A clear-eyed look at the first-time home buyers aid program

Robert McLister, managing editor of Rates.ca, talks about the pitfalls of the government program and why fewer Canadians are likely to take part than anticipated

A clear-eyed look at the first-time home buyers aid programRobert McLister is managing editor at Rates.ca. What is Rates.ca? McLister: Rates.ca compares insurance, mortgages and credit cards from dozens of companies across Canada. By juxtaposing numerous providers, it's easier for consumers to quickly compare terms and find the best prices. How does the new down payment assistance program for first-time homebuyers work? McLister: The…

Alberta leads country with highest average debt levels

Alberta leads country with highest average debt levelsCities in Alberta continue to lead the country with average consumer debt levels. A report released on Tuesday by Equifax found that Fort McMurray had average debt (excluding mortgages) of $39,466 in the second quarter of this year, up 1.3 per cent from a year ago. Calgary saw a year-over-year hike of 0.4 per cent…

Lifting day-to-day financial stress off employees

Darcy Tuer talks about how ZayZoon is motivated by social impact to allow workers to access their earned wages any time

Lifting day-to-day financial stress off employeesDarcy Tuer is CEO of ZayZoon. He started the company with co-founder Tate Hackert. What is ZayZoon and what does it do? Tuer: ZayZoon is a socially responsible, financial technology and employee wellness company. We partner and integrate with payroll companies to provide employees with the ability to access their earned wages any time rather…

Canadians $1.77 in debt for every dollar of disposable income

The "good news" is that debt is growing at a slower pace

Canadians $1.77 in debt for every dollar of disposable incomeHousehold credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income fell to 177.1 per cent in the second quarter of this year, the third consecutive quarterly decline, as income grew slightly faster than debt, according to a report released Friday by Statistics Canada. “In other words, there was $1.77 in credit market debt for…

High net-worth Canadians focusing on preserving their wealth

The reasons for that include market uncertainty, geopolitical turmoil and home-grown tax changes

High net-worth Canadians focusing on preserving their wealthHigh net-worth Canadians are shifting their focus from generating wealth to preserving what they have, with 82 per cent saying it's more important than ever to 'future-proof' their wealth, says a new study released Wednesday by RBC Wealth Management. The reasons for that include market uncertainty, geopolitical turmoil and home-grown tax changes. "While investment and…

Workplace financial stress costs economy $16B a year: survey

Workplace financial stress costs economy $16B a year: surveyFinancial stress in the workplace is costing the Canadian economy close to $16 billion a year in lost productivity –and that’s a very conservative estimate, says a survey released on Wednesday by the Canadian Payroll Association. The association's 2019 National Payroll Week Survey of Employed Canadians found that 43 per cent of workers are so…

Moral investment constraints too onerous for pension funds

Never mind that reducing the choices available to a fund manager can result in negative consequences for pensioners

Moral investment constraints too onerous for pension fundsSome Canadian institutional investment and pension funds have faced scrutiny recently because they owned or own shares in American prison-management companies GEO and CoreCivic. That criticism is unwarranted and unfair. These firms operate prisons, detention centres and rehabilitation facilities in the U.S. Given that the U.S. incarcerates more people than anywhere else in the world,…

The rise of the student loan debt is killing initiative

The world has changed a lot but we still try to convince youth that they must go to expensive schools and take on debt that will burden them for years

The rise of the student loan debt is killing initiativeThe dream of future success is fading for many North American youth as higher education cost keeps rising. For example, according to official data, United States student loan debt increased from US$619 billion to US$1.56 trillion during the last decade. Canadian student loan debt exceeds $3 billion right now. Who’s at fault for the student…

Delivering wedding vows and wows in creative ways

Michaelle LeManne Lamb says the potential for wedding creativity is endless at Azuridge Estate Hotel

Delivering wedding vows and wows in creative waysMichaelle LeManne Lamb is wedding director at Azuridge Estate Hotel. How has the challenging economy in Calgary in recent years impacted the wedding industry? Michaelle: Couples have definitely become more cognizant of how they spend their wedding dollars in recent years. The reality is that weddings are not a necessary expense, but are tied to…

Cash-strapped Canadians using homes as ATMs to pay off bills

Overall consumer credit balances continued to grow in the second quarter – up to $1.88 trillion

Cash-strapped Canadians using homes as ATMs to pay off billsCash-strapped Canadians may be treating their homes like ATMS to pay off their bills, says a study by MNP Ltd. In a news release on Tuesday, the largest insolvency firm in Canada said three in 10 Canadian homeowners with a home equity line of credit (HELOC) say they have used the funds borrowed to pay…