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MARCH 2011 www.dreamsandmoney.com

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World's Most Liveable Cities. Toronto is world's fourth most liveable city. Only Vancouver, Melbourne and Vienna are rated higher. In 2011 rankings, just 2.3 percentage points separated the number 1 ranked Vancouver, and the number 10 ranked Auckland, New Zealand. The Economist Intelligence Unit's livability shows cities in Canada, Australia, Austria, Finland and New Zealand as the ideal destinations thanks to a widespread availability of goods and services, low personal risk and an effective infrastructure. The Economist Intelligence Unit has been criticized by the New York Times for being overly anglocentric, stating that "The Economist clearly equates livability with speaking English. Three Canadian cities such as Vancouver (first), Toronto (4th) and Calgary (5th) claimed positions in the top ten. It is interesting to know that three Australian cities (Sydney at 7th

Toronto is adjudged as

world's fourth most liveable city and Perth and Adelaide tied at 8th) also claimed positions in the top ten. Turn Pg.2

7

Owning a home became a little more affordable: RBC “Housing affordability improved modestly for the second consecutive quarter in the fourth quarter of 2010,"according to a Royal Bank of Canada study. General National Trends: "Homeownership costs were lowered by small decreases in the fiveyear fixed mortgage rate during October and November of 2010 amid minimal home-price appreciation. Outright declines in certain local markets were also observed. At the national level, the RBC Housing Affordability Measures fell depending on the housing type between 0.4 and 0.8 percentage points in the fourth quarter. A decrease represents an improvement in affordability". Provincial Trends: "Housing Affordability Measures fell in the majority of provinces in the latest quarter. Only the standard twostorey benchmark became less affordable in Ontario and Quebec, as did the standard condominium apartment in Quebec and the Atlantic region. The most significant improvement occurred in Alberta, where falling home prices once more contributed to lowering the bar for homeownership. The Alberta market is the only provincial market showing year-over-year home price

Soaring oil and gold prices : will they impact Canada?

O

il and gold prices are driven by tensions in the Middle East and North Africa. There are concerns over inflation. Investors began to gauge its impacts on global economic recovery. Geopolitical tensions and inflationary pressures are 2 key factors driving gold and oil prices higher. Should central banks, especially those in the advanced world, fail to tighten monetary policies in light of higher inflation, the metal would accelerate its rally. Crude oil prices are staying the highest level in 2.5 years. Fears that mounting civil unrest in Libya could spill over into other leading oilproducing countries sent crude prices soaring . The crisis in the Middle East and North Africa — which has brought down governments in Tunisia and Egypt and sparked protests in Yemen, Bahrain, Iran, Morocco and Jordan — will put added pressure on weaker economies, especially those in Europe, according to

11

Fire the Fear

Capital Economics. Libya holds the most oil reserves in Africa and is the world's 15th-largest crude exporter at 1.2 million barrels per day, according to the Energy Information Administration . Any production losses out of Libya could be quickly absorbed by other countries like Saudi Arabia. The main concern stalking markets is that revolts in the Middle East and North Africa will spread to OPEC heavyweights, particularly Iran , the group's second-largest producer.

declines, reflecting soft market conditions - although there have been signs of tightening more recently. Weak to moderate declines in the RBC Measures registered in other provinces resulted primarily from lower mortgage rates. Home prices generally Turn Pg.5

INSIDE 5

CREDIT REPAIR Is it a good time to buy or invest in Condo or Home in Toronto?

10

How to put your money in the Canadian stock market

12

Tax Corner

14

Personal Expense Management

15

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he Economist Intelligence Unit announced last month (February 2011) it's list of the

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MARCH 2011

R

esearch released by the Bank of Canada recently suggested that Canada's largest banks are slow to pass on cuts in the Bank of Canada's policy interest rate. The banks' practice of holding off discounting for longer periods is “common practice.” It has been every day experience of the common man for the last two years or so.

Mortgage Interest Rates Bank of Canada's research

Nothing new is revealed Time and again, it was noticed in the past that Canadian lenders were extremely slow to pass on changes in the Bank Rate to their customers. When it comes to adjusting their rates upward, banks adjusted more quickly. Banks coordinate their efforts in this regard either implicitly or explicitly. The research also indicated that borrowers who use a mortgage broker pay less, on average, than borrowers who negotiate with lenders directly. This average discount is about an additional 19 basis points. “The Canadian mortgage market is relatively simple and conservative, particularly when compared with its

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U.S. Housing Prices Continue Slide

U.S. counterpart,” the report stated. “Many Canadians sign five-year, fixedrate contracts for the life of the mortgage -- typically 25 years.” What is interesting is that all offer the same types of mortgage assets, the great bulk of these being guaranteed by the federal government's Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. “The conclusions of the report are very reasonable,” said Jim Murphy, president and CEO of CAAMP. “They coincide with our own research at CAAMP on discounts. Mortgage brokers play a key role in offering choice to borrowers when making their most important financial decision.” If there's more competition, then lenders will move quicker to lower rates and attract business when the opportunity presents itself. In fact, this happens all the time in the broker/wholesale channel, where there's more competition. Banks are guided more by profit motives than passing the benefits to the consumers. Market is controlled by the six banks. Unless the Bank of Canada or the Government intervenes, customers are unlikely to get any benefits in time in future also. We need more lenders, not fewer. Oligopoly is good for the banks not for the consumers.

T

he latest statistics on U.S. home prices show that they are now approaching levels not seen since the housing bubble burst in 2006 and 2007. Eleven cities posted new index level lows in December 2010, since their 2006/2007 peaks. These cities are Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle and Tampa. Nine of these cities had also posted lows with November's report as well. "Despite improvements in the overall economy, housing continues to drift lower and weaker,” said David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's. “Unlike the 2006 to 2009 period when all cities saw prices move together, we see some differing stories around the country,” “California is a relative bright spot”, according to David M. Blitzer,” the Sun Belt cities of Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix, and Tampa continue to struggle.” More detailed data showed price declines for 19 of 20 metropolitan areas in December compared to the month before. Washington D.C., where prices rose 0.3 percent, was the lone exception.

Virtually all those cities -- 18 of 20 -also posted price drops year-over-year. Only D.C. and San Diego did not. Price declines in recent months have been driven by a rising share of distressed sales, including homes sold by lenders that have taken properties over from former owners. Banks are typically much faster to reduce prices and unload properties quickly than homeowners. Falling or flat prices put pressure on the housing markets because they leave more borrowers with homes worth less than the amount owed on their mortgages. That in turn can lead to more foreclosures. The good news is despite the housing market's woes, consumer attitudes are improving.

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GTA home prices rise as sales fall: TREB

From Pg.No.1 Toronto is adjudged as world's fourth most liveable city The Economist's World's Most Livable Cities 2011 (Top 10) City Country Rating 1 Vancouver Canada 98.0 2 Melbourne Australia 97.5 3 Vienna Austria 97.4 4 Toronto Canada 97.2 5 Calgary Canada 96.6 6 Helsinki Finland 96.2 7 Sydney Australia 96.1 8 Perth Australia 95.9 Adelaide Australia 95.9 10 Auckland New Zealand 95.7 The Economist Intelligence Unit ranks 140 cities from around the world based on 30 indicators, from five broad categories: Ÿ Stability Ÿ Healthcare Ÿ Culture and environment Ÿ Education

Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 3,084 sales during the first two weeks of February 2011 – a 13 per cent decrease compared to the first two weeks of February 2010. "We are on pace for a strong sales result in February, but transactions will come in lower than the record result reported last February. Sales remain strong because the GTA resale market contains a diversity of housing types catering to a wide array of home ownership needs," said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Bill Johnston. The average price for transactions during the first 14 days of February was

Ÿ Infrastructure

Each city receives an overall rating of 100; 100 is considered to be ideal and 1 is intolerable. The health care facilities and education standards offered by Australia and Canada are a major factor in these countries' cities continued dominance of the World's Most Liveable Cities. The World's Most Liveable Cities Bottom 10 Ranked Cities 131. Colombo, Sri Lanka 132. Dakar, Senegal 133. Tehran, Iran 134. Douala, Cameroon 135. Karachi, Pakistan 136. Algiers, Algeria 137. Lagos, Nigeria 138. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea 139. Dhaka, Bangladesh 140. Harare, Zimbabwe Founded in 1946, the Economist Intelligence Unit in the in-house research unit for the Economist magazine, employs over 120 full time staff.

