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June 2012

June 21, 2021

Does physical health translate into long-term financial health?

Workers are significantly more likely to rate themselves as physically healthy (53%) than financially healthy (31%), according to The Principal Financial Well-Being Index, which surveys employees at growing businesses with 10 to 1,000 workers. 

But that’s not to say they wouldn’t like to see it otherwise – 84% of workers view physical health as an investment in their financial future. Living healthy means living longer though, which comes with its own financial demands.

Which is why their employers should help where they can, suggests The Conference Board of Canada. Its latest report, Making the Business Case for Investments in Workplace Health and Wellness, provides organizations of all sizes with advice and tools to measure the return from health and wellness programs.

Investments in fitness, smoking cessation or weight loss programs can lead to higher productivity, as well as reduce benefit costs, absenteeism, and presenteeism (circumstances in which an employee is physically at work but not fully productive), the report suggests.

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June 20, 2021

The rich got poorer in 2011: report

Quick: who’s tougher to drum up sympathy for right now, rich people or Hosni Mubarak?

Okay, well, likening the affluent to a deposed Egyptian tyrant that was briefly declared dead in jail this week might not be totally fair, but the point is clear: in this economic climate, led by Jamie Dimons and “London Whale” rogue traders, the wealthy are the enemy.

So if you’re the kind that’s out for blood, here’s a bone for you.

Last year, for the first time since the recession hit, the world’s rich people lost money.

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Most men see themselves starting their own business: Report

The majority of Canadians (76 per cent) would rather run their own business than work for someone else, according to recent Bank of Montreal research. And that number jumps to 82 per cent when you look at men only, BMO notes.

In these days of economic uncertainty, starting your own business no longer seems all that much riskier than a 9-5 office job.

What's holding them back? No money. 52 per cent of those surveyed say access to capital is the most significant barrier to starting out on their own.

Despite this, about 1.7 million Canadian men consider themselves self-employed, according to Statistics Canada.

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June 19, 2021

Mancession? Number of stay-at-home dads has doubled since 2001

Mr. Mom  came out in 1983, and Michael Keaton was last relevant in 1992 when he was dressing up like Batman.

But somehow, in 2012 and on a money blog, both are topical today.

The hook? The recession, er, make that the “mancession,” the nickname afforded the regrettable consequences the downturn has had on the male worker.

Disproportionately, more men than women have seen their jobs slashed, burned or both by the great recessionary reshuffling, and what’s left from it all is a sizeable uptick in stay-at-home dads.

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Automated flower service makes up for all those good intentions

No power tools this Father's Day? Well, maybe they simply forgot. Or your spouse/partner simply didn't hound them enough.

You, of course, wouldn't be so foolish -- which is the key to KeepHerHappy, an automatic flower delivery service website geared for forgetful men who are married or in committed relationships and hope to stay that way.

“We’ve completely automated the flower-purchasing habits of men and made life a lot easier for our customers,” co-owner Dan Fallak tells the Ottawa Citizen.

“Men come to our site, enter a few details about their wife or girlfriend, as well as some important dates and we automatically ship her flowers on special events such as Valentine’s Day, on her birthday and on their anniversary,” he explains.

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June 18, 2021

Debt up, income flat in Canada, reports say

It seems we link to this report every week, but the Bank of Canada’s proclamation the recession officially ended three years ago is topical once again.

According to the bank, the downturn was to be declared dead in July of 2009, and we all hoped a shift was to follow: we’d get our jobs back, save our homes and cars, spend more and the economy would heal itself.

But then, for every positive story to come out of post-recession headlines, it sure does appear there have been two to bring us back down.

Like this pair. Three years after the economy was said to have righted itself, Canadian household debt has hit a record high, while median household income has stopped growing altogether.

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Are good fund managers really just lucky?

Do fund managers get better over time? Apparently not, according to recent research by Bryant University professor Jack Trifts.

According to Trifts and colleague Gary Porter, even the best solo fund managers, in the United States at least, falter the longer they stay in the game.

And, while fund companies don't tout star power here as much as they do across the border, there's little reason to suggest that Canada is really much different.

The academics’ other findings are:

  • Solo fund managers who survived more than 10 years were likely to have done better or at least matched the market in their first three years;
  • Although each of the very best managers generated decent returns following those first three years, the majority were not able to maintain that level of initial performance;
  • The longer the best solo fund managers managed a fund, the poorer their average annual performance.

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June 14, 2021

Everything you need to know about splitting a dinner cheque

There may be no greater test of social will than when you’re out to eat with friends and it’s time to pay up.

You wouldn’t quite call it the world’s foremost source of anxiety, but there is plenty of seat-shuffling, eye-darting and general uneasiness when the meal is done.

Do you ask the waiter to split the cheque? Do you grab the whole tab and hope your friends get the next one? And what if your server brings one bill without you getting the chance to request it be separated?

It’s happened to us all, which is why Everyday Money presents everything you need to know about splitting a restaurant cheque.

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Do temporary foreign workers steal jobs and depress wages?

Despite the Conservative government's new employment insurance rules that aim to fill vacant jobs with unemployed Canadians instead, the number of temporary foreign workers in Canada has never been higher.

Canadian companies hire thousands of foreign workers each year to fill jobs that locals simply won't or can't afford to do. But is that really a solution? 

"Employers will always be ready to find workers overseas who are eager to come to Canada and willing to work long hours for low pay. And under the Conservatives, boosting economic growth will always eclipse protecting workers’ rights," notes the Toronto Star.

"Since Prime Minister Stephen Harper assumed power in 2006, the number of foreign temporary workers admitted into Canada has grown by 40 per cent. The temporary worker stream is now larger than the stream of permanent workers intending to set down roots and become citizens," the Star maintains

And that labour tsunami could have a dramatic impact on wages for Canadians, particularly if you look beyond Ontario's agricultural sector. 

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June 13, 2021

When will you be ready to ditch cash altogether?

The penny will be scrapped by Canada later this year, by the official estimation of the federal government, because they are too expensive to produce.

In truth, though, perhaps the discontinuation of the penny, the least consequential hard piece of currency we have, is a sign of something more.

Within your own personal spending, you’ve no doubt noticed a shift in how you pay for items; cash giving way to pieces of plastic or, where Internet shopping is concerned, the info found on those pieces of plastic.

But how soon could we become a cashless society, and are Canadians ready for it?

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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...