Mortgage apathy, Twitter stock soars & Minuum taps into a trend: BUSINESS WEEK WRAP
Raise your hand if you threw extra cash at paying down your mortgage this year.
According to the folks at CAAMP, barely a third of you have a hand in the air right now. Which is a shame, because much like cutting back on salt, eating more vegetables and taking the stairs once in a while, it's a really simple and painless thing to do that pays big dividends down the line.
The CBC's Tom McFeat crunched the numbers this week and found that small amounts of money — even as little as $25 a week — can add up over time and save you thousands of dollars, not to mention years of worry.
In an era where there's countless demands on our money, it's a tough sell to increase the amount you're putting toward something. But as our most read story of the week shows, little things can add up quick.
Twitter flying high
The investment world was all atwitter this week as the world's second-biggest social media company had its best day on the stock market ever.
Twitter shares rose by as much as 30 per cent on Tuesday after the company posted quarterly earnings. The numbers showed the company keeps adding new users (up to 271 million at last count) and better still, is squeezing more and money money out of advertisers for all those timeline views.
But there's one big number we haven't mentioned yet, and it's the company's biggest problem as an investment: the company still isn't making any money.
Twitter still lost $142 million in the quarter, more than three times as much as the same period a year ago. But investors seemed to focus on the positive this week, driving Twitter shares up to their best day since the company had its IPO last year.
Getting our financial house in order
Investors might not have cared about piddly details like "profitability" this week but the head of a newly created government agency is doing her best to make sure ordinary citizens do in their everyday lives.
As financial literacy leader at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, Jane Rooney’s job is to boost Canadians’ savings rate and reduce household debt.
That's a tough sell in an era where the debt ratio has hit a record 163 per cent, but Rooney told Amanda Lang this week the agency is focusing on public awareness to make sure people are better prepared to handle their financial lives.
"We have four goals," Rooney said in the interview. "It's helping people plan ahead for their senior years, manage their money within their senior years, protect themselves against fraud, and understand government benefits. That's the same for all Canadians," she said.
Minuum's little big idea
One of Twitter's big growth areas is the mobile space, and that's exactly where a young Toronto entrepreneur was making headlines this week.
Inventor Will Walmsley was on The Lang & O'Leary Exchange this week, showing off his company's product: a keyboard app called Minuum that's got potential to revolutionize mobile computing.
It's an app, available on Android now and on Apple's iOS in the fall, that basically boils down to a keyboard that's much better at predicting what you're trying to type in with those missing letters, which allows them to shrink the keyboard and make it much smaller. "We're able to take the keyboard and shrink it down to be very very small and have it still work even if you have very large fingers," is how Walmsley put it.
That can be helpful with existing devices, but it's got huge potential for the next generation of wearable technology, things like smart watches and Google Glass-style cameras.
(Oh, and you can put your hand down now.)