• [Gold bars from the vault of a bank are seen in this illustration picture taken in Zurich November 20, 2014. / REUTERS]

    Have you ever felt a draw to those glimmering pictures of gold on the business pages, or been tempted to put down some money when you hear the price of platinum? However glamorous the world of precious metal-buying may sound, investing in these rare commodities can seem more daunting than lavish. Prices fluctuate, which makes getting started seem like an art form for only the truly skilled.

    With insight from a seasoned professional, however, investing might be easier and more realistic than you think. Understand what you’re getting into before it’s too late.

    Know the playing field

    Step one towards investing in precious metals is to familiarize yourself with the market. The price of precious metals, such as gold and silver, can be affected drastically by a number of factors.

    “When considering the price of gold/silver, it’s important to remember that this is really a

    Read More »from What you need to know about investing in gold and other precious metals
  • [Remember when the biggest expense at the party was hiring Bozo the Clown? Yeah, us neither. / Thinkstock]

    When it comes to raising kids, everybody thinks they know best. From sleep habits to bottle feeding to car seats, there’s an endless supply of experts who would love to share their knowledge with you.  

    Birthdays are yet another divisive topic when it comes to kids. Advice about planning your child’s party will likely start with “In my day…”.

    Annoying, but those busybodies have a point: it hasn’t been very long since most kids’ birthday parties were simple affairs held at home with hotdogs, bobbing for apples, and a cake made by Mom.

    An informal survey of online forums suggests that low cost parties are still common, but more expensive options are becoming increasingly popular. There are now myriad ways to spend a few hundred dollars on a birthday party—for a child who won’t even remember it.

    For busy parents, the convenience of outsourcing the work (and mess), and having someone

    Read More »from Why kids’ birthday parties are so expensive now
  • Ebooks may be convenient, but students still prefer to have physical copies. (Thinkstock)Ebooks may be convenient, but students still prefer to have physical copies. (Thinkstock)

    We’ve all heard the doom and gloom of recent years about the fate of paper books: ebooks saw a meteoric rise when they hit the market in a big way in 2008, and were predicted to have a meteoric rise.

    When bookseller Borders declared bankruptcy in 2011, people in the industry and bibliophiles alike feared it was the beginning of the end for beloved paperbacks and leather-bound hardcovers.

    But fear not, paper book-lovers, there is hope for the future.

    A recent study performed by Naomi Baron at American University found that a whopping 92 per cent of students preferred a paper tome to reading a digital book on an e-reader, laptop, phone or tablet, New Republic reports.

    After surveying over 300 university students ages 18-26 from Japan, Germany, Slovakia and the U.S., Baron found that the distractions presented by digital devices and the discomfort of eye strain and headaches were major deterrents for students to pick up digital books. They also cited certain experiences that the ebook just

    Read More »from Students overwhelmingly prefer paper books to ebooks, study shows
  • Wall Street is kicking off the week with more pain. All three major averages (^DJI^GSPC^IXIC) are deep in the red with technology shares continuing to lead the declines, as oil (CLH16.NYM) resumes its slide after a brief rally.

    While China's markets are closed this week for the Lunar New Year holiday, data over the weekend showed China's foreign currency reserves fell by almost $100 billion in January, to the lowest level in more than three years. 

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

    Hasbro (HAS) reported a beat on both its top and bottom lines for its holiday quarter. Strong demand for boys' toys based on "Star Wars" and "Jurassic World" helped Hasbro post its biggest jump in quarterly revenue in five years.  

    LeapFrog (LF) is being bought by Hong Kong's VTech, which will buy the maker of electronic educational toys for $72 million in cash.  

    GoPro (GPRO) inked a patent licensing deal with Microsoft that will cover file-storage technology. However the two

    Read More »from Stock selloff continues; Hasbro/Mattel talk; Budweiser Super Bowl ads
  • image

    [Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visiting Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont., on Jan. 14 for the opening of Google’s new office. Photo: @JustinTrudeau]

    You may not be aware of it, but Canada has likely played a big role in the technology you use in your everyday life. Big tech names like Microsoft and Google have had offices and research labs in Canada for years and seem to be here to stay. Google, for example, is making itself more at home by moving to a bigger office space in the Kitchener-Waterloo area in Ontario.

