October 11, 2021

Swiss residents to vote on $2,800 monthly basic income

Switzerland is considering a basic income for adults to help tackle the growing worldwide issue of rising income inequality.

The country will hold a referendum vote after a grassroots group submitted a petition with more than 100,000 signatures. They're hoping to grant adults an unconditional income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,800), which could mean a nice, regular yearly cheque of $33,600 a year without having to work.

To kick off the call for a referendum, the group added a unique touch by delivering a truckload of eight million five-rappen coins, one meant for every resident in Switzerland, in front of a parliament building. A date still needs to be set for the vote.

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August 15, 2021

How bad hair can ruin your self-esteem

Bad hair can set the tone for the rest of your day.

In fact, women have stayed home from work, from parties and have even passed up job interviews all because of their hair.

At least that's what a new report out of the UK is telling us.

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July 04, 2021

Working Canadians dream of European-length vacations

Canadians play hard and work hard.

So why not be rewarded for all that hard work with more than a three-week vacation?

According to a new study by, employed Canadians would be happier with twice the amount of vacation days currently awarded at their companies.

Last year, Europeans enjoyed an average of 25 to 30 vacation days, while Canadians received about 17 days off work for holidays.

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June 14, 2021

Do you really want a green ogre for a Dad?

Cineplex Inc. recently came out with a survey indicating that many Canadian Dads think their children would like to replace them with the grouchy, but lovable green ogre, Shrek.

I don't know about you, but Shrek really doesn't top my list of ideal Dads.

The survey also found that, given the chance to select one of Hollywood's leading men, almost one-third of daughters would pick Johnny Depp as the actor they would be most concerned about bringing home to meet dear ol' Dad.

I don't think I would have any concerns with Johnny Depp...but then again, I'm not a Dad.

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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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April 29, 2021

The key to happiness may lie in not looking so hard

Several studies have revealed that unhappy individuals are more likely than happy ones to dwell on negative or ambiguous events. 

According to psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, all of us have a happiness set point. It’s partly encoded in our genes. If something good happens, our sense of happiness rises; if something bad happens, it falls -- often drastically. But it doesn't usually stay there, at least for very long.

Our key error is that we overestimate how long and how intensely a particular negative life event (such as a diagnosis of HIV or being fired from a cherished job) will throw us into despair, and how long and how intensely a particular positive event (earning lifetime tenure or enjoying a financial winfall) will throw us over the moon, she maintains in her book The Myths of Happiness.

The primary reason that we do this is neatly summed up by the fortune-cookie maxim: "Nothing in life is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about 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...