June 2021


Notoriously technical and difficult to calculate, figuring out your mortgage interest rate can be confusing, so we’ve compiled a short guide to help you if you’re thinking of buying a property in Canada:

Fixed rate or variable rate mortgage

A fixed rate mortgage is a popular option because homeowners can make the same interest payment each month; protecting them from rate increases. Be aware though, that these mortgages are compounded semi-annually, meaning that if you’re quoted a rate of 6%, it could actually be 6.9% because the numbers are compounded using a mortgage rate less than 6%. Typically, the more a mortgage is compounded, the higher the monthly interest payments will be.

These mortgages also often come with harsh penalties when the term is broken.

For more flexibility, you might want to choose a variable rate mortgage, which fluctuates with the market, and while you’ll still be making the same payment every month, the amount going to interest and that going to your principal, will go up and down.

How can you calculate your mortgage interest yourself?

The following equation can help you figure out your rate of interest, you’ll just need your payment amount and PV factor (the number of months in your mortgage term or your total number of payments):

Determine your principal: PV factor x payment amount

Determine your total payment amount: divide your principal with the total number of payments you’ll be required to make.

You should be left with your total payment amount.

Note that calculations obtained using this equation obviously don’t factor in any other payments, such as insurance premiums and property taxes.

How will you be affected if your interest rate goes up?

Provided you know your current mortgage rate, mortgage payment, amortization period (PV factor) and frequency of payments, you should be able to figure out your payment amount after a rate increase, by using an online mortgage calculator.

Below are definitions of the above terms to help you navigate the calculation process:

  • Current Mortgage Rate: This is the existing interest rate you’re paying onyour mortgage loan.
  • Current Mortgage Payment: The monthly mortgage payment you make.
  • Amortization Period: The number of months (i.e., total amount of payments) there are in your mortgage term.
  • Payment Frequency: How often you are making payments towards your mortgage (usually monthly).

Even if you have a mortgage with a variable rate, you can put the figures into a mortgage calculator while accounting for the fluctuating rate of interest.

Working with a financial advisor or mortgage broker can help you make better sense of your mortgage rate and how it’s calculated, and armed with the above information, you can prepare yourself for buying your first Canadian home.


Heard of fintech? If you read the news with any consistency, then you’ve surely come across the term by now. 

Fintech, or financial technology, is quickly transforming the banking industry, and bringing significant changes to many other areas of the global economy as well, especially eCommerce. 

As of February 2020, there were 8,775 fintech startups in the USA, more than any other region, though the US is by no means the only country embracing this nascent industry. There were about 7,385 such startups across Europe, the Middle East regions, and Africa.

The industry has only grown since then, aided in part by a pandemic that created a sudden and global premium for remote services, especially remote financial services. 

Or as Forbes put it: “Frenzied at-home trading and sky-high asset valuations became hallmarks of the stock market’s pandemic year, fueling a period of explosive growth for a crop of investing-focused fintech companies at the center of it all.”

Though dismissed as a fad just a few years ago, now the biggest financial firms and publications have daily stories about how and where to invest in fintech. 


Because fintech drastically lowers the service costs of many financial transactions while simultaneously providing streamlined outcomes with automated financial operations, said Bardya Ziaian, the CEO of Sittu Group and an innovator in the Canadian fintech industry. 

So for starters, fintech is cheaper for many customers than conventional banking. It’s also part of the larger trend of cashless transactions. 

Most people, especially in the younger generations, now eschew the use of cash in most transactions, Bardya Ziaian said. Whether it’s a morning smoothie or online banking, the use of cash declines every year. Fintechs will benefit from this change as they flourish when more transactions take place on their platforms. 

Digital payments actually comprise 25 percent of the fintech ecosystem. And it’s not like smart phones are going anywhere. According to TechCrunch, about 90 percent of smartphone users make payments on their phone.

The other salient point is about data. The fintech industry has been an early adopter of data-gathering, using it primarily to draw conclusions about customer spending patterns. While many media outlets continue to question the ethics of data-mining, the reality embraced by every major eCommerce retailer is that customers now expect online businesses to offer personalization — and that requires data. 

“Fintechs have proven themselves extremely adept at leveraging the huge amounts of data out there to provide solutions that modern consumers want,” Ziaian said. “This trend isn’t going anywhere. It’s the future.”

So we’ve established that fintech is here to stay and will continue to grow in future years. 

Where should you, the investor, start putting their money? 

