“You can’t force people to be smart with their money. But education might help. We teach children how to read and write from a young age, but not about the basics of handling money. Teens must meet rigorous standards to acquire a drivers licence, but receive no formal instruction on dealing with credit come-ons that arrive in the mail. Most people are left to figure it out for themselves, or get by on the example of parents who may be struggling with debt. Money is a basic element in a capitalist society. We should try to teach people to deal with it responsibly — or at least to know what that means. It might very well be the best way to keep future governments from meddling further in our financial lives.”
From: Our credit card problem – National Post – May 23, 2009
Re: Our Credit Card Problem, editorial, May 23.
“When I was teaching high school some years ago, one of the most well-received series of topics was on personal finance, which was part of an optional business course I taught. The topics ranged from mortgages, credit card interest, finance companies, department store credit cards, investing, car loans and the value of buying versus leasing cars. Interest was always extremely high among students when we dealt with these topics — so much so that students who had a free period would ask to sit in on these classes, as they had heard their friends talking about the topics.
Most students, unfortunately, are not exposed to personal finance topics. What I learned when I taught these topics is that there was immense interest among the students to learn about something that would play a major part in the rest of their lives. Topics that are such an integral part of our lives shouldn’t be optional but rather compulsory learning. This would go a long way in reducing the tremendous financial illiteracy that exists today.
Jeff Spooner, Kinburn, Ont.”
Here we go, again. The economy is generating more jobs, a handful of banks raise mortgage rates and all of a sudden you’re being advised to lock-in your mortgage before the bank doors slam shut. In fact, some say you’d better hurry-up and buy a house now before mortgage rates go so high you’re locked-out of the housing market for ever.
This is not the first time that mortgage rates are on the brink of blooming only to fade a few months later. This has happened more than a handful of times in the last decade. The headlines are often the same. A month or two of increasing mortgage rates, the public is urged to act now, and then a few months later something unforeseen appears on the horizon. Continue reading
November 18, 2010
In this guest column, York University professor Moshe Milevsky looks at how looming inflation or deflation may affect your retirement.
One the big debates this year has been whether the future holds inflation or deflation. In the U.S., the Federal Reserve is buying bonds which is essentially printing money to push interest rates down and help stimulate spending and growth, leading to worries about inflation down the road. In some European countries, prices are falling despite record low rates, leading some to predict a period of falling prices. Continue reading
At first thought, there is nothing quite as comforting as the safety of government bonds. You’re guaranteed to get your money back when they mature, the coupons are paid on a regular basis, the risk of default is miniscule and if you are in a pinch, you can always sell them for cash.
And yet, I really don’t like bonds and don’t own any. Why not? Here are six reasons and if any my arguments resonate, you should consider lightening up on your bond holdings as well. Continue reading
August 08, 2010
Moshe A. Milevsky
The age-old financial dilemma of whether you should use any excess cash to contribute to your RRSP or pay-down your mortgage has gained renewed relevance in the aftermath of the financial crises.
Canadians are learning to save more, invest more conservatively and de-risk their retirement account. So, despite what your personal conclusion might have been last time you thought about the smack-down between RRSPs vs. mortgages, the economic equation has recently tilted in favor of paying down debts vs. building up assets, but only for those of you with low tolerance for any investment risk. Continue reading
Now’s a perfectly good time to buy stocks. What’s stopping you?
Oh, right. That crazy stock market. Bounding ahead in recent days after plunging disastrously just a few weeks ago and making people worry about a repeat of 2008. Continue reading
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Piper always has to be paid
Consumers know they will have to pay taxes
Peter Hodson, Financial Post
On Wednesday, March retail sales in the United States showed a 1.6% gain, the biggest in four months. Prior months were revived upwards as well. Meanwhile, the United States continues to issue hundreds of billions of dollars of new debt every week as it finances its US$1-trillion-plus deficit.
Does this make sense? Does it make sense for consumers to keep spending money while their government goes deeper and deeper in debt? Continue reading
Canada’s brewing debt storm
TORONTO.APRIL.16.2010 from assignment form “James Laidlaw and his wife took out a $250,000 mortgage to reno their house but if rates go up they will have to take the kids out of sports programs.? James is photographed in the kitchen will be eventually moved when the new addition is built. The home is currently about 1000sq feet and will become 1600 with the new addition to the home. PHOTO BY FRED LUM/ THE GLOBE AND MAIL DIGITAL IMAGE Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail
For every $1 of disposable income, Canadians owe a record $1.47. How did it come to th
Paul Waldie and Steve Ladurantaye
From Saturday’s Globe and Mail Published on Friday, Apr. 16, 2010 10:00PM EDT Last updated on Saturday, Apr. 17, 2010 8:36AM EDT
Canadian borrowers are fast approaching a day of reckoning.
Lured by cheap money to buy up, buy in, expand and make over, families have pushed credit levels to a record high. Continue reading