$451,257, representing a five per cent increase compared to the first two weeks of February 2010. "Average selling price growth for existing homes is expected to range between three and five per cent this year. Tighter market conditions over the last four months have pushed price growth to the top end of this range," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

Summary Of February Sales And Average Price - February 1st to February 14th 2011 2010 City of Toronto ("416") Rest of GTA ("905") GTA

Sales 1,291 1,793 3,084

Average Price $ 499,861 $ 416,260 $451,257

Sales 1,430 2,125 3,555

Average Price $471,958 $ 401,760 $ 429,99

Sales & Average Price By Home Type - February 1st to February 14th, 2011 Sales 416 400 ‐14%

905 1,003 ‐18%

Total 1,403 ‐17%

140

203

343

511,139

Yr./Yr. % Change

-4%

‐16%

‐11%

3%

Townhouse Yr./Yr. % Change

123 ‐19%

327 ‐15%

450 ‐16%

393,515 ‐2%

310,371 333,097 1% 0%

Condo Apartment Yr./Yr. % Change

612 ‐6%

223 0%

835 ‐5%

359,775 9%

257,813 332,545 ‐1% 6%

Detached Yr./Yr. % Change Semi‐Detached

2

Average Price 416 905 Total 751,366 501,372 572,646 9% 6% 7% 351,164 416,460 6%

6%


MARCH 2011

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's views Ÿ Rising oil prices have

both positive and negative impacts in Canada Ÿ We export a lot of oil out of Canada, we consume a lot of oil in Canada as well. The oil sands, the oil industry in Canada is good for the entire country Ÿ I don't think there's reason to have any strong concern about any long-term effects. Ÿ “We're always worried about

inflation. Oil is one part of that,” ŸNot overly worried about the risks of a spike in oil prices due to instability in the Middle East. ŸThe federal government remains committed to keeping prices from rising too quickly. We have our agreement with the Bank of Canada to target inflation between 1 and 3 per cent in Canada

Soaring oil and gold prices : will they impact Canada? From Pg. No.1 Some observers expect a return to the sharp fluctuations of oil prices seen in the 1970s, when an embargo led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries caused gasoline shortages in the U.S. In Canada, a major oil producer and exporter, the higher crude prices have had a mixed impact. The higher world prices for crude have helped boost the Canadian currency above par with the American dollar, putting pressure on the exports of manufactured goods and oilconsuming sectors of the country. The Swiss franc and US dollar often

strengthened against other leading currencies as investors sought safe havens for cash, offloading riskier assets.. Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC Markets, said: “Investors have been nervous about a stock market correction for some time. “Tensions in the Middle East could provide a catalyst for just such a correction.” The reaction is maybe a little bit overdone. Hopefully as conditions begin to settle down again, we'll start to see the fundamentals reassert themselves.” Expect nothing but a roller coaster ride for a few weeks, if not months."

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MARCH 2011 Rising education cost leads to rising debts. If you are a student, plan diligently and avoid the debt trap. Here are some strategies to graduate debt-free.

with better income or cash flow. b) B u r s a r y : T h e s e a r e n o n repayable awards given to students based on their financial need. It is better to try and get your share, if you are eligible. c) Scholarships: Again, this is also a non-repayable award. A useful website for this purpose is www.hwdsb.on.ca/westdale/stud entservices/resourcelist.htm

Students who qualify for the Canada student Loan Program and are studying in university, college or trade schools are automatically eligible for this grant, and can receive it throughout the duration of their programs 3. Evaluate all your expenses. While evaluating, don't forget to include all your anticipated and unanticipated expenses.

Graduate Debt Free Most important step to achieve your goal is your own will power and determination. Believe that you can achieve it. If you can not believe, find some one who has achieved it. “seeing is believing”. Ask if he or she (who graduated debt-free) can become your mentor. Next step is Education Planning. 1. Determine your education needs in terms of dollar amount for the duration of the course, say four years 2. Decide the capital resources you have now and the income you expect to receive from all sources. Some commonly available resources are a) Co-op program: it's better than the regular summer job. You gain experience in the chosen field,

Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”

– Warren Buffett

I

n the market of goods and services, college education is unique in the respect that people typically assume that no price is too high to pay for a “quality education.” According to FinAid.org, a college financial aid website, the average cumulative debt for a student who has just completed an undergraduate degree is $22,500. For students who choose to

pursue an MBA program after undergrad, total average cumulative debt is $41,687. The implicit (and sometimes explicit) assumption is that any amount of money spent on higher education is money well spent, since it will always improve your ability to get a highpaying job after graduation. As a recent New York Times article points out, many recent graduates are finding out the hard way that this assumption isn't quite true: “You often hear the quote that you

d) RESP: If you or your parents have planed for Registered Education Saving Plan it is time to use. Here also you get some free money from federal government. Government grant is 20% of your contribution on the first $2500 ($2000 before 2007). Better to know more about this plan and use it to your advantage. e) Lifelong learning Plan: while working you can invest in RRSP (Registered Retirement Saving Plan) and can save on income-tax payable. You can also withdraw from RRSP tax-free under Lifelong learning program up to $20000. ( $10000 maximum per year). You can pay it back in 10 years. A financial planner can help you in this regard. f) New Canada Student Grant program: under this program, students from low-income families can receive a cheque for $250 per month during the course duration while students from middle-income families are eligible for $100 each month.

Chandresh Brahmbhatt MBA CFP

4. Check the adequacy of your income. If your income is not adequate, here are some tips to manage. a) Cut Expenses: No doubt, it is difficult. However, review your expenses and eliminate or minimize some of them, if you can. b) Select the home university: If you are able to study by staying with parents; you will substantially save for boarding, food, phone, internet and life essentials. c) Share the cost: you can share some costs with your class-mate or room-mate like books, internet and accommodation. d) Part-time job: I know it's hard to work and study but many students manage by planning

The Price of a College Education can't put a price on ignorance,” said Ezra Kazee, who has $29,000 in student debt and has been unable to find a job since graduating from Winona State University in Minnesota last May. “But with the way higher education is going, ignorance is looking more and more affordable every day.” An oft-quoted pro-higher education statistic is that college graduates will make $1 million more than nongraduates over the course of their working life. As a recent article in Forbes points out, this statistic is very misleading: Like many good cons, this one contains a kernel of truth. Census figures show that college grads earn an average of $57,500 a year, which is 82% more than the $31,600 high school alumni make. Multiply the $25,900 difference by the 40 years the average person works and, sure enough, it comes to a tad over $1 million. But anybody who has gotten a passing grade in statistics knows what's wrong with this line of argument. A correlation between B.A.s and incomes is not proof of cause and effect. It may reflect nothing more than the fact that the economy rewards smart people and smart people are likely to go to college.

Josh Kaufman

To cite the extreme and obvious example: Bill Gates is rich because he knows how to run a business, not because he matriculated at Harvard. Finishing his degree wouldn't have increased his income. All the while students have been lulled into thinking of the extra $1 million that will be theirs, they have been forced to disgorge an ever larger fraction of it in pursuit of the degree. While the premium that college grads earn over high schoolers has remained relatively constant over the past five years, the cost of acquiring a degree has risen at twice the rate of inflation, dramatically undermining any value a sheepskin adds. Offsetting that million-dollar income discrepancy is the $46,700 fouryear cost of tuition, fees, books, room and board at a public school and $99,900 at a private one–even after financial aid, scholarships and grants. Add all this to the equation and college grads don't pull even with high school grads in lifetime income until age 33 on average, the College Board says. Even that doesn't include the $125,000 in pay 4

diligently. e) Line of credit: Ask your parents, if they can arrange for you additional fund by taking line of credit (or refinancing if mortgage renewal is near and it make sense financially) on their home equity. The interest rate on such line of credit is equal to prime rate (which is 3% now) or prime + 0.50;which may be cheaper than the student loan interest rate f) Extended schooling: If you have option, take extra time to graduate provided you can find a better paying job in between. . 5. Monitor, review and update: Always watch your spending and look forward to any additional funding opportunities like co-op, scholarship and bursary. 6. Final Tip: Use Credit Cards only when you have resources to pay it down. This may be the single contributor for your financial pitfall. 19 or 20% interest on your credit cards will not only increase your stress level, but will make the debt burden unmanageable. If you have credit card, use it smartly and pay the full balance every month. Following these steps may be tough but not impossible. All the best for debt –free graduating. Chandresh Brahmbhatt MBA, CFP is an independent Certified Financial Planner. He can be contacted at 416-722-8993 or email:Chandresh.cfp@gmail.com students forgo over four years. Whenever you take out a large loan for any reason, you're essentially mortgaging your future earnings. Starting your independent life tens of thousands of dollars in debt (before factoring in things like car payments, housing, wedding-related costs, etc) is a major burden that most college students simply don't consider before enrollment.

