Thieves steal millions of PC Optimum points, go on shopping sprees

a person posing for the camera: Geri-Lynn Slogotski of Victoria lost 120,000 points after someone apparently hacked her PC Optimum account.© Geri-Lynn Slogotski
Geri-Lynn Slogotski of Victoria lost 120,000 points after someone apparently hacked her PC Optimum account.

Lenore Biever lost more than one million PC Optimum rewards points after someone apparently hacked her account and went on a shopping spree.

Popular Searches

0000


ISPVX


TSP60


TX40

The points — which are worth more than $1,000 in product rewards — were spent on March 7 at two Loblaws-owned Pharmaprix drug stores in Laval, Que.

Biever lives in Saskatoon and has never been to Quebec.

“I was shocked,” she said, after discovering the bogus transactions plus an indication that a mystery cellphone had been linked to her online account. “I’m still in shock, like how did [the thief] figure it out?”

Other PC Optimum members are asking the same question.

CBC News interviewed eight people across Canada who say they’ve each had more than 100,000 points stolen from their accounts after Loblaws merged its two rewards programs — PC Plus and Shoppers Optimum — to form PC Optimum on Feb. 1.

The reported thefts are just one more problem plaguing Loblaws, which is already dealing with technical glitches with PC Optimum, and fallout from a bread price-fixing scandal , including related fallout over asking

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/thieves-steal-millions-of-pc-optimum-points-go-on-shopping-sprees/ar-BBKyefk?srcref=rss

Opinion: Canada’s protectionist attitude is stalling NAFTA

In this Oct. 17, 2017, file photo, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, centre, with Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, left, and Mexico's Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, right, speaks during the conclusion of the fourth round of negotiations for a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in Washington.: nbsp;© AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
 

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN.ca or Microsoft.

Popular Searches

0000


ISPVX


TSP60


TX40

It’s encouraging that the pesky auto sector portion of the NAFTA negotiations seems to be heading toward consensus, but there are still some major issues to be resolved and not a whole lot of time to get a deal done.

Both the United States and Mexico want a new NAFTA deal this spring because of upcoming elections in both countries, but the holdup seems to be Canada’s protectionist attitude on some key issues.

Canada’s supply management program, which subsidizes the dairy industry, has been a major sticking point, but Canada has other protectionist programs for the poultry and wine industries and of course, the contentious telecommunications field, where companies like Verizon would love to have access to Canadian markets and online shopping entities like Amazon, would like to see Canadian

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/bill-kelly-canada%E2%80%99s-protectionist-attitude-is-stalling-nafta/ar-BBKyl8c?srcref=rss

Approaching retirement? Here are some ideas to keep you busy

Keeping busy during retirement is important for cognitive health—in fact, studies have shown that short-term memory can decline 40 per cent faster once someone stops working. If you’re gearing up for retirement, avoid this by filling your days with enjoyable, stimulating activities.

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/retirement/approaching-retirement-here-are-some-ideas-to-keep-you-busy/ss-BBKynZL?srcref=rss

Beware of clauses in alternative lender mortgages



a sign on the side of a building


© Provided by thecanadianpress.com


TORONTO – Samantha Brookes has been warning Canadians to take a close look at the clauses in their mortgage contracts for years, but her refrain has become a bit more prevalent in recent months.

Since the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions’ mortgage stress test was implemented in January, the founder of the Mortgages of Canada brokerage has seen “a huge influx” of Canadians who fail to qualify for a bank mortgage turning to alternative lenders that range from risky loan sharks to larger, more conventional companies like Home Trust.

While alternative lenders can provide a lifeline for Canadians who have run out of other financing options, Brookes said they come with pitfalls for those who don’t bother looking at the fine print.

“You need to read those contracts,” she said. “(With an alternative lender), the interest rates are higher, the qualifying rate is higher than if you were going with a traditional bank and they are going to charge one per cent of the mortgage amount (as a lender’s fee) for closing, so that means your closing costs increase.”

Alternative lenders tend to offer less wiggle room on their terms, so Brookes said that means you should pay special attention to another dangerous term she’s seen slipped into mortgage contracts: the sale-only clause.

It’s less common, Brookes said, but if left in, it

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/homeandproperty/beware-of-clauses-in-alternative-lender-mortgages/ar-BBKyXsl?srcref=rss

Vancouver cannabis firm appoints Gene Simmons as ‘CEO’

© ERIC GAILLARD/Newscom/Reuters
A Canadian cannabis company has teamed up with a rock star widely known for abstaining from drugs and alcohol.

Vancouver-based Invictus MD Strategies has appointed KISS frontman Gene Simmons its “chief evangelist officer,” responsible for leading the company in areas like public awareness, branding, and marketing.

Popular Searches

0000


ISPVX


TSP60


TX40

In a press release, Invictus CEO Dan Kriznic described Simmons as a “branding and merchandising genius,” who “has spent decades building successful brands internationally in various industries.”

Aside from building a famous rock band, Simmons has created and managed his own record label, a publishing company and reality TV shows, and has worked with names like IndyCar and luxury carmaker McLaren.

Simmons said when they met, he and Kriznic bonded over their shared life and family values.

“Instead of launching straight into business, we talked about the things that matter the most,” Simmons said in the release.

