Jul 042016

 New Milestone 

It has been a surprisingly eventful month in the markets. Volatility was high during the last week of June but in the end North American stock markets ended relatively flat. The Dow Jones was up slightly, but the Nasdaq fell. The TSX Comp in Canada dropped by about 1%. However my mining stocks performed really well so they lifted up the rest of my portfolio and I managed to make a 2.65% positive return overall according to my brokerage statement. 🙂 This has pushed my net worth to over $500K for the first time ever!


Liquid’s Financial Update

*Side Incomes:

  • Part-Time = $1200
  • Freelance = $1500
  • Dividends = $600
  • Interest = $200
*Discretionary Spending:
  • Fun = $400
  • Debt Interest = $1300

*Net Worth: (MoM)16-05-networthiq_chart-may-2016-freedom35

  • Assets: = $993,500 total (+8,800)
  • Cash = $16,700 (+5200)
  • Stocks CDN =$116,600 (+2500)
  • Stocks US = $68,800 (-700)
  • RRSP = $72,300 (+1800)
  • Mortgage Funds = $23,100
  • Home = $263,000
  • Farms = $433,000
  • Debts: = $483,900 total (-2,500)
  • Mortgage = $188,300 (-400)
  • Farm Loans = $194,900 (-500)
  • Margin Loan CDN = $28,300
  • Margin Loan US = $25,100 (-400)
  • TD Line of Credit = $19,500  (-500)
  • CIBC Line of Credit = $10,000 (-500)
  • HELOC = $17,800 (-200)

*Total Net Worth = $509,600 (+$11,300 / +2.27%)
All numbers above are in $CDN. Conversion rate used: 1.00 CAD = 0.78 USD

A big help in June was the rise of commodity prices. The price of silver increased over 20%. My Silver Wheaton shares gradually went up from $18 to $30 per share over the course of the month. This change alone added about $2,000 of value to my net worth. Next month’s goal is to increase my gross assets to $1 million. 🙂

Random Useless Fact:


Jun 022016

Markets at a Glance

The Canadian economy shrunk 0.2% in the last month of the 1st quarter. Despite a disappointing Q1 the S&P/TSX Composite index still managed to climb higher this month, as did the major indexes in the U.S.

I don’t know what’s keeping the stock market afloat these days but it can’t all be fundamentals. The Dow Jones index managed to post its 4th straight monthly gain in May despite poorer jobs numbers, worse manufacturing data, a weak U.S. economy, and 3 straight quarters of contracting profit growth for corporate earnings. It doesn’t make much sense to me how the stock market continues to move higher when there are hardly any good indicators out there. But just like living in North Korea, I can’t complain. 😀 As an investor, market returns make me happy regardless of the reason. 🙂 But even though I now have a quarter million dollars rolling around in the stock markets it actually doesn’t feel like very much at all, because my portfolio is merely based on the perceived value of large companies, which can be fickle at times.

In 2014 Elizabeth Holmes was named as “America’s richest self-made woman” with a net worth of $4.5 billion, as estimated by business magazine Forbes. This valuation was based on her 50% stake in a blood testing startup that she founded called Theranos. A blood test can take a lot out of someone. It can be a very draining procedure. 😆 But recently Holmes’ business ran into some regulatory trouble which puts into question the $9 billion valuation of her private company. So earlier this week Forbes had revised her net worth all the way down to $0. 😱 Wow, from $4.5 billion to being flat-out broke. It’s amazing how quickly the perceived value of someone’s net worth can change. This is why we shouldn’t take our net worths for granted. It could all change. 😕

Liquid’s Net Worth Update

*Side Incomes:

  • Part-Time = $900
  • Freelance = $400
  • Dividends = $600
  • Interest = $200
*Discretionary Spending:
  • Fun = $200
  • Debt Interest = $1300

*Net Worth: (MoM)16-05-networthiq_chart-may-2016-freedom35

  • Assets: = $985,700 total (+12,800)
  • Cash = $11,500 (+7300)
  • Stocks CDN =$114,100 (+200)
  • Stocks US = $69,500 (+3900)
  • RRSP = $70,500 (+2400)
  • Mortgage Funds = $23,100
  • Home = $263,000
  • Farms = $433,000
  • Debts: = $486,400 total (-1,100)
  • Mortgage = $188,700 (-500)
  • Farm Loans = $195,400 (-500)
  • Margin Loan CDN = $28,300
  • Margin Loan US = $25,500 (+1000)
  • TD Line of Credit = $20,000  (-600)
  • CIBC Line of Credit = $10,500 (-500)
  • HELOC = $18,000