Josh Kaufman is an independent business teacher, education activist, and author of the Personal MBA (This article presents some unconventional ideas and the readers are advised to use their discretion in arriving at their decision. Although we do not endorse all the ideas, we do recognize the value of the article for our critical thinking)


MARCH 2011 Beacon scores range from 300 to 900, with 900 as the highest possible score. Anything over 600 is generally considered as a good credit score. A person with a Beacon score below 520 will often be turned away from the bank. The credit score is comprised of the following percentages: Ÿ 35 for late payments, bankruptcies, collections and judgments, Ÿ 30 for current debts, Ÿ 15 for how long accounts have been opened and established, Ÿ 10 for type of credit, such as credit cards and bank loans, and Ÿ 10 for applications for new credit card enquiries. Ÿ Here are some common situations, causing poor credit scores and recommended remedial steps Ÿ chronic late payments — a simple consolidation of all balances into one low monthly payment, focusing repaying debt only Ÿ Maxing out credit cards --- do not exceed 50 per cent of your credit Owning a home became a little more affordable: RBC From Pg.No.1 inched higher in the rest of the country with exceptions in the condominium segments of British Columbia and Saskatchewan. In the final quarter of 2010, British Columbia continued to stand as the least affordable housing market in Canada and, therefore, endured the most stress. Compared to their respective historical norms, homeownership costs in Saskatchewan and Quebec also appeared to be somewhat elevated although both remained below national averages. At the other end of the spectrum, the RBC Measures in Alberta and Manitoba stood below their long-term average in all housing categories, indicating to us that there is little stress in these markets. In Ontario and the Atlantic region, the picture is mixed, with the affordability of some housing types above and others below historical norms." Likely Future Trend "The improvement in affordability in the last two quarters is likely to be short lived. Earlier this month, Canadian financial institutions raised posted mortgage rates for the first time since November 2010—by 0.25% to 5.44% in the case of the five-year fixed term. Given our expectation that the Bank of Canada will resume its rate hike campaign this spring (adding 100 basis points to the overnight rate this year and

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need to increase your credit score. Home Trust offers a one-charge mortgage product where there is a regular

Transunion at least twice a year and check all the information in the reports. Often, mortgage payments do not go on credit reports. So even if you pay your mortgages on time, you may still

fixed payment to own a home and the added feature of an Equityline Visa card. This Visa provides the flexibility of using the equity in a client's home to secure credit up to $250,000. In the meantime, regular activity on the Visa card and paying bills on time improves

a further 150 basis points in 2012), borrowing costs are set to climb further still in Canada in the next two years. We believe that this will be the dominant factor that will cause housing affordability generally to erode across the country going forward, yet the magnitude of this deterioration is unlikely to derail the housing market. The effect of higher interest rates will be partly offset by rising household income amid a sustained economic recovery and job creation. "The era of rapid home-price appreciation of the past 10 years has likely run its course overall in Canada, and we believe that we have entered a period of very modest increases. If anything, the recently announced changes to mortgage rules by the federal Minister of Finance will, at the margin, contribute to that slowing of activity Trends in Ontario "Concerns last year that the Ontario housing market would falter have now largely dissipated. Home-resale activity picked up smartly in the fall, and property values resumed their appreciation trend in the closing months of 2010, by shrugging off a short-lived setback in the third quarter. The slowdown in market activity in the spring and summer last year largely reflected various transitory factors—including the introduction of the HST and changes in mortgage lending rules—that brought demand forward to

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the Beacon score. Home Trust also launched a Credit Assist product in Ontario in October 2010 as a one-year solution where debts are consolidated into one to help consumers repair bruised credit. After one year, clients should be able to renew their mortgage to a prime rate with more favourable terms. Further tips for credit improvement – avoid over-applying to creditors and lenders. -- avoid applying to a number of lenders to find the best deal. -- Never ignore small payments, but no matter what the balance is, it should always be paid on time. Generally, moving to A mortgage (good credit score) from B mortgage (poor credit score) simply takes time and sound advice. All that requires is a kind of financial discipline or changing the existing habits. It may be difficult but not impossible. For further information and advice contact Nargis Nanji at 416 471 1148.

For sale in India, Chennai Commercial/investment Property situated at the prime business locality Anna Salai aka Mount Road in Chennai [INDIA] facing East measuring 20’ x 90’ = 1,800 Sq. Ft (land area) and 3 floors (Ground + 2 floors) each of 1670 sq ft and total constructed area of 5010 sq ft . Suitable for businesses, offices etc. Asking price: CAD 1,300, 000. Or its equivalent INR. Clear title. Quick sale. Lease also considered.

Contact : Perrii. 416 473 6100 the start of the year. The silver lining of this slowdown, however, has been an improvement in affordability in the province. The RBC Measures edged lower for the second consecutive time for most housing categories in the fourth quarter, down by 0.2 to 0.3 percentage points. The only exception was two storey homes, which became marginally less affordable amid notable price gains. In our opinion, affordability plays a neutral role for housing demand in Ontario at this point, with RBC Measures close to their long-run average in the province." Trends in Toronto "The Torontoarea market sustained a rebound in activity in the latter part of2010,

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following a steep decline in the spring and early summer from unsustainably high levels last winter. The recovery confirmed our view that the earlier weakness had much more to do with the advancing of activity in the face of special factors (e.g., the HST and new mortgage lending rules) than the permanent evaporation of demand. With the influence of these transitory factors largely dissipating by the end of the summer, the Toronto-area market has since climbed its way back toward more sustainable levels of activity. Thanks primarily to lower mortgage rates, local home buyers enjoyed improved affordability for most housing categories in the fourth quarter"

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EDITORIALS

MARCH 2011

NEWSSMART, INDIA www.newssmart.in 105-2100 Ellesmere Road, Scarborough, ON, M1H 3B7 Ph: 647 352 4945 | Fax: 647 352 6110 Email: info@dreamsandmoney.com www.dreamsandmoney.com DISCLAIMER Dreams and Money takes care to present all the information as accurately and efficiently as possible. Any advice or recommendation appearing in the paper is also part of information only. They should not be construed as an expert opinion. Please note that no representation or warranty with respect to the accuracy or the completeness of the information is given. Information always keeps changing. Hence all the information, including advice and recommendations are to be treated as of general nature only. For your specific circumstances, you are always advised to consult an expert before acting on any information.

unsolicited articles & community news are welcome selected ones will be published email : editor@dreamsandmoney.com Copyright © 2010 Dreams and Money, Canada. All Rights Reserved.

Please send us your mails either electronically or by regular mail. 105-2100 Ellesmere Road, Scarborough, ON, M1H 3B7 Email: editor@dreamsandmoney.com Ph: 647 352 4945 | Fax: 647 352 6110

Swaminathan R; North york.

The longer we live, it seems the longer we end up working. People are willing to live off the income from their retirement savings but are scared to dip into the principle. We always do a financial plan so you can find out when you have the freedom not to work.

Wonderful Zen stories! I read repeatedly and thought over the messages it conveyed them. I used to deliver speeches for my staff and I am happy to inform you that I used these stories liberally in my speeches and won the appreciation of all. Faizal Tahir, Scarborough I read with interest the Investing articles, particularly 10 expert stock picks. Kathy, Markham

Meanwhile, Canadians opting to work beyond 65 are increasing, out of sheer necessity.

Insurances for living - truly simplified. It was well written. Faraji, Toronto

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Epaper still needs some improvement. It is not very reader friendly. Arun Raj, Oshawa.

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Chief Editor.

Canada’s immigration system has changed profoundly since Prime Minister Stephen Harper took power five years ago. This week, the public got its first glimpse of who the winners and losers are.

credibility was damaged and the ethnic voters he had courted so assiduously were suspicious. But the rest of the electorate finally had enough informa-

WORTH REPEATING

What was once a modest program designed to bring in nannies, farm workers and foreigners with specialized skills, is now a major source of low-cost labour. Last year Canada admitted 180,000 “guest workers” to do every-

The Conservative record: Immigrants see a harsher Canada tion to see what the Conservatives have done to the immigration system.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney inadvertently pulled back the veil. He announced that immigration reached a 50-year high last year. “While other western countries cut back on immigration during the recession, our government kept legal immigration levels high,” he boasted.

They have made four main changes: • They have converted a system with one gateway and one set of entry admission criteria into a system with a dozen entry points, each with different rules. The provinces can now nominate immigrants, employers can recruit foreign workers and international students can stay in Canada after university if they’re job ready and fluent in English or French.

