May 062019
 

Another Strong Month for Stocks

The age of monetary tightening is on pause, at least for now. Central banks have pumped the brakes on increasing interest rates. This has been great for the U.S. and Canadian stock markets, which have both hit new highs in April. But does that mean it’s time to sell and take profits?

Probably not. It’s really hard to predict market movements, and record high stock prices can continue to climb higher before starting to fall. So I’ve opted to go for another strategy; Park some savings in bonds and wait for a better opportunity to jump into stocks again. 🙂

So at the end of last month I used about $25K of my cash savings in my RRSP to purchase 1500 units of BMO Mid Corporate Bond Index ETF (ZCM.)

It has a 3.2% yield, so I shall be earning an additional $67/month of investment income going forward. Not a big change, but better than nothing. 😀 The cash in my RRSP to make this investment came from my old work pension. I transferred the money to my personal retirement account after I was let go.

Liquid’s Financial Update

*Side Incomes: = $2,800

  • Part time job =$700
  • Freelance = $500
  • Dividends =$800
  • Interest = $800

*Discretionary Spending: = $2,300

  • Food = $400
  • Miscellaneous = $500
  • Interest expense = $1400

*Net Worth: (ΔMoM)

  • Total Assets: = $1,353,200 (+13,100)
  • Cash = $11,400 (-800)
  • Canadian stocks = $175,000 (+3600)
  • U.S. stocks = $131,800 (+7200)
  • U.K. stocks = $22,500 (+800)
  • Retirement = $130,300 (+1500)
  • Mortgage Funds = $35,400 (+500)
  • P2P Lending = $34,800 (+300)
  • Home = $367,000 (assessed land value)
  • Farms = $445,000
  • Total Debts: = $410,300 (-700)
  • Mortgage = $188,400 (-400)
  • Farm Loans = $178,200 (-400)
  • Margin Loans = $43,700 (+100)

*Total Net Worth = $942,900 (+$13,800 / +1.5%)
All numbers are in $CDN at 0.75/USD

 

I’m not selling any stocks because despite the uncertain direction in the relatively volatile equity market I’m still earning nearly $1,000 in dividends every month, and I don’t want to sacrifice real dividend income for a hypothetical crash that may not happen in the near future. So it makes sense to buy some fixed income assets such as the corporate bond fund, ZCM. My intent is to hold ZCM for the 3.2% annual interest income. Then sell this fund, and replace it with stocks once the stock market goes into a correction. 🙂

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Apr 022019
 

Getting out of 21st Century Fox 

Five years ago I wrote about purchasing 26 FOXA shares for $34 USD each. At that time the stock was trading at 20 times earnings, so it wasn’t exactly cheap. However I saw great potential in this company because it had a lot of popular brands and intellectual properties. I had planned to hold this stock for decades. But I didn’t have to.

Fox shareholders approved the acquisition by Disney, and last month I was forced to sell all my FOXA stocks for $1,843 CAD. That’s a tidy 83% return on investment, before even adding on the dividend income I received over the years. 🙂 Plus, there’s no capital gains tax because it was held in my RRSP. Yay!

Overall March has been a really positive month for my finances. All my liquid assets went up in price.

Liquid’s Financial Update

*Side Incomes: = $3,300

  • Part time job =$700
  • Freelance = $600
  • Dividends =$1200
  • Interest = $800

*Discretionary Spending: = $2,400

  • Food = $300
  • Miscellaneous = $700
  • Interest expense = $1400

*Net Worth: (ΔMoM)

  • Total Assets: = $1,340,100 (+8,200)
  • Cash = $12,200 (+1000)
  • Canadian stocks = $171,400 (+800)
  • U.S. stocks = $124,600 (+4000)
  • U.K. stocks = $21,700 (+900)
  • Retirement = $128,800 (+1000)
  • Mortgage Funds = $34,900 (+200)
  • P2P Lending = $34,500 (+300)
  • Home = $367,000 (assessed land value)
  • Farms = $445,000
  • Total Debts: = $411,000 (-900)
  • Mortgage = $188,800 (-300)
  • Farm Loans = $178,600 (-500)
  • Margin Loans = $43,600 (-100)

