• Corporate profit margins are at their highest point in nearlythree decades, propped up in part by a lower Canadian dollar and cheaper labour costs, a new report shows.

    CIBC says average corporate profit margins hit a 27-year high in the fourth quarter of last year and are expected to remain robust despite the recent downturn in the oil patch.

    "By all measures, higher corporate profit margins are here to stay," says Benjamin Tal, CIBC’s deputy chief economist and author of the report.

    The bank said the average profit margin of all non-financial corporations grew to 8.2 per cent of sales in the fourth quarter of 2014. When the embattled energy sector is stripped out, profit margins are at 7.6 per cent, their highest in almost three decades.

    It also noted the gap between non-energy profit margins and real GDP growth is “about as large as in any non-recessionary period in the past 25 years.”

    CIBC said corporate profit margins have averaged about 5 per cent throughout recent history, but

    Read More »from Canada’s corporate profits at 27-year high: CIBC
  • When David Premi was looking to design and build his Hamilton co-working space Seedworks, he bought a 125-year-old buggy whips factory with floor-to-ceiling windows.

    “The walls are almost entirely glass – huge expanses of window – with small brick tiers in between them because, of course, there was no electric light back then and they had to have natural light to operate,” Premi, whose firm David Premi Architects Inc. focuses on sustainability and urban renewal, he tells Yahoo Canada Finance. “We can work without any electric lights in here, on bright days we turn them all off, and it’s just lovely.”

    Premi’s co-working space capitalizes on a growing push towards making office spaces as natural as possible. A recent report called Human Spaces – which examines the global impact of biophilic, natural and environment-conscious design – found that employees working in environments with natural elements have a 15 per cent higher level of well being, are 6 per cent more productive and 15 per

    Read More »from Productivity: The case for au natural offices
  • A growing number of Canadians are calling the bottom of the mortgage-rate market and choosing to lock in monthly payments, a new survey suggests.

    A CIBC poll, conducted byNielsen, says 57 per cent of Canadians aren’t betting on mortgage rates to fall further and would choose a fixed-rate mortgage if they were to acquire, refinance or renew a mortgage today.

    That’s up from 48 per cent of Canadians who said they’d choose fixed rates when the survey was done in 2014 and just 39 per cent in 2011.

    The CIBC poll says 30 per cent of respondents would pick a variable-rate mortgage if they were to acquire, refinance or renew a mortgage today, while 11 per cent weren’t sure.

    "The poll results confirm what many of our clients are telling us, that they don’t expect rates to go any lower and, in today’s housing market, they want the comfort and security of knowing exactly what their mortgage payments will be for the next four or five years," says Barry Gollom, a vice president at CIBC. He also

    Read More »from Borrowers lock in, lenders offer choice in competitive spring housing market
  • Miners Teck, Antofagasta explore merger: report

    (Reuters) - Teck Resources Ltd and Antofagasta Plc denied on Monday that they were in talks about a merger after Bloomberg news reported that the two mining companies were in early stage talks.

    Teck said in statement it was not in discussions with Antofagasta "in relation to any form of transaction."

    Vancouver-based Teck also said there "no other corporate developments that justify any significant movement in its share price." Teck's stock surged 11 percent to close at C$19.45 after the Bloomberg report.

    The news agency, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter, earlier reported that Teck and London-listed Antofagasta had explored a merger that would create one of the world's biggest copper producers.

    With a market value of $8.1 billion (5.4 billion pounds), Teck is Canada's largest diversified mining company, with operations including copper, zinc and coal mines in the Americas. It is backed by Canada's Keevil family.

    Chilean copper producer Antofagasta has a market value

    Read More »from Miners Teck, Antofagasta explore merger: report
  • It’s been a rough year so far for people who work in retail. First Target said it would take a mulligan on the 133 stores it had opened in Canada, and then Future Shop welcomes its employees to work this past Saturday with notices telling 1,500 of them they’re out of a job.

    Now a group of workers turfed out by Best Buy’s decision to shut down its Future Shop stores say the severance cheques they were offered are too low, and not in line with Canadian labour practices.