Within a day, Kenney’s story started to unravel. New Canadians complained they were waiting longer than ever to reunite their families. A close look at Kenney’s figures showed why. The number of “family class” immigrants accepted into Canada has dropped by 10,000 since the Conservatives took power. “We can’t satisfy 100 per cent of our immigrant stakeholders,” the minister explained.

• They have opened the floodgates to a stream of temporary foreign workers.

Immigrants to Canada 2006

2010

Two days later, a Vancouver lawyer released new figures, obtained through an Access to Information request, showing Ottawa planned to cut the number of visas issued to skilled workers. That contradicted Kenney’s stated goal of increasing economic immigration. Employers were confused and anxious. The minister’s staff claimed the visa statistics understated the number of immigrants likely to be admitted. By week’s end, Kenney’s good news announcement was in shreds, his 6

thing from clean offices to program computers. • They have made it harder for immigrants to reunite their families. Four years ago, spouses, children, parents and grandparents of new Canadians made up 28 per cent of the total. It’s now down to 21 per cent. • They have diminished Canada’s role as a haven for people fleeing violence and persecution. The number of refugees allowed into the country has dropped by 25 per cent since they took power. To their credit, the Tories have made needed reforms. They have better aligned immigration with the job market, reduced the backlog of applications from skilled workers and improved the distribution of immigrants across the country. But they have deprived newcomers of the family support they need to integrate successfully, off-loaded responsibility for immigration, and given Canada a harsher, more forbidding face.

32,499 24,693

Layout, Graphic Designing & Digital Epaper

Like last time, what interested me most was your health section. Plain but powerful messages and articles. Great Job!

REFUGEES

Editorial & Development Committee V.S. Thurairajah Raja M. Mahendran Kumaar.M.Suntharakumar NargisNanji Chandresh Brahmbhatt Karthik .M Aishwar .M

Sheila Kaur, Brampton

182,322

Direct : 416 473 6100

There are many free papers; yet this paper is totally different. Less advertisements, Quality articles. Wow! Full of useful information! I like it and preserve your copies.

139,004

Chief Editor & Publisher Perrii Muthuraman

Williams John, Toronto.

TEMPORARY FOREIGN WORKERS

People choose whether to retire or not for many reasons, based on their

Messages like Top 10 Financial Resolutions, How to resolve your problems with your bank were very informative and useful. Keep up the good work!

186,881

That leaves the federal government as “the last jurisdiction in Canada to hold onto legislated age discrimination,” says the Canadian Association of Retired Persons. The human rights act's provisions apply to federally regulated businesses and industries. It includes people who work for the Canadian Forces, Crown corporations and sectors such as banking, broadcasting, transportation, railway, telephone and marine shipping.

You said it! Your mails! Romesh , Missisauga.

People look at their invisible assets including CPP / QPP and Old Age Security, before taking a decision to retire. “The Old Age Security pension, the Guaranteed Income Supplement and CPP retirement pensions — all guaranteed and all fully indexed “ according to Milevsky. The adequacy and need for CPP reforms have long talked; however, CPP reforms were rejected by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty last year. But CPP reform is an issue that is not going away.

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All provinces and territorial governments have already repealed similar provisions in their own human-rights codes. For federal public servants, mandatory retirement was eliminated in 1986.

own lifestyle, circumstances and priorities. Today, people are living longer and have more active lives.

ECONOMIC IMMIGRANTS

Full retirement age (also called “normal retirement age”) had been 65 for many years

Freedom 65

70,517 60,207

The bill would repeal a section of the Canadian Human Rights Act that allows federally regulated employers to terminate employees who have reached “the normal age of retirement” for workers in similar positions.

January issue was excellent but February issue was better than January issue. Editorial content, articles, lay out design—all were superb. I look forward to see your March issue.

FAMILY CLASS

A

proposed federal private members' bill - Freedom 65 now seems likely to die before it can be voted on. If that happens then it is unfortunate.

As Kenney struggles to regain control of his file, Canadians can judge the trade-offs he has made and the overtly self-interested immigration system that has emerged. Source: Toronto Star Editorial dated Feb 19, 2011


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MARCH 2011

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7 steps to a Healthier and Happier life Y

ou can make a meaningful difference in how you feel each and every day by employing these seven simple steps: Step 1: Increase your daily exposure to direct sunlight and/or add supplemental vitamin D. Step 2: Engage in fun, moderateintensity physical activity for 30-60 minutes a day, three to five days a week. We recommend starting with tai chi and Nordic Walking. Step 3: Improve how you prepare for sleep each night by practicing good sleep hygiene. Step 4: Substitute "Mediterranean Diet" foods into your daily meals. Step 5: Learn, practice and employ pursed-lips breathing when under physical stress or anxiety. Step 6: Supplement your daily diet with an antioxidantrich, high-potency multinutrient. Step 7: Add a probiotic supplement or probiotic foods to your daily diet. The combination of these steps will help you break the unhealthy behavior cycle that contributes not only to feeling unhealthy, but also to the development of chronic health conditions. They may even help you gain the confidence you need to tackle some of the addictive behaviors you currently rely on to artificially feel better! Let's take a step back and talk about some common habits that get us into trouble. You see, there is a pretty consistent set of decisions we make on a daily basis that not only contribute to us feeling poorly, but also open the door for chronic diseases to invade our bodies. The cycle goes like this: We don't consume enough quality nutrients, which leads to a lack of energy. When we feel tired we aren't as active and tend to rest more frequently, typically indoors. The combination of these actions leads to us feeling lethargic and irritable. To compensate, we perk ourselves up by consuming stimulants (e.g., caffeine, nicotine, sugar) during the day. In the evening, we may consume depressants (e.g., alcohol, sleeping pills) to wind down or help ourselves sleep. The problem with this is that the cycle of stimulants and depressants disrupts our sleep pattern. So in addition to feeling lethargic and irritable, we're now also sleep deprived! Sound familiar? Well, you can break this cycle with the seven steps we have identified here. . As one might imagine, breaking the reliance on stimulants and depressants are the hardest nuts to crack given that

Tai Chi Nordic Walking Pursed-lips breathing

Lack of Activity

More outdoor time supplement Vitamin D More Vitamin D foods

HEALTH Kevin P. Donoghue Editor, Peak Health Advocate

Lack of Sunshine

Lack of Vital Nutrients

Mediterranean Diet foods Antioxidant Multi-Nutrient Probiotic Supplement

Lack of Sleep

most of them are highly addictive. And this is where modern medicine tends to be too hard-line in its recommendations. start slowly. Don't try to add all seven steps at once. If you can add one per week, over a seven-week period, we believe you'll find it is easier to stick with the steps you do try. After all, this isn't a sprint. Good health is a marathon pursuit, and the goal is to feel better for the long haul, not just a few weeks, right?

Better Sleep Hygiene

Regular physical activity is the most powerful step you can take to protect your long-term health. Whether you're perfectly healthy or riddled with disease, regular physical activity has been shown in study after study to improve physical conditioning, balance, coordination, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, arterial flexibility, mood and sleep quality, and contributes to healthy body mass (i.e., helps you lose weight). Tai chi and Nordic Walking are two interesting and fun ways that have been clinically shown to help people sustain exercise programs for longer periods of time. That's the reason for recommending these. You see, the real goal is to get active. To stir your heart, lungs, muscles, joints and bones to action – and to start off in a way that enhances your chances of engaging in physical activity for the long haul. It's not about training to summit Kilimanjaro, or setting the 50plus-age-group record in the Ironman triathlon. At least not when you're starting out.

Sunlight: Go outside for at least 20-30 minutes each day, exposing multiple areas of skin to direct sunlight. Lack of exposure to direct sunlight is one of the most destructive health behaviors to develop in America over the past 50 years. As a result, the amount of time we are exposed to direct sunlight each day is dramatically less than it was in the first half of the 20th century, and a significant portion of Americans have developed a vitamin D deficiency. So what's the big deal? When we don't have enough vitamin D, the body lacks one of its most potent weapons to fend off antagonistic molecules known as free radicals that over time break down the body's immune response. In short, vitamin D deficiency lowers our defenses and makes us more vulnerable to sickness and disease. If you are concerned that you may be vitamin D deficient, ask your doctor to order a vitamin profile blood test. If you are deficient, your doctor can recommend a dosage level that is appropriate for your particular situation. Step 2: Exercise for fun (not pain) with tai chi and Nordic Walking Practice tai chi for one hour a day two to three times per week, and "Nordic walk" for 40-60 minutes two to three times per week.

