Holiday Time and Retail Therapy

It is that time again when you cannot get away from the commercial hype of the season. Everywhere you go, everything you listen to and all that you see is drumming into your head that it is time to spend, spend, and spend.

When I work with people and get them to do some budgeting with their expenses, I often tell them to track their expenses in December and January. Why, because they are often your most expensive and least expensive months respectively. After all, who wants to be a Scrooge and how few of us have money left over for luxuries in January?

What we can learn from the dogs

Just over a year ago, my family and I decided to take the plunge and get a dog. What type of dog should we get was the first question that we put our minds to and after much consternation we elected to get a German Shepherd puppy. We decided to do this through a breeder in Ontario. We checked out her website and through the wonders of computers we narrowed it down to a couple of choices. That Sunday we got into the car and drove the two hours to visit the breeder and see firsthand which one was going to become part of our family.

The Inherent Conflicts of Financial Advisors - Buyer Beware

Only a true financial planner or financial planning team can help the general public.

You may not agree with the above statement but unfortunately when push comes to shove it is very true. There are three ways in which a person/entity gets remunerated for their work – salary, fee and/or commission. If you work in the financial world, you will have a bias toward what is right or wrong for a client depending on how you get paid.


Anyone who uses a company called 4Imprint for their promotional products will likely have received one of their ‘Blue Papers’ recently which spoke to the idea that a company should have a social media policy in place. That got me thinking.

10 Things that make you Poorer

The following is an interesting piece that I read the other day.

Mon, 13 Aug 2012 10:42:43 GMT | By Liz Pulliam Weston, MSN Money

The costs of these products increase as time goes by.
Everything you buy makes you poorer, in a sense. But some things have hidden costs that can lead you to shell out far more than you'd expected. Sometimes those continuing expenses are so high that you'll curse the day you first opened your wallet.


I spent a full day last week sitting in a conference room listening to someone who made a lot of sense – Stephanie Holmes-Winton. She spent time in her career managing money for some very wealthy people and as her career progressed, she discovered that the upper, middle and lower classes have something in common other than all requiring oxygen to survive.


What a great slogan that was for a nation that resoundingly enjoys their suds. But this past long weekend, I read an article in the Toronto Star by Cathal Kelly that made me decide to write about it in my blog this time around.

Financial Planner? Market Timing?

In August of 2011, I sent a note out to all of my clients that we were in for a ride with respect to the markets. Since that time, we have seen swings up and swings down and there is no suggestion that the near future will see anything different. Despite all of this, one of the most common questions that I get from people once they learn that I am a financial planner is “So where do you think I should invest because the markets are scary right now?”


Since many of you do not subscribe to my monthly email newsletter, I thought it would be good to post an article that was in the June issue.

John and Jane had spent many months planning for their special day. They had also budgeted and spent many thousands of dollars to celebrate their wedding. Now what?

Since John and Jane have made a for richer or poorer commitment to each other, it's time to do something about it; and they need to start right away. Following is a list of the primary areas that will need their immediate attention:

Emotional Reason Always Outweighs Financial Reason

Think about the title for a second. Have you ever found yourself saying something like, “I know that I should not do this but I want to!” If you have not, then you are truly a rare breed. Let’s face it most of us do this quite regularly. What most of us do not do, however, is plan for this situation.


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