Saturday, December 28, 2013

Retrospect on my Annual Financial Goals


Hey FF! 

In 2013, I had set myself Financial Goals. 6 to be precise.

I had to respect, 75 % of the time, a monthly budget of less than 3 500 $.

If you look at my page Budget, you will soon realize this goal was utterly missed. Not once did I went below that amount. Actually, my whole year costed me around 62 000$, which is around 5 200$ per month, roughly 1 700$ above my goal.

Failed.

I had to max out my TSFA and hit the 30 K$ mark.

I started the year with 22 100 $. It’s now clocking around 27 200 $. I reckon I invested around 5 300 $ My TFSA had a bad 12 months, mainly due to Barrick Gold’s painful year. I am almost 3 grants behind.

Failed.

I had to grow my net worth to 350 K $.

This Financial Goal is hard to evaluate. The main reason is that I have decided to not cash in my Pension Plan. Therefore, this sum of money is now in the hands of the government. I will receive a cheque each month when I turn 60. I have given a lot of thoughts for this option. The rationale of my decision: this cheque will essentially become the « Fix Income» portion of my portfolio. It will enable me to be bolder in my other investments. For rock people : let’s say my portfolio will now almost be fully invested in stocks.

Not applicable.

I had to hit the 135 K $ mark in my portfolio.

I started out with roughly 129 K$ with a 50-50% repartition. I have now 129K$ with a 43-57% repartition. I have made small acquisitions: BCE, Power Financials and a steady buy of shares in an American Index Fund. I have a little bit less cash on hands. Again, the slumping of Barrick Gold hurts quite a bit, even in a bull market.

Failed.

I wanted to stay out of debt.

We started out with 3 K $ on the margin. Now we have 10 K$. Plus the mortgage.

Failed.

I wanted to find another form of investment. (A land, a cottage, a house, a wood forrest…) We didn’t find (nor did we look) anything.


Failed.


Conclusion: it's fair to say I failed from A to Z. I will definitly have to set my goals so they can be reach this time around. I will think of something in the weeks to come.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

News from me

Hey Financial Freaks,

Last couple of months have been quite hectic for me. No, I didn't start working again. Geez, let me enjoy my freedom a little bit! Who needs to work anyway when the stock market is rocketing like it is at the moment? Ok, ok, some people need to work in order for us to cash in our monthly flowing of dividends.

I have been enjoying my year off from work; been traveling a little bit here and there (Chicago, Atlantic City, Washington DC, etc.). Been busy working on many projects.

I also took on a course, which is closely link to the topic of this blog. I am currently following the Canadian Securities Course.

I have to say : I am learning a lot. I am not sure where exactly if will lead me, but it will help me be a better investor. NO doubt about it.

I have not been injecting a lot of money in my portfolio lately, apart from the small sum I put on a bi-weekly basis in Placement Québec bonds and in my RBC American Index Fund -- the latter is doing pretty well I might say (but what's not?).

Some thought on my main holdings :

CP (Canadian Pacific Railway) : 160$ Do I have to say more? I bought the share at roughly 58$…Just wish I hadn't sold some at 75$

POW (Power Corporation) and PWF (Power Financial) : 32$ and 36$ I told you! This company is a pearl. So cautious and yet so effective. Only wish there could be a dividend increase eventually.

ABX (Barrick Gold) : 17$ Do I have to say more. Barrick is a mess. I hold, but I don't foresee any light in the coming years. ABX collects, hands down, my Prix Citron.

JNJ (Johnson and Johnson): 95$ A jewel acting like one. Once upon a time I had 200 shares of JNJ. Now I hold 130. The weight of JNJ in my portfolio is close to 10% If it keeps going up I will have to chop my shares amount again. But eh, it's for a good cause!

I am tired of holding up cash. I'd like a small correction so I could make some moves. But patience.






Monday, October 7, 2013

September Budget


Hey FF!

I have just updated our September Budget.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

August Budget and new acquisition

Hey FF!

I have just updated our August Budget. We busted again. But geez-whiz we were on holidays. Give me a break!

I also made a new acquisition this month. I bought 100 shares of a REIT, Cominar that is (CUF.UN). I know shares of REIT's tend to drop when interest rate go up, but that's also a time when they are cheaper. Catch-22 situation, right?

Cominar owns a bit chunk of real estate in Quebec. The share yields at 7 %. It's a well-known and reliable company. I didn't have any REIT. It's a small position. But it's a start.

I know I said I would try to have no more than 12 companies in my portfolio, in order to be able to follow all of them closely. I might have to expand this number to 15. (I am currently at 12)

That's it for now. And how about Warren Buffet buying some Suncor! Told you it was a red hot stock!

;-)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A little bit of this and that

Hey Financial Freaks,

 I just completed my monthly budget for July. It's not bad. We have only busted our goal by roughly 700 $. This is mainly due to a few things: verifying the motorcycle for compliance, we added some channels in our Videotron plan (against my will!) and did some shopping of some kind (meaning my girlfriend did). Hence the bust. Nothing to write momma about, but still.