    “What I discovered pretty much consistently amongst all the people that I’ve spoken to is that the offers were completely inadequate,” says Lior Samfiru, a labour lawyer retained to negotiate for higher packages for a number of former employees.

    While Samfiru admits the company may be operating within the letter of Ontario law, the payouts fall well below levels that previous court decisions have established as a fair level.

    “(Provincial law) is only a minimum, and every employee has significantly greater severance rights

    Read More »from Future shop severance packages not up to snuff, says lawyer
  • It feels a bit like Canada’s auto industry is circling the drain.

    With General Motors of Canada shuttering one of its Oshawa plants next year and the future of the other up in the air with no new vehicles in the pipeline and production of vehicles – like the Chevrolet Camaro – headed to Lansing, Michigan, Canada stands to lose big, according to an economic impact study released by Unifor – the union which represents Canadian autoworkers.

    The closures would wipe out 30,000 jobs, strip the federal and provincial government of $1 billion in revenue a year and erode the province’s GDP by $5 billion in 2016 alone, says the report.

    Calls for comment to General Motors of Canada were not returned.

    “Clearly Canada is getting beat by far more aggressive competitors south of the border,” says Pete Mateja, co-director of the Office of Automotive and Vehicle Research at University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business. “We’ve got a highly-educated work force and good work ethic but the cost of

    Read More »from GM Oshawa plant closures would have sweeping economic impact: Unifor
  • With so many tax-related computer programs out there, filing your own income taxes doesn’t have to be complicated. But not even the most sophisticated software can prevent people from making the kind of dumb mistakes—or from telling little lies—that raise a red flag with the Canada Revenue Association.  

    Here’s a look at common blunders that tend to trigger assessments or audits.

    Extra zeros:

    There’s a big difference between claiming $15,350 on meals and entertainment for business expenses and $1,530.

    “Accounting firms received an email from CRA last week about taxpayers adding extra zeros, resulting in huge tax liabilities,” says Christian Stewart, certified general accountant and founder of North Vancouver’s Stewart & Associates. Be sure to triple-check your return before filing.

    Fibbing about a pastime being a business:

    “Taxpayers will often claim a hobby business on their tax return, reporting losses year after year,” Stewart says. “Common ones would be an artist who never sells a

    Read More »from Common tax blunders likely to trigger an audit
  • What’s the cost of intolerance? Billions of dollars worth of business, as Indiana is about to find out.

    In an interview with Re/code, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff threatened a “slow rolling of sanctions” if the state doesn’t recant on a law allowing businesses to refuse to serve the LGBT community on religious grounds without fear of legal repercussion.

    Salesforce, a cloud computing company which has a market capitalization of nearly $43 billion and employs close to 3000 in Indianapolis – having just acquired email marketing company ExactTarget for $2.5 billion – has already cancelled upcoming events held in Indiana.

    The move follows a letter sent Wednesday by Benioff and six other tech executives asking Indiana Governor Mike Pence to veto the controversial legislation dubbed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

    “As leaders of technology companies, we not only disagree with this legislation on a personal level, but the RFRA will adversely impact our ability to recruit and retain the

    Read More »from Salesforce cancels events in Indiana over anti-LGBT law
  • Canadians missing chance for cash with medical tax credit

    A pharmacist pours Truvada pills back into the bottle at Jack's Pharmacy on November 23, 2010. (Getty Images)A pharmacist pours Truvada pills back into the bottle at Jack's Pharmacy on November 23, 2010. (Getty Images)

    One of the least-used tax credits is also one of the murkiest. But by not claiming certain health-care costs via the Medical Expense Tax Credit, Canadians could be losing big dollars.

    “The opportunity to save money is not used…because you’ve got to keep some records and have some efficient way to calculate the deduction,” says John Crawford, chartered accountant and chief financial officer of health insurer Pacific Blue Cross. “There’s a lot of interpretations as to whether something qualifies or doesn’t qualify in relation to the Canada Revenue Agency. Certain items need qualification and certain items are not quite clear. But things that are not claimed can all add up.”

