Nov 26

Mortgage Rules in Canada Changing Again!

Mortgage, this word strikes fear in the hearts of Canadians! Do you understand how the upcoming changes will affect you?

Mortgage Renewal

House in hands.

Click image to learn more about mortgage risk.

In past, there wasn’t really much of an effect. It’s likely most institutions would consider you as a client without too much hassle. Not any more. Your mortgage provider may have a lock on you because you don’t meet the new criteria. They don’t want to lose your business and will likely renew your mortgage provided there are no changes.

If there are ANY changes like extending the term or doing some debt consolidation, you must meet the new lending criteria and pass the stress test. You can use online tools like TD’s Affordability Calculator to see if you qualify.

Oh, and by the way, you won’t necessarily get a “preferred client” rate on renewal if they know you won’t be able to move your mortgage!

New Mortgage

Click image to learn about making your mortgage tax deductible.

In 2017, the rules changed and people with less than 20% down payment had to pass the stress test. Starting January 1, 2018 we all have to qualify. You will have to be able to carry the mortgage if the rates go up 2% from your negotiated rate. You won’t pay that now but you must have the ability to.

It was already tough for people to get into the housing market with the changes in 2017. Now it will be tough for the rest of us to get a new mortgage, whether making changes to existing or maybe considering getting into buying rental units. 

I was at a Vogue Simcoe Exclusive Networking meeting last week where Anne Lesperance did a presentation that included a comparison. For example, let’s say a couple was selling their home and wanted to upgrade from $400K to $600K. Under 2017 rules, they would qualify for the $600K mortgage. The same couple would only qualify for $475K under the 2018 rules.

Banks are required to build in “what if” and this can affect how much house you can buy. Make sure you understand how much you can afford when the interest rates go up. 

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for snow, gainful employment and teachers like Anne Lesperance. What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/mortgage-rules-canada-changing/

Nov 05

Blogging: Short Essays, Down and Dirty!

Blogging – Keep It Simple

Just words.Have you ever thought about blogging and just found it so intimidating? Stop! It doesn’t have to be.Blogging can be really easy, it’s just writing short essays.

I never realized at the time that my grade 13 English teacher was preparing me to be a blogger. We had to write a 500 word essay every week and I used to write them Sunday afternoon because they were due Monday morning! I actually wrote better essays that way. Then I would go back and create “rough notes” because he used to ask me for them. Go figure.

Blogs can be short and sweet. Many of mine are simply the result of a thought I had as I was walking the street on a lunch hour or in the morning on the way to work. For example, my musing about coffee drinkers in the morning.Have you ever noticed  the change over the couple hours before 9am and how fewer people hav coffee in their hand the later it got.

Blogging can be this simple. Write what you are thinking about. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling as you write, you can fix that later if you really feel you need to.

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for internet, computers and WordPress. What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/blogging-short-essays/

Nov 02

Happiness Comes Before Success

Happiness is actually the precursor to success, not the result.

HAPPINESS

You can choose to have happiness. Yes, just choose!

To be honest, I’m feeling lazy today and came across a great video by Jeff Olson. I have had the pleasure of spending time with him with a beer by the pool!

Very smart guy and he has been “preaching” leadership for a number of years. He has always believed that working on yourself leads to success, virtually by accident. Watch Jeff’s video below.

I hope you enjoyed the video!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for meeting Jeff Olson, learning from him at LegalShield (PrePaid Legal at the time) and I’m thankful my wife stuck with it! What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/happiness-comes-before-success/

Nov 01

LegalShield Testimonial: Wireless Service Provider

My son got a cell phone for his 16th birthday. He was told he had unlimited texting. No one explained the difference between texting and MMS. This was 9 years ago and that was all new.

When his first bill came in, there were charges for $168 worth of messages! My wife was on the phone for the better part of 2 hours with the service provider and getting frustrated. She told the person on the phone that she had enough and maybe she would just call her lawyer. I think the representative on the phone thought she was kidding and said “If you think you need to do that…” at which point my wife ended that discussion and called LegalShield.

The lawyer reviewed my son’s contract and  offered to write a “motivational” letter to the wireless service provider. About two weeks later my son received a cheque for $168 AND and apology from the service provider saying “we don’t do business that way”.

Thank you LegalShield!