Russell Stanley of Echelon Wealth Partners said the partnership should help boost exposure for Invictus, which is expected to receive a Health Canada inspection later this month.

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/vancouver-cannabis-company-invictus-md-appoints-gene-simmons-as-ceo/ar-BBKqU1j?srcref=rss

Canada’s six big banks have ‘insufficient’ protection for people

© Provided by thecanadianpress.com

Canada’s financial consumer watchdog plans to expand its probe of business practices — which found that the country’s six biggest banks had “insufficient” controls in place to prevent sales of products that are misrepresented or unsuitable for customers — to the next tier of small and medium sized financial institutions.

Popular Searches

0000


ISPVX


TSP60


TX40

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada examined 4,500 complaints as part of its latest review of the Big Six banks, the findings of which it released Tuesday, and found grievances about other institutions as well, said the agency’s commissioner Lucie Tedesco.

It plans to “cascade” down its probe to other federally-regulated institutions, such as smaller banks, federal credit unions and federal trust companies, she added.

“There are issues with the medium or smaller banks… Our review may not be as intensive, we will have to see what measures they have put in place once we get there,” Tedesco said in an interview.

The FCAC commissioner’s comments come as the agency released the findings of an intensive review of business practices across Canada’s Big Six banks, launched last April following media reports alleging questionable sales tactics such as selling services without the consent of customers.

The probe did not find widespread misselling, defined as selling products that are unsuitable or where the consumer is provided with

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/fcac-to-probe-practices-at-smaller-banks/ar-BBKtejI?srcref=rss

Stocks little changed as market awaits Fed’s rate decision

Stocks were little changed Wednesday as traders looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s latest decision on monetary policy as well as Jerome Powell’s first news conference as chair.

The Dow and SP 500 both opened around the flatline, while the Nasdaq composite added 0.15 percent. Chevron was the best-performing Dow component, while the SP 500 energy sector outperformed.

Wall Street largely expects the central bank to announce a rate hike after a two-day meeting. Market expectations for a 25 basis-point bump in overnight rates were at 94.4 percent, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool. Investors will also look for clues about the Fed’s tightening trajectory for the rest of 2018.

“First, they will hike rates 25 bps to 1.50-1.75%. Second, there will be an obsession with the dot plot,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Financial Group, in a note.

The so-called dot plot refers to the Fed funds rate projections from the central bank’s policymakers. The last batch of dot plots, released in December, showed the Fed expects to raise rates three times this year. Some market experts believe it is possible the Fed could increase its 2018 projections to four rate hikes.

The central bank will announce its decision Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET. Wall Street will also zero in on Chair Powell’s first news conference in the position at 2:30 p.m. ET.

“Anything is possible in Powell’s press conference but I’m inclined to think he wants it to be as boring as possible because why talk about a 4th hike

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/markets/stocks-little-changed-as-market-awaits-feds-rate-decision/ar-BBKuZxB?srcref=rss

How you can outperform the TSX in a bear market

a statue of an elephant© Provided by Fool

The global stock market correction at the beginning of February may have worried you, and you may be concerned that another market correction or, even worse, that a bear market might be coming soon.

If the possibility of a bear market worries you, you can prepare yourself for it. It’s possible to outperform the TSX in a bear market.

Don’t panic

Popular Searches

0000


ISPVX


TSP60


TX40

First, it’s important that you don’t panic. Staying disciplined and keeping calm is the best attitude.

Unless you need your savings for a short-term expense, selling your stocks after their value has declined will materialize what was previously virtual losses. To make money with stocks, you need to buy low and sell high, not the other way around.

Keep your goals and your long-term outlook in mind. Don’t panic when your stocks fall in value. If you are investing for your retirement in 30 years, your long investment horizon allows you to take more risks. You have time to regain what you have lost.

Moreover, if you look at markets performance over many years, you will see that they have always risen over the long term, despite short-term declines. To limit your losses, make sure your portfolio is well diversified.

If you are retired or close to retirement, you should secure a portion

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/how-you-can-outperform-the-tsx-in-a-bear-market/ar-BBKsL0l?srcref=rss

How Doug Ford’s tax plan could bring back a housing bubble

a man wearing a suit and tie: Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford holds a unity rally in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young© Used with permission of / © Rogers Media Inc. 2018.
Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford holds a unity rally in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Election season is the time or politicians to throw out outlandish proposals to see what sticks. So it’s not entirely surprising that Ontario PC leader Doug Ford mused recently about abolishing the 15 per cent non-resident buyer tax on real estate, which was introduced last year by the Liberal government. But not only is such a move likely to win little popular support, it could also start re-inflating a housing bubble that policymakers have struggled to control.

Popular Searches

0000


ISPVX


TSP60


TX40

“I just don’t like the government getting involved,” Ford told the Globe and Mail. “I believe in the market dictating. The market, no matter whether it’s the stock market or anything, it will always take care of itself—supply and demand.” 

It’s a puzzling statement. “How that can possibly be a top priority, especially given very compelling evidence that said tax played a huge role in deflating the Toronto housing bubble in the past year, is a mystery,” wrote BMO chief

Article source: http://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/how-doug-ford%E2%80%99s-tax-plan-could-bring-back-a-housing-bubble/ar-BBKw4RE?srcref=rss