Saturday, July 23, 2011

Canadians keeping credit cards in their wallets

Overall Canadian household credit is growing at its slowest pace since 2002 while consumer debt-to-income ratios have stabilized, signs that consumers are starting to pull back from borrowing, a new report from CIBC World Markets said.

Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist with CIBC, said that household credit growth has averaged an inflated 8.2% in the past decade, a trend that looks to be coming to an end.
“When it comes to household credit growth, the past decade was the exception, not the norm,” he said in a report.

CLICK HERE for the article at The Financial Post

Gary Dutton

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rising housing costs squeezing savings

Before Megan Barnes started shopping for a condominium, she made sure she drew up a budget of what she could afford.

She eliminated buying a place downtown, and instead opted for Richmond Hill where she could get a larger place for the same price. She also tried to keep her emotions in check, staying away from a property that she really liked because it ended up in a bidding war.

CLICK HERE for the entire article
Gary Dutton

BMO Offers Canadians Tips on How to Reduce Debt

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 24, 2011) - New figures released this week show household credit market debt climbed to an all-time high of $1.524 trillion in Q1, or a record 147.3 per cent of disposable income. While growth in household debt has cooled in recent months, it continues to outstrip income growth.
Additionally, the 2011 BMO Annual Summer Spending Study shows 32 per cent of Canadians are living at or beyond their means, with 27 per cent living paycheque to paycheque – a 10 per cent increase over last year.
CLICK HERE to access the complete article

Gary Dutton

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mothers and money: one financial adviser's story

With Mother's Day around the corner, financial advisor Paul Gleeson of Vancouver-based Nicola Wealth Management shares some money words of wisdom learned from his financially savvy mother. Gleeson now provides financial advice to high-net-worth business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs, but he says much of his mom's advice still applies.

CLICK HERE to read what Paul Gleeson learned from his mother

Gary Dutton

Friday, April 22, 2011

Younger families most snared by debt

Debt is the slavery of the free, the Syrian writer Publilius Syrus said all the way back in the 1st century B.C.
And here we are, a few millennia later, more ensnared than ever.

Canadian household debt loads hit record territory this year, surpassing even levels south of the border. A new Statistics Canada paper out Thursday sheds some light on just who’s most indebted and why.

Gaqry Dutton
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Most common money mistakes couples make

You may think you and your spouse have a good handle on your finances, but even smart couples make money mistakes. Get beyond “getting by” and learn how to manage your money! Stacy Morrison, editor-in-chief of Redbook magazine, has smart solutions to the top money mistakes that couples make.

CLICK HERE to view the video from TODAY

Gary Dutton
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Middle Income Earners Determined to Stay Out of Debt

New research shows a generation termed the Coping Classes are committed to shopping around and reducing their borrowings, to help them survive the effects of the recession.

The study by Friends Life revealed this group of middle income earners (£25-50k) who have been impacted by the recession, feel disproportionally affected by the public sector spending cuts, and have, as a result, an altered attitude towards debt.

Eighty four percent said they are committed to avoiding taking on any more debt in the next six months, and nearly three quarters said they are putting plans in place to pay off the majority of their debt in the next 10 years.

CLICK HERE for the entire story

Gary Dutton

Saturday, April 9, 2011

To Refinance or Not

With interest rates down, should you remortgage?
People say that if you put 10 economists in a room and ask a simple question, you will end up with 10 different answers ...

About seven months ago most world economists were predicting that oil was going to be trading at $150 a barrel in early 2009; when I checked the price this morning it was $35. Inflation was a big concern and their collective mantra was that interest rates would go up in order to keep the economy in check.
CLICK HERE for the entire story from Canadian Immigrant

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Reverse mortgage market likely to grow

Demand for financing option getting stronger

By Paul Barker, Postmedia News April 1, 2011
HomEquity Bank, operator of the Canadian Home Income Plan reverse mortgage, better known as CHIP, has a mono poly today, but mortgage experts say it's only a matter of time before competitors move into this highly lucrative and growing market.

"I can't predict when it might happen, but I know there are people looking into this space," says Robert Mc-Lister, a mortgage specialist with brokerage firm Mortgage Architects in Vancouver and co-founder of

CLICK HERE for the entire story at

For more information contact:
Gary Dutton

Monday, March 28, 2011

Saip's shabby treatment reflects morality of another age

The manner in which the Conservatives dealt with him is another example of why good people avoid political life

By Craig McInnes, Vancouver Sun

A column about disclosure should begin with a few.

My first marriage failed. I have invested in businesses that went bankrupt. In retrospect I made poor decisions although they always seemed like good ideas at the time.

I have been in disputes with Revenue Canada. I have won some and lost some. They were always painful.

All of these life experiences are part of who I am today, for better or worse. I think for better.

Read more:

Deep in debt, spendthrift up against retirement

Situation Civil servant with negative net worth

Strategy Rein in spending, work part-time, pay debts

Solution More discretionary income

In Vancouver, a woman we'll call Suzette, 58, has put 37 years into her job and wants to retire in a few months, then return to work part-time. She will have to work to supplement her pension, for her financial cupboard is almost bare. Her assets are $2,500 in an RRSP. Period. She lives on credit. She rents a home from her ex-husband for $900 a month, which is 18% of her $4,983 monthly take-home income.