How much justice can you afford?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/legalshield-testimonial-wireless-service-provider/

Nov 01

LegalShield Testimonial: Power of Attorney

person cryingHaving been named Power of Attorney for both my mother and father, I was in a dilemma when Dad had a major stroke and really couldn’t be reasonably expected to make decisions and Mom was in a coma. I was being asked to make a decision about taking my mother off life support. Dad was actually supposed to be her Power of Attorney before me, I was secondary with my brother. What do I do?!

First, I called my father’s lawyer but he didn’t return calls. I have LegalShield! I called in mid afternoon. About 2 hours later, the lawyer called me. We discussed the situation and he advised that technically, there was a process to go through to be officially able to make a medical decision for Mom. Then we talked about how the hospital will often consider our wishes as long as they know the power of attorney exists if needed.

Peace of mind. How do you put a price on that?

Thank you LegalShield!

How much justice can you afford?

 

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/legalshield-testimonial-power-of-attorney/

Nov 01

LegalShield Testimonial: Can I use my membership for a medical question?

November 26, 1986 - October 10, 2010My wife was with my son after surgery while I was home with the other kids. My son had just had a lung removed and was in extreme pain. We suspected a possible blood clot in his legs after surgery. It was Saturday on a holiday weekend in May and there was only skeleton staff. They weren’t going to do anything until Tuesday because the doctor wasn’t in the hospital! 

My wife called me and asked if I thought LegalShield could do anything. It was Saturday on a long weekend! I called the emergency number and got a Toronto lawyer on the phone who said he didn’t have experience in that area but asked to give him some time to check with a friend in Alberta. About an hour later, the Alberta lawyer called my wife in the Toronto hospital and gave some advice that resulted in the hospital reacting more appropriately.

Can I use my membership for a medical question? Maybe. You can use it to find out if you have a legal right! So, yes you can use your LegalShield membership to ask what appears to be a medical question!

Thank you LegalShield!

How much justice can you afford?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/legalshield-testimonial-can-i-use-my-membership-for-a-medical-question/

Oct 06

Cappuccino, So Hard To Find A Good One!

Cappuccino became my favourite drink almost 40 years ago when I went on a school trip to Italy. The problem is finding a good one in Canada. Until now!

Cappuccino

beans for cappuccinoThis Italian specialty, cappuccino, is usually made with a double espresso and steamed milk. I like cocoa sprinkled on mine. No sweetener for me! I’m sweet enough already 😆 . In 40 years, I haven’t been able to find a really good cappuccino, until today. Creative Bean is a relatively new place I learned about last night at a local business networking meeting with a group called Vogue Barrie. I went to their store today and thought I had died and gone to heaven! 

Creative Bean

Not only does Tracy’s mother make a wicked cappuccino, they have a business services area right there in the cafe. You can have a consultation to have your website designed, or have materials printed while you enjoy your drink!

Cappuccino at Creative BeanI spent some time with Tracy and talked about how the business came to be. Her husband had always wanted a café and she wanted to be able to put her graphic design skills to use. At first, the combination seemed odd but she decided to try it anyway.

I can’t speak much to Tracy’s graphic design skills but she certainly has done a great job on the café side of the business. 

Tracy was telling me how she had no experience with coffee beforehand but she applied her learning skills to that and has created a masterpiece. As an example of her focus on developing the skills to prepare a great experience, she told me she spent two days over and over again making one specific latte. Apparently her family must have been high as kites testing them for her.

I had the best cappuccino I have had in years and a breakfast sandwich to go with it. I can’t wait to try out her business services!

I highly recommend Creative Bean for a delightful environment whether just to relax or hosting a business meeting.           

So, if you don’t live in the Barrie area, sorry for your luck! Creative Bean is part of why it’s worth the drive to Barrie.

My Own Meeting

If you have a referral to share in Barrie, use the comments below!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for new people. I’m thankful for time to visit. I’m thankful for a great cappuccino! What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/cappuccino-so-hard-to-find-a-good-one/

Sep 13

Things Have Meaning: Be careful what you make fun of and don’t touch that thing!

Things hold memories. We tie meaning to objects and get hurt when those are made fun or defensive if someone tries to take them away.

Things Have Meaning

Some things bring joy, others heartache.

Most of us have at some time or another had things like paintings, records or maybe special sweaters that caused a flood of emotion. If someone shows you things that for whatever reason cause you to want to make a smart comment or try to take the thing away, STOP! It’s not your thing and you have no idea what that may mean to the person showing it to you.