 You can check out the July Budget here.

I recently made a small buy, opening up a position in BCE. The stock had slightly dropped due to the Verizon arrival (or not) in Canada. Since BCE has only a small % in this particular sector, I thought I should make the most of this recent slump. I have been waiting a long time to find something in the Telecommunication sector. BCE might be it. It's a solid company with a very good yield. Will see if I buy some more in the future.

You can check out my new position here.

I just found out about Barrick Gold cutting its dividend back to 0,05 $. It's bad news. But I prefer a dividend cut than a company going bankrupt. The share is now worth half the price I have paid for, so hopefully it will bounce back. For now, no more gold for me!

I have sold a tiny portion of my favourite and oldest stock, Johnson and Johnson. I once hold 200 shares of JNJ, but slowly started to sell some of it recently. I feel, at 94$US, the stock is quite pricey. I now hold 130 shares of this fine US company. One of the reason why I also sold some shares was that my overall portfolio exposure to JNJ was more than 14 %. It's a lot. Now it's still a big chunck of my portfolio at 10 %, but I am comfortable holding this large blue chip portion.

That's pretty much it for now.

Take care FF.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Net Worth Updated

Hey Freaks,

Not working for six months has taken it's toll on my net worth as you can see. But eh, it sure feels damn good!

My inactivity on the salary-job front coupled with my Café Racer Project, my computer crashing down and so many little things costly are all responsible for this net worth slight drop.

Otherwise, all is good on the money front. Did I tell you my in-law made / or will be making a lot of money if he sells it's shares of Fannie Mae. But will he?

I'm still on the side of track stock wise. Haven't bought anything yet. 14 K$ is sitting there waiting to buy great value stocks.

What about you? Any cash available?

Weather is crap so far in my side of the planet. Waiting for summer to kick in.

Take care amigos.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Budget in May and go away!

Hey Financial Freaks!

Been awfully quiet these past couple of weeks, I know. You missed me, admit it? Geez, don't be so proud!

Well Mr. Market has been doing just fine in the meantime.  Can't really complain about it, except for
Barrick Gold (ABX).

I'm still sitting on a pile of cash, waiting to buy «snails», as opposed to safari-elephant-hunter Warren Buffet.

Right now, «snails» are still quite pricey.

For those of you guys who took full advantage of undervalued shares of Power Corporation and Power Financials, I salute you. The shares are up and have reached peaks I had not seen for a while. Keep on going guys!

I just completed my budget for May and this is the worst month by a long stretch. Since 2013, I have not been able to meet my objective of a 3.5K$ budget. Am I shooting too low? I don't think so. I just missed it by less than a 100$ in March. But it's definitely a hard target!

Check out my latest budget here and find out why it's such a drag to get under 3.5 K$. No, I don't spend all my time drinking red wine and eating Beef Tartare. I wish.

I don't see myself buying something  before a couple of months, unless the Market goes spiraling down.
I wish.

Right now my financial objective is to keep spendings to a minimum. And wait for «snails» or Real Estate opportunities.

I will catch you on the flip side.



Friday, May 3, 2013

Barrick is hit badly, April was rough and my Net Worth is down

Hey freaks,

I might be one of the few to have bad news in this current bull market. 

See, it takes one bad apple to contaminate one's portfolio. In my case, my bad fruit was Barrick Gold.

I know, I know... it's gold, it's unpredictable, it fluctuates more, it depends on many factors, ladi-lada.

But it's the biggest gold company in the world! And yet, the stock price has dropped by more than 50 % in the past months. And what did I do during these months? I did what we all learn in books: I stuck to my ground and bought more!

Time will tell if I was right. But for now, I don't intend to sell anything. Barrick is my biggest investment. (I had not planned it this way -- but hey, roll with it, right?). The dividend yield il all right for now. Hopefully they will be able to sustain it.

Check out my portfolio and imagine Barrick is doing much better. Hell, I might have hit the 130 K$ mark.

April was a tough month spending wise. Its actually my worst spending month since I started out budgeting. Check it out here and see why.

With Barrick down, I am virtually losing 5 K$, so despite some gains elsewhere (Hello KRFT, MDLZ, CP and JNJ) I am looking at my first negative number on the Net Worth side.

My Motorcycle café Racer Project is also a bit responsible. Nothing to write mama about, but if your Net Worth is down, it means you are losing money instead of winning some. And that can't be good!

Check my Net Worth and let mw know what you think.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April will be a tough and long month


April will be a long month!
  • It's April 16th and we have already surpassed our monthly budget limit of 3 500$! Ouch.
Why is that? There are a couple of reasons, namely :
  • I had a little accident and chipped one of my tooth. A quick visit to the dentist and 200 $ later I have a nice smile again (girls are crazy for me).
  • I ordered some more Motorcycle parts from the US for the round sum of 700 $. All in all, my Café Racer Project is costing 1, 2 K$. Fortunately, I was able to sell old parts of my bike for about 600 $, so half of my project has been covered. But still, it adds up to the budget.
  • We recently took Scuba Diving courses and we have loved it. So we decided to wait for a big sale and bought ourselves great masks and tubas. 300$
  • What do you think of it?
  • More to come...
***

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I made buys

You know the saying, « do as they say not as they do», well it makes some sense in my case. Not so long after writing that one shouldn't be buying at the moment I turned around and made not only one but two buys. Shocking! 

