Jul 232014
 

Last week I invested roughly $5K into two new companies: Timbercreek, and Atrium. Both are mortgage backed securities called MICs and trade publicly on the TSX.

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Timbercreek (TMC) is based out of Ontario, where it conducts most of it’s lending business. TMC recently lowered its interest payout to 7.8% a year, which is still pretty attractive :) Its CEO recently said “Given our primary objective is preserving capital, we believe it is prudent at this time to reduce our payout to maintain credit quality rather than increase risk in the portfolio.”

Atrium (AI) has most of its portfolio in first mortgages. Its average loan to value ratio is only 64% so a small correction in Canada’s real estate market should not affect the company’s principal investments. Atrium currently pays 7.3% a year.

My new investments are generating $364 every year :) That’s like $1 a day of passive income :) #Winning! Some readers might be thinking “Yeah, but you have money to invest, Liquid. What aboot the rest of us who don’t have $5,000 to buy these MICs?” Well hold on to your toques because I didn’t have any money to invest either. In my latest net worth update I revealed that I only had $800 in cash. So here’s my secret – I used a retirement plan loan to buy these new stocks :)

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Jul 202014
 

I often gain financial knowledge by attending local events and seminars. It doesn’t mean every event I go to will directly lead me to make an investment decision, but they all help to improve my understanding of how money works in general. So here are some upcoming free events in major Canadian cities that might interest some people. Note: some of these seminars are meant to sell a service or product, but I encourage people to go for educational purposes only.

Toronto ON
RBC Direct Investing Seminar
Introduction to RBC’s stock trading platform and self-directed investing. Learn how to manage your own portfolio and use research and other resources to make better investment choices.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014. 12:15 – 1:15 pm.

RBC Direct Investing Centre
200 Bay St. — Royal Bank Plaza
Upper Concourse level
Toronto, ON M5J 2J5

Call 416-974-7493 to reserve your spot

Ottawa ON
Introduction to Fixed Income
Fixed income are investments like pensions and bonds. Its return is set at a particular figure and does not vary. Learn how it’s different from stocks and real estate equity.

Thursday Aug 7th, 2014. 12:00 – 1:00 pm

TD Direct Investing
45 O’Connor Street. 2nd Floor
Ottawa-Downtown, ON K1P 1A4

RSVP 613-783-6379 or use link above to register.

Montreal QC
Plan your Financial Future
Geared more towards young adults. Learn to set financial goals to build, protect, and enjoy your upcoming future.

Saturday, Aug 9, 2014. 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Wintax
4888 Boul. St-Charles
Pierrefonds, QC

Follow link above and RSVP to attend. You will need a meetup.com account.

Calgary AB
Credit Rating IQ
Learn the essential knowledge on your credit reports and credit score. Understand how it works, what’s reported, who uses it and how it impacts you. Discover how you can maintain or improve your rating.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014. 6:30 – 7:30 pm

616 Macleod Trail SE
Calgary, AB. T2G 2M2

It’s a drop-in so you can just show up.

Edmonton AB
Building Your Retirement Pay Cheque
The presenter will answer the following: What is retirement planning? Where do I begin? Where will my money come from?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014. 12:00 – 1:00 pm

TD Direct Investing
10205 101st Street. Suite 148
Edmonton-Downtown, AB T5J 2Y8

RSVP 780-448-8082 to reserve your spot or register online using link above.

Vancouver BC
Meet-up with Blonde on a Budget
Get-together with Cait Flanders, a personal finance celebrity here in Vancouver. Discussions will be about debt, budgeting, and money in general. Free treats will be provided. I’ve met Cait before in real life and I think she knows more about personal finance than me.

Thursday, July 24, 2014. 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Tangerine Café
466 Howe St
Vancouver, BC V6C 3L5

Register using link above. Limited seats remaining.

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Random Useless Fact:
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Jul 172014
 

I was kicked out of university after my first year :? I had it coming though since I was probably the worst student on campus. But overall I’m glad I still enrolled, even if the experience was short lived. Going to university made me realize what really matters in my life.

It all started back in 2005 in my final year of high school. My application for the 4-year Bachelor of Commerce program at the University of British Columbia (UBC) was rejected because my “B” average grades weren’t high enough for their fancy business school :mad: But I managed to get into the Applied Science undergrad program instead, which is basically engineering :D

I wanted to do cool things in my first year at UBC like blow things up, or learn to build rockets or design robots. But nope. All they had me do was write reports, read text books, and solve equations. It all just felt dry and boring :|

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I quickly lost interest in all my courses. Instead of attending my own classes I started to sit in on lectures about astronomy and business technology, which were not part of my curriculum but they were more interesting :D I also spent a lot of time playing video games, reading fiction, and watching the serial drama LOST :) I had pretty much stopped going to all of my classes entirely.

Time flies when I procrastinate and before long it was mid terms season. Unlike high school, tests and exams in university make up the bulk of a student’s final grade. So I thought as long as I still show up for my exams and do well, then I can still pass the year :D I also figured I can just cram the night before an exam.

