Opportunity for the well prepared
Well it’s finally happened. The record breaking 11 year long bull market has come to a screeching halt as stocks tumbled more than 30% in the fastest pace ever recorded. Last Thursday the TSX dropped 12% in a single day, the most in recorded history. But this should come as no surprise if you’re an avid reader of this blog. We saw this coming miles away. 😀
I began warning fellow investors two years ago explaining the early signs of an economic downturn. But since there were no red flags I didn’t expect an immediate market correction. Here’s an excerpt from that 2018 post.
Playing a strong defense game
So how did I prepare? Well last summer in 2019 I shared my thoughts on which asset classes would likely perform relatively well in a low interest rate environment. I wrote that adding defensive investments would make a lot of sense going into 2020.
So I had called out bonds, real estate, and precious metals as good assets to have, at least in the short to medium term. This is partly why I started to look for a rental apartment to purchase last fall.
Finally I warned readers several months ago of 10 signs that an economic downturn was just around the corner. My suggestion was not to sell everything and wait for the crash to happen, but instead to rebalance and reduce market risk. Here’s the final paragraph from that post.
Which brings us to the present. Both Canadian and U.S. stock markets are down about 20% year to date. Oof. 🙁
It’s a good thing we had time to prepare for this downturn since the signs were plenty and hard to miss.
So let’s see how my prediction and planning paid off so far. 🙂
- As of writing this post gold is up 7.5% so far this year in $CAD.
- Bonds have done well. The iShares Canadian Universe Bond ETF (XBB.TO) has returned +2% year to date.
- Real estate is on the rise. We can use the Canadian Apartment Properties REIT (CAR.UN) as a proxy for residential real estate in Canada. This REIT has gone up 4% year to date. Personally, my new real estate purchase is earning me 6.25% a year in net rental income, after all expenses. Furthermore, the median rent price in the city of my new condo is up 15% this year. 🙂
As I said last year, governments will go deeper into debt, print more money, and all of this will benefit holders of bonds, precious metals, and real estate. Owning these types of assets – which I have about $500K in right now – will add stability to a portfolio during a major stock market correction. The key is to use economic data to align my investments in order to limit downside risks. 🙂
My recent purchases
Of course I also hold about $500K of dividend growth stocks like energy companies, utilities, and banks. Unfortunately this part of my portfolio got hit pretty hard, as did most things, by the recent bear market. But that’s okay. As a net saver I was looking to buy more of these stocks at cheaper prices anyway. And due to the current market turmoil, we could be looking at the investment opportunity of the decade. 😀
Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble. ~Warren Buffett
And put out the bucket I did. On March 2nd I bought 500 shares of Telus (T.TO) at $49.32/share for about $24,700.
Usually Telus trades at 13x price/earnings. But when it dropped to just 11x the deal was too good to pass up. 🙂 But I may have bought it too soon. A week later something better caught my eye.
Last week I bought 450 shares of TD Bank at $52.30/share for about $23,500. 🙂
You probably saw my tweet that day if you follow me on Twitter.
TD was trading at its lowest P/E ratio in a very long time. So cheap. 🙂
Keep in mind what I’ve described here is market timing which is speculative in nature. But life is short. Sometimes I need a little excitement. 🙂
Where to go from here?
Everyone knows that nudity is the best investment during a bare market. 😀 Actually, I’m not legally allowed to give financial advice. But I can write about what I’m personally doing to navigate these volatile times. But first you’ll have to subscribe to my newsletter in order to get the inside scoop on my best stock ideas. 🙂
Haha, just kidding. I don’t have a newsletter. Anyway, I’m looking at buying some energy stocks in the near future. Major oil and gas producers like Suncor (SU.TO) and Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ.TO) are trading at less than their book values, which is historically very cheap. Their stock prices have dropped to their 2008/2009 lows.
I still have about $50k of cash from the proceeds of selling my farmland. Before buying energy stocks I’m waiting for the price of oil to rise. I will also be using technical indicators to time an appropriate entry point for these stocks. I should say that I already own both of these stocks, but I’m looking to add more at discounted prices.
Other names I’m looking at is Fortis (FTS) a dividend growth achiever with a current yield of 4%, and Canadian National Railway (CNR). Both of these names have strong balance sheets and have wide economic moats. I also want to buy BCE inc (BCE), the largest telecom provider in Canada. It’s currently paying a juicy 6.5% dividend yield. There are so many bargains out there right now. I wish I had more money to buy them all, lol. Happy deal hunting, everyone. 🙂
Random Useless Fact:
Both Canadian and New Zealand bank notes feature similar designs, but the Canadian notes are longer measuring 6 inches.