3 Absolutely Important Things First-Time Investors Need to Know

You finally have a steady income and you think it’s great that you can buy everything you’ve always wanted, yet you’re being advised by the bank, a financial advisor or a family member to start investing a part of it. You’re unsure where to begin and are afraid to invest your money.  

This is a common problem with many Canadians. According to Global Investor Pulse, 51 per cent of Canadians are afraid to hit unfamiliar territories with investing – they believe by placing their money into a savings account there would be no risk involved, and 46 per cent say they like the liquidity of cash.

But, depositing money into a savings account or holding onto cash is not beneficial in the long run because it will not provide any profitable returns. And, it could affect your retirement plans because Canadians can no longer rely on the government for a pension and benefits.

Look at it this way: the wealthiest Canadians are also investors. They don’t let their money become stagnant and earn zero profit; they invest in things that give the most profit in return.  If you haven’t begun to invest, then it is time to visit a financial planner or do some research and get started. The following are three important things a novice investor should know.



As a novice investor, you should decide on the purpose of your investment. Do you want to buy a house in the next couple of years, or own your own business? Are you wanting to start investing for retirement, financial security or a college fund for your kids/children? It is important to know the purpose of your investment in order to recognise the type of investment that suits the need or purpose.

Time Horizon

Also, knowing the purpose of your investment will decipher your time horizon. A time horizon is the length of time an investment is “made or held before it is liquidated.”   It will help you, or your financial planner, know which investment vehicle to consider. Also, it will enable your financial planner to know when to move your money into a low-risk or high-risk investment.

Risk Tolerance

Thus, a time horizon determines an investor’s risk tolerance – if your investment should be a high-risk or low-risk. A long-term investment (investments that are 10 years or more) is considered to have a high-risk tolerance because it has time to recover and gain profits if the investment drops in value at any point-of-time. A short-term investment, on the other hand, will not recover in time. That is why short-term investments are often considered of having a low-risk tolerance.


Now that you’ve seen the importance of being aware of your time horizon, purpose and risk tolerance before you invest, book an appointment with a certified financial planner or do a thorough research and find out which investment is right for you.

What do you think first-time investors should know? Should we be educating Canadians at young age to have a positive mind-set towards investing? Should we show them the benefits of investing and how it can help their retirement plan, or plan to buy a house or own a business? Tell me what you think.



M. Policicchio | DBPC Blog

How Company Culture is Responsible for Acquiring Talent

Successful companies like Google don’t just rely on their names to lure the best and brightest talent. They also rely on their stellar reputations when it comes to their corporate culture. Tech companies and start-ups are well known for putting company culture at the forefront of their brands, and your business should too.

It’s not all nap pods and free food – there are real benefits to your employees and your bottom line when you prioritize company culture.

What is Company Culture?

Company culture typically refers to the values and expectations of a company, and how those notions interact with employees and other stakeholders. It’s often something that’s implied, and it naturally develops based on who you hire. However, you can still intentionally and successfully shape your company culture by keeping a few characteristics in mind.


We know Google has an awesome company culture from more than just the tech giant’s solid 4.6/5 star Glassdoor rating, it’s imbedded in its brand identity. Likewise, your employees will associate how you treat them with your brand identity. If employees are treated well and a fun and positive workplace is encouraged, your brand will be seen accordingly by not only your team, but by your customers too.


Your company culture plays a major role in fuelling your company values, which is why it must align with the vision and goals of your business. If your company culture values creativity and being results-driven, then it’s more likely that your employees and potential candidates will have similar values and be keen to put them into play.


Studies have shown that company culture helps to attract and retain top talent. When people look forward to going to work every day, feel like they belong and that their values align with your company’s, why would they want to leave? The bottom line, according to ZipRecruiter, is lower turnover and higher performance, which are good for business.

Not Just a Trend

Company culture isn’t new, but there’s a reason that business leaders now think it’s so integral to success now more than ever. With the dawn of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, your company’s brand and associated culture will be on display to a previously unprecedented degree. So you might as well use that to your advantage.

Other Factors

Increasing demand for positive company culture also points in the direction of millennials who, by 2020, will comprise nearly half the working population. According to Forbes, millennials are attracted to strong company culture over anything else.

