Asia Will Be 53% of World Economy by 2050

July 2nd, 2015 Posted in Canada|Global Economy | No Comments »

China Economy Will Lead the World by 2026

China Economy Will Lead the World by 2026

A recent report published by the Economist Intelligence Units predicts that in just 10 years China will overtake the US in terms of nominal GDP and will stay there at least until 2050. Also, Asia will account for 53 percent of world economy; it is currently at only 33 percent.

Here are some highlights from the report:

– Mexico and Indonesia will be among the top ten economies by 2050, surpassing Russia and Italy.

– The top ten economies in 2050 will be China, US, India, Indonesia, Japan, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, UK, and France.

– Within the top ten, China, US, and India will hold more wealth than the next five countries combined. This enormous scale of wealth will be nothing like the world has seen before.

– Currently the top ten economies are US, China, Japan, Germany, UK, France, Brazil, Italy, India, and Russia.

– China is almost expected to catch Japan in terms of per capita incomes by 2050.

– Nigeria is projected to triple its labour force, followed by Pakistan, in the next decades.

– Japan, Germany, and Thailand will decline in labour force, dragging down their growth.

The full report can be reviewed here.

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Real Estate the Adriatic and Montenegro

Real Estate Hotspot The Adriatic Coast and Montenegro

July 1st, 2015 Posted in Global Real Estate | No Comments »

Real Estate Hotspot The Adriatic Coast and Montenegro

 

 

 

 

 

Adriatic Sea Dream

Who does not remember that it was only a couple of years ago when the Adriatic regions of what used to be called Yugoslavia was known for all the wrong reasons. All that we got from the media was generally about bloodshed and what came to be known as ethic cleansing. In a little while the former communist republic began disintegrating and small tribal units were seceding and becoming republics on their own, whether they had international support or not.

Talking about the region today and mentioning places like Montenegro you will elicit a completely new set of feelings, especially from people who are very keen on real estate. Every international investor you know about is jostling for a share of the former hotspot of the bloodbaths of modern Europe because people just discovered the golden coasts that been forgotten for years on end. After the years of war and destruction, reconstruction has begun in earnest and the focal point seems to be the Adriatic coast. There are all manner of developments already taking place and foreign investors are falling over themselves to build up the coastal are and right now it is littered with industrial investments and holiday resorts of the highest standards you can ever imagine.

What seems to have awakened the great interest may be the fact the several celebrities have toured the Adriatic sea coasts of the former Yugoslavia not just as tourists, but they have ended up buying a piece of the cake and you will be in for a surprise if you found who has property in this lovely coast. From film stars to rally champions and all the rest you can mention, the destination is the Adriatic Sea coast and Montenegro is real hot spot currently. You know what follows when famous people invade a place, the prices of property begin sky rocketing and this is what is happening in Montenegro right now. The ordinary Joe will be hard pressed to manage anything at this time. What with prices rising by up to 40% in just one year.

One of the hottest spots in Montenegro where the high and mighty are settling is known as Kotorska Bay, which is a scenic are that has mountains overlooking three sizeable bays and because of space and height limitations, the developments here are not allowed to go more than three storey high. The one thing that has also catapulted the developmental status of this enclave is the recognition by UNESCO to make it a world heritage site. The sandy beaches are always full of people and the cost of property is just not what you would expect of an area with history like this one.

And for those who would love to acquire built up properties, there is no shortage of apartments that have been put up overlooking the sea, where you stay as you enjoy the cool breeze of the evening. All that was lacking due to the bad history that the area went through just a few years ago, moneyed investors and developers are bridging the gap with so much zeal. The good news is that real estate lovers are not letting them down, seizing every available piece of lane or built up apartments.

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Mobilicity Customers: Time to Run From Rogers

June 29th, 2015 Posted in Reviews|Interviews | No Comments »

Mobilicity - Now That's Not Smart

Mobilicity – Now That’s Not Smart

Although the government keeps praising the recent Rogers-Mobilicity deal as a big WIN for Canadians, most of the Mobilicity customers would view it otherwise. There is a lot of talk about the “Spectrum” swap to make Wind Mobile nation’s fourth carrier to compete with the big three brothers. But for those 150,000 Mobilicity customers it’s a deal to gobble them up by the same giant they wanted to get rid of in the first place.

