Personal Finance
Personal Finance

Credit card companies to trim merchant fees, but retailers group 'underwhelmed'

Posted on 21 August 2018

OTTAWA — The federal government is announcing today that credit card companies have agreed to trim the fees they charge the country’s businesses by 10 basis points. Ottawa has reached voluntary, five-year deals with Visa, Mastercard and American Express that the feds expect will help small and medium-sized companies save a total of $250 million per year, says a government source familiar wi ...

Personal Finance

How Do You Handle Money?

Posted on 21 August 2018

When it comes to money, some people, like old Wile E. Coyote, over complicate their financial life. There’s always an Acme Explosives contraption that reduces them to smoking ruble. It’s the wise Road Runner—the folks who follow a simple straightforward approach toward success—who emerges to enjoy another day. We use both our intellect and our emotions to make money decisions. ...

Personal Finance

What Consumers Should Know About Good-Better-Best Pricing

Posted on 21 August 2018

These days, good-better-best pricing is everywhere. When purchasing an airplane ticket, for example, passengers can buy the default coach ticket (good), pay for some extra leg-room by upgrading to “premium economy ” (better) or pay through the nose and buy a business class seat (best). With all three tickets, the basic service is the same―aerial transportation from point A to point ...

Personal Finance

Is Your Money Problem a Puzzle or a Mystery?

Posted on 21 August 2018

Gregory Treverton, a national security expert at RAND Corporation, famously distinguished between two types of problems, puzzles and mysteries. He was describing the modern challenges faced by the American intelligence community. According to Treverton, puzzles are problems having a definitive solution once the relevant information and insight is found and used. Solving puzzles requires ...

Personal Finance

Ottawa has turned income-splitting rules into an absolute nightmare for small businesses

Posted on 21 August 2018

As every reader will surely recall, the federal government issued a number of tax proposals for private corporations last summer. The government ultimately abandoned or replaced all of them, except for new rules that address so-called “income splitting.” Those rules, now in force, are extraordinarily complex and will impose a heavy compliance burden on small business. The rules shoul ...

Personal Finance

Hydro-Québec case shows CRA can’t run around demanding taxpayers' personal info from third parties

Posted on 21 August 2018

In a move that is sure to attract the attention of privacy experts across the land, the Canada Revenue Agency recently attempted to obtain a list from Hydro-Québec of the names, addresses and various other pieces of personal information of a group of its electricity customers. The request, according to the CRA, was part of an attempt “to identify those who seem to be carrying on a business but ...

Personal Finance

Net worth of just $200,000 and zero retirement savings mean this Alberta couple's options are limited

Posted on 21 August 2018

Situation: Couple in early 50s has hefty debts, modest financial assets and low net worth Solution: Pay debts with available cash then work to 65 to build job pension A couple we’ll call Sally, 54, and Mike, 52, live in Alberta. They both work as personnel specialists, but have only been in their current roles for six and eight years, respectively. Sally and Mike have two children, age ...