November 29, 2010

Take Pre-Approved Mortgage With a Grain of Salt

Dream House

Sunday morning, Mister and his tender half, dream of more space. They think of moving out of their tiny apartment. In fact, they hope they can finally afford a cozy house: their first house.

Mister proposes to contact their bank as of the following day; two days later, they suddenly sit in front of the nice mortgage clerk. After some quick questions, some fast typing and several smiles; a sheet is frantically printed in the adjacent room, the verdict is out: $300,000!

Wow! Our young couple is ecstatic, they can stop to dream of a house; they now can afford the house of their dreams! And all this, despite their income…their modest income.   

But their dream will probably transform into a nightmare if they don’t wake up soon. At this moment, they only think of their house; their castle in fact. They don’t think of the financial burden, the high monthly payments of more than $1900 (@ 6% over 25 years) and of all the expenses that come with a big residence.

November 23, 2010

Improve Working Conditions with Annual Evaluation Meetings

Improve Working Conditions by 
Listening To Your Employees

In addition to improving the work and productivity of each employee, annual evaluation meetings should also make it possible to ameliorate working conditions of all members of the organization.

Take advantage of annual evaluation meetings to allow employees to express their needs and by the same token, to develop better working conditions for the entire company.

Everyone will greatly benefit when you listen to the needs and requests of your employees.

Photo Credit

November 18, 2010

Paying Some Loans Early May Not Always Be A Good Idea

Some Contracts Won’t Allow You to Save Interest

As a basic rule, getting rid of debts is a pretty good thing. But be careful, it’s not always true.

In fact, some type of loans won’t allow you to save on interests even if you pay up early. It’s often the case with car loans or leases. 

For these loans, interest charges are calculated as part of the original contract and cannot be altered.

Verify The Contract

The only way to actually know is to read the fine prints of the contract. So check your contract before getting rid of this type of debts.

November 15, 2010

Keep a Detailed Price List of Products That You Buy Frequently

Write Down a Detailed List

Most of us do not have a precise idea of the price of products they regularly buy. A good way to remedy the situation is to establish in writing a detailed list of products you buy frequently. Products like butter, paper tissues, canned peas, bread…

Your list should include the price of each product as well as the corresponding quantity. It could also include the brand and the store where you usually purchase it. We should not forget fruits and vegetables or other products you buy in bulk.

Regular and Special Prices

It might also be interesting to indicate the price you usually pay (regular price) but also the best price you got (best special price).

November 12, 2010

Avoid Preparing Your Tax Return at the Last Minute

Prepare and Plan a Little Ahead

You should not wait to the last minute to prepare your income tax return.

For most, filing income tax return in late February or early March is possible when employment slips arrive. It’s even possible to prepare the majority of your declaration in advance and to finalize it with last-minute details. There’s no use to wait until April or even worse, till the end of April to send your tax return, especially if you’re entitled to a refund.

If you are a do-it-yourself investor like me, you may have to wait a bit longer for some papers because brokerage firms have till the end of March to send them out. You can still make sure that your transaction records are in order for your non-registered accounts. After a quick check when you finally get all your documents, you’ll be to file your tax return with no undue delay.

November 09, 2010

Avoid Over-Diversifying Your Mutual Funds

While investing in mutual funds, do not diversify too much.

Already Diversified Enough

By definition, a mutual fund is already diversified!

Indeed, the fund manager buys different titles with money invested by all shareholders of the fund.

Some specialized funds are a little less diversified but in general, mutual funds are a well diversified investment vehicle.

Limit Yourself to a Couple Funds

It is not necessary to select a large number of funds for your portfolio. Three or four different funds should be sufficient to meet your needs. In some cases, a single fund may do a great job.

November 04, 2010

Shop Around and Negotiate Your Credit Conditions

Always Worthwhile to Negotiate

It may be interesting for you to shop and negotiate loan or credit line conditions with a few different financial institutions.

On your mortgage, for example, a difference of only 1% will save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest before you finish paying your home.

Consult Several Institutions

Avoid being lazy and get information elsewhere. At worst, negotiate with your regular institution to obtain the best possible terms afterwards.

November 01, 2010

Carefully Choose Your Life Insurance Agent

Nowadays, with the multitude of products that are offered to us, it’s difficult to make wise choices. We would like to blindly trust our life insurance agent, but that could be one of the most serious mistakes that could be made. In addition to being expensive, that kind of mistake could really place your family in a precarious situation.

Make Your Own Analysis First

There’s no magic formula for choosing a good life insurance agent. You should start by making your own reflection and by determining by yourself your life insurance needs. Your life insurance agent should only validate your analysis and help you choose specific products tailored to your needs.

Choose Products According to Your Needs and Not Your Capacity to Pay