    A good example is premiums paid to a provincial health plan. These are not eligible. However, premiums you pay to an insurer through workplace benefits programs generally are.

    “Why is one deductible and why is one not? It depends what province you’re in as well,” Crawford says.

    Inconsistencies are another reason the

    Read More »from Canadians missing chance for cash with medical tax credit
  • Mortgage wars; it’s probably the best soap opera going.

    It wasn’t long ago that we had the big banks undercutting each other to the point that former Finance Minister Jim Flaherty stepped inand told them to quit it. That was two years ago, and with rates now even lower, the drama has spread down to the smaller brokers jostling for space at the table.

    In the latest installment, mortgage website RateHub.ca has kicked broker Spin Mortgage off of its platform, accusing the Vancouver operation of dangling a 2.44 per cent loan that was just bait to get customers to its own site.

    What both sides agree is that RateHub indeed booted Spin Mortgage. The why is a point of dispute.

    “We believe in financial transparency and not allowing teaser rates or bait-and-switch rates being posted that gets someone on the phone and then … transitioned into another products,” says Kerri-Lynn McAllister, chief marketing officer at RateHub.

    She says the 2.44 five-year fixed mortgage – which is certainly low, but

    Read More »from Broker booted from RateHub as gloves come off in mortgage wars
  • Stop me if this sounds familiar: You scour MLS for the semi that will rescue you from a life in a high-rise. Mortgage pre-approval in place, you bid well above asking, because you live in Toronto and that’s how it works. The selling agent comes back and says there’s another stronger bid, and couldn’t you do a bit more? You swallow hard and cough up another $10,000, sealing the deal, and only later wondering if there really was a competing offer in the first place.

    It’s tough to know how often this happens, but with interest rates still rock-bottom and bidding wars turning post-war bungalows into million-dollar properties, the Ontario government is bringing in new rules to crack down on unethical real estate agents that try to pump up housing prices with “phantom” offers.

    “It’s all in the context of these bidding wars, and the idea is a potential buyer knowing ‘am I in competition, and how many people am I in competition with?’” says Bruce Matthews, deputy registrar of the Real Estate

    Read More »from New Ontario real estate rules to take some of the nuttiness out of bidding wars
  • Canadians may be rubbing their hands with glee at the money they’re saving at the gas pumps, but there are consequences of lower oil prices that could hit other parts of their budgets, a TD Bank report notes.

    Canadian households will save an average of up to $800 this year on gasoline as a result of oil’s 50-per-cent plunge since last summer, TD economists say. 

    However, roughly two-thirds of those savings could be eaten up by the higher cost of imported consumer goods, such as food, clothing and health care products, now that the Canadian dollar has depreciated amid oil’s decline.

    “The weaker dollar is likely to put offsetting upward pressure on a number of consumer prices. By our calculations, this pass-through impact may be as much as $600 per household,” says the report, written by TD economists Craig Alexander, Derek Burleton and Randall Bartlett.

    Even gasoline prices are starting to creep higher, in part because Canada imports some fuel from U.S. refineries.

    “However, on a net

    Read More »from Higher cost of imported goods to eat up Canadian gas savings: report
  • Clearly, Warren Buffett loves mac n’ cheese.

    The billionaire investor’s Berkshire Hathaway and Brazil-based investment firm 3G Capital – who bought Heinz together in 2013 – are partnering up again to buy Kraft Foods Group. 3G led the Burger King and Tim Hortons merger last year.

    “The acquisition itself is not actually surprising – what I’m surprised about is who’s involved,” says Sylvain Charlebois professor of food distribution and policy at the University of Guelph. “Warren Buffett has always been interested in solid brands and companies doing relatively well but in Kraft’s case I would say numbers were sluggish in the last few years.”

    He points to underperforming brands like Jell-O, Kraft Dinner, Velveeta and Oscar Mayer.

