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These Millennial couples found a way into the housing market by renting in the city and buying in the country

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Five years ago, Sarah Sklash, co-owner of the June Motel, visited Prince Edward County for the first time to attend a wine festival. On the car ride home, she knew it was the place for her and immediately began property shopping from the back seat.

Sklash remembers thinking at the time, “I don’t think I can ever afford a house in Toronto but I can possibly own something out here.” After three summers of working with a real estate agent, she finally found the diamond in the ruff — a now-unheard-of under $200,000 waterfront cottage. “Prince Edward County was a very different market back then,” she explains.







Sarah Sklash (left) and April Brown (right). Photo: Lauren Miller

Sklash splits her time between her cottage and the city, and many Millennials are following suit. Priced out of Toronto, they’re keeping their rentals and stepping on the first rung of the property ladder with recreational homes. The 2017 RE/MAX Recreational Property Report surveyed Canadians and discovered that almost two-thirds (65 percent) of Millennials (18 to 34 years old) expressed interest in purchasing a cottage, cabin or ski chalet in the next 10 years.

Sklash and her now-fiancé renovated the dated cottage on a budget, ripping out the shag carpets and refreshing the wood panelling with a coat of white paint. The ability to see the potential would come in handy when Sklash partnered with her best friend, April Brown, and got the keys to the June — at the time, a run-down motel by a different name that they lovingly restored into a stylish haven for wine lovers.







Photo: Sarah Sklash 

The RE/MAX report revealed that Millennials are finding unique ways to finance recreational properties, with nearly half (44 percent) saying they would purchase a property with a family member, while 39 percent would rent it out using a vacation rental site. The June Motel’s other half, April, recently purchased the Boho Bungalow — a cottage across the lake from Sklash — that Airbnb guests enjoy throughout the summer.

Rachel Kwan and her husband Jayar La Fontaine started their homebuying journey in 2016.

“Almost immediately, our first instinct was to buy out of Toronto,” Kwan explains. “We realized that we could get onto the property ladder with a house outside of Toronto, somewhere around the $350,000 to $400,000 range. We couldn’t even find a studio condo in Toronto for that price.”

They had both been working in agency jobs for a few years, but coming from graduate programs, hadn’t been earning long enough to accumulate the savings to justify Toronto’s hefty price tag.

For a year, they put aside the money for their fixed expenses like rent (still affordable, as they had been there for five years), then saved 40 percent of their combined incomes on financing the future country home — putting down 20 percent to avoid paying extra penalties on the mortgage.







Photo: Rachel Kwan 

The dream was realized last year in a four-bedroom, two-bathroom chalet-style property in Grey County.

“We love the home and we love the location. From the front window we can see all the way across the valley. You cannot get that in Toronto. Period.”

Kwan enjoys the duality of city and country life and considers both places to be home. “In Grey County, the mental load is lower and it’s absolutely gorgeous out here. Being in the city, I enjoy the diversity and convenience. I can go to a show tonight, a gallery, dine at my favorite restaurant. You have access to so much.”

Sklash shared similar sentiments: “When I bought the cottage, I was working in downtown Toronto and escaping to the waterfront retreat on the weekends. Now that my business is in the County, I enjoy the option to escape to the city — eat great Thai food, enjoy my condo.”







Boho Bungalow. Photo: Lauren Miller 

Sklash plans to continue splitting her time between her downtown condo and the cottage. Eventually, Rachel and Jayar hope to drop the rental and transition their life to Grey County full-time.

“I run an online shop as part of my business, Jayar needs access to video conferencing. It was imperative that any property we bought was well serviced by telecommunications, which can become a challenge when you start looking in the country,” Kwan says.

Their Grey County real estate agent Eric Robertson noticed a significant migration of people from the city, in large part thanks to technological advances. “People can come up here and resume their normal lives. That has opened a lot of doors for prospective homeowners,” he says.

Grey County has long been a draw for the weekend crowd coming from the city to experience the great outdoors. The Bruce Trail, skiing, some of the best rock climbing you can find in Ontario, and cycling are just a few of the area’s many attractions. “People are visiting for recreational purposes, then seeing homes for sale that are $350,000. They think, hey, we can afford this,” Robertson explains.







Rachel Kwan and Jayar La Fontaine on a Grey County cliff. Photo: Jennifer Morden 

Robertson has seen a drastic increase in the number of Millennials coming through his doors looking to get their start building home equity.

“Around 60 percent of my clients are retirees purchasing affordable homes with the equity of their home’s sale. Then there are the first-time homebuyers who are renting in the city, or even living with their parents, and purchasing here.”

Robertson explains the unique buildings are an especially large draw for Millennials — old school houses, churches, century homes, chalets and farms. Old storefronts are also becoming popular to the Millennial crowd who are turning their hobbies into businesses.