They were small buys, mind you, if that can salvage what is left of my impeccable reputation. The worst part is that I actually bought some more of Barrick Gold. I am now at a whooping 275 shares. I'm close to own this freakin' company. Watch out! The stock was down to 26$ I had to buy some in order to average down my share price. But that's it, no more Barrick Gold, I swear. Or do I? 

Next move was buying a tiny bit of Power Financial. For people outside Canada, Power Financial is part of a conglomerate name Power Corporation. This is a link towards an actual chart of the organization. As you can see, Power Financial (PWF) overlooks a fair share of exquisite companies that operates in various sectors, such as Finances and Insurances. It also holds a fair share of Parjointco, which holds via Pargesa big stakes in some of the biggest companies in Europe like GDF Suez, Total and Pernod Ricard. Granted, it's not like Europe is doing crazy well at the moment. Still, these are A1 companies. So big names like Great-West, IGM Financial, London Life and so on are all part of Power Financial and, of course, Power Corporation (POW).

The major difference is that POW has a separate branch for Communications and Media (it owns a lot of newspapers in Canada -- almost 80 % of the ones in Quebec). It also holds and actively manages a portfolio of investments in the US, China and Europe. PWF strictly operates within the Great-West, IMG Financial and Parjointco triumvirate, if we can summarize it. The dividend is also a little bit higher than the conglomerate «head of state», Power Corp. PWF has a 1.40$ dividend per share, unlike POW which has a 1.16$. They both yield over 4%.

The fact is, POW et PWF are undervalued. Although they are closely linked, I figured it made sense to split my holdings between these two, especially since PWF bought Irish Life. Some analyst say it's better to hold the actual operator, iPWF in this particular case. Some will say, on the other hand, it's better to hold some shares in Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) than to, for instance, buy shares of Coca-Cola (KO)directly. In this case, you would actually miss out on the KO dividends, since BRK don't have a dividend policy. But you get the point, right? Of course you do. By the way, Forbes once called Power Corp. the Berkshire Hathaway of Canada. Just saying.

So, basically, this new position in PWF means I would like to buy some more of it in the future (if it goes down to 25-26 $) to eventually have a distribution of 35 %-65 % between the two stocks, so roughly 130 shares for PWF and 370 for POW (like I have right now). 

Hence my buys this past week. Do you think I'm nuts?

All in all, I still remain on the lookout, but yet very cautious.Take care fellows.











Monday, April 1, 2013

March Budget

March was great, spending wise. Although we barely missed the 3 500$ mark (by 71 $), we can still say mission accomplished. 


You can check out our progress here.


Car and moto repair, which basically means the money I put on my motorcycle, has been drastically cut off to 0 $.  And we have spent 126 $ less on food than the previous month.


The gasoline spending has been down as well, since my girlfriend hasn't traveled as much.
Activities / Sports and iTunes, which is the category for « FUN » has increased a little bit. We have done two scuba diving practices, which cost 30 $ each. And we went out a few times for a drink (or two).


The rest is pretty much like before. No real surprises. I figure the 3 500$ is attainable without (not so) much effort next month (April). 


While the market are rising (so does my interests side income)


As you are all aware, I am still on the sideline to buy something. I know, it's difficult. You want your money to create more wealth. Assets have to provide a bigger side income revenue. But, hey!, I have to wait.


Meanwhile, the money sitting in my saving accounts are generating more than 400$ a year. It's now my biggest side income cash-flow!

Check it out here.

OK, I know, it's also the most taxed. But right now, I feel more comfortable with the money there than in a some overvalued hot dividend stock. Unless Canada turns into Cyprus, I won't be losing much sleep on it.

Take care Financial Freaks.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I'm going against the current (or whatever)

Hey Financial Freaks!

I read all your blogs and articles and I have to say something: «Are you nuts?»

That's right. People are buying like there's no tomorrow. What is that?

Apart from POW, ABX, SU and other slumping underrated (and excellent) stocks, I wouldn't know where to look at.

One of the main rule we learn in investing books (and in those financial articles) is to go against the current. Right? So right now, the bull market has been in full swing for quite some time. Something's gotta give (not me!)

I keep away from the market and pray (sort of -- I'm not that religious!) for a correction.

Actually, at the moment, the most sensible thing I've read from a fellow blogger is a post about how he bought a gold coin! Well done. Especially in the wake of what's going on in Chypre. Apparently, your money isn't safe in banks anymore.

Meanwhile, Mr. Taxman has been kind to me and has given me back money (I had previously given him!). We expect a total refund of roughly 5 K$ Cool. I am still waiting for 1,3 K$ from that money.

What did I do with it? I paid my margin and Visa. My 2K$ debt has been totally erased. Actually, I should have paid it earlier with the cash sitting in my account. Go figure.

