Oh Canada – New books with a Canadian theme

Who wrote our national anthem? What’s the nature of murder in Canada? Can we explain Confederation to kids? Learn the answers to this and more in this week’s selection of recent arrivals.

“Oh Canada, this week we stand on guard for thee with five books about you, beginning with a biography of the man who wrote your national anthem,” wrote Sarah Murdoch for Arrivals in the Book section of The Star this week.

Murdoch continued, “Anthems and Minstrel Shows: The Life and Times of Calixa Lavallée, 1842-1891, Brian Christopher Thompson

Thompson, a music scholar at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, became interested in Lavallée in 1993 when he was working at the CBC’s music library in Toronto. This is the fruition of his two decades’ endeavour, the first in-depth biography of the man who wrote “O Canada” (yet opposed Confederation). Lavallée began as a minstrel, wrote battle songs for the Unionists in the Civil War, trained in Paris for two years then returned to North America to become one of the leading performers and conductors of his day.”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

Are more teens saving for retirement?

“Everybody wants something for nothing. So why then, when many large companies give away money to match employee RRSP contributions, do so many ignore the free lunch?

Insurer Sun Life Financial concludes from an analysis of 5,000 plans it administers that the two biggest reasons are people find it too confusing to do the paperwork to join, or they’re have trouble making ends meet and need the money now. As a result, Sun Life estimates that employees are turning their back on as much as $3 billion a year,” wrote Adam Mayers, Personal Finance Editor for The Star on June 24, 2015.

Mayers continued, “But what they’re leaving on the table is significant. Employers typically match contributions at between 50 cents on the dollar up to dollar for dollar. The average matching range is between 3 per cent and 6 per cent of the employee’s salary.

So, in the best case, somebody making $50,000 a year and putting $3,000 a year into an RRSP (6 per cent of salary), could be getting another $3,000 on the house.

If that’s going to be the main pillar of your retirement why wouldn’t you opt in?”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

Are Entrepreneurs making smart investments?

“Entrepreneurs quickly come to understand that every action a startup takes is an investment. Whether integrating software, conducting research, hiring people or, if they’re successful enough, making third party acquisitions, every move made is either time or money spent with an aim to grow the company.

To thrive in the current startup marketplace, entrepreneurs need to understand the value in creating and innovating but also, consistently investing strategically in areas that complement their technology and accelerate their growth,” wrote Cameron Chell special to The Globe and Mail on April 17, 2015.

Chell continued, “Planning isn’t a dirty word. Startups are renowned for flying by the seat of their pants. Having a defined and structured plan and the discipline to follow it through might seem to too rigid and conformist for entities which are assumed to be all about agility. It shouldn’t.

Having discipline, a strategic plan and a laser-like focus on what problem a company is solving ultimately allows gaps to be far more obvious when they appear. In my experience, a startup cannot successfully recognize a need to pivot, a need to bolster specific resources, or a need to add to its technology pool when it is being purely reactionary. Without a considered focus, a sound strategy, and the discipline to reassess a plan regularly, investment decisions are solely based on the need to fix issues as they arise.”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

The Bank of Canada adds a concern to the list for Canadians

“The Bank of Canada has emphasized a concern for Canadians already fretting over the country’s depressed energy sector and overvalued housing market: Stock valuations are near record highs.

The warning follows long-simmering concerns about a rising appetite for risk among investors searching for higher returns in an era of ultralow interest rates,” wrote David Berman – Banking Reporter for The Globe and Mail last Thursday June 11, 2015.

Berman continued, “In its Financial System Review, released on Thursday, the bank said that the valuation of the S&P/TSX composite index was “above historical averages and is close to all-time highs” when assessed using estimated earnings.

The twice-yearly review focuses on the downside risks to Canada’s financial system, without making forecasts for the near-term.

The bank said lower oil prices and high levels of consumer debt have raised the risks to Canada’s financial stability, even as it suggested that the full impact of the depressed oil market is not fully understood.”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

A balanced approach to economics

“If Adam Smith were still alive, he would be having a birthday today, June 16. The man credited for founding the discipline of economics was a man of curiosity, vision and wisdom. Smith’s insights about the functioning – and malfunctioning – of markets are still valid, and deserve to be repeated and celebrated.

Born in 1723 in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, he became a professor of moral philosophy and a leading figure of the Scottish Enlightenment. At the age of 36, he published The Theory of Moral Sentiments, a book that made him an academic superstar. Only then did he start to study economics and, in particular, the mechanics of national wealth creation.

For hundreds of years before Mr. Smith, technology had not changed significantly and patterns of production and consumption were relatively stable, determined mostly by tradition. But with the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-1700s, economies began changing quickly. As technological developments in some sectors outpaced those in others, and many new products were created, adjustments had to occur. Costs and prices bounced around, and so did wages. In response, labour and capital shifted across sectors and regions,” wrote Christopher Ragan for the Globe and Mail on June 16, 2015.

