March 2010

How do you break the cycle of poverty?

Posted by on March 31, 2010 in Mom2KG Columns

Our regular columnist, Mom2KG, is back to pose some interesting questions about women and poverty. Any tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Hats off to TMW, who has managed to keep writing an interesting and informative blog for some time now, without (yet) running out of ideas. I have never written more than once [...]

What financial records should you not throw away?

Posted by on March 30, 2010 in General Information

Preparing taxes is always a timely reminder that it is not what you are entitled to but what you can prove.  There are countless tax deductions and credits available to a taxpayer but do you have credible proof to claim it?  For example, you cannot prove a business expense with a credit card statement. You [...]

The top 3 myths of the Competition Bureau vs. CREA battle

Posted by on March 29, 2010 in Real Estate

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) owns MLS in Canada.  In response to the Competition Bureau’s (the “Bureau”) allegations that it was engaging in anti-competitive practices, CREA members voted to change the way its members could access MLS; in essence, members could access MLS by offering more than just the traditional brokerage service  whereas they [...]

Why people fail investing in ETFs

Posted by on March 24, 2010 in Investment Information

The lines between mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) have blurred over the last few years. Whereas ETFs used to be the vehicle to track broad based indexes, the flood of niche and specialty ETFs have some investors now using the same analytical approach to picking ETFs as mutual funds. Mainly, investors are buying [...]

The pros and cons of finding a job using social media

Posted by on March 23, 2010 in Jobs

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I find it a useful utility but I hate the hype that comes with it. Perhaps my issue is not with social media but its promoters who look for something-anything-to hype as another way for us to spend money. Having said that, I do believe that social [...]

The cost of bad income tax preparation

Posted by on March 22, 2010 in Taxes

Around this time every year, empty retail outlets all across the land are rented out by tax preparation businesses advertising “cheap tax preparation”, “get your tax refund now!” or “instant cash back on your taxes!” The concept itself is all well and good and, ever mindful of a household’s dollar, these types of businesses tend [...]

How many bank stocks should be in your dividend portfolio?

Posted by on March 18, 2010 in Dividends

From the mid-1990’s onward, bank stocks were the backbone of dividend investing. Bank stocks increase dividend quarter over quarter and year over year. However, all good things must come to an end and gravy train which was bank stocks paying dividends skidded off its tracks badly. In 2007, the 5 largest American financial services stocks [...]

5 easy tips to prevent against fraud

Posted by on March 17, 2010 in Investment Information

March is fraud prevention month and, right on cue, Jonathon Chevreau became the unwilling advocate of the cause by becoming a victim of debit card fraud. His story sounds a lot like mine several years ago when there was an unauthorized withdrawal from an ATM in the middle of the night. Since the reports of [...]

Personal Finance and the Entrepreneur

Posted by on March 16, 2010 in entrepreneur

One of the larger challenges of the entrepreneur or self-employed is how to manage their own personal finances. The challenge is manifold: income can be erratic, a business is a jealous cash flow mistress and the financial services industry is mostly made up of life-time employees with little understanding of the day-to-day lives of the [...]

Is personal finance a to do item or an appointment?

Posted by on March 15, 2010 in Investment Information

I used to have a good memory and, umm….where was I going with this again? …seriously, I found that this year the to do list has its limitations. It is easy to jam dozens of items onto a to do list and never get to most of them. In other words, time is not being [...]