Dec 262017

Year In Review

It’s been a year since I began investing in the peer to peer lending platform Lending Loop. I was anticipating a return of 8% when I first wrote about it. However things turned out better than I expected. I started the year with $20,000 and have earned just over $2,000 in interest now. So my year to date return is currently about 10%. I’m really happy with that! 🙂 Here’s a recent snapshot of my account.

Here’s what my account looked like back in June.

I currently hold about 40 different loans. I usually commit about $500 to $1,000 per new loan. Each company has a different credit rating based on its likelihood to pay back debt. The table below shows how Lending Loop categorizes the risk bands.

I generally invest in the range between B and C rated loans. The interest rate I receive on the investment should be high, but I don’t want super risky loans with high rates of default. I do my research on a company before I invest so I do not automatically put money into every C+ loan that Lending Loop offers. I don’t have any A or A+ rated loans because the rates of return on those after fees are too low for me.

The reason I was expecting only 8% annual return is because I had factored in loan defaults that would cut into my gross interest earnings. However, across my ~40 different loans not a single one has defaulted yet. 😀 Phew. Thank goodness for that. *Knocks on wood* But I’ve only been on this platform for 12 months. Most loans in my portfolio have a lifespan of 24 to 36 months. So as time goes on I should probably expect to see some defaults, but hopefully not a lot.


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Dec 182017

Significant Inheritance Coming for Half of Households

According to data from Statistics Canada, nearly 50% of households can expect to inherit a significant amount. In fact, the aggregate net worth in 2012 of all senior households was $2.18 trillion while the number of households headed by someone between 45 and 65 was 5.8 million. Dividing the numbers, each household would receive an average inheritable amount of $375,000 prior to factoring in taxes. And studies have shown that seniors over 70, and even more so over 80, are net savers (probably mostly from pension benefits,) which means their net worths are likely to get even bigger before passing down their inheritances. 🙂

In a more recent survey of about 1,500 people, investment firm Edward Jones reported that 49% of Canadians are not expecting a “significant” inheritance. I’m not sure what defines significant in this case. But that would also mean 51% of Canadians do expect a meaningful inheritance. Yay! The survey also found that “61% of those aged 55 to 64 and 57% of those aged 65 and older are expecting to leave a “significant contribution” after they die.” This is good news. It means most of us are getting some kind of inheritance. 🙂

Don’t Screw Up Your Inheritance

For those of us who are lucky enough to receive an estate windfall, it is important that we know how to move money safely. Be sure to avoid what Lorette Taylor did in this CBC article. After her father passed away she was tasked with disbursing the inheritance money. This includes giving $846,648 to her brother who lives 5 hours away from her by car. So she obtained a bank draft for $846,648 which was addressed to her brother and sent it to him via UPS.

However, UPS lost the package. 🙁 It became an uphill battle for Lorette, but after nearly a year TD has finally agreed to settle the matter and write her another bank draft.

Something silly like this should never happen to anyone. In terms of who was at fault, I think everyone made some mistakes. UPS messed up because it failed to deliver a basic service and lost the client’s bank draft. TD screwed up because it didn’t train its worker properly to advise a wire transfer or EFT in this situation, instead of a bank draft. And Lorette also should do some research and ask more questions before handling the inheritance money. A bank draft is as good as cash. Unlike a regular cheque, the money is immediately taken out of a client’s bank account as soon as the bank draft is created. You can’t cancel an existing bank draft in the same way you can a personal cheque. If Lorette understood how bank drafts works in the beginning she probably wouldn’t have trusted it to UPS. This is why no matter how much money we have, we also need financial literacy if we plan to hold onto our money.

The lesson here is to use wire transfers (which is traceable) when moving large sums of money, such as an inheritance. And also, never send a bank draft in the mail. 🙂


Random Useless Fact:

Superstition in Bangladesh leads to overweight crocodiles.

Dec 132017

How high can it go?

Back in Sept I blogged about buying some cryptocurrencies, and posted my Ethereum purchase transaction. At that time ETH was trading at $230 US. Today the price is over $700 US. Sweet mother of mammaries! 🙂 And just last month when Bitcoin was trading at $7,300 US I tweeted that the price would climb to $10,000 US, which would be a 37% increase.

Within a month Bitcoin had hit $10,000 US, lol. 😀 Unlike NASA, Bitcoin may not return back to earth once it reaches the moon. 😎 As I’ve written in the past I started to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin earlier this fall and have been regularly accumulating them. My biggest winner appears to be Litecoin. For example I purchased some when it was $80 CAD. And now each Litecoin is worth over $400 CAD.

However, after the dramatic rise of the cryptocurrency market capitalization during the last 30 days I believe this asset class may be overvalued now. So I have decided to lower my financial risk by moving some money from cryptocurrencies to the stock market.