For example, I went to my basement recently because my wife had been cleaning and moving things. I know there are certain things that I like regardless of what others think. I came across an old velvet painting my brother had given me a few years ago, slightly in jest. The reality is there are some great memories attached to that thing!

A Little History

Photo of paintingBack in the early 1970’s my father met a guy named Vance Linek who was selling these velvet paintings on street corners. He was making a good margin on them, approximately 50%. For some, that would be a markup of 100% if that means more to you. Bottom line, good money for something you could do weekends on the side. Vance introduced Dad to George Keller who was bringing these things in from Mexico. 

Many of the paintings were nice scenes or portraits, and then there were the tar ships! These things were so gaudy they were beautiful. Actually, this was one of my favourites next to the Elvis that I lost track of years ago. My brother found one of the tar ships years later. I would bet that we sold it originally.

Selling those paintings was a great ride until there was too much competition. There were a bunch of brothers who moved into town selling the same paintings. Those guys were nuts! They would drive through their brother’s display! Dad decided if we were going out of business, we were taking them with us. He went to George and bought all his damaged stock for $5 each and fixed most of them to sell for 10 bucks. In the end, those guys thought we were nuts!

Memories Attached to Things

Not So Happy Times

Photo of chairI don’t like to dwell on negatives but I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that sometimes things hold sad memories. For example, my son passed away and one of the things he left behind is his comfy chair. My wife sits in it all the time.

As much as the chair has sad memories of him sitting in it as he fought cancer, I believe it gives Denise some peace. No matter how beat up that chair gets, there is no way it will ever leave this house. I wouldn’t dream of getting rid of that chair. 

As much as there is great sadness attached to that thing, there is great peace in being able to sit with him in spirit. That chair symbolizes the fact that he is never gone. That’s why that chair is here to stay.

Happy Times

The reason there were so many great memories attached to that painting I found is that when I was young, we were a lower middle class family struggling to make the bills and put food on the table. Don’t get me wrong, we never lacked for anything important. We had a great life camping and so on but the thought of something like a new vehicle or luxury items was not much more than a dream. Then Dad found the paintings.

photo of vanIn the following years, we travelled most of Ontario, earning as we went selling those things.

Dad bought his first brand new vehicle. A 1977 GMC Vandura 25. No, the photo isn’t of Dad’s van, I couldn’t find one that was in electronic format so I borrowed one. The van was big enough to travel with Mom, Dad and four kids, even with a small load of paintings on board. Add to that a house trailer from Sicard in Hamilton. We put an above ground pool in the back yard which necessitated a good fence. All of those extras were paid for by paintings like the tar ships. We did a lot of work together as a family but it never seemed like it.

Don’t Touch That Thing!

My wife and I had a little social media fun with the velvet tar ships. As attached as I am to that painting, I recognize the oddity of it and enjoyed the “fight” with my wife over keeping this thing. We are pretty active on social media and our followers enjoy our banter. What I didn’t realize is my younger brother and his wife were NOT enjoying the slights people were making of my painting. For that I apologize.

In the end, I may give my brother the painting if he truly wants it. It will be with conflicted feelings. I love that painting for all the reasons above but don’t really have a good place to hang it where it would get the respect it deserves. Although, my wife is warming up to it hanging over my desk!

That thing holds a lot of great memories!

Next time someone shows you things that make no sense to hang onto, think twice before you open your mouth. The value of things isn’t always financial and may not be measurable. Be respectful and find a compromise everyone can live with.

By the way, would you believe there is a velvet painting museum?! Check out Velveteeria in Los Angeles, California.

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for Mexican velvet paintings. I’m thankful I had great parents. I’m thankful for all of my family.

 

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/things-have-meaning/

Aug 01

Change happens. Will you embrace it or run?

I believe change is one of the scariest things in life. The problem is you can’t stop change. The question then becomes will you embrace it or run?

You Can’t Stop Change

Whether it’s career, environment or just about anything in your life, the only thing you have control over when it comes to change is how you choose to react. The changes are going to happen that are beyond your control. For example:

Life change, picture of new Dad with childrenSome changes you have control over but outcomes are not what you planned or expected:

Some of the above may or may not have happened to you. Regardless, I’m willing to bet there have been changes in your life that you could add to these lists.

Embrace Change or Run?!

