It's time for many Canadians to abandon the 20% down payment rule

A popular and sensible bit of financial advice is that you should ideally wait to buy a house until you have a down payment of at least 20 per cent and thus are excused from buying mortgage default insurance. But…

Cheap mortgage rates don’t justify home ownership

The question of whether it’s better to buy a home or rent needs some fresh thinking. Rents have been rising and mortgage rates are so low they almost look fictional. Have the economics of housing turned against renting? Far from…

Millennials’ lack of debt may be a sign of trouble

Millenials represent a declining percentage of the number of people making insolvency filings in Canada. Good news? Actually, no. Read more here.

Canada's hot housing markets clearly detached from reality

The average price of detached homes in Toronto and Vancouver has topped $1-million, and that should make you wonder. Detached from what, exactly? Based on what’s happening in the economy today, I’d say reality. Read more.

What the housing bulls won't tell you about residential real estate

The people I listen to most on the state of the housing market are in the investment industry, not in the housing sector. Let me explain why.

One family’s downsizing strategy to live within their means

Determined to live within their means, the four members of the Bell family made a drastic move about a year ago. They went from a rented 1,400-square-foot townhouse in their town of Guelph, Ont., to what the 25-year-old Ms. Brianna…

Are you drowning in debt? See how you compare to other Canadians

Debt levels keep hitting new highs in Canada. To find out what the impact is on household finances, we created a debt diagnostic tool that looks at nine aspects of your financial and personal life. Answer the questions and you’ll find…

Millennials: Save your cash, move home and pay off debt

The best money move that members of Gen Y can make is moving back home, the author of the new book Smart is the New Rich: Money Guide for Millenials, by Christine Romans. Here’s a Q&A I did with Christine…

What an $11,000 TFSA limit means for your retirement

A lifetime’s worth of financial planning, from  saving for a home to living in retirement, would be affected if the annual contribution limit for tax-free savings accounts is doubled in the April 21 federal  budget. Read more.  

How social media can tank your finances

Keeping up with the Joneses has been made a whole lot harder as a result of people posting selfies of themselves doing fabulous stuff on Facebook and Instagram. Read more here.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail ETF Buyer’s Guide – 2015 edition

First installment: Canadian equity ETFs. Coming up in the weeks ahead: Canadian dividend funds, bond funds, U.S. equity funds and international equity funds.

My 16th annual online brokerage ranking

Never have more storylines been packed into an annual Globe and Mail ranking of online brokers. Qtrade retakes the top spot after a two-year reign by Virtual Brokers, which dropped to the No. 2 spot by just a narrow margin….

Try it: The Globe and Mail Downsize Your Home Worksheet

The Globe and Mail Downsize Your Home Worksheet is designed to help people think through some of the financial considerations involved in selling the family home and moving to something smaller. Sure, there are lifestyle factors in deciding when to…

Just over 42 per cent of Canada’s young people aged 20 to 29 lived at home with their parents, according to the latest census data. Can these members of Generation Y afford to move out on their own? This calculator…

The Real Life Ratio

In this Globe and Mail column, I introduce a new tool for helping people see if they can afford a house, as well as the other costs of everyday life. It’s called the Real Life Ratio and you can download…