Jan 102014
 
Retiree Wins Lottery – Then Gives it all Away

What would you do if you won the lottery? Tom Crist, retired CEO of an electrical wholesale company who lives in Calgary, said he’s giving away his entire $40 million Lotto Max prize. He lost his wife to cancer 2 years ago. He now plans to put the lottery winnings into a trust fund to be given out over the years to charities such as the Canadian Cancer Society. “I don’t really need that money.” He said. Faith in humanity restored 😀

 

Weak Loonie

The Canadian dollar fell to just 92 cents USD lately. This is the lowest our currency has been since 2009. Fantastic news for manufacturers and exporters 🙂 If you are American this is great news for you too because Canadian goods are now more affordable for you. Last year when we were at parity I suggested Canadians should buy U.S. assets like stocks or currency. I wrote about buying Google, Qualcomm, Starbucks, and Disney when the $CAD was still high.  Now the tides have turned, our Loonie’s value has dropped, and I’m reaping the rewards 😀

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Every Major Marvel and DC Movie Release Until 2019

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2014 Movie Releases

Speaking of Disney (DIS), they have several Marvel blockbuster movies coming out this year. Each one is expected to make huge profits. Disney shares are up 43% year over year! How can anyone possibly resist investing in this globally diversified, money printing company? 😀 Anyway, here are a list of popular movies that are coming out this year 🙂

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TFSA Participation Fail

A recent ING DIRECT survey revealed that 53% of Canadians still don’t have a TFSA.

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Not having the money to contribute is the main reason they haven’t opened a tax free savings account yet. If you are currently in school and have $50,000 of student loan debt and no income yet, then it’s understandable that you have no savings. But for most people who can put some money away the TFSA is one of the best tax saving vehicles there is. We have a perfectly legal way to not pay any taxes on our investment gains, yet less than half of us are actually using it? ( ಠ_ಠ)

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Video of the Week

Caterpillars in Hawaii have developed hunting skills

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Blog roundup – Below are some finance and other articles from around the web this week.

May 022013
 

13_05_ironman3posterTomorrow the much anticipated Iron Man 3 movie comes out in North America 😀 I can’t wait to see it! Other movies I’m looking forward to this summer are Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, World War Z, Pacific Rim, and The Wolverine. What movie are you excited for this year? The film industry is a very lucrative space bringing in more than 10 billion dollars a year just in US domestic box office revenue.

How can ordinary folks like us get a piece of this market? I am successfully doing it in two ways right now. The first is to own a piece of the giant movie studios that are making these films 😉 They include names most people are already familiar with like Universal (Comcast), Buena Vista (Disney), Fox (NewsCorp), Paramount (Viacom), Sony, and Warner Bros. All these companies are publicly traded. Any time these studios make money, which they all do, you and I (as long as we own their stocks) will be the beneficiaries 😀 This is why I decided to invested $2,000 in Disney earlier this year. When The Avengers movie broke sales records and they announced more Marvel movies to come out over the next few years I knew Disney was going to take me places 🙂 I bought Disney in March and its shares have appreciated by more than 10% already woohoo \(^_^)/

But there are so many movie companies. How do you know which one to invest in? I would look at businesses that you think has the strongest brands. I like Disney because besides Marvel Entertainment, they also own Pixar Animation, ESPN, Lucas film, and about 27% of Hulu. And I like all those brands! Not to mention Disney is also in the business of lodging and merchandising. So they’re a very diversified and well rounded company ∩( ・ω・)  They even have a Disney University where cast member go for professional development and job training lol.

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The second way we can profit from the film industry is to invest in movie theaters. Every year there are more visits to cinemas than amusement parks and sporting events combined. In 2011 I wrote about how I invested $2,000 in Cineplex. They are the largest theater name in Canada. And so far their stock price is up over 30% from when I bought them, woohoo again (^_^)

 

Mar 062013
 

Very uncertain times for the stock market these days. The Dow Jones, which is a barometer for many companies in the US, is at record highs, surpassing previous levels in 2007/2008 before the recession. In fact many stocks are at 52 week highs right now. This means we are at a critical point. We will either see stocks continue to move up like they’ve been doing recently, or see an immediate pull back. Looking at the 40 year chart of the US stock market it’s pretty clear why some people would be nervous as we might be at another peak (0.O)

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But uncertainty can be an opportunity. As investors we must have a greater appetite for winning than a fear of losing, but we have to be careful not to make stupid mistakes. So my plan is to buy some defensive stocks. If stocks should fall after my initial purchase then I probably won’t lose very much because defensive companies tend to be less volatile. The first pick is The Walt Disney Company. I’ve had my eye on this one for awhile and have wrote in January that I plan to buy some this year. This is a huge company, worth over $100 billion, more than Viacom, News Corp, or Time Warner. Disney is a household name with a very strong brand. They also remained innovative and stayed profitable throughout 90 years across generations of fans. Here are some Disney characters some of you might have grown up with. Well, their hipster versions anyway 😛

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Today Disney employs over 100,000 people, and run some of the largest projects in the entertainment business. Not only do they know how to market themselves, but they actively seek other synergistic brands to buy and integrate into their empire. I love this business model 😀 If you want to have the most talented computer graphics engineers in the world working for you, what do you do? Trying to hire them is too mainstream. So instead Disney just buys the companies those people work for, lol. Disney purchased Pixar (famous for creating gorgeous computer animations) in 2006 for $7.4 billion. Disney leveraged Pixar’s renowned talents and technologies to help improve its own already established Walt Disney Animation Studios. Computer animated Disney films from before the Pixar acquisition were not very polished and received mixed reviews at best, such as “Chicken Little” in 2005 which got a 5.8 rating on IMDB. But films after 2006 like Tangled (7.8 on IMDB), or Wreck It Ralph (7.9 on IMDB) received better reviews and made more money at the box office. To be fair, the later movies had bigger budgets. But if you’ve watched these films I bet you’d agree that the production quality is much higher in 3D Disney films after the merger :0) Disney knows how to make money, how to satisfy their customers, how to stay relevant in an ever changing world, and how to put smiles on children’s faces all around the world. And I want to become a part of that Disney magic(⌒▽⌒)So I bought 30 shares of DIS for $56.55 per share earlier this morning 😉

My second pick is Target Corp. For Americans no introduction is needed. For Canadian readers who may not yet know, Target is a giant US retail chain like Walmart, only better 😉 But you will see for yourself because they just opened their first stores in Canada yesterday in Ontario, and over 100 more will open across the country by the end of the year 🙂

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More competition is good for consumers because it will likely mean lower prices :0) Welcome to Canada Target. I hope you get lots of customers here because I just bought 30 shares of TGT  today at $66.46 per share! Your earnings (after tax profits) have been growing every year for the last 5 years. If you keep this up then I’ll make my entire investment back by 2020 \(^_^)/

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I bought 30 shares of each company today and paid about $3700. If I had bought these same 60 shares a decade ago I would have paid about $1200 for them. Which means in just 10 years these companies have returned 200%. No telling what will happen in another 10 years from today but even half their historical returns wouldn’t be so bad 😀  Walt Disney once said “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Well I dream of becoming a millionaire some time in my thirties and I believe Disney and Target will help take me there (●^o^●)