Friday, October 30, 2009

Book Giveaway, Variable Discount and Weekend Links: Million Dollar Journey

Book Giveaway, Variable Discount and Weekend Links: Million Dollar Journey

Posted: 30 Oct 2009 03:30 AM PDT
A quick reminder that the “Super Trader” book giveaway ends tomorrow (Sat) at 5pm EST.  Note that we’re giving away 3 copies, so the odds are pretty good!
As well, the exclusive discount variable mortgage rate offered to MDJ Readers ends on Nov 1, 2009 (Sunday). So if you are in the market for a mortgage, P-0.25% is as good as it gets these days! See here for details.
Great Bull or Bulls–t @ Canadian Money Forum
5 Reasons To Dump Your Strict Budget @ Frugal Dad
How effective are dividend stocks in downturns? @ Thicken My Wallet
Money Management Software For The Desktop: YNAB 3 Review @ The Digerati Life
One More Reason to Avoid Labour-Sponsored Funds @ Canadian Capitalist
Wokai: Support Chinese Small Businesses through Microfinancing @ Sun’s Financial Diary
Socially Responsible Investing @ Four Pillars
What if You were Required to Share your Finances? @ Lazy Man and Money
Take it Like a Man or Invest Like A Woman? @ The Financial Blogger

how to keep a customer happy @ Brip Blap
My Bad Money Habits @ Canadian Dream
Finding the Value in Money @ My Dollar Plan
Commodity Trading Advisors @ Where Does All My Money Go
Bond Fund Investing @ Money Smart Life
Pension Reform Promised Soon @ Michael James on Money
How to Save Money for Christmas in a Short Amount of Time @ Generation X Finance
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Copyright 2009 MillionDollarJourney – All Rights Reserved Small Business Newsletter

MoneySense tips on YouTube
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 Small Business Newsletter
October 29, 2009

Make your tech guy sweat
Tired of not knowing what your IT manager is up to? Here are five questions that will put him on the spot — and help keep your business humming.

Do you earn what you should?

Among the 81 private companies on the 2009 PROFIT 100 ranking of Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies, all of which are at least six years old, nine chief executives paid themselves less than six figures in 2008 — despite turning a decent profit in all but one case. That said, 13 paid themselves $500,000 or more — and among those big earners, two CEOs' companies were significantly in the red.

Click here for more…

Special Mobile Edition--Read Canadian Business & Maclean's...Anywhere, Anytime!
Canadian Business & Maclean's are now available for FREE on your BlackBerry device. Get the latest news, analysis, and opinion from Canada's best magazines—all in the palm of your hand. Sign up for your FREE subscription today. Visit or

Peer-to-Peer: Should I lay off a promising rookie?
"Instead of layoffs, perhaps you can consider other cost-cutting options. There may be people in your company that would welcome the opportunity to take an unpaid leave of absence, or extra unpaid vacation time. Alternatively, you could offer the option of job sharing or reduced hours where appropriate."

Nortel gets court approval for packet core network component sale to Hitachi
TSX tumbles: economic pessimism grows in wake of falling U.S. home sales
ArcelorMittal ends streak of losses, posts $903 million Q3 profit
Sherritt profit falls 58 per cent to $55.9 million amid lower commodity prices
Trade deficit widens to $2b in August
Oil down to around US$79 ahead of U.S. Energy Department crude inventory report
Maple Leaf Foods posts profit in Q3, recovers from year earlier loss
Canwest to transfer National Post to its publishing division
Carmaker Audi says it expects to sell more than 130,000 cars in China in 2009
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The Dreadful Bill Collector – How to Handle Them: Million Dollar Journey

The Dreadful Bill Collector – How to Handle Them: Million Dollar Journey

Posted: 29 Oct 2009 03:30 AM PDT
Nobody wants pick up the phone and hear a bill collector on the other side, but it happens. We overextend ourselves, buy things we can not afford, fall ill, lose jobs or some other emergencies arises and we start missing payments which eventually reaches a collection agency. Dealing with collection agencies is not always the first choice or a pleasant encounter; collection agents have a reputation of being rude, vulgar and harassing.
For a short while after graduating from University I worked at a collection agency. It was not a lot of fun when I was told by supervisors and trainers to be harsher on customers and threaten them as needed. Not surprisingly I left the agency fairly quickly, but I learned a lot from the inside. I learned the laws as well as how agents manipulate these laws.
Should a situation arise where you have to deal with a collection agency I hope the following tips can help you through this awful experience.