Why I’m Taking Some Profits

Since we are nearing the start of a new year, I want to collect some cash to fund my retirement account. When January comes I will have additional contribution room in both my RRSP and TFSA.  This is why I have decided to divest my cryptocurrency investment. Earlier this week I took some profits by selling roughly a third of my digital currency holdings. Doing this has freed up a few thousand dollars of capital. I can use this new cash (minus capital gains tax) to begin funding my registered investment accounts in the new year. 🙂 As far as I know there is no way to hold cryptocurrencies inside an RRSP.

I’ve used this effective investment method before with my marijuana stock, Canopy Growth Corp (WEED), where I bought 300 shares at $2.55 and sold at $12.10.  But instead of selling all my WEED stocks I kept 200 shares and continue to hold them today. A partial sell of a position like this accomplishes 2 things:

  1. First, it reduces the risk of my initial investment. I’ve already recouped all my money back, plus a tidy gain. Thus, it is now impossible to lose money on this investment as a whole, even if the future value of the stock drops to $0.
  2. And second, if the pot stock continues to climb in price then I stand to make additional money due to my continued long exposure to it. 😉

In other words, there are no bad outcomes here. That’s why I have used the same strategy with my cryptocurrency holdings.

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Dec 052017

Yet another month of record highs in the financial markets. I hope everyone had a great November. 🙂  In terms of changes to my balance sheet I’ve added 100 shares of Enbridge stock to my portfolio, creating more passive income for future months. Part of this purchase was financed from a margin loan at 2.3% with IB. Borrowing money at low interest rates to invest in long term appreciating assets was how many people became millionaires in the past.

Liquid’s Financial Update

*Side Incomes:

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

*Net Worth: (ΔMoM)

  • Assets: = $1,150,700 total (+14,300)
  • Cash = $8,500 (+700)
  • Canadian stocks = $164,200 (+7300)
  • U.S. stocks = $105,800 (+4000)
  • U.K. stocks = $21,100 (unch)
  • RRSP = $91,100 (+1900)
  • Mortgage Funds = $32,000 (+100)
  • P2P Lending = $22,000 (+300)
  • Home = $270,000
  • Farms = $436,000
  • Debts: = $468,700 total (-2,100)
  • Mortgage = $180,900 (-400)
  • Farm Loans = $186,300 (-500)
  • Margin Loans = $58,900 (+1200)
  • TD Line of Credit = $6,700  (-1300)
  • CIBC Line of Credit = $21,000 (-1000)
  • HELOC = $14,900 (-100)

*Total Net Worth = $682,000 (+$16,400 / +2.2%)
All numbers above are in $CDN. 

I’ve been trying to save enough money over the last few months to invest another $8,000 into my Lending Loop account by the end of the year. I’m also currently looking for a new job to increase my cash flow. We’ll see how that goes. 🙂


Random Useless Fact

At any given time, about 174 quadrillion watts of the sun’s energy is hitting the earth.


Nov 292017

According to businessman and author Seymour Schulich, investors should ask themselves 5 questions when screening a potential deal. 🙂 Here’s an excerpt from his book, “Get Smarter.”

  1. How much can I make?
  2. How much can I lose?
  3. How do I get my money back?
  4. Who says this deal is any good?
  5. Who else is in the deal?

I think these are good points to remember and I certainly use them before I make any financial decisions.

Normally we want a large margin of safety between how much we can make (upside) and how much we could lose (downside.) If the odds are not at least 75% in our favour then it is better to look elsewhere. To increase our chance of success we must know how to accurately assess the odds, and have the discipline and patience to act only when the odds are heavily in our favour. If our analysis are accurate then we can be certain this strategy will work due to the law of large numbers theory.

How we get our money back should be considered before making any deal. There are two parts to this: liquidity, and exit strategy. A rental property is not very liquid, but a publicly traded REIT that holds rental properties usually is. As for exit strategy, we need to come up with a systematic plan to sell the investment and commit to it. This prevents us from trading on emotions. One stock I bought this year is Royal Bank (RY.TO.) It has a growing dividend year after year, and trades at a decent valuation with a P/E ratio of 13.6. I plan to exit my position in this stock either when I retire, or if RY cuts its dividend by more than 35%. Those are my only conditions. So if there’s market correction and the stock price falls 50% I will continue to hold it. This way, I don’t sell prematurely and miss out on future gains.

I look at reports and opinions by stock analysts to determine if other people think the investment has potential. One good source for this is It curates professional opinions about any company on the market. Here’s a blurb for RY.

As for who else is in the deal, I look at how many institutional investors are holding the investment. These are large pension funds and endowment funds that have to scrutinize all possible aspects of a security before buying it. According to Google Finance, Royal Bank has 53% institutional investor ownership. That’s pretty high so I am more confident that RY is a good long term investment.

There are tons of potential assets we can buy. But by asking ourselves these five questions we can screen our options and narrow down our options which makes the process a lot easier. 🙂


Random Useless Fact

The world’s largest broccoli are grown in the United States.