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  • Ontario wants to revamp advisor regulation and education | Small Biz Advisor
    O ntario is seeking public feedback on recommendations to help consumers access quality professional financial advice The Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives has issued a report outlining preliminary recommendations including regulating people who serve as financial planners and advisors harmonizing industry education credentialing licensing and titling standards establishing clear rules to protect consumers and mitigate the risk of conflict of interest Ontarians can submit comments on the expert committee s recommendations to Fin Adv Pln ontario ca by June 17 There will also be town hall meetings being held across the province View the report here The committee will use the feedback to finalize its recommendations to government which are expected this fall In 2015 the financial services sector accounted for 390 000 Ontario jobs generating almost 10 of Ontario s GDP Ontario also recently proposed changes that will help credit unions and caisses populaires remain competitive and better serve individuals communities and businesses Another expert advisory panel is reviewing the mandates of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario the Financial Services Tribunal and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario with the goal of modernizing the regulation of financial services and pension plans and

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/ontario-wants-to-revamp-advisor-regulation-and-education-4281 (2016-04-26)
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  • Most employees believe their firm will do better in 2016 | Small Biz Advisor
    Canada Workmonitor survey Not surprisingly younger Canadians were more confident about the future than their older counter parts 68 of 18 24 year old employed Canadians believe the economic situation in Canada will improve in 2016 versus 58 of 45 67 year olds 18 24 years olds were much more likely to expect to receive an increase in financial compensation this year 53 of them expect to receive a one time financial reward bonus at the end of the year versus only 36 of those ages 45 67 70 per cent of them expect to receive a pay raise at the end of the year versus only 55 of those age 46 67 Canadians of all ages agreed that their employer has trouble finding the right talent today 54 and 40 of them also said that their employer has an increasing need for STEM science technology engineering mathematics profiles More than half of respondents 55 think that their employers should invest more in developing digital skills This is not entirely surprising as Canadian employers have indicated for some time now that they struggle to recruit and retain the high tech talent needed for our rapidly evolving workplaces in STEM fields

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/most-employees-believe-their-firm-will-do-better-in-2016-4277 (2016-04-26)
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  • Benefits plan design touted as key to optimizing company spend | Small Biz Advisor
    free up dollars to reinvest in those high cost critical cases supported by reimbursement specialists that take a look at other funding sources Among the considerations for plan sponsors is to ask whether they re optimizing their health care spend Certainly when we looked at our plan we made a number of changes and said we weren t optimizing it said Rowe So I think there s a look that can be done in plan design Delegates at the session on the role of technology in drug plan management also heard that plan sponsors should be including physicians and pharmacists in the conversation If you look at how physicians and pharmacists can collaborate particularly where there are expanded services ensuring that we are maximizing generic utilization where possible even thinking about facilitating substitution within a therapeutic class said Jeff May executive vice president and general manager at Remedy Holdings If the alternative is not available in your office we can help make those decisions Even today there are structures in even public plans that are starting to facilitate substitution within a category to get the best cost medicine If the physician or pharmacist can use their expertise and focus on

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/benefits-plan-design-touted-as-key-to-optimizing-company-spend-4274 (2016-04-26)
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  • U.S. gained 215,000 jobs in March | Small Biz Advisor
    good news more Americans came off the sidelines to look for work though not all found jobs The figures suggest that employers remain confident enough in their business prospects to add staff even as overall growth has slowed since last winter Many analysts estimate that the economy grew at a 1 annual rate or below in the first quarter Continuing job gains indicate that employers may see the slowdown as temporary Steady hiring is also contributing to higher pay which rose a modest 2 3 from a year earlier to 25 43 That figure has increased since the early years of the recovery but is below a peak of 2 6 reached in December Sluggish wage growth has been a weak spot in the economy and a source of frustration for many workers since the Great Recession ended in 2009 Paychecks typically grow at a 3 5 pace in a strong economy Construction firms added 37 000 jobs likely aided by warmer weather That helped offset another month of job losses in manufacturing which has been hit by slower growth overseas and mining which includes the oil and gas drilling sector Low oil prices have cost that industry 185 000 since September 2014 More jobs can help fuel consumer spending which is a critical source of growth this year Other potential drivers of the economy such as exports and business investment have weakened Consumer spending has faltered since last winter after healthy gains in 2015 Spending ticked up just 0 1 in February for the third month in a row That tepid trend caused many economists to slash their growth forecasts Americans appear to be pocketing much of their savings from lower gas prices rather than spending them The savings rate rose to 5 4 in February the highest in

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/u-s-gained-215000-jobs-in-march-4273 (2016-04-26)
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  • Small biz tax cuts not off the table: Chagger | Small Biz Advisor
    Business and Tourism Bardish Chagger says the promised tax cut for Canadian small businesses isn t off the table even though it wasn t included in the 2016 budget reports CTV Chagger didn t give a timeline as to when the cut might be introduced but told CTV s Question Period that small businesses have not been forgotten She added The government made the decision to first give breaks to

