Jan 172015
 

The discount retailer Target Corp. recently announced that it will be closing all its 133 Canadian locations. Target simply can’t compete in the retail space up here. There are less people in all of Canada than in California, so it’s not worth the investment for Target to stay here anymore. Canadian Targets generally offer few products, and at higher prices than in the U.S. Their inventory problems only add to the negative shopping experience. No wonder traffic is slow at Canadian Target stores. It must be frustrating to go buy some soup, but then find out the store is out of stock. 😀

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It will cost Target Canada another $600 million to close down for good. 17,600 employees will lose their jobs and will probably have to set up kiosks in the mall to vend for themselves. 😕 At least they will each receive 16 weeks of severance pay.

This is why building up multiple income streams is extremely important. It provides insurance against unemployment. I currently have 4 other sources of income besides my full time job. If I was laid off tomorrow, my other incomes will cover 70% of all my current living expenses. The aim is to get this number up to 100%. I can do this by taking a portion of the money I earn from my full time job, and turn it into an income creating asset such as a private mortgage or dividend paying stocks.

Target Canada Clearance

Target stores will continue to be open during the liquidation process so keep an eye out for reduced prices in the near future. 🙂 I was excited to see Target come into Canada almost 2 years ago. But I suppose it just wasn’t meant to be. As a shareholder I’m glad management has decided to pull out before they lose any more of my money. TGT shares immediately jumped 3% after the announcement was made to leave Canada.

Target’s stock price has performed well since my initial purchase back in 2013. I’m currently up 16% on my TGT investment. At first this might seem like a decent return over a 2 year period. 😀 Many people would be grateful for an 8% annual rate of return. But to be honest it’s actually quite underwhelming. In the world of finance everything is relative. Since I purchased my Target shares, the overall stock market index (S&P500) has climbed 32%. This unfortunately means my investment has underperformed the market. 🙁 Oh well. Win some, lose some. 😕 I believe Target is still a strong company and will recover from its recent mistakes. It still has over 1,800 stores in the U.S. and 366,000 employees worldwide. The dividend yield is 2.8%.

Disclaimer: I’m long TGT. 🙂

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Random Useless Fact:

Google can graph mathematical equations like a graphing calculator. For example, copy and paste the following line into Google.
5 + (- sqrt(1- x^2- (y- abs(x))^2))cos(30((1-x^2-(y-abs(x))^2))), x is from -1 to 1, y is from -1 to 1.5, z is from 1 to 5

 

May 112013
 

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Let’s look at some current business and economic news.

Electric Power – Consumer Reports recently reviewed the 2013 Tesla Model S, and claimed it was the best car they’ve ever reviewed. Not the best electric car, but the best car, period – Giving the vehicle 99 out of 100 points. Around the same time Tesla announced it was profitable for the first time in its history. If you are a fan of electric cars then $80,000 would get you the award winning sedan in Canada, $70,000 in the US. I hear it comes delivered straight to your home.

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$TSLA shareholders must be ecstatic as the publicly traded company’s stock price jumped up 25% in one day after the news on Thursday. Some people believed the stock would level off after that or even pull back a little, but on Friday its stocks gained another 10%. It is currently trading at $76.76/share, which puts the company at $8.8 billion market cap. Is Tesla Motors a good investment now?  I don’t know. It’s hard for me to value a company if it doesn’t have a long record of profitability. Plus I don’t understand the auto business very well. So I won’t be buying into the rally, but will keep an eye on this company with interest 🙂 Do you think Tesla will be a good long term investment?

Right on Target – US retailer Target has finally started to open up stores in Western Canada. I haven’t been to any yet but I’ve heard the one in Coquitlam Center which has just opened its doors will be very busy. I plan to visit a local Target soon and check it out for myself. It’s important to me that Target succeeds in Canada because one of the reasons I invested in them earlier this year is because I believe Canadian shoppers will give $TGT a lot more business than analysts are expecting 😉 Hurray for consumerism! Go Target 😀

Fund Update – I sold about $5K of stocks in May so far. I also received that nice check last week from my tenant. I now have about $9K saved up for my $25K farmland fund. Just need to come up with $16K more. I think it’s doable 😀

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Blog roundup – Personal finance and other interesting articles from around the web

Makingsenseofcents talks about how she makes money by writing online
Marissa from Thirtysixmonths has a way to make budgets easier to stick to
Seapotato shares some pictures she took at a seafood event. She got to meet David Suzuki :0) #jealous
Reach Financial Independence explains why she upgraded to a paid bank account
Canadianbudgetbinder shares his family net worth. They’re really good at paying down their debt :0) Awesome job

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Random Useless Fact: A group of pugs is called a grumble

 

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^●)