Financial news and advice — August 2014

A Kelowna accountant discovers a winning Lotto 6/49 ticket in his wallet four weeks after the prize-winning draw. Plus, survey results shed light on new trends in young Canadians’ investment preferences, and more.


BC accountant should’ve checked numbers sooner

It’s Steve Woloshyn’s job to keep track of other people’s money. So the irony wasn’t lost on the Kelowna, BC, accountant when he discovered he had been literally sitting on $1 million for a month without realizing it. The 44-year-old bought a Lotto 6/49 ticket at a gas station and, as one often does, put it in his wallet and forgot about it. It wasn’t until four weeks after the prize-winning draw that he checked the ticket. "I can’t believe I carried one million dollars in my wallet for a month," he says. "I’m an accountant, for goodness sake. I should know where my money is."


No place like homes, say investors

Despite - or perhaps because of - rising home prices in Canada, nearly nine in 10 (86%) Canadians ages 25 to 34 now believe owning a house or condo is a very good investment, up from 78% last year, an RBC survey finds. Americans are also keen on real estate; in a Gallup poll 30% chose it as the best long-term investment over gold (24%), stocks/mutual funds (24%), savings accounts (14%) and bonds (6%). Interestingly, lower-income earners were more likely to favour gold for long-term prospects (31%).


Millennials say "I do" to low-cost weddings

Good news for marriageable 20-somethings or, as the case may be, their parents. According to YPulse, a New York-based firm that tracks trends among teens and young adults, lavish nuptials are falling out of fashion. The vast majority (83%) of millennials polled say today’s weddings have become too pricey, and 73% would prefer a small inexpensive wedding to a large costly one. Even the dress isn’t off-limits: 42% of women ages 18 to 24 said "yes" when asked if they would buy a $100 wedding dress from H&M.


Consulting is the new golf

Two-thirds of Canadian financial executives consider project work an appealing alternative to retirement, according to a survey by staffing firm Robert Half Management Resources. More than 270 chief financial officers were asked about their interest in consulting when they approach retirement, with 41% saying the prospect was somewhat attractive and 27% calling the notion very attractive.


Parents’ pay

Mothers and fathers who are the sole financial providers in their households are just as likely to work in a management position, a CareerBuilder survey finds. Yet the dads who are sole providers are four times more likely to earn $100,000 or more a year than are the sole-provider moms. Just 6% of the women in the group had a six-figure salary, compared with 24% of the men.