    Now, one of the biggest names in tech today, Apple, is setting up shop in Ottawa. According to the Ottawa Citizen, Apple will open a 22,000 square foot space in the nation’s capital, and as this office is across the street from BlackBerry’s largely automobile-focused QNX Software Systems, that has led some to believe the space may be related to the much rumoured Apple Car.

    Apple, Google and Microsoft are far from the only tech giants that have been opening up offices and/or research

    Read More »from 6 reasons why Silicon Valley loves Canada
  • Dumb things CEOs say out loud

    Chip Wilson, the Lululemon founder who has a chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease, had another flare up this week.

    In an interview with a New York Times reporter, the 60-year old Vancouver-based billionaire shamed her in front of his staff for being 15 minutes late to a breakfast meeting, inferring that it was an example of “Jewish Standard Time.” He would go on to remark about the company around the table - all young women, most of them employees - highlighting “the beautiful girl I get to sit beside.”

    Sigh. Okay, Chip.

    This isn’t the first time he’s said something inappropriate. He resigned from his own company in 2013 after stock prices tanked when he suggested that Lululemon’s yoga pants “don’t work for some women’s bodies.” The company later recalled about 17 per cent of its pants because they were too transparent.

    Wilson’s misadventures had us looking back at other blunders CEOs have made in public.

    Dov Charney is the Montreal-born founder and former CEO of clothing chain

    Read More »from Dumb things CEOs say out loud
  • A woman poses in front of a monkey-shaped installation in Beijing, China, Feb. 5, 2016. (Reuters)A woman poses in front of a monkey-shaped installation in Beijing, China, Feb. 5, 2016. (Reuters)

    On Monday, many Canadians will celebrate the end of the lunar calendar, which marks the beginning of the traditional Chinese Year of the Fire Monkey.

    Rooted in Ancient China’s agriculture-based society – which used to encompass parts of Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore – Asian populations have traditionally used the moons cycles to know when to plant seeds and when to harvest. More recently, the lunar cycles have been applied to wealth management and finances to predict prosperity.

    “From a financial perspective, basically the monkey is a trickster, the monkey can be unpredictable and is very intelligent and very innovative,” says Kristi Stangeland, who is founder of the Toronto-based Feng Shui Consulting Service, a company dedicated to helping corporate and private clients realize their goals using Feng Shui practices, and former CPA with PricewaterhouseCoopers and J.P. Morgan Chase. “Fire is combustible and hot.”

    The combination is part of a rotating system of 12 zodiac

    Read More »from Year of the Fire Monkey to bring volatility and financial mischief
  • Andy Villatoro plays with a toy he received after ordering a Happy Meal at McDonald's. (Getty)Andy Villatoro plays with a toy he received after ordering a Happy Meal at McDonald's. (Getty)

    Over the next two weeks McDonald’s will be giving away 1.5 million books in Happy Meals across Canada.

    “We’ve tied it into Valentine’s day, a time where kids have a lot of fun, so each of the books has fun little Valentine’s cards and stickers,” says Michelle McIlmoyle senior national marketing manager at McDonald’s and part of the team that is spearheading the Happy Meals book program. “It just adds to the overall experience that reading is fun.”

    The four books include the classic “Paddington” story by Michael Bond and three other heart day-themed stories – “Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse!” by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond; “Clark the Shark Takes Heart” by Bruce Hale; and “Pete the Cat Valentine’s Day is Cool” by Kimberly and James Dean.

    The books will replace the toys in Happy Meals from Feb. 2 to 15.

    The selection mirrors the U.S. market, which will distribute 17 million books. Quebec will get the titles in French. McDonald’s will also distribute books during that time period in

    Read More »from McDonald’s Canada to give away books in Happy Meals
  • [Cayman Islands Department of Tourism/Facebook]

    Yahoo Canada editor Simone Olivero is exporing the Cayman Islands this week, seeing first hand how to enjoy a relaxing trip away. With a little bit of adventure and a lot of spa time, you too can feel refreshed and recharged after a visit to this sunny destination.

    Read More »from Live blog: Making the most of sun and spas in the Cayman Islands
  • (Thinkstock)(Thinkstock)

    While cheap airfares south of the border have piqued passenger interest, Canadians may soon be getting some deals of their own, albeit for different reasons.

