Christine Ibbotson

Christine Ibbotson

Ask the Money Lady

Christine Ibbotson is a Canadian finance writer, radio host  and YouTuber.  For more advice check out her YouTube channel: Ask the Money lady – Your Canadian Finance Coach. Visit her website at www.askthemoneylady.ca or send a question to info@askthemoneylady.ca

Recent articles of Christine Ibbotson

Traditional versus social media advertising

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Traditional versus social media advertising

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Yesterday at 2:00 AM CST

I have three radio shows that play across Canada on stations which reach 14 million listeners, and my broadcasting partners sell ad space on my shows.

With the recent economic changes, I have seen many sponsors leave their advertising campaigns, reining in expenditure to hunker down for an economic slowdown. This surprises me every time it happens – and I have witnessed it many times in different markets. Everyone has lots of bravado and motivation when the going is easy, but when it gets harder, they cave, fold, and complain about “hard times.”

So, let’s look at how to increase your business presence, expand your brand and grow in a market that some say is on the cusp of a recession.

What should you do? Should you not advertise at all to save money – or should you advertise now because no one else is, and it may be easier to stand out and get noticed?

Yesterday at 2:00 AM CST

Dreamstime

Deciding where to put your advertising dollars makes for difficult choices.

Single seniors forced to face their reality

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Single seniors forced to face their reality

Christine Ibbotson 3 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

Dear Money Lady,

I am single and retired but everything I read out there is for couples. Do you have any advice for the senior singles? Personally, I think we have it a lot harder.

Jim

Dear Jim,

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022

Dreamstime

Single seniors today tend to be asset-rich but income-poor.

Explaining variable versus fixed-rate mortgages

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Explaining variable versus fixed-rate mortgages

Christine Ibbotson 5 minute read Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

Dear Money Lady Readers,

Are you worried about rising lending rates? Let’s discuss the differences of choosing a fixed or variable mortgage rate:

Many young Canadians renewing mortgages today may have never seen interest rates above five per cent, and the dilemma of choosing a variable or a fixed rate is sometimes quite confusing.

First, let’s be clear, variable rates and fixed lending rates do not run together. Fixed rates are based on what banks must pay to borrow funds to then offer to consumers in the form of loans and mortgages. You see, although there are a lot of people who have money saved, most have it invested in the stock market and not in bank accounts, and banks need access to cash. With less Canadian cash available, financial institutions borrow funds internationally from larger lenders. This has been a common practise for decades and is a major factor in determining the lending rate that consumers will have to pay on new fixed-rate loans or mortgages. Canadian banks fluctuate the fixed rates offered at the retail level based on their own cost of borrowing, which is a combination of their markup and the costs needed to cover the spreads of the loans on international borrowed funds. This is the reason the fixed rates fluctuate so often. It is also the reason the rates are locked down over a term, so the money can be secured and the banks can count on a guaranteed rate of return —a five-year, fixed-term mortgage, for example. The other benefit of doing this is that the lending institutions can then bundle their mortgages or loans into REITs to sell on the market and get them off their books. This is also part of the reason why the penalties are so high, to keep you in the product for the full term. Even though you think your loan is still at your financial institution, in the background it is not. Canadian banks have a very sophisticated system of moving money off their books and producing profits for their investors to mitigate the risks of bad debt.

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

Dreamstime

First-time homebuyers often opt for fixed-rate mortgages so they can better control their expenses.

Things you don’t do will cost you

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Things you don’t do will cost you

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

Dear Money Lady Readers,

I wanted to share this quote with you:

“The things you do can cost you… but the things you don’t do, can cost you everything!”

I was at a fantastic women’s event recently and was inspired to share some of its insights. One of the many speakers had a profound message: “You can’t quantify how much business you’re not getting through your non-efforts.”

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

Dreamstime

If you believe you are worth more and that you can bring more value, then it is up to you to demonstrate that to your customers and your employer.

How do cohabitation agreements work?

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How do cohabitation agreements work?

