financial strategies

Financial Strategies for the "University Years"

Many parents wrestle with the dilemma of how much financial support to provide their children attending post-secondary programs. The costs today are much greater than what the parents paid for similar schooling some thirty or more years ago.

Tuition costs alone have risen at least tenfold since the 1970's for a basic humanities degree, never mind the enormous cost increases for professional programs such as engineering, business, law and medical school.

The Planning Continuum

A question sometimes asked in the media is exactly what is the role of a financial professional and how do they help the client meet their life goals and dreams. Why do you even need to engage the services of a planner or advisor when so much information is already available for free on the internet and elsewhere?

It's One Economy

The financial planner responded by saying that if the public stock markets were going down the drain, then real estate would follow as well. Why? Well it is one economy and we are all connected at the end of the day! Shocked, the veteran of 30-years in real estate responded that he had never thought of it that way and walked away shaking his head.

So, You Got a Tax Refund

According to the Minister of National Revenue, the average tax refund is over $1,500 for the 2011 tax year. Surprisingly, many Canadians are thrilled about getting a big refund. While certain situations can lead to an unusual tax refund, far too many Canadians lend large sums of money to the government at 0% interest year after year. Two things you can do to make your refunds smaller are:

Inflation & Your Financial Health

To truly appreciate the role that inflation plays in your ability to build assets and achieve financial freedom one has to consider the role of its dance partner: purchasing power. You can't have one without the other!

Financial Resolutions for 2013

Give your finances a boost this new year. Here is a list of financial resolutions to help you become better off at the end of the coming twelve months:

Eliminate personal debt. - Brad and Angie had fallen into the very common habit of buying lots of 'stuff' with their credit cards and soon were carrying a balance from month to month. At 19.9%, it is very expensive to live this kind of lifestyle. And any new purchases attract the same financing charge from date of purchase.

An Ideal Opportunity to Improve Your Cash Flow

With so many doom & gloom news headlines, it is refreshing to know Canadians can still get very low fixed rate mortgages. A recent Financial Post article (March 9, 2012) explains that with big banks competing strongly for new mortgage business, now is a great time for Canadians to refinance their mortgages to improve personal cash flow.

These Financial Mistakes Can Cost You

Some financial decisions get made without enough thought given to the long term consequences. Here are some financial mistakes you can avoid:

Mortgage amortized too long:

With lenders offering 30 year amortization periods, it may look attractive to go with a smaller monthly payment to get into a larger house, but the extra interest charges only benefit the lender.

Beware How You Help Your Kids Financially

A recent TD Canada Trust survey found that 10% of Canadians are considering the purchase of a condominium for their adult children. This is up from 5% just a year earlier and certainly reflects drastically increasing housing costs over the past decade.

New Years Financial Resolutions

Jack and Diane want to improve their financial situation and feel that making financial New Years resolutions and implementing them is a good start. To help identify their priorities, they made the following list:

Set Objectives - Goal setting is the foundation of achieving financial success. If they write down their goals, it will help Jack and Diane clarify them and establish their personal and financial priorities.

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