October 10, 2021

Rogers' BlackBerry backlash illustrates 'Buy Canada' mindset

The telecom company announced it would sell the latest BlackBerry after social media furor to news that Rogers wouldn't sell the BlackBerry Z30.

A week ago, the Rogers said it wouldn't offer BlackBerry's flagship phone, but many Canadians were upset that the company wouldn't support another Canadian company. Many users threatened to cancel services with one of the country's largest carriers.

The company has now said that the Z30 can be bought on its website and national reservation system.

Let's be real. BlackBerry is facing a dire situation. It looks like the company's future in smartphones is over with a possible $1 billion write off in unsold touchscreen phones, along with the possible sale and breakup of the company.

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September 06, 2021

If someone gave you too much change, would you tell them?

So you're at the grocery store paying for your purchases. When you get your change and count it, however, you notice that you've been given change for a higher bill than you actually used.

Do you alert the cashier and give the money back or would you think "well, it's their fault for not being more careful" and keep it?

Does it matter whether you're shopping at Loblaws or your favourite farmers market?

Well, for many people, the answer seems to be ... it depends.

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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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June 06, 2021

Do you think strategically when making money decisions?

All of us make decisions on a daily basis, most of them simple and straightforward. Sometimes though, particularly when it comes to money, there are instances that require more careful thought and consideration.

One of the great truths about managing money is that if you keep on doing what you're doing now you'll keep on getting the same results. But it's hard to break establiushed patterns.

You can practice confident decision-making by remembering a simple dictum over and over: You can't  have certainty and you don't need it. By accepting that no certainty exists and that you don't need it, you'll instead harness intuition and, by extension, confidence, says psychologist Nando Pelusi.

And if that doesn't work, perhaps you should have a look at the strategic decision-making guide developed by the MetLife Mature Market Institute

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June 05, 2021

Workers losing ground when it comes to planning for retirement

Not a week goes by, it seems, when someone doesn't produce a new report noting just about everyone's lack of preparedness for life after work. And it's not just those nearing retirement who should be worried.

Research from Prudential Financial shows that one quarter of Millennials (those between 21 and 29) feel that they won't be able to stop working until they are over 70, largely because they can't see how they'll ever save enough money.

The gap between what workers realize they should be doing to prepare for retirtement and what they're actually doing can be largely attributed to a lack of motivation, Prudential suggests.

And that's where employers can help.

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May 21, 2021

Worries over aging investors being abused likely overstated: report

Regardless of gender or education level, most people become considerably less literate when it comes to handling money issues after age 60, according to a recent study.

The result is that retirees with significant cognitive deficits will have problems making sound financial decisions. They may make investment mistakes that cause losses in their retirement accounts that will reduce their retirement incomes and standards of living.

Or, even worse, unscrupulous advisors might take advantage of them by selling them inappropriate investments, or one with excessive commissions -- something that's more more easily done when decision-making abilities and the grasp of financial concepts are diminished.

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May 06, 2021

Embarrassing money mishaps haunt consumers: study

Swiping, waiting and then having your debit card declined is one of the most stomach churning moments you’ll ever experience. If you don’t have the money in the bank, you’re now exposed as a forgetful idiot ... or worse. 

And even if it’s a bank error, that red-faced "what?" is still going to attract impatient, if not judgmental looks from those behind you -- which can be a problem for some people.

After all, many of us our self-esteem, identity or feelings of self-worth wrapped up in financial matters – all of which makes dealing with awkward money incidents particularly unsettling.

So much so that 48 per cent of consumers admit they've avoided someone or a particular situation that involved money because they knew it would likely get messy.

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April 22, 2021

What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you financially?

Whether it's a childhood of poverty or want, a message about money subconsciously internalized from a parent, or a nest egg lost to an economic downturn later in life, everyone has experienced a financial flashpoint in their lives.

These flashpoints are painful, distressing, and/or dramatic life events that are so emotionally powerful that they leave an imprint that can last a lifetime, often creating problems with money, says financial psychologist Brad Klontz, author of Mind Over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders that Threaten Our Financial Health.

Such money disorders typically manifest themselves in one of three ways: repeating destructive financial patterns learned from our early socialization; doing the polar opposite, often in an exaggerated and equally dysfunctional way, or forever bouncing between the two extremes.

And, for many, a lack of money isn't necessarily the biggest issue.

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April 18, 2021

Filing your tax return is the right thing to do

Did you know there's a rhyme and reason to why you file your income tax return?

It's because it's the right thing to do.

According to the Psychology of Taxes Study by BMO Nesbitt Burns, 52 per cent of Canadians say they file their taxes because they believe its their civic duty. 

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April 05, 2021

More choices lead to bigger gambles: study

People make riskier decisions when they're given more choice, according to a study into how we behave when faced with large amounts of information.

What’s more, while our choices about risk invariably feel right when we make them, many of these decisions end up hurting us in the end.

The researchers set up a gambling game where players were rated on their decision-making when faced with a large number of potential wagers. The result was that people took riskier gambles when they mistakenly felt that there was a higher probability of winning big.

The problem is that most of us don’t sample any given choice enough to understand the consequences associated with it, the study suggests. This leads to taking riskier choices more often.

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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...