Category: Uncategorized

7 Trends That Will Change Your Personal Lending Habits

There are several different trends you can apply which can change how you perceive and view personal lending and debt. Here are some of them listed and explained below.

1. Fintech fragmentation which starts by moving toward a winner who will remove uncertainty


When you look at the current world we live in, you notice that every person only gets paid to sweat and brave the details of uncertainty. And you find that anyone who can remove certainty always stands to make a lot of money. Look at the blockchain technology which can remove uncertainty on the value of an asset. It can help a lot when it comes to eliminating fraud by ensuring every individual is given a unique ID, explains Chad Otar, Excel Capital.

2. The market is evolving: the 2018 marketing efforts are bound to get cheaper with targeting getting easier


Many B2B businesses, Lendgreen lenders included, will eventually have to move into building long-term relationships instead of looking to acquire more leads. These businesses will also have to pay more attention to the churn rate to monitor all the long-term health of their brand or marketing.

Businesses will also get to be more personal and human when it comes to marketing as well with the inception and incredible growth of social media which still continues to blur the lines when it comes to telling the difference between professional and personal lives, states Mark Seigel, Veritas Financial.

3. It will be much easier to maintain a portfolio using technology and algorithms to spot any issues


Algorithms are currently taking over the transaction business in the B2B businesses. Businesses can now maintain their portfolio much easier with technology spotting any problems or issues that might arise in the business and showing you where you need to focus more of your attention. You will practically be more efficient.

Lenders are now incorporating more data into their sales, portfolio management, and underwriting processes as well as their decision making all to ensure they deliver easily accessible and convenient services, explains Linda McDonough, communications & marketing executive, LLC.

4. More power shifts to the client or consumer with the increased number of reviews and data which influences their decisions


Right now the reviews on TrustPilot basically acts more like the Yelp site for B2B businesses. And you will find that more clients are now depending on sites with unbiased reviews to make their decisions. These sites can be Facebook reviews, Google reviews, and any other trustworthy sites like TrustPilot.

5. Big players keep pushing into the lending business while some of the upstarts can still end up experiencing business model pivots


The population of contract workers, freelancers, and many small businesses is growing at a very fast rate and for the businesses that rely more on invoicing, it is inevitable that behemoths like PayPal and Amazon can end up exploring lending at much larger scale.

Other companies like OnDeck.Inc. may also have to rethink their overall lending models with the current age where high rates are no longer acceptable to investors.

6. More records are getting digitized


There is no other way to go about it. Even the businesses and industries that have widely resisted it need to have their records digitized. This will hopefully make your jobs much easier when it comes to factors like record-keeping and fuel distribution. It will also be a lot easier to spot problems find systemic issues which your business underwriters may have missed.

7. Personal contact with your clients and customers has now become a premium service with most services now going digital


Organizations and businesses will no longer have to work and interact with only half of their customers. Contextual engagement has now become a source of differentiation and with the current impact of automation and ability to integrate human and digital interaction, it now seems like customers and businesses are interacting at more personal levels than before.

Explains Vince Mancuso, NextEdge Capital

6 Topics That Must Be Addressed in Every Couple’s Money Chat

While every couple would love to talk about how they would spend all that money if they won the lottery, or how their lives would change if they won that jackpot, it all comes down to the hardships of getting that dollar and cent on the table. Especially if you have plans on getting installment loans from creditors: Lendgreen. This is no easy feat as most couples know by now. Here are six steps that can help to define who you financially as an individual, and also help you lay the groundwork for any short, medium, or long-term planning that you may have.

  1. Who are you?


You can decide to have your own little confession time with your partner to get to know each other better. How does each of you behave around money? What worries you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? When you explore the money topic as a couple, you may realize the many financial personality issues you had that you may have ignored or just failed to realize by yourselves and help each other deal with these issues.

  1. Your assets and liabilities (loans)


Most of the times, you will find couples meet, fall in love, and get married without taking time to learn about their partner’s financial situations, their assets, and even their liabilities. Trust me; it never ends well if your partner is only finding out about an old student loan you took some decades back, or that you find out that your partner is so deep in arrears only during the time you are negotiating a mortgage for the home you want to have together.

You can make things easier by listing down every debt you’ve ever owned and also all the assets that you own, including all your bank and investment accounts. Keep your partner on the loop about everything so they don’t get shocked hearing all these when nothing can be done about them.

  1. Share credit reports


As couples, it would be a good idea to share your credit reports. So, each partner knows the other’s credit history. You may have a poor credit history, but through some agreements with your partner, the other person can help you to improve it possible in the future.

