risk tolerance, so their investment portfolio should be customized to their situation

Comparing investment returns is a tricky taskYou worked hard for your money and, in turn, your money should be working hard for you. However, when comparing returns, you need to be sure you’re making a fair comparison. Investors often compare their returns to that of a published benchmark such as the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), or to the returns their friends…

Managing your investments over the short and long terms

Investors often purchase investments that don’t suit their intended time frame. Do your homework, know your risk tolerance and be clear on your expectations

Managing your investments over the short and long termsWhen it comes to comparing your investment returns to others, make sure you’re comparing the exact period and investment transactions. Published returns for any investment are based on a single investment over a given period. This isn't the way most people invest, so their returns are often much different than the published numbers. The timing…
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