Financial news and advice — April 2015

Actor Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar nomination gets in the way of his tax returns. Plus, Marina Picasso prepares to sell off some of her grandfather’s creations in Geneva.

Interesting Theory

Best reason ever for procrastinating on taxes

People will use just about any justification to avoid doing their taxes, but this excuse is (ahem) Academy Award worthy. When British actor Eddie Redmayne got the news on Jan. 15 — just two weeks before the UK income tax deadline — that he was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of physicist Stephen Hawking in the film The Theory of Everything, he immediately called his wife, publicist Hannah Bagshawe. Her reaction? As Redmayne tells it, she said, "Ed, how am I meant to do the tax returns today when I’m so excited?" It’s a dilemma we’re sure any accountant would’ve been happy to help the couple solve.


Picasso’s heir selling paintings

Marina Picasso 

If you’re looking to invest in works of art, Marina Picasso, granddaughter of Pablo Picasso, is meeting clients in Geneva to sell at least seven of the late Spanish artist’s creations, the New York Post reported. The pieces on offer won’t come cheap, of course. They include a 1923 portrait of Picasso’s first wife, "Portrait de femme [Olga]," and the 1911 painting "Femme à la Mandoline [Mademoiselle Leonie assie]" for about US$60 million each, as well as a 1921 work, "Maternité," for US$54 million.


In-store mobile payment set to take off

Swiping a smartphone in place of a debit or credit card at the cash register will be the biggest tech trend in 2015, according to Deloitte’s annual Canadian technology, media and telecommunications predictions. The report says about 5% of the 600 million smartphones worldwide that are enabled to handle such purchases will be used for an in-store payment at least once a month in the coming year, which is a 1,000% increase from 2014.


Less than 30% of Canadians have a written financial plan

Three-quarters of Canadians say shaving a financial plan makes them feel good when mapping out their future and retirement, an RBC poll finds. But less than half (43%) of the respondents actually have a financial plan in place and, of those, a third admit their plan exists only "in their head."


Youth’s got the money thing covered

Nearly eight in 10 Canadians between the ages of 25 and 34 are confident they will meet their current financial goals, according to a survey for CIBC. But older Canadians aren’t quite so optimistic. Seven in 10 respondents age 35 to 44, and just six in 10 Canadians 45 or older, feel poised to achieve their financial goals. Respondents are united in one aspect, however: confidence levels in all age groups has dropped over the past year.