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Personal Finance

5 Stock Picking Secrets Revealed

December 29, 2014

It’s easy to get tangled in the buzz of hot stocks every day, but picking a winner requires some serious work. When picking stocks, things like luck and coincidence can only take you to a bridge, not help you cross it. The real success lies in understanding how to make a smarter investment. If you’ve tried and tested stock picking and tasted sour losses, then it’ time to gear up and unveil some best kept stock picking secrets. Following these secret mantras will not just help you make big bucks, but will also stabilize your profitability.

Know What You Own

Take it from the experiences of the Mad Money host Jim Cramer, investing in a company without knowing it inside out is always going to pull you down in a stock market. This doesn’t just involve knowing the products and services of the company, but also the ups and lows, the management strategy, future growth prospects, and past successes and failures. A company’s CEO also plays an important role here. A famous CEO is not necessarily an adaptable CEO. In this continuously changing and fast-paced world, a company needs a CEO who can recover from mistakes and improve.

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Get The Credit You Deserve for Your Education – Credit Union Student Lending

December 3, 2014

Recently, I ran into my young cousin, who just started her final year of high school. As we spoke about the excitement of the home stretch of high school, my cousin and I began talking about university and the financial difficulties that she may face to pay for her future education. Coming from a family who does not qualify for provincial student loans but requires assistance has put my cousin in a tough position.

Luckily, one of the wonderful things that have come out of my credit union research is the fact that they are able to help students and offer strong education lending programs to make your degree a reality.


When it comes to student loans, credit unions have been a best-kept secret. Until recently, I did not even know they provided loans for education! Aside from the Canada Student Loan Programs and traditional bank loans, credit unions offer personal loans to students with what appears to be a lot less red tape or limitations. Credit unions appear to evaluate each prospective post-secondary student as a unique, individual case. This allows for more possibilities when it comes to obtaining a student loan. It also provides students with specialized individualized attention, where each situation is examined, evaluated and awarded in a unique way.

In assisting each prospective student with their own distinct case, credit unions treat each case on an individual basis and focus on providing flexibility when it comes to education funding for students. They are also able to provide their student members in-depth financial guidance, which helps in easing the mind as they enter this next stage of education, as well as setting up a long-term plan to pay off the student line of credit as fast as possible.

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Credit Unions and Cars – The Simple Purchase

November 27, 2014

As of this December, the lease on my second car will be up. After eight years of leasing cars and enjoying two new vehicles in a row, I have taken it upon myself to figure out what will be better financially for my next set of wheels. To lease or to buy? That is the question!

When I got my first car at the age of 23, I was so excited. I remember picking up my brand new car, which was a trendy hatchback model in dark blue, and driving off the lot with a big smile on my face. I admit it though – my parents were amazing and covered the costs of this car to allow me more financial breathing room. However, I knew this would not last forever.

With my second car, I leased again and was fully financially responsible this time. The idea of trading in a well-used car of four years for a brand new one also excited me. With only one more month to go, and being more financially conservative than ever, I wonder, would it be a better investment to finance to buy? And how would I make purchasing a car a reality?

xCredit Unions and Cars – The Simple Purchase

When you are going to purchase or finance to buy a car directly through a dealership, they have their own agenda. They invite you in, give you a tour around the showroom, take you out for several test drives and butter you up until you are sitting in their finance office, signing on the dotted line. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dealership and the brand of car that I have been loyal to for eight years. However, as a young professional, I am starting to wonder if leasing is financially smart at this point or not.

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Looking for a Career Change?

November 26, 2014

Ever wonder why we’re so trigger happy to switch jobs? In previous generations, it wasn’t uncommon for someone to stay with the same employer – and often the same role – for the majority of their working life. Nowadays that is almost unheard of as people move between companies and industries on their climb up the corporate ladder.

It’s also possible to completely change your direction at any stage in your working life and embark on a new career. While it may be daunting to think about learning something new, going back to school or leaving the stability of your current job, it is a great opportunity to reskill if your industry or field of specialisation is slowing or simply follow your dreams. Read on to find out how you can get started towards a new career.

Looking for a Career Change?

Consider a Careers Counsellor

Many tertiary education providers and job seeking agencies have trained professionals who can help you work out what you want to do and even map out a pathway for you to get there. Career counsellors can also usually offer resume and interview tips that can help you get noticed by your new potential employers. You don’t usually need to pay for the service, and the advice they can give about transitioning to a new career can be invaluable.

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Credit History: More is less and Less is more!

November 19, 2014

More payments, less (spending on) credit cards and more time, less interest. Does this sound confusing? Not if you look at it against the background of improving your credit history… Building up a good credit history takes time, and if it’s been tarnished for whatever reason, improving it will also take time. While you wait, it’s all about doing the right things right, paying off more rather than less to avoid attracting and spending less to over the medium to long term gain big in terms of your credit history or profile.

Your credit history is all about your credit payment pattern over time, it focuses on recent information; mortgage repayments, vehicle finance, retail accounts, etc. If your life has taken an unexpected turn, you find yourself in financial difficulty as a result and as a consequence your credit history has taken a beating, all is not lost. However, you will have to apply strict financial discipline for a period of time before you will see the changes. If the reason for your bad credit history is more serious than just you having defaulted on a repayment or two or made a late payment, you are likely to wait a number of years before your credit record or profile will be restored to its former glory.

So, what are the quick wins – things that you can do immediately to improve your bad credit history? First, access your credit profile. Most, if not all, credit bureaux afford consumers one free credit profile a year. Get yours, study it and then draft a payment plan on how you will go about improving your credit history.

Pay those accounts – on time, every time

This is one of the most important factors influencing your credit profile. For a good credit profile, pay your accounts on time. You can even pay twice a month, should it be required, once before the date the statement is due, and then again on or just before the date the payment is due. The first payment will have a positive impact on your visible payment profile, while the second payment will ensure that you don’t attract interest charged on late payments.

Apply for new credit only if and when you need it

A ‘versatile credit portfolio’ with some car finance, a few retail store cards and a personal loan might look good, but not if you can’t keep up with the repayments. Rather keep your credit portfolio small with only one or two well-managed elements and apply for other or more credit only if and when you really need it.

Don’t overcommit or overextend yourself!

The saying “cut your coat according to your cloth” is equally true of credit. Do not borrow (or spend) more than you afford to repay. This applies to credit cards as well as other credit, such as personal loans and retail store cards. “Maxing out” a credit card and using up all your credit on a retail store card immediately is easy, but keeping to the repayments, especially when compound interest adds to your account (and financial woes) is a challenge if you have other debt that you are repaying monthly, such as a mortgage bond.

The temptation to spend money on something you don’t need to impress people you don’t know is always there. Resist the temptation to fall for the retail industry’s marketing tactics to convince you to part with your hard-earned money. Be responsible and first repay your creditors.

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Why You Should Invest In Property Before Age 30

September 8, 2014

I know it’s not something that we think when we’re tackling our student loans out of University or have to think about finding that perfect job that lets us grow and feel accomplished, but hear me out.

Purchasing an investment property is the best thing you can do for your finances after setting up your retirement plan. Yes, it has to be the best investment property, and they are tons of resources out there that will help you find out what type of landlord you’re ready to be. I tend to watch a ton of Income Property with Scott Mcgillvary on HGTV (I can’t help it- the man has amazing hair!).

Side note- I’m speaking at the same conference as Scott next weekend, and am beyond thrilled!

Investing in an income property is one of those that if set up correctly will pay for itself, and with minimum involvement from you, and will allow you to invest in other ones with the equality built in.



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