*Total Net Worth = $498,300 (+$13,900 / +2.87%)
All numbers above are in $CDN. Conversion rate used: 1.00 CAD = 0.76 USD

May turned out to be another great month. It would be nice to think that hard work and personal sacrifice created the $13,900 addition to my net worth this month, but I have to admit that most of this wealth gain simply came from passive income and stock appreciation. 😀 I received $4,500 in cash from my tenant in May. The government also gave me a $2K tax refund because I contributed a lot to my retirement savings account last year (over $10K.) And my portfolio grew by about $4,100 on its own this month without me lifting a finger, thanks mostly to a stronger U.S. dollar.


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May 022016

My net worth increased $64,000 so far in 2016 

Goodness gracious me! 😀 That’s even more than my annual gross salary. Maybe I should quit my full time job already. Haha. 😜

But here’s the caveat. My net worth is measured in dollars. So I’m only becoming richer relative to the local currency. But as we shall discuss below, currency depreciation can be a real PITA. 😛 Policy makers from around the world are covertly initiating inflation to see which country can print the most money to improve their economy’s competitiveness. But by doing so, the devastating knock-on affects will financially destroy millions of lives in the years to come. 😱

Higher Living Expenses in 2016

If you’ve purchased car tires before you are probably familiar with inflationary pressures. 😆 Inflation has been fairly high in 2016 so far. The government won’t admit it for political reasons, but regular folks like you and I have most certainly felt the effects of rising expenses in our wallets. Over the last year nearly all types of spending in Canada have become more expensive.


Crude oil was trading at US $35 per barrel when the year started, but now it’s just over $45, a 29% increase. Coincidentally the price of silver bullion has also increased by 29% over the same 4 month period. The price of oil affects the price of many consumers goods, not the least of which is food, due to transportation costs. And since we use silver in photography, x-rays, solar panels, mirrors, cars, medicine, smart phones, and other consumer electronics, we can expect higher costs in these related fields moving forward.

Then there’s the largest monthly expense for most people – housing. 🏠 The most recent S&P/Case Shiller index shows that U.S. home prices in February grew 5.3% year over year. I don’t even have to mention how crazy hot the Canadian real estate market has been lately. 😛 CREA forecasts the national average price this year will probably increase by 8%.


So house it going on the west coast? you might ask. Well let’s just say February was a record-shattering month for home sales in British Columbia, with a 45% increase in volume compared to a year ago.

How Investors Hedge Against Inflation

A few years ago I wrote a post detailing how prices of different goods increased 100% to 200% between 1990 and 2010. But if we were to store our net worth 20 years ago in real tangible assets such as oil, land, fixed properties, silver, and profitable businesses, instead of simply holding on to money or “savings,” then we could keep all of our purchasing power.

The reality is that life doesn’t cost more over time. In the 1990s if we needed fuel, we could buy 2 or 3 barrels of oil with 1 ounce of silver. Today in 2016, we can still pretty much do the same thing. On the other hand, buying oil with dollars would cost us 150% more today than in 1990. In other words, the costs of time, labor, skills, commodities, goods and services, which are all things that have intrinsic value, tend to stay fairly constant across multiple generations for the most part. But it’s the currency that is usually the clear outlier and it tends to lose value over any extended period of time.

One way we can hedge against inflation is through investing. Here are some choices that I’ve made in the past that have made 2016 one of my best years so far!

