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J. Douglas Hoyes
Works at Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc.
Attended University of Toronto
Lives in Ontario, Canada
244 followers|114,712 views
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244 people
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Consumer Proposal Administrator, Bankruptcy Trustee, Chartered Accountant
There is no "one size fits all" solution. Douglas reviews all options to provide a customized solution to your debt problems.
  • Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc.
    Co-Founder, 1999 - present
    In addition to meeting with people in financial trouble, Douglas is a frequent writer and speaker, working to educate Canadians on all of their debt management options.
  • KPMG
    Senior Manager, 1987 - 1997
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
    Senior Manager, 1997 - 1998
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Ontario, Canada
Contact Information
310-PLAN, 1-866-747-0660 ext 4020
Helping you solve your debt problems
Co-founder, Hoyes, Michalos & Associates Inc., Ontario's largest independent personal insolvency firm.
Douglas is an expert in all aspects of debt management, including money management, budgeting, credit counselling, consumer proposals and personal bankruptcy.
Bragging rights
First trustee in Canada to electronically file a bankruptcy back in 2002. Douglas has personally filed almost 5,000 personal bankruptcy filings, and over 3,500 consumer proposals.
  • University of Toronto
    Commerce & Economics Specialist, 1983 - 1987
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario
    Chartered Accountant, 1989
  • Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals
    Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional, 1994
  • Government of Canada
    Trustee in Bankruptcy, 1995
    Licensed by the government of Canada to act as a trustee in bankruptcy and a consumer proposal administrator.
Basic Information
Other names
Doug Hoyes, Douglas Hoyes, J. Douglas Hoyes


J. Douglas Hoyes

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Heart Rate Monitor in a hat

Did my first run today with my new Life Beam hat.  It was awesome.

On my long weekend runs my goal is to run "aerobically", which for me means very slow, and the only way I know I am running slow enough is to monitor my heart rate.  I follow the Maffetone method, which in simple terms means running at a heart rate of approximately 180 minus your age (so for me that's around 129 beats per minute, but don't ask me how old I am, since I won't tell you....).

You can read more about Maffetone on his website:

I wear a Garmin 920 XT watch, which connects to a heart rate strap.  Heart rate straps are a pain.  They have to fit relatively tightly, and on hot days on long runs they start to chafe, which is very annoying.

The Life Beam hat solves that problem, because it has a heart rate monitor built in to the hat.  It's an optical sensor that touches your forehead and reads your pulse, and sends it to the battery pack and bluetooth transmitter at the back of the hat.  Brilliant.

It took a few seconds to pair it with my Garmin, and I can watch my heart rate without wearing a strap.

I first heard about it on the +EndurancePlanetTV podcast; you can buy it through a link on their website, which also gives you a discount:

(I get no commission from this; I'm not affiliated with any of them).

After the discount, and with express shipping (2 days) to Canada, and with our weak Canadian dollar, the total cost was $143 Canadian.  If you get standard shipping it's cheaper.

My hat is white, but the picture from their website shows where the sensors are positioned.  The electronic unit charge lasts for 15 hours of running, and is rechargeable by plugging it into a USB port on your computer.

I did a 2 and a half hour run today and it worked perfectly.

So there you go.  If you want a heart rate monitor buy don't want to wear a strap, here's a solution.  I wear a hat anyway (it keeps the bugs out of my hair when I'm on the trail, and keeps the sun away), so it was an easy transition for me.
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J. Douglas Hoyes

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Last night on +CBC News The National aired a story on seniors, bankruptcy and debt.  They had some good clips of actual seniors with debt issues, and I was quoted giving my thoughts.  Here are more details on the numbers: 

As I said on the show, this is a problem that won't be solved anytime soon.  We all have to focus on eliminating debt and saving money while we are working, so that we don't enter retirement with debt.

#debt   #bankruptcy   #seniors  
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Training Ride for the Cambridge Tour de Grand

The +Cambridge Tour de Grand is only three weeks away, so I decided I should start training.  (Better late then never, but the weather outdoors for the last few months has not exactly been conducive to bike riding, and indoor trainers are boring).  I went on my first outdoor ride on my Trek this season.  Did 24 km, some of it on portions of the 60 km course.  

I remembered that it's a lot easier to ride downhill with the wind than uphill against the wind.  My fastest km took 1 minute 30 seconds (average speed 39.6 km/h).  My slowest, uphill with the wind in my face, was about 5 minutes. Yikes.

Will be interesting to see the final routes when they are posted, since there is construction on Pinehurst Road near Drumbo Road, and the road is down to one lane, so it may be difficult to use that section of the road on the course (I think the 60, 72, 100 and 160 km routes in the past went through that section, but I could be wrong) unless the construction is finished by ride day.

Given my current state of fitness (not that fit), I may try the 40 km route this year.  I've always done the 60 km route, but as I discovered today, most of the course is into the wind.  I don't know how that's possible on a point to point course, but every year it seems most of the ride is into the wind, so perhaps I'll try my luck with a different route.

