According to the Washington Post, the on-line cost of hiring a hacker to break into someone’s e mail accounts is now down to $30. And hackers have an almost 100% success rate. But the majority of the buyers from these hackers are actually boyfriends, girlfriends, or spouses. The point is, that for your on-line banking, or anything on-line, you need a better password than most people have! Because the most common password is still 1234 and that’s nuts.
When is a deal actually a deal when we’re financing huge amounts of money? Here, and in the U.S., I keep seeing ads for houses and lots that are supposed to be incredible deals at 50% off. Off what? I’ve seen these ads in Ontario, and for resorts in BC. Lots that were originally listed at $500,000 are now half price. But that’s a phony figure, because the original price of the lots are just made up, and hoping that someone will pay it. What matters is what the house or the lot is appraised at TODAY, not what it’s listed for. Whether you’re selling your home, your car, or anything else, it’s the TODAY value, no what it was somewhere in the past! Careful with that, and don’t get trapped in the hype of an advertisement.
Kelly Blue Book just published their 2010 list of vehicles with their retained value and depreciation: Less than HALF of all new vehicles this year are projected to be worth 20% or more after five years. That is a staggering figure. The brands that will best hold their values:
Number one is Lexus, followed by Toyota (and that’s not accurate anymore with their current problems) and Honda. The only European brand in the top tier of vehicles that hold their resale value is BMW, which is fourth, and Subaru rounds up the top five.
Overall, the average vehicle will be worth 32% of new vehicle price in five years. So remember that the longer you keep the vehicle, the less it matters. But the shorter buying cycle, or anyone fleasing…I mean leasing the vehicle, the more you will feel some real financial pain of paying for the depreciation.
Have you heard of the Visa Black credit card? Well, they just sent me an invite. It’s a great looking, high quality, wedding-type invitation. But inside, it’s just another credit card application with great marketing. You are hereby invited to join an exclusive club limited to only one percent of the population. But at 13.25%, the rate isn’t very exclusive, and the annual fee is $495. But the card is made with actual carbon and guaranteed to get you noticed. Really? Is that why I need a credit card? It also talks about “fantastic rewards,” but doesn’t list any of them at all. I’m afraid I’d be getting a plain burger for the price of a steak.
Good old CBC is now getting into the product placement market. A lot of it will be with TD/Canada Trust. The bank will show up (OK, not show up – pay to be included is more like it) on Being Erica, Little Mosque on the Prairie and Hartland.