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Semi-retired :)

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  1. Yes you can certainly get a job in banking with a B.Comm. It doesn't matter where you earned your Bachelor of Commerce.
  2. That's a great question. The following are the volunteer sites I'm aware of. First and foremost, your safety is paramount. www.volunteertoronto.cap www.sparkontario.ca
  3. Hello everyone! Hope you are all keeping safe and sound during these difficult times. Know that you are not alone. To all high school students out there, isn't this the best time to give your career some serious thought? After all, you have plenty of time on your hands and you have this site that you were lucky enough to find out about 🙂 To all students out there who are not sure what you want to do with the rest of your lives, this is a great time to start by asking questions! We are here and we want to help. Ask us anything! And if we don't know all the answers, we will find out the answers or we will point you in the right direction. At a minimum, we can tell you about our personal experiences and perhaps something about these stories will inspire you. And to all students out there who do have a good idea what you want to do, ask yourselves: Have you researched what it takes to get into that field? Do you have all the information you need? Do you know which colleges or universities offer the program that you might be interested in? Do you know what you would have to do after graduating in order to get your career started? Or if you are uncertain about your choice, have you considered other options? There's no time like the present (especially when we are all stuck at home)! So start asking these questions. Reach out to us 🙂
  4. With a Bachelor of Commerce, you will have the choice of what to major and minor in. I received a Specialist in Finance and Commerce , a Major in Economics, and a Minor in Philosophy. At the time, I felt that this was a good synergistic combination that also included some of my passions (i.e., Philosophy). I didn't necessarily know what I would do with this degree. During my university career, I realized just how much I love working with numbers, and more importantly, analyzing data to enable us to actually make decisions. I loved being presented with a scenario and being asked to make recommendations that optimize the outcome (whether the desired result is to maximize profit/minimize risk/etc). I loved being presented with a problem and coming up with the best most optimal most efficient solution. What also helped me to reach this conclusion was the part-time job I held throughout my university years and the particular aspects I enjoyed about it, as well as the fact that this is how I am in my life in general when it comes to everything I do - I try to challenge the status quo and improve the way I do things. After graduating, I looked for a job that would enable me to do precisely that. However, with a B.Comm, the sky is the limit. It is such a broad and all-encompassing degree so there is a wide variety of things you can do with it. You can also further specialize in something in particular if you so choose. For example, some of my classmates ended up getting their accounting designation. You will learn what you like in the years that you're working towards this degree. Another factor of course will be the types of jobs available upon graduation. One thing to note is - depending on what field you choose to get into, your grades may in fact matter tremendously. In my case, I was able to find a job and move up quickly due to my high GPA. But this is not necessarily true of all jobs.
  5. What is your profession/industry? For five years, I have been dedicating my time to searching for good real estate investment opportunities all over the province and then buying and leasing out said properties, as well as managing the properties and the tenants. In the course of this endeavour, I also learned about many other investment opportunities that are more passive in nature. Slowly, I am gravitating more towards such opportunities and I have also had success with this. Additionally, part of what I do is to share my knowledge with others and hopefully inspire them to think about their retirement goals and about how they can get there ASAP! What do you do? I do a tremendous amount of research to understand the real estate market and where the maximum profit can be made. I also do a tremendous amount of research re taxation treatment of these profits - whether you buy and flip, buy and lease out as a regular rent agreement, buy and lease out on an RTO (rent-to-own) basis as well as the other options available to real estate investors. In addition, learning how to acquire a good tenant (or deciding to pay someone to do this for you) is also essential. What skills do you need? It should be clear that good research skills are a must. You also have to be able and willing to attend financial presentations (and know how to find out about such events!) and remain in the know and always be talking to the right people and monitoring the real estate market. You have to have a thirst for information and for expanding your knowledge base. The more you learn, the more you will find out how much you still have yet to learn and that should not discourage you; rather, it should drive you. Professional skills You don't need a degree to do this. You don't have to have a special type of educational background. You just have to have the ability to manage difficult tenants and also manage the properties -- whether you learn to do that yourself or hire someone to do it for you. You have to have the ability to be decisive and to be unafraid of taking risks. You have to have a keen eye and good instincts. What inspires you about your work? I love being able to manage my own time and put in as much or as little work as I wish. Obviously that will affect how much money I make, but I like having that option. There are so many careers that are not exactly available in a part-time capacity. There is a lot of money to be made in the real estate market. It is wonderful to be open to new things, new opportunities, new ideas. Generally speaking, when there is a topic that people don't know much about (e.g., investments, or finances in general), they find it intimidating and just automatically conclude that they shouldn't delve into something they barely understand. This fear is valid but we should not forever remain in the dark about something we don't know or understand. Do not be afraid. You will not become an expert overnight but you should be open, you should be willing, you should start somewhere -- baby steps. It is not rocket science. Learn. Educate yourself so that you can then make informed investment decisions re your hard-earned dollars. It is very unfortunate that we don't learn about finances/money/budgets/taxes/investments in school. If you are not the type to be able to acquire such information yourself or you don't even know where to begin, then hire a really good financial advisor. Or talk to me! What kind of person do you think it takes to do what you do? Much of the knowledge I acquired was self-taught. Also, to do this successfully, you must be willing to take risks and know that not all the risks you take will pay off but that that's okay. All in all, you can never succeed if you don't try. And real estate investors gain experience quickly and learn from past purchases, past tenants, past contracts, etc. so you will always find yourself improving. It takes a bold and brave person to do this. But of course, your risks need to be calculated and carefully studied. You must strive to gain as much information as possible before you make a decision. You have to have patience and be thorough but not let fear be your guide.
  6. What is your profession/industry? Until five years ago, I was a senior financial analyst. What do you do? A financial analyst naturally has very high analytical skills and is able to see both the big picture as well as the minute details. A financial analyst compares two or more options or courses of action available and makes the best decision from a financial standpoint, and when necessary, also from a qualitative standpoint (e.g., business reputation, potential legal or environmental issues, etc). The ability to study, in depth, what each of the investment options entails and how it affects the company is at the heart of what a financial analyst does. What skills/experience do you need? Experience An entry level position is great to immerse you in the world of business cases. As you gain experience, the more business cases you conduct, the better you get at it. Technical skills At a minimum, an undergraduate degree in the field of Finance or something similar. Professional skills Excellent analytical/decision-making/problem-solving skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, research skills, computer skills, time management skills, and organizational skills. What inspires you about your work? I absolutely loved being a business case analyst. Enabling Senior Management to make a well-informed decision based on our business case studies and then actually seeing the selected investment project through to completion and doing what we called a "post-mortem" analysis was invigorating - it enabled us to learn from what we did wrong and also reinforce what we did right. It was constantly a challenging and fast-paced environment that kept us wanting to do more, learn more, accomplish more and I loved being challenged in this manner: being pushed to always excel and be the best analyst I can be. Nothing is more fulfilling or satisfying than knowing you did the absolute best job you could. And like I said, seeing the results of our labour made it all worthwhile. What kind of person do you think it takes to do what you do? Someone who is highly motivated, aspires to realize his/her full potential, is very attentive to detail, is very diligent and who can perform well in a very demanding environment.
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