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  • It may be only 25 years before the world has its first trillionaire
    NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 13: Businessman Bill Gates speaks to reporters at Trump Tower, December 13, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

    With a reported US$75 billion to his name, Bill Gates is the wealthiest person in the world. But it may only be a matter of a 25 years before the Microsoft co-founder, or another of his ilk, becomes the inaugural member of trillionaires club.

    The revelation comes from a new report from Oxfam International on global inequality.

    The international aid organization said that the chasm between the ultra-rich continues to grow at an “alarming” rate, with the top 1 per cent gaining more income than the bottom 50 per cent over the last 25 years.

    Oxfam pointed to Gates as evidence of this trend, noting that despite his “commendable” efforts to give much of his fortune away it has increased by more than 50 per cent, or $25 billion, since he left Microsoft in 2006.

    “If billionaires continue to secure these returns, we could see the world’s

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  • A night of fine dining with Michelin-star chef Manuel Berganza

    Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso
    One of the four pools at the resort’s Grand complex. (Mariam Matti)

    Combining a luxurious stay at a resort in sunny Playa del Carmen, Mexico and an evening of fine dining by a Michelin-star chef would make for a perfect getaway in the middle of a Canadian winter.

    I had the opportunity to visit Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso along Mexico’s Riviera Maya for four nights in the midst of the Canadian winter chill, attending one of the hotel’s series of culinary events called Chef on Tour.

    While the dining adventure was certainly the highlight, the extravagance and service that is offered at the 310 suite Grand Hotel cannot go unnoticed.

    Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso
    The oceanfront facing Grand complex. (Mariam Matti)

    The property is massive and is just one of many the Spanish company has across the Caribbean and Mexico. There are four different types of hotels where you can vacation: the Grand Collection (which is where I stayed and is an all-inclusive just for adults), Premium Gold (a 5-star experience for the whole

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  • Four things better to buy online -- and one that's not

    Some things may look like a bargain online, but you're better off shopping at a local store. (Getty)
    Some things may look like a bargain online, but you’re better off shopping at a local store. (Getty)

    As of 2014, retail e-commerce sales hit over $25 billion in Canada and are expected to hit nearly $44 billion in 2018, according to market research provider eMarketer.

    However, not all industries have been affected the same way by online shopping, and depending on what consumers are shopping for online, the internet can bring its own unique advantages and disadvantages.

    Here are five of some of the most common items Canadians shop for every day and whether it’s better to shop for it online, or in person at a brick-and-mortar store.

    Entertainment

    Entertainment is ground zero for how the internet has disrupted the way we shop — just ask Blockbuster, Rogers Video and Music World.

    The reasons are obvious. Having nearly instant access to books, music, TV shows, games and more with the tap of a screen or click of a mouse — often for a fraction of the price of picking up the same or comparable

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  • Buried by debt: study links debt and mortality rates

    Buried by debt
    [Yup, that’s how it feels sometimes/Getty Images]
    The expression “buried in debt” indicates that someone is swamped with bills, and perhaps struggling to lift themselves out of the red.

    But the expression could also take on a more morbid meaning thanks to a new study that says there is a causal relation between financial strain and being six feet under.

    The findings from the University of Colorado Denver indicate that bad credit and severely delinquent debts lead to an increased risk of death. Conversely, those with better credit scores and smaller amounts of delinquent debt had a lower probability of death.

    In fact, when someone’s credit rating received a bump of 100 points, their risk of dying declined by 4.38 per cent.

    Furthermore, going from having no severely delinquent accounts to having any, increased the mortality risk by five per cent.

    “Across the distribution, the groups with the best (credit) scores have a lower probability of death, whereas poor scores are associated with

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  • What's the remedy for Canada’s high drug prices?

    Prescription drugs
    [Why do prescription drugs cost so much in Canada?/Getty Images]
    Canada has a drug problem. Between paying 500 per cent more than, for instance, our New Zealand peers for medicine produced by homegrown companies and a fragmented public/private healthcare system – one in five Canadians pay for their own drugs – policymakers are calling on a re-jig.

    “There is no question that the current status is not fair, that it’s not right, that we’re paying much higher prices than other countries are and that’s exactly what I’m working on,” Health Minister Jane Philpott told CBC’s the Fifth Estate, in step with her message she brought to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Health Policy Forum in Paris this week.

    The Fifth Estate’s analysis compared drug prices in Canada to several other countries among them New Zealand which, like Canada, has a universally-funded healthcare system. An annual supply of Amlodipine, the popular blood pressure treatment made by Canadian company

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  • Kevin O’Leary’s most outrageous quotes about the economy

    Kevin O'Leary
    Kevin O’Leary speaks during the Conservative Party of Canada convention in Vancouver, Friday, May 27, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

    Kevin O’Leary has never been one to shy away from the spotlight.