Educate Yourself

The first thing you need to do is educate yourself. What can a collection agent say or do? When can they call? What are your obligations? Understand your rights as well as your responsibilities.
In Canada collection agencies are regulated by provinces, although most have similar laws, some details will vary. Here is the collection agency act for Ontario. In the US they have the Fair Debt Collections And Practices Act.

Do Not Ignore

If the unfortunate happens and you do end up having an account in collections, do not ignore the calls and letters. Ignoring the issue will not get you anywhere, talk with the agent and try to find an appropriate solution for your financial problems. If it’s in 3rd party collection, the agent will have some discretion over the account.

Keep Record

Keep a record of everything you do and every conversation you have with the collection agency. If you mail a letter ensure it is registered and always ask them to send you everything in writing. Have phone conversations recorded, although you may need permission for this, it can go a long way when needed. Always ask for the persons full name and ID number, write down the time and date of the call.

What Collection Agencies CANNOT Do

Here are a few things the collection agency cannot do:
  • A collection agency may NOT contact you until six days after they have sent you a written notice. The notice should include all the following information: The name of the ORIGINAL creditor, the balance owing and the name of the collection agency.
  • They cannot contact you before 8am and after 9pm during the week and before 1pm and after 5pm on Sundays.
  • They cannot contact you more than 3 times in a seven-day period regarding the same debt.
  • Disclose any information to anyone else but you, they cannot say it is a collection agency calling or in anyway reveal that you owe money. This also applies to voicemails; they cannot reveal any details on a voicemail.
  • If you feel that the agency has violated any of the above rules or in anyway has harassed you record the date, time and details of the event and contact your consumer protection agency.
When speaking with a collections agent be professional and try to solve the issue rather than trying to avoid it or get in a fight.  Remember they are just doing a job.
Once an account is with a collection agency you can no longer solve the matter with the original creditor so do not try to contact them. You will only give yourself more headache and create confusion.
This is a guest article by Ray, the owner and primary author of Financial Highway, where he discusses investing, saving and practical money management concepts. You can check subscribe to his RSS feed or follow him on Twitter.
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Copyright 2009 MillionDollarJourney – All Rights Reserved

Oct 2009 Net Worth Update (+1.58%): Halloween Edition: Million Dollar Journey

Oct 2009 Net Worth Update (+1.58%): Halloween Edition: Million Dollar Journey

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 03:30 AM PDT
Welcome to the Million Dollar Journey Oct 2009 Net Worth Update – The Halloween Edition
Halloween is here once again, it’s hard to imagine where time goes.  It seems that the more we age, the faster time passes. 
This year, we expect a lot of trick or treaters ringing our doorbell as our street is now fully developed (with street lights and everything!).  I’ve heard rumour that there are over 200 kids in our immediate area, so I guess it would be a good idea to be over stocked with treats than under prepared.  In terms of treats, we typically do the chips and bar thing, like Kathryn, we purchase our Halloween treats from Costco.
Nothing too scary to report in Octobers net worth summary.  Most of the growth is due to steady savings and some portfolio growth.  I did see a fairly signifant correction in my non-registered account as a speculative stock I own took a dive.
With regards to liabilities, if you take a look at the mortgage balance, you’ll see that it’s within striking distance of being completely paid off.  I’m actually in a bit of turmoil with regards to what I’m going to do with the large HELOC space available.  Should I continue to use the HELOC to invest with?  Or should I use the increased cash from the previous mortgage payment to fund my investments?  Or perhaps a combination?
Assets: $ 470,500 (+0.99%)
  • Cash: $4,500 (+0.00%)
  • Savings: $16,500.00 (+22.22%)
  • Registered/Retirement Investment Account: $73,800.00 (+2.22%)
  • Pension: $27,700.00 (+0.73%)
  • Non-Registered Investment Account: $16,500.00 (-4.07%)
  • Smith Manoeuvre Investment Account: $51,500.00 (+3.00%)
  • Principal Residence: $275,000 (+0.00%) (purchase price)
  • Vehicles: $5,000 (2 vehicles) (-16.67%)
Liabilities$85,500.00 (-1.61%)
  • Tax Liability: $3,000 (-0.00%)
  • Principal Residence Mortgage (readvanceable): $29,200.00 (-4.89%)
  • HELOC balance: $53,300 (+0.19%)
Total Net Worth: ~$385,000.00(+1.58%)
  • Started 2009 with Net Worth: $309,950.00
  • Year to Date Gain/Loss: +24.12%
Some quick notes and explanations to net worth questions I get often:

The Cash

The $4,500 cash are held in chequing accounts to meet the minimum balance so that we pay no fees (accounting for regular bill payments). Yes, we do hold no fee accounts also, but I find value in having an account with a full service bank as the relationship with a banker can prove useful.