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/small-biz-tax-cuts-not-off-the-table-chagger-4272 (2016-04-26)
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  • IIROC and FSCO to share info on rule-breakers | Small Biz Advisor
    their respective disciplinary processes Disciplinary decisions or actions taken by one regulator will trigger a review of the sanctioned individual s activities by the other regulator including consideration of the suitability of the individual for approval licensing or registration This may result in an investigation or other appropriate disciplinary action According to the MOU IIROC and FSCO will also where appropriate conduct joint investigations and share relevant records and documents when both regulators are investigating the same individuals Ontario investors will benefit from the protections provided by our increased collaboration says Andrew J Kriegler president and CEO of IIROC Investors must be protected from disciplined individuals who might seek to avoid sanctions and continue working in another part of the financial services industry The lines that once clearly delineated the various financial services industries are being blurred as the sector evolves and more individuals become active in multiple areas says Brian Mills interim CEO and Superintendent of Financial Services Greater cooperation and coordination between regulators is becoming an increasingly important part of our work to protect consumers The agreement follows a similar accord announced in November between IIROC and the Chambre de la sécurité financière in Quebec IIROC has more

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/iiroc-and-fsco-to-share-info-on-rule-breakers-4267 (2016-04-26)
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  • Rebounding stock market helps lift U.S. consumer confidence | Small Biz Advisor
    stock market got off to a dismal start in 2016 driven by fears of economic weakness overseas and plunging oil prices The Dow Jones industrial average had plummeted more than 10 this year through mid February It has since recovered most of those losses This month 28 7 of consumers said they expected stocks to rise over the next year That was up from 26 9 in February the lowest share since July 2012 The rebound in stock markets more than offset the impact of higher gasoline prices in recent weeks Steve Murphy U S economist at Capital Economics wrote in a research note Over the past month the average U S price of a gallon of gasoline has risen to 2 04 from 1 75 according to AAA A year ago the overall consumer confidence index stood at 101 4 But Americans have grown cautious about spending Consumer spending grew at a meagre 0 1 annual rate in February the government said Monday matching January s unimpressive gain Given the very disappointing real consumer spending results for January and February this pickup in confidence is good news said Jennifer Lee senior economist at BMO Capital Markets Murphy at Capital

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/rebounding-stock-market-helps-lift-u-s-consumer-confidence-4266 (2016-04-26)
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  • What the jitters in the bond market mean for the market as a whole | Small Biz Advisor
    2010 and 2015 While the corresponding volumes have risen in the U S the turnover ratio the number of bonds sold and replaced in a fund has dropped by about 40 since 2005 The lack of liquidity has a lot to do with regulations imposed on banks since the 2008 financial crisis says Hamilton Keen In the past banks would happily buy corporate bonds that investors wanted to dump and then either sell them to someone else or package them up in another type of security This buying and reselling of debt is partly what got the banks into trouble during the recession which is one reason regulators now force financial institutions to keep more capital on their balance sheets However that means they have less money to spend on corporate bonds In 2006 U S based security brokers and dealers owned about US 400 billion in corporate and foreign bonds according to the Federal Reserve Board Now that number is around US 100 billion which is near 2000 levels Banks were able to use their balance sheets to provide liquidity to the market says Hamilton Keen The rules changed but we hadn t seen a full assessment of the impact It appears now that it s reduced the willingness to provide that liquidity Adding to the problem is the fact that over the past few years some of the most sought after corporates were in the energy sector says Dhruv Mallick a fixed income analyst with Vancouver s Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel As oil prices have fallen defaults in the sector have risen about a quarter of all corporate bond defaults in 2015 were energy related according to Moody s and that s made traders even more reluctant to buy From a purely buying and selling perspective the liquidity issue is only a difficulty for those invested in high yield funds But the more people who get wind of the fact that there s a concern with credit the higher the likelihood that other markets will react negatively Investing tends to be driven by sentiment and fears of a credit crunch could spill over into the equity market says Alfred Lee a fixed income portfolio manager with BMO Asset Management While Lee thinks the credit concerns are overblown he notes that new trading technology has made it easier to sell to buyers who wouldn t have had the chance to purchase before if we see more funds close more fixed income defaults and a heightened sense of panic things could turn for the worse If you have concerns stemming from the macro environment and that causes risk to come out of the bond market then that may spill over to the equity markets he says We ve seen this happen before most recently in 2008 Historically credit markets dry up first in a financial crisis and equity markets follow So far though no one is reporting any unusual outflows in the bond market but Hamilton Keen cautions investors against

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/what-the-jitters-in-the-bond-market-mean-for-the-market-as-a-whole-4190 (2016-04-26)
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