“People here are really open to younger folks coming in with an entrepreneurial perspective and contributing to the rebuild of the local economy,” Kwan explains, noting the community as one of the major draws for her. “So long as you make an effort, you will experience camaraderie — the feeling that everyone is in it together — supporting one another and supporting our businesses.”

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Is getting an MBA worth it? How to make a decision

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Obtaining an MBA degree requires a significant amount of investment. You’re not only spending money but investing a large amount of time and effort into it.

While preparing for your MBA, it is important to critically access if the benefits of enrolling in a graduate business school outweigh the costs, according to experts. Your current financial capabilities and commitments are key factors to consider before determining whether applying for an MBA is the right choice for you.

According to experts, one great way to weigh the short-term financial benefits of an MBA is to research the average salary of recent graduates of business schools and compare that figure with the average number of student loan debt.

Of all the ranked business schools that provided salary figures in the U.S. News Best Business Schools ranking, the average starting salary among 2018 graduates from full-time MBA programs was $87,683.88. While for 2018 graduates of full-time MBA program at the ranked business schools, the average debt burden was $51,671.90.

For schools that provided both salary and debt figures, the average salary for MBA graduates was $86,253.72—167% higher than the average debt burden at those schools.

Mike Catania, the founder of the coupon website PromotionCode.org and a student in the executive MBA program at the University of California—Los Angeles Anderson School of Management, noted that one of the major reasons he chose to attend business school was a strong desire to expand his network.

“I got exactly what I wanted – access to brilliant classmates and faculty that I would never have encountered on my own,” he noted. “It’s difficult to ascribe a value to that, but I look at it as only temporarily intangible – the relationships forged over the next few years will positively affect my opportunities as an entrepreneur moving forward.”

According to a financial ROI report on MBA published by Quacquarelli Symonds—a higher education data, consulting and research company—within 10 years of earning an MBA degree, the average MBA graduates from either a U.S. or international business school had an estimated ROI of $390,751—even after deducting tuition and opportunity costs of attending an MBA program. The report also went further to show that the average decade-long ROI of an MBA graduate from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business is higher than $1 million.

While the financial benefit of an MBA degree is a huge factor to consider, experts also note that there are other non-financial factors to consider, such as if getting the degree would either facilitate career change or accelerate career advancement.

“Often candidates have a career progression in mind – ask whether people who have followed that path have been helped by an MBA,” said Mark W. Nelson, the dean of Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. “Also, consider your personal opportunities for growth. What do you want to work on? Consider how an MBA would help you develop those capabilities.”

For example, with the future of data analyticslooking bright for data scientists, getting an MBA might be what you need to boost your chances of landing a great job.

Another important thing to consider when deciding to pursue an MBA degree is your current lifestyle. It is a venture that requires serious commitments, said Catania.

“It’s just going to eat up so much of your time, and all of the (business) schools make it abundantly clear that this is on par with a job,” he adds.

Also, Nelson noted that an MBA is best suited for individuals who want to begin a major change in their career path. “An MBA is a good path when candidates are looking for a career switch or a significant career advancement,” he said.

However, Elissa Sangster, CEO of the Forté Foundation—a non-profit organization with a mission to increase the representation of women in business schools and corporate leadership positions—warns that an MBA is not necessary for every type of business career.

“You could trick yourself into thinking you need to go and pursue an MBA because, if you’re going to run a yoga studio or you’re going to … open up a car wash or run a food truck, those are all businesses,” she said.

“Getting an expensive MBA degree may not be a smart financial decision for someone who wants to run a small local business, while it could be a strategic move for someone who hopes to start or manage a large, influential corporation.”

According to Phil Strazzulla, an entrepreneur and the founder of two companies in the software sector – Select Software Reviews and NextWave Hire – who earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, he noted that while it is a chance worth taking, it is one that needs to be carefully analysed.

“Chances are, if you’re thinking about getting an MBA, you are an analytically rigorous person who’s done the analysis on whether it makes sense to pay now for future gains in salary,” he said. “And, if you go to a top school, it undoubtedly is. However, the other way I’d recommend thinking about your decision is how it’ll impact your overall happiness.”

Furthermore, SiqiMou, the co-founder and CEO of the tech-driven beauty company HelloAva who earned an MBA degree from Stanford, notes that one of the key advantages of attending a high-quality business school is that it provides exposure to a wide array of career opportunities.

“I would say the advantage of coming to one of these relatively prestigious business schools is that you have a lot of options that are open to you,” she said. “You can go back into finance or consulting types of jobs, or you can also start something yourself.”

Bachenheimer, a clinical professor of management at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York City, added that an MBA provides project-based learning activities that allow students to practice solving real business problems.

