Would You Use an Alternative Currency?


One of the first rules of investing is that you need to have a degree of diversity in your assets. That way, if something goes wrong with one asset class, you will have another asset available to pick up the slack. But how does that work if most of your assets are denominated in a specific currency, like that issued under the authority of Bank of Canada? For some consumers and investors, the idea of an alternative currency independent of a federal government is an attractive one. In fact, over time local currencies have cropped up around the world. Even…

How to Limit Materialism During the Holidays


This time of year, it seems as though materialism is ratcheted up a notch. Kids see toys everywhere, and they are encouraged to ask Santa Claus and just about everyone else for more things -- things that they probably don't need. If you are concerned about how materialism is creeping into your family life during this time of year, here are a few strategies to limit the manifestation of the "gimmies" during the holiday season: Start Holiday Traditions that Don't Focus on Things Consider family activities like shopping for a tree, putting up decorations, baking cookies, or going ice skating.…

The Tax Benefits of Registered Education Savings Plans


It is becoming increasingly difficult for children, and parents, to burden the cost of post-secondary education. Luckily in Canada we have some options. One way that parents can soften the burden on themselves and their children is by opening a Registered Education Saving Plan (RESP) when their children are young. An RESP in Canada can be a great way for parents to maximize education savings as both provincial and federal governments offer grant contributions towards the RESPs. There are also a number of tax benefits to investing in an RESP.  Grant Contributions Individual plans can be set up for the…