    In a conference call yesterday, WestJet announced it would be introducing discounts for fares to and from Albertan hubs like Edmonton and Calgary to help combat a sharp cut in demands on the back of a struggling oil industry.

    “We didn’t start to see much softness in our yields and our bookings until late (in the fourth quarter), and it was sudden and it’s gotten very deep,” said Gregg Saretsky, WestJet’s chief executive officer, during the call discussing the Alberta-headquartered airline’s profits, which fell by 27 per cent in the final three months of 2015 to $63.4 million.

    Stateside, passengers have seen deep discounts as a result of the falling cost of fuel and record profits for airlines. In January, the average round trip in the U.S. hit a three-year low of $210, a 14 per cent drop from the same month a year ago according

    Read More »from U.S. travellers seeing cheaper airfares — is Canada next?
  • (Thinkstock)(Thinkstock)

    Writer and editor Adrian Brijbassi travels for a living and can recall just a handful of frustrating hotel experiences.

    Those stays included non-smoking rooms that reeked of smoke and once the unsettling sight of a bathtub filled with dirty water.

    In each of those bad experiences, he politely but firmly dealt with management and received a satisfactory outcome. But when it comes to travel, that can be deeply unsatisfactory.

    “The point of a vacation isn't to have a ‘satisfactory’ experience. We want each of our holidays to be incredible in every way because the time and money we invest on our vacation choices are so precious,” says Brijbassi, the founder of the Canadian concierge site Vacay.ca

    What Brijbassi has learned is that poor hotel stays all have one thing in common: the properties were not of high quality and that’s why, through bad experiences, he avoids hotels rated three-stars or lower.

    “The higher-end hotels deliver dependable experiences and can often wow you with

    Read More »from Simple steps for the best hotel stay — and what to do if it goes wrong
  • Alphabet has dethroned Apple, but maybe not for long

    Eras change slowly—then seemingly all at once. So now that Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) has displaced Apple (AAPL) as the nation’s most valuable company, it’s tempting to declare the reign of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook officially over.

    Not likely. A review of the most valuable companies of the last 50 years shows a lot of jockeying for the top spot, with some companies losing the mantle only to regain it a year or two later. The winds of change invariably sweep some companies aside for good, but well-run businesses also adapt and regain their footing. Here’s the market capitalization of the nation’s most valuable company each year since 1968:

    Note: Market values are for January 1 of each year. Source: S&P Capital IQ

    Trends we’re all familiar with are apparent in the rankings. IBM (IBM) was a corporate powerhouse following World War II, expert in industrial technology such as the mainframe, followed by the personal computer. But IBM lost its way as America’s manufacturing sector waned and the service sector grew, and IBM forfeited the top spot for good in

    Read More »from Alphabet has dethroned Apple, but maybe not for long
  • This January was one of the worst starts to a year for the markets. The S&P 500 plunged 6% over the month, as news on oil and China rattled investors. 

    The intraday drops were large enough to make us question whether the seven-year bull market could be coming to an end. After nearly seven years and gains of over 150% from the March 2009 lows, maybe this bull market was getting a little long in the tooth.

    For an historical comparison, we decided to examine what previous bull and bear markets looked like.

    Bull markets are marked in blue and bear markets in red. We define a bear market as a decline of 20% from a high. Correspondingly, a bull market is a rise of 20% from a low.

    We adjusted the scale such that a drop of 10% in red would be equivalent to a 100% gain in blue. This gives perspective as to the amount of money gained or lost during the swings. For example, the most extreme drop was in 1929, when the market lost nearly 90%. From that 90% loss it would take a 900% gain just to

    Read More »from How much longer can this bull market last?

  • A new study has surfaced in an ongoing class action lawsuit against Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which bought Cold-FX maker Afexa Life Sciences in 2011, saying the popular cold and flu remedy makers sat on results showing the supplement could be no more effective than a placebo.

    The suit, helmed by Vancouver lawyer John Green, takes issue with the company’s marketing claims that Cold-FX – essentially a fine-tuned dose of ginseng extract – could “stop cold and flu in their tracks” and bring “immediate relief” from cold and flu symptoms.

