Entries by Pat Sawler

Getting with the times

I know that it has been a very long time since I have last written a blog article. I have no excuse other than “stuff” got in the way. Anyway I am back with a new and improved website thanks to my good friends at Kim Squared.

Please take a tour and let me know your thoughts. I welcome any and all feedback. The new site is now able to be viewed on your mobile device of choice and as well as your computer.

I did a short test with a Facebook ad for my company fan page last month and discovered that over 92% of people viewed the ad on their mobile device. Yet at the same time my site and many others in the industry were only designed to be viewed on a computer.

I hope you … Read more

Should you grow your nest egg or pay off your mortgage?

Sometimes the question arises that what is best option between growing on investment and paying off mortgage. Here I would like to suggest that one should take his own financial decision as per his or her circumstance. But, I will put my opinion in my own way as I see that staying out of debt has potential impact on anything I can do.

Somebody may speak rubbish when they tell you to stop paying mortgage since you forfeit your tax benefits on your mortgage. On the other side, some may suggest you to stop paying mortgage because you could utilize it for any high growth investment. This way, they suggest you the way to benefit from compounding interest. Instead of paying at low interest mortgage, you can invest in high return investment tools. This point of argument sounds good. But,

Read more

Demystifying the 5 year fixed rate mortgage

If this title alone does not get you I don’t know what will. Most people opt for the 5 year fixed rate mortgage because of the security of knowing what your payment will be from month to month over the next 5 years. However how do you know if you got the best 5 year product. In case you did not know there is more than one out there.

Lender’s price their fixed rate products based on how long that they have to guarantee the rate. These rate guarantee’s range from 30 days all the way up to 120 days. So as a result the quicker you can close the more likely you will get the best rate in town.

Here are a few examples.… Read more

5 Ways to Avoid a Personal Financial Crisis

Here are some tips on what you should do to avoid a personal financial crisis:

1) Have an emergency slush fund

You should have at least 3 months of living expenses put away in case the worst happens. I am not talking about putting it in your mattress or in a coffee can. These funds should be liquid and fairly easy to access quickly but not so that you can dip into them & buy something if the whim strikes you. My wife and I have used an ING investment savings account, you could do something similar or open a Tax Free Savings account, that way your emergency fund is tax protected.

2) Know your income and expenses

Most people might know how much they make but have no idea how much they are spending. When I got out … Read more

Make a difference

Earlier this week I received a story in my e-mail that I want to share with you.

I made a difference to that one…

A man was walking on the beach and ran into a little boy throwing starfish into the ocean.  When the man asked the little boy what he was doing, the little boy explained that the tide had gone out and left the starfish on the shore.  They wouldn’t survive the day in the sun and if they didn’t get back in the water, they would dry out and die.

Amused, the man looked down the beach and noticed that there were thousands of starfish washed up on the shore and they went out as far as the eye could see.

“Little boy, while I appreciate what you are trying to do, there are thousands and thousands … Read more

Economic stats for March 2011

Bank of Canada Interest Rate

January 18, 2011 1.00 %
March 1, 2011 1.00 %
April 12, 2011 Next meeting date

Bank Prime Lending Rate

January 19, 2011 3.00 %
March 2, 2011 3.00 %
April 13, 2011 Next meeting date

Conventional Mortgage – 5 Year Rate*

January 19, 2011 5.19 %
February 9, 2011 5.44 %
February 23, 2011 5.44 %

*Determinant for high ratio mortgage variable qualifying rate

US Federal Reserve Board Discount Rate

December 14, 2010 0.00 % – 0.25 %
January 26, 2011 0.00 % – 0.25 %
March 15, 2011 Next Meeting date

Exchange Rate $CDN($US)

January 31, 2011 0.9985 $CDN ($US)
February 11, 2011 1.0134 $CDN ($US)
March 1, 2011 1.0257 $CDN ($US)

Government of Canada Bonds

Bond Type January 26, 2011 February 9, 2011 February 23, 2011
1 year Treasury Bill 1.33% 1.36%

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To break or not to break?

Well that is the question. Wondering whether to break your current mortgage to take advantage of the lower rates that are currently offered. Well here is an example that you can apply to your situation to see if now is a good time to take advantage of the lower rates.

Interest Rate Differentials (IRD)

Often a client needs an “idea” of how much their existing mortgage penalty might be before he decides to refinance or do an “early switch” with pre-payment penalty.

If the penalty is based on a rate differential, here is a BASIC calculation to figure out a close amount…..

Based on a:

$200,000 with 3 years remaining on a 5 year term of 5.70%….

…because there are 3 years remaining, the current 3 year rate is used to calculate the differential.

If the lenders current 3 year Read more

Rate decision

Bank of Canada leaves key rate unchanged

Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press

The Canadian dollar gave up early gains and moved lower after the Bank of Canada’s announced it was leaving interest rates unchanged and warned of the negative effects of a rising currency.

The loonie was 0.12 of a cent lower to 102.82 cents US after the central bank announced its decision to keep the key interest rate at one per cent.

The bank observed that the economic recovery in Canada is proceeding slightly faster than expected and that “while consumption growth remains strong, there are signs that household spending is moving more in line with the growth in household incomes.”

But the bank also warned that “the export sector continues to face considerable challenges from the cumulative effects of the persistent strength in the Canadian dollar and Canada’s Read more

Service Please

For those who don’t know, we took advantage of the kids two week break to take a little vacation. The reason that I am telling you this is to tell you a story about good service. Something that we far too often take for granted until we experience the complete opposite. 

P1000634We took a Disney Cruise out of LA down to the Mexican Rivera and it was awesome, and the service was fantastic. Food was great, ship was nice and clean and the staff were wonderful. On the way back home we flew with United airlines from LA to Chicago, during this flight one of my girls became ill and was getting sick. My wife rushed her to the bath room while holding on to an air sickness bag. The bath room closest to us was occupied so my wife Read more