Another factor to keep in mind is the growth of the so-called start-up economy. With successful new businesses popping up more and more frequently these days, it means more competition for your business in terms of both hiring and customers.

Defining what your company culture is will help you differentiate your business from the rest, as well as keep you relevant and desirable in the public eye. In turn, this will help you attract quality candidates (millennial and otherwise), as well as keep your employees happy and eager to stick around.

Whether your company culture grew naturally or intentionally, there is no questioning its power to affect every aspect of your business inside and out. We spend one-third of our lives at work, so why not make it the most enjoyable place possible? Your employees – and your bottom line – will thank you.



Laura D’Angelo | DBPC Blog

Dealing with Professional Adversity

Laid off when you least expected it? Passed over for that promotion you were counting on? Maybe your small business failed? It’s not the end of the world, and the most difficult times can be learning experiences. Here’s how to pick yourself up when faced with career adversity and look to the future with renewed enthusiasm and confidence.


Take a Moment

Take some time to acknowledge this major life change or disappointment. It can be quite a jolt to your routine when you don’t have to wake up in the morning to get dressed for work. Breathe and take it one day at a time – it’s perfectly fine to mourn the loss of a good thing, especially if you loved what you were doing. Activities like long walks, listening to music, and meditating in the morning to relax are great opportunities to take stock, and can help you reboot your system. It’s crucial to purge yourself of the negativity and despair that can come with being laid off before you start job hunting, for example. Wipe that slate clean!


Look at the Bright Side

Remember that it wasn’t all bad, even if you didn’t get that promotion. Make a note of some of the positive experiences at your past (or current) job, or lessons learned from a failed startup venture. How can you use that to your advantage moving forward? Perhaps your organizational skills were instrumental in the success of a project, or maybe there’s still a great idea in your failed business. “I’ve made billions of dollars of failures at Amazon.com,” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos told Business Insider. “Literally billions of dollars of failures. You might remember Pets.com or Kosmo.com. It was like getting a root canal with no anesthesia. None of those things are fun. But they also don’t matter.”


Spruce Up Your Skillset

Treat as a learning opportunity and write out a list of things that you think you could have known or done better. This could include freshening up your social media skills or updating your knowledge of your industry’s best practices. You can go back to school for short-term courses, watch webinars in your area of expertise, start a blog, or do some volunteering (which looks great on your resume). The learning process never stops, and with the rapidly-changing job market, it will do you good to stay on top of the latest trends. You never know when your next opportunity – a new job, or another promotion – might come along. Be ready.


Move on Confidently

With your new knowledge and insight, it’s time for the hard work to begin. You’re wiser and more experienced, so position yourself in the professional world accordingly. Focus on your strengths. Remember to put things into perspective – layoffs aren’t personal, or you may get that promotion next time. Failure is the stepping stone to greatness, and things don’t always work out as planned. As Sir Winston Churchill famously said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”



Baisakhi Roy | DBPC Blog


How you can Make Money Online

10 legit ways to cash in full-time or part-time without leaving home


Wish you had a little extra (or a lot more) spending money in your pocket for a vacation, night out or even that new IPhone? Luckily, earning yourself extra dough doesn’t necessarily mean taking on a second job. In fact, all you need is an internet connection and the willingness to take on one or more of the following part-time or even full-time, from the comfort of your home:


  1. Online Market Research

Many big name companies are willing to pay for your opinion on their products. By signing up for a free membership on online paid survey communities such as MySurvey Canada or The Harris Poll you can earn cash, gift cards, prizes and more just by sharing your valued opinion!


  1. Cash Back Websites

Most of us don’t need incentive to shop, but if you do—joining a cash back website such as E-bates allows you to shop online at your favourite stores and earn between 2-10% cash back on retail purchases, and up to 20% on travel purchases!


  1. Freelance Writing

If you have a knack for writing, you can get paid to write anything from blogs posts to website copy all from the comfort of your home. Experienced or not, leave it to sites like Contenta to instantly connect you with remote writing opportunities galore.


  1. Buy and Sell Apps

Let the things you’d rather trash become someone else’s treasure— for a price! Download a free local buy and sell app like LetGo or Carousell to make money off of those pants you never wear, that book you’re done reading or that bike you rarely use.