    “If true, this kind of information should have been disclosed,” Green told the National Post. “If it had been disclosed, it would probably have been the end of Afexa Life Sciences.”

    The company, which received endorsement from hockey personality Don Cherry, has since pared back its marketing on its website to suggest that “by boosting your immune system, Cold-FX helps reduce the frequency, severity and duration of cold and flu symptoms.”

    [Speedskater Clara

    Read More »from Cold-FX’s effectiveness questioned in class action lawsuit
  • Choose where you want to call home. With $1 million, you can invest in your perfect property, in whichever Canadian province your heart desires. What that home looks like, however, will vary greatly depending on where you look – and having a couple hundred thousand more to play with opens up even more options.

    [Sotheby’s International Realty]

    Scotch Creek, British Columbia

    Shuswap Lake Provincial Park is one of British Columbia’s most popular parks. Many creeks, rivers and communities flow out of this gorgeous scenic getaway. Scotch Creek is one such destination, a waterside community along a creek of the same name. If a quiet home within steps of a beautiful rivulet sounds like your $1.1 million sanctuary, 5-1038 Scot Creek Wharf Road awaits you.

    Since it was built nearly two decades ago, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom house along the Scotch Creek has experienced outstanding, detail-oriented renovations. This includes a remodeled kitchen with granite counters and stainless steel

    Read More »from What a $1 million home looks like in Canada this week
  • [Dania Zargaran (left) with Purolator CEO Patrick Nangle during Zargaran’s day spent as co-CEO of the company/supplied]

    Dania Zargaran was 21 when she took the reins as co-CEO of Purolator. It was a short stint—less than 24 hours—but not because she got the axe so much as Zargaran was participating in executive search firm Odgers Berndtson’s CEO X 1 Day program.

    The program, which is kicking off its third year, pairs students with CEOs from organizations like the CFL, Omers Ventures, Altus Group and IKEA Canada.

    “It was really interesting to see how normal it was,” recalls Zargaran, who was a fourth year commerce student at Queen’s University when she participated in the program last year. “It’s just like a work day for anyone else, you come in, you have your to-dos for the day – it was surprisingly normal.”

    Zargaran teamed up with Patrick Nangle of Purolator, one of the 21 CEOs who participated.

    “It was an early morning, we started at the distribution centre in Mississauga and after the

    Read More »from CEO for a day: Students experience what it's like to run a major Canadian company
  • Dental hygenist and dentist (Thinkstock)Dental hygenist and dentist (Thinkstock)

    ABC’s “The Bachelor” may be all about the search for love, but the network has earned the scorn of two major health organizations.

    The show recently posted on its Facebook page a dozen images of faceless, comic book-like women under the heading “Bachelor jobs are the best jobs!”

    Those jobs had such esteemed titles as “professional snuggler,” “jewellery untangler,” “flatulence smell-reduction underwear tester,” and “wine enthusiast.”

    Somewhat seemingly out of place, “dental hygienist” also appeared on that list, alongside “miniature hat maker,” “hand model,” “hot dog vendor,” “chicken entrepreneur,” “pantsapreneur,” “free spirit,” and “hashtag enthusiast.”

    Screengrab of the post shared on 'The Bachelor' Facebook page. (via CDHA)Screengrab of the post shared on 'The Bachelor' Facebook page. (via CDHA)

    The perceived mocking of the dental hygienist profession has drawn the ire of the Canadian Dental Hygienists’ Association (CDHA) and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA).

    In a statement released on the afternoon of January 29, the CDHA expressed its “extreme disappointment” in ABC Studios and “The Bachelor” for

    Read More »from 'The Bachelor' earns the scorn of dental hygenists across North America
  •  

    [Julie Bourbonniere, executive director of Moisson Montreal, the largest food bank in Canada, looks over the dwindling supply of fruit at the distribution centre Thursday, January 28, 2016 in Montreal. Canadian food banks hope that the pinch they're feeling from rising food prices isn't snowballing into a full-fledged crisis. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz]

    While cauliflower has become the poster vegetable for rising food prices, people all over Canada are feeling the pinch as groceries become more expensive. Hardest hit are food banks and the people who use on them.

