Community Columns

Carnie's Comments - FEEDBACK

Feedback.  We like it.  We want it.  We ask for it.  

 

My daily commentary is designed, in part,  to spark conversation...to get people talking about local issues of importance.

 

It wasn't long ago I told the story of my friend who said he'd never go to Mosaic Place for an event because there's inadequate parking.  Later in that same conversation he told me he'd be going to Sidewalk Days and wondered if he'd see me there.  I told him "No", because "there's no parking."

 

Well....we got some feedback.  From someone who indicates his or her name is "Realist".

 

The writer says "Mr. Carney" (Carnie spelled incorrectly)....it appears you are no smarter today then (sic) you were back in the good old days.  If the people of M J (sic) quit parking in the Safeway parking lot for Multi-Mess events as well as not parking where that so called new Chicago era hotel was going to be built...there would be one hell of a parking problem.

 

That whole mess downtown makes us a laughing stock right from the beginning.  No parking, no escalator, inadequate heating and the list goes on and on.  And what for?  A useless hockey team that has been rebuilding for the last 30 years.

 

Well, Realist....thank you for your e-mail.  Thanks for listening.  I'm pleased to share your opinion.

Carnie's Comments - CASH DEAL

Do you ever make a "cash deal"?  You know, "under the table......Shhhhhh".

 

Most of us have done it, haven't we?  A friend or a friend of a friend will fix something for you for cash. Straight up.  No GST, no PST...no receipt, no record.  Good deal.  Right?

No.  It's not a good deal.  It's cheating.  That's what it is.  

 

Results from a recent survey from Leger for H & R Block shows many of us cheat a little.  The majority of Canadians admit to paying cash to sidestep taxes but some forms of tax cheating are seen as more serious than others.

 

We have no mercy for small business owners who use computer software to eliminate sales records. 80% of those surveyed believe those people should face criminal charges.  On the other hand, fewer than half of us believe service workers should report their tip money.

 

What's more?  The number of Canadians who say paying cash to avoid sales tax is wrong jumped to 58% from 28% two years ago.  Still, only 34% of us are likely to report a tax cheat. 

Carnie's Comments - DOG DAYS

Ah, the dog days of summer.  Here they come.  Hazy, lazy days.  The DOG days.  They're called the "dog days" because we all "dog it" at this time of year, right?  We kinda drag our butts around take time getting around to things like...work.  Right?

 

Well, kind of...sort of.  According to a number of sources, the story goes much, much deeper.

 

The Romans associated hot weather with the star Sirius.  They considered Sirius to be the "Dog Star" because it is the brightest star in the night sky.  They sacrificed a dog in April, apparently, to appease the rage of Sirius, believing the star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather.

 

Dog Days were believed to be an evil time that sent people into hysterics and caused burning fevers.

 

However, the Romans had no idea that one day there would be millions of people living on the prairies in Canada and that WINTER would be to blame for the fevers and hysterics.

 

They had no idea we'd soak up the heat of the dog days and enjoy it.  They had no idea.

 

Carnie's Comments - BORING

Does anyone like staff meetings?  Do you ever get bored in staff meetings?  Do you run staff meetings? Do others find YOU boring in those staff meetings?

 

Well, there's a new report out from "Business Insider" that might help you figure it out.

 

The study shows boring people don't get involved nor do they involve others in the conversation.  It also finds boring people don't share their own opinions and, in fact, if you don't add anything to the conversation chances are your co-workers find you boring.  Not mysterious.  Boring.

 

The study also found those who can't tell a good story or make others laugh are often perceived as boring people. 

 

The study concludes that we need to be engaged in staff meetings.  We need to read body language and look people in the eye whether we're running the meeting or if we're participants.

 

There you go.  Something to work on this weekend as we get ready for that Monday morning staff meeting.  Be alert...be engaged...tell a funny story and make people laugh.  Then you can go on being yourself.

It's One Economy by Athabasca Financial

During the depths of the credit crisis of 2008, a commercial real estate agent (who dealt with office buildings and industrial buildings) noted what a shame it was that the public stock markets were doomed. He implied real estate offered better stability and prospects as an alternative investment.

The financial planner responded by saying that if the public stock markets were going down the drain, then real estate would follow as well. Why? Well it is one economy and we are all connected at the end of the day! Shocked, the veteran of 30-years in real estate responded that he had never thought of it that way and walked away shaking his head.

Needless to say, the stock markets regained their footing as the governments of the G20 moved to put a floor under the credit crisis. Global stock markets have since recovered strongly and real estate has largely continued to hold its value in Canada as well.

The point of this story is not to advocate for one type of investment versus another, although that is what many people do when promoting their favourite asset class in a competitive race for scarce investment dollars. Instead, readers need to recognize that the health of the Canadian economy in general is what drives their personal wealth building over their working lifetime.

Too often, the thinking around wealth building gets muddled between different asset classes, even between a consumption asset, such as a car, and a wealth building asset, such as an RRSP or shares in a business.

For example, in the early 1990’s a major national Canadian real estate firm ran billboards in major cities with the following message: “You can’t live in your mutual funds.” This again raised the issue of an either/or choice for consumers.

Why not do both? Financial planners focus on balance and diversification when assisting clients to meet their cash flow, lifestyle and retirement planning or wealth building needs. A balance needs to be struck in a client’s financial affairs between spending on today’s lifestyle and saving for the future to replace earned income with investment income (pensions, CPP etc).

Another area of the economy that is often raised during elections is optimal level of taxes to be imposed on businesses. After all, they need to pay their fair share so that the burden of taxation doesn’t fall entirely onto the shoulders of the average Canadian.

While this makes for great political debates, it misses the mark. At the end of the day consumers wind up paying for any and all taxes since any increases in business taxes gets reflected in the price of the goods provided by the company.

For example, many small businesses today are objecting to the rising cost of processing fees being imposed by credit card companies. Many have signs asking clients to use cash or debit as a way of avoiding the higher credit card processing fees. Again this operating cost, just like higher corporate taxes, gets passed along to you the consumer and is reflected in the final price.

Call us today for an appointment to review your situation and for ideas on how you can accelerate your asset/wealth building efforts!


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