Posts Tagged ‘real estate’

Speaking of Money… It’s Financial Planning Week

October 21st, 2011 No comments

Speaking of Money… It’s Financial Planning Week

October 17-23 is Canada’s third annual Financial Planning Week and as part of its campaign to get more Canadians engaged in their financial wellbeing, Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC®) hit the streets to hear what Canadians are saying about money.

“Every day is financial planning day at Financial Planning Standards Council and for the 18,000+ Certified Financial Planner® professionals in Canada. But, while many Canadians may have great intentions, they fall into the procrastination trap,” says Tamara Smith, V.P. Marketing & Consumer Affairs, FPSC. “We are putting a call out to every Canadian: this Financial Planning Week, it’s time to take action — even if in small steps — to do more towards your financial wellbeing.”


Even small steps can build momentum and make a difference.


1. Reflect on your life goals (Own a home? Travel the world? Or simply get by?). Think in terms of shorter and longer-term goals. As well, consider your needs and wants. Financial planning supports your life and it involves much more than just planning for tomorrow. It’s about the continuum of your life, which includes today!


2. Talk to your life partner. Money often comes last on the list of relationship conversations but it should be a priority and is an essential part of family life planning. Plan now to prevent money from becoming a stressor on your relationship!

3. Talk to your kids. It’s never too early to teach your kids the value of money and the importance of good financial habits.

4. Talk to a financial planning professional who can help you make sense of it all. CFP® professionals are uniquely trained to help you translate your life goals into meaningful financial strategies and in seeing how all these strategies are connected. Before engaging anyone, learn what to look for and what to ask a prospective planner. See 10 Questions to Ask for starters.


5. Learn something new. You can start by going to a Financial Planning Week event.

6. Track your spending so you know where that darn money is going. You’d be surprised of how much you can squeeze out in savings when you are accountable for every dollar spent.

7. Create a monthly budget.

8. Pay yourself first and start a savings and/or investment program. Even small amounts add up if you save regularly.

9. Pay off debt — especially credit card debt that can result in high interest fees for late payments. Keep your credit rating healthy and don’t forget to pay those bills on time!

10. Get help creating a financial plan that looks at the whole picture. CFP professionals say it’s never too early to start, nor do you have to be wealthy to have a plan. Planning is for everyone!

11. BONUS TIP: Brainstorm a few of your own ideas of what you can do to celebrate Financial Planning Week and make them meaningful for you. Remember – it’s about your life.


•FPSC executives are available for media interviews; also, CFP professionals from various regions across Canada are available to discuss financial planning topics.
•Looking for statistics on Canadians’ emotional and financial wellbeing? Read the highlights on FPSC’s Value of Financial Planning Study.

About Financial Planning Week

Now in its third year, Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) and the Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) have jointly declared October 17-23, 2011 as Canada’s Financial Planning Week. During the Week, each organization will be spearheading industry events and public outreach activities in their respective markets. Financial Planning Week is part of an ongoing effort by both organizations to make financial planning more a part of Canadians’ lives. Stay up-to-date at / Twitter @FPWeek, and join us on the LinkedIn and Facebook page for Financial Planning Week.



Finding and Flipping Homes

September 9th, 2009 1 comment

Flipping houses is a hot topic these days. Here are 10 tips to help you find the perfect flip from HGTV’s The Big Flip renovator’s John Stassen and Randy Mackay.

1.      Find properties that are diamonds in the rough – homes that are rundown in comparison to those around them – as these often have a low list price.

2.      Are the surrounding properties well maintained? This can add value and clinch a sale when your house goes back on the market.

3.      Scrutinize previous renovations. Poor quality workmanship can mean you have paid a premium for finishes that you will have to repair or replace yourself.

4.      Can you add bathrooms, storage or enlarge a small kitchen to meet the needs of today’s average family? If you can’t, walk away, as these features often make or break a sale.

5.      Ensure you do a thorough home inspection before purchasing properties – this could save thousands of dollars in the long run.

6.      Identify your potential buyers (i.e. young professionals or families) and design the house with their needs in mind.

7.      Find a real estate agent who understands the market. There are thousands of real estate agents; get one who is experienced and understands the business of flipping houses!

8.      Do your research and find areas that are up and coming. Neighbourhoods that are in the early stages of being gentrified often contain homes that offer large returns on their investment.

9.      Be realistic with your budget and always leave room for hidden costs. Early budget optimism can mean cost cutting later on, which means sacrificing quality – and profits – in the final sale.

10.  Keep your eye out for properties with good layouts that can be easily updated with new paint and trim. You may get lucky and find a home that’s a good price and only needs finishing touches, adding tens of thousands of dollars with minimal investment.

Source: (Article by John Stassen and Randy Mackay /

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