  1. The cash flow


Another factor that will amaze you is to realize that most couples don’t usually know their partner’s gross income, leave aside their disposable income at the end of the month. As couples, you can always decide to lay out one another’s monthly after-tax income and also list all your monthly obligations as well. Do not forget to include your semi-annual or annual payments as well as insurance. This will help both of you, as couples, to create a couple’s budget which is a much better way you can handle your finances.

  1. Establish your roles


Another one of the difficult aspects to deal with as couples is establishing each other’s roles in your relationship. This is usually difficult to those partners who have been single for a long period. These partners have problems deciding on how they can manage joint finances. The most important thing is that you have a discussion about it together, and work on how the two of you can come to an understanding, then stick to the agreement until both of you agree on a change.

  1. Dream


Everybody dreams of having that flashy and luxurious lifestyle one day. Of course, all these dreams cost a lot of money. A lot of beautiful things can come from dreams, especially when you realize that your partner shares in these dreams as well. You should always let your dreams be the driving factor towards creating that financial plan together.

“Daddy Leave” and gender equality at home & work

I was recently asked by the New York Times to participate in a debate about women and work in Europe, especially in Germany. In the end, the question that appeared  on their Opinion page is not the one I was asked to address (“How can we get men to do more at home?”), although I would have loved to address that more centrally. (Maybe next time!).

Nevertheless, I did address the larger question of gender equality and how men’s parental leave is a critical part of this issue.

Below is the first part of my response; for the full piece, click here.

The quest for greater gender equality in paid work and care work requires multiple strategies that involve both women and men. The International Herald Tribune article about women in the German work force dealt mainly with the issue of women and work. Yet, the challenges that men face, both as workers and as caregivers, must also be addressed.

One way of addressing this is to look to countries like Sweden, Norway and Canada for lessons on how parental leave policies have been used to encourage changing gender relations around paid work and care work. These are policies that recognize and build on the constant interplay between gender equality and gender differences.

In Sweden and Norway, there has been a significant shift away from the “male breadwinner/ female caregiver model” of work and family. This occurred partly through respecting a long-standing practice of long maternity leaves for women combined with affordable, accessible and high-quality child care; to this, they added parental leave policies designed to encourage men to be involved in early child care. One of the rationales for the latter was that getting fathers into the home would help to disrupt a deeply rooted pattern and social norm of women as primary care-giving experts and men as main breadwinners.

Click here to read more and to join in the debate!

INFOGRAPHIC: 4 Tips On How To Talk About Money With Your Partner

Talking about personal finance is one of the most sensitive topics to bring up with your significant other.  If this subject isn’t communicated properly, it could very well be the demise of your relationship down the road.  Fortunately, I would like to share this insightful infographic created by Northcash, offering what I think are 4 important tips on how to talk about money with your partner.

How to talk about money with your partner - INFOGRAPHIC by Northcash

Why Flowers Are The Best Gift To Bring A Smile

When you are wanting to send an unusual and extremely thoughtful gift for whatever the occasion may be, flower delivery conveys that special sentiment in a popular and very much appreciated way.

Flower delivery is the perfect answer for all kinds of situations. It may be to celebrate a happy time like a birthday, anniversary, child’s baby shower or birth, wedding or wedding shower, decorated appropriately for a holiday, thank you, graduation, congratulations, just to say “I love you,” or other themes where flowers add to the glee. Or it may be a sad time such as a death in someone’s family, wishing a get well from a serious illness or accident, or the like.

Thinking of the Person

In any case, the arrival of flowers in outstanding or unusual vases and other stylish and reusable containers perhaps with the addition of balloons or gift baskets is sure to show the surprised recipient that you care deeply and are thinking of him or her with sincere thoughts at such a time.

Some Unusual Choices

Be Happy Bouquet
Pretty and colorful flowers in a ceramic “happy face” mug will bring cheer every time it is filled with a cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa at any time of day.

Golden Laughter Bouquet
Golden roses added to other fragrant flowers and embellishments is a stylish way to bring an appreciative reaction.

Make a Wish on a Special “Cake”
Picture a delightful “cake” made entirely of fresh flowers and covered with candles! What could be more unique than that?

America the Beautiful
A patriotic arrangement in red, white, and blue flowers and decorated with flags is a stunning way to honor the courage and character of people at a July Fourth cookout, dinner, or dance. More resources are available at King West Flowers if you would like to learn more.

