By Robb Engen Special to the Star Tues., Aug. 14, 2018 When my wife and I bought our home in 2011 we chose a five-year variable rate mortgage that came with a deep discount of prime minus 0.80 per cent. The same deal wasn’t available when it came time to renew in 2016, so we went with a two-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 2.19 per cent. Our mortgage is up for renewal again this September and, in the face of rising interest rates, we must decide whether to go with a fixed- or variable-rate mortgage. We’re not alone with this mortgage decision. A CIBC report estimated that nearly half of all existing mortgages in Canada needed to be refinanced in 2018. Adding weight to this decision is a new stress test for both insured and uninsured mortgages where homeowners must prove they can handle payments at the greater of the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate (currently 5.34 per cent) or their contractual mortgage rate plus two percentage … [Read more...] about My mortgage is up for renewal: Should I go fixed or variable?
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caption How much money you need to save for a Florida retirement depends on what city you settle in. source Mark Winfrey/Shutterstock A Florida retirement is paradise for many retirees, but just how much money do you need to save to retire in Florida? Mari Adam, a certified financial planner who founded Adam Financial Associates, helped Business Insider estimate how much is needed to retire in three Florida cities. You should have a $1.13 million nest egg if you want to retire in a more expensive area like Boca Raton, according to Adam’s estimates. Florida is often called the best place to retire in the US. What more could one ask for during their golden years than to bask under the sun, live among the palm trees, and not pay state income taxes? But enjoying such paradise involves a lot of planning. To find out just how much money you need to have to retire comfortably in Florida, Business Insider enlisted the help of Mari Adam, a certified … [Read more...] about Florida is one of the best places to retire in America — here’s exactly how much it costs for a dream retirement in the Sunshine State
By The Canadian Press Fri., June 15, 2018 OTTAWA—The Canadian Real Estate Association is lowering its national home sales forecast for this year due to weaker sales in B.C. and Ontario. The industry association which represents about 100,000 real estate agents across Canada said Friday it now expects home sales this year to fall 11 per cent compared with a year ago to 459,900 units this year. The prediction compared with a forecast for a 7.1 per cent decline the association released in March. “The decrease almost entirely reflects weaker sales in B.C. and Ontario amid heightened housing market uncertainty, provincial policy measures, high home prices, ongoing supply shortages and this year’s new mortgage stress test,” the association said in a statement. The updated forecast came as CREA reported actual home sales in May hit a seven-year low as they fell 16.2 per cent compared with a year ago. Read More: Article Continued Below How can … [Read more...] about CREA cuts home sales forecast, May sales down 16.2% compared with year ago
By Jatin Nathwani Opinion Tues., May 15, 2018 Mention hydro rates and the most gentle of friends are tempted to raise the fist. Hydro rates have become such a lightning rod for public anger that any room for rational debate appears to be vanishingly small. If there is any time to pay close attention to context and relevant evidence, now is the time as we choose our next government. Ontario electricity prices have increased steadily at rates above inflation over the last decade. An investment in the order of $50 billion for renewal of Ontario’s aging infrastructure is the direct cause. Recovery of the debt obligations of the investment through hydro rates is the primary mechanism. After a prolonged period of underinvestment and “rate freezes” through the 1990s, Ontario’s electricity infrastructure was in need of repairs and refurbishment that culminated in a major supply crisis in 2005. A broad political consensus across all parties had also … [Read more...] about Hydro rates should be subsidized. Borrowing now ensures future capacity
While 2017 was a down year for fixed income, currency, and commodities (FICC) desks, the hiring landscape has some bright spots, according to top recruiting firm Options Group. It’s a mixed bag though, and the outlook is still bleak for hiring in government bonds and high-grade debt. Most new hires are getting 20% jumps in compensation to switch to a new firm, while exceptional hires in some sectors are commanding as much as 50%. 2017 was a rough year for Wall Street bond traders – with low volatility and decreased demand leading to revenue slides across the industry. But despite the second down year in a row for fixed income, currency, and commodities (FICC) sales and traders, the hiring outlook in 2018 has some silver linings, according to new report from Options Group, one of Wall Street’s top recruiting firms. Namely, there’s optimism around the fresh tax reform law, which “could … [Read more...] about A top Wall Street recruiting firm just published its hiring outlook for debt traders following a disastrous year in 2017— and it’s not all bad