Financial news and advice — December 2016

Chinese Internet mogul Zhou Yahui is reaching the end of the largest divorce settlement in the history of his country, while a new study finds that cold hard cash pays off in the long run.


$1B divorce settlement among China’s largest

Divorce is nearly always an expensive endeavour (just ask Brangelina), but few are as costly as the settlement facing Chinese Internet mogul and billionaire Zhou Yahui in the split from his wife, Li Qiong. The chairman of Beijing Kunlun Tech, one of China’s biggest web game developers and operator of the all-male social network Grindr, must give his former love 277 million Kunlun shares, worth an estimated US$1.14 billion. Li, who reportedly first met Zhou in elementary school, has plenty of time to decide how she wants to spend her payout: as outlined in an agreement when Kunlun went public on the Shenzhen stock exchange in 2015, she must wait until Jan. 21, 2018, before she can liquidate the shares.


A pain in the cash

A woman pays for her meal in cash

New research confirms what debt counsellors have been telling us all along: if you really want to feel the financial hit of a purchase, pay by cash. In experiments, consumers who paid cash valued their purchases more because of “pain of payment,” says Avni Shah, an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. “Something tangible like cash will feel more painful to part with than paying by cheque, which will feel more painful than paying by card and so on.”


Six-figure income, three-figure savings

Low-income earners aren’t the only ones having trouble saving money, a study by financial services website GoBankingRates finds. More than four in 10 (44%) US workers with an annual salary of $100K to $150K have less than $1,000 to their names, and nearly one in five (18%) have no savings at all. Furthermore, about a third (29%) of workers with an income higher than $150K have less than $1,000 in the bank.


Get your Bitcoin here

Deloitte now has its first Bitcoin transaction machine. Located in the downtown Toronto offices of the firm’s Rubix blockchain division, the BTM can exchange digital currency for Canadian dollars. According to digital currency publication CoinDesk, the move is meant to help staff and others learn more about blockchain.


Have currencies, will travel

If you’re heading to an international destination this winter and don’t want to worry about fluctuating exchange rates (or risk carrying cash), there’s a new payment option to consider. The CIBC Air Canada Conversion Visa Prepaid Card allows users to store up to 10 foreign currencies — purchased online at fixed exchange rates — on a card with chip and PIN security for use anywhere Visa is accepted. Currencies available are the Australian, Canadian, US and Hong Kong dollar, euro, British pound, Japanese yen, Mexican peso, Swiss franc and Turkish lira.