    “We’re hearing right across the country that food banks are experiencing challenges as a result of increasing food prices,” says Katharine Schmidt, executive director of Food Banks Canada. “Food prices have risen by 4.1 per cent, which is above the inflation rate, and people living on very low incomes are impacted at even greater levels than Canadians with middle or higher incomes.”

    Last year was a record year for food

    Read More »from Canada’s food banks see decline in donations as costs of food rises
  • See? Don't they look like they're having fun? (Thinkstock)See? Don't they look like they're having fun? (Thinkstock)

    Saving money is an easy enough concept: all you have to do is spend less, right? Yet successfully saving is extremely difficult for most. Despite numerous attempts and the best of intentions, it can seem near impossible to make even minor dents on bad spending habits.

    For many, extra incentive is required to make lasting changes to a budget, such as the popular 52-Week Money Challenge: participants save $1 the first week, $2 the next week, $3 the week after, etcetera until the last week of the year when they put $52 into savings. Sure you could just save $26.50 each week and achieve the same goal of $1,378 saved, but that doesn’t seem nearly as much fun, does it?

    So what is it about these money-saving games that are so attractive?

    Stress is not attractive

    It seems pretty obvious, but people do not like doing things that are stressful. This general rule holds true when it comes to budgeting, too. Turning saving into a game, therefore, adds an element of fun that improves the likelihood

    Read More »from Why people save better when we turn it into a game
  • Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates looks through a microscope during a tour on Jan.25, 2016. (Reuters)Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates looks through a microscope during a tour on Jan.25, 2016. (Reuters)

    First Bill Gates brought Windows to the world, now it’s mosquito nets. The Microsoft founder announced this week efforts to team up with the U.K. to funnel more than US$4 billion into the fight to eradicate malaria.

    “When it comes to human tragedy, no other animal even comes close to the devastation caused by one insect – the mosquito,” wrote the billionaire in a joint op-ed piece with British chancellor George Osborne in U.K. newspaper The Times. “It transmits diseases that claim more than 700,000 lives each year. The worst of these is malaria. A billion people are infected with malaria parasites, and malaria kills one child every minute.”

    Last year alone, 500,000 people were killed by malaria, according to the World Health Organization. Gates has been outspoken about eliminating the disease from the history books and eradicating it within the next couple of years.

    “In the world’s poorest places, malaria is both a cause and a consequence of poverty,” they write. “It costs Africa,

    Read More »from Bill Gates' billion-dollar commitment to ending malaria just a first step
  • A row of brand new Volkswagen Jettas are seen on a lot at a Volkswagen dealership on March 28, 2011. (Getty)A row of brand new Volkswagen Jettas are seen on a lot at a Volkswagen dealership on March 28, 2011. (Getty)

    It’s been four months since Volkswagen was caught skirting emissions tests by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Since then we’ve learned the gritty details – the German carmaker had intentionally programmed turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engines to activate certain emissions controls only during testing. We’ve also learned that between 2009 and 2015, the VW Group sold 11 million Volkswagens, Audis and Porches – specifically the Audi A3, VW Jetta, Beetle, Golf and Passat models – with this cheating software equipped in them, including some 100,000 that made it onto the Canadian market.

    But the whole thing, so far, seems to have been met with a collective shrug. At least in Canada.

    Sure, there was Volkswagen Canada’s stop sale order for vehicles affected by the software within three days of the news breaking. And there was the duck-taped together compensation package – $500 for use at Volkswagen dealerships, a further $500 credit gift card for use wherever

    Read More »from Where’s Canada's Volkswagen backlash?
  • Save that piggy bank! A no-spend challenge can help you make more of your nickels and dimes. (Thinkstock)Save that piggy bank! A no-spend challenge can help you make more of your nickels and dimes. (Thinkstock)

    No-spend challenges are remarkably common. From Ad Buster’s annual Buy Nothing Day to No-Spend Month, to one blogger’s well-titled Fiscal Fast, there is no shortage of options for anyone looking to challenge themselves to save a few bucks.

    Just because no-spend challenges are common, though, does that mean it will truly change anything? We asked people who had completed no-spend challenges and financial advisors for their takes, and for any tips they may have for those who wish to complete a challenge of their own.