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Friday, Oct. 21, 2022

Dear Money Lady Readers,

My eldest son recently declared he was moving in with his girlfriend after 14 months of dating to save money together for their future – without a ring or proposal.

I was quite surprised by this announcement since I am definitely an old-school mum who believes you should be married or at least engaged to be living together. But, trying to be more worldly, I have adjusted my archaic dinosaur ways to now realize that this is happening all the time with millennials all over the world. To some younger Canadians, a marriage certificate is just a piece of paper. But, as a lifelong banker, I am inclined to get my two cents in there with my son since a new, “living-together relationship” still needs a transparent agreement between both parties; and a detailed discussion to deal with the new set of unique financial responsibilities which will eventually come. So, today we are going to talk about cohabitation agreements – a contract that is very different to a marriage prenuptial agreement.

I have written about marriage pre-nups in the past for those readers who want to marry again with more than just “love and school debt.” Marriage contracts are extremely beneficial for comprehensive estate planning to protect finances, property, children and/or dependents. They are also necessary to outline death succession or a possible future divorce. To protect Canadians, I am much more interested in what is to happen in the event of a partner’s death, and to ensure that if you do have a marriage contract, you make sure it is “in sync” with your will. Please, be mindful that marriage contracts can, and often do, override wills.

Friday, Oct. 21, 2022

Dreamstime

Couples who decide to live together should discuss and consider creating a cohabitation agreement.

When should I prepare my will?

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When should I prepare my will?

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022

Dear Money Lady,

I’m in my late 30s and don’t have a will. I’m married and have only one child. When should l get one — do I really need it?

Dear Jarred,

You are not alone. Many Canadians put off getting a will because they either don’t want to spend the money or they don’t want to think about the possibility of dying. This, however, is a big mistake. Dying without a will means you will have absolutely no say about your assets or care for your children and/or pets once you die.

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022

Making a will ensures you get the final say over your assets, as well as the care of your children and pets.

Should you consider preferred shares?

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Should you consider preferred shares?

Christine Ibbotson 3 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022

I often have people ask me whether they should include preferred shares in their portfolio and although I am not a great fan of this investment product, I have many peers who use them exclusively in their client’s portfolios. So, today let’s talk about all the different types that are available and you can see for yourself if this is an investment style you would like to entertain.

What are they? Preferred shares are corporate shares that are not classified as common or restricted. Preferred shares usually receive a fixed-dividend payment and are considered to have part ownership like common shareholders; however, they have a higher ranking than common shares as a claim on the asset. Preferred shares are bought largely by income-oriented investors to take advantage of dividend tax credits. There are several different options when choosing this investment.

Here are the most popular:

Straight preferred — Pay a fixed-dividend rate and the shares can be traded in the market on a yield basis.

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022

Preferred shares are corporate shares that are not classified as common or restricted. They usually receive a fixed-dividend payment and are bought largely by income-oriented investors to take advantage of dividend tax credits.

A lesson from a children’s book

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A lesson from a children’s book

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Thursday, Sep. 29, 2022

Dear Money Lady Readers,

I recently went to a friend’s home and had the pleasure of reading a book to her four-year-old granddaughter.

I had forgotten how wise these children’s books are. They’re written by adults for children but with a message in the story for us all.

The book was called Days with Frog and Toad, by Arnold Lobel. The story starts with Toad waking up one morning and complaining about his messy house and how many jobs he must do. He exclaims to Frog that he is going back to bed and will do it all tomorrow, saying “Today I will take life easy.”

Thursday, Sep. 29, 2022

Dear Money Lady Readers,

I recently went to a friend’s home and had the pleasure of reading a book to her four-year-old granddaughter.

I had forgotten how wise these children’s books are. They’re written by adults for children but with a message in the story for us all.

The book was called Days with Frog and Toad, by Arnold Lobel. The story starts with Toad waking up one morning and complaining about his messy house and how many jobs he must do. He exclaims to Frog that he is going back to bed and will do it all tomorrow, saying “Today I will take life easy.”