Step 3 : Sleep hygiene a good night's sleep is all about preparation Some important "don'ts" for a 7

good night's sleep: 1. Don't lounge in bed for an extended period of time before attempting to sleep. Research has shown that reading, watching TV, texting and performing other similar activities in bed prior to attempting to sleep makes it more challenging to fall asleep. 2. Don't take naps during the day. While "power naps" do help provide a boost of short-term energy, midday siestas disrupt the normal sleep cycle and make it more challenging to drift off at night. 3. Don't widely vary the times you go

to bed each night. Your body achieves its best sleep when your daily pattern of waking/sleeping is relatively consistent. Based on our review of the latest sleep-related research, here is our recipe for improving your sleep starting tonight: At least 8 hours before bedtime: Exercise to enjoy much better sleep than sedentary adults. 8 hours before bedtime: Consume your last caffeinated beverage of the day. Caffeine disrupts the sleep cycle. 4 hours before bedtime: If you consume alcohol, limit your consumption to two to three drinks, and if possible, don't consume your last drink within four hours of bedtime. 1 hour before bedtime: Stop watching TV and/or surfing the Internet. About 30-60 minutes before bedtime: Consume a light snack (note: we did not say eat a full meal). About 30-60 minutes before bedtime: If you are feeling stressed or anxious about the day ahead, jot down a quick list of the things you are worrying about and write down one sentence for each describing how you will accomplish these tasks. The act of clearing your mind of worries by writing them down and committing to one or two acts is remarkably effective in removing them from your active thoughts as you prepare to go to sleep.


MARCH 2011

DREAMS

Zero hour: Engage in gentle stretching of your body to release muscle tension and engage in deep breathing exercises Zero hour: When it's time for bed, sleep in a dark, cold room under bedding that is warm and allows you to easily add/shed layers. Darkness is key. Zero hour: If you have been experiencing insufficient sleep for an extended period of time, set your alarm clock to go off 30 minutes earlier than you normally wake up for about a week. This method is effective in helping your body "reset" its internal sleep clock. Step 4: Mediterranean Diet foods = healthier sources of energy Why the Mediterranean Diet? Because numerous nutrition research studies show the antioxidant protective benefit of many foods regularly con-

exercise tolerance, manage stress and prepare for sleep Practice pursed-lips breathing technique before, during and after heavy physical exertion, when you feel stressed/anxious and when preparing for bed. Have you ever had a moment when you couldn't seem to catch your breath? Or felt like your heart was pounding way too fast? These are common reactions to physical exertion and anxiety, and both are visceral, uncomfortable sensations that can make you feel like you're not in control of your body. When exercising, such sensations can lead you to stop your workout (or quit working out altogether). When anxious, these physiological reactions can fuel panic. When getting ready for

sumed by people in the Mediterranean region. Further, in studies examining the health status of people consuming a traditional American, so called "cosmopolitan diet" (e.g., lots of red meat, blood-clotting fats/oils, blood pressure raising sugars/salts, few fruits and veggies) in comparison to people regularly consuming foods in the Mediterranean Diet, research results show consistently less chronic disease among the latter group. What Are the Core Elements of the Mediterranean Diet? Ÿ Whole grain breads, pastas and cereals: Ÿ Olive oil: Ÿ Fresh vegetables and fruits: Ÿ Nuts and seeds: Ÿ Fish and seafood: Ÿ Wine Wine: Researchers have long puzzled at how Mediterranean Diet followers, who eat fair amounts of carbohydrates and fats (albeit healthier fats and carbohydrates than are typically found in a cosmopolitan diet), have such low incidence of heart disease. When examining the Mediterranean Diet in greater depth, researchers concluded that a key reason for this paradox was the regular consumption of red wine and its polyphenols. Step 5 : Pursed-lips breathing - a simple technique to improve

bed, they can prevent you from drifting off quickly. If you want to enjoy a healthier and happier 2011, then an additional step you can take is to learn and practice a proven breathing technique that can help reduce the sensation of breathlessness, improve your control over your breathing rhythm, and relax your mind. Step 6: Antioxidant supplementation to beat back oxidative stress Unsure Whether You Are Antioxidant Deficient? Ask your doctor to order a vitamin profile, antioxidant profile, and/or

MONEY Ÿ Ulcers

oxidative stress profile blood tests. The vitamin and antioxidant profile tests can reveal if you have too much/too little of key nutrients in your blood serum. The oxidative stress profile identifies the levels of certain proteins and other molecules that are known to be either too high or too low in the presence of oxidative stress. With results in hand, your doctor can help guide your selection of antioxidant supplementation. In fact, pro-oxidative cell damage is believed by many scientists to lie at the core of nearly all major chronic health conditions. The average American adult does not consume enough antioxidants through diet to offset the ravaging effects of prooxidative free radicals. The stark reality is that a majority of Americans suffer from oxidative stress and the "apple and one-a-day to keep trouble away" isn't working. Don't believe us? Then do the following: Sign onto the National Institute of Health's medical research database called PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) and type in the keywords "oxidative stress." You will be presented with over 83,000 published research study abstracts accumulated over the past 50 years examining the role of oxidative stress as a main or contributing cause to nearly every major disease. step 7: Better digestion - clearing a stable pathway Add probiotic foods and/or a probiotic supplement to your daily diet. Good Probiotic Food Sources Ÿ Yogurt (with live or active bacteria cultures) Ÿ Sauerkraut Ÿ Miso soup Ÿ Gouda cheese Ÿ Buttermilk Poor digestive health is a major problem in America. Fueled by poor diets, the side effects of prescription drugs, sedentary lifestyles and the normal decline of digestive system efficiency associated with aging, many people suffer from uncomfortable gastric issues. Such issues run the gamut of: Ÿ Infrequent bowel movements Ÿ P e r s i s t e n t g a s buildup/bloating/constipation Ÿ Irritable bowel syndrome 8

Ÿ Diarrhea M o s t o f t e n t h e s e s e n s ations/conditions occur because either we are not clearing the food we consume through our digestive systems quickly enough, or because we have upset the proper balance of digestive bacteria in our gastric tract. When you are suffering from one or more of these conditions, you don't feel very good, do you? You restrict your activities, feel lethargic and irritable and struggle to sleep. Sound familiar? To relieve bloating and constipation, many people take laxatives. But honestly, laxatives are really just a short-term band-aid. They do nothing to address the core issues. If you follow our recommendations for daily physical activity and substituting foods common in Mediterranean Diets, you stand a much stronger chance of making a meaningful difference in moving food more quickly and less painfully through your gut. But this is only half of the solution to a healthy digestive system. The other big problem most people with gastric issues face is an imbalance of the bacteria in the intestines that assist in breaking down food and removing unfriendly toxins. These "body friendly" bacteria are known as probiotics. So a second valuable step you can take to improve your digestive health is to add probiotic foods and/or a probiotic dietary supplement to your daily diet. Don't discount how much of a difference improving your digestive system performance can make in how you feel and live each day. A healthy digestive system that has balanced bacteria levels, and absorbs/processes and clears food quickly can provide you with greater energy, help you sleep better, and improve your disposition – mentally, emotionally and physically! For more information: www.peakhealthadvocate.com


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MARCH 2011

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MARCH 2011

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Is it a good time to buy or invest in Condo or Home in Toronto? I

f you are a first time home buyer, it is time to look for a suitable home or condo within your budget in a good location; sooner the better. During 2009 and 2010, except for a brief period, most of the time, real estate prices were rising. Some people anticipated a US type crisis in the real estate in Canada and waited for the prices to fall. All those people were disappointed. As shown elsewhere, prices continued to

rise but the number of units that were available for sale declined. If you are planning to buy a home in this market, here is my analysis for the first time home buyer and investor. For the first time home buyer, check and satisfy yourself on the following aspects before proceeding further: 1. Stability of your job and regular cash flow at least for the next 12 months. In turn, this will ensure that you will get approved for a mortgage. 2. Better go for a pre-approval to know in advance how much you can anticipate by way of loan, and to avoid surprises at a later date.