So my Net Worth has changed a little -- for the best. Check it out here. Let me know what you think.

Why are people so bold? Tell me. Are you also buying at the moment? Or are you like me and try to have the best possible margin of security by buying as low as you can?

I want to know. Tell me Freaks, « Is greed good?».




Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Taxes and other stuff

Tax return and Kraft Foods Group

I just done my taxes and I should get a nice return of roughly 3 K$.  A little more with the 1, 5K$ from my girlfriend.

This time around, doing my taxes was a tad complicated. I had to send it by mail -- on paper I mean. Yeah, speaking about a stone-age method! Tax people are actually more demanding if you send it by mail; you need to send all those receipts, etc. Which was a pain.

The culprit for the paper part was my shares of Kraft Foods Group. I had to indicate in my tax return that I didn't want my new KRFT shares to be considered as a revenue with the recent spin Off. It's a little difficult to explain, but by doing so I'm getting much more on my return. Hence the hassle and the paper.

How I am diversified? But not crazy like

If you have ckecked out my Net Worth page, you can get a sense of how I have diversified my main assets between stocks and real estate for instance. Basically, it means I have a condo, some stuff (like a car and a motorcycle) and stocks on the market. I could be more diversified with a land, a rental property or else (eventually!). But that's it for now.

If you also look at my Portfolio, there is also some diversification between bonds and cash, and stocks.
Right now it's pretty much 50/50. This has to do with the market lacking buying opportunities more than the actual % proportion I am aiming at.

There is also some balancing between shares from sectors I want to be part in such as finances, energy and so on. Right now, I don't hold any shares from the Telecommunication sector. So it should give you a great indicator as to where I'd like to invest eventually. My energy sector is also low. As well as the consumer staple sector.

The point is : I feel it's important to balance well my portfolio in order not to be over exposed to one sector in particular -- and to forget one as well.

***


Thursday, March 7, 2013

I sold some Suncor

Hello freakosphere!

After a buy in gold, I sold a tiny portion of what has been these past years my largest holdings, Suncor (SU) that is.

I sold 25 shares @ 31. 72 $ Like I said, it's nothing to write mama about (just a post!).

Like ABX, SU has been on a roller coaster ride since my first buy in 2010. A lot of ups and downs -- mostly downs. 

There now seems to be a willingness to return more to shareholders. But before that a company has to make much profits. Their dividend policy is still very conservative, to say the least.

Our petrol company are finding it harder and harder to finds ways to redirect their gas through to the US and the eastern part of Canada.

Our prices are now hardly challenging the ones from the West Texas Intermediate market. 

To open even more the market, companies are looking other means of transportation. Like trains! No wonder why railways companies shares, like CP and CN, have caught fire recently.

Still, the situation is not as bleak as it looks. SU has recently posted some good results anyhow. So there is hope. I will however monitor the situation closely.

With 300 shares, Suncor is still one of my top 3 holdings. It's worth a close follow-up.



Monday, March 4, 2013

I made a buy

Hey Freaks!

I bought more shares of Barrick Gold today. 20 to be exact @ 29, 39 $. I now own 250 shares of ABX.

When I saw that shares were trading below 30 $, I had to make a move. Besides, owning 230 was
bugging me, I had to have 250!

No, seriously, I know Barrick is in a world of pain at the moment. But it still the largest gold producer
in the world.

It will take a year or two before it gets back on its solid basis. Right now, it's trading under it's fair value by a long stretch. I expect my investment to come into fruition in years to come. So patience is of the essence.

The only thing I know for sure now is that I will no longer invest in the company before it's getting healthier. 10 K$ is more than enough, especially with a meagre dividend of only 0,80$

So for now that's it on the stock front.

It's Tax month here in my part of the world. Our condo tax bill is clocking roughly 2,5 K$. So my savings should be lower than usual. Bloody taxes are the culprit!






Friday, March 1, 2013

Ze Budget and some stuff

Financial Freaks!

February is over and I'm almost glad it is. We had planned to spend no more than 3, 5 K$ and ended up 776 $ under. Yikes!

Check out our budget and let me know what you think, or what you would do if you were me. Remember, you'd also be handsome and clever. So easy on the girls, I have a girlfriend remember!

Some stuff

  • I don't receive a lot of comments from people. Sometimes I think I'm the only one coming here. Maybe I am. (even my girlfriend is snubbing me -- and remember that I'm handsome and clever. So why? I'm asking you...). Anybody wants to say something. I'd take a hello!
  • I look at a guy like Dividend Mantra, people are visiting his blog like mad. What does he have that I don't ? A job? Good point. But apart from that? I own Canadian Stocks too! Geez...
  • Power Corporation (POW) has had a pretty good week. I'm telling you, this company is one of my favourite. It's got it all. 
  • I'm still waiting for the market to come tumbling down. I too I'm hunting for elephants, small elephants. OK, ok, something like a squirrel. But hey, I'm still hunting. Geez... If I buy something it will be no less than a 5 K$ buy. But when and what? This is the question.
  • Anyone seen Inglorious Basterds from Tarantino? The bar scene makes me want to learn German. Real bad. If you haven't seen it, check it here now. Now! 
  • I especially like the moment when the British spy is uncovered and he goes back to speaking the King's English with a « well if this is it ol' boy »... How about those Nazis uniform made by Hugo Boss. These guys were nuts well dressed.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Thought on our spendings and about other things