The drive behind Rogers buying Mobilicity is not because Rogers’ interest in Mobilicity’s existing clients, but because of the spectrum it can gets hands on. Regardless what the government says, it does not take a rocket scientist to understand that this deal means more control in Rogers’ hand and less competition.

If you need an example of what happens to those great monthly affordable plans after a big company buying a small competitor, you don’t need to look further than Telus buying Public Mobile. The affordable plans Public Mobile used to offer are all gone since the takeover and the same thing is bound to happen with Mobilicity very shortly.

When Mobilicity customers signed up with this small player offering affordable plans (although with a terrible signal), their main intention was to escape from a big brother and save some money. Some of the customers could not even afford to have a plan with a big brother and they had some relief subscribing to a new company which is not a part of the big brothers that have been monopolizing and terrorizing Canadian mobile markets ever since.

So what now? These unfortunate and stranded 150,000 subscribers are back to where they started and will be eaten alive by the same giant they were running away from. The only option that seems to remain open now is to run – again.

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New Credit Card Rules

June 28th, 2015 Posted in Credit Cards|Debts | No Comments »

Flaherty Unveils New Credit Card Rules

 

 

 

 

 

What New Credit Card Rules Mean

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is unveiling new regulations which will force credit card companies to behave in a more transparent manner – including a strict disclosure policy on penalty fees and interest rates. The move, announced Thursday (May 21), is intended to bring an end to or at least limit the incidence of Canadian consumers becoming saddled with excessive interest payments on their cards. In the midst of a global recession, more consumers than ever are struggling with debt repayments, and in Canada as elsewhere, the banks are being blamed for this situation.

Short-term special offers regarding rates and fees have long been used as a way to persuade shoppers to take out credit cards – leading to even reluctant customers finally agreeing to go plastic, then finding out some way down the line that the special offers are not worth the paper they are printed on in many situations. The new transparency regulations are intended to give customers a better chance of spotting the worthless offers and only accepting a credit card that they will be able to benefit from in a substantive manner. The way of things up to now has been that customer obligations regarding the special offers are couched in the cardholder agreements using the old obfuscatory methods of small print and impenetrable jargon.

Among a comprehensive raft of legislation, Flaherty is also set to introduce an industry-wide 21-day grace period for interest on new purchases, so that if customers pay their balance in full by the due date they will not incur interest. Up to now this period has been practised by some banks but not by all, but the new legislation will make it a blanket rule. The limiting of certain business practices that are not beneficial to customers will form a major plank of the new legislation. This will also hit the banks who have recently shortened their purchase-to-payment interest-free period, a move already condemned by the Consumers’ Association of Canada.

The ideas are intended to give Canadian customers a bit more breathing room on monthly bills – meaning that customers who do not pay off their bill in full will no longer find themselves penalized by interest. A large majority of Canadian households do pay their bills off in full every month – estimates put this in the region of 70% of homes – but with belt-tightening becoming a competitive sport in most of the Western world there are a number who simply cannot.

Opinions on the moves seem to differ widely, with opposition critics having derided the minister’s measures as nothing more than an “information campaign” which will do little or nothing to protect customers who are already struggling. Others have dubbed the moves “weak” and suggested that the minister is actively seeking to favour  his “bank buddies on Bay Street”. Opposition proposals which have not been adopted included a cap on credit card interest at 5% above the prime rates enjoyed by commercial banks. The NDP, who suggested this move, say that the government’s latest move will “send working families into more debt”.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Canadapersonalfinancewebsite.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to A Dawn Journal. This article originally published on the above website on May 23, 2009.