  • Buying precious metals stocks: I own metal mining stocks such as Goldcorp (G) and Silver Wheaton (SLW) which have outperformed the general stock market recently. But I’m in no way a good stock picker. 😛 The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) on the NYSE is an index fund that tracks the performance of global gold mining firms that are publicly listed in the U.S. This ETF has climbed 88% year to date! 😲 So anyone who holds a basket of gold/silver stocks or owns this GDX fund should be dancing on cloud nine right about now. 🙂
  • Buying physical commodities: I occasionally purchase silver and gold directly from the Royal Canadian Mint and bullion exchanges. For example, about half a year ago I bought a 100 oz silver bar which has appreciated in value since then. 🙂 I also practice earning silver wages, which basically means I make a portion of my money in silver to diversify my income. I’m not suggesting everyone should go out and do this too. I’m just saying from my personal experience this has been profitable for me.
  • Buying farmland: My down payment was less than 15% so this amplifies my return on investment by many folds. Canadian farmland prices have grown on average by 10% last year, which boosted my net worth by more than $30,000 as I’ve explained last month.
  • Buying real estate: I purchased a condo here in Vancouver when many people warned of a real estate bubble. Maybe they’re right, maybe they’re wrong. All I know is Vancouver condos have increased in price by 10% over the last year, adding over $25,000 to the market price of my property.

As we can see all these investments represent real, tangible assets that have economic value, and therefore do not suffer at the hands of inflation. Everyone wants to know the secret to investing. But it’s really quite simple. All we have to do is look at historical patterns in the economy and apply common sense. 🙂 Piece of cake, right? 🍰

Liquid’s Net Worth Update

My investment income is really starting to grow now thanks to 7 years of compounding. I received $360 in interest payments in April between my Air Canada bonds and Antrim MIC. Plus I made $720 in dividend income from my stock portfolio. That’s nearly $1,100 of passive income that I made without any effort. 🙂

*Side Incomes:

  • Part-Time = $800
  • Freelance = $700
  • Dividends = $700
  • Interest = $400
*Discretionary Spending:
  • Fun = $300
  • Debt Interest = $1300

*Net Worth: (MoM)16-04-stock-fiscal-update-networth

  • Assets: = $971,900 total (+23,900)
  • Cash = $5,200 (+2700)
  • Stocks CDN =$113,900 (+3800)
  • Stocks US = $65,600 (-3800)
  • RRSP = $68,100 (-1000)
  • Mortgage Funds = $23,100 (+200)
  • Home = $263,000
  • Farms = $433,000 (+22,000)
  • Debts: = $487,500 total (-2,800)
  • Mortgage = $189,200 (-400)
  • Farm Loans = $195,900 (-500)
  • Margin Loan CDN = $28,300 (-100)
  • Margin Loan US = $24,500 (-1400)
  • TD Line of Credit = $20,600  (-400)
  • CIBC Line of Credit = $11,000
  • HELOC = $18,000

*Total Net Worth = $484,400 (+$26,700 / +5.83%)
All numbers above are in $CDN. Conversion rate used: 1.00 CAD = 0.79 USD

Stocks were pretty much flat in April. But my net worth increased by over $26,000 mostly due to the updated farmland value. The most recent FCC assessment report shows Saskatchewan farmland value rose 9.4% in 2015. The average inflation rate (CPI) in Canada in 2015 was about 1.4%. To be on the conservative side, I have adjusted the farmland value on my net worth statement by taking the average of these two figures, which is 5.4%, or an increase of about $22,000.

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Apr 072016

Market Bounce

Woohoo! Investors can rejoice as March 2016 was one of the best months for the stock market in recent memory. 😃 The S&P 500 and Dow Jones gained 6.9% and 7.1% respectively. Even the commodities-heavy S&P/TSX Composite in Canada managed to end the month 4.9% higher than it started. What do all these numbers mean? Well let’s pretend to be architectural drafters for a moment so we can put things in perspective. 😆 A broad North American equity index fund portfolio worth $250,000 would have returned about $15,000 during March. That’s not too shabby at all. 🙂


I made a couple of new investments in March, such as buying Air Canada bonds in my RRSP, and adding more Antrim MIC units to my existing holding in my TFSA. In other news, as many people already know, earlier this year Suncor reached a $4.2 billion deal to buy out Canadian Oil Sands. My COS shares were finally tendered in March. This means my 123 COS shares were replaced by 34 new SU shares. 🙂 This brings my total Suncor holding to 200 shares, or $7,200 in market value. Wow that’s a high concentration of money in just one stock. 😰 Thankgoodness Suncor is a high quality company. 😀

*Side Incomes:

