General Information

Do self-help books actually help?

Posted by on March 15, 2011 in General Information

Safest of thoughts and best wishes to all in Japan and anyone affected by the earthquake. Yahoo! Finance recently ran an article on why most self-help books “stink” based upon research conducted by Christine B. Whelan (the long-form abstract can be found here).  As Whelan’s research indicates, self-help books have exploded accounting for 1.1 percent [...]

Severance Pay: a crash course

Posted by on February 24, 2011 in General Information

I have been receiving questions about information on severance pay (I use the term in its generic sense rather than the legal one). Rather than reinventing the wheel, I would reference readers to my previous posts about severance pay. Specifically, Severance pay: what am I entitled to? Severance pay in bankruptcy situations. If you are [...]

Is it time for a white collar court?

Posted by on November 17, 2010 in General Information

Despite several high profile arrests of people who ran ponzi schemes, ponzi schemes continue to exist because of an embarrassment factor. No one wants to report that they have been taken. A secondary factor may be that the authorities are not well equipped to deal with white-collar crime. For example, it was reported yesterday that [...]

The end of unlimited data plans?

Posted by on June 8, 2010 in General Information

AT & T announced last week that it was doing away with its unlimited data plans in lieu of cheaper entry points for data.  The move was widely perceived to improve network quality and will most likely be the first of many similar announcements by other cellphone carriers. Smart Phones can use up to 7 [...]

How do I determine an appropriate savings rate?

Posted by on May 18, 2010 in General Information

The word “de-leveraging” came and went in about 2 months during the credit crisis. An initial upswing in the household savings rate seemed to be a blimp and not a pattern. After a short period of  frugality,  Canada’s savings rate fell to 4.6% in Q1 2010 according to Statistics Canada (it was in the 6% [...]

How to be a smart customer

Posted by on April 8, 2010 in General Information

Ellen Roseman is a consumer advocate and blogger who recently celebrated her blog’s 3rd anniversary. In her anniversary note she noted, sadly, that she believed things have gotten worse for consumers who want to resolve problems without trying to garner publicity or through legal channels.  In a world where many large companies are publicly traded, [...]

If the economy grows, do my stocks go up as well?

Posted by on April 6, 2010 in General Information

Kevin O’Leary, host of  the television show Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank, is a screaming head who never a person he couldn’t talk over. Having said that, he should be admired as a canny entrepreneur and for understanding and exploiting the modern media game well- scream first, scream loud and scream last; it will get [...]

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 [...]

Sending a child away to school? 5 tips to save money

Posted by on August 26, 2009 in General Information

School can be an expensive endeavor.  Tuition, books, room, food, spending money- it all adds up. What are some ways to save money if you are sending your kids away to school? 1. Budget Have a very candid conversation before you send your kids to school on what you are willing to spend. Stick to [...]

Why do unemployment rates and stock market indexes both go up?

Posted by on April 9, 2009 in General Information

During the recovery from the 1990′s recession, a lot of outrage was aimed at the fact that when a company announced lay-offs the stock market indexes went up; this appears to be a trend we have seen recently. But, if rising unemployment rates are a bad thing for the economy, why are stock indexes going [...]