Entrepreneur or small-business owner?

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Preview

Entrepreneur or small-business owner?

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Thursday, Sep. 29, 2022

Dear Money Lady,

Is there a difference between an entrepreneur and a small business owner?

Thanks,

Jake

Thursday, Sep. 29, 2022

Dear Money Lady,

Is there a difference between an entrepreneur and a small business owner?

Thanks,

Jake

Judging character and making a good impression

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Preview

Judging character and making a good impression

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2022

Dear Money Lady Readers,

Are you a good judge of character?

Being a good judge of character is a unique and valuable skill. One that will advance your career, increase your net worth, give you more personal friends, as well as make you more money. If you can be a good judge of character, you will be able to avoid hiring mistakes, size up first impressions with your new boss and correctly focus on what matters to potential decision makers. Judging people on their skills and accomplishments is relatively objective and straightforward, but gauging their attitudes is much harder and it will take a one-on-one meeting, attentive listening, and careful observation – something not provided by social media and the number of followers you have.

If we turn these idea back on ourselves, the judgements other people make about you has a significant impact on your social world, too. Whether accurate or inaccurate, your reputation is everything. The judgements of others are an important part of the social world, and they can greatly affect your future opportunities, your emotions and your personality.

Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2022

Whether accurate or inaccurate, your reputation is everything. The judgements of others are an important part of the social world, and they can greatly affect your future opportunities, your emotions and your personality.

The ins and outs of mutual funds

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The ins and outs of mutual funds

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2022

Dear Money Lady,

Can you explain what mutual funds are and which ones I should consider?

Karin B.

Dear Karin,

Wednesday, Sep. 21, 2022

Professionally managed mutual funds are often the chosen investment tool of those who don’t have the time or expertise to manage their investments on their own.

Saving money takes dedication, sacrifice

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Saving money takes dedication, sacrifice

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2022

Dear Money Lady,

I’m in my 30s and want to know how to save my first $50,000 — any help?

James

Dear James,

Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2022

In an age of instant gratification, it can be hard to make the necessary sacrifices to save money. But if you’re suffering already with debt, why not suffer while solving that problem?

A brief guide to options trading

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A brief guide to options trading

Christine Ibbotson 5 minute read Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2022

Dear Money Lady Readers,

Let’s talk about option trading. Have you tried it?

My son who is in his mid-20s with degrees in physics and mathematics, seems to think he can take on the stock market through options trading, so today we are going to talk about this investment strategy. Options and forwards are quite a complicated model, even though there are many investors who think they can master them. Essentially you will use a security or derivative in an existing or anticipated position and speculate on the value of the asset.

Options and forwards are both contracts between buyer and sellers in the stock market. With forwards, there is no up-front payment. Both the buyer and the seller create a contract to trade an asset in the future at a set price agreed upon at the time of the contract and both are then obligated to participate in the trade no matter what the outcome. Forward contracts are very customizable and can even be private agreements that settle with a broker or dealer who can negotiate the transaction directly with you and the other party. This is considered to be an OTC (over the counter) trade.

Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2022

Stock options are widely available, easily tradeable on most broker platforms and very liquid. However, you should know the ins and outs before you leap into this investment strategy.

A reaction to my millennials’ column

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A reaction to my millennials’ column

Christine Ibbotson 5 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022

Dear Money Lady Readers,

Here is a message from one my readers about the millennial column in June.

(I) just read your article “A message to our millennials” (Free Press Community Review, June 29, 2022) and am left wondering if you have millennials. You hand out advice all over the map, but the lone truth is that the vast majority are unable to pay rent and home ownership is out of the question. Your Pollyanna attitude, unfortunately will not get you very far currently, especially for those born in the last 25 years.”

I was quite surprised by some of my readers’ responses but am glad to say comments like this one were very few. Having said that, I would like to address this.

Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022

Dear Money Lady Readers,

Here is a message from one my readers about the millennial column in June.

