July 30, 2010, 3:55 am

Financial Ramblings

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Financial Rambling

Big Canadian weekend coming ahead…. but not for me :-(. In fact, the Civic Holiday applies everywhere… but in Quebec!

However, this will remain a special weekend for me as we are celabrating my son 5th birthday! If I have one advice to young parent, that would be the following; make sure you enjoy every single moment because they grow pretty darn fast!

it’s obviously not my son on the picture but I found it pretty cool!

So Happy Birthday William!


On another note, I would like to mention that the signups for my newsletter have been a great success this week. I am truly surprise to see how many people registered even though some of them did it for the iPod Touch contest over at The Dividend Guy Blog (see recommended reading #2 below 😉 ). I’ll be sending my market recap along with some stock commentary at the beginning of August so stay tuned!

In the meantime, here are some great blogs to read:

1. Green Panda Treehouse helps you decide and answer the big question, “Should I borrow money from my family?” Borrowing money from relatives sounds easy, but there are a lot of things to consider.
2. The Dividend Guys is running a Contest: Comment on the post you could win an iPod Touch! If you’re not joining, I will.
3. Buying Vs Renting A House seems to be an endless discussion. Mr Cheap of Money Smarts Blog tell us his opinion about renting vs buying.
4. Watching movies at home has never been more fun. And frugal. Since you’re already saving money by popping a DVD movie at home, why not follow Squawkfox’s guide on How to Microwave Gourmet Popcorn in a Brown Paper Bag to save even more?
5.Commodities and real estate are usually considered hard assets. Balance Junkie discusses Commodities and Real Estate: Pros and Cons to help us understand more about these two.
6. I watch what I eat and exercise because I am motivated by the long term health benefits as well as looking fit. On the financial aspect, IS asks, “What are your financial motivations?” I’d say needs, and then a little of my wants.
7. Previous Lives: Blowing Things Up is an article by Canadian Dream, which tells us of his career experiences, and what he learned from those experiences. Sure is an interesting read.
8. Saving up for something such as a vacation, or even retirement is definitely the way to go, but make sure that once you reach your goal, you get what you save up for. Here, the author of Canadian Personal Finance shares with us The Good Wine: A Personal Finance Parable.
9. I can’t live without my computer and my cell phone. In a world where everything seems to rely heavily on communications, the Passive Income Earner shows us The Telecoms’ Road to Profits.
10. There are a lot of complaints from employed people saying that unemployed are eating up the country’s resources. So Why Are Employed People So Smug About The Unemployed? Financial Samurai tells us why.
11. You’re saving up for your retirement. But is saving up enough? Jeff of Good Financial Cents shares with us How to Manage Retirement Savings so you can truly enjoy your retirement years.
12. Dividend yield or dividend growth? is the question that DGI answers in his post. Do investors actually need to choose between divident yield or growth? Read on to know.
13. The Digerati Life posts about the EverBank Sign Up Bonus: $75 to Open Savings Accounts. Sounds sweet.
14. A Motivational Story: From Dog Walking to Ivy League is a wonderful, and motivating story to give us a little hope that with perseverance and a little sacrifice, our hard work will pay off.
15. Financial Uproar hosted the first ever Blogger Jamboree. And we are flattered to be included in this edition’s 10 bloggers who received an email to answer: If You Could Only Invest In One Company, Which Would It Be?

Carnivals:
The Financial Blogger has been included in this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance #267 at Beating Broke
and also in Carnival of Money Stories #64 – No Debt Plan Edition.

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July 29, 2010, 6:00 am

Ways to Make Money Online Without Blogging

by: MD    Category: Alternative Income

When discussing the concept of making money online, many are quick to point out blogging. It’s really simple, right? You think of a domain name, register it, setup hosting, get a theme, write some articles, network a little, put up Adsense, and the money flows in. Well not exactly. From start to finish, this process can easily take a full year just to begin shaping up.

Today we’re going to discuss 3 ways to make money from blogging without actually blogging. Let’s look at the good and the bad involved in these 3 ways to earn money online from blogging without actually blogging:

Freelance writing.

This involves writing blog posts for already established blogs. You either take the time to contact established bloggers or they find you through seeing your quality work around the web.