Banks are not the only option for preapproval. An experienced mortgage agent can look after your interests better, and never presume that direct dealing with the banks are the only option. For finding the best deal in the town a mortgage agent is your best bet, for the simple reason that is what he or she does for a living. They are more experienced and well informed of the market. And well you do not have to pay a fee for their service; they get it from the banks. 3. You should have savings or other resources to meet the minimum 5 % down payment. You should also have another 2 to 3 % of the purchase value to meet the closing costs and other expenses. 4. How much rent are you paying now? Owning a home will certainly cost you more. Don't forget to take into account the property tax, hydro, water bills etc. into your calculation. How much more can you afford now? Honest answer to this question will help you to determine the size of loan that you can afford. In addition, it will ensure that you live in your chosen home, as long as you desire, irrespective of the movement of prices. 5. Since 1990, home prices have generally been increasing in Canada. At the end of the day, when you buy a home, you plan to live there for many years; you are not planning to sell it in the near future. Then what? Be honest to yourself and start your hunting for a

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dreamy home. Need some guidance and explanation, feel free to contact Perrii. If you are an investor, here's my analysis for you. 1. Although, there have been three Canadian housing bubble bursts in Vancouver and Toronto since 1980, the bullish economists predict 3-5% increase every year for the next few years. The bearish economists now predict price stagnation, but not a U.S style crash. 2. Canadian Government is taking all possible steps to avoid a housing bubble and will continue to do everything under their control to avoid a housing bubble. Unlike the U.S., Canada is dominated by few banks, and banks in their own interest have tightened their lending to household sector. 3. Immigration will continue to drive housing construction as well as demand. This alone is a powerful factor for Toronto Real Estate Market. 4. Many regions, including Toronto, are forecast to see better growth in the next few years. To some extent, fortunes of Canada and Ontario, are tied up with the fortunes of the U.S. Unfortunately the U.S. economy is still struggling, but despite that Canada can expect to see reasonably good growth. While no one can predict the future with certainty, we can reasonably expect real estate investing to be profitable A man was watching two guys working for the city. One would dig a hole, he would dig, dig, dig, the other would come behind him and fill the hole, fill, fill, fill. These two men worked furiously. One digging a hole, the other filling it up again. The man said to the hole digger, "I

based on commission.

Perrii Muthuraman

over a long term than the bank's GIC returns. What is long term? In my opinion, anything over 5 years is long term. Don't buy if you are hoping to flip

for a quick profit or if you are already overextended. Real Estate investing is a better hedge against inflation and a better option than leaving your money with the bank. But ensure that you can manage, even if there is no positive cash flow, when you rent out the property and waiting for your property to appreciate. Real Estate Investing requires careful analysis of several factors. To discuss your personal circumstances, call Perrii @ 416 473 6100 Perrii is a Realtor. with HomeLife/GTA Realty Inc.

CITY WORKERS appreciate how hard you work, but what are you doing? You dig a hole and your partner comes behind you and fills it up again!" The hole digger replied, "Yeah, it must look funny, but the guy who plants the trees is sick today."

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MARCH 2011 Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood,” said Marie Curie. A new born child knows no fear. As the child grows, it starts to experience fear at one stage or another. Parents and others knowingly or unknowingly teach fear too. Then those fears run through life. Only very few people learn to control or overcome their fears and worries. Fears and worries are the main obstacles to realize your dreams. Little fear may keep the person in good standing. It acts like a brake in a vehicle. But after a certain point, say unlimited or uncontrolled fear, does more harm than any good. Let me explain with an example. You want to undertake some new activity or project (or anything) for your dream. Now you have a fear of failure.

Everyone around you also tells you, why and how it is risky. You are confused. I classify that initial fear as little fear. If that little fear makes you to devise more risk management strategies and contingent plans, that little fear has done some good to you. On the other hand, if you imagine too much and finally abandon the project or idea, then that type of fear is unlimited or uncontrolled fear. You abandoned the project only to learn later on that some one else carried out the very same idea(s) very successfully and earned fame and money. In a race, if you fall, it is not a failure; but if you fail to get up and continue to run then that is a real failure. In this example, thinking of possibility of a fall is a little fear; that's okay. Keep your risk management and contingent plans ready. But if you avoid the race itself for the fear (or possible occurrence) of falling, then that is what I call unlimited or uncontrolled fear. “Life is a series of experiments,” said Emerson, “the more you make the

Fire the Fear By GNANI

better” Each failure is a trial in an experiment and opportunity for growth. Little fear makes you more conscious of things and relationships; unlimited fear hurts your own happiness and relationships. Little fear makes you to be more careful and alert whereas unlimited fear makes you dull and inactive. Little fear makes you dynamic but unlimited fear makes you static. Know your fears and know why you fear. What is your fear? Here are some of common fears: Ÿ Fear of failure

4. Recall your DREAM or GOAL. Write that also on the paper. 5. Now phrase a question like this: How to achieve my dream or goal taking into account the little fear I imagined? Again put this in writing. Now strike out previous steps. In other words, you mentally erased all your FEARS and Worries. This is symbolic. Just imagine. Only thing which remains without striking is your rephrased question asking for a solution to achieve your dream or goal. E.g the question at this stage could be something like this: How to find another job if my company announces layoff, while my family and I continue to maintain our present life style? 6. Think for some time. If you get the answer it is ok; if you don't get the answer, it is also ok. Up to now what have you achieved? You have effectively stopped the excuses for inaction. No longer, fear or worry hunts you. You analyzed it well and instructed your subconscious mind to find the required resources for your dream or goal. Trust your subconscious mind and entrust everything to it and continue with your routine for the time being. Sooner or later in your mail box (= conscious mind), you will find a reply letter for your question. You will be thrilled. That will be an eureka moment. Some of the great achievers and scientists have followed this route and found successes. Fear is a state of mind. Faith replaces fear. Have faith in yourself; and in your ability to let things go. When fear strikes, act positively. Lack of action (e.g lack of above exercise) increases the fear. Get yourself surrounded by inspiring people and trust their words. Generate hope for yourself. Replace your fear with hope. Before concluding, let me quote a story I read some time ago. It is a story about rope and snake. A man is walking through a forest on a dark rainy night. He steps on a piece of rope. He mentally determines that he has stepped on a venomous cobra. Now his mind creates all kinds of fears in a moment. He imagines that the venomous cobra is going to strike him any moment. He will die and no one will

Ÿ Fear of hunger Ÿ Fear of having no shelter Ÿ Fear of going broke Ÿ Fear of losing the job Ÿ Fear of being rejected by the

loved one Ÿ Fear of not belonging Ÿ Fear of death What is your fear? Write it down to control it. Here are some recommendations to handle your fear. 1. Write your FEAR and WORRIES on the paper 2. Analyze the reason for your fear. Dig deep (ask questions to yourself) till you find out the root cause. Now write the reasons for your fear 3. What could be the possible alternative out come? What could be the worst possible situation that could happen to you (LITTLE FEAR). Now write your little fear also.

find his body until next morning. Suddenly there is a lightning strike. with that light, he sees the “cobra”- which is nothing more than a piece of old rope. The mind, because of fear, created a snake; the rope had always been a rope, before and after the lightning. Are you equipped to differentiate between the fear of the unknown and the knowledge of truth? Learn from your own and others mistakes; watch your own words, thoughts and actions. Why? For overcoming the fears and worries, you should have right thoughts, right words and right actions. Based on those, you attract right people and circumstances into your life. Then what? Fire the fear. Move forward in your life.

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MARCH 2011

How to put your money in the Canadian stock market

B

efore you begin investing in the Canadian stock market, you'll have an important choice to make: Do you use a discount broker and take advantage of the lower commission rates? Or do you deal through a traditional, full-service broker and pay extra for service and possibly some good stock research? Many investors have given up on full-service stock brokers and do all their dealings through discount brokers, with no regrets. But a lot depends on you, and on the quality of brokers you have managed to find. A good stock broker is worth paying for, but hard to find A good broker is generally worth the higher commissions that he or she costs

you, compared to dealing through a discounter. However, good brokers are hard to find. Many good brokers eventually move into money management. Many bad brokers manage to pass themselves off as good ones, at least initially. Today, it's easier than ever to use a discount broker. The Internet provides lots of information on publicly traded companies, including corporate press releases, newspaper articles and company web sites. When looking for a discount broker, start with your bank Your bank is probably the best place to look for a discount broker. All of the “big five” Canadian banks have both full-service and discount brokerage

Investment advice from

Pat McKeough

arms. It's also easier to transfer money between your bank account and your brokerage account if you have both at the same bank. Commission rates are even cheaper if you use a discount broker's Internet trading facility. Unfortunately, low commission rates sometimes lead investors to trade more than they should. They may assume they can't lose because they can sell at the first sign of trouble. Being quick to sell can cut your losses, but that's not the same as making money. And, if you stumble onto an investment that has a huge move ahead

of it, you may wind up selling just before the move begins. Fewer trades, high-quality companies are the keys to successful Canadian stock market investing In the long run, the best way to cut commissions is by sticking to highquality investments and making fewer transactions. This cuts commissions, and it improves your tax deferral. For instance, suppose you buy an investment at $10 and it goes to $20. As long as you hold on, you defer taxes — the entire $20 keeps on producing dividends and capital gains for you. If you sell, you'll have only $18 or so to reinvest, after capital-gains taxes and commissions. The lost 10% of your capital can take an enormous bite out of your returns, if you let it compound for a decade or two.

