Are you getting the most out of your RESP?

The Globe & Mail, August 30, 2011 Convinced that a registered education savings plan was the best way to save for her child’s future, Lisa Nabieszko opened one shortly after her daughter was born in 1999. Twelve years later, Ms. Nabieszko says she has since had problems with the account, which has lost money in […]

Canadian banks shifting rate hike views into 2012

Financial Post, August 12, 2011 Canadian banks, which only last month expected the Bank of Canada to resume tightening this fall, are pushing rate hike forecasts into next year following some of the worst financial market turmoil since 2008. RBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets, both Canadian primary dealers, confirmed on Friday that they […]

Internet Killed the Video Store

BCBusiness, August 1, 2011 Online retail and downloading are slowly killing our traditional movie and music stores. And as with friends, virtual video stores just aren’t the same as the real thing. Particular time periods can often be identified by their trappings and technology. See a photograph with a zeppelin and you know it was […]

The Merits of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

BCBusiness, August 1, 2011 Some 10 years ago, word of mouth emerged as a form of guerrilla marketing to help cash-strapped small businesses get noticed in the marketplace. Word-of-mouth marketing aims to generate buzz about a business, with the hope that it will eventually reach those who actually need whatever the business is selling. One […]

Housing bubble fears over-inflated

Vancouver Sun, July 27, 2011 Savvy shoppers can still do relatively well in Vancouver by searching for the right unit in the right location. Vancouver’s existing housing market seems to defy economic logic. The Conference Board’s Metro Resale Index shows that Vancouver remains a balanced market. Since neither buyers nor sellers should have bargaining advantage […]

World’s 10 most nocturnal cities

Vancouver Sun, July 27, 2011 A new study about the world’s most 24-hour cities ranks New York 32nd on the list, well behind most European capitals.Of the top ten most nocturnal cities in the world, six of the top 10 were in Spain — Malaga, Zaragoza, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid. Click here for photos […]

Vancouver Street Eats

Summertime is a great time to eat outside, except maybe this year because of our weather. Vancouver is fast becoming a great city with quality and variety in Food Carts and there are plenty of ways and means to find out from other eaters which carts are worth a visit and which ones are not. […]

China’s Real Estate Spree in Vancouver

July 1, 2011, BC Business Online It all started with a ?Post-it note from a Chinese investor: one Vancouver ?couple’s roller-coaster ?ride through a real estate ?market gone mad. The note, one of those yellow stickies from 3M, was stuck on the door of our west side Vancouver home late one Tuesday night in March. […]

Down Payment Size & a Housing Bear Market

July 03, 2011, Canadian Mortgage Trends Housing-Correction“The housing market will eventually correct.” That’s a quote from economist Ben Tal in this CIBC report from last week. There’s nothing earth shattering about that because corrections are to be expected. The more interesting question is: how big will the next selloff be? Tal’s conclusion was that the […]

Mortgage rates on the rise

July 4, 2011, Money RBC Royal Bank and TD Canada Trust said Monday they will raise their benchmark five-year fixed-rate mortgage 15 basis points, to 5.54%. Other banks are expected to follow suit, since the hike reflects rising bond returns in the wider market, which lift the costs of funds for all lenders. Despite Monday’s […]

Who wants to live forever? Scientist sees aging cured

July 4, 2011, Vancouver Sun If Aubrey de Grey’s predictions are right, the first person who will live to see their 150th birthday has already been born. And the first person to live for 1,000 years could be less than 20 years younger. A biomedical gerontologist and chief scientist of a foundation dedicated to longevity […]

Canucks can still be deserving champions

The Montreal Gazette, June 15th, 2011 The first intermission of Game 6 was almost over. It was 4-0 Boston, the Garden party was well under way, and a well-respected writer from a neutral city who’s honoured by the Hockey Hall of Fame walked over and said: “Let me ask you something. If the Canucks win […]

Help customers find your website

The Vancouver Sun,  June 7, 2011 Ten very practical tips on improving your website, from Small Business BC: 1. Make sure every web page has a unique page title with keywords customers will use when searching for you. Try Google’s Keyword tool if you need ideas. 2. Make sure your About Us page title has […]

The Relevance (or Irrelevance) of Mortgage Rate Expectations

Canadian Mortgage Trends, June 10, 2011 Variable-or-fixed-mortgage 61% of Canadians expect higher interest rates one year from now. 24% believe rates will stay the same. These stats are from a recent 1,000-person CIBC-Harris/Decima survey. Respondents were also asked: If you had to choose between a fixed or variable-rate mortgage today, which would you select? Their […]

Rising wealth, foreign investment drives demand for luxury homes; Metro Vancouver leading the way

Vancouver Sun, May 18th, 2011 Demand for luxury homes across Canada – especially in Metro Vancouver – is rising, with the improved financial standing of wealthy Canadians the main factor, according to a report released Wednesday by Re/Max. “The strength of the upper-end segment continues to defy expectations,” Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president, Re/Max of […]

RBC Specialist Fires Low Blows & Goes Viral

Canadian Mortgage Trends – April 19, 2011 RBC-Mortgage Banks have extensive policies governing what their representatives can tell the public. The alleged actions of RBC mortgage rep Corinne Schindler demonstrate why. Schindler has reportedly been circulating this flyer, which grossly mischaracterizes mortgage brokers in relation to bank specialists. It’s a document that demonstrates a stunning […]

Spam Bill C-28 – Lender & Broker Implications

Canadian Mortgage Trends – April 21, 2011 Canada recently enacted a new anti-spam law called Bill C-28. It’s expected to come into force later this year. Proponents say C-28 will lighten the spam load on all of us. At the same time, it could turn many businesspeople into spammers themselves! As a mortgage broker, for […]

Foreign buyers buoy Vancouver housing

Globe and Mail – April 24, 2011 On a recent trip to Vancouver, Jin Wang, a Chinese businesswoman, toured a large home – six bedrooms and seven baths – listed at $3.6-million in the British Properties, a wealthy enclave on the north shore overlooking the ocean and the city. Ms. Wang and her husband, Hui […]