Now all we have to do is hope for good weather.
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Just could not find the time to get out on my bike this weekend, so I'll have to hope I've got something in my legs on the day of the Tour!
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Talk with Your Kids About Money Day

Today is Talk with Your Kids About Money Day.  It's sponsored by BMO, and I have no association with it.  Talking with your kids is always a good idea, and money is an important topic, so here's my collection of resources that may help:

+Robin Taub discussing how to raise money smart kids: 

Financially preparing to have a family with +Christi Posner

Debt and Gen Y with +Rob Carrick from the +The Globe and Mail

Pat Foran from +CTV News with a Young Adults Guide to Personal Finance:


#debt   #money   #TalktoKidsAboutMoney  
Click to watch. the program in action! Online Toolkit: School Program | Home Program. April 16th was a great Day. Over 1200 schools participated! Let's keep the conversations going! Next Talk Day is April 15th, 2015. Learn more about the program ...
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Debt Study Released

+Sands & Associates, a consumer insolvency firm in British Columbia, released a study on consumer debt.  Follow the link to read the entire study.  There were many interesting aspects, including their findings on the warning signs of debt.

When asked "How did you know your debts were becoming a problem?", 43% said they were getting collection calls, and 65% said they were only making minimum payments.  Missing payments and wage garnishments also made the list.

My take-away from this question is that you shouldn't wait until you are getting collection calls to take action.  If you are only making the minimum payments you are not dealing with your debt, and the time for action is now.

#debt   #statistics   #britishcolumbia  
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Thanks for sharing +J. Douglas Hoyes! 
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Eliminate debt before retirement

In an interview with, I make the point that debt is not something you want to carry with you into retirement.  I give some tips, including eliminating high interest credit card debt first, and then working through and eliminating all other debt.

#debt   #retirement  
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Have him in circles
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J. Douglas Hoyes

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Millennials’ lack of debt may be a sign of trouble

In today's +The Globe and Mail ,  +Rob Carrick interviews me for my thoughts on why millenials are a decreasing portion of bankruptcies, while the percentage of seniors filing is increasing.  As I stated in the article, with student loan issues and fewer great jobs, it's more difficult for young people to borrow, so they end up with less debt.

That's both good and bad.  Time will tell if this trend continues.

#debt   #millennials  
Though this generation’s low insolvency rate seems like good news, it may actually point to an inability to borrow
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J. Douglas Hoyes

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My latest from +The Huffington Post.  New debt settlement laws come into force on July 1 in Ontario, and I explain how it may impact consumers.

#debt   #debtsettlement  
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+J. Douglas Hoyes makes an important distinction between ending abuse of customers by debt settlement companies, and making an real improvement in customer's financial situation.

The defect for US debt settlement companies is that they can't make creditors accept less than they are owed.  A #bankruptcy  court can.
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How Do I Know When to Declare Bankruptcy?

On Friday I was interviewed by Amanda Lang on +CBC News and she asked me how you know when you should file bankruptcy.  I discuss many warning signs, but ultimately if you have more debt than you can handle you need to seek professional advice to fully explore all of your options.

#debt   #bankruptcy  
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Hockey Team Goes Bankrupt

In a surprise move today, the Erie Otters hockey team has filed for bankruptcy protection.  They are in the USA, so they have filed under Chapter 11.  I will review and update as more information becomes available.
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Bankruptcy numbers turning upward?

In statistics just released by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, insolvencies increased in December, and that's the first time that's happened in quite a while.

My guess is that the five year decline in bankruptcy volumes has ended, which is not good news for the Canadian economy.

#debt   #bankruptcy   #statistics  
Highlights of the Insolvency Statistics in Canada, December 2014. Includes data on bankruptcies and proposals.
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Pay off debt, or contribute to your RRSP?

In an article published today, +Jamie Golombek of the CIBC is quoted as saying that, with interest rates at record lows, and the stock market doing well, you should contribute to your RRSP before paying off debt.  His point is that if you have a mortgage at 3%, and are earning more than that on your RRSP, it makes sense to get the tax break and the higher yield on your RRSP, as compared to paying down a low interest rate mortgage.

I don't disagree with that math, but I have two comments:

First, as Mr. Golombek states, you should pay off high interest credit card debt, since it's unlikely that you are earning 20% in your RRSP.  I agree.

Second, Mr. Golombek does acknowledge that equity investment carries risk.  If you could guarantee that you would make 7% on your investments for the next five years, locking in a mortgage at 3% makes sense.  Unfortunately, there are no stock market guarantees.

Markets are at record high levels, and interest rates are at historic lows.  Will that continue forever?  I suspect not.  A not-unusual 10% stock market correction wipes out the investment advantage, so under that scenario paying off debt is the safest, and best, alternative.

My point: before you speculate with borrowed money, consider the risks.  Paying down a low interest mortgage may not seem sexy, but if the markets fall we will all wish we could achieve a 3% after tax return, guaranteed, which is what you get when you pay down your mortgage.

#debt   #mortgage   #interestrate  
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Respectfully, +Jamie Golombek has left out a couple of major considerations.  First, with interest rates at historic lows right now, your payments reduce more of your principle thereby reducing future interest costs.  Second, by paying down debt you reduce your risk of higher interest charges later - we don't know how long interest rates will stay this low, but at some point, they are going to rise and if you wait until rates are higher to pay down your debt you'll have missed this opportunity.  Third, if the interest you are paying on debt is at historic lows, then the interest you will earn on your RRSP investments will be even lower.  Why earn 1% on a GIC in your RRSP when you can save 18% on interest charged on your debt.  Finally, unless you can save significant amounts of money in your RRSP before you retire they may be costing you money when you retire.  Currently, Canadians have access to CPP (if they worked) and OAS when they retire.  OAS is reduced if you have other forms of retirement income - like from an RRSP that you've converted into a RRIF.  You need to do the math carefully to determine if you can save enough to justify the reductions you will have in the OAS when you retire.
Pay down your debt. 
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