*Total Net Worth = $929,100 (+$9,100 / +1.0%)
All numbers are in $CDN at 0.75/USD

 

Preparing for Interest Rates to Drop

It’s been several years since the Bank of Canada lowered interest rates. The last cut was in 2015. Central banks around the world dropped rates near zero as a reaction to the global finance crisis in 2008 and rates have been low since. Policy makers expected the economy and rates to rebound back to normal in short order. But they discovered an inconvenient truth to the markets; low interest rates are addictive. Once consumers get a taste of easy credit, it’s very difficult for them to pull back.

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Feb 062019
 

Markets make a big comeback in January

December 2018 was a terrible time to be long in the stock market. If it weren’t for the brief rally on the last week of the month, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones would have had their worst December since the Great Depression. But suddenly the bulls took over in the following month.

All in all, 2018 was the worst for stocks in 10 years.

Panicked selling at the end of December would have caused someone to miss out on the amazing gains in the first month of this year. It just goes to show that investors should make decisions based on long term planning, and not on emotions.

I didn’t make any big financial moves in January. I deposited $10,000 from my savings into my retirement account but haven’t bought anything with that money yet.

Liquid’s Financial Update

*Side Incomes: = $3,400

  • Part time job =$600
  • Freelance = $500
  • Dividends =$1000
  • Interest = $700

*Discretionary Spending: = $2,000

  • Food = $300
  • Miscellaneous = $900
  • Interest expense = $1400

*Net Worth: (ΔMoM)

  • Assets: = $1,321,300 total (+110,000)
  • Cash = $11,800 (-8600)
  • Canadian stocks = $166,200 (+10400)
  • U.S. stocks = $116,900 (+4200)
  • U.K. stocks = $20,600 (+1200)
  • Retirement = $125,300 (+10400)
  • Mortgage Funds = $34,600 (+100)
  • P2P Lending = $33,900 (+300)
  • Home = $367,000 (+92,000) (New 2019 assessed land value)
  • Farms = $445,000
  • Debts: = $417,500 total (-1300)
  • Mortgage = $189,500 (-400)
  • Farm Loans = $179,600 (-400)
  • Margin Loans = $48,400 (-500)

*Total Net Worth = $903,800 (+$111,300 / +14.0%)
All numbers are in $CDN at 0.74/USD

Real Estate Value Adjustment 

In my previous net worth update I received some feedback in the comments about how other people value their homes. I bought my apartment 10 years ago. My old method of purchase price + annual inflation doesn’t accurately depict the market value of my apartment anymore. So I’ve decided to use the government assessed land value of my property, which gets updated in January every year. Most recently for 2019 my home’s land value is $367,000 according to BC assessment. So that’s what I’ll do every year from now on. 🙂

After updating my property’s value to better reflect current market conditions, I’m quite pleased to find out that my net worth is now $903K. I’m looking forward to reaching 7 figures soon. 😀

Continue reading »

Dec 062018
 

A lot has happened globally in the last few weeks that makes me weary about the growth of the financial markets over the next 1 to 2 years. Inflation in France sparked violent protests. The U.S. federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2019 is projected to be nearly $1 trillion. It will be hard to find borrowers who are willing to buy all those treasury bonds. The 2 largest foreign holders of existing U.S. debt are China and Japan. And both have become net sellers. The economic tension between the U.S. and China is momentarily on hold, but 3 months from now the trade war could escalate.