  • It's February 25th and we have officially failed to managed our budget under 3.5 K$. Booo! Before being to harsh on ourselves, I have to say this is due to 3 main reasons :
  • I ordered 500 $ worth of motorcycle stuff -- I'm actually pimpin' my ride. Hence the big number under the Car and moto repair lign. 
  • My girlfriend had to put 200 $ more to buy additional bonds since it's RRSP contribution time. So our investment budget was busted!
  • We were fined 160 $ by a zealous police-woman for turning in a restricted zone. Nothing to write moma about-- and no life's were endangered at any point during this episode! It was just plain and simple lack of judgement on this woman part. Hey, the can't teach common sense in school!
  •  We had to renew our Costco membership which costs about 50 $. (I have to buy shares from Costco!)
What good comes out of this budget?

Let's try to look at the bright side of things: 


  • Pimpin' my ride means my vintage bike is worth much more now (I reckon around 3 or 4 K$). So it's good for my Net Worth.
  • The money my girlfriend used for investment purpose will grow her RRSP and Net Worth.
  • I still think the 3.5 K$ mark is attainable. (Come on! A little encouragement would help! Geez...)
Varia
  • I just received dividends from Royal Bank (RY.TO). I ended my drip program. I need the money for this non working period. RY has been doing amazingly well this past year. I bought it at 53 $ and it's now around 65 $. It's my bank and it's a position I'm very comfortable with.
  • I just finished Andre Hallam's
    book, Millionnaire Teacher, and I have to say he makes a strong argument regarding indexing. I might succumb to the temptation of buying Bond Index since there is nothing cheap to buy on the stock market at the moment.
  • Andrew Hallam owns only three funds! Talking about simplicity. The guy has a plan and sticks to it. It makes you wonder how people with a basket of over 20 stocks can effectively follow all of them. Up to this point, you might as well do like Andrew and buy the whole lot. This way you don't need to follow any of them -- and let the market do his magic without worrying at all
  • If I were a millionaire, I would probably be indexing as well, while keeping 25 % in stock picking. Hey, a guy has to have a little thrill. I'm a millionaire, no?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mistakes and Graham Price

Hello Freaks!

In this process of getting richer we are bound to make mistakes. Everytime I make one, I tell myself : "you're an idiot, stop doing these rookie mistakes". But I will do it again (not always, but sometimes).

The list is now getting bigger. But I don't mind it that much. You can't control what's done. I try to remain focus on what's coming instead. I know that's pretty tacky stuff, but it's true! (don't be so stuck up -- geez...)

Here's my top five of mistakes (there is no order) :

  • Selling my three Apple shares at 120 $ (and buying only three freakin' share; what's that!). I don't want to know how much it is worth now. OK, I know!...
  • Selling my SNC-Lavalin 50 shares just because the CEO was being handcuffed on TV! (that was shocking though). What did I learn from Lynch, Buffet and so on : stick to your guns if the company is good. What did I do : I sold them like a bandit on the run! It's a pity because I had the great impulse of buying those shares while on the downslide thinking it was a great opportunity...
  • Selling my Rogers Communication 200 shares bought at 34 $ because I thought the market would come crashing the day after. I take full responsability for this dumb ass move, but I was badly influenced by people around me (I won't mention my girlfriend nor my father in-law, no no...)
La morale de l'histoire? : you are bound to make mistakes, no matter how hard you try, how much you read and how convinced you are in your strategy. We are human, and human are also very much driven by emotions. Otherwise we wouldn't 5 billions on this planet!

Graham Price

Thanks for nothing by the way. No one helped me in the least. I had to do research on Google, imagine that!

Anyway, to calculate the Graham Price you follow this equation: square root of EPS*BVPS*22.5

Don't ask for more! And the Zweig part is different... and I still couldn't figure out why he brought it up!

The important part is this one : Power Corporation (POW) is a buy at less than 32 $ (it's 26 $ right now) and has a yield of over  close to 5%.  Go get it now! Now!

This is a fantastic company: diversified and all. I know it's my holding and I preach for my Parrish, but its true.

Not to mention Barrick Gold and Suncor.

Three of my most important holdings are bargains according to Graham Price. What are you waiting for!

;-)





Saturday, February 2, 2013

Financial Goals tweakings

Hey Financial Freaks,

I have updated my Financial Goals in light of my recent cash-out and the conclusions of my last two budgets. Here are the changes:

(UpdatedTo respect, 75 % of the time, a monthly budget of less than  3 500 $. Before December 2012, I had never done a budget. I was always telling myself : « why bother, you live like you live, so make the most to pay the bills at the end of the year! » Making this first budget was a revelation: I actually found out where the money went (in food mostly!). Needless to say it forces you to make wiser choices. Restaurants have been cut off drastically. On the basis of my first thorough two budgets (December and January), I have a better idea of what comes out. Therefore, I set out a goal of spending less than 3.5 K$ per month, 75 % of the time, so 9 months out of 12. Since I failed the last month (with 4.3 K$), I have two remaining chances!