CLICK HERE for the entire story from The Financial Post

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Staring down retirement, spendthrift deep in debt

In Vancouver, a woman we’ll call Suzette, 58, has put 37 years into her job and wants to retire in a few months, then return to work part-time. She will have to work to supplement her pension, for her financial cupboard is almost bare. Her assets are $2,500 in an RRSP. Period. She lives on credit. She rents a home from her ex-husband for $900 a month, which is 18% of her $4,983 monthly take-home income.

Her plan, which she would put into place when she turns 59 in March, would boost her monthly pension income with $3,500 part-time income and, after deductions and taxes, give her about $7,000 of after tax income each month.

CLICK HERE for the entire story

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Massive Credit Card Debt Leads to Bankruptcy in Canada

Look in the mirror. It’s likely that you have more in common with the average person who files bankruptcy in Canada than you may think.

My name is Douglas Hoyes, a trustee with Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc. in Ontario, and today we released Joe Debtor, The Face of Bankruptcy, a comprehensive new research study profiling the average person who files a consumer proposal or bankruptcy in Ontario. We call this average person “Joe Debtor”.

Who is Joe Debtor? What does he look like?

Joe Debtor looks just like the average Canadian. He has a job, and may also own a home. He is very similar to the average person. The only difference between Joe Debtor and the average Canadian is that Joe Debtor has a huge amount of debt.

CLICK HERE to view the report

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dire warnings sinking in for home buyers

Perhaps thanks to Mark Carney’s frequent prophecies of financial doom, more Canadians are leaning toward paying off their mortgages sooner rather than later.

A new BMO poll suggests more than half of us (56 per cent) think a shorter amortization period is a good thing, with those aged 35 to 44 the most enthusiastic about throwing their mortgage-burning parties ahead of schedule (77 per cent).

CLICK HERE for the entire story from The Globe and Mail


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Don’t let devotion to RRSPs distract from paying off debt

Canadians are another RRSP season older – and deeper in debt.

In 2010 we owed $1.48 for every dollar we earned, up from $1.45 the year before. According to the Ottawa-based Vanier Institute of the Family we’ve climbed high on the debt mountain: In 1990, the figure was 90 cents.

What’s worse, these figures tell only part of the debt story because they include mortgages, or what experts call “good debt.” A recent survey by the credit bureau TransUnion showed that roughly 25 million Canadians with debt owe an average of $25,000 each – not including mortgages. That kind of consumer debt can attract interest rates nearing 30 per cent for retail credit cards.

CLICK HERE to read the entire article at The Globe & Mail


Sunday, January 30, 2011


New Mortgage Rules…

Concern over rising consumer debt levels is prompting Ottawa to make three new changes to Canada’s mortgage rules.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced on Jan.17 that three new federal rules will come into effect March 18, 2011.

Reduce the maximum amortization period to 30 years from 35 years for government-backed insured mortgages with loan-to-value ratios of more than 80%.

CLICK HERE for the etnire story from The Edmonton Sun


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Canadians' debt problem is clearly fixing itself

Although they're still being barraged with ominous warnings about the dangers of too much debt, it appears that Canadians figured this out long ago. They were already cutting the growth of borrowing sharply by the middle of last year.

CLICK HERE for the entire story at The Gazette


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Banks in spotlight amid rising housing debt

Amid rising uncertainty around the Canadian economy many analysts are quietly expressing concern about the banks and their exposure to ballooning consumer debt.

One statistic that gets bandied about is the value of outstanding mortgages which recently passed the $1-trillion mark.

What happens if employment starts to deteriorate and a lot of borrowers suddenly find themselves unable to make their payments? How would such an event impact real estate prices?

CLICK HERE to read the entire article at The Financial Post


Canadians heed warnings on increased debt by Bank of Canada



TORONTO, Jan. 26 /CNW/ - Canadians are getting the message on cutting debt levels with growth in household credit now rising at its slowest pace since 2001, finds CIBC's latest Household Credit Analysis Report.

Inflation adjusted growth in household credit in the third quarter of 2010 was the slowest in nearly ten years, while the 0.27 per cent increase in credit during November (the latest available data point) was the softest monthly reading in more than 15 years.

Read more:

Monday, January 24, 2011

What happens if you declare bankruptcy

When Valerie Freeman entered the commerce degree program at Ryerson University, she couldn't help but notice the credit card come-ons that seemed to be everywhere — in the student halls, pubs, even residences.

An optimistic 19-year-old, she took up the offers and was approved on the strength of her future income.

Freeman, freshly armed with plastic, indulged in outings at the nearby Eaton Centre for stress-relief shopping.
It turned into more and more; she bought clothing, shoes, gifts, a laptop, “You name it, I charged it,” Freeman told the Star.

CLICK HERE to read the entire article at The Toronto Star

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Mortgage insurance needs to be returned to roots

Mortgage insurance is on its way to being mortgage insurance once again.

No longer should it be boat-loan insurance, or vacation-funding insurance, backed by the Canadian taxpayer. The package of mortgage reforms unveiled by the federal government Monday goes some lengths to ensuring that’s true, but there’s more that can be done.

CLICK HERE to read the entire article at The Globe and Mail

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Bank of Canada chief warns again on debt levels

Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney warned again on Sunday that Canadians should take steps to deal with high levels of household debt because interest rates would at some point rise from near-historic lows.

"Canadians could overextend themselves and they could get into a position where the debts that are sustainable at very low interest rates prove unsustainable when rates return to a more normal level," he said in a transcript of an interview with CTV's "Question Period."

CLICK HERE for the entire story from REUTERS

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