    “We saw what happened with Heinz, he had confidence in the band equity and I suspect it’s the same for Kraft but I do suspect the acquisition to lead to further restructuring,” says Charlebois pointing to lay-offs and cutting back of a few brands or doppelganger

    Read More »from Kraft deal a curious bet for Buffett, but consumers have nothing to fear
  • 16 Smartphones That Were Deemed ‘iPhone Killer,’ 2008-2011

    After the first iPhone came out in 2007, tech publications rushed to identify the phone that would be the “iPhone killer.”

    SPOILER: Apple sold more than 190 million iPhones last year. It is safe to say that the iPhone has not, in fact, been killed.

    1. Google Nexus One

    Nexus OneNexus One

    2. The BlackBerry Torch 9800

    Blackberry TorchBlackberry Torch

    3. The Palm Pre

    Palm PrePalm Pre

    4. The Galaxy S II

    Galaxy S IIGalaxy S II

    5. The Motorola Droid

    Motorola DroidMotorola Droid

    6. The Else phone

    Else PhoneElse Phone

    7. The entirety of Windows Phone 7

    Windows Phone 7Windows Phone 7

    8. The BlackBerry Storm

      Storm  Storm

    Blackberry StormBlackberry Storm

    9. The HTC Evo 4G

    EvoEvo

    Evo 4GEvo 4G

    10. The Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X10

    Xperia X10Xperia X10

    11. The HTC HD2

    HD2HD2

    12. The LG KU990

    KU990KU990

    13. The LG Viewty KU990

    The LG Viewty KU990The LG Viewty KU990

    14. The Samsung SGH-F480

    SGH-F480SGH-F480

    15. The HTC Touch

    HTC TouchHTC Touch

    HTC TouchHTC Touch

    16. The LG Voyager

    LG VoyagerLG Voyager

    Read More »from 16 Smartphones That Were Deemed ‘iPhone Killer,’ 2008-2011
  • Lululemon’s (LULU) stock has seen a solid lift-off this year with shares up 14%. To keep that momentum flowing investors want the yoga retailer to deliver an upbeat outlook when it reports quarterly results on Thursday. However, some on Wall Street are losing faith.

     Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    This week Canaccord Genuity warned the year is off to a slow start and cut its price target on the shares to $55, even though the retailer already said holiday sales were strong. “Back in January, they gave guidance for same store sales for the 4Q and it looks pretty bright,” says Christine Short of Estimize. Indeed, in a press release, Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin told investors comparable sales will rise as much as 7% adding, “we are entering 2015 in very good shape.”

    Related: Lululemon Updates Guidance for fourth quarter of fiscal 2015

    The team at Stifel says most of the good news is priced into the stock, unless the company can deliver strong 2015 guidance

    Read More »from Lululemon’s cult following is key to future share gains
  • Canada may not be in a recession, but the employment market is sure acting like it is. The headlines have been bad enough, with oil sands players like Suncor and Nexen slashing payrolls, and Target Canada unloading 17,000 workers as it slumps its way out of town.

    But the economic data shows it, too. Annual employment growth, as measured by Statistics Canada, has been below 1 per cent for the past 15 months, which is the first time that’s happened outside of recessionary times in about four decades.

    But hey, at least spring’s finally here, right?

    You have to go back to the height of the 2008-09 financial crisis and ensuing recession to see a worse jobs performance. And things were even darker back in the early 90s, when that recession led to three years of declines.

    We’re certainly not there, but the books may not be closed on the whole recession thing, either, as the price of oil bumps along at $47 a barrel. You might be celebrating that fact as you fill your SUV for a song, but in

    Read More »from Someone please tell the jobs market we’re not in a recession
  • 5 Tech Tools to Make Your Teen a Safer Driver

    I still remember the look on my daughter’s face the first time she plowed her car into a tree.

    She was four years old. The car was a battery-powered Barbie-mobile with a maximum speed of 3.2 mph. As the car moved, very slowly, toward the enormous live oak on our neighbor’s lawn, she threw both hands in the air and screamed.

    Tree, Barbie-mobile, and daughter all emerged unscathed. But at the time I remember wondering what was going to happen when she was 16 and climbed behind the wheel of a real car.