How are we going to do it? We plan on cutting drastically in :
  • Investing Money : we have already reduced this portion by almost 55 % (from 550 $ to 250 $).
  • Restaurants : we plan to reduce our Beef Tartare and Cabernet Sauvignon nights out by roughly 40 % (from 340 $ to 200 $)
  • Condo Maintenance : we are done with renovating this condo. But we will keep ourselves some dineros just in case we have some tweakings to do. So it's a 80 % reduction (from 250 $ to 50 $). 
That's about it. Seems simple, no? But yet, I foresee hardships, pain and Kraft Dinner along the way... (at least I'm a Kraft shareholder. Is that leverage?)

(Updated) To hit the 135 K $ mark in my portfolio. Right now I have roughly 129 K $ (you can check it out here). I have a lot of cash flow. I need to invest some of it in new quality stocks. But, considering the actual bull market, I will be extremely patient in that regard. So if I hit the 135 K$ mark, it might solely be because of dividend income, interests and a favourable market that will grow my actual investments; and not because of new acquisitions. Again, I don't expect a lot of new income in 2013.

Question for a Financial Freak like you (yeah you!):

Some of you calculate the Graham Price (hello Average Dividend Yield!) by obtaining the square root of the P/E ratio multiplied by the price-to-book ratio (or EPS) multiplied by 22.5. Or if you put it : SQRT (EPS * BV * 22.5) = Graham Price.

My question : where did you get that?


In the Intelligent Investor Zweig writes : "What about Graham's suggestion that you multiply the P/E ratio by the price-to-book ratio and see whether the resulting number is below 22.5 ?" (p. 375.)


According to me, this is the Graham Price, which is basically : P/E * EPS = something smaller than 22.5 = good!


Where did I miss the square root function?



***

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Net Worth Updated

Hey Financial Freaks!

I have updated my net worth today. I know my arithmetic has been quite up and down lately. It's because of recent changes in the amount I have received. Anyway, the page Net Worth should now be pretty acurate.

Here's a few changes I have made:

I have added the 6 K$ I have received last week.

I have put 4 K$ (instead of 2.5) for my motorcycle and car. See, I have been working on my bike for quite some time now and I reckon the value has gone up. As for the car, it's mostly my girlfriend but she say's its 33 % mine (hey! I paid some of the bills!). So this 4 K $ is very conservative.

The value of my pension plan is bound to fluctuate because of the market. But those are the latest numbers I was told.

As for the real estate part, the net worth number represent 50 % of my profit if we would sell today. Again, this is a conservative estimate.

So, all in all, I am worth 330 K $. Not bad for a thirty-something old guy. It could be better and it could be much worse.

What do you think? How do I rank up?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Monthly Budget Update (January)

Hello Financial Freaks,

January is slowly coming to an end. I have just updated our monthly budget. It looks as though we are heading in the same direction as last month. 

I thought we could find some room for improvements. But can we?

I want to hear from you. Do you think we do OK? And how can we do better ?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Trains and targets

Today I received a 14 $ dividend from Canadian Pacific, my only railway company.

Since Bill Ackman and Hunter Harrison took control of CP this position has more than doubled its price. I bought the shares at 46$, 52 $ and 65 $ for an average price of 58 $.


Unfortunately for me, I sold more than half of my stocks at around 75 $. I was estimating the stock overpriced. Now it's pointing at 113 $ and it's a bit upsetting (but still very much overpriced). 

CP has been doing better -- but not that better. See, the price of the stock at the moment is actually trading according to multiple cash flow estimates for 2016! It's basically trading at the same ratio of it's CN competitor -- but, unlike CN, on the basis of profits to come.


The moral of the story : I keep my modest position in CP for now. But I will watch it closely, and keep a closer watch on its rival, Canadian National (CN), who's been doing everything better than CP for years now.


I like trains. I think its a noble way of transportation for goods. Furthermore, I think it's the way of the future. So I intend to increase my position when the market will come down a little bit.



I have other stocks in my target. I want to have more defensive positions such as Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATD.B)which operates a network of convenience stores, many of which include motor fuel dispensing, mostly located in Canada, but also in 42 American states. Their dividend policy is weak, but it's a fast growing company. 

I also want to get my hand on a Telecommunication company. I used to have Rogers but I sold it (stupid move; I got scared by Mr. Market -- a bad move I won't make again). I think BCE is doing quite well; they have an aggressive dividend policy which is attractive. But it's quite expensive at the moment.

I am not making a move just yet. But when I do, it will be a big chunk. I just don't know of what yet!

Have you targeted any value stocks ?



Monday, January 21, 2013

Today is X-MAS (again and again!)

