Navigating the mortgage marketplace

Darrell Majdell of BMO talks about what consumers need to know about the mortgage stress test and how to choose the loan that works for you

Navigating the mortgage marketplaceDarrell Majdell is regional vice-president of mortgage specialist sales force at BMO. How has the economic downturn of the last few years in Alberta affected mortgage business? Majdell: The Alberta economy has slowed over the past few years, and the real estate sector and mortgage market have felt the effects of this overall – earlier…

Can we protect privacy in a cashless society?

The key is to find digital mediums of exchange that preserve the distinct attributes of cash

Can we protect privacy in a cashless society?Canada leads the world in the transition to digitized commerce. With more than two credit cards per capita, the cashless economy is approaching swiftly. The move has been largely voluntary, driven by convenience, and half of Canadians favour dispensing with notes and coins altogether. With cash-only businesses declining to near non-existence, what’s the problem? As…

How cryptocurrency is changing basic economics

For survival, central banks have little choice but to enter the digital-currency race. But it’s a race they will eventually lose

How cryptocurrency is changing basic economicsCentral bankers increasingly sense their obsolescence – and rightly so. The more people turn to private currencies and conduct transactions without intermediaries, the less bureaucrats control the economy. In February 2019, a 33-page Bank of Canada discussion paper unwittingly admitted the vulnerability. The authors, James Chapman and Carolyn Wilkins, noted widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies as…

Demystifying the mortgage process for consumers

Mike Cameron of Axiom Mortgage talks about why home buyers need to examine all financing possibilities

Demystifying the mortgage process for consumersMike Cameron is CEO of Axiom Mortgage. What is Axiom and what does it do? Cameron: Axiom Mortgage is a national mortgage brokerage company. We offer a number of models for today's mortgage broker. We offer a full-service brokerage model for independent agents that want the best tools, technology and full-service support for compliance and…

Canada is squandering its intangible future

The digital economy is underpinned by a new class of non-physical assets. Why aren’t we investing in them?

Canada is squandering its intangible futureCanada is in danger of becoming a tenant nation, according to a recent Public Policy Forum report written by Sean Speer and Robert Asselin. Speer and Asselin describe a post-industrial Canada falling into a modern form of dependency where, although we generate world-class innovation, we lack essential infrastructure and/or skills to commercialize it. We’re simply…

Real-time wage apps helping revolutionize currency exchange

Cryptocurrencies may still be experimental but they’re already driving competitive pressure on established institutions

Real-time wage apps helping revolutionize currency exchangeYour money is worth more to you today than tomorrow. This financial truth – the time value of money – backs the case for real-time pay, a nifty tool for the benefit of workers. Although Canadian unemployment is at a four-decade low, wage growth has stagnated and bankruptcies have spiked. This is where real-time pay delivers,…

Don’t sell ATB Financial, use it to save Alberta’s finances

Let’s modernize our public accounts, and use our financial strength and institutions to advance the public interest and eliminate the debt

Don’t sell ATB Financial, use it to save Alberta’s financesWould a cash-strapped government of Alberta sell its own bank? According to reports, Scotiabank has made an offer to purchase ATB Financial. And, given the perilous fiscal conditions in the province, it's possible the government will sell. That would be huge mistake. By doing so, any government would have to betray rural Alberta and then…

Giving Alberta energy workers their own banking option

Adam Battistessa of SPARK talks about how the credit union can make a difference to workers and to the broader community

Giving Alberta energy workers their own banking optionAdam Battistessa is chair of SPARK The Energy Credit Union. What is SPARK and how does it operate? Battistessa: SPARK The Energy Credit Union is an Alberta-based credit union that is exclusively dedicated to providing financial services to Alberta’s energy industry workers, contractors and their families. Our credit union has been around for over 65 years…

How banks can help Canada’s SMEs

They could start by formalizing the treatment of intangibles so (some of them) can be collateralized for banking purposes

How banks can help Canada’s SMEsA  survey of SMEs (Small to Medium sized Enterprises) I once read laid bare the hard facts about running a technology-related business in Canada. On the upside, the ingredients for growth for SMEs were easily identified; they include better access to management, planning, marketing, manpower and product development. What was surprising, perhaps, was the realization…

3 first steps to cleaning up your finances

A financial housecleaning is at least as important as getting rid of old newspaper and kitchen crumbs

3 first steps to cleaning up your financesDo you have a hard time keeping track of bank accounts and bills? It may be time to clean up your finances. If you're like me, you clean the pantry and toss out old newspapers and flyers every week or so, but you may go several months without de-cluttering your finances. Our priorities may be…