Violets and Butterflies
Velvety violets and gorgeous butterflies can be wrapped by a radiant ribbon into a basketful of delight for so many different occasions.

Convenience at a Flower Shop

Flowers generate almost $35 billion a year in business revenue and allow you to send fresh flowers anywhere in the world. It is so easy and convenient to go online at reputable flower shops, search through beautiful and clever inventories, and choose or put together flower arrangements and perhaps additional gifts to be delivered by the florist to express unique messages on a special day.

Daycare Facilities and the Role in early Childhood Development

Often, parents are unable to decide whether to raise their kids at home with the help of a nanny or to take the to a local daycare facility. While it is not easy to make such a decision, it is vital to understand that every method had its pros and cons. However, the benefits of taking a kid to a good daycare facility outweigh the advantages of raising a kid at home. The following are some of the reasons why parents take their kids to these facilities:

The kid will not get bored
A kid is likely to get bored in a familiar setting, and since the life at home can be monotonous, it is better to explore life at a child care facility. Boredom can be detrimental in the development of a child, and it is vital to exploit the play facilities at such a facility. In addition to having fun, the child learns to follow a strict schedule in such a facility, meaning that your kid will be prepared for the academic sojourn ahead. By interacting with different kids from all walks of life, a kid who goes to a childcare facility develops good interpersonal skills that come in handy in life. A child care facility provides a good foundation for a child to develop the mental strength and character that is instrumental in life, now and in the future.

Preparing the kid for academic life
Most of the games that kids play at the facility help the kids to prepare for the academic life. Children will learn to count as they play, preparing them for basic maths in the process. Also, these kids improve their spoken language, meaning that they learn how to communicate in a better way. Evidently, the kids who go to these facilities at an early are more prepared to begin their studies compared to those who stay at home. When you look at the bigger picture, you will realize that your kid will have to go to school one day and that a daycare facility will make the transition easier.

Daycare staffs are trained professionals
Contrary to popular belief, it is always important to understand that once you identify the right facility, you can rest easy since the child is always in good hands. The people who take care of the kids are trained professionals. Before opening childcare center, the government undertakes thorough scrutiny to ensure that these facilities meet the minimum standards in terms of safety, security, personnel, and equipment. By understanding that a daycare facility will take good care of the kids, you will concentrate on your job since you will have peace of mind. For more information, visit the Wee Watch Licensed Home Child Care website.

Tips for Painting Your Hardwood Floors

If you want to make your hardwood floors look new without refinishing them or buying new hardwood flooring, you can paint them. This is a project you could do yourself, but make sure to do it correctly the first time or you might have to hire someone to redo the paint job. Here are several essential tips to help you beautifully paint your hardwood floors:

Scuff-Sand the Floor Before Painting

To prepare the hardwood flooring for painting, you must scuff-sand it with 150-grit sandpaper. The goal is to rough up the wood flooring enough for the primer to stick well to the wood. You’re not going for a smooth surface yet.

Thoroughly Clean the Floor

Before you paint wood flooring, you must thoroughly clean it. Dusting and mopping it isn’t good enough. You must vacuum the dust, then use a wood floor cleaner on the floors. Allow the wood floors to dry for two days before continuing. If the flooring is still moist, wait longer until they are completely dry. It’s important to let the hardwood floors dry because moisture can cause bubbles during painting.

Prime the Wood Floors

An oil-based primer is ideal for priming hardwood floors, but you could use a high quality latex primer too. If you use an oil-based primer, always buy oil-based paint as well. If you use a latex primer, then go for latex paint. For oil products, let the floor dry for at least 24 hours. A latex primer can dry overnight.

Sand the Floor After It’s Primed

To prevent imperfections from showing through the completed paint job, you should sand the wood floors after priming them. It might seem unnecessary because you sanded before priming, but it is a crucial step. This time, you must also sand with 220-grit sandpaper instead of 150-grit.

Use a Tack Cloth to Wipe the Dust from the Floor

After sanding, use a tack cloth to wipe the dust from the hardwood floors. Cotton rags and paper towels shouldn’t be used because they leave fibers behind on the floor that can ruin the paint job.

Paint Each Coat as Thinly as Possible

Be conservative with the paint as you brush or roll it onto the wood flooring. If you paint too thickly, it will take longer to dry and won’t look as good. When using a roller to paint the floor, take it slow to prevent bubbles from forming. A 1/4-nap microfiber roller works best as a roller for painting hardwood floors. When it comes to brushes, choose a natural bristle brush for best results.