    Read: 7 Survival Tools for Parents of Teenagers

    Driving is one of the most dangerous things your teenager can do. It’s the leading cause of death for people age 16 to 19, per the Centers for Disease Control. Aside from the usual problems caused by inexperience, overconfidence, and inebriation, a host of technological distractions make it even more deadly.

     

    (uKnowKids.com)

    Teens are four times more likely than adults to get into a crash while texting or talking on the phone, according to

    Read More »from 5 Tech Tools to Make Your Teen a Safer Driver
  • It must be hard being a Nigerian prince. I mean, every time you try to get someone to stash your cash – for a nominal fee, of course (wink!) – in an overseas bank account, you’re hit with skepticism thanks to all those scam artists trying to rip-off the average non-Nigerian-prince-knowing Canadian.

    These are the same sort of Canadians that account for the $70 million fraudsters pocketed in 2014, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. Which is why Canada’s growing fraud problems – scam artists claimed $53 million in 2013 – keep Phil Norris, spokesperson for the Competition Bureau, up at night.

    “Fighting fraud is a never-ending battle, it does not discriminate, and no one is immune from it,” says Norris. “What that means is that whatever your education or income… no matter where you live, you can still fall victim to fraud.”

    And the perpetrators are only getting better at it.

    “Naturally, with the rise in popularity of online purchasing and social media use, we have seen a shift away

    Read More »from Money Minute: Canada’s top scams
  • Common myths are everywhere: sharks don’t get cancer (not true); the Great Wall of China is visible from space (ditto). They exist in the world of personal finance, too.

    Myth: I don’t need to worry about our budget or finances because my partner manages the money.

    Fact: “Even if someone else is in the driver’s seat, you should be an active passenger; not asleep in the backseat,” says Linda MacKay, senior vice president, retail savings and investing at TD Canada Trust. “Sit down at least a few times a year to review your finances, budget and goals. You should know where your accounts are and have access to your investment, credit, and bank statements. And even though you’re not the driver, you still might be responsible for any financial accidents, so taking ownership of decisions is important for everyone involved.”

    Myth: I should avoid saving until all my debt is paid off.

    Fact: “While it’s important to pay off your debt, it’s also important to save for your future,” MacKay says. “One

    Read More »from Top 10 personal-finance myths
  • The CRTC’s decision to mandate cable and satellite television distributors to offer an entry-level service to customers for no more than $25 per month may open the door to increased choice, but it also comes with a dark side for consumers who have been waiting for years for a break on their television bills.

    The new rules, announced Thursday by chair and CEO Jean-Pierre Blais, requires television service providers to make the low-cost packages available no later than March 2016.

    By December of next year, consumers who want more than just the basic package of local and regional stations, public interest channels, education outlets and community channels and services will be able to subscribe to additional channels a la carte as well as via small, affordable packages.

    Consumers will also have the right to retain their existing television services, if they wish.

    Be careful what you wish for

    While consumers have long bristled at being forced to buy channels in bundles, the impending arrival

    Read More »from CRTC OKs pick-and-pay, but it’ll cost you
  • The lower Canadian dollar appears to be encouraging Canadians to travel, shop and entertain themselves within their own borders, new data from Statistics Canada shows.

    That’s good news for businesses selling goods and services in the country, and could help to offset a drop in economic growth expected as a result of lower oil prices.

    StatsCan said travel abroad by Canadians fell 3.2 per cent in January compared to December, driven largely by a drop in car trips to destinations south of the border.

    The figures suggest low gas prices aren’t inspiring Canadians to drive their cars south of the border.

    Same-day car trips to the U.S. fell 6 per cent in January compared to December and a whopping 14 per cent compared January 2014.

    “Aside from the financial crisis (when the C$ absolutely tanked for a spell), this is the biggest fall in more than a decade,” BMO Capital Markets chief economist Douglas Porter said in a note titled “Lower loonie quashes cross-border shopping spree.”

    Porter notes

    Read More »from Trips to U.S. fall to four-year low despite lower gas prices: StatsCan
  • If you could high five one person, living or not, who would it be?