“An MBA can be much more than the knowledge and skills acquired through coursework; it can truly expand you and your world,” he said.

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Comment se protéger des risques associés à l’utilisation des outils bancaires

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La technologie financière est en constante évolution. L’introduction continuelle de nouvelles options bancaires en est la preuve.

Fintech (abréviation de technologie financière) est un terme qui désigne tout type d’innovation technologique utilisée pour soutenir ou fournir des services financiers. Une telle innovation entraîne des changements importants dans le secteur financier, et donne naissance à une gamme de nouveaux modèles d’affaires, d’applications, de processus et de produits.

Si les applications financières vous permettent d’accéder facilement à vos finances personnelles, elles peuvent aussi comporter des risques allant du vol de vos renseignements bancaires, tels que votre numéro de carte de débit ou de crédit, votre nom d’utilisateur et votre numéro d’identification personnel.

C’est pourquoi il est important d’être très vigilent en partageant vos informations personnelles et bancaires en ligne. Saviez-vous qu’en fournissant vos informations bancaires ou de carte de crédit à une application financière, vous pourriez risquer de violer l’accord d’utilisation de votre institution financière?

Ce qui veut dire que, quelles que soient les caractéristiques de sécurité mises en place par une application financière, votre institution financière peut vous tenir responsable en cas de vol et d’utilisation de vos renseignements personnels à votre insu ou sans votre approbation.

Voici quelques conseils pour vous aider à protéger vos informations personnelles et bancaires, ou celles de votre carte de crédit lorsque vous utilisez les applications financières :

  • Vérifiez l’accord d’utilisation de votre banque avant de partager vos informations personnelles et bancaires, ou de carte de crédit à travers les applications financières.
  • Consultez la politique de protection contre la fraude de votre institution financière pour savoir qui est responsable de toute transaction non autorisée par vous-même .
  • Cherchez à comprendre quelles mesures de sécurité sont en place et comment vos renseignements personnels pourraient être utilisés.
  • Vérifiez régulièrement votre dossier de crédit pour voir s’il n’y a pas de demande de crédit que vous n’avez pas faite ou encore une transaction que vous n’avez pas effectuée.

Si vous soupçonnez que vos informations ont été compromises, changez immédiatement vos mots de passe. Examinez vos relevés de compte et de carte de crédit pour y détecter toutes anomalies, et signalez toute transaction suspecte à votre institution financière.

Vous pourriez aussi commander et vérifier votre dossier de crédit.

Visitez le site web de l’Agence de la consommation en matière financière du Canada pour de plus amples renseignements sur les risques associés au partage de renseignements bancaires sur des applications financières à canada.ca/argent.

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Comment agir efficacement en cas de fraude

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Chaque année, des milliers de Canadiens perdent des millions de dollars à cause de fraudeurs. Adolescents, aînés, gens d’affaires, tout le monde peut en être victime. Pourtant, seulement 5% des fraudes sont signalées aux autorités.

Si vous avez été victime de fraude, la meilleure chose à faire est de le signaler aux autorités concernées, et peu importe son ampleur. Ne vous sentez surtout pas honteux d’avoir été piégé car vous n’êtes pas seul à être tombé dans le panneau. En rapportant cette fraude, vous allez aider d’autres personnes à ne pas en être victime. De plus, dans la plupart des cas, l’institution financière ouvrira une enquête et vous remboursera l’argent perdu.

Gardez en tête que protéger vos renseignements personnels est essentiel pour éviter la fraude. Voici comment agir si vous suspectez une transaction inhabituelle dans vos comptes :

  • Changez immédiatement votre NIP et signalez la fraude à votre institution financière et au Centre antifraude du Canada. Informez-les également de toute correspondance suspecte que vous recevez au sujet de vos comptes.
  • Lorsque vous communiquez avec votre institution financière, assurez-vous d’utiliser le numéro de téléphone figurant sur votre relevé de compte ou au verso de votre carte de crédit ou de débit.
  • Si vous recevez des courriels trompeurs, vous pouvez envoyer une plainte au Centre de signalement des pourriels. Les escroqueries financières comprennent souvent des offres de vente ou des promotions de produits et services financiers, comme les régimes de retraite, les fonds de placement gérés, les conseils financiers, l’assurance et les comptes de crédit et de dépôt.

Le Bureau de la concurrence du Canada dispose d’un excellent guide appelé le Petit Livre noir de la fraude, et fournit beaucoup d’autres renseignements utiles par l’entremise du Centre antifraude du Canada.

Pour plus d’information, visitez le site web de l’Agence de la consommation en matière financière du Canada qui offre également une foule de renseignements et d’outils pour vous aider à vous protéger contre les fraudes et les escroqueries à canada.ca/argent.

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