Archive | March, 2012

Took a loss in CRUS

29 Mar

I took a gamble on CRUS and walked away with a $260.85 loss.  I am very dissapointed with my recent buys.  I had a gain on the first day but didn’t walk away.  Time for me to execute with precision. 

Reason why I sold CRUS is to jump onboard another stock.  I am finally caving in on the Apple train.  Day after day, Apple continues to swing upwards except for today.  Could this be a bad omen?  I sure did miss out on these last three months.  Can I get a little bit of the magic ride?  Maybe it’s already too late.  I rather bet on Apple than CRUS.

APPL:  20 @ $611.52/share

 

Reading is key to knowledge…

28 Mar

It’s been a while since I picked up a book to read.  I went to the library a couple of weeks ago and put a hold request for How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market- By Nicolas Darvas.

I just started reading his story.  This was set in the 1950s.  It doesn’t really relate to the current market where we have a wealth of information, but it explains how he turned $25,000 into $2 million in just 18 months during the bull market and his obsession with the stock market.  To me that’s very inspiring.  He had very little knowledge and was gambling in penny stocks at the beginning in the Canadian stock exchange.  Without much success he eventually moved to the New York stock exchange where he took out margin to buy his stocks.  It seems like he wasn’t very successful in the beginning.  Trading a lot, but commissions were eaten up by his broker who charges $100/trade. 

I’m very surprised he was very detailed in all his trades.  It’s like he kept track of them in a diary.  Anyways, I’m in the fourth chapter.  It’s an easy read and I’m very close to finding out his box method.

http://www.nicolasdarvas.org/start.php

Spring Cleaning

27 Mar

It’s been a long time coming.  Today, I decided it was time to say goodbye to some old poor performing stocks like 200 shares of Manulife Financial Corp (+$16.10), 110 shares of Pengrowth Engery (-$103.44) and last but not least, 300 shares of Potash Corporation (-$99.90). 

I welcome back Chemtrade Logistics to my core portfolio once again.  I had the misgiving of selling my shares too prematurely.  If I had kept them, I’d be several thousands in the green.  It is a unit trust pays 10 cents per month, in which, I’ll be receiving $109/month in distributions. 

QT RRSP-  240 @ $16.58
QT TFSA- 850 @ $16.58

I’m on the heavy ended on this stock, it’s a bit risky for me if the stock does go down a dollar or more. But I know if I’ll forget about for a year, I’ll be receiving $1308 in the end.  Of course, I hope shares will appreciate to $18 then I’ll be in the money!

My humble beginnings…

26 Mar

In my early twenties, I only made $10/hour.  I stayed at my first job for three years without any raises.  Money was tight, but I would always sock away at least a few hundred a month.  In those years, I’ve managed to save $10,000 and help contribute to an investment property that I bought with my parents.  When I moved onto my next job, I had to buy a car to drive to work.  I wanted to buy a used car for around $10k, but my dad said it was better if I bought a new car.  This basically wiped out my savings and put me $14,000 in debt.  I took out a loan from my dad and Honda.  In three years, I fully paid off my debt in August 2009… that’s when I really got down to business with the market.

The stock market always intrigued me.  I’ve always wanted to open up a discount brokerage to trade stocks.  But I never really had the money to do so.  In 2003, my dad started me off with $2000.  My first two stock buys were 15 shares of Microsoft and 10 shares of Harley Davidson.  I ended up selling them down the road at breakeven due to my heavy ended $29/trade commission.  At that time, Apple was a dog and only trading at $7.50/share, if I only picked up 200 shares instead… and kept them to date.  My life would be so much easier!I

It’s been 9 years since I opened my first online brokerage account.  I’ve always kept afloat.  Never really making big plays.  When the market crashed in 2008, I held Starbucks and Visa.  Those were my two biggest holdings at that time.  Both of my stocks took a major 50% cut, I was down and out by several thousands.  For the longest time, I didn’t even look at my stocks.  I’d go months without looking at my portfolio.  I was hopeful it would make a rebound and kept my shares instead of selling them in a panick.  That strategy has helped me out tremendously to this day.

During 2008, I picked up a few stocks that I have made some money out of.  If I had kept them to date, my gains would have been higher.  Today, I still hold my Starbucks at over 195.29% gain.  Sad to say, I sold my Visa prematurely at a gain of 21.71%.  If I had kept my shares, I would have another 100% gain in my hands.

Buy and hold strategy has worked out for me.  Lately, I’ve been making more trades to actually capitilize on my gains before they get wiped out.  Every stock goes up and down in this volitile market, know when to let them go when it’s time before it’s too late.  I’ve made tons of mistakes along the way… selling off stocks at a loss in the thousands or selling too early to miss out on more gains.  But I’ve always managed to scrape by in the green.

If you’re just starting out, please go and open up a discount brokerage account.  Don’t be afraid!  Don’t pay $29/trade as I did in the early years… there are more online brokerages these days that offer better commissions.

Go big or go home!

23 Mar

I’m tired of playing it safe.  I am mad.  I sold out my CLF yesterday for a measly $300 profit.  Today, it jumps $2… meaning I lost out on another $200.  I still have my Call Options… it’s trading at a profit of about $50.  No comparison to $200.

I went on a buying rampage with MARGIN.  Yes, as much as I hate to put myself on margin, I have to take on more risk to be rewarded.  I am a little frustrated of sitting on the sidelines watching stocks go up and up without me profiting at all.  Time for a dramatic change in pace.

Today’s Buys!