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Real Estate Property In Croatia

June 27th, 2015 Posted in Global Real Estate | No Comments »

Real Estate Property In Croatia

 

 

 

 

 

Shopping the Beachfront in Croatia

Have you noticed the turning fad to buy foreign vacation property is booming once again? One of the premiere hotspots is the Adriatic coastline of Croatia. If you have not checked out the realtor sites or the available properties then you should at least view some general pictures of this outstanding coast. It is absolutely beautiful and if the available prices are with in your ballpark it is a treat you cannot afford to miss. Not only is this Mediterranean country an interesting as well as beautiful vacation spectacular but the investment potential of owning real estate for personal or business ventures is looking to be very promising.

One may wonder why this magnificent country had not been available until recently. In the late 90’s, once the war had ended and the communistic government had fallen it became more open to foreign land purchases. The property was fairly inexpensive yet several down falls kept most investors at bay. Buying property could take almost 5 years to finalize the excruciating processes. Problems with original ownership ensued because of the original owners such as Serbs had left many properties abandoned after the war. These giving great grievances to those buying from faulty owners who had assumed residence and later tried to sale. The government now though is going to great lengths to make these land values more available.

Not only is the coastline of Croatia amazing but there are also 700 some plus outlying islands. Not all of these are available for sale, as some 300 plus are already owned under private sanctions. Many of Hollywood’s elite have snatched some of these islands already, giving the beautiful Islands and Croatian Coast a glitz of paradise. Many like to follow the trends of Hollywood only adding to the increasing value of this amazing country. Some areas such as the popular city of Dubrovnik are unavailable, in which you would be hard pressed to find properties. This area began soaring in popularity in 2000 and prices have been increasing every since.

However many of the remaining areas are still offering several available properties and lands for sale. The islands of course are made available first to the Croatian government for sanction or resale, so owning your own Mediterranean island may not be impossible but prospects are thinner than to purchase private properties from owners. Current property owners have the rights to sale to whom ever they enter into contract.

While researching your new vacation prospects, include that the Croatian country is soon to be joining the European Union and has been in process since it has been invited in 2005. This may change or alter the market and land availability, which in turn may also drive property prices sky high. If the opportunity presents itself to become a Croatian landowner, investor or vacationer, then it is best you seize the day.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the realestateexpedition.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to A Dawn Journal. This article originally published on the above website on Nov 18, 2009.

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Financial Speculation & Reading the Signs

June 25th, 2015 Posted in Investing|Personal Finance | No Comments »

Reading the Signs

 

 

 

 

 

Financial Speculation Is Generally Not To Be Encouraged

As a child, a lot of your early reading practice comes from signs. There is only so long you can get away with walking on the grass in direct defiance of a sign before the groundskeeper asks you, often quite forcefully “Can’t you read?” and points to the sign in question. The meaning of the “Wet Paint” sign is often learned in a manner more practical than academic, and results in the need for one’s parents to buy a new pair of trousers. But we learn from these signs and we learn to look out for them. As we get older, the signs change in a practical sense – sticking to speed limits, age restrictions at clubs and so forth – and also in a figurative sense.

We are in a global recession as things stand. As much as some of us will have seen it coming, there will be many more who did not. It is hard to blame them, as there were very few messages coming from a high level saying “Look out – there’s a recession afoot”. Lots of us were busy doing something else and didn’t see the sign until it was too late. In order to avoid compounding our mistakes, the most important thing we can do is be more careful about looking for signs and ensuring we understand them. The problem with economic signs is that they are not plastered everywhere that we might spend money, quite unlike the road signs that adorn every intersection. We need to be actively seeking them out.

Being aware of the financial situation at home and abroad takes work. Some of it may be outright boring. There are, many of you will agree, only so many stories about x industry in y country that you can read before the only letters you see are clusters of zzz – it does not help that economic news is treated by so many in one of two ways. Either it is delivered in a solemn baritone with countless abbreviations that make sense only to investment bankers, or it is dumbed down to insulting levels on news broadcasts and in newspaper articles that may as well be entitled “Finance for Cretins”. The average citizen is not, contrary to popular myth, a cretin. Nor are they a financial whiz kid. Hence the unsurprising lack of information that you feel you can use.