(I) just read your article “A message to our millennials” (Free Press Community Review, June 29, 2022) and am left wondering if you have millennials. You hand out advice all over the map, but the lone truth is that the vast majority are unable to pay rent and home ownership is out of the question. Your Pollyanna attitude, unfortunately will not get you very far currently, especially for those born in the last 25 years.”

I was quite surprised by some of my readers’ responses but am glad to say comments like this one were very few. Having said that, I would like to address this.

The ins and outs of investing in bonds

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The ins and outs of investing in bonds

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

Dear Money Lady,

I really can’t handle the stock market, so I wondered if you could write about investing in bonds?

Thanks,

Melanie

Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

Canada’s bond market is often overlooked but is far larger than the equities market and is certainly worth exploring.

An outside-the-box idea to boost income

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An outside-the-box idea to boost income

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

Dear Money Lady,

We simply can’t earn enough to save anything for the future. My husband works two jobs, we have three kids, and it’s just not possible to save.

We do own a home, but I honestly believe we will never have it paid off. Short of my husband getting another job, do you have any ideas on what we could do?

Candice

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022

This week, Money Lady Christine Ibbotson tells the story of a friend who started a homestay business and rented space in her home to students and academic travellers.

Preserving your capital in retirement

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Preserving your capital in retirement

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2022

Dear Money Lady readers,

Last week we chatted to Patricia about the benefits of dollar-cost averaging (DCA) and the pitfalls of reverse dollar-cost averaging (RDCA). As promised, here are the solutions to creating a lifelong income in retirement and ensuring you retain capital preservation.

Economists have always stated that, on average, most retirees should expect to endure at least three to five downward swings to the equity markets during an average retirement of 20 to 30 years. If your retirement income is withdrawn from a fluctuating asset class, such as equities, it is not unreasonable to expect to lose between 20 per cent to 50 per cent of your portfolio over a typical retirement horizon of 25 years.

Once you stop working, your investment portfolio converts from a savings plan to a distribution plan. Market swings during routine withdrawals create permanent and unrecoverable losses to your retirement portfolio. The problem arises when investment shares are sold to create income and are therefore no longer in the portfolio to participate in the recovery. Add the current problem of rising inflation and you have a toxic mix. Retirees will soon need to withdraw more than they originally anticipated due to reduced purchasing power.

Wednesday, Jul. 27, 2022

Enjoy a happy retirement by ensuring your savings and withdrawals can withstand market fluctuations and/or inflation.

The ups and downs of dollar-cost averaging

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The ups and downs of dollar-cost averaging

Christine Ibbotson 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

Dear Money Lady,

My financial planner keeps telling me not to change my investments, but I can’t handle the fact that I’ve lost so much money. I always invest and save monthly, but I am worried because I plan to retire soon.

Patricia

Dear Patricia,

Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2022

The dollar-cost averaging approach to investing always affects portfolios positively in the long term.

More interest rate hikes are coming

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More interest rate hikes are coming

Christine Ibbotson 3 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

Dear Money Lady Readers,

Are the rising rates keeping you up at night? Are you wondering if you can ever afford to buy a home?

Hang-in there, the change is coming,

The Canadian housing market is in a definite pullback, as July marks the fourth straight month of decline. New buyers have felt the pressure of interest rate hikes since March 2022, and it is anticipated they will go even higher. Current posted rates match the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s qualifying rate of 5.25 per cent, something we haven’t seen in over a decade. A five-year fixed mortgage rate now hovers between 4.79 per cent and 5.04 per cent. For many Canadian homeowners, this is the first time they have seen rates this high; many buyers believed they were paying too much when they were haggling for a mortgage rate of 2.5 per cent only two and three years ago.

Wednesday, Jul. 13, 2022

The two-decades-long “low-rate lending party” has now ended.

Do anything you want to do

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Do anything you want to do

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2022

Whatever their age, most people generally want to do better financially than their parents did — and most of us usually want to avoid making the same mistakes that we witnessed growing up.