But I might have slightly overestimated my academic abilities. The science exams were brutally difficult. I only knew the answers for two blanks on the physics test – my name, and the date. And I wasn’t even sure about the date :? I spent more time making doodles on the pages than solving actual problems (-_-;) I was completely out of my element for the chemistry test as well. I was so frustrated I wanted to just take all the questions on the test and Barium :D  *badum tss*

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The English exam was even more challenging. My brain went completely blank.

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For one part of the test I had to write a paragraph to either argue for, or argue against an idea in this book that we were suppose to have read. But I hate arguing. Why can’t we all just get along? Plus, I didn’t read the book, which was a bit of an inconvenience since that was the main focus of the exam :| So for my answer I diplomatically wrote “Let’s all just agree to disagree.”

The math exam was the worst. I’m not very skilled at math to begin with. The equation 2n+2n is just 4n to me :D And most of the questions on the test weren’t even practical. I suppose decimals have a point. But how often is differential calculus used by average people in real life? Needless to say I only completed about half the questions :(

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I thought I could ace my mid terms with minimal studying. I had never been so wrong in my life. When the marks came back it turned out I answered none of the questions right on the math test. But I did receive 2 marks for showing my work, which is nice :) So overall I got 2 out of 80 possible marks on my math mid term, or 2.5%. I was a bit disappointed. But hey, things could have been worse ;)

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Jul 142014
 

Somewhere in the world right now there’s a person who is working 10 hours a day doing manual labour and making minimum wage. He realizes his life could be much better so he saves what he can to build the future that he wants. He believes that he can change his circumstances in life by working hard, and having a solid plan. He tries to start his own business but fails. But he tries again and again, sacrificing his time, savings, and energy to make it work. Eventually his company turns a small profit, which grows every year, and ten years later he is a millionaire :)

Meanwhile just down the street from the first person lives another man who just won the lottery and becomes a millionaire over night. He doesn’t think about how to use the money wisely. He just knows he’s rich now and believes he will stay rich forever, without considering that his circumstances might change over time. He starts to buy fancy cars, make friends with other people who also like to spend lots of money. He eats out almost every meal and becomes fat and lazy. He continues to buy lottery tickets hoping he would win again, but he doesn’t. Ten years later he realizes he has spent all of his money and is now broke :(

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Which type of person are you? By making it on your own you can appreciate the ups of success because you’ve experienced the downs of failure. It can be tempting to immerse yourself in the bliss of good fortune, but enjoy it responsibly to make that feeling last :) Circumstances in life can always change; people who don’t think their finances in the future can get better or get worse are not being honest with themselves. It’s important to understand where your life currently stands, where you want it to go, and how you’re going to make that happen. If the current circumstances around you suck, then find a way to change them :D

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Random Useless Fact:
Somebody made a ridiculous bet on the Germany vs Brazil World Cup game. Either that person can predict the future, or is just extremely lucky.

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Jul 112014
 

Meet the 5 wealthiest peoples in Canada, their net worths, and their source of wealth.

1) Thomson family. $26.1 billion. +30% from previous year. Thomson Reuters, Globe and Mail.
2) Galen Weston. $10.4 billion. +24% from previous year. Loblaw Cos. Ltd., Holt Renfrew
3) Irving family. $7.9 billion. -3% from previous year. Irving Oil ltd., J. D. Irving Ltd.
4) Rogers family. $7.6 billion. +18% from previous year. Rogers Communications Inc.
5) James Pattison. $7.4 billion. +20% from previous year. Jim Pattison group.

Except for the Irving family, it’s surprising that they’re still able to grow their net worths so much, percentage wise, despite how wealthy they already are. Thanks to these rich people small investors like us can just piggy back off their hard work and success. For example anyone who had invested in Galen Weston’s company, Loblaw Companies Ltd (L), at the beginning of this year would be up 12% on their investment so far.

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src: canadianbusiness.com

If we look at the industry these top elites work in it’s mostly information services, food, energy, telecommunication, and advertising. I think we should include these types of businesses in our own portfolios. For example late last year I blogged about buying Comcast, which is a big cable company but also has media properties that provide information and news. I thought Comcast has more potential than Reuters. So far this year Thomson Reuters stocks is down 2%, but Comcast shares are up 4% :D #lucky

There are many ways to invest in the food business as well like buying fertile land or stocks of seed producers. These are things everyone should do because if the price of food increase in the future at least our wealth will rise with it. Investing in oil and gas is a good bet long term and thankfully most Canadians are already well exposed to that :) The three big telecom businesses in Canada are highly profitable due to their oligopoly. If we hold Roger’s shares (RCI.B.) then we’ll earn 4.3% dividend each year regardless of the stock’s performance. That’s better than a high interest savings account or government bonds right now. And if the Rogers family continues to grow their company and become even wealthier, then so will we :D Personally I have stakes in all three major telecom incumbents because an oligopoly has unfair competitive advantages that companies in other industries don’t.

Most of us will never become billionaire entrepreneurial giants. But at least we can stand on their shoulders and go along for the ride. This is the easiest way to make money. If we side ourselves with the same interests as the ultra rich, then it only makes sense that we will eventually become rich too. The universe has a mysterious way of giving us what we associate ourselves with :D Investing with the rich won’t make us billionaires, but millionaire status is more than probable, which is good enough for me ;)

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Random Useless Fact:
The diversity of Fox News anchors.

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