Archive | April, 2013

Classified

27 Apr

One time, I was labelled as lower-middle class individual.  I was taken aback.  Go figure!

It’s funny how this statement hit a nerve in me.  I never considered myself rich.  Sometimes, I complain that I feel poor due to my lack of earning power.  That’s me just saying… in all negativity.

But to hear it from another source, it is a little disheartening.

Their assessment was based solely on what was presented to them.  They don’t know my financial background.

One of my demeanor is I lead others to think less of me.  Thus, they view me as inferior to them.  That’s okay.

Little do they know, I’m more cunning than what meets the eye.

 

 

 

100% Equities

26 Apr

As you can tell by now, all my investments are in equities.  I have no cushion if my stocks head south.  I am quite vulnerable to the swing of the markets.

What’s a good balance in a total portfolio?  It is called bonds.

Bonds are boring.  They provide a steady stream of income and security.  They don’t really fluctuate much unless interest rates are rising or falling…  But you know what, they can be the savior of your portfolio if the market crashes and burns.

From what I hear, you should allocate a certain percentage of bonds to your age.  For example, I’m 31 years old.  Then I would allocated 31% of my portfolio dedicated to bonds.

Am I going to do this?  I am considering it, but I’m not going out on a limb to follow other’s suggestions.  Keep in mind, I still have a good 30 years to ride the stock market up and down.

If you want to preserve your capital, then bonds are the route to take.  Everyone’s needs are different.  Choose the path that is best suited for yourself.

But never ever buy mutual funds!  Fund manager makes a ton of money thanks only to uninformed investors who take the easy route by handing their money over to their financial advisors.

If you don’t like selecting stocks on your own (Always the best option in my opinion), then INDEX FUNDS or ETFs are the way to go.  They charge less fees and follows the