It’s human nature, and an innate trait in all of us, to want to do better than the generations before us. This is the foundation of growth and prosperity that keeps our world evolving and forging ahead with new technological advancements, better qualities of life and the continuous improvement of our everyday existences.

Trying to be upwardly mobile is the basis of all personal and financial growth and something we generally have in common with others in our age group. If you were born between 1980 and 2000, you are part of the Millennial generation, a group of people that is, I believe, better poised for the future than any generation before it.

So how is this generation of Millennials, who continue to push the boundaries of the norm, doing today? How will they fare over the next 30 years?

Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2022

The Millennial generation is better poised for the future than any generation before it.

A message to our millennials

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A message to our millennials

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

Dear Money Lady readers,Whatever your age, everyone generally wants to do better financially than their parents, with most of us usually wanting to at least avoid making the same mistakes.

By the time we reach adulthood, most of us want to improve on some quality or trait they dislike about their parents. This is the foundation of growth and prosperity that keeps our world evolving and forging ahead with new technological advancements, better qualities of life and the continuous improvement of our everyday existences.

Part of constantly trying to be upwardly mobile is the process of taking ourselves from rags to riches or at least respectability. This is the basis for all personal and financial growth and something we generally have in common with others in our age group. If you were born between 1980 and 2000, you are part of the Millennial generation, a cohort of people who, I believe, are better poised for the future than any other generation before them.

So how is this generation of Millennials doing today? How will they fare over the next 30 years? Some want to make more money and be successful. Some view money and prosperity as second on their list and want to make a stand for equality, the environment, and social justice; others want to embrace the idea of “working to live” versus their parents’ motto of “living to work.” Whatever your views on the world today, and however you plan to challenge yourself by pushing through social or political barriers, you will still need to work, earn a living, and prosper over the next 30 years.

Wednesday, Jun. 29, 2022

The parents of today’s Millennials realize that this generation is poised for success and can’t wait to see how their children prosper.

Be a little aggressive to get the best returns

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Be a little aggressive to get the best returns

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Friday, Jun. 17, 2022

Dear Money Lady,We have decided to retire early. I am 56 and my husband is 59.

How can you make our money last?

CarlaYou’ve planned to leave the rat-race behind and retire early. Good for you.

I can guarantee it will take less than two months before you start thinking “what if we run out of money?”

Friday, Jun. 17, 2022

If you want to retire early and ensure that your money keeps growing, you may have to accept a little investment risk.

Don’t be afraid to be proud of yourself

Christine Ibbotson 3 minute read Preview

Don’t be afraid to be proud of yourself

Christine Ibbotson 3 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2022

Dear Money Lady readers,

I have received many emails from people depressed about returning to work after COVID, unhappy with their lives and financial situations, and many who are believing that they are not worthwhile.

Please STOP THAT! You need to be proud of your life so far.

In Canadian society we are taught to be humble, accommodating, and most of all, we are told to not show exaggerated appreciation of ourselves for fear of devaluing others around us by demonstrating a feeling of superiority. I say — forget about the social friction and be proud of who you are. This is the only way you will get ahead in life and move out of mediocrity and into extraordinary!

Wednesday, Jun. 15, 2022

If you demonstrate pride and self-confidence in yourself, your life and your accomplishments, people notice it and they see you in a different light.

‘Do I really have to return to the office?’

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‘Do I really have to return to the office?’

Christine Ibbotson 4 minute read Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022

Dear Money Lady,I am 54, so not old enough to retire yet – but I want to. The thought of going back to my job from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday is killing me. I am supposed to return to work next month.

Have you got any ideas on what I could do instead?

Thanks,

MarleneMarlene, you are not alone. According to Statistics Canada, 78 per cent of working Canadians over 49 do not want to return to their pre-COVID work environments.

Wednesday, Jun. 8, 2022

Many Canadians dread returning to their pre-pandemic office environments. Starting a business or semi-retirement may be options for them.