  • Part-Time = $800
  • Freelance = $500
  • Dividends = $600
  • Interest = $200
*Discretionary Spending:
  • Fun = $200
  • Debt Interest = $1300

*Net Worth: (MoM)16-04-stock-fiscal-update-networth

  • Assets: = $948,000 total (+17,400)
  • Cash = $2,500 (-5000)
  • Stocks CDN =$110,100 (+8100)
  • Stocks US = $69,400 (+900)
  • RRSP = $69,100 (+6,300)
  • Mortgage Funds = $22,900 (+7,100)
  • Home = $263,000
  • Farms = $411,000
  • Debts: = $490,300 total (-4,300)
  • Mortgage = $189,600 (-400)
  • Farm Loans = $196,400 (-500)
  • Margin Loan CDN = $28,400 (-100)
  • Margin Loan US = $25,900 (-3,700)
  • TD Line of Credit = $21,000  (-600)
  • CIBC Line of Credit = $11,000 (+1000)
  • HELOC = $18,000

*Total Net Worth = $457,700 (+$21,700 / +4.98%)
All numbers above are in $CDN. Conversion rate used: 1.00 CAD = 0.77 USD

Thanks to the large gains in the markets my net worth almost increased 5%. Furthermore, it’s another month where I earned over $2,000 from side incomes. 🙂 My dividends and interest payments are getting bigger each quarter! But it’s no big deal. 😅 All I did was consistently invest in dividend growth stocks and high interest fixed income securities for the past 7 years.

But is this recent market rally sustainable or is it on borrowed time and we’re past due for a correction? I think it doesn’t hurt to be cautious when stocks are trading beyond their fundamentals, so I’m preparing for a potential pull back by keeping some cash around. My immediate plan for April is to save more money, pay down some debt, and fight any urge to buy a new stock that happens to catch my attention. I realized that I should probably divest away from the stock market a bit as it’s taking up too much of my asset allocation.

I’ve been corresponding with a venture capital firm in the U.S. about investing my money in some start-up companies. 😉 I haven’t decided to do anything with this yet, but I think it’s a worthwhile opportunity to explore. Providing seed money for small businesses can have big payoffs with the right management team and execution, but it is also much riskier than investing in the S&P 500. 🙈

Random Useless Fact:


Mar 042016

Wall Street Cuts S&P 500 Estimates

One reason investors have made so much money in the last 7 years is because the stock market has done well since the great recession. The total annual returns for the S&P 500 stock index have been positive every year from 2009 to 2015 inclusive. But recent earnings reports suggest that the bull market cycle may be coming to an end soon. 🙁

Seven banks recently reduced targets for the U.S. stock market for 2016. This comes after the 3rd straight quarterly earnings contraction of the S&P 500, which hasn’t happened since 2009. Based on historical data negative earnings growth of the stock market often comes with a high probability of an economic recession.


There are even some analysts who believe America’s economy is already in a recession, much like Canada’s was last year. But we won’t know for sure until the GDP numbers come out months from now. Despite the weak earnings data however, North American stock markets still managed to end the month of February pretty much flat. But this could be the beginning of a down turn.

*Side Incomes:

  • Part-Time Work = $1100
  • Freelance pay = $400
  • Dividends = $600
  • Interest = $200
*Discretionary Spending:
  • Fun = $200
  • Vacation = $500
  • Debt Interest = $1400

*Net Worth: (MoM)16-02-net-worth-january-volatile

  • Assets: = $930,600 total (+5,100)
  • Cash = $7,500 (+2000)
  • Stocks CDN =$102,000 (+4800)
  • Stocks US = $68,500 (-1500)
  • RRSP = $62,800 (-200)
  • MICs = $15,800
  • Home = $263,000
  • Farms = $411,000
  • Debts: = $494,600 total (-3800)
  • Mortgage = $190,000 (-500)
  • Farm Loans = $196,900 (-500)
  • Margin Loan CDN = $28,500 (-1000)
  • Margin Loan US = $29,600 (-1400)
  • TD Line of Credit = $21,600  (-400)
  • CIBC Line of Credit = $10,000
  • HELOC = $18,000

*Total Net Worth = $436,000 (+$8,900 / +2.1%)
All numbers above are in $CDN. Conversion rate used: 1.00 CAD = 0.74 USD

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