The good:

Blog is already setup. You won’t have to worry about setting about or building a blog. You’ll be writing articles for a blog that’s already well established and set up.
Easy to start. Anyone can start writing articles. You will need the essential writing skills. Once you prove that you can write, you can start making money writing articles for established bloggers.
Results depend on effort. There really isn’t that much luck involved in this process. If you don’t offer high quality articles, then you won’t land the juicy gigs. If you put the time in it will show. If not, then you simply won’t make any money from freelance writing.

The bad:

Difficult to gain momentum. It’s extremely challenging to get your name out there. The reason for this is that we live in an era of super cheap and even free articles.
Finding clients. As mentioned above, there’s plenty of low-cost sources for articles these days. The most challenging aspect is finding clients that are willing to pay for your services.

Productizing.

This process is all about creating a product to sell for the readers of a blog. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your own blog. You could create a product for your own blog or the blog of someone else.

Pros:

Extremely scalable. A digital product is very scalable. You create the product once and then your attention turns to marketing this product. Once you create the product it becomes really easy to scale it. Your energy needs to shift towards selling numerous copies of the same product.

Earn money while you sleep. Once you setup the whole process (website along with payment system), the rest becomes pretty hands-off. If you market your product well, you could earn money while you sleep.

Cons:

Income is very uncertain. You never know how much you could make (or lose) from the release of a new product. Just because you have a lot of subscribers it doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to sell an exorbitant amount of eBooks.

Difficult to market your product. There’s just a plethora of products available out there. What makes yours so special? How are you going to impress people enough to purchase your product?

Payment setup. The payment process is a pain to get going. You must figure out how you will accept payments, pay affiliates, and claim everything on your taxes. This is enough to turn most people off.

Design work.

This is the behind the scenes work that most bloggers don’t want to deal with. It could involve; designing blogs, back end coding on a blog, creating logos, or any other design/technical work on a blog.

Advantages:

Apply your rare skills. Many of us are simply horrible at “artistic” stuff. I could not put a blog logo together if my life depended on it. This is why I love it when I meet a designer that will simply ask me a few questions and then put together a awesome logo for me.

Disadvantages:

Collecting payment. Figuring out how you will collect payments and charge clients could be one of the most difficult aspects of this endeavor.

Modifications. When working with a client on a blog design or a blog logo, you might have to make many modifications/changes. This involves a high degree of interaction with the blogger. Are you ready for this hands-on work?

At the conclusion of this article, have you tried any of these methods to make money from blogging? If so, how has it turned out?

Img source: doglington

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July 28, 2010, 5:00 am

Improving The Financial Blogger Newsletter

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Make Money Online

A few months ago, I announced that I will be actively writing my newsletter. It’s been a while that I was juggling with ideas such as having additional sources of information apart from The Financial Blogger but I couldn’t find the angle I wanted.

Now that I have been writing this newsletter bi-weekly since June, I have finally made up my mind and I think it will be beneficial to all my readers. The last thing I wanted was to provide redundant content or transform it into a useless promotion bug in your mailbox ;-). So for those who haven’t signed up yet, here is what you can find in it:

Great “How To Make Money Online” Hindsights

As I previously mentioned, I don’t want to turn the newsletter into a marketing tool. This is why you won’t find quick make money online schemes. Instead, you will get access to most of the “behind the scenes” of my online company, how I buy, build and make money with my blogs and other websites.

Recently, I have discussed how I have found a virtual assistant, how to coach her and more info about our new projects (we are buying another blog and building a new retirement website as well). I’ll be discussing our successes, our failures and what we have learned along the way. So if you want to start an online business or if you simply want to hear about a real story, the newsletter is for you.

Market Reviews – What Really Matters To You and Your Pocket

Once a month, I’ll be doing a market review. It won’t be lengthy and it won’t look like an economic review done by financial analysts either. I want to bring economic news back to the ground level. Who cares if the unemployment rate goes down? Well, you will care if I tell you that it will be one of the indicators that will make the Bank of Canada increase its interest rate (therefore your line of credit or variable mortgage rate) the following month ;-).

I am trying to simplify the economic info and talk about what is really important to your pocket.

Canadian Stock Reviews, Graphs and More…

Included in the market review newsletter, I will look at 2 stocks that are part of the TSX 60. While I am not giving recommendations, you will find historical info, graphs and the potential for growth and risk for each of them. This could eventually lead you to pick these stocks for your portfolio (after more research of course!).