    In particular, the reality TV star and business mogul hasn’t pulled any punches when talking about the Canadian economy.

    With that in mind, here are some prominent quotes from O’Leary, who officially announced his entry into the Conservative Party’s leadership race on Wednesday, about a variety of fiscal issues.

    NAFTA and Trudeau

    O’Leary has expressed his doubts about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ability to handle potential NAFTA negotiations with incoming U.S. president Donald Trump.

    “My imagery of that, Donald Trump versus Trudeau, is Godzilla versus Bambi. It’s going to be ugly,” he said.

    The former “Dragon’s Den” star has also been outspoken in his criticism for the federal government’s plan that would require all provinces and territories to have some form of carbon

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  • Canadian inventor looking to make people’s lives simpler with the Swiss Army Knife of backpacks
    Lifepack creator Adrian Solgaard poses with his creation. (Lifepack)

    Adrian Solgaard was sitting at a cafe near the Arco de Triunfo in Barcelona, Spain when his female companion’s backpack, which was sitting on the ground, was stolen.

    “We were chatting … and somewhere (along the way) we got distracted by just staring deeply into each other’s eyes,” Solgaard told Yahoo Finance Canada on the phone from Denmark, recalling the incident from December 2015.

    The theft left his “beautiful” companion, and now girlfriend, without her laptop, personal belongings and Bluetooth speakers, recently purchased for her by Solgaard.

    It’s the type of scenario that could ruin any trip, but instead the 30-year-old Canadian used it as motivation to create an innovative product that he had been dreaming up since he was 18 years old, travelling across Europe and wishing there was a way to lock up his bag, rather than wrapping its straps around his leg to keep it safe from thieves.

    “I was like, ‘Nope. Screw

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  • Tell us: How will Trump's presidency affect Canada's economy?

    Trump in Toronto
    Donald Trump is seen at the grand opening of the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto in this April 16, 2012 file photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Dominic Chan)

    Throughout the U.S. presidential campaign, we heard much from Donald Trump about how he wants to bring jobs and industry back to American soil, rip up NAFTA, build walls and enact all other manners of protectionist policies.

    But how will all of that affect Canada? Will American companies continue to produce goods in Canada? Will there be an economic void in the world that Canada is poised to fill? Will the loonie soar or take a dive?

    If America is made great again, as Donald Trump has said (and trademarked), will Canada be better off?

    So tell us, is Donald Trump a friend or foe to Canada’s economy?

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  • Here's what you should be looking for in a financial advisor

    Financial planner
    [Make sure you find someone who’s got a plan that works for your lifestyle/Getty Images]
    Picking a financial advisor can be a daunting experience. Most people aren’t even sure what to look for. All they know is they want someone who isn’t going to mess up their chance for a comfortable retirement. When you think about it, it’s one of the biggest decisions you make, since the quality of your advisor can affect your quality of life for decades. So it’s important to get the right fit, and make sure you find an advisor that will take your best interest to heart, rather than just offer cookie-cutter advice that leaves you short of cash when you really need it.

    Here’s are pointers to finding the right advisor for you:

    Figure out what you’re looking for

    Do you want someone to simply manage your investments, or do you want someone who can take a bigger picture approach of your spending needs, financial resources, and then give you coaching on how to apportion your spending?

    “People realize

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  • Sugar daddy website SeekingArrangement.com says there are an increasing number of students are turning to their services due to rising debt levels.
    Sugar daddy website SeekingArrangement.com says there are an increasing number of students are turning to their services due to rising debt levels.

    One of the largest sugar daddy sites said its ranks are growing at universities because of a “crisis” in terms of student debt levels in Canada.

    SeekingArrangement.com released its annual list of membership at Canadian institutions last week.

    Courtesy SeekingArrangements.com
    Courtesy SeekingArrangement.com

    The University of Alberta saw the biggest increase from the previous year, with 138 students signing up as sugar babies in 2016. A total of 422 students at the institution are now members of the site.

    The most sugar babies on the site are from the University of Toronto, with 683 registered members as of January 11, when the report was published.

    In total, 206,800 students in Canada are currently enrolled on SeekingArrangement.com, up from 156,000 as of December 2015.

    The CEO of SeekingArrangement.com, Brandon Wade, pointed to the growing numbers as a sign that students are

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  • Canadians are out-of-touch when it comes to reno budgeting

    The majority of Canadians are underestimating the cost of home renovations, and bathrooms are the biggest out-of-control expense. (Getty)
    The majority of Canadians are underestimating the cost of home renovations, and bathrooms are the biggest out-of-control expense. (Getty)

    Canadians are under-budgeting on some key home renovations, according to data collected from two million homeowners by TrustedPros.