Dear Financial Freaks,

The postman just came in today with a new X-MAS gift. See, in the beginning I was estimating a cash out networth of roughly 48 K$. But then the check arrived and it was 42 K$... What I didn't  know was that I would get an extra check worth of 6 K$ destined to my RRSP. Well, since the 6 K$ has already been put into my RRSP, I guess the 6 K$ will simply be deposit into my saving account! Katching.

I am almost glad it came like that. It's two X-Mas gift instead of two!

***

Hey! Great news this morning as I saw that my cash out was in. Bells were ringing and so on. It was X-MAS all over again, like the good tune by Tom Petty. 

People viewing my Portfolio might have noticed a big change in the total lane... And no, it's not Barrick Gold picking up the slack!

Like I said, I am going through The Intelligent Investor again. And, coincidentally, this very quote by Benjamin Franklin was a few pages away the day before :

"Human Felicity is produc'd not so much by great Pieces of good Fortune that seldom happen, as by little Advantages that occur every day. " (page 124.)

I have to agree Benjamin, but today is one of those good fortune day that seldom happen. But they sure feel good nonetheless.

No kidding, especially when you are 43 K$ richer! Katching.

Needless to say it was a busy Financial day. But I knew where to direct the cash, let me tell you that!
(I am still not sure as to what to actually do with it though / see previous post).

First off : I put 6 K $ into my RRSP right away. 4 K $ will be used to buy stocks eventually and 2 K$ will be buying Government Bonds.

Secondly, I put 3 K$ in my Emergency fund, for a total of 5 K$. I figured I didn't need a bigger fund since cash is sitting elsewhere -- not invest in anything.

The rest goes like this :

  • I've put 4 K $ in my TFSA. Since I also make bi-monthly payments, I should be able to full my contribution for this year, which is 5 500$. I have to find stocks to buy.
  • I've put 4 K$ into my Brokerage non registered account. I have to find stocks to buy.
  • And I've put 19 K $ in a boring saving account as I might need this money this year -- either for a new project or simply to pay the bills.
That's pretty much it. The money has been redirected. But I still need to figure out what to do with some of it. I have my ideas. But they need time to be implemented. Just like everything else, time is honey -- and money.

Let me know what you think. I greatly appreciate hearing from you. It motivates me.

You will also see that I have added a more complete overview of my Net Worth

Take care Financial Freaks.




Thursday, January 17, 2013

Quick Update

Hello all,

Been away the last couple of days. I still kept a close watch on Mr. Market. Actually I have been re-reading The Intelligent Investor. What a great book. I also love the new comments by Jason Zweig.

I also made a reservation at the local library for the Millionnaire Teacher, as suggested by fellow blogger Trader Rob.

Today I sold a tiny bit of JNJ, Johnson and Johnson that is. I am a great fan of the company. It's one of my main holdings. But I felt it was a little buit overpriced at the moment. I might buy some more in the future. Will see.

I am actually setting my sights on other stocks: I want to find some in the Telecomm, Reit and Consumer Staples sectors. But they are all overpriced as well.

I need to be patient. I find it tough, but it's the only way.

Anyhow, here's a quick Financial Update Status for January

Assets

  • Condo : 295 000 $
  • Pension Plan : 176 806,12 $ (net worth)
  • TFSA : 22 151 $
  • RRSP* : 28 632 $ 
  • Cash : 6 200 $
  • Non registered trading account : 25 850 $
  • Cash-out from work* : 71 000$ (net worth roughly 45 000 $)
  • Motorcycle : 2 500$
  • Friend owning me money (for ages) : 2 000$
Liabilities 
  • Mortgage : 226 215 $
  • VISA : 0 $
  • Margin : 3 000 $
  • Home Buyer's Plan : 12 898 $ (well that's money I basically owe to myself).
*Fiscal impact (We have to substract 30 % for my RRSP and 35 % for my cash-out) + my girlfriend is also intitled to 50% of the condo's gain (roughly 34 392 $). 

Net worth : 318 838 $  (+ 0,58 % since December)


Friday, January 11, 2013

Invest in what ?

I have almost 10 K$ sitting in my brokerage account. And I will be receiving almost 50 K$ soon. I'm in front of a nice problem : what do I do with that money? How do I invest it? Or do I ?

Dear fellow financial bloggers, I want to hear you out.

  • I can leave the cash there, doing basically nothing -  maybe 1.5 % in an ING Direct account.
  • I can invest passively in those boring ETF's.
  • I can add to some of my positions currently slumping (POW, ABX or even SU).
  • I can invest in a farm land in Saskatchewan!
  • I can buy a new house and rent my condo
  • I can buy a land, a wood forrest, etc. 
  • Or I can keep that money in an emergency fund. And wait till an opportunity comes up.

Remember, the strategy has to fit my financial philosophy. I want to keep my positions under 12. I want to maintain my «bond/fix income» position to at least 20 % of my portfolio value. Basically, I am not going to get carried away with small-caps companies...

I would really like to hear from you! Come on! Yes you. Write to me!

Trivia : guess what pages of my blog have been the most popular. You got it : Portfolio and Dividends and Royalties. You sneaky greedy little monks! ;-) I guess we all like to compare. I am not any different.

