October 02, 2021

The only companies that will matter in the future

Bruce Poon Tip with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Bruce Poon Tip, founder, G Adventures, tells what he thinks it takes for someone to be a successful entrepreneur:

In my book, Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business (a New York Times and Globe & Mail bestseller and available now at all book retailers and at, I write about the importance of community, culture and karma in business and challenge entrepreneurs and companies to look at how they are doing business through a different lens. It is possible to be profitable and purposeful in business today. The only companies and brands that will matter in the future are those that make people’s lives better. 

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August 12, 2021

Can you spend your way to happiness?

You can be poor and happy, and you can be rich and unhappy. But the norm is more likely poor and unhappy or rich and happy. But it doesn't have to be that way.

According to Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, money can definitely make you more satisfied with life; you just need to know how to spend it more effectively.

In their book Happy Money, the authors offer several key principles for happy spending. It's an easy read and not too preachy.

What's more, unlike many "yes, you too can be happy" books, Dunn, an associate professor of psychology at the UBC, and Norton, who teaches marketing at the Harvard Business School, back up their views with both their own research and third-party studies from around the world.

Here are a few of their suggestions:

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July 11, 2021

Is it the end of the 40-hour workweek?

Is the 40-hour workweek still relevant in today's society?

In a report issued last month, the International Labour Organization (ILO) noted that reducing work hours can have a positive affect on employment levels during a severe economic downturn.

It also discusses the use of work-sharing to generate jobs and for the preservation of existing jobs.

I can relate to the latter.

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June 05, 2021

Canadians give back to their community

Count me in.

I worked for many years for a non-profit association that relied solely on its volunteers.

Just witnessing the enthusiasm and dedication of the volunteer board of directors and volunteers who worked diligently organizing business and social events was inspiring.

And volunteerism is not only rewarding but it is also contagious. In fact, many people who attended the events often asked how they could volunteer to help out as well.

This group of individuals held full-time jobs yet gave so willingly and selflessly of their time and talents.

According to a new study by BMO Financial Group, 70 per cent of Canadians say they volunteered for a charitable organization in the past year.

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May 28, 2021

Why men and women continue to misunderstand each other at work

Studies have shown time and time again that men and women have markedly different strategies for conversing, and can easily misunderstand each other -- particularly at the office.

But all is not lost, maintains gender intelligence expert Barbara Annis in her recently published book Work With Me: The 8 Blind Spots Between Men and Women in Business, co-authored with John Gray, of the famous Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus franchise.

The authors argue that men and women are hard-wired differently, so they communicate and process interpersonal information differently thus producing 'gender blind spots' when it comes to understanding their co-workers’ behaviour.

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March 28, 2021

Funding post-secondary education

298822_6140There's much to be said about a good education.

But if you're late getting out of the gate, how do you plan on funding your child's post-secondary education?

Graduating high school students, like my daughter in Grade 12, are just now starting to get their acceptance letters to colleges and universities. And, according to a new report by BMO Wealth Institute, a four-year university degree can cost upwards of $60,000 and yet three-quarters of Canadian parents are not prepared and only half have taken advantage of Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs).

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March 19, 2022

Canadian franchises have the right stuff

What do franchises like Pizza Nova, M&M Meat Shops, Cora and Coffee Culture have in common?

They all have the ingredients to be financially successful.

In Canada, one out of every five dollars spent ends up in the cash register of a franchise operation.

That's more than $100 billion each year, proving savvy marketing, solid fiscal planning and some calculated risks are helping franchises prosper north of the 49th parallel.

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January 02, 2022

'50 Shades of Grey' driving Canada's e-reader biz

Though 2013 is here, the year’s early days are often a time for reflection, of looking back at the driving forces of a year ago.

50ShadesofGreyCoverArtFrom a pop culture standpoint, if you’re not talking about “Gangnam Style” as the hero of 2012, you’re probably going with 50 Shades of Grey, the erotic series that turned even the most soap opera-addicted housewife into an avid reader.

Yet the E.L. James series wasn’t just a sales smash, though a smash it certainly was.

According to a new report, the trilogy also helped drive Canada’s e-reader industry.

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November 29, 2021

How to experience the joy of financial stability

Ghost Money defined: dead money, money wasted on stupid things, money that should have been invested instead

1. Magazines. Never buy them off the rack. Rack prices are inflated, so it’s the most expensive way to get your fix. Always subscribe, or get a tablet and download them. Local libraries let you read them for free. And if you work in an industry where it’s important to stay abreast of news and current affairs, convince your boss to buy the magazines for you. Besides, chopping trees down for magazines and newspapers is going to become an obsolete practice. We live in an increasingly wireless, paperless world. Embrace it.

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July 24, 2021

'Fifty Shades of Grey' boosting sign-ups to 'sugar daddy' site

Rare is the modern book that stakes a long-term claim in the public consciousness, but this Fifty Shades of Grey  thing is still happening.

The novel trilogy is a bestselling smash, and in this space we’ve covered the economic impact of the books, which have boosted the sales of everything from sex toys to grey ties.

Though perhaps E.L. James’ novels, in addition to filling financial headlines, are matchmakers, too.

By one measure, the Fifty Shades of Grey  phenomenon has boosted sign-ups to an online dating site that connects “sugar daddies” to “sugar babies.”

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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...