Maybe One Last Reason You Want To Subscribe…

I’ve entered in a friendly competition with my friend and partner in this adventure. We are both pushing our newsletter subscriptions at the moment. The goal is to be the first one to reach 1,000 subscribers. Since I already have more than 1,200 RSS feed subscribers, I am confident that I can beat him (his site is Intelligent Speculator).

So just for the sake of competition, I ask you to give it a chance and sign up. I’m sure you will enjoy it anyways ;-D

Name:
Email:

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July 27, 2010, 4:00 am

Best 50 Canadian Dividend Stocks

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Canadian Dividend Stocks


First things first, if you are interested in dividend investing, I strongly suggest you to download your free copy of Dividend Investing: How To Build a Never Ending Cash Distributor from The Dividend Guy Blog.

A few weeks ago, I got a comments on our top 10 and top 20 Canadian dividend stocks articles. Cecil was asking to get the top 50 Canadian Dividend Stocks (it seems that you can never get enough of dividend stock picks 😉 ).

While I didn’t want to discuss about 50 dividend stocks, I was wondering how to pull an interesting list without containing too much junk stocks into it. This is how I came with a few parameters:

-All Canadian stocks (TSX & Venture)
-Common stock only (no prefs, etf’s, etc, etc)
-“Active stocks” (need some trading volume)
-No stocks under 1$
-Market cap 10M

.
.

So here is the list of the top 50 Canadian Dividend Stocks according to those parameters (please note that data is as of May 2012):

If you want to look at their trading trend, you can try Trend Analysis, a free stock trend anaylis tool provided by INO.

 

TickerNamePriceDividend YieldPayout RatioPE_RATIO
DGIData Group Inc/Canada5.212.51283.8221.67
ERFEnerplus Corp18.8311.47355.0522.69
NFINew Flyer Industries Inc7.5611.39136.35N/A
JEJust Energy Group Inc13.099.4729.4577
GCLColabor Group Inc7.729.33361.4522.06
PGFPengrowth Energy Corp9.119.22330.0924.62
AIFAltus Group Ltd/Canada6.589.12N/AN/A
ZARZargon Oil & Gas Ltd13.189.1430.06N/A
WBWhistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc10.868.98420.8757.16
FRUFreehold Royalties Ltd19.178.76182.7219.36
DRMedical Facilities Corp12.98.53N/AN/A
STBStudent Transportation Inc6.668.352031.88N/A
ATPAtlantic Power Corp14.18.16N/AN/A
SPBSuperior Plus Corp7.388.13N/AN/A
PSNPoseidon Concepts Corp13.318.1161.38N/A
AGF/BAGF Management Ltd13.637.9288.5911.45
MKPMCAN Mortgage Corp13.857.76103.688.24
BNPBonavista Energy Corp18.577.75145.8120.63
FNFirst National Financial Corp16.127.75N/A14.39
NAENAL Energy Corp7.797.7N/A33.87
IBGIBI Group Inc14.737.49156.9512.66
PHXPHX Energy Services Corp9.727.41190.2619.84
GHGamehost Inc12.057.3125.3217.26
PKIParkland Fuel Corp14.017.28137.842.45
BABell Aliant Inc26.247.24132.3517.38
CFXCanfor Pulp Products Inc12.317.1558.6712.19
FCFirm Capital Mortgage Investment Corp13.227.0810014.15
ECIEnerCare Inc9.517.07903.8433.96
CLCCML HealthCare Inc10.717.05101.2312.03
LWLeisureworld Senior Care Corp12.097.03N/AN/A
TATransAlta Corp16.58766.913.93
LNVLongview Oil Corp96.6791.0720
PBNPetroBakken Energy Ltd14.466.6485.8814.18
PBHPremium Brands Holdings Corp17.796.61177.0822.52
VNRValener Inc15.176.59122.2819.45
CUSCanexus Corp8.36.594649.1731.92
VSNVeresen Inc15.266.55302.6449.23
MSIMorneau Shepell Inc11.96.55150.1523.33
GMPGMP Capital Inc6.196.46130.5715.87
DHDavis & Henderson Corp19.286.4369.5911.98
WJXWajax Corp50.826.3855.7813.44
CPGCrescent Point Energy Corp43.356.37383.5181.79
EIFExchange Income Corp25.56.35130.6319.77
PWTPenn West Petroleum Ltd17.086.3279.3112.47
BNEBonterra Energy Corp50.66.17134.8523
RSIRogers Sugar Inc5.556.1373.9818.5
NPINorthland Power Inc17.656.12N/AN/A
COSCanadian Oil Sands Ltd23.056.0746.599.64
LIQLiquor Stores N.A. Ltd17.976.0199.8419.32
SLFSun Life Financial Inc24.065.99N/A267.33

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July 26, 2010, 6:00 am

Buying v.s Renting a Home: Which Is The Better Alternative?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Properties


It is a fact of life that everybody needs to have a roof over their heads. However is it a better option to own your own property or rent one?