***

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My fellow visitors (congrats)

Hello visitors, 

I have put some good work lately on this blog. Worked out a nice and pretty up to date bar header. You have now access, in real time (almost), to my complete portfolio and dividends-royalties schedule. 

 I have my fair share of visitors. But I wouldn't call it a wave! Then again, I don't really do any publicity. None of my friends nor my family know about this blog. 


I have left some comments here and there on other blogs. But that's about it. I don't mind the low-key aspect of this blog, but I miss the exchanges with other bloggers. 

Anyway, time will tell how this project unfolds. Right now I use this blog as a motivator and a tool to keep tracks of my financial activities. And it's great to see other bloggers doing so well. It's a fair and exciting way to boost each other right up to retirement!

Some other blogs have already caught my attention, for different reasons, some good, some bad. I spoke about that topic in a post call The good the bad and the ugly.

But right now I would like to concentrate on the good ones. So props up, in my view, to some of the best achievements from some of the bloggers I follow :


  • The mortgage killer. The Blogscar goes to Nurse Frugal. She and her husband are on a mission and want to get rid of their newly acquired mortage. 61 % is already paid off. Wow. This is quite a feat. Congratulations guys! BTW, I am still a little traumatized by that story of a smelly garlic-skunk omelet fart... (Good luck with all that!).
  • The most original investor. The blogscar goes to Freedomthirtyfive who baught  a piece of land in Saskatchewan and will be renting it. That takes some ball for a guys in his twenties living in British Columbia.  Seriously dude, it's a nice achievement. Very impressive.
  • The frugalator. The blogscar goes to Dividend Mantra who managed to come with a monthly budget (in December, mind you!) of under 1 200 $! What else can we say? We would love to visit your place! You live so cheaply why even bother wanting to retire! Congrats amigo, it's very well done. We are all jealous.
There are other blogs I would like to salute, but I miss the time this morning. I will eventually post another Blogscar achievements piece. Thanks for coming by. 

How about you tell me if you like my blog? 



Saturday, January 5, 2013

Financial Goals for 2013

I don't expect much income this year, apart from my cash-out which should be in sooner than later. But I still have a few financial goals in mind.

To respect a monthly budget. I have never done that, a budget that is. I was always telling myself : « why bother, you live like you live, so make the most to pay the bills at the end of the year! » But making this first budget was a revelation: I actually found out where the money went. Needless to say it forces you to make «wiser» choice. Restaurants have been cut off drastically.

To max out my TSFA and hit the 30 K$ mark. Right now, I have 22 100 $ in it. I might be missing around 200 $ (I will know for sure this year). 5 500$ is available this year. So I would like to end the year with at least 28 000 $. I expect a yield of around 5 %, so I should be pretty close to 30 K $. Two of my main stock are slumping at the moment (POW and ABX), so they should pick up anytime soon (hopefully). Let's set the goal for 30 K$.

To grow my net worth to 350 K $. Like I said, I don't expect much revenue this year, so basically I need  to avoid debts at all cost. Also we want to avoid spending my cash-out (roughly 45 K $). So my net worth should be growing solely with compounding. If I am conservative, and set a 5 % yield goal, I should have close to 350 K $ by the end of the year.

To hit the 100 K $ mark in my portfolio. Right now I have 80 K $ (you can check it out here). I should be able to invest a little more in my actual stocks, or buy some more. We will see. I will be extremely patient in that regard. So if I hit the 100 K$, it might solely because of the cash sitting in the brokerage account. We shall see.

To stay out of debt. Right now we have almost 3 K $ on the margin. The car is paid. We shouldn't have any debt by the end of the year (apart the mortgage). That's the way we like it.

To find another form of investment. A land, a cottage, a house, a wood forrest. Anything that diversify our assets.

I haven't said anything about my RRSP. It's because I plan on using it much more in 2014. Right now, I have max out my contributions in it. The ceiling wasn't quite high, it's because I was already making contributions to a pension plan. The Revenue Agency has it's policy. But since I don't have a job with a pension anymore, I need to turn myself towards the RRSP even more. I will talk about that this year. But for now, these goals up there should do it.

Have a good financial year!

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Google Docs Portfolio

It has not been easy, but I found a way so that my Portfolio is updated automatically via Google docs. Actually it's not that complicated.

 Other bloggers who want to do it can write to me.

 So there you have it, in my bar header, my portfolio always updated. No hassle.

 No big change in it. Still holding off some cash in my account. I am waiting for some stocks to drop before buying anything cheap and worth it. Unless you have any great ideas?

 Stocks I would buy in a second if they'd actually drop:

  •  Kraft (KRFT) -- below 41 $ 
  •  Cominar REIT (CUF.UN) -- below 20 $ 
  •  Railway companies such as CN or CP -- below 75 $ 
  •  Alimentation Couche-Tard -- below 40 $ 
  •  General Dynamics -- below 60 $
  • Atco (ACOX) -- below 60$
  • Enbridge -- below 35 $

And so on.

It's the wisdom of exercising patience in investing.