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Financial News and Advice from CPA Canada

By Tamar Satov

China’s wealthiest getting richer

the number of billionaires in China has tripled in the past five years, according to the Hurun Report’s China Rich List 2013. It counts 315 billionaires — including real estate tycoon Wang Jianlin (above) with a chart-topping US$22 billion — among the country’s 1,000 wealthiest individuals, compared with 101 billionaires in 2008 and none a decade ago. The report also estimates there are 64,500 “super-rich” in China, with personal wealth of at least US$16 million. 

Another reason to dislike Canada’s tax rates

Canada’s high personal income tax rates aren’t just a hit to your pocketbook, they’re also hurting the country’s economic competitiveness, a Fraser Institute study suggests. “If Canada wants to encourage investment, business development, entrepreneurship and work effort, we need to lower marginal tax rates and increase the income thresholds at which they apply,” says Sean Speer, the think-tank’s director of fiscal studies.

More FinLit, please

A lack of money smarts is the main reason entrepreneurs fail, say young aspiring business owners. According to an Intuit survey of 1,000 Canadian would-be entrepreneurs aged 18 to 33, a poor understanding of finances ranks ahead of other startup pitfalls, such as lack of a detailed plan, strategic vision or access to necessary resources.

Furthermore, 30% of respondents say the best way to boost long-term entrepreneurial success is to make financial literacy and financial management a core part of Canada’s educational curriculum.

Gender gap persists for financial advisers

The majority of Americans would prefer to have a woman look after their health than their money, according to the so-called “Perfect Woman” poll conducted by CBS’s 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair magazine. Asked which of five possible service occupations they’d be most comfortable to have a woman in, 43% of men and 52% of women surveyed said their doctor. In comparison, 24% of men and 11% of women said financial planner — trumping boss, mechanic and contractor.

Five extra years to freedom

Nearly half of workers 50 or older have yet to save even a quarter of what they’ll need in retirement, a national survey of employees by the Canadian Payroll Association finds. This savings gap will likely force many to stay in the workforce longer than expected: of those with a target retirement date, 35% say they’ll now have to work an average of five years longer than they had planned in 2008.

This article was originally published in the January/February 2014 issue of CPA Magazine.