TCK.B-  200 @ $35.29; 200 @ 34.48  Mining Company
CRUS-  200 @ $24.49;  200 @ 23.78  Technology Sector:  Provider of Apple
TRP-  200 @ $43.65  Pipeline Energy Company

Please do not follow me as I am already at a loss with these buys!!  I’ll sit on them for a little bit and see where they go 😀

Making a move

22 Mar

Staying active in my QT Margin account is essential to keep track of your ongoing stocks.  This means daily check ups.  Just a couple of days ago, I was reeling high up then the stupid China slow down popped into the picture to bring down my parade of escalating stocks.

I missed pulling my trigger on CLF as it was riding high in the $73 range.  Today, I decided to end the $5 drop in the last two days to rake in what was left of it in the tune of $290.10.  POT was on my hit list as well and decided to let go 100/500 shares at a loss of $219.90.  So my grand total for the day was only a little profit of $70.20 in my margin account.

I really want to get back into the game, but right now, I just don’t know what to buy!  Better wait than to jump on board a train wreck waiting to happen.

Alright, I averaged down on my call options on CLF.  Since I sold out my shares of CLF, I still have a bit of running room with their options for the month if there is an uprising.  I added 2 more contracts at $1.38.  Now my average is at 3 contracts @ $1.90 instead.  Right now, I’m at a paper loss of $130.90, near the end of the day CLF took a nose dive where I was at a paper loss of $222 but it recovered in the last hour or so.  Counting on a green day on Friday to make my weekend more enjoyable!

Tax Time!

21 Mar

Remember to file your taxes by April 30, 2012 for the year 2011.

I have been doing my own taxes since 2002, that’s when I started my first job.  My parent’s friend who is also our neighbor always did our taxes.  Since I didn’t want him to find out my pathetic yearly salary at that time, I filed my taxes online with Quicktax aka Turbotax for like $12.95.  But every year they would increase their price for their online version.  A standard return for Turbotax nowadays is going for $17.99 plus tax.  One year I prepaid a cheaper version Ufile, but I found out that I didn’t like their calculations and went back to Quicktax.  I paid twice as much.  What a waste of money.  So I say, “screw that!”

Studio Tax is a free downloadable windows based program for Canadians to file their taxes online.  Of course, this isn’t the most user friendly guide like other tax programs that charges a fee.  It’s pretty basic, to the point, like an online paper version that CRA makes you fill out by hand.  They do have a Wizard that you go through like a questionnaire.  After you finish up your return, you can NETFILE with CRA to get a quicker refund only if you don’t owe money and save paper  🙂

My capital gain from 2011 is only at $2945.65 with 32 trades… made a lot of mistakes in 2011.  This year I promise to be more disciplined.  It’s not bad considering I took a big loss in RIM $1489.90 and NOT $3519.99, and some other stocks.  I did a preliminary test run of my tax return.  Looks like I’ll be getting $3k back only cause I funneled a lot into my RRSP contributions.  I still haven’t received my T3s.  They won’t come till early April.  Can’t wait to receive my refund!!

Big difference in a week’s time!

20 Mar

Last Tuesday, I was moaning and groaning about my shares in Potash.  A paper loss of $2329.90!!  Such a big loss compared to the rest of my stocks.

Overall today’s market was in the red, all my stocks fell in a pretty dramatic fashion except for Potash.  Potash gained 3.9% to $46.40.  It’s swinging back to my buy in price!  Today, I am at a paper loss of $429.90 instead.  I’m getting very close to my sell off price.  I want to come out a winner in this battle of time.

I’ll sell off to buy a more passive income producing unit trust in my QT TFSA account.

I bought my first Option!

15 Mar

Trust me, I’m no expert in Options.  I have like $600 sitting my TFSA account that I would like to play with.  After talking to my friend, he did make out some good points about investing a good chunk of your own money into a stock.  Why invest thousands of dollars only to gain 10%?  With call options, you can invest little money and gain 100% if your bet is right!  The downside is that there is a time expiry date on these bets.  As the time nears, if your strike price is above the current price… your premium will get smaller and smaller cuz no one will want to buy your strike price.  Your call options will be deemed worthless and you lose out.

I bought one contract of CLF.  One contract equals to 100 shares of buy the call price.  Buy to open a call price of $2.94 to strike at $72.50 by April 21, 2012.

What am I trying to accomplish here?  Here are the facts:  I am betting CLF by April 21st will be trading above $72.50.  Let’s say by April 21st, CLF is trading at $80.  Traders will pay a premium to buy in at my price of $72.50 so they can exercise that price.  That’s where I benefit for a profit.

The option fees are higher at $9.95+$1 per contract at Questrade.  So I have to sell this option $3.159 to break even. 

Right now, I am at a $10.05 gain in a matter of minutes, but of course this can dramatically change if CLF is going south instead of north.   I only put down $304.95 of my own money.  My target price is to sell at $5.00.  That would be a good profit of $206 less $21.90 in commissions.

This will be a good little test run for me to dip my toes in the world of option trading.

Good Old Cliff’s

14 Mar

I re-bought Cliff end of February at $65.60 on a decline…  then it declined some to a low of $59ish.  That’s when I should have swoop in and averaged down.  However, I already have more than half of this stock on margin.  So I steered clear of getting myself heavier at loss and debt!

Today, Cliff jumped a good 10% and counting due to dividend increase.  Instead of sitting at a loss, I’m at a paper gain of $538.05 at this time!  Should I keep this or sell?  So difficult… to make what will become of tomorrow’s trading day.  Could this be the works of options trading?  Trying to meet their strike price?

 Notable Mention:  Manulife made a big leap today at 9%.  Finally in the green, I shall be looking to making my exit with this stock soon.