It is clear enough that now is a time when speculation is generally not to be encouraged. If you have a “can’t miss” prospect lined up then it would be positively rude not to investigate it further, but vagueness on how it will pay out, when it will pay out and why this is a certainty – or at least a probability – are the least you should be looking out for. Anything less and you need to proceed with extreme caution. At some point, the signs will change, and when they do there will be scope to take advantage of the new, encouraging signs. These will be things like employment levels rising, a boost in the travel industry or fresh investment coming to the local area. These are the kind of signs anybody should be happy to see.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Canadapersonalfinancewebsite.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to A Dawn Journal. This article originally published on the above website on May 17, 2009.

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Global Millionaires Number Hits Record High

June 24th, 2015 Posted in Canada|Global Economy | No Comments »

New Stats About Millionaires

New Stats About Millionaires

How many people became millionaires last year? About a million, at a record pace for the sixth consecutive year. A recent report published by the consultant Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.

India may be a poor country, but millionaires seem to be shining in India more than anywhere else. Millionaires rose at a record pace at 26 percent, which is the biggest percentage increase among all other countries.

Here are some other highlights from the report:

– World millionaires rose by 920,000 to a record high of 14.6 million.
– One third or more of the new millionaires live in the US (345,000).

– Global assets held by the millionaires reached a record high $56 trillion.

– The richest millionaires, those have $30 million or more, held 35 percent of the wealth, but only 1 percent of the total millionaires.

– The U.S. is where the most millionaires live followed by Japan, Germany, and China.

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Tips On Buying A Second Home Abroad

June 23rd, 2015 Posted in Global Real Estate | No Comments »

Tips On Buying A Second Home Abroad

 

 

 

 

 

What You Need To Know Before Buying A Second Home Abroad

Buying a second home is something that, for a lot of people, means they have truly arrived on the scene. Buying a second home abroad adds that little bit to the mix, giving you a spread in the world, a base from which to travel further. For a Canadian or American, the immediately obvious choice would be a home in the Caribbean, while anyone living in Europe has an enviable range of choices too, as do Australian residents. But before you choose to move to a new country, you need to keep aware of some important principles.

Firstly, it is essential to do some research before you move anywhere, but all the more so when you are moving to another country. However many similarities there may be between your first home country and your second home country, there will be subtle differences that can be quite disruptive if you have to face them every day. They are always surmountable, but only if you do prior research and make sure you are equipped to face the changes.

Secondly, it is necessary to become a part of the community wherever you move to. This does not mean you have to hold a party immediately on moving in and invite everyone to it. What you do need to do, though, is be active. Even if it is just going out for a walk in the morning to buy the newspaper, dining out every so often, or joining some clubs locally, it will vastly aid the settling in process.

You should also learn the language, if you are moving somewhere that has another language. There are many ex-pat communities in countries all over the world. Without a doubt, there are varying levels of welcome extended to them by the host communities, and by far the greatest level of welcome is that which is extended to those who can be bothered to learn the local language. It is simply common sense. If someone makes the effort to speak a second language, it demonstrates a level of courtesy which will be appreciated and reciprocated.

You should not expect to fit in immediately in your new country. No matter how prepared you are, how prepared you feel you are for the change of moving to a new country, there is always a settling in period. It is something which always makes demands of a person, because there is a total change. Things you have taken for granted are no longer there, little things that you didn’t realize you appreciated about your home country will suddenly become big things. Does it slightly irritate you when you are treated in a certain way in your home country? When the locals of your new home country fail to treat you in that way, you will resent it slightly. A lot of little changes go together to make a big change. Does this mean you shouldn’t go for it? No, it certainly doesn’t. The challenges we face in life make it what it is. Go for it.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the realestateexpedition.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to A Dawn Journal. This article originally published on the above website on Oct 12, 2009.