    Bathroom renovations, which five out of ten provinces ranked as most commonly searched and quoted project in 2016, proved to also be the most ill-planned from a budget perspective, says the website, which helps Canadians research and review contractors as well as get free estimates for projects. Canadians, who are attracted by the roughly 70 to 100 per cent return on updating their bathroom, budgeted $7,905.80 on average.

    “This budget may be appropriate for homeowners who are giving a small bathroom – 5ft by 6-8ft – a facelift, rather than a full reno,” says the report. “However, gutting a bathroom and installing all new drywall, insulation, and fixtures can dig into your wallet – any budget under $11,000 is really

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  • This actor shows how to maximize a 150-square-foot apartment

    Anthony Triolo has attracted attention for his tiny apartment. (Instagram)
    Anthony Triolo has attracted attention for his tiny apartment. (Instagram)

    When you live in a small space, it can take a little creativity and a lot of patience to make it a livable, homey residence. New York City resident Anthony Triolo shows that with some ingenuity, you can make just about any space chic.

    The actor managed to find a place on Craigslist, the first that he noted “wasn’t a scam,” but as square footage is at a premium in the city, he was forced to make due with a space that was little bigger than a walk-in closet.

    That doesn’t leave much room for function, let alone form — or so the average person would think.

    “The rent was low, plus it was clean, and the bathroom had been nicely renovated,” Triolo told New York Magazineexplaining why he was drawn to the unit despite it being only 150 square feet. 

    When your bed is 7′ in the air…

    A photo posted by Anthony Triolo (@anthony_triolo) on Dec 28, 2016 at 10:09am PST

    But Triolo has a degree in architecture and used that

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  • Toronto’s condo renters feeling burn of city’s red-hot housing market
    The Toronto skyline is seen behind construction cranes in Toronto on Saturday, February 4, 2012. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit)

    Prospective homeowners in Toronto aren’t the only ones getting burned by Toronto’s red-hot housing market.

    According to a new report by Urbanation, a real estate consulting and market research firm, the average rent in the city jumped by a record rate of 11.7 per cent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2016, thanks to a shortage of listings.

    This marked a “dramatic acceleration” from the same period last year, which saw rates jump by 4.2 per cent.

    On the back of this spike, monthly rent for a typical 719-square-foot unit reached nearly $1,990 in the Greater Toronto Area.

    Rents saw the biggest rise in Toronto downtown core, as the average price for a condo was $2,134, up 12 per cent from the fourth quarter last year.

    Meanwhile, the average rate in the suburbs of Etobicoke, North York and Scarborough rose by seven per cent to $1,857. Rent in the

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  • Blue Monday: Turn that 'worst day of the year' into something better

    Blue Monday got you down? There's a way to turn it around. (Getty)
    Blue Monday got you down? There’s a way to turn it around. (Getty)

    Every year when the holiday hangover rolls around, Canadians wince at their credit card statements as they start rolling in mid-January. Cliff Arnall, the former Cardiff University lecturer responsible for dubbing January 16 “Blue Monday” (otherwise known as the most miserable day of the year based on elements like debt, motivation and weather) shudders at the slew of headlines today that’ll cite his pseudoscientific 2005 conclusion as fact.

    Well Mr. Arnall, we’re with you: while it’s impossible to point to one day as the worst of the year, January certainly feels like the right realm of the calendar to tack a “Blue Monday” (or two). Those credit card statements from the holidays start rolling in and the weather is miserable.

    “I think January is a pretty depressing month in general,” says Wade Stayzer, Vice President of sales and services at Meridian Credit Union. “You’re in that position where big credit card bills have

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  • Indonesia plans to let you name and manage its islands

    Indonesia plans to let you name and manage its islands
    RIAU, INDONESIA – APRIL 16: A fishing boat seen docked on the coast of North Rupat Island below a bright orange sky, at early morning on April 16, 2016 in Riau, Indonesia. (Riau Images / Barcroft India / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

    Figures vary but some estimates have counted more than 18,000 islands in the Indonesia archipelago, only 14,752 of which have official names.

    That’s why the Southeast Asian country is allowing foreign investors to step in to manage and name some of them, according to Quartz.

    Luhut Pandjaitan, co-ordinating minister for Maritime Affairs, said earlier this week that Indonesia would retain ownership of the islands, while investors could lease and give them names.

    “They can give it any name they want, as long as they report to us,” Pandjaitan told Tempo.co, a weekly magazine and website in Indonesia.

    The qualifying islands would be designated for tourism.

    Sofyan Djalil, Indonesia’s minister of agrarian and spatial planning, supports the idea if adequate

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