This is a question that has been asked many times before, and I suspect the answers you will have received 10 years ago would be very different to the answers you might get today. There was a time when property was very cheap to buy, and with prices on the rise the trend was to buy for future profit! Now there has been a global crash in house prices people view the situation very differently.

What we can do is look at the situation in general, and try to come up with sensible arguments for and against both.

Long Term Plans

The first thing that should be considered when deciding whether to buy or rent should be your plans for the future. Do you intend to have a family in the near future? Are you looking to stay somewhere for a short period of time and then settle in a different part of the country? Do you travel a lot for work?

These are all questions that need answering in order to gain some insight into what is going to suit you best. For a couple looking to settle down and have a family, owning a home may be a sensible option. A couple who like to travel, change jobs regularly, and are more free spirited may be better suited to rented accommodation.

You need to be really clear as to your position in life, and future plans because if you commit to buying a property, it becomes much harder to just up sticks and move on if your plans change.

 

Financial Affairs

Although how the world economy and housing markets are performing should at least be investigated, it is your own personal finances that should determine whether you are better buying or renting.

For people who have enough money to buy then this could be a good time economically to proceed because house prices are much lower than they were a few years ago. This is due to the world credit crisis.

Many countries also have very low interest rates at present which could also benefit those looking at buying. This is all great for those who already have enough money put by to buy a home, however for those who need to borrow, lending is at an all time low in most countries meaning even people that want to buy cannot raise the funds to do so.

This of course also restricts the people looking to move up the property ladder and buy a bigger home. In other words if you want to buy, and have the money then it’s a great time to buy, but if you don’t have the money then you will find it hard to raise enough to get anywhere close to buying.

Why Would I Want to Buy?

Let’s look at some of the reasons people decide to buy their home instead of renting:

Security – When you buy you are paying for what will eventually be a home owned by your family. Nobody can kick you out, and you are able to keep that home in your family for generations.

Investments – Although property prices are low at present, there is always the possibility that they may one day increase again which could make people who buy today a nice profit somewhere down the road.  Of course this is something that you will only benefit from if you  buy a property.

No payment increase – When you rent you are always susceptible to rent increases. If your landlord decides to increase the amount of rent you pay then you will have to shell out more.

When you buy a property eventually you will pay the mortgage (if you have one) off, and that will mean no more payments towards staying in your home. When you rent a property you have to pay for however long you are there. In other words your payments will never stop.

Do as you like – In a brought property you can make any alterations to it that you want without permission. If you want to rip up the carpets and lay wooden floor then you can do it.

If you want a whole new bathroom suite then you can go straight to your local home improvement store and get one. This is a luxury that renting does not allow. No changes can be made to the property without the owner’s permission which is of course not guaranteed.

What About Renting?

Renting a property is not all bad. In fact there are some big advantages of renting that are not available with brought homes:

Repairs are not your responsibility – There’s a big storm and your roof gets damaged. It is down to the owner to pay for the roof repairs and not you. If your water tank fails and needs replacing then again it is the responsibility if the owner to fix the problem as soon as possible.

When you sign your tenancy you need to check what you are responsible for and what your landlord is responsible for so that there is no future confusion.

Not tied down – If you decide you do not like the area anymore and want to move then you can. Leaving a rented property is a much quicker and easier process than homeowners have to deal with.

Not affected by interest rates – When you are paying a home loan and there is a hike in interest rates, homeowners can find hundreds added to their monthly loan payments. If you rent you are mostly unaffected by these interest rate rises unless your landlord decides to raise your rent.

As you can see there are both positives and negatives on both sides, and much depends on your personal and financial position. Be certain of where you are in both these areas and you will be in a much better position to make an informed and accurate choice.

This article was written by Timothy Ng who is a regular personal finance writer and part of the team at Credit Card Finder, a 100% free Australian credit card comparison and application service. Visit the Credit Card Finder website for more information on buying or renting a home.

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