    There’s actually no wrong answer to this question for Lululemon job candidates – well, not true, you might want to avoid high-fiving the company’s scandal-plagued founder Chip Wilson, in our expert opinion.

    The question tops job search and salary resource website Glassdoor’s list of 10 oddball interview questions asked in Canada.

    But the list, which features gems like: “If Labatt gave you a million dollars with the condition that you’d have to pay it back in 3 years, what would you do with it?” from Labatt or Telus’ “How can we move Mount Fuji?” is sure to inspire a bit of head scratching.

    Which is precisely the point says Dr. Roberta Neault, a career management specialist and president of B.C.-based Life Strategies.

    “Obviously, Telus is not concerned about how to move Mount Fuji,” says Neault. “But Telus is concerned about how you would take what seems to be an insurmountable problem and attack it.”

    Or sometimes

    Read More »from The weirdest interview questions asked by Canadian companies
  • Low interest rates appear to be inspiring Canadians to rack up more debt – a trend that started up again even before the Bank of Canada’s recent rate cut  - a new report shows.

    The latest data from credit report agency TransUnion show the debt level per average consumer (not including mortgages) increased 2.3 per to $21,428 in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to the same time a year earlier. The Bank of Canada cut its benchmark rate to 0.75 per cent in late January of this year.

    Most of the gains were in lower interest-rate products such as instalment loans and lines of credit, TransUnion said. For instance, line-of-credit balances rose 4.4 per cent in the last year, to an average of $30,554 in the fourth quarter, while average instalment loan debt levels rose 2.4 per cent to $22,187.

    Meantime, credit card balances - which often carry high interest rates in the double digits - dropped more than 2 per cent to $3,659.

    TransUnion says the overall trend of Canadians reducing debt has

    Read More »from Canadians pile on non-mortgage debt: report
  • Expect to see a lot fewer construction cranes dotting the landscape across Alberta as plummeting oil prices lead to project cancellations and delays, and thousands of job losses across the sector, a new report shows.

    According to the latest industry forecast from BuildForce Canada, it could be three years before there’s a rebound in the province, and that’s if oil starts to recover next year.

    “Impacts spread out from the oil and gas industry, reaching housing, government and other consumer and business spending. Alberta’s construction industry will face the brunt of the effects,” according to the report from BuildForce, which represents Canada’s construction industry.

    It forecasts the Alberta construction industry will shed about 20,000 jobs over the next two years, with losses concentrated in engineering projects and housing.

    “This projected decline will be the biggest drop and longest interruption in the province’s growth in more than 20 years,” the report states.

    It’s a change in

    Read More »from Alberta construction industry faces years of job losses: report
  • When Adam Bacon finished his studies in digital animation in Vancouver last year, he had two options: take a job in his field in his hometown or accept one that paid less in Montreal. The 23-year-old didn’t think twice. He hopped on a plane and moved east.

    “I moved because I want to travel and experience the world while I’m young and able to, and this was a perfect opportunity to visit a new place and start my new career,” Bacon says. “The salary is comparable to what I would be making in Vancouver, although I did turn down slightly higher-paying jobs in Vancouver in order to take this opportunity.

    “Relocating has done wonders for my professional development,” he adds. “The job I originally took was basically an internship, but it has developed into a full-fledged career.”

    A lot of Millennials find themselves choosing between a local gig or a job further afield. Or they might have no other option but to leave home (and Mom and Dad’s basement) to gain work experience. Regardless of the

    Read More »from Relocating for work? The pros and cons to weigh
  • Forget unpaid internships: New ways to get your foot in the door

    As any job-seeker knows — or as Millennials may soon find out once the academic year winds up in a few months — sendingout résumés and waiting for anoffer is a strategy that’s likely to bomb.

    About 80 per cent of availablepositions are never advertised, according to InterviewSuccessFormula.com. While in the past unpaid internships were presented as a great way for young people to get their foot in the door, they’re in fact illegal in many provinces, according to the Canadian Intern Association, with few federal laws regulating internships directly. Besides, interns often find themselves running errands rather than doing real, meaningful work.