You could start with one of the fintech companies you’re already using in your daily life. The main services in fintech are: payment processing, financial software, online and mobile banking, online and peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, and financial services, and person-to-person payments. 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last 10 years, you’ve likely already embraced at least one or more of those services. 

That’s why when Motley Fool announced their Top 5 fintech companies for investing, the candidates weren’t newcomers, but fintech companies that have shown reliable growth for a number of years. 

The picks include Square, which you’ve likely used at a coffee shop or farmers market to pay for small items. Square processes card payments at a rate of over $100 billion, according to Motley Fool, it has a thriving small-business lending platform, as well as increased use among larger vendors. 

There’s also PayPal, founded by now-richest-person-in-the-world Elon Musk. Now the leader of online payments, it also owns person-to-person payment platform Venmo, and is venturing into the eCommerce space as well. 

The third pick from Motley Fool is the most interesting: Goldman Sachs. It’s an odd choice for fintech, given that Goldman Sachs is one of the oldest companies in conventional banking. But the company is now embracing fintech, 

“And unlike most other fintechs, Goldman’s massive investment banking business tends to be better in turbulent markets, making this a less cyclical fintech stock,” Motley Fool wrote. 

There’s plenty to explore about fintechs and investing, but this should help you get started. 

When it comes to your retirement fund, you don’t want to take any chances. Given the incredibly uncertain state of the world right now, knowing that you are moving steadily towards your saving goals is crucial. A lot of us have had to dip into our rainy-day fund over the last year or so, so we’ve put together a list of tiny changes that can help you save money.

Get Started Right Now

One of the biggest mistakes that many people make with their retirement fund is that they leave it until far too late to start saving. No matter how much you are putting into your fund each month, the earlier you start, the better off you will be.

It sounds simple, but this is one of the main reasons that so many people start to panic when they get to the age where their future is something to consider seriously.

Find Out What Your Employer’s Pension Scheme Is

When you are just starting at a new job, it won’t necessarily occur to you to pay too much attention to what your new employer’s pension scheme offers. However, many companies offer generous retirement savings options (such as matching contributions) that you should definitely take advantage of.

Consider Your Stock Portfolio

Investing in stocks and bonds is a classic way to add a little extra to your retirement savings, but if you want to get closer to your goal quicker, then you might need to re-evaluate your strategy.

Taking a chance on some stocks could give you a real boost, but we would always recommend doing plenty of research ahead of time and diversifying your portfolio rather than putting all your eggs in one basket.

Talk to a Financial Advisor

We are all occasionally guilty of thinking that we can do everything ourselves, but if you are finding it hard to meet your savings goal, then talking to an expert could be just what you need. Yes, a financial advisor is an additional expense, but they can help you manage your savings and talk you through ideas to make those savings work harder. Many banks in the UAE like ADCB offer good wealth management programs that can help you reach your saving goals.

Make A Budget

Even if you decide to skip talking to a financial advisor, it is still a very sensible idea to create a detailed budget. Knowing exactly where your money is going each day, week and month will help you to identify areas where you can cut down (maybe it’s time to bring your coffee and lunch to work rather than buying it on the way, for example). You will know how long it will take you to pay off existing debts and plan accordingly.

Having a detailed budget laid out can also help you get into better saving habits. If you can spot that unnecessary expense (like paying for a streaming service you no longer use), why not channel that amount directly into your savings account?


Perhaps you are planning to buy a car this year and you are looking for an affordable but reliable one. Listed below are the latest and the best in this price range which shouldn’t give you a hard time with car loans provided your finances are in order and you have good credit standing.

