Fairfax consortium inks deal for BlackBerry

Fairfax consortium inks deal for BlackBerry

A Canadian flag flies at BlackBerry’s headquarters in Waterloo, Ont., Tuesday, July 9, 2013. Fairfax Financial Holdings has offered to buy BlackBerry Ltd. Toronto-based Fairfax is offering US$9 cash for each share it doesn’t already own, in a deal that values BlacKBerry at about US$4.7 billion.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Robins

TORONTO – A multi-billion dollar takeover of BlackBerry by one of its largest shareholders is far from a done deal, and could still hit several snags along the way, say analysts familiar with the troubled smartphone maker.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based company announced that a consortium led by Canadian investment firm Fairfax Financial (TSX:FFH) is moving ahead with the deal worth US$4.7-billion.

But MKM Partners analyst Mike Genovese says the acquisition, valued at US$9-per-share, is a case of Canadian private equity investors trying to rescue their investment when few others are interested.

He says if Blackberry had interested buyers, Fairfax would have never had to push for this transaction, which he says was also partly done to stabilize Blackberry’s eroding stock value.

Analyst Troy Crandall of Montreal investment firm MacDougall, MacDougall and MacTier says the deal is positive for shareholders because “it relieves the uncertainty and volatility.”

The price was above BlackBerry’s recent value on public markets, following the company’s announcement Friday that it will cut about 40 per cent of its global workforce, about 4,500 jobs, and record a writedown of nearly $1 billion.

Under the deal announced Monday,

Article source: http://money.ca.msn.com/savings-debt/yourmoney/fairfax-consortium-inks-deal-for-blackberry-3

Small startups turn to crowdfunding

MONTREAL – Entrepreneur Paul Chipperton aims to raise $129,000 by the end of October for marketing a technology that can suspend the arrival of distracting emails, text messages and phone calls to handheld and other devices.

But he’s leaving this fundraising to online, not to the banks or venture capital. In a growing movement called crowdfunding, entrepreneurs make video pitches to consumers to help get their projects to market. It all comes down to whether the amount of donations meet the startup company’s funding target and deadline.

Chipperton is putting his MyFocus Solution product on the U.S.-based crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, which launched in Canada earlier this month.

“If you don’t make that threshold number, the project doesn’t get funded and you go about your business,” said Chipperton, CEO of CanFocus Technologies Inc. in Toronto.

Chipperton described his product as a “little force field of solitude” to help people get their work done without electronic distractions.

In essence, MyFocus uses software to put messages and calls in a “holding pattern” on cellphones, laptops and tablets for up to two hours with no ringing or buzzing or alerts, he said. Consumers can download the app for their smartphones and tablets or plug a small device into their computers.

By pledging $5 to $8,000, donors can receive various rewards — including T-shirts, the product, or becoming an observer at meetings of the company’s board of directors for a year — for their cash on Kickstarter.

“It’s a transaction. You put money down and you get something back.”

Even with

Article source: http://money.ca.msn.com/savings-debt/yourmoney/small-startups-turn-to-crowdfunding-2

Consumers making mortgage payments priority again

Consumers making mortgage payments priority again

In this May 6, 2013, photo, a home is for sale in Mt. Lebanon, Pa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Gene J. Puskar

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The steady rise in U.S. home values is increasingly motivating homeowners to make paying their mortgage on time a priority, according to a new study.

Credit reporting agency TransUnion said Thursday that it examined late-payment rates between 2009 and 2012 on mortgages, credit cards and auto loans among consumers with the three types of financial obligations.

The study, which looked at payment data culled from about 20 million consumers a month, found that consumers were more likely to make timely payments on their auto loans ahead of credit cards and home loans.

But through last year, coinciding with a gradual increase in home values, the late-payment rate on mortgages nearly closed the gap with credit cards.

That suggests a return to behaviour before the housing bust, when financially distressed borrowers typically prioritized paying their mortgage ahead of credit cards, TransUnion said.

