Kicking off 2022 with a ‘no buy’ challenge
 
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get your spending in check, you could try a "no buy" challenge. It’s where you eliminate spending on certain goods or services for a period of time – a practice which has been gaining in popularity. If that’s too much of a crash diet, you could also try a "low buy" version where you simply reduce your spending by a certain amount. 
 
Minimizing the risk of condo maintenance fee shocks
 
When shopping to buy a condo, maintenance fees are definitely a factor you want to consider. But how can you gauge the risk the fees will rise in future years after you purchase? Jamie Herle, president of the Canadian Condominium Institute, said buyers need to take a close look at the health of the building, such as whether it has suffered any water damage, to determine if there are potential major repairs that could be needed. He also suggests reading condo documents like the status certificate. 
 
Debate rages over a surtax on pricey Canadian homes  
 
A report by advocacy group Generation Squeeze, which was backed by the CMHC, suggests one way policymakers could cool the red-hot housing market would be to introduce an annual, progressive surtax of up to one per cent on homes valued at over $1 million. The report argues it would “reduce the tax shelter that incentivizes Canadians to rely more on rising home prices as a strategy for savings and wealth accumulation than they otherwise would.” 
 
Growing support for interest rate hikes amid runaway inflation
 
Nine in 10 Canadians are more worried about rising prices than higher interest rates, according to a Nanos Research poll conducted on behalf of Bloomberg News. That comes despite the fact that many households acknowledge they could be hurt by increased borrowing costs. The survey also highlights just how concerned Canadians are about inflation. 
 
Reports find Canadian defined-benefit pensions are well funded
 
Canadian defined-benefit pension plans are in a strong position despite the potential challenges ahead, according to a pair of industry reports. Nearly two-thirds of pension plans were in a surplus position at the end of the year, compared with 53 per cent at the end of the third quarter. The reports flag a number of risks on the horizon including the fallout from the Omicron COVID-19 variant, high inflation and rising interest rates.   

Looking for investment ideas this year? Stick with Canada
 
If you’re hunting for stocks to add to your portfolio this year, you might want to look in your own backyard. Canadian companies accounted for nearly a quarter of RBC Capital Markets’ stock picks from around the world the bank thinks are poised for gains in 2022. Separately, one of the world’s leading energy fund managers – Ninepoint Partners’ Eric Nuttall – said he thinks Canada is the best place to be for oil and gas investment opportunities. 

 

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886,000
 

The total number of jobs Canada added in 2021, a new annual record. The figure also adds to growing evidence that Canada's economy ended the year in a strong position.

 

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