    Lasting effects

    Hemal Patel is founder of KB Studio, a marketing consultant firm in Tallahassee, Fla.  As a business owner and recent homebuyer, he decided to take on a no-spend challenge as a way to store extra change from work so that he and his wife could better furnish their new home. 

    To start, Patel listed out all of his expenses to help him more clearly visualize just what the challenge was going to look like. He then went through each expense and reduced or

    Read More »from What can you really achieve with a no-spend challenge?
  • Vancouver foreign ownership controversy continues

    image

    [PHOTO COURTESY: CBC News]

    Two companies selling real estate in Vancouver’s red-hot housing market are under scrutiny from the B.C. securities regulator after Chinese-language advertisements brought more controversy over foreign ownership of Canadian real estate.

    Sun Commercial Real Estate and Luxmore Realty both solicited clients to invest in crowdfunded real estate portfolios using Chinese-language websites and publications.

    The B.C. Securities Commission said neither company appeared to have the required documentation to offer a financial security, such as a crowdfunded real estate investment.

    Calls to both companies on Friday went unanswered.

    Foreign investment, specifically from China, has been a flashpoint in Vancouver’s overheated housing market, one of the most expensive in the country for residential and commercial real estate.

    In September, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada said in a report that turbulence in the Chinese stock market could cause people to put their money in

    Read More »from Vancouver foreign ownership controversy continues
  • View of the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, Ont. (photo via Facebook)View of the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, Ont. (photo via Facebook)

    Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle could soon be the most expensive hotel ever sold in the Canadian market.

    The iconic hotel, a 3.5 acre fixture at the foot of Yonge Street on Toronto’s waterfront is expected to hit the market next week, and could go for anywhere from $350 million to $400 million say Curtis Gallagher, vice-president of hotel investments at Cushman & Wakefield, the broker for the property.

    “With the Canadian dollar where it’s at, it just gives that little bit more leverage to foreign buyers,” Gallagher told the Globe and Mail.

    In September, Concord Pacific Developments snapped up Westin’s antipodal hotel, the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver for another record setting $290-million.

    In comments via email sent to Yahoo Canada, Russell Beaudry, a senior manager for Colliers International Hotels, says the hotel investment market has been breaking records as of late.

    “Transaction volume exceeded $2.4 billion in 2015, the third highest volume on record,” he wrote. “We expect

    Read More »from Toronto lakefront hotel could be record-setting sale in Canada
  • Ikea to re-assemble in Halifax

    (Getty Images)(Getty Images)

    Atlantic Canadians have gotten their wish, the long-awaited and much championed return of Ikea.

    The Swedish furniture company announced on Friday morning it would be opening a full-size store – a 35,000 square metre, assembly-required domain – in Dartmouth Crossing.

    “Ikea is thrilled to be bringing a store to the Halifax marketplace, we have for a long time, considered Halifax to be a key market for expansion,” Ikea Canada president Stefan Sjostrand told reporters, adding that construction will start this summer and is expected to be completed by next spring.

    The Swedish furniture company – which shuttered its original Dartmouth location in 1988 after 13 years in business – has long held an intriguing mystique in the area, even creating a cottage industry surrounding bringing Ikea products into the province from the closest Ikea which happens to be in Montreal, more than 1,000 km away.

    “There’s a guy out there who’s developed a business where he takes orders for Ikea, drives a truck

    Read More »from Ikea to re-assemble in Halifax
  • A man smokes a marijuana joint outside Congress in Montevideo, Uruguay. (Reuters)A man smokes a marijuana joint outside Congress in Montevideo, Uruguay. (Reuters)

    In a bid to keep the creative flow aloft, Denver-based cannabis businesses devised a simple solution – take a ten-minute weed break.

    “If it helps our employees get work done, then we don’t care if they consume at work,” Kyle Sherman, co-founder and CEO of Flowhub, a company that provides software to companies in the burgeoning cannabis industry, told CNN Money. “It definitely surfaces new ideas and a fresh take on things.”

    Both Sherman and his business partner Chase Wiseman say they frequently smoke weed during the day.

    The news certainly highlights the changing attitudes towards marijuana but toking up while at work in most states and provinces is apt to get you an appointment with human resources.