“With continued improvements in housing prices, it’s probable that by the end of 2013 we will see the majority of consumers paying their mortgages ahead of their credit cards,” said Steve Chaouki, a group vice-president in TransUnion’s financial services business unit.

During the last recession, many Americans reined in spending in favour of paying off debt, particularly credit card balances. The housing downturn also prompted many homeowners to make paying their credit card

Article source: http://money.ca.msn.com/savings-debt/yourmoney/consumers-making-mortgage-payments-priority-again-2

How to start a new career post retirement

TORONTO – Some would call it a fluke, but Marita Brandes says the shoulder injury that forced her off the tennis court and into a yoga studio 13 years ago was “a little bit of intervention from the universe.”

Brandes was surprised when she showed up for an introductory class and realized she had signed up for yoga teacher training.

But the ocean freight manager decided to stick with it and, 10 years later, after retiring, she started teaching yoga full-time out of her basement studio in Oakville, Ont.

As Canadians live longer, many find themselves taking on new careers after retirement. For some, working may be necessary to make ends meet as their retirement savings dwindle. But starting up a new career can also help retirees stave off boredom and stay active.

“People are working a little longer at their primary career, and even in retirement they’re saying, ‘I could have 20, 25, even 30 years in retirement,'” says Christopher Cartwright, president of The Financial Education Institute of Canada.

“So they need to think about the financial side of it.”

However, reinventing yourself in a new career can be daunting. Cartwright suggests taking an inventory of what you’re good at and figuring out how to apply it in a new way.

“The easiest road is to look at your life skills, knowledge and experience and ask yourself where that can be put to good use,” said Cartwright.

That’s just what Norbert Breitbach did after retiring from his role as vice-president of human resources at a multinational transportation

Article source: http://money.ca.msn.com/savings-debt/yourmoney/how-to-start-a-new-career-post-retirement

Google releases digital wallet app for iPhones

SAN FRANCISCO – Google is bringing its digital wallet to the iPhone in its latest attempt to upstage Apple on its own popular device.

Thursday’s release of the Google Wallet app represents a challenge to the Passbook program that Apple has built into the iPhone’s operating system.

Both Google Wallet and Passbook allow iPhone users to store loyalty cards from some merchants and scan coupons offering discounts.

Google Wallet also allows its users to send money and make purchases on some mobile websites by storing a debit or credit card account on the app. Payment information can also be stored in Passbook.

The arrival of Google Wallet on the iPhone comes a few days after a similar version was released to smartphones running on Google’s Android software.

Google gives away Android for free, a factor that has helped siphon sales away from the iPhone by enabling other smartphone makers to sell their devices at cheaper prices. About three out of every four smartphones sold during the first half of this year ran on Android software, according to the research firm Gartner Inc. In comparison, the iPhone had a 16 per cent share of the worldwide market.

The higher-priced iPhones tend to attract more affluent consumers who are more likely to spend money through their devices, one of the reasons that Google is eager to connect with Apple customers.

Google has previously sought to outshine Apple’s built-in iPhone apps with its digital maps and a mobile version of its Chrome browser.

By getting people to use its services on

Article source: http://money.ca.msn.com/savings-debt/yourmoney/google-releases-digital-wallet-app-for-iphones-3

New professions popping up in workplaces

New professions popping up in workplaces

Personal trainer Janel Gauger, 28, of Irvine, Calif., teaches people to dance off the pounds with Zumba, moving to music with a Latin beat in a 2007 file photo. Online job site Workopolis says jobs like zumba fitness instructor, big data analyst and search engine optimization specialist are occupations that didn’t exist a decade ago but among those experiencing rapid growth these days. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chelsea J. Carter

Jobs like zumba or yoga instructor, big data analyst and search engine optimization specialist are fast growing, new jobs that didn’t exist a decade ago and are most likely to be filled by younger workers, according to a study by Workopolis.

“It shows the evolution of technology and how quickly things are moving and how people and businesses need to adapt,” said Tara Talbot, vice-president of human resources at the online job site.

Other jobs that Workopolis said didn’t exist 10 years ago include online community manager, mobile applications developer, sustainability expert and elder-care services co-ordinator.