  1. Sell Your Photos

Microstock websites like iStock and Shutterstock, make it easy for an amateur or pro to sell their best pics on their site. Get ready to make 15%-50% on each photo sold. Not to mention you can sell audio, video and illustrations too!


  1. Sell Your DIY Goods

Get artsy in your spare time? Popular e-commerce website, Etsy allows you to make money off of a DIY hobby you love. Whether you can knit, paint, make jewellery and the like, tap into their online market of millions to sell your goods for cash!



  1. Virtual Assistant

Just like an in-person assistant job, help one or more executives with their daily tasks remotely. Freelance websites such as Upwork, can help you land your dream VA gig or side gig.


  1. YouTube Videos

If you have a strong viewer base or are willing to work on it, you can make money by enabling the monetization of your YouTube channel— aka agreeing to display ads on your videos. The more people engaging with the ads on your videos, the more money you make!


  1. Social Media Influencer

These days, content kings and queens can make a solid living just by sharing stories, photos and videos of their daily lives on their social feeds. Posts averaging 1000 engagements, according to influencer community hashtagpaid.com, can earn you up to $450… per post!


  1. Social Media Manager

If you’re a lover of all things social media with an eye for compelling content, many companies are willing to pay people like you to manage their social accounts remotely. Get paid to create posts, reply to comments and more on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Laura D’Angelo | DBPC blog

5 Ways to Make Your Job More Meaningful

5 Ways to Make Your Job More Meaningful

Many of us at some point have had the kind of soul-sucking, mindless, monotonous monkey work that makes us grit our teeth and grumble. Still, some of us have been lucky enough to have work that excites us.


Whether you have the kind of job you look forward to going to, or the kind of job you look forward to leaving, how is it possible to find meaning and fulfillment on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis?


Here are five tips from businesspeople and entrepreneurs, that might help.


Help Your Employees (or Yourself) Improve


“The more skills you equip an employee with to make them more attractive in the marketplace, the more fulfilling their job will be. People want to feel valuable, and important, and if you think of the individual’s long-term career goals first, you will maximize their skills and in turn, make them invaluable in achieving the goals of your own organization,” notes Jeremy Durant, CEO of San Francisco’s BOP Design.


Consider the Greater Good


Phil Gerbyshaks is a Wisconsin-based speaker, author, and a trainer, who delivers programs on the power of technology, social selling, and connection. He suggests fulfillment can be found by “focusing and drilling down until you find the greater good goal.”


“Something beyond ‘to pay my bills’ or ‘to make the company profitable.’ The more a goal is connected to a greater good, the more meaningful the work will be. If you lead people, help them find this meaning by connecting the minute-to-minute to the greater good, and celebrate progress towards that goal by adding milestones along the way, so the clues of success are visible, for others to see too.”


Find the Fun in What You Do


No matter the kind of work you do, find something that’s enjoyable in it, encourages David Hunter, New Brunswick-based CEO of Blugenics Innovations Ltd., which produces a line of phytoplankton supplements and creams.


“Sprinkle in positive attitudes, and you can overcome obstacles and reach goals… having fun is what makes business meaningful.”


Discover How Your Work Benefits Others


Makarand Deshpande, a Toronto-based financial planner, says he makes his clients’ concerns his own.

“I invest the time to understand each client and their unique values, experiences and dreams. I then share a process that aligns who they are, and what they care about, with a strategy that meets their vision. The real benefit is the confidence and peace of mind in knowing that my clients have a trusted confidant and counsel for their life’s vision.”

Caroline Neron’s philanthropic work is tied to the success of the company, and she maintains that giving to various charities “really fulfills” her. The Quebec singer and entrepreneur has a line of jewelry seen in more than 20 boutiques across Canada, and a few hundred distributors globally.

“Women’s issues are very important to me, especially since my daughter was born,” she says. “I am also very supportive to causes that relate to children. I even created a tween collection called EMA, named after my daughter, that donates $1 of every piece purchased to the Breakfast Club of Canada.”


  1. Help the Company Perform Better


Los Angeles-based Rachel Lee of SORI Brand teamed up with her mother Cara to create a women’s contemporary clothing brand. Rachel says growing and developing the company is always top of mind. With that mission, she finds fulfillment in bettering the brand, and as a happy byproduct, bettering customer’s satisfaction.