Painting your hardwood floors is a fun painting project you can do yourself. Because it will span over several days to do it correctly, you definitely don’t want to make any mistakes and have to redo the project. While you may enjoy painting the floors, it still takes a bit of your time. Follow the tips above to ensure your painting project runs smoothly. You can find more resources available at the Relative Space website.

How To Plan Your Wedding

Engaged couples who are planning their wedding will quickly learn just how many details there are to creating the perfect event. From the flowers to the favors, there are many items to pick out to create a special day that is remembered for a lifetime. To ensure that you can plan your wedding successfully and allow it to be everything you’ve envisioned, there are a few important tips to follow.

Create a Budget

The budget of your wedding will determine each detail of the special day, making it important to calculate what you can afford before the planning begins. You’ll also need to have enough wiggle room in the budget for unexpected expenses that may arise, which includes the cost of extra wedding invitations or having the wedding dress hemmed.

Choose the Wedding Venue First

Although it can be easy to find a caterer or begin shopping for your wedding dress after becoming engaged, it’s important to first choose a wedding venue. The venue will work as a canvas for the decorations and the attire that you pick, making it important to find a space before deciding on the style of your wedding.

Find a Marriage Officiant

The wedding ceremony should run smoothly to ensure that you enjoy each moment of the event while saying, “I do.” It’s important to find wedding officiants who are certified and have experience marrying couples. Find an officiant that you feel comfortable with and pick someone who has a friendly personality. Set up a meeting to ensure that they have proper speech and are willing to make the ceremony modern or traditional.

Determine Your Color Scheme

You’ll need to choose your color scheme before picking out the flowers or bridesmaid dresses to ensure that everything looks professionally styled. Consider visiting a hardware store to pick out different color swatches that you can use as inspiration for your wedding day. You can also find color schemes online with inspiration boards that you can make on wedding websites, which will allow you to stick with a specific vision that you have in mind.

Hire a Planner

Although you may want to plan each detail of your wedding yourself, you’ll still need someone to direct everything on the day of the event. Hire a day-of coordinator who can work with your vendors and style the centerpieces as you get ready before the ceremony begins. This will allow you to avoid the stress of working through problems that may arise and will ensure that you truly enjoy the day from beginning to end.

Shop Around

When finding someone to cater the food or when looking for a photographer, you’ll need to shop around to find a good deal. Opt for vendors or professionals who are competitive with their prices to ensure that you can stay within your budget. You can also ask for discounts or promotions that may be available if you write a review on their website or recommend them to a friend.

“Workaholic Women” and “Slow-Moving Men”?

I belong to one of the couple types that Hanna Rosin described in her recent piece on breadwinner wives in Slate magazine—the one where the “woman is a born workaholic and the man lives a slower pace”. Although it is more complex than those labels, I have nevertheless lived a version of that story for about twenty years.

I’m a professor, researcher and author; my husband is a naturopathic doctor / acupuncturist whose work schedule goes up and down depending on the economy. We have raised three children together (one is now 20, and the twins are 16 years old).

I have also spent twenty years researching and writing about the changing stories of breadwinning mothers and primary caregiving fathers.

Read the full story here.

*Image: “Mom and Dad (Flying a Kite)” courtesy of one of my daughters (at age 5)

What Instigated my Interest in Fathering? An Old Story and a Dream

On March 31, 2011, I delivered the 42nd Annual Sorokin lecture at the University of Saskatchewan.

Pitrim Sorokin (1889-1968) was a Russian émigré who became a world-renowned sociologist and the founder of the Department of Sociology at Harvard University. He published over 30 books and attracted the attention of Albert Einstein and Albert Schweitzer, Herbert Hoover and John F. Kennedy as well as an eclectic mix of followers and critics, including political activists, military and peace proponents, and even ‘new age’ communities. According to the archive of his work that is lodged at the University of Saskatchewan, he is considered one of the leading thinkers of the 20th century.

It was an honor for me to share a poster that included both our names.

As I was speaking about breadwinning mothers and caregiving dads in my Sorokin lecture, I was interested to read in his memoir that after the death of his mother when he was three years old, Pitrim Sorokin and his two brothers were raised by his father. As he wrote in his memoir, this arrangement led to a life that alternated between happiness and despair.

“Of my father I had and still have two different images. In his sober stretch (lasting for weeks and even months) he was a wonderful man, loving and helping his sons in any way he could… Unfortunately the stretches of soberness alternated with those of drunkenness… In his drunken state he was a pitiful figure; he could not care for us nor help us; he was depressed, irritable, and, once in a while, somewhat violent in his treatment of us”.