Ragan continued, “His deepest insight was how thousands of decentralized and mostly self-interested consumers and producers, none of whom had a plan for the overall economy, interacted in markets to produce a remarkably co-ordinated overall outcome. Increases in the demand for one product generate the market forces that bring forth the supply; decreases have the opposite effect. His most famous metaphor to describe this co-ordination was the market’s “invisible hand” of resource allocation.”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS


Seven books to read this summer, recommended by Bill Gates

“You don’t become the world’s richest man by wasting away the day binge-watching Netflix. You learn, you grow, you hustle. And you read, and a hell of a lot. Heavy reads, light reads, even breezy beach reads from time to time.

We’re talking, of course, about Bill Gates: inventor, philanthropist and voracious reader. Keeping up with his own tradition, the Microsoft co-founder recently took to his blog to publish his annual “beach reading (and more)” list, a collection of books he thinks everyone should add to their summer reading roundup,” wrote Kim Lachance Shandrow for Entrepreneur.com/The Globe and Mail on Tuesday June 9, 2015.

Lachance Shandrow continued, “Looking back, he credits much of his entrepreneurial success to reading. “I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid,” he said, “and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.” Apparently even in the summer.

With the first day of summer coming up on June 21, there’s plenty of time to dig into Gates’s picks. Check out his recommendations from your local library or spring for them at the neighborhood bookstore. Happy reading.

Here are the seven titles that made the cut…”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

Mercedes-powered cars dominated practice session at Canadian Grand Prix

“Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the opening practice session for this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Mercedes duo Hamilton and Nico Rosberg dominated the opening period, finishing well ahead of the chasing pack.

Hamilton was 0.415 seconds faster than Rosberg, who was over a second ahead of the Lotus of Romain Grosjean in third.

Mercedes-powered cars dominated practice at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, which is characterised by three long straights. Four of the top five fastest cars in the session were powered by the Mercedes powerplant.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was fourth fastest, followed by the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and the Williams of Felipe Massa,” wrote James Roberts on Friday June 5, 2015 for Autosport.

2015-06-08(2)Roberts continued, “Hamilton set the early pace on the soft tyre and remained at the top of the timing sheets for the next 90 minutes.

When pushing harder with half an hour to go he spun at the Turn 10 hairpin but was able to continue unharmed.

Shortly afterwards he mentioned on his team radio that he was losing time with his upshifts.”






Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS


Pushing past excuses to become a successful Entrepreneur

“Do you have dreams that keep getting pushed to the side, and every time they are revisited you make another excuse as to why it’s not the right time to chase them? Successful entrepreneurs all have one thing in common – they pushed the excuses aside, not their dreams.

While there are countless excuses, these six in particular are both horrible and unfortunately common – and you should not let them stand in the way of your entrepreneurial dreams,” wrote Jonathan Long for Entrepreneur.com/The Globe and Mail.

Long continued,
1. “I’m too old.” You are never too old to accomplish anything that you set your mind to. The media tends to highlight young entrepreneurs and founders – a headline about an Ivy League college student creating a successful company is going to receive more media attention than a headline about an entrepreneur in his or her early 40s that launched a successful venture out of the garage.

Mark Zuckerberg co-founded Facebook in his Harvard dorm room and Evan Spiegel co-founded Snapchat while at Stanford – but there have also been plenty of successful companies founded by older entrepreneurs. Reid Hoffman was 35 when he co-founded LinkedIn, and Henry Ford was 45 when he created the Model T. Age is just a number – not an excuse.

2. “I’m scared.” There isn’t a single entrepreneur that wasn’t scared – anyone saying otherwise is flat-out lying to your face. You have to take that fear and use it as motivation rather than let it stop you. When it comes down to it there is only one thing you should be scared of – not reaching your dreams.

Know what’s scary? The thought of someone else coming to market with your idea in the future and you kicking yourself daily for not pursuing your dreams. Now that’s scary, right?”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS

Working less and achieving more; How successful people are doing this

“As co-founder of Hotwire.com and CEO of Zillow for the last seven years, 39-year-old Spencer Rascoff fits most people’s definition of success. As a father of three young children, Spencer is a busy guy at home and at work.

What’s the one thing that Spencer refuses to do on the weekend? Work—at least, in the traditional sense,” wrote Travis Bradberry for Entrepreneur.com/ The Globe and Mail on Friday May 29, 2015.

Bradberry continued, “A new study from Stanford shows that Rascoff is on to something.

The study found that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that there’s no point in working any more. That’s right, people who work as much as 70 hours (or more) per week actually get the same amount done as people who work 55 hours.

Successful people know the importance of shifting gears on the weekend to relaxing and rejuvenating activities. Like Spencer, they use their weekends to create a better week ahead.

This is easier said than done, so here’s some help. The following list contains 10 things that successful people do to find balance on the weekend and to come into work at 110% on Monday morning.”

Read the full article here.

Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS


Subscribe to: Posts (RSS2)