“[Spanish Basque fashion designer] Cristobal Balenciaga once said, ‘Fashion is not about clothes; it’s about people,’ and it inspires us to bring out that truth in everything we do for the brand. This attitude pushes us to be mindful of how we can improve the SORI experience for our shoppers, and it encourages us to take initiative,” notes Lee.

“We strive to improve the lifestyle for women, to lead the fashion industry in a new and innovative way, to make women feel youthful at any age.”

These tips from businesspeople and entrepreneurs have helped them and others derive meaning from their work, and they can hopefully be good pointers for those seeking ways to make their own jobs happier and more fulfilling.


Dave Gordon | DBPC Blog

Motivation is the Secret to Budgeting

Budgeting is never fun! It can be difficult to stick to a budget because most people don’t enjoy sacrificing the things they love like a dinner with friends or a relaxing spa day. You must remember that it is all for a greater good.


The trick is to stay motivated even when the temptation is strongest. Here are some easy, useful tips for staying motivated and for staying on budget!

Motivation is the Secret to Budgeting

Always shop with a list

Even if you’re only buying a pair of shoes or a sprig of rosemary, jot it down and head to the store, paper in hand. A list is a reminder of why you’re in the store in the first place and it keeps you focused. It makes you aware of the money you are going to spend and removes surprises.

A list is a plan and most people can stick to a plan.

There’s an app for that!

Your smartphone is a monthly expense but you can also use it as a tool to help you stay on budget. While there are a lot of budget app, two of the more popular ones are Mint and You Need a Budget (YNAB). Both allow users to create a budget with a few taps of your finger.

Treat receipts as gold and log every expense

Make a habit of keeping your receipts but don’t just throw them in a shoebox and hide them in the back of your closet. Create a filing system to stay organized and then transfer the information to a spreadsheet so you can filter and sort. This will allow you to see what you are spending your money on and make sure you aren’t exceeding your monthly budget per expense.

Create an inexpensive reward system

Your monthly sacrifices should be met with a reward. The reward can be free and as simple as a relaxing bath or baking some delicious brownies. If you insist on buying a reward, which is understandable, then set a $20 limit. Oh, and make sure you keep the receipt from your reward. You don’t want to break your good habits!


Motivation is the difference maker

Budgets work best when paired with a goal and that goal should be based on what motivates you. Keep that goal at the forefront of your mind and don’t stray. Do you want to be a homeowner? Does an annual trip to Cancun excite you? Do you want to upgrade your vehicle? Budgets are designed to help you spend less than you make. That extra money is for you to enjoy if your essentials are paid.


Be motivated, be headstrong and pay attention to the small details. A detailed budget will ensure that your finances are clear and manageable. You deserve to know where your hard-earned money is going every month and you don’t deserve the stress that comes with recklessly living without a budget.



Rob Shapiro | DBPC Blog

The A to Z’s on how to do your taxes in Ontario

“The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.” — Albert Einstein

I was one among many people who used to dread filing taxes. The tax terminologies, countless number of boxes on the tax forms and finally, the confusion over where to insert figures associated with earnings and deductions; a great concoction for an absolute nightmare. However, I must admit that one can become aware of the intricacies of taxes, by becoming mindful about finances.


When to file a tax return in Ontario

The last day of April is the deadline to file tax returns unless it falls on a Sunday. If it does, CRA will consider taxes filed on time, if they are received or postmarked on or before May 1st. For the self-employed and their spouse, the deadline stretches till June 15. However, they must still pay taxes on or before April 30th, if they owe money to the government.


You need to

1) Collect all tax information slips provided by your employers, banks, and businesses. This will provide a clear picture of total earnings and income tax that was deducted for the calendar year. T4 — Statement of Remuneration Paid, T4A(OAS) — Statement of Old Age Security and T4RSP — Statement of RRSP Income are a few examples of these slips.

2) Gather all the receipts and information pertaining to tax deductions and credits. Before that, the difference between a tax deduction and credit is that the former reduces the amount of income that is subject to income tax, whereas the latter reduces the amount of tax owing. Transit passes, union dues, charitable donations, rent or property taxes, moving expenses — all can be claimed under tax deductions. Ontarians can apply for several tax credits, according to the government of Ontario, like Ontario Trillium Benefit, Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant, Ontario Children’s Activity Tax Credit etc.,

3) Find out your allowable RRSP contribution limit for the year, which can be found in the latest Notice of Assessment.