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TD First Class Visa Infinite Points Value Decrease

June 22nd, 2015 Posted in Credit Cards|Debts | No Comments »

TD First Class Visa Infinite Offers $200 Worth Travel Reward Points

 

 

 

 

 

         TD Devalues Visa Infinite Points

If you are a TD First Class Visa Infinite credit card holder, you will see lower rates and lose some value in your points redemption starting August 16, 2015. You may want to consider redeeming your points before August 16 (if your circumstances allow), so you don’t get dinged by TD.

As of now, before August 16, the redemption rate is 200 points for $1, but it will be devalued at 250 points for $1 starting August 16. What it means that if you have 100,000 points, you will get $500 in travel spending, but after August 16 the same 100,000 points will fetch you $400.

TD First Class Visa Infinite provided 1.5 percent return on your purchase spending, excluding TD Expedia spending, until now. This rate will go down to 1.2 percent once the devaluation kicks in. Although TD said you would still get 1.5 percent rate on your regular purchases if you redeem over 300,000 points, but the truth is you will never go back to the old 1.5 percent return level as the first 300,000 points will be counted as 1.2 percent return – making the total return on regular spending above 300,000 points ($1,200) a low 1.33 percent.

This is obvious that TD will lose lots of clients after the devaluation as TD First Class Visa Infinite will lose its ranking among other travel reward cards. And there are so many better cards out there, unless you don’t mind losing your spending’s worth and sticking to TD due to allegiance. As I will be writing on more credit cards to maximize your reward returns, don’t forget to keep an eye on A Dawn Journal. Visit here if you would like to find out more about TD’s recent devaluation announcement.

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Time To Invest in Stocks?

June 20th, 2015 Posted in Investing|Personal Finance | No Comments »

Time To Invest in Stocks

 

 

 

 

 

Should You Invest Now?

There will be no small number of people looking to save every penny they can get their hands on right now, in the midst of a lending crisis that has permeated even the most disciplined economies in the world. Putting money aside – squirreling would be the best way to put it – is certainly quite tempting as things stand, not knowing when the recovery will really begin in earnest. In order to be sure of having money in the months to come, it is perfectly sensible to put some by. On the other hand it could be said that if you don’t invest a bit now, there will never be a better time.

Sure, there will be some reluctance on the part of any of us to put money where it might lose value, and the fact of the matter is that investing does carry that risk – “remember, investments can go down as well as up” ring any bells for you? Without that kind of fluidity, there would be no chance of making a bit of money on the stock market, or through any kind of investing – and you would be better off just putting it in a savings account. What we can be certain of is that several investments are now at as low a value as most of us can remember – and ripe for the buying cheap.

Award-winning book Invest Now is jam-packed with timely information and timeless advice for the beginning Canadian investor. To purchase a copy, visit Chapters Indigo or buy online – Invest Now: A Canadian’s Guide to Investing

No-one with any knowledge of such matters will tell you that your investment is guaranteed to increase in value, and less still will you be told that you will get an instant return, so it is worth having a savings plan at the same time. The chances are, however, that a small investment will have an initial small return, and can even act as a dry run for investing in greater amounts. As rules of thumb go, “Only invest what you can afford to lose” is a good one. It will allow you to learn the ropes in a less pressurized context.

Of course, investing can be a daunting prospect. If you stand to make any kind of money at all, the chances are that it will carry a frisson of nerves as you watch and wait for the right moment to sell or stay in. The chances are that on your first investment you will be tempted to sell as soon as you realize any kind of profit on the deal. While there is every reason to be happy at turning a profit, it is worth taking into account that people who have been playing the market for longer will stay in longer than those who haven’t. The reason for this is that they have learned to recognize when a stock will keep rising.

It is worth purchasing a guide to investment because these are invariably written by people who have done it and been successful. Warning signs that might go ignored by the novice will be covered in these guides, as will those false alarms that make first time investors panic and get out. When you are investing for the first time, it is good to have this reassurance.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Canadapersonalfinancewebsite.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to A Dawn Journal. This article originally published on the above website on May 3, 2009.

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