His story moved me. Without saying it explicitly, Sorokin pointed to the challenges faced by his father, a single dad raising three boys at the beginning of the 19th century in Russia.

That story also brought me back to another story about a single father raising three; it was the story that initiated my research on primary caregiving fathers. I wrote about this in my book Do Men Mother and in a journal article in Qualitative Sociology.

This is a shortened version of that story. It is actually the long answer to the question: What instigated my interest in fathering?


When I began a study of primary caregiving fathers in 2000, the motivation for undertaking this research seemed clear to me. My interest was explicit and often articulated since many of the fathers that I interviewed asked me how it was that I—as a woman, as a mother—came to be interested in studying men’s lives.

I told a simple story. The initial impulse came out of my own first experiences of parenting and my observations of my husband as he took on the primary care of our eldest daughter at varied points in her early years. His recounting of the excruciatingly painful details of sitting sidelined in a ‘moms and tots’ group in Cambridge, England over several cold winter months awakened my curiosity in the lives of fathers who challenge conventional gender norms.

As my research progressed, however, I became increasingly aware of, what Avery Gordon calls, autobiographical ‘ghosts’ in my research.

Throughout the process of interviewing over 100 fathers and especially while deep into the process of analyzing those narratives, I entered the stage of physical and emotional exhaustion that most qualitative researchers come to know well.

It was here that the words of fathers filled my waking and sleeping hours and rolled through my conscious and unconscious mind. Their faces and their fathering stories mixed inextricably with the ghosts of fathers I had known throughout my life, particularly in the 17 years when I was growing up in a small town on the north shore of New Brunswick.

After months of analyzing interview transcripts, I awoke one night from a dream and suddenly remembered a long-forgotten memory.

I remembered my childhood home, a large wooden house on the Baie de Chaleur, a small bay that empties into the Atlantic Ocean. It was also the house in which both my grandfather and father grew up.

It sat on Main Street in the working-class, Catholic side of town, just down the street from the pulp and paper mill where my father worked long shifts as a laborer for most of his working life.

And then there was the house across the street.

As a child, I would often look out from the verandah of my house, and constantly observe what my mother called ‘the comings and goings’ of that other house. It was an up and down duplex and it belonged to Ozzie Aubie, a lobster fisherman*.

In the upstairs apartment of that duplex was a family of six: a single mother Penny Melanson, and her five daughters. The story was that her husband had just packed up and left one day, leaving Penny to scrape together a living for her daughters. The people in the town talked. More specifically, my grandmother, my mother, and my aunts talked. Penny was pitied for not having a man to provide a family wage.

Yet, as they sat on our front verandah drinking coffee, smoking Du Maurier cigarettes, and looking across the street to Penny’s house, this is what I remember them saying: “Penny was a good mother. Her children were lacking nothing”.

Meanwhile, in the downstairs apartment of this duplex was a family of four—Ozzie Aubie and his three sons, Billy, Johnny, and Harry. Other than the infamous story of Pierre Trudeau taking on custody of his three sons, we had never seen a family living in a house without a mother.

Again, my grandmother, my mother, and my aunts talked. “Where was their mother? How could she leave? Those poor Aubie boys. How would they ever turn out without a mother to raise them?”

Indeed, everything that went wrong with Billy, who was in my grade at school, was blamed on the stain of being a mother-less boy. In Grade Two when he called me names, in Grade Three when he chased me home from school lifting up my skirt, in Grade Four when he threw my newly knitted winter hat so high into our maple tree that it could never be recovered—each of these incidents was met with the same lamenting sigh and response from my mother and my aunts. “Well, what do you expect? He has no mother.”

I grew up with the mystery of Billy’s missing mother and the wonder of how it was that the town embraced Penny Melanson’s fatherless family living upstairs. And yet, they harshly judged the motherless family of Ozzie Aubie that lived downstairs.

From my nighttime dream of Ozzie Aubie and his three sons, I realized that these autobiographical ‘ghosts’ had partly led me to deep personal and academic curiosity in the lives of fathers who are primary caregivers.

And even more specifically, this story brought me into a long research journey focused partly on the relationship between a primary caregiving father and the community within which he lives, works, cares, and is judged.

*All names and identifying details of the two families in the “house across the street” have been changed.

*Image: “What is Guiding Me” courtesy of Christine Martell