Debt drops

Canadians took on less “bad” debt in the first quarter of this year. This and more in the daily roundup.



Online only.

  • Canadians are starting to make better decisions when it comes to debt, the most recent TransUnion report suggests. Average consumer debt in Canada, excluding mortgages, fell by 2% to $26,935 in the first three months of 2013 from the fourth quarter in 2012. While the total debt load is still higher than a year ago, the quarterly drop was the first since the third quarter of 2011 and the largest since the firm began collecting the data in 2004. “It’s encouraging to see that Canadian non-mortgage debt levels have dropped, and that consumers are beginning to slow their pace of borrowing. However, with the average Canadian still carrying more than $26,000 in non-mortgage debt, many Canadian households may be setting themselves up for a financial disaster.  The potential for The Bank of Canada to increase interest rates means Canadians need to do more to pay down debt and get their spending under control,” said Jeffrey Schwartz of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada in a release Tuesday.
  • What are the top five estate planning mistakes made by high net worth Canadians? According to Nicola Wealth Management they are: Having outdated wills that are no longer valid, having an estate adviser that works independently from portfolio advisers, giving too little though about how to give the money compared to who and how much, under-using testamentary trusts and not involving family members early and often in the process. For more info on this topic, visit the Wills & Estates area of our website.
  • Forget Canada’s Next Top Model. First Asset recently completed its “Search for Canada’s Next Top ETF” contest and Justin Bender’s  submission for a  DEX 1-5 Year Laddered Government Strip Bond Index ETF won the top prize. Bender chose the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) as the recipient of the $10,000 first prize donation. First Asset will launch the ETF designed to replicate, to the extent possible, the performance of a Canadian 1-5 year laddered government strip bond index, net of expenses, on June 11.

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