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Investing

7 bad things about low interest rates

If you have been able to buy a house or refinance a mortgage in recent years, then congratulations. You have been a beneficiary of the Fed’s extraordinary effort to keep interest rates low. For many others though, monetary policy hasn’t been so favorable — in fact, it has cost them dearly. Ostensibly, […]


8 questions to ask before lending money to friends

It’s one of the most awkward questions a friend can ask you: “Will you lend me some money?” Awkward for your friend to have to ask, and awkward for you to have to answer. Saying “no” could adversely affect your friendship. However, saying “yes” could also put a strain on your […]


6 reasons to overcome a fear of plastic

As I was coming of age, I became aware of too many examples of people who had gotten into trouble with credit card debt. It made me avoid getting a credit card for several years. Eventually, though, I overcame my fear of plastic, and realized it is the user and not the […]


“Frugal” is not a dirty word

My wife and I were talking recently about a June 5, 2015, New York Times article that described the lifestyle of “Millionaires Who Are Frugal When They Don’t Have to Be.” It got me thinking about the word “frugal.” It will probably never be a sexy concept, but neither does it […]


7 financial lessons recent college grads still need

Around this time of the year, new college graduates are leaving their schools with a wealth of knowledge. At the end of their four (or six, or eight…) years of college, graduates have typically tackled a wide range of academic subjects, often with an impressive degree of complexity. Unfortunately, one type […]


Is the tide turning for savings accounts?

On the surface, savings account rates seem to be stuck in the same rut they have been in for the last couple years; but if you look a little closer, there are some isolated developments that could start to put the interest back in savings account interest rates. According to the FDIC, the […]


How to play retirement catch-up

I told the story elsewhere of how my wife and I woke up in our late 40s to the fact that our investment cupboard was bare. We were not alone, millions of Americans in their 40s or 50s don’t have nearly enough money saved to retire. So what can you do if you find yourself in […]


How long will oil prices stay low — and what should you do?

image: wikimedia commons If you are old enough, you will remember 1973, when OPEC caused the price of oil to quadruple. (If you’re too young, simply Google “1973 oil crisis images” to see an endless parade of people stranded at gas stations with hand-written signs like the one in the picture.) That crisis changed life in […]


Twice the opportunity for holiday spending guilt

I ran into my old buddy Jake at the local outpost of a well-known, high-priced donut chain. I had just spent the better part of a sawbuck on a powdered donut hole and thimble of java when I noticed Jake seemed to be lacking his usual Christmas spirit. His brow was furrowed, and he looked worried […]


Getting the most from your charitable donations

Canadians are known to be generous when it comes to charity, 84% gave last year according to a recent BMO poll. Giving means you are helping a worthy cause and you can receive a tax receipt for your donation for tax savings. Though recent studies show Canadians don’t donate to charities to benefit from the […]

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