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Expert Advice

Recent Expert Advice

Rate cut could squeeze household budgets, says financial expert
January 15, 2016

Penticton, B.C.—With the Canadian dollar hitting lows not seen since 2003 and oil prices—a significant driver of the Canadian economy—continuing to tumble, some economists are now predicting the Bank of Canada will be forced to cut interest rates in a bid to keep the struggling Canadian economy growing.

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Opportunity for small businesses to grow with social media
October 18, 2015

Penticton, B.C.—Local businesses throughout B.C.’s southern Interior can compete more effectively with larger companies in their neighbourhoods by harnessing the largely-underused field of social media, says one local expert.

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Small business, big plans: Know where you’re going and how to get there
October 16, 2015

Penticton, B.C. — One of the biggest obstacles to starting a business is financial. While the dream may be free, 44 per cent of survey respondents cited a lack of start-up funds and 38 per cent stated the need for a steady income as the primary factors holding them back. Another barrier to building a business is being able to build a business plan.

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Data kidnapping a growing concern
October 14, 2015

Penticton, B.C.—Online extortion schemes that hold computer data—holiday photos, school assignments, business records and everything in between—for ransom are becoming all too common in the homes and businesses of British Columbians in the Southern Interior.

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Minimum wage could squeeze B.C. small business
July 29, 2015

Penticton, B.C.—Canadians continue to find themselves in the thick of a continent-wide minimum wage debate. While municipalities south of the border—like Los Angeles and New York—consider wage hikes, lobbying is in full force in British Columbians’ back yard.

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Think twice about splurging Universal Child Care Benefit, says financial expert
July 23, 2015

Penticton, B.C.—Thousands of parents across B.C. have started seeing a boon to their bank accounts. On July 20, the federal government started depositing or mailing out expanded universal child care benefit (UCCB) program payments to households across Canada.

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Rising bank fees prompt business owners to seek out better options
June 4, 2015

Penticton, B.C.—Recent news about bank fee increases at Canada’s major financial institutions has put many consumers on high alert to hidden account fees.

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Boosted Tax-Free Savings Account limit welcome news says financial expert
April 21, 2015

Penticton, B.C.—Today, the federal government unveiled its 2015 budget and announced an increase to the annual contribution limit for tax-free savings accounts (TFSA) to $10,000. The increase to the contribution limit for tax-free savings is welcome news to many financial experts.

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Mortgage insurance hike a good pause for thought for homebuyers
April 10, 2015

Penticton, B.C.—Canadian homebuyers will be paying just a little bit more to become homeowners in 2015. Come June, two of Canada’s three major high-ratio mortgage insurers, CMHC and Genworth, will increase their insurance premiums for buyers with a down payment of less than 10 per cent.

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Debt, budgeting mistakes dominate list of top money miscues
March 29, 2015

Penticton, B.C.—April Fool’s Day may be a great day for fun and pranks, but mishandling your money any day of the year is no laughing matter. A poll of wealth advisors at Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, recently revealed the biggest mistakes people are making with their money right now.

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Keeping Spring Break spending in check
March 11, 2015

Penticton, B.C.—Countless teen comedies would have us believe that Spring Break means it’s time to jet away to an exotic localefor some fun in the sun without any financial constraints.

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Avoid common investing mistakes and build your nest egg
November 24, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada and it comes at a time when Canadians’ saving habits are in the spotlight again—and not in a good way.

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Financial Literacy Month: Advisors help avoid common banking pitfalls
November 13, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada and it comes at a time when Canadians’ saving habits are in the spotlight again—and not in a good way.

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Travel insurance critical to mitigating risk when travelling abroad
October 31, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—While fear shouldn’t be the order of the day, Ebola has thrust questions about medical care while traveling abroad back into the spotlight. The epidemic may be considered isolated and outside-the-norm, but it points to the reality of risk when travelling internationally.

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Partnership approach essential to small business success, driving the economy
October 15, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—With small businesses dominating the Interior, Small Business Week, Oct. 19-25, is a time to celebrate the invaluable contribution these organizations make to British Columbia’s economy.

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Lack of planning could stall small business growth in a rebounding economy
October 14, 2014

Kamloops, B.C.—A recent Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) survey shows of B.C. small business owners are feeling confident about 2015 as they anticipate better business performance in the new year.

