A Money Coach in Canada

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Contributed by MJ Ankermann, Urbanista, a vancouver realtor.

After watching Live Earth and thoroughly enjoying it, I started thinking about the changes I have been seeing in the condo market in Vancouver in the past year. While condo dwelling in itself is green living, as we take less of a footprint on the land, it has been hard to participate as far as function and design.

That has been changing as we are seeing condo developments being built with ‘green” concepts. To name a few there is: The Donavan in Yaletown that is being built with a geothermal heat pump system that is considered by Natural Resources Canada, to be the most energy efficient, environmentally clean and cost-effective space conditioning system available.

There is also the huge Southeast False Creek Sustainability Community Plan, which includes private developers such as Polygon with The Foundry, building according to LEED Green Building Standards. These standards include green roofs and the implementation of car sharing programs, something which The Capitol in downtown Vancouver is also doing.

sam-sullivan.jpgThere is also the extensive Eco-density Plan put forth by The City of Vancouver and spearheaded by our mayor Sam Sullivan. These are policies and designs that are going to shape our future and help us keep the pledges from yesterday’s world concert.

Now here’s some really fun economic gossip!

celphone.jpg1. Turns out Rogers Canada (owned in large part by AT&T) charges Canadians about 6 (six!) times the price for wireless data than AT&T charges their US customers. Canada: $299/month. US: $63/month. There’s an online petition to Rogers if you care to protest.

2. And on the tech theme, Google just bought Postini Inc. What’s postini? It provides security for e-mail. This means gmail will become even more popular. Google’s stock price rose by $3.16US, while Microsoft fell by 10ยข.

3. But that’s all boring compared to what’s happening in China, with their answer go google. It’s a search engine called Baitu, its stock is up 78% this year, and profits will likely increase by 45% each year over the next few years. Its current stock price (P) is also trading at over 100 times what each share earned (E) last year – P/E ratio of 107. (note: this is just a blog! Do your own research – I’m not a financial advisor, simply a humble money coach at Your Money by Design.

Do I have a great prize for you! If you’re looking for a new bank, or need to set up a business account, and if you are not currently a VanCity member, I’ve got 2 great deals to give away:

1. Personal Banking at Vancity– new account. Includes these bonuses:

  • 1 yr free fee chq (then I recommened their $7 electronic pkg. as long as you’re a do-it-yourself-er, it’s the least expensive banking product I know of)
  • enviroGold visa – $99 fee waived first year. great points pkg.
  • peferred term rate – usually available only if you have a serious chunk of change in terms (note: this is for locked in terms)
  • line of credit at prime +1 (up to $10K)
  • staff mtg rate
  • 10% off insurance products (except life ins.)

2. Business Banking – at Vancity

  • Fee free chq account for 1 yr
  • $100 credit towards cheques
  • LOC at prime (up to $25K)
  • Expense GoldVisa card )($99 waived first yr)\
  • 5% off business insurance

Interested? Here’s the deal.

1. Respond with a comment below, stating 1 thing you do to save money in greater Vancouver.

2. Then send me an e-mail stating which account you’re interested in. I’ll enter you in the draw: contest closes next Wed., June 20th. (note: you will still need to qualify for credit products – ie., credit score etc.)

ps – full disclosure: I work part-time for one of Vancity’s subsidiaries, Citizens Bank of Canada, hence I am able to offer these. It’s a staff inside-scoop.

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