26 Oct

Is It TIme To Lock Into A Fixed Rate? Protect Yourself From Credit Card Fraud


Posted by: Gerry Gillan

Mark Carney sees more than a year of soft growth

The deteriorating global picture is turning what had been a soft patch for Canada’s export-heavy economy into more than a year of sluggish growth, the Bank of Canada said today in a new quarterly forecast.

 A day after leaving their benchmark interest rate at 1% for a ninth consecutive meeting, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney and his officials fleshed out why they believe the economy will perform below its potential until 2013, and why they’re unfazed by hotter-than-expected inflation in recent months.

 Plus, although the central bank sees things improving within two years, policymakers again stressed that a failure to contain the European debt crisis could mean an even bleaker few months ahead.

 “The economic outlook in Canada has weakened, reflecting the substantially downgraded outlook for the global economy,” Carney and his policy team said today in their Monetary Policy Report.

 Click here to read more in the Globe and Mail.

 Is it time to lock into a fixed-rate mortgage?

 It’s one of the most agonizing decisions homeowners make: Do you go fixed or variable? Mortgage, that is.

 The decision could end up costing – or saving – big bucks on what is often the single biggest purchase many will make. Research shows that, in the past, a variable-rate mortgage has been cheaper than a fixed-rate one.

 But today’s market is different from decades past in two big ways.

 “The spread between fixed and variable rates is extremely low by historical standards. Moreover, we can no longer rely on a long-term down-trend in rates,” said Robert McLister, a Vancouver-based mortgage planner and editor of the CanadianMortgageTrends.com blog. “Given all that, the historical advantage of variable is less applicable today.”

 It can be confusing for homeowners. Both interest and short-term mortgage rates are sitting at rock-bottom lows. But inflation is the wild card here. Statistics Canada reported on Friday that the core inflation rate has climbed to 2.2% – its highest level in nearly three years.

 Click here for the full Globe and Mail article.

 B.C. lawyer tackles CIBC over mortgages

 You just made the largest purchase of your life based on borrowing more than you ever have before. Are you really going to bother reading that 25-page contract with all the rules on your mortgage?

 The answer is usually no. The truth is you should.

 The ambiguity in mortgage contracts has landed more than one consumer in trouble they didn’t anticipate and now it has spawned a class-action lawsuit against one of Canada’s largest banks.

 Kieran Bridge, a Vancouver-based lawyer with the Construction Law Group, has filed a lawsuit against CIBC over what he describes as vague language over early payment of mortgages. The suit was filed in British Columbia and Ontario this month.

 Click here for the full Financial Post article.

 Video: How to protect yourself from credit card fraud

The Globe and Mail’s Rob Carrick takes a look at how you can protect yourself from ATM and credit card fraud.

 Click here to view the Globe and Mail video.