Home Energy Audits: Government Rebates to Fix up your Home

It’s a win-win situation: renovate your home, improve energy efficiency, lower your monthly bills and get up to $5,000 back in an ecoENERGY grant to pay for a portion of it. That’s exactly what the Government of Canada is offering through the ecoENERGY Home Retrofit Program, which was extended June, 6 2011.

In order to qualify for rebates, homeowners must contact a local energy advisor to book their home energy audit. These can be found by calling Service Canada (1-800-622-6232) or conducting a quick Internet search for energy auditors in your area. HomePerformance, for instance, provides energy audits in British Columbia and Ontario while Alberta Energy Audit provides eco-energy evaluations for both residential and commercial properties located in Calgary.

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Wall Street: From New Amsterdam to this Quarter’s Close

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For more than 400 years Manhattan has been the site of big trades, big gains and big losses. The island was originally purchased in 1626 from the Lenape Native Americans for a sum of 60 Dutch guilders, the equivalent of roughly $24, by the Walloon director-general Peter Minuit. At this time the city was hailed New Amsterdam.

Four decades later the Dutch lost the island to the English but gained another island, Run – one of the smallest of the Banda Islands of Indonesia – after a century of struggle over its ownership. The island was coveted for its nutmeg trees, from which both the spice nutmeg and mace were traded globally. Just before the Treaty of Breda was signed, following the end of the second Dutch-Anglo War of 1665-1667, the Duke of York renamed New Amsterdam New York. Unfortunately, in 1817, the Dutch monopoly on spice trade was ended when nutmeg trees that were sent and planted on various British colonies began yielding.

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Investing for Young People Part 3: Differentiating Mutual Funds

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Perhaps jumping into the stock market has turned out to be more of a chore than you and your child anticipated. If savings bonds and GICs are not offering the rates of return you and your child would like to see their savings yielding, mutual funds are a promising alternative.

At current Canadians have well over 1,200 different mutual funds to select from. How do you know which is right for you? Here is some general information on the various types of mutual funds available in Canada.

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Investing for Young People Part 2: The Difference Between Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds

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How to Pick your Stocks

Now that your child is proficiently handling their chequing account, making debits and deposits responsibly, and has assessed their risk tolerance, it is time to locate an investment vehicle that will see their savings dollars grow.
While an allowance and monetary birthday/holiday gifts might line the accounts, authoress Katherine R. Bateman, in her book The Young Investor, suggests that your child make a list of the things he or she is good at, or likes doing, and from that list derive ways in which they can earn money from those activities themselves. Continue reading “Investing for Young People Part 2: The Difference Between Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds”

Investment Strategies for Young People

Helping Your Kids Get into Investing Early

In this Internet-dominated, economy-fearing age it may be possible that your kids will out-know you in terms of stocks and trading before they finish grade school. American author Katherine R. Bateman suggests in her book, The Young Investor: Projects and Activities for Making Your Money Grow that no age is too young to get kids making sense of their dollars.

She suggests that even in delivery babies are buying currency – that is, the effort they exert coming into the world is generally awarded with monetary gifts. Bateman says that rather than encouraging your children to begin saving in piggy banks, go one step further and have them deposit into real bank accounts as soon as they can, or open an account for them as soon as they are born. Continue reading “Investment Strategies for Young People”

What is TFSA: Why Canadians should be Investing Tax-Free

How will the Canada Tax Free Savings Account Guard your Retirement Funds?

Registered or unregistered – that seems to be the question as Canadians plan and gear their savings and investment accounts toward retirement. Most experts advise that your investments gain a return in excess of two per cent in order to beat annual inflation. In addition, there are several tax strategies you should keep in mind as you allocate your investment dollars to specific accounts.

The Canadian Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) allows for tax-free earnings off investments with aggressive return potential, yet only half of Canadians are utilizing this account – why is that? H&R Block suggests there are several myths acting as hurdles on the path to earning tax-free investment income. Continue reading “What is TFSA: Why Canadians should be Investing Tax-Free”

Bank of Canada Holds Prime Rate in Face of Unpredictable Global Climate

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Bank Steadies itself as Possible Domino Effect Threatens European Economies

What a large number of analysts have been predicting for months has proven true; the Bank of Canada has opted to keep its benchmark, overnight interest rate at 1 per cent.

The rate announcement came with a message: at present, combating inflation needs take a back seat to spurring economic growth amid the debt crises being faced in European and U.S. markets.

“The U.S. economy has grown at a slower pace than expected and continues to be restrained by the consolidation of household balance sheets and slow growth in employment,” a press release issued by the BoC stated. Continue reading “Bank of Canada Holds Prime Rate in Face of Unpredictable Global Climate”

Stampede Buzz of Activity Could Mark Economic Recovery

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Local Businesses see Up-Surge of Corporate Spending

Is it the enchantment cast by the recent visit of the Duke and Duchess, which sadly ends today, or an indication that the City of Calgary is enjoying better economic times? According to yesterday’s Calgary Herald, the answer lies in the latter.

The Herald highlights the fact that this year’s food and drink haunts have seen a marked increase in business these days over the same period passed in 2010 and 2009. Continue reading “Stampede Buzz of Activity Could Mark Economic Recovery”

Improve Bad Credit in Six Easy Steps

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Credit score is one of the major players in determining the amount of financing and interest rate you are eligible to receive. Credit history proves to lenders how reliable you are when granted funds. Leading up to your mortgage application, there are six, quite simple steps you can take to help improve your credit rating.

Remember that regardless of a company’s claim to possess the ability to repair your credit score for you, in Canada, this is just not possible. Don’t fall prey to a credit repair scam. Though there are actions you can take to improve your own credit rating, there is no easy way out or fee you can pay to have the slate completely cleaned. Instead, follow the following and improve your credit rating the right way. Continue reading “Improve Bad Credit in Six Easy Steps”

Drunk Driving Highest in Interior BC Towns, Not Urban Areas

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According to ICBC investigation records, as accessed by Global News in an exclusive investigation, the postal code areas showing the highest rates of alcohol-related suspensions are within interior towns, not heavier populated urban areas.

The top 10 highest volumes of alcohol-related suspensions per postal code – ranging from 12-hour license suspensions to impaired driving causing death – were found in the following locations, as reported from April, 2010 to April, 2011:

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