4 keys to earning large returns in aggressive investing with less risk

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ggressive investments have the potential to generate large returns compared to more conservative selections. But they can also give you bigger losses. As well, aggressive stocks tend to be more highly leveraged and volatile than conservative stocks. But there are ways to earn large returns with less risk in the part of your portfolio you devote to aggressive investing. Here are 4 principles we use to select stocks to recommend in Stock Pickers Digest, our newsletter for aggressive investing:

1. Limit aggressive holdings to 30% of your overall portfolio. Because aggressive stocks expose you to a greater risk of loss, we recommend limiting your aggressive holdings to no more than, say, 30% of your overall portfolio. Ultimately, the percentage of your portfolio that you should hold in either conservative or aggressive investments depends on your personal circumstances and risk tolerance. An investor with a longer time horizon or without the need for current income from a portfolio can invest more money in aggressive stocks.

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But we think 30% is a good rule of thumb. 2. Focus on investment quality when looking for aggressive stocks with the potential for large returns. When we look for aggressive investments, we zero in on companies that have established a business and have at least some history of building revenue and cash flow. We also look for companies that stand to benefit as the economy continues to improve, and have proven management and long-term growth plans. That's opposed to so-called concept stocks, many of which are start-ups or companies that look to profit from next week's or next year's investor fad. These companies can generate large returns in a good year. In the long run, though, they are likely to cost you money. 3. Hold a diverse aggressive portfolio. As with your more conservative holdings, we recommend that you cut your risk by spreading your aggressive holdings across the five main economic sectors (Manufacturing & Industry; Resources; Consumer; Finance; and Utilities). Compared to a conservative investor, you may choose to invest more heavily in Manufacturing and Resources, the two riskiest sectors. If so, take care to spread your money out across the many industries within each of these sectors. That way, you protect yourself from an unforeseeable industry downturn. Downplay stocks in the broker/public-relations limelight. That limelight fosters bloated investor expectations. When stocks fail to live up to those expectations, brutal downturns follow. Applying that aspect of our conservative philosophy to an aggressive portfolio leads us to stay out of most new issues. That's because most new issues come to market when it's a good time for the company or insiders to sell. That's rarely a good time for you to buy. Pat McKeough is a portfolio manager and publisher of investment newsletters. For more information visit : www.tsinetwork.ca


MARCH 2011 The bird with the two necks Long time ago there lived a special kind of bird which had two necks but shared a common stomach.

One day, one of the heads found a jar of nectar, and on seeing this the other head also wanted to taste the nectar but the first neck refused to let it have it. Enraged, the other neck soon found a jar of poison and consumed it. The poison reached the common stomach and both the necks died. Story moral: You should Share good things with others. The mice and the elephants Long time ago there lived a group of mice under a tree peacefully. One day a group of elephants in search of water came that way and destroyed the homes of the rats and as a result many of them were crushed to death. The king of rats decided to approach the elephant chief and request him to guide his herd through another route.

The elephant king agreed to this and took another route to the water. So the lives of the rats were saved. One day a group of elephant-hunters came and trapped the group of elephants in huge nets. Then the elephant king suddenly remembered the king of the rats. He summoned one of the elephants of his herd which had not been trapped to go and contact the king of rats. On listening to the elephant, the rat king took his entire group of mice and they cut open the nets which trapped the elephant herd. The elephants were totally set free. Story moral: Never under estimate people by their appearance. The Foolish Lion and the clever rabbit

Ancient Indian Stories for children and adults Following the success of Zen stories, we are pleased to publish the ancient Indian Panchatantra stories. Panchatantra are a collection of five volumes of stories to instruct the different aspects of kinghood for princes. The five volumes together serve as a guide for prospective kings, to help him on ruling, to choose fellow friends, fellow ministers, and to have good conduct in daily life etc. These collection of stories in Pancha tantra are a real boon for parents to help them guide their children towards values in human life. All stories of Pancha tantra are accompanied by a moral. The background story of Panchatantra goes as follows: Many ages ago in the kingdom of Mahilaropya, there lived a king who was ruling very ideally. He had three sons, who were not intelligent. The Long time ago there lived a ferocious lion in the forest. It was a greedy lion and started killing all the animals in the forest. Seeing this, the animals gathered and decided to approach the lion with the offer of one animal of each species volunteering itself to be eaten by the lion everyday. So every day it was the turn of one of the animals and in the end came the rabbits' turn. The rabbits chose a old rabbit among them. The rabbit old was wise. It decided to take its own sweet time to go to the Lion. The Lion was getting impatient on not seeing any animal come by and swore to kill all animals the next day. The rabbit then went to the Lion by sunset. The Lion was angry at him. But the wise rabbit was calm and slowly told the Lion that it was not his fault. He told the Lion that a group of rabbits were coming to him for the day but on the way, an angry Lion attacked them all and ate all rabbits but himself. Somehow he escaped to reach safely, the rabbit said. He said that the other Lion was challenging the supremacy of the Lion. The Lion was naturally very enraged and asked to be taken to the location of the other Lion. The wise rabbit agreed and led the Lion towards a deep well filled with water. Then he showed the Lion his reflection in the water of the well. The Lion was furious and started growling and naturally its image in the water, the other Lion, was also equally angry. Then the Lion jumped into the water to attack the other Lion and kill it but lost its life in the well. Thus the wise rabbit saved the forest and all animals from the proud Lion. Story moral: Intelligence wins over might. The fox reared by the lion Once upon a time there was a lion and a lioness in a dense forest. They gave birth to two cubs in due course of time. The lion asked the lioness to stay at home and take care of the cubs. One day the lion could not hunt any animal but found a little fox on the way home. He took it home as a gift for the lioness. The

king was worried about the heir to the throne, as he knew that his sons were incapable of governing. He was desperate to find a good and knowledgable teacher for his sons who would teach them the scriptures and make them knowledgeable in a short span of time. His minister then pointed towards a skilled pundit, Vishnu sharman. Vishnu sharman was old and the king was worried as to how an old teacher could accomplish this as an intelligent man takes more than twelve years to grasp all the elements of scriptures. Then Vishnu sharman convinced the king that he would teach the princes about kingly conduct through a series of stories, which would be more effective than the scriptures. Thus Vishnu sharman compiled the collection in five volumes termed as Pancha tantra.

lioness brought the fox kid with the same love as her own cubs. The three young animals grew and played together. One day the children saw an elephant. The lion cubs wanted to fight the elephant. But the fox kid was frightened and asked them to run away. So they ran away and went to the mother lioness. The lion cubs told the story to her. She laughed at the fox kid. At this the fox kid was offended and in a rage challenged the lioness as to why she called him a coward. The lioness replied, "What's wrong with eating an elephant? You feel like that only because you're not a lion kid. You are the child of a fox. Your breed never eats elephants. If you cannot be bold please leave us and go live with your tribe." The fox kid did not want to live there any longer and left for the forest. Story moral: A coward will always remain a coward even if it is in company of the brave. The geese and the tortoise Once upon a time there lived a pair of geese and a tortoise and all three were great friends. One day they faced a huge drought and the lake in which they lived was drying up. They decided to leave the lake and look for a new lake. But the

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tortoise could not fly. So the geese thought of a plan, where by the tortoise would have to hold a piece of stick by its mouth which would be carried by the two geese. The only condition was that the tortoise should not speak or it will fall from the stick to death. The tortoise agreed to be silent. But on seeing this strange arrangement, people on the way started laughing at the tortoise. Unable to control his anxiety, he spoke out "What are they laughing about?", and so he fell to his death. If he had kept quiet he could have saved his own life. Story moral: Destiny cannot be changed The Three Fishes There were three big fishes living in a lake who were very close friends. All three of them were very different from one another. The first one believed in fate. He thought things cannot be changed and what had to happen will happen no matter what. The second one was intelligent. He thought he knew how to solve a problem if he had one, with his intelligence. The third one was the wise one. It thought long and hard before acting. So one day, the wise fish was happily playing around in the water, when it over heard a fishermen talking to another. "Look at that one, what a big fish... This lake is full of big fishes like this one. Let us come tomorrow and catch them." It hurriedly swam to it's friends to tell the news. "Let us get out of this lake before those fishermen come back. A canal I know can take us to another lake," the wise one said. The intelligent fish said, " I know what to do if the fishermen come and catch me."