The non-technology jobs show a focus on the environment, health and wellness, Talbot said Tuesday.

While the technology-oriented jobs are more likely to be filled by those who have grown up in the digital age, it doesn’t mean that older workers can’t do them, she added.

For those who haven’t been keeping up with all of the new jobs, a zumba instructor gives dance-fitness workouts to Latin and international music. Workopolis didn’t have a

Article source: http://money.ca.msn.com/savings-debt/yourmoney/new-professions-popping-up-in-workplaces-1

Health tops money for aging boomers

(Special) – With so many studies coming out these days saying Canadians are not financially prepared for their retirement, it may come as a bit of surprise to hear that money is not necessarily the biggest concern of baby boomers who are heading into that phase of their lives.

A recent poll by RBC has found that Canada’s younger boomers between the ages of 50 and 59 are more concerned about their physical rather than their financial health.

Seventy per cent ranked changes to their physical health above finances on the list of top challenges they expect to face in retirement. Finances ranked a distant second with 57 per cent expecting changes to income to be a challenge in retirement.

Within that ranking 73 per cent of men said they are particularly concerned about changes to their health compared to 66 per cent for women.

“Younger boomers are more health conscious as they near and enter retirement,” says Amalia Costa, head of retirement strategies and successful aging at RBC. “Watching their older relatives and friends age has made this generation more aware that good health is not something to take for granted. What they aren’t yet as aware of is that health issues of their loved ones may have an impact on their retirement plans, not only on their finances but also in terms of time commitment and emotional stress.”

Retirement in itself might actually be injurious to your health.

According to a study out of the United Kingdom, retirement over the long term can increase

Article source: http://money.ca.msn.com/savings-debt/yourmoney/health-tops-money-for-aging-boomers

Canada Post launches e-commerce pilot

TORONTO – Four major retail brands and Canada Post are launching a same-day delivery service for online orders in the Toronto area.

The Delivered Tonight e-commerce service is a pilot project with Best Buy, Future Shop, Indigo and Walmart.

The Crown corporation provided few details in its announcement Tuesday.

However, reports in local newspapers say the service is generally aiming to deliver parcels between 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. if they’re ordered by 12:30 p.m.

The exact cut-off times for orders and prices will vary by retailer.

Walmart.ca is testing the service by upgrading some orders placed before 11:30 a.m. to free same-day delivery. The other three will charge $13.95 per order for same-day delivery, with cutoff times varying between 11 a.m. for Best Buy and Future Shop and 12:30 p.m. for Indigo.

Article source: http://money.ca.msn.com/savings-debt/yourmoney/canada-post-launches-e-commerce-pilot-3

New jobs experiencing quick growth:study

New jobs experiencing quick growth:study

Personal trainer Janel Gauger, 28, of Irvine, Calif., teaches people to dance off the pounds with Zumba, moving to music with a Latin beat in a 2007 file photo. Online job site Workopolis says jobs like zumba fitness instructor, big data analyst and search engine optimization specialist are occupations that didn’t exist a decade ago but among those experiencing rapid growth these days. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chelsea J. Carter

TORONTO – Online job site Workopolis says jobs like zumba fitness instructor, big data analyst and search engine optimization specialist are occupations that didn’t exist a decade ago but among those experiencing rapid growth these days.

Workopolis says that close to 300,000 jobs went unfilled in the second quarter of 2013, indicating there are opportunities for young professionals.

Other jobs that Workopolis says didn’t exist 10 years ago include online community manager, mobile applications developer, sustainability expert and elder-care services co-ordinator.

It notes that growing up in a digital world gives younger workers an advantage over older people returning to the workforce.

Workopolis also says it has seen a 16 per cent growth in part-time positions and a five per cent increase in contract jobs year-over-year.

Jobs such as administrative assistant, customer service representative, merchandiser and personal banking officer trainee are among the top 10 jobs that Workopolis says are most in demand for students and new graduates.

Article source: http://money.ca.msn.com/savings-debt/yourmoney/new-jobs-experiencing-quick-growthstudy