Recent Posts: Yahoo! Canada Finance



Old stereotypes stunt Canadian women’s career growth

Canada is rightfully regarded as a progressive nation when it comes to gender equality in the workplace but certain stereotypes still prevail and it could be decades yet before the playing field is truly level.

Prof. Beatrix Dart, associate dean of executive degree programs at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, grades Canada as being in the “middle of the road” on the subject.

“If I compare Canada to the most conservative countries, it’s certainly doing better than say Switzerland — which is my home country — but compared to the most progressive ones, namely the Scandinavian countries, there’s still a lot that can be done,” she tells Yahoo! Canada Finance. “Unless we tackle stereotypes and biases it’s hard to imagine how society will change. That’s probably the biggest challenge as cultural change takes a long time.” Continue reading HERE.

Top renovations you may want to rethink

Whether you’re thinking about selling or staying put, homeowners considering major renovation projects would be wise to devise a plan. Some renovations aren’t worth the hassle, investment dollars and can actually hurt your chances of selling your home in the future.

Indeed, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so if you’re thinking about a major overhaul to your home or property, do your homework first.

Frances Hinojosa, a mortgage expert at BMO Bank of Montreal in Toronto, says kitchen and bathrooms continue to be the best place to sink your renovation dollars, but she cautions home owners on curtailing renovations to fit their individual tastes.

“Of the value-busting renovations that people do it’s usually stuff that not everyone will find value in or it’s something that’s out of the ordinary,” she says. “Renovating the kitchen and bathrooms will see you get the most return on your money.” Continue reading HERE.

Digital assets becoming key in estate planning

Have you thought about what becomes of your online life after you’ve died? Of course you haven’t. But as our daily lives are increasingly spent online, there’s a growing concern to include one’s digital assets in estate plans or wills.

A recently released study on the subject by the BMO Retirement Institute suggests estate plans need to evolve to include the accumulation of our online properties. For instance, the report states 86 per cent of Canadian Baby Boomers use at least one financial online tool and they are actively involved in online areas such as finance, social networking and data collections including photographs and music. However, Canadians have not been addressing these in their estate plans.

“Identify, inventory and value your digital assets. This will minimize the burden on your attorney/executor as they may not be aware of the existence of these assets. Doing so will also minimize the risk of losing assets that may have both financial and sentimental value,” says Marlena Pospiech, senior manager, retirement planning strategy, BMO Financial Group. “The definition of value can be different for different people. Some digital assets have financial value while others have sentimental value. It may be difficult for individuals to value their digital assets particularly since this is such a new frontier in estate planning.” Continue reading HERE.

Is your aspiring scholar properly insured?

You may be rejoicing now that your kids are off to college or university, and not to put the fear of doom into you, but among all the preparations made was insurance considered?

If you haven’t done so, don’t panic, but get on the horn to your insurance provider and review your home insurance policy to ensure your aspiring scholar’s belongings are adequately covered for theft, loss or damage.

“It is frequently overlooked. Often times, parents are so busy getting the kids sent off that they don’t give a thought to (protecting expensive electronics),” remarks Anne Marie Thomas, an insurance expert at in Toronto.

Thomas is a self-described “insurance geek”. Before joining — Canada’s oldest online insurance rate comparison website — she worked for more than 25 years as a broker at various institutions.

“Parents should be contacting their insurance provider to find out what they’re covered for and to ask if liability and personal property that’s temporarily removed (from home) is covered while their child is at university,” she says. “Some policies will extend it while your child is away for up to $5,000 of personal property but some may not. It’s never to late to find out. The only time it’s too late to buy a policy is after something has already happened.” Continue reading HERE.

Workplace bullying: Time to tackle head on

Do you loathe going to work due to an abusive colleague or manager? Is the atmosphere at work stressing you out to the point that you’d just as soon quit your job than be bothered with confronting the issue head-on? If so, you’re not alone apparently.

According to the results of a newly released study by, 45 per cent of Canadian workers say they have felt bullied at work. One-third of these workers report suffering health-related problems as a result of bullying and 26 per cent decided to quit their jobs outright to escape the situation.

Mark Bania, managing director, in Toronto, says workplace bullying might not be a top-of-mind issue at a lot of Canadian companies but based on past U.S.-centric studies on this topic, it’s an important one for organizations on this side of the border to bear in mind. Particularly since if left unchecked, it can have a detrimental impact on a company’s productivity and overall morale.

“Workplace bullying is defined in a lot of different ways. It could be as simple as being ignored (49 per cent say they are), or using different standards and policies toward one employee over another (50 per cent), or being gossiped about (29 per cent),” he explains. “There’s a wide array of ways people feel bullied in the workplace. It boils down to their perception of what bullying is.” Continue reading HERE.


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