    But there are fresh ways of gaining work experience, and two Canadian companies in particular are taking new approaches when it comes to introducing the next generation to the workforce.

    Ten Thousand Coffees is one of them. Created by young people for young people, it’s an online platform that links youth with professionals from more than 30

    Read More »from Forget unpaid internships: New ways to get your foot in the door
  • An overwhelming section of the c-suite is going the way of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg – taking a casual approach to dressing, driving and dining, according to a recent survey by job website CareerBuilder.ca.

    According to the study of 400 hiring managers, including CEOs and the senior leadership team, 69 per cent of executives go half-Zuck (or business casual as the non-Silicon Valleyers call it), while 18 per cent go full-Zuck regularly slumming it in jeans or shorts in the office. Surprisingly, less than one in 10 execs regularly rock out in a suit.

    As for the chariot of choice, 83 per cent forego the white-gloved chauffeured limousines, driving their own cars to work. 32 per cent drive mid-sized sedans and 18 per cent trampled traffic in their SUVs. Minivans and luxury sedans tie for third place at 7 per cent while sports cars make up a mere 3 per cent.

    One in five c-suiters prefer environmentally-friendly ways to get around like cycling, public transportation or hybrids.

    When it

    Read More »from You don’t need a suit to be a suit
  • With the loonie slipping below US$0.80 it can’t help but feel like we will always be the cheaper, less successful (but better looking, obviously) younger siblings to the U.S.

    We know. It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially for Canadians whose requisite remedy for the jealous sibling blues is stateside retail therapy or sipping mojitos in Fort Lauderdale.

    But a mere 35 per cent of March Break travellers are headed to international destinations this year, compared to 56 per cent last year, says a new CIBC poll. Of those travelling for the week-long hiatus, 26 per cent say the suffering loonie has impacted their travel plans.

    For those planning a cross-border jaunt, your biggest hope at getting the most bang for your buck is to focus on avoiding sky-high greenback-to-loonie currency conversion rates and fees, says Stephen Fine, president of 49th parallel hopping comparison site www.crossbordershopping.ca.

    “The only thing people can really control is minimizing the fees and getting the

    Read More »from Money Minute: How to pocket more money when travelling outside of Canada
  • Canadian consumers continue to rack up record debt despite concerns about the health of the economy, according to data released by Statistics Canada on Thursday.

    Canada’s household debt-to-disposable income ratio rose to new high of 163.3 per cent in fourth quarter of 2014.

    Put another way, households held roughly $1.63 of credit market debt for every dollar of disposable income as of the end of last year, StatsCan said.

    “The new household debt numbers are a big concern,” said Scott Hannah, President and CEO of the Credit Counselling Society, a non-profit service for consumers.

    “It shows the majority of Canadians are still relying on credit to manage their monthly expenses.”

    StatsCan said total household credit market debt, which includes consumer credit, mortgage, and non-mortgage loans, came in at more than $1.8 trillion at the end of December, which is an increase of 1.1 per cent from the third quarter last year.

    Consumer credit debt was $519 billion, up 0.8 per cent, while mortgage

    Read More »from Canada’s debt-to-income ratio hits fresh record: StatsCan
  • Ten years ago, following someone you just met might have earned you a night in a holding cell. Today, thanks to social media, it’s apt to lead to overspending.

    While it looks like voyeurism is going to be the modern world’s natural resting state for the foreseeable future, it’s having some unintended consequences – specifically on Millennials – according to a study from PR firm Citizen Relations.

    The report, which examines how our fear of missing out (FOMO) is impacting purchasing decisions, found that 64 per cent of Canadians admit to experiencing the annoying acronym (pause for a quick cringe).

    “Usually that means spending more money because the lesser-priced products don’t have the luxury of being able to promote (on social media) as much as the expensive ones that have larger budgets and higher margins,” Steve Tissenbaum, an e-commerce expert and instructor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Retail Management, tells Yahoo Canada Finance.



    It kind of explains why the study

    Read More »from FOMO! Millennials overspending thanks to social media

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