Multiple options to seal the deal …

1) NETFILE: This is an electronic tax-filing service that allows you to send your individual income tax and benefit return directly through the CRA website using the Internet and an NETFILE-certified software product. If you are a low-income earner, you can get this software for free. Another advantage of this option is the instant acknowledgment of receipt of tax return and best of all, you will receive the tax refund within two weeks, based on your situation.

2) Mail: Although it just costs a stamp to mail your return, it can take up to eight weeks to hear back from CRA regarding the tax return status.

3) EFILE: Ideal for complex tax situations or the self-employed. This service can cost anywhere between $80 to $220 for tax services offered to you by tax professionals or accountants.



P. Ganga  | DBPC Blog

Accounting Profit versus Economic Profit

When you analyze the financial progress of a company, the simplest account of any business is to study the total revenue, cost and profit. Revenue is the total sum of money received for its production. Cost includes everything that contributed to produce them. Profit, then, equals total revenue subtract total cost.


What is it?

There is no satisfactory definition of the term profit. In simple terms, profit can be understood as all the revenue generated by an individual or company. Profit is the goal of any business. There is no business. There are two conceptions of profit, accounting profit and economic profit. Accounting profit is a cash concept. It means total revenue minus explicit costs—the difference between money brought in and money paid out. When calculating accounting profits, the things that are considered include leased assets, non-cash adjustments/transactions for depreciation, provisions, allowances and capitalizing development costs. Economic profit is total revenue minus total cost, including both explicit and implicit costs. The difference is important because even though a business pays income taxes based on its accounting profit, it’s economic success depends on its economic profit. When calculating economic profits, several things, like opportunity costs, residual value, inflation level changes, tax rates, and interest rates on cash flow, are considered.



To better understand the difference between economic and accounting profit, assume the total revenue of X business is 400,000. The explicit cost (utility bill, interest payments, mortgage, raw material cost, transport, storage cost, packaging cost, labour cost and more) is 150,000. So, the accounting profit would 400,000 — 150,000 = 250, 000 (total revenue — total explicit costs) and the economic profits 400,000 — (150,000 + 200,000) (total revenue — (total explicit costs + total implicit costs)) is 50,000. The accounting profit is interested in earnings more than what is going on in the marketplace. In this case, X made 50,000 more than marketplace income, hence that is X’s economic profit. Accounting profits are simply what you take home after deducting your explicit costs from your company revenues.



The accountant and economist think differently. The accountant would consider production costs and how they affect company’s profitability. They would consider themselves as a production cost. On the other hand, when an economist describes the costs, they are more interested in how the company has decided to run the business or why they decided to imply a strategy and what impact those strategies will have on the rest of the economy.


In conclusion, one is taking the opportunity cost into consideration and while the other is not. The analysis of economic and accounting profit will help organizations understand their performance, future implementations, profitability, risk, market position and financial stability. It would also help stakeholders take critical decision like where to invest or how to get good returns.


Priyanka  | DBPC Blog

Non-conventional forms of saving

You decide to peruse through the mall and promise yourself that you are only going to window shop but then a leather jacket in the store window catches your eye. It looks similar to the jacket you liked on Instagram last week. It’s $250 but tell to yourself that you’re not buying lunches for a week to make up for the jacket. The credit card bill comes up and you’re shocked at how much you’ve spent this month. Those daily coffees, lunches, social gatherings at that new trendy restaurant you saw on Yelp on top of your monthly utility, phone and cable bill have added up. Suddenly, purchasing that leather jacket does not seem like a good decision.

Don’t beat yourself up. You’re not alone. According to Statistics Canada, in 2009, the average household in Canada spent $71,120 yearly. On average, almost 52 per cent went to food, shelter and clothing. While the necessities are accounted for, the other 48 per cent can be saved!

Typically, when one thinks of saving, one thinks of more traditional methods such as bonds, mutual funds and stocks. While these traditional ways are effective, here are some non-traditional ideas that may help you save those extra dollars.