So what I plan to do going into 2019 is to keep more cash on hand. This will allow me to maneuver more easily as cash is very liquid. If interest rates become too high I will use the cash to pay down my debt. If stocks in general fall into a bear market I will be buying up more shares. 🙂

Liquid’s Financial Update

*Side Incomes: = $3,400

  • Part time job = $900
  • Freelance = $1200
  • Dividends = $900
  • Interest = $600
*Discretionary Spending: = $2,000
  • Food = $300
  • Miscellaneous = $500
  • Interest expense = $1200

*Net Worth: (ΔMoM)

  • Assets: = $1,225,600 total (+1400)
  • Cash = $19,800 (+2300)
  • Canadian stocks = $162,600 (-4500)
  • U.S. stocks = $117,400 (+300)
  • U.K. stocks = $20,400 (-300)
  • Retirement = $117,400 (+2700)
  • Mortgage Funds = $34,700 (+500)
  • P2P Lending = $33,300 (+400)
  • Home = $275,000
  • Farms = $445,000
  • Debts: = $420,200 total (-800)
  • Mortgage = $190,300 (-400)
  • Farm Loans = $180,400 (-500)
  • Margin Loans = $49,500 (+100)

*Total Net Worth = $805,400 (+$2,200 / +0.3%)
All numbers are in $CDN. 

 

 

Financial markets are stretched thin. The S&P 500 is still trading relatively expensive at 22x earnings, even after the pullback that started in October. There isn’t much room for growth in equities. Real estate markets around the world are softening. U.S. home building company Toll Brothers warned that the housing market slowed further in November, particularly in California. Home prices and sale volume in Canada, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto are going down. Prices will likely fall further into the upcoming spring. But Canada’s continued trade deficit and high energy prices mean the cost of living will probably climb higher. The theme for 2019 could very well be higher inflation but lower investment returns. If that turns out to be true then I would prioritize paying down debt and acquiring hard assets.

 

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Random Useless Fact:

Nov 052018
 

It was bound to happen sooner or later. October was a bad month for the stock markets. Some of my highest growing stocks in the technology sector such as Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google (Alphabet) or FANG stocks fell into bear market territory, which means they’ve fallen by more than 20% from the top. Here is a look at how much stock indexes lost in the month of October.

  • TSX Composite -7.5% (Canada)
  • Dow Jones -5.9% (USA)
  • S&P 500 -7.9% (USA)
  • NASDAQ -10.7% (USA)
  • ASX 200 -6.0% (Australia)
  • FTSE 100 -5.4% (UK)
  • SSE Composite -6.2% (China)
  • Nikkei 225 -12.4% (Japan)

My investments weren’t able to escape this global stock market correction, and my net worth fell a bit. I hope the next couple of months will make up for it.

 

Liquid’s Financial Update

*Side Incomes: = $7,300

  • Part time job = $600
  • Freelance = $500
  • Dividends = $900
  • Interest = $600
  • Farm rent = $4700
*Discretionary Spending: = $2,100
  • Food = $400
  • Miscellaneous = $500
  • Interest expense = $1200

*Net Worth: (ΔMoM)

  • Assets: = $1,224,200 total (-15,900)
  • Cash = $17,500 (+4700)
  • Canadian stocks = $167,100 (-9700)
  • U.S. stocks = $117,100 (-9,800)
  • U.K. stocks = $20,700 (-900)
  • Retirement = $114,700 (-600)
  • Mortgage Funds = $34,200 (+100)
  • P2P Lending = $32,900 (+300)
  • Home = $275,000
  • Farms = $445,000
  • Debts: = $421,000 total (-2,700)
  • Mortgage = $190,700 (-500)
  • Farm Loans = $180,900 (-600)
  • Margin Loans = $49,400 (-100)
  • CIBC Line of Credit = $0 (-1500)

*Total Net Worth = $803,200 (-$13,200 / -1.6%)
All numbers are in $CDN. 

 

This was the first down month I’ve had in over a year. A few things saved my net worth from dropping further: My farmland paid me some rent. My fixed income all ended the month with positive returns. And despite being invested in the stock market for the past 9 years, stocks only take up about 34% of my assets. This means any changes in the overall stock market will probably affect my net worth by only 1/3rd as much. 🙂

 

 

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Random Useless Fact:

Some people say Elon Musk reached puberty in his 30s