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How much are your free banking transactions really costing you?
September 30, 2014

“At Valley First, we believe in putting more money in our members’ pockets,” says Willers, “That’s why back in 2012 we introduced no-fee chequing with our Simply Free Account. Account holders receive unlimited cheque clearing and debit card transactions, free e-transfers within Canada, as well as ding-free access to a network of 3,200 ATMs across Canada.

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Don’t be leery of the cloud, just be wise
September 23, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—Round two of naked celebrity photo leak hit cyberspace this past Sunday. The latest hack attack—the second in less than a month—is again prompting many to ask: is my personal information like photos, videos or documents safe online, in the so-called “cloud”?

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Valley First parents share their tips on paying the birthday bills
September 15, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—Research shows Sept. 16 is the most popular birth date on the calendar and 10 of the most common birth dates fall in September. It’s little wonder it can seem like feast or famine when it comes to party planning or purchasing presents.

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Identity fraud upswing continues
September 9, 2014

Increased vigilance required to help protect finances

Penticton, B.C.—Though efforts to increase the public’s fraud awareness continue with full force, the number of Canadians falling prey to identity fraud is on the rise.

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Maximize your inheritance with these tips from a Valley First expert
July 31, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—Findings from a recent BMO survey indicating the average inheritance for British Columbians is just over $120,000 may be welcome news for many people as news of rising housing costs and increasing debt loads continue to dominate news headlines. In the same survey, more than half of Canadians polled indicated they received an inheritance at some point in their lives, with two-thirds acknowledging they will likely receive one in the future.

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Small businesses must dance to loonie’s tune
July 3, 2014

Devalued dollar a new norm for business owners

Penticton, B.C.—With now more than six months of a lower Canadian dollar in the marketplace, it appears a weaker loonie is here to stay for some time, even despite its recent rally. Financial pundits have taken the Bank of Canada’s latest hold on the overnight lending rate as a commitment to keep the dollar from soaring to the levels of the past several years. Small business owners must now come to terms with the new reality of a weaker currency.

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Tackling Debt: Valley First expert shares simple tips on how to prioritize your payment
July 2, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—News of the ongoing mortgage wars and lowering interest rates from financial institutions are dominating the headlines these days and while this may favour the consumer, it also presents a fitting time for many to reconsider how they are prioritizing their debt repayments.

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Opportunity knocks for Boomerang kids
June 24, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—Increasing debt levels, a stagnant job market and high housing costs are driving a growing number of twenty- and thirty-something back to the family home; however, it’s not all gloom-and-doom—there’s an upside for this so-called Boomerang generation.

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Valley First expert shares simple tips on saving for an emergency fund
June 19, 2014

Penticton, B.C.— Many parents and families across British Columbia were caught out this week when the ongoing B.C. teachers job action caused summer holidays started two weeks early.

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Valley First expert shares simple tips to help homeowners guard against water damage
June 3, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—When people buy home insurance, most people associate it with protection against fire, or robbery, or natural disasters like earthquakes or storms. It may come as a surprise to many that the number one source of danger to Canadian homes is actually water damage. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, water damage has surpassed fire as the leading cause of personal property claims in Canada, and in the last year alone, 30,000 homes across the country experienced some form of water damage.

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Home buyers advised to look beyond their mortgage rate to find best deal
April 22, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—With the return of the so called “mortgage wars” many potential home buyers are looking to take advantage of five-year fixed-rate mortgage specials hovering below the three per cent interest mark. Valley First experts advise, however, buyers should take note of more than just their interest rate.

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The housing bubble: Valley First expert shares advice for potential homebuyers looking to enter the market
April 15, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) recent announcement of its May 1 premium increase has left many home buyers questioning the affect the increase may have on their bottom line.

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Valley First expert shares tips to help you guard against fraud
March 13, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—Each year, thousands of Canadians are victims of fraud and identity theft and with National Fraud Prevention Month in full swing, Jaime Lord, senior investigator for corporate security at Valley First is sharing the importance of recognizing fraud, reporting it and stopping it.