  1. It’s time to axe your cable. I know it sounds crazy but hear me out. With the efficiency of technology, you can now hook up your TV to the internet and watch whatever you want, whenever! With services like Netflix, CraveTV and Amazon Prime, you can watch movies and TV shows at a much lower cost. According to a study by market research firm NPD Group, cable bills will soon grow to an average of $123 per month, or $1,476 per year. Sorry telecom companies, but people are taking their money back!
  2. Share your accounts. Did you know that Netflix, Apple Music and many gyms offer shared memberships? Sharing your accounts with friends and family will allow you to continue the lifestyle you have without spending an astronomical amount each month. Sharing is caring – your wallet needs some loving too!
  3. Did you know there are a ton of money management apps that are user-friendly and easy to adopt into your daily lives? Apps like Mint, Goodbudget and Mvelopes will help you track daily expenses and calculate the amount you would need to save to stay within budget. Seeing those numbers will help you monitor and alter your spending habits as you go. Many of these apps are also free!
  4. In addition to money management apps, there are also discount/coupon apps that will help you find great deals on groceries, furniture and much more! Apps like Snap by Groupon, Checkout 51 and Zweet have filter options, including distance, store preference and deals-of-the-day/week.
  5. Do you often find yourself justifying your actions and spending because of “FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)” and “YOLO (You Only Live Once)”? Here’s a suggestion – limit your time on social media sites. When you see photos of your friends on vacation, an OOTD (outfit of the day), parties, you will find yourself suddenly wanting things you didn’t think you wanted before! Chances are that you don’t really need these items. As the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind!”
  6. Finally, evaluate your expenses at the end of each week – update, review and adjust your budget and accounts accordingly. Track your progress against your financial goals and the previous weeks. Once you get into this habit and start to notice how much you’re saving, you’ll feel a great sense of satisfaction! Saving doesn’t have to be a chore! Humans are creatures of habit and your future self will thank you!



V. Pang | DBPC Blog

Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility

Sometimes a company’s reputation precedes them. This makes all the difference between public perception of the much beloved Walt Disney Company and the recently-vilified Nestlé. Casual consumers look to Disney and associate the brand with their numerous charitable acts like contributions to disaster relief foundations and volunteer efforts. Meanwhile, Nestlé is so engulfed with controversies at the moment that it is difficult to disassociate them from the accusations (child slavery, water exploitation, and rainforest destruction) that have plagued them.

In a company’s effort to improve their public reputation, they will often institute a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy. It ensures that the company’s philosophy and business decisions will ultimately be beneficial to society and the environment and is a method of self-regulation. It is usually linked to their industry, speaking directly to the interests of consumers and shareholders.

Starbucks, Disney and Google have approached their CSR policies in unique ways, involving communities, charities, and attempting to inspire other companies to follow in their footsteps.

Starbucks C. A. F. E.

Starbucks’ C. A. F. E. practices has been the company’s method of ensuring the ethical sourcing of their coffee. It is a popular staple amongst activists and humanitarians for more than a decade. The C. A. F. E program combines quality and economic accountability with social responsibility and environmental leadership. This simply means that the beans have been produced and delivered by ethical means, devoid of child or forced labor. It provides better working and trading conditions for farmers across South America, Asia and Africa. This program has made Starbucks seem the ideal choice for the more compassionate java-lovers.

Volunteerism at Disney

Walt Disney has always encouraged employees to give their time to community service programs like VoluntEARS which provides volunteer services to charitable not-for-profit organizations. It focuses primarily on projects benefitting children and families through the focused support of education, health, the environment, arts and social service initiatives. Since 2012, the VoluntEARS program has contributed a total of more than 2.9 million hours of service. These efforts helped cement Walt Disney’s public profile as a philanthropic leader.

Google Green

Heads turned when Google announced plans to be powered 100 percent by renewable energy in 2017. This means a full transformation of all their data centers around the world. The search engine titan announced that their plans aren’t just for the sake of having a more cost-efficient option, but to reduce their carbon footprint as technology companies now account for two percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. With climate change being a such a contentious issue and in the forefront of the public’s mind, Google doing their best to help through the use of renewable energy helps make them one of the most reputable companies on the globe.



A. Correa | DBPC Blog