  1. Chevrolet Trailblazer
    Price: $19,995
    Chevy’s Trailblazer L is a promising new entrant this year. More than just its modern features and good looks, this mid-sized SUV also promises great value for the lucky soul that buys one. It has an average fuel efficiency of 28 MPG for city driving and 31 MPG on highways. It is quite spacious for its size as it offers its users about 54.5 cubic feet of cargo volume.
  1. Volkswagen Jetta
    Price: $19,990
    VW offers one of the best compact sedans in this price range. With roomy and upscale interiors, you can’t go wrong with the VW Jetta. It comes with a standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 16-inch aluminum wheels, and LED head and tail lights. You can choose between the 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission model.
  1. Hyundai Venue
    Price: $19,925
    This subcompact stands out in a market full of look-a-likes with its quirky features. But that’s not all that makes this fine car exceptional. Its climate control and infotainment features are also very user-friendly and it is powered by a 121-horsepower inline-four. Sure its front-wheel-only drive may be a bit of a letdown but it makes up for it in fuel economy with 30 MPG for city driving and 33 on the highway.
  1. Hyundai Veloster
    Price: $19,895
    The base model of Hyundai’s Veloster may seem underpowered compared to its sportier counterpart but it’s still a fun hatchback to take on the road. Although it’s not as powerful (with a 147-horsepower inline-four engine) nor posh as other cars in the same category, it’s still a super affordable ride for those who enjoy driving.
  1. Subaru Impreza
    Price: $19,720
    If you’re looking for a vehicle that has the right balance of power and fuel efficiency, the Subaru Impreza is perfect for you. It is powered by a 152-horsepower flat-four, has a five-speed manual transmission, and average fuel efficiency of 31 MPG, its base model is the most affordable all-wheel-drive vehicle in the market today.
  1. Kia Forte
    Price: $18,855
    The Forte is one of Kia’s top-selling models. Perhaps it’s because of its stylish looks or its affordability. Maybe it has to do with its 37 MPG fuel economy or even its super user-friendly infotainment features. Whatever the reason is, it is truly a car that will give you more bang for your buck.
  1. Kia Soul
    Price: $18,610
    Don’t let its toaster shape fool you. The Kia Soul stands out among every car on this list as it is the only one to have won an award for the 10 Best Trucks and SUVs. Twice. This means that it has impressive features that outclass all the other cars on this list. Its only downside is it only comes in front-wheel drive.
  1. Kia Rio 2021
    Price: $17,015
    With a new-looking front and rear end, the Rio has been refreshed for this year and comes in both sedan and hatchback models. The sedan is almost a thousand dollars cheaper than the hatchback but both models perform better in the fuel economydepartment (33 MPG in the city and 43 MPG on the highway) compared to other subcompacts.
  1. Hyundai Accent
    Price: $16,390
    The Hyundai Accent may not be as mighty as other more expensive sedans and subcompacts but it sure does save you enough money. It comes with a 120-horsepower engine with a six-speed transmission, this front-drive car’s 2021 model has an average fuel efficiency of 39 MPG when driven on a highway. You get plenty of savings on car cost and fuel when you get an Accent.
  1. Nissan Versa
    Price: $15,855
    If safety and cost are your top concerns in picking a car, then the Nissan Versa won’t disappoint you. Unlike the other cars on this list, the Versa comes with automated emergency braking for both its front and rear ends. It is also equipped with a lane-departure warning and automatic high beams which is perfect for nighttime driving, especially if you’re going on a long road trip.

You can’t ask for a better list of affordable yet incredible cars than the one above. You get top-quality cars that won’t cost you an arm and a leg to acquire. We hope that you found the list helpful as you decide which ride suits you best.

Being thrifty is a good thing. If you are frugal, you will almost certainly never run into financial difficulties. Being frugal, on the other hand, entails giving up a lot of creature comforts in the hopes of expanding your financial account. Regrettably, that is not the way to conduct your life. Some people become so engrossed in the habit of being frugal with their money that they find it difficult to let go and enjoy it. However, there are a lot of things worth spending money on. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • Eyes– Perhaps our most crucial sense is vision. As a result, investing in the most comfortable contacts or glasses is a must. If you use spectacles, choose the thinnest lenses possible with anti-reflection and scratch-resistant coatings. Purchase contacts with the most up-to-date breathable technology for daily use. Stop reusing your disposable contacts after the expiration date. Make an investment in a pair of UV-protective sunglasses.
  • High-quality Mattress – A third of your life is spent sleeping. It’s only natural to want the comfiest and supportive mattress you can buy. Make sure you’re at the top of your game every day so you’re completely rested and ready to take on the challenges ahead. Just keep in mind that mattresses have exorbitant markups, which is why there have been so many mattress companies throughout the years.
  • Clothing– When it comes to shopping for clothes, stay away from the discount stores and invest in some high-quality items. Sure, that off-the-rack suit appears to be inexpensive, but it makes you look like you’re clothed in a shabby suit. You might be surprised to realize how much your co-workers and employer put into looking their best.
  • Delicious food– What you eat determines who you are. Eating a healthy diet boosts your metabolism and strengthens your immune system. As a result, you’ll be less likely to get sick and keep healthy body weight. As a result, if you eat a healthy diet, you should expect to prevent diet-related disorders like diabetes and arteriosclerosis.

A frugal person’s worst nightmare is to spend money on any of the items on this list. However, there are moments when you must learn to relax and enjoy yourself. While we all want to retire early, the majority of us don’t want to do so in bad physical and mental conditions. You improve your situation by spending your money on things that are important to you.