    “This is something that is hugely on the forefront especially under our new government who is trying to legalize it,” says Carey McBeth, a Vancouver-based business and lifestyle etiquette expert.  “You’re going to see it (come down) to company policy as to what is acceptable and what isn’t

    Read More »from Marijuana-smoking employees to get weed breaks at Denver businesses
  • 802.11ac Wave 2 routers like this Nighthawk X4 promise greater speeds. (HardwareZone)802.11ac Wave 2 routers like this Nighthawk X4 promise greater speeds. (HardwareZone)

    This might comes as a surprise, but the most important part of any Internet-connected home is a router.

    Routers are our gateway to the Internet, allowing us to connect a wide range of devices to the web. Game consoles, smartphones, PCs, Macs, tablets, and almost any Internet-enabled technology, all receive Wi-Fi or wired Internet connectivity from the same source – a router. When your Internet isn’t working, or a web page won’t load, it’s often related to an issue with your router, which, in most people’s homes, is probably the less than stellar modem/router combo you either rent or purchased from your Internet provider.

    Modern routers are more sophisticated today than they’ve ever been, but this also means selecting the right router for you is a complicated, intimidating process. Whether you only casually browse the Internet for a few hours a day, are a big gamer, or have a house full of “smart” Wi-Fi enabled devices, there are a few things you should be looking for when purchasing a

    Read More »from How to pick the right router for your home
  • By using buzzwords, you may be overlooked before you've even had a chance to prove yourself. (Thinkstock)By using buzzwords, you may be overlooked before you've even had a chance to prove yourself. (Thinkstock)

    For many professionals, January is the time of year when job hunting hits its peak: whether it's layoffs after end-of-year numbers, or just time for a fresh start, it's the month when job seekers begin the search for that big career move.

    Unfortunately, a lot of those job seekers may be putting themselves at a disadvantage by not making their resume or online profile shine the way it should. There are plenty of common mistakes, from not proofreading a resume to applying to jobs the wrong way. However one mistake you might be making without even realizing it is overusing some key words.

    Popular networking site LinkedIn has just released its annual list of buzzwords, terms that are overused without really telling the reader (and prospective recruiter or boss) anything about what you're actually bringing to the table.

    Take a look at your resume, profile and cover letter, and see if you can spot any of these:

    1. Leadership

    2. Passionate

    3. Motivated

    4. Creative

    5. Strategic

    6. Dedicated

    Read More »from 10 buzzwords Canadian job seekers are guilty of over-using
  • A young girl holds a flag during the annual Canada Day parade in Montreal, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. (CP)A young girl holds a flag during the annual Canada Day parade in Montreal, Wednesday, July 1, 2015. (CP)

    Our home and native land just ranked as the second-best country on the planet according to a new study.

    U.S. News & World Report commissioned brand and strategy firm BAV Consulting to survey 16,000 people from 60 countries across 65 different criteria related to economics, politics, culture, tourism and many other categories.

    The ongoing project uses both raw data and journalism to try to explain why countries ranked the way they did. David Reibstein, Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School, compares the importance of branding a large private company to that of an entire country.

    “Brands are all about the perceptions people have,” Reibstein says in a video explaining the methodology. “When you think about our perception of a country, it may be very different than other people’s perception of it. We all have some chauvinism about our own particular country.”

    The results of the project thus far have produced an in-depth document that breaks down the performance of nations using the

    Read More »from Canada ranks as second-best country in the world
  • If you haven’t heard of the game “Minecraft,” there’s a good chance you’ve been living under a rock. The game has been purchased over 22 million times on mobile devices, and that’s to say nothing of its computer version, which is where the game started.

    The game’s overwhelming popularity and the fact that it’s education-based spin-off “MinecraftEdu” is being used by teachers to help students learn in over 40 countries is what has spurred Microsoft to announce it plans to buy the academic version from Teacher Gaming LLC.

    The original Minecraft is already under Microsoft’s umbrella, thanks to a $2.5 billion deal last fall with Majong. The game itself is a virtual building-block-shaped world where users can build anything and everything the mind can conceive, whether that means creating an avatar of themselves, or building houses, streets, vending machines or just about anything else you can imagine.

    MinecraftEdu on the other hand currently boasts a user base of over 5,500 teachers and

    Read More »from Microsoft bringing Minecraft: Education Edition into classrooms

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