We either choose to embrace change or try to run from it. Fight or flight is a natural human reaction to stressful situations. The decision is yours to make.

Running from change is to give over control to others. When you choose to embrace change, you are actually gaining power over your personal situation and more likely to be able to affect the outcome.

Photo of Barry Clermont receiving award.I can’t really give an example of running without making it up but I have had to face change a few times in my life that were painful. For example, when I worked for Dominion Stores in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, they started closing stores and I went through the Best for Less stores, before ending up being laid off and going to work for A&P, which then did the same. A&P to Superfresh before being laid off again. From A&P, I landed a management position with PETsMART.

Although PETsMART was fun, it wasn’t great for family life and didn’t pay that well. I left there and went to a company called Data Complex Computer Centre where I learned to design and sell computer network solutions to small and medium businesses. From there to Investors Group as a financial consultant and then a major life change, we lost our son to cancer, forced me to look for a non-commission job. In the end, I landed in a great place giving me peace of mind and working with great people.

Embracing each change made my life far less stressful once I took that step and took control. In the early stages of each change, particularly the last one, I was trying to run. The hole got deeper and deeper and life just got darker. Until I turned around, took control and took steps to move forward.

You may well have similar experience or will have. Did/will you choose to be The Carrot, The Egg or The Coffee Bean?

Make it a great day!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for BBQ, beef and farmers. What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/change-happens/

Jul 08

Sales isn’t for everyone but is it for you?

We often hear people with MLM opportunities say “anyone can do sales”. Bull roar! Sales isn’t for everyone but is it for you?

What is “Sales”?

Believe it or not, those MLM folks are partly right about sales. We all sell every day.

  • Wife convinces husband to watch a favourite show.
  • Child convinces a parent to change a rule.
  • Mechanic convinces you the car needs an oil change.
  • The clerk at McDonald’s asks “do you want fries with that”.

In every instance, someone is selling an idea, process, product or service to someone else. image of woman pulling manSales is the act of convincing someone to change their mind about something with the hope that they will see things your way. The popular phrase in sales is “stop selling and help them buy”. No matter how you cut it, it’s still sales. You helped move someone from one position to another and if you did it well, they think it’s their idea! The question really becomes do you WANT to do sales? In each of the examples in the list above, someone had a strong desire to convince someone they had the best idea and their prospect NEEDED to follow their lead. What are you passionate about? Do you have a strong enough belief to risk being told no? If the answer is no, the response is NEXT! Find what you are passionate about and do that.

Is Sales Ability Natural or Can You Learn?

Listen without judging.When you meet a “natural” sales person, the reality is that they learned from someone somewhere. Have you ever met that person who could sell anything to anyone? Take a look at their family and I will bet you someone close to them shows many of the same traits. This could digress into a discussion of nature versus nurture but I believe we grow up mimicking what we see. Now, if you didn’t grow up in an environment where “selling comes natural”, it just means you may have to make a decision to grow and change. There are a few ways to do this.

Why Multi-Level Marketing?

Taking a program at university can cost thousands of dollars and years of your life. Insurance and investment companies are great for training but again, there is a commitment of time and cost. In my case, my monthly cost was over $700/month on average. I left that business.

Opening your own business? The sky is the limit! If you bought a franchise it could be hundreds of thousands. You would have to sell a lot of coffee to pay that off!

By far, the most economical way to get sales training and probably better than you could get at any university, is to find a reputable Multi-level Marketing Opportunity. photo agreeingMy wife’s business is a great opportunity for personal growth. I watched a person one time who, when they started, was afraid of their own shadow. After a few months, they were presenting to the group of people who had been meeting every Friday to work on business planning together. Another that I really believe in is connected to this blog. And the training is free whether you join the business or not! Click here to check out coaching from Joel Therien.

The reality is you can learn sales if you want to. Start with Why!

Selling is one of the most lucrative careers for good reason. It’s not easy at first and takes time to learn. There are those who make sales, whether in a bricks and mortar business or MLM, look easy. I compare them to famous musicians. Most put in a lot of time and effort to become good at what they do.

Do you have what it takes? Do you want it bad enough to do the work? Sales isn’t for everyone but is it for you?

Make it a great day!

Barry P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for learning opportunities. I’m thankful for the MLM industry. I’m thankful you took the time to read this far! What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/sales-isnt-everyone/

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