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Valley First expert shares tips on how to avoid outliving your retirement funds
February 25, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—February is often associated as a month of romance, but for many people, it’s also a time of stress and financial worry with the clock ticking down on yet another RRSP season. However, without careful planning, solid financial advice and a commitment to saving, the thought of retirement may just be a far-fetched dream.

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Reality bites: Valley First expert shares five signs your bank just isn’t that into you
February 14, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—Just like the dating world, where men and women have a seemingly endless pool of potential mates to choose from, so too do small business owners when it comes to choosing their financial institution of choice.

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Make a date with your financial planner this Valentine’s Day and fall in love with your finances
February 6, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—As we move through another investment season, many Canadians continue to wrestle with tough financial decisions—is it best to contribute to an RRSP, pay down debt or sock some cash away for the proverbial rainy day.

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Retirement dreams: Simple tips to help retirees maximize their savings
November 27, 2013

Penticton, B.C.—“Save early and save often” has long been the mantra of financial advisors everywhere. Despite this, only 26 per cent of Canadians recently surveyed believed they are saving enough to meet their future retirement needs.

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Financial literacy key for young families as over one third fail financial literacy assessment
November 14, 2013

Penticton, B.C.—November marks Financial Literacy Month in Canada and this year’s theme—Financial Literacy across Generations—encourages Canadians of all ages to prepare for a brighter financial future. And, recent information shows more preparation is required.

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Simple tips to manage your expenses during the school year
August 22, 2013

Penticton, B.C.—Back to school time is just around the corner and as part of many students’ checklist is the need to revisit their budgets and expenses. Brianne Dingwall, a recent university graduate and member service representative at Valley First, shares a few simple tips to help students keep their expenses in check during the school year.

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Have you taken a mental vacation from your financial planning?
August 6, 2013

Penticton, B.C.—Financial planning and household budget discussions are often left to RRSP season and tax time; usually revolving around how to find a few extra dollars to put toward your retirement or if you’ll see a tax refund or invoice.

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Simple tips to enjoy your summer vacation without breaking the bank
June 21, 2013

Penticton, B.C.—With summer vacation fast approaching, many families are making plans to get the most from their time off. However, vacations can turn out costly and far from the relaxing break people have in mind.

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Simple Advice to Make the Most of Your Home Renovations
May 28, 2013

Penticton, B.C.—According to recent figures one in four British Columbians plan on renovating their homes over the next twelve months. In the process they will spend about $19,000, significantly more than the $15,300 national average.

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Size doesn’t protect small business from fraud: Valley First Expert
April 18, 2013

Penticton, B.C.—When it comes to small business fraud, size doesn’t matter. There is no such thing as too small or too remote. Unfortunately, along with cost, feeling their company is too small to be attacked is one of the major reasons small businesses overlook anti-fraud measures. But the statistics now show that such attitudes need to change, and quick.

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Using rental income to build your net worth and find financial freedom
April 11, 2013

Penticton, B.C.—Becoming mortgage free seems like an unattainable dream for many. According to a new poll, Canadian homeowners don’t believe they will be able to pay off their mortgage until they’re 57, two years more than when compared to results from a similar poll taken last year.

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Financial planning importance growing for “sandwich generation” savers

An emerging demographic group dubbed the sandwich generation—those simultaneously caring for children and elderly relatives—are facing increasing financial pressures as they juggle careers, family commitments and personal well-being.

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Working beyond retirement becoming new norm for many baby boomers

While the allure of summers in the sun and winters buried in a good book is still strong for some, the traditional image of retirement is being given a shake-up by those older workers who are remaining in the workforce.

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Valley First expert responds to tightening mortgage rules

Last week the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation tightened mortgage rules for the fourth time in as many years. The experts at Valley First say the latest round of changes, which take effect on July 9, may have a significant effect on current homeowners and potential buyers in the Interior.

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Valley First helps make your financial resolutions stick

After a holiday season of over indulgence, it’s time to break bad habits. For many, this means focusing on the three Fs of New Year’s resolutions—food, fitness and finances.

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Valley First experts weigh in on consumer spending and saving

The Bank of Canada recently raised its economic growth forecasts while at the same time repeating its warnings about increasing household debt. In response, the experts at Valley First share their views on what this announcement means for the average Canadian.

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