Ian Smith

About the Author Ian Smith

With 15 years of experience in the field of strategic intelligence, online marketing and economic development, Ian has built quite a career for himself. From being a managing editor for the first online magazine for global strategic intelligence professionals to co-authoring The Canadian Cities Online Marketing Index©, Ian knows how to use the internet to find information and market efficiently. He has written several training courses for foreign trade professionals, articles and blog posts on the subject of online research tools and methodologies and the use of social media tools to promote regions for economic development initiatives. He has worked in the public and private sectors. Currently, he is Senior Research Analyst at LGP Real Estate Strategies. Ian has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Marketing from Concordia University in Montreal (1997).

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The Many Faces of Financial Literacy

November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada Financial literacy is an important skill that needs to be honed by everyone, whether you are rich or poor. Although financial literacy can assist in helping you manage your money, the subject is much broader, encompassing topics from understanding the Canadian banking system to fraud prevention. Here are eight topics that you should consider taking a closer look at in order to improve your knowledge of financial literacy and associated skills. 1) Banking – Since banks are the source of cash deposits and withdrawals, consider informing yourself regarding personal accounts, online banking, deposit …

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Not Knowing Your Consumer Rights Can Be Costly

From pre-paid cards to buy now, pay later purchases to gym memberships I overheard the following conversation at the a bus stop outside a pharmacy. Person #1:  I think that I was just overcharged for the bars of soap by this store.   The sticker on the shelf said $2.99 but when I got to the checkout counter, the cashier charged me  $4.99. Person #2: If that is the case, go back and say something.  People do make mistakes. Person #1: Well, by the time I get back to the cash and ask for a price check, I will miss the …

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Dealing With Bank Fees

Do you even wonder how big banks make billions of dollars, even in the most difficult economic times?   While they have made millions in interest from various personal financing tools (credit cards, loans and mortgages) investing in the markets and holding assets in the form of real estate properties, they easily generate profits thanks to bank fees.   From debit purchases to overdrafts, banks attach fees to various products and services with the objectives to make more money on an annual basis.   Unfortunately, some clients are not aware of the fees that continue to drain their bank accounts. Below are eight …

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8 Tips To Deal With Bank Fees

Do you even wonder how big banks make billions of dollars, even in the most difficult economic times? While they have made millions in interest from various personal financing tools (i.e., credit cards, loans and mortgages), investing in the markets and holding assets in the form of real estate properties, they easily generate massive profits thanks to bank fees. From debit purchases to overdrafts, banks attach fees to various products and services with the objective of making more money annually.   Unfortunately, some clients are not aware of the fees that continue to drain their bank accounts. Below are eight tips …

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10 Questions To Ask A Financial Planner

In my previous article I highlighted seven possible signs to look for that might indicate you may need a financial planner. After recognizing that working with a planner is a very good idea and a worthwhile investment, the next logical step is to find the right professional. This can be done in various ways, asking at your bank, getting a referral from a friend or family member, or searching the Internet. Regardless of how you will find a possible financial planner, you will have to sit down with the individual to evaluate if he or she is the right individual …

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7 Signs That It’s Time To Talk To a financial Planner

Seeking professional help is always a good thing. Whether it is seeing a doctor for an annual check-up or a dreaded visit to the dentist, we entrust professionals to monitor and manage various aspects of our lives for our own benefit. Working with a financial planner is no different. Although it does not rank as important as having access to a doctor, a financial planner can offer individuals various benefits in terms of money management through various periods of one’s life. One of the myths that some individuals have about working with a financial planner is that you have to …

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8 Tips To Deal With Bank Fees

Do you ever wonder how the big banks continue to make billions of dollars, even in the most difficult economic times? While they have made millions in interest from various personal financing tools (i.e., credit cards, loans and mortgages), investing in the markets and holding assets in the form of real estate, they easily generate profits thanks to bank fees. From debit purchases to overdrafts, banks attach fees to various products and services with the objective of making more money annually. Unfortunately, some clients are not aware of the fees that continue to drain their bank accounts. Below are eight …

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8 Basic Things That You Should Know About A Registered Education Savings Plan

As we saw in the student protests in 2012, school tuition fees in Quebec are a sore spot for some individuals. Although Quebec offers students the cheapest price for post-secondary education, students contend that they (or their parents) do not have the means to pay for a quality education.   Unfortunately, a quality education does not come cheap and costs will only increase in the future. To prepare for this, students and parents must have a strict savings plan in place. Of course, a separate savings account can be used where funds can be deposited on a consistent basis; however, a …

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What We Should Know About Personal Line of Credit

When a bank provides a client with a personal line of credit, it does so with the understanding that the funds will be used for various reasons. For some individuals, the money will be used to finance their latest spending spree or be a source of insurance when it is needed.  Regardless of how the money will be used, the bank will always profit from offering the financial product. As a potential or current user of a personal line of credit, do you know how to best manage it without paying extra fees and interest? Below are 9 basic things …

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Why Should It Be Your Problem?

Universal Accessibility in Montreal Imagine being discriminated not because of the colour of your skin, but because of the mobility aid that you utilize. Imagine, if you will, a feeling of uncertainty at your nearby bus stop knowing that you may not be able to embark the bus, not because it is packed to capacity, or that you do not have exact change for the fare, but because you use a mobility aid to go about your daily business. You would think that Montreal, a major metropolis with a diverse cultural makeup, would not have a problem accommodating its citizens …

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