Chocolate doesn’t just make you feel better when you’re depressed (or happier when you’re not). Some evidence shows that it could actually be good for your health. According to a meta-analysis of medical data reported in the British Medical Journal, eating chocolate might decrease your risk of heart disease by 37% and your risk of stroke by 29%.

The darker the better - at least 70% cacao and up is where the good stuff is! It's best to stay away from traditional candy bars because they are highly processed, which can diminish the slim health benefits of chocolate.

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This month always seems to bring good moods, good food and lots of gifts. Whether you go all out for the season ,or you prefer a quiet retreat at home, my wish is that you take a moment to savor every last bit of it.

The holiday magic is fleeting, as it only comes but once a year. For some of us, it’s when we see the first snow fall, and for even more of us, it’s the only time of the year when we get extended time off from work.

As the pace of the month increases with an ever-growing list of “Things to Do”, I encourage you to pause and take a step back and maybe make a list of “Things Not to Do.”

  • Do not stress about giving the best gift.

  • Do not fret about making the best meal.

  • Do not agonize about eating that extra holiday cookie you loved so much.

The rest of the year has its stressors, and they will be there after this holiday season passes—trust me. Right now, I encourage you to focus on what matters. Maybe that is quality time with your friends, family and pets, or perhaps it’s quality time with yourself. Whatever it is and wherever you are - be there fully.

Until then,

Gino Pezzani

Your Real Estate/Mortgage Consultant For Life

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Canadian real GDP rose 0.1 per cent in September, up for the eighth consecutive month. Goods-producing sectors rose 0.3 per cent while services-producing industries were essentially flat. Canadian real GDP is now roughly 2.8 per cent above its pre-pandemic, February 2020 level. Preliminary estimates suggest that output in the Canadian economy was unchanged in October.

Growth in the third quarter of 2022 registered 2.9 per cent at an annualized rate from the prior quarter, rising for the fifth consecutive quarter. Businesses continued to expand their inventories, while retail and wholesale trade sectors recorded higher stocks of motor vehicles. Housing investment fell 4.1 per cent on higher interest rates, as home renovations (-6.6 per cent) and resale activities (-13.8 per cent) were down for the second and third consecutive quarters respectively. In contrast, new construction (+2.4 per cent) and business investment in non-residential structures (+2.8 per cent) both rose. Exports were up 2.1 per cent on higher oil production while household spending edged down 0.3 per cent in the third quarter, the first decline since the second quarter of 2021. 

GDP growth in the third quarter, though beating the Bank of Canada's expectations, continues to show signs of slowing. The slowdown in GDP growth will likely continue into 2023 as the bank continues and then perhaps concludes its tightening cycle. The Bank is expected to raise its overnight rate again at its upcoming rate announcement on December 8th, but analysts expect the pace of hikes to slow following that meeting. Currently at 3.75 per cent, we expect the overnight rate to increase another 50 to 100 basis points. GDP growth will remain slow, particularly in interest rate sensitive sectors like housing, while the bank continues to increase rates. 

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-economic-growth-real-gdp-q32022

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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National Haiku Poetry Day, Dec. 2. A day to celebrate an ancient Japanese poetry form, the haiku.

Human Rights Day, Dec. 10. Honors the adoption of the Universal Declaration of  Human Rights (UDHR).

First night of Hanukkah, Dec. 18. The beginning of the 8-night Jewish holiday celebrating the dedication of the Temple of Jerusalem.

Christmas Day, Dec. 25. A Christian holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus.

First Day of Kwanzaa, Dec. 26. A 7-day celebration of African heritage and culture that continues until Jan. 1.

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Good health isn’t an accident of genetics. It’s a habit—or it can be, if you’re serious about practicing it. Here are a few tips for staying in shape and healthy under any circumstance:

Move around. Maybe you can’t devote a few hours to a full workout every day, but you can burn a few hundred calories by adding even a little physical activity to your routine. Get out of your chair and take a brisk walk around the office, use the stairs instead of the elevator, pick a parking spot that is far from the entrance and so forth.

Eat relaxing meals. Take your time when eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. People who race through their meals, or eat while they’re doing something else - such as working or watching TV - tend to eat more. Sit down, slow down and enjoy your food without distractions.

Stop when you’re full. Most of us were taught to eat everything on our plate, and the idea of “wasting” food seems downright wrong to many people. But you’ll add unwanted weight by forcing yourself to finish meals when you’re already full. Save your uneaten food and enjoy it the next day as a snack or as leftovers to avoid wasting it.