Our savings accounts are held with PC Financial and ING Direct. We usually hold a fair bit of cash in case "something" comes up. The "something" can be anything that requires cash such as an investment opportunity that requires quick cash or maybe an emergency car/home repair.  We also need cash to cover any future tax liabilities.

Real Estate

Our real estate holdings consist of a primary residence plus a rental property. The value of the principal residence remains valued at the purchase price despite significant appreciation in the real estate market that we're in.  I will most likely be adjusting the value of the home come the new year.
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Copyright 2009 MillionDollarJourney – All Rights Reserved Free Samples, Hot Deals, More
Bargains Newsletter

Welcome to Issue 131 of the Newsletter!

Check out this week's deals, coupons and freebies below!


In celebration of Halloween, and are giving away twenty-five prizes! The prizes include ten copies of Halo 3: ODST for XBOX 360, five 2TB Seagate Barracuda XT Hard Drives, and ten Phenom II X4 965 CPUs from AMD! That's over $5000 in prizes!

Just fill in the Contest Entry Form to enter!

Read the full contest rules here.

Popular Deals

P&G Brand Sampler For Men: Up to Four Free Gillette Products (Hot!)

Updated Microsoft “Ultimate Steal” Offer for Students: Windows 7 Professional Upgrade $39.99

Canadian Tire: 3-Second Corkscrew, 7” KitchenAid Santoku, 4-pc Ratcheting Wrench Set $9.99 each

Windows 7 Launch Roundup… Home Premium $115 + Free Ship, Home Premium Family Pack $179.99 & More

H&M: 50% Off Select Jackets Until November 4

Dell Quad Core PC Deals from $579 including $749 i5-750, $849 i7-860 & $999 Loaded i7-860 (updated)

Oct. 21 Coupons: 20% off Complete Meal Platter at Swiss Chalet & New Coupons from

Warehouse Sales Roundup: Triumph Lingerie, Spanner Blowout Sale, Tommy Hilfiger & More (ON)

Compu2000: Sanyo Eneloop AA 4-Pack $8.99, Western Digital My Passport 320GB 2.5” Ext. HD $69.99…

Free American Sign Language Tutorials/Lessons Online

Beyond The Rack: Gucci Sunglasses and Fendi Watches (Today: J Brand Jeans & Marc Jacobs Sunglasses!)

New: Paid Canadian Online Surveys @, $5 When You Sign Up
2646 Nintendo DSi White $168.99, Kodak ZX1 HD 720p Camcorder $129 & More

Sign up for Hollister Canada Email List & Get a 20% off Coupon

Acer Desktop PC w/Intel E5200 2.5Ghz, 4GB, 640GB, DVD Burner, HDMI, Windows 7 - $339 Editor's Picks

Image Garmin Nuvi 780 4.3" GPS w/TTS, BT, MSN Direct on sale again for $219.99 + Free Shipping
This is a good deal on a high-end GPS, and with Ontario's ban on hand-handheld cellhone use while driving is now in effect, having a GPS that can serve as a hands-free speakerphone is pretty convenient. - Andrew


Beyond The Rack: Gucci Sunglasses and Fendi Watches (Today: J Brand Jeans & Marc Jacobs Sunglasses!)
I'm kind of in love with Beyond The Rack these days -- it has invitation-only, limited quantity sales. The end result feels a little bit like shopping and a little bit like a competitive sport -- and the prices are awesome! - Kate


Fruits & Passion: Seasonal Fragrances - Buy 1 Get 10% Off, Buy 2 Get 15% Off, Buy 3 Get 20% Off
As a self-proclaimed Christmas junkie, I'm very excited about the return of seasonal fragrance products at Fruits & Passion -- but I'm even more excited at the prospect of saving money on them! - Amanda


Apple: New iMacs (inc. 27" model with IPS 2560x1440 display for $1799), New Mac mini & More
I'm not a Mac person, but I am a huge fan of high resolution LCD monitors. The screen on the new 27" iMac certainly fits the bill with a staggering 2560x1440 resolution - and it's a high quality IPS panel as well! An IPS panel of that size alone would easily cost over $1,000. - Derek for your Mobile Phone! for your mobile phone is located at The mobile site makes it easy to stay on top of the latest Canadian deals, coupons, and freebies from wherever you are! Check for deals, read and post in the forums, and compare prices while you're on the move and never overpay again!