The fish which believed in fate said, "Whatever to happen will happen, I was born in this lake and I am not going to leave it." The wise fish didn't want to risk its life, so he took the canal and went to another lake. The fishermen came back the next morning and cast their net. The rest of the two friends were caught in it along with many other fishes. The intelligent fish thought of a way to escape, it acted as if it were dead. The fishermen threw him along with other dead fish back into the lake. But the other fish which believed in fate was still jumping in the net and the fishermen struck him dead. Story moral: Intelligence wins over might.


MARCH 2011

corner

Tax related questions and answers. Compiled by Sree Kannuthurai

T

he Canadian income tax system is a self-assessment regime. Taxpayers assess their tax liability by filing a return with the CRA by the required filing deadline. A taxpayer who disagrees with CRA's assessment of a particular return may appeal the assessment. The appeal process starts when a taxpayer formally objects to the CRA assessment. Here are some commonly asked questions and answers. 1. If there is a mistake or undue delay, what are my options? The first step is to give the CRA the opportunity to resolve your complaint. The CRA has existing mechanisms that you can use to resolve service-related complaints, which are outlined in the pamphlet RC4420, Information on CRA - Service Complaints If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can

approach The Taxpayers' Ombudsman. 2. What types of complaints will the Taxpayers' Ombudsman review? The Taxpayers' Ombudsman can review service-related complaints about the way taxpayers have been treated by the CRA. For example, the Taxpayers' Ombudsman can review the following service-related complaints: Ÿ mistakes; Ÿ undue delays; Ÿ poor or misleading information; or Ÿ staff behaviour. What type of outcome shall I expect from the Taxpayers' Ombudsman? At the end of their review, the Taxpayers' Ombudsman will send you and the CRA the outcome of the review with recommendations, if any. As part of their recommendations to the CRA, they may suggest that the CRA: Ÿ give further reasons for a decision; Ÿ correct a misunderstanding, omission or oversight; Ÿ offer an apology; Ÿ change a policy or procedure; Ÿ make changes to systems or applications; Ÿ review its service standards; or Ÿ consider further staff training. I have been charged interest or

penalties for late tax payments…my options? If you have been charged interest or penalties for late tax payments caused by reasons out of your control you can apply to have them waived under Revenue Canada's "Fairness" doctrine. I want to make changes to previously filed personal tax returns… To make changes to previously filed personal tax returns, individuals should not file an amended tax return. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) prefers that individual taxpayers who wish make changes to returns, use form T1-ADJ (Adjustment Request), available at local tax services offices or on the CRA Web site. Deadline for filing taxes…..? April 30 is the deadline for individual taxpayers (except for those who are self employed) to file their T1 personal Canadian income tax returns. The return should be filed even if there is an unpaid balance of taxes owing in order to avoid the late filing penalty. June 15 is the deadline to file Canadian personal income tax returns for individuals with self employment income. If I am unable to pay the balance owing, can I defer filing? No. The deadline for filing personal Canadian income tax returns is April 30. If you have a balance owing and fail to file, you will be charged a late filing penalty; so you should file your return by the due date even if you are unable to

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pay the balance owing. Some slips or receipts are missing. Can I wait beyond the deadline? No. Even if you're missing slips or receipts ensure that you file your tax return by the filing deadline. Otherwise you will be assessed a late filing penalty. What are the penalties for gross negligence in reporting income on your Canadian income tax return? If you are grossly negligent in failing to report income on your Canadian income tax return you can be assessed a penalty equal to 50% of the tax owing.

What is Net Worth Assessment? If you fail to keep proper books and records CRA may do a net worth assessment, which looks at the increase in your assets over time and assesses income tax on that increase. I missed the deadline to file a Notice of Objection. ..My options? If you have missed the deadline to file a Notice of Objection on your Notice of assessment, you can apply for an extension of time. However there are strict time limits for the application and there must have been a valid reason to have missed the deadline. Sree Kannuthurai is helping people to file their tax returns for the last 14 years.His phone: 647 268 2300

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By Dinesh Chandrasekaran Ever wondered where your hard earned money goes? It comes from your hard work and then just disappears at the end of the month, right? Luckily, tracking your cash outflow is not so hard and made simpler with the information era. How great would it be, if by a click of mouse you can open a form that can take all the details of what you have spent and add the details to the end of a list, which you can analyze at your leisure to figure out your expenses by month, by type etc. Well, you can do that by using Google docs – spreadsheet forms with 4 simple steps. Doubt it? Take a look at expense tracker form that we have created here for you. You will need a Google account for the below steps. They are available free of charge at www.google.com/ accounts/ 1. First create a new Google docs – spreadsheet

MARCH 2011

MONEY

Personal Expense Management Go to www.docs.google.com. Once you log in, click on the “forms” tab as shown below. This will open a new window where you can create a form. We will use this form to enter spending details. 2. Create a basic expenditure tracker form We will now create a basic form with the following fields: 1. How much you spent? 2. What did you spent it on? A description for the spending 3. Category of spending A list of categories from which you can choose The first step is to name the form:

we dont have to enter the expense date. We can use this column to see how much you are spending everyday (provided we enter information as soon as possible)

ourself, or embed it in our igoogle home page. Once we email it, we should have the below email in our inbox.

4. Analyze the tracked expenses What is the use of tracking when you are not analyzing. You can use built-in charts in Google docs to do some analysis of the expenses. I did a bar chart

Food/Eating out

Next we will add two simple questions as shown below, the process is very easy, just try it for yourself.

Gas

3. Now lets start entering expenses in our form Click on the URL provided in the email and go to the live form to start entering!

Rent Utilities Telephone/Internet

0

Finally we will save our expense tracking form. We can email it to

Once you enter few expenses the spreadsheet will look like this: See how Google adds the time stamp to each expense. This is a good thing as

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to show what is possible. Take a test drive at the expense tracker form by accessing the one here: Expense Tracker Form: http://bit.ly/h9aWfn List containing the expenses entered in the form: http://bit.ly/ifpJFY

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MARCH 2011

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Let's talk! Audacity: what a beautiful word.

A

udacity is defined as “the willingness to take bold risks, esp. with confident or arrogant disregard for conventional thought or other restrictions”. It is the very behaviour that is at the core of any revolution. Breakthroughs are brought by challenging existing norms, having a strong belief in something and taking action. I have been reading a book called “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi, CEO of FerraziGreenLight – a sales and marketing company – whose clients include Fortune 500 companies. The book is about building meaningful networks and relationships. One of the chapters talks about audacity – the power of it to transform what you can do

MONEY

and where you can be. in. He did the audacious thing of going to the CEO and I will mention two stories requesting a meeting. The from the author's life, that I CEO was intrigued by this found very inspiring, in the and met with him. The hope you will be inspired by it author's father reached out to as well. the CEO for help and I will provide some Aishwar .M explained to him what he context here. The author is the Software Developer wanted for his son. The CEO son of a steel worker and a was impressed and eventually cleaning lady. These events took place a arranged for the author to attend a few decades ago, at a time when things reputed private school where the CEO we take for granted now didn't exist. was a board member. Things continued When the author was younger, his on well, and the author graduated from father wanted to provide a better life for there to attend Yale University, worked his son. Working on the factory floor in Fortune 500 companies, eventually and being uneducated, he did know becoming CEO of many successful what he should do and how he could companies. All this happened because ensure the best for his son's future. He of one audacious action, defying knew one person who would. It was convention, abandoning fear – going to someone he had never met before, the top man and asking for help. someone who he would never be able to The second story is not on as grand a just talk to. It was his boss, not just any scale. But this is a story from the boss, but his boss' boss' boss' boss' boss author's childhood as well. Once when – the CEO of the factory he was working the author and his father were driving along, they noticed a broken Big Wheel tricycle in someone's trash. The father quickly stopped the car, walked up to the house, knocked on the door. A lady came out, and he told her “I spotted this Big Wheel in your trash. Do you mind if I take it? I think I can fix it. It would make me feel wonderful to give my son something like this”. The lady flushed and said “Of course”. She explained that her children had grown older and it had been years since the toy had been used, and added “You're welcome to the bicycle I have, too. It's nice enough that I just couldn't throw it away…”. Now the

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author had a Big Wheel he could ride with and a bicycle he could grow into. The lady had a smile and a fluttering heart that only benevolence breeds. This was just because his father was audacious, and did not let pride or embarrassment get in his way. Of course being audacious isn't easy and it is not always going to work. The tip the author gives is: the worst anyone can say is no, and look at the other side – what do you lose by not taking that action. For his father, he either asked or his family didn't have. That was enough to make it worth it. I feel pretty pumped to shed my inhibitions, follow my heart, and do what I want. I'll finish this column with a question to you, so what audacious thing are you going to do now.

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