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Want to get fit? Try getting out of bed earlier. In a study conducted at Northwestern University, researchers gave 54 people wrist monitors that tracked their sleeping patterns and exposure to light for a week and told them to keep detailed records of what they ate.

The researchers also measured participants’ activity level and age, as well as the season they were being monitored.

The researchers found that exposure to early morning light, whether natural or artificial, was associated with a leaner body weight. The reason, they speculate, is that light might play a role in regulating the metabolism, similar to its effects on wakefulness and alertness. The connection isn’t conclusive, but getting up a little earlier might be worth a try... rise and shine!

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Canadian seasonally-adjusted retail sales fell 0.5 per cent in September to $61.1 billion. Sales fell in 7 of 11 subsectors, but were led by lower sales at food and beverage stores (-1.3 per cent) and gas stations (-2.4 per cent). Core retail sales, which strips out gasoline and motor vehicle and parts dealers, fell 0.4 per cent in September. In volume terms, sales were down 0.1 per cent. 

In BC, seasonally-adjusted sales fell 2 per cent in September. Compared to the same month last year, retail sales were up 3.1 per cent in the province. In the Greater Vancouver region, sales fell 3.8 per cent month-over-month and were up 3.5 per cent year-over-year. 

In September, Canadian e-commerce sales fell 3.3 per cent to $3.4 billion, corresponding to 5.7 per cent of retail sales. This percentage remains elevated relative to pre-pandemic levels, but is lower than during core months of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. 

Link: https://mailchi.mp/bcrea/canadian-retail-sales-september-2022-november-22-2022

For more information, please contact: Gino Pezzani.

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Planning a vacation sometime next year? Prevent a disaster before it starts. Here’s how to protect yourself against dishonest travel agents and their possible scams:

Shop around. Never rush into booking a vacation without getting offers from at least two agencies or tour providers.

Deal only with reputable travel agencies or tour companies. Ask for a referral or do your homework to learn if any complaints have been filed against the company.

Beware of any too-good-to-be-true offer. This can include ridiculously cheap prices or “free” trips that require you to attend a seminar. If anything is two-for-one or includes a free stay, then read the fine print before signing anything.

Ask for details. Find out about all the terms before agreeing to buy. Ask for specific names of airlines, hotels, restaurants, tour providers or any other vendor mentioned as a part of the package. Also ask if there’s a cancellation policy. 

Don’t pay all at once. If you’re told to pay in advance, then ask if you can pay only a deposit. Using a credit card is safest because you retain your right to dispute the charges if the services were misrepresented or never delivered.

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Canceling a credit card can seem like a fast and easy solution to your debt woes. In a Bankrate survey of 2,301 adults with credit cards, 61% reported that they’ve canceled at least one credit card, and 37% said they’ve canceled more.

The older you are, the more likely you’ve done it: 72% percent of Baby Boomers have canceled at least one card, more than 61% of Gen Xers and 50% of Millennials have done it.

Here are some reasons they gave for cutting ties:

  • 40% - No longer needed it after paying off debt

  • 36% - Didn’t use it enough to keep it

  • 36% - Interest rate too high

  • 18% - Worries about overspending and debt

  • 17% - Insufficient rewards

  • 12% - Improve credit score

  • 11% - Other reasons

However, canceling a credit card doesn’t automatically boost your credit score. Experts advise keeping an account open, even if you don’t use it, because longstanding accounts with available credit typically have a positive impact on your overall credit score.

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Sometime around 1703, in an opulent German Cathedral, an old man plays a massive organ for the last time. He is retiring and playing a melancholy piece of music.

Meanwhile, a young man—his replacement—approaches. Without a word, the old man finishes his work, stands, removes the organ key, pockets it and walks toward the door.

“Sir, the key, please,” the young man says.

The organist hands the would-be apprentice the key and then leaves. The young man sits at the organ and begins to play a never-before-heard harmony. The sound fills the Cathedral and spills into the town and through the countryside, inspiring awe within everyone listening.

The apprentice is a young Johann Sebastian Bach, before he became the court chamber musician for Duke Johann Ernst III.

Now, imagine within you is the key to special knowledge and wisdom that is unique only to you. Sometime today, ask yourself who needs your key to unlock his or her genius and share one of your unique resources that open doors for generations.  

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