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@ HQ

We're busy planning for the holiday rush! If you have any ideas about what new features we should add to our Boxing Day coverage, post them in the Comments & Suggestions forum!

All the best,
The Team
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Normal is Broke

Living With A Chain

How to Get a Job when No One is Hiring

When the jobs are hidden

To get a job, you have to find the openings that no one's advertising, and really impress your potential employer.

By Jia Lynn Yang, writer-reporter

NEW YORK (Fortune) -- David Perry, a longtime headhunter, says you're wasting your time if you're looking for job postings online. And he should know: he's often the guy on the other side helping companies lure new talent. Perry, who's based in Ottawa, says that in the last 22 years he has accomplished 996 searches totaling $172 million in salary. And the bottom line in today's economy, he says, is you have to tap the "hidden job market."

Perry's also the co-author of "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters" and he recently spoke with Fortune.

What's the "hidden job market"?

When companies say, 'We have a hiring freeze,' that doesn't mean they're not hiring. It just means they're not adding headcount. Every year there's 20-25% turn over. So in a 1,000-person company, 200 or 250 people are going to turn over, either through attrition, or someone moves. Those companies are still hiring but they don't want to tell you.

So how do you find these jobs?

What you have to do in a recession is map your skills to employers to where you know they have a problem you can solve. My advice to job hunters is pick 10 to 20 companies, no more, and pick companies you're interested in, and that you think you can add value to. That requires researching companies, and so that list may take you two weeks. If you're trying to crack the hidden job market and you know the job position you want reports to vice president, find that vice president on LinkedIn and look at his profile to see who else he's connected to and go ask them, 'What's this guy like to work for?' Do the research before you even pick up the phone.

How can you get someone's attention?

We can go into billboards, sandwiches - that stuff only works once. It's only for one person who figures it out once, once in a city. If you're looking for fun stuff, we have this thing called the coffee cup caper, 30% of the time it will result in an interview. You send an employer a coffee cup with a little $5 swipe card with a little note that says, I'd like to get together and talk with you over coffee. I'll be calling soon. And you send it by U.S. post two day delivery, and that gets registered. So when they've signed for it, you wait about 20 minutes and then you call them. And then you go, Hi, I know you just got my package.' You're proving you're imaginative and creative.

What something people should avoid during a job interview?

This drives me insane: I've seen people mentally deciding in the interview whether they want the job. That's the last place to decide. You go into an interview, and you sell like your life depends on it. You've got to get the job first. I've seen it thousands of times. There's this point in the interview, where people go 'Hmm, do I really want this? You can see their body change. The employer picks it up and it's gone. If the employer is telling you, 'I love you,' and you're not saying 'I love you too,' it's over with.

How about following up afterwards?

If you really like the opportunity, don't go home and write thank you very much. Go back and write a letter that says, upon further reflection of what we were talking about, here's what I bring to the table, here's how I see myself fitting into the organization, including a 30-60-90 day plan.

How can someone attract a recruiter's attention?

You have to go to ZoomInfo and LinkedIn and create a profile. All corporate recruiters and probably 20% of the headhunters in America have ZoomInfo accounts. When we start a search, companies aren't going to advertise. The headhunter goes to ZoomInfo, types in requirements that we need, like skillset, degree, city, functional title, and up will come anywhere from a hundred to several thousand people who fit that criteria. Then we go to LinkedIn and run the same search. If you're in ZoomInfo with a picture, we're going to call you first. Just reverse engineer what recruiters are doing so you get found.

How can you really impress a potential employer?

It hasn't worked in years just to bring in your resume, except only in the most junior positions. I concentrate on directors to CEOs, and the last interview for us regardless is always a Power Point presentation of what you've learned, pain points, and how you intend to fix that. Everyone talks about being a great leader and great communicator, so prove it. Don't go into an interview and treat it like it's just another business meeting. Your career is your biggest asset now - because it's certainly not your house. To top of page


August 2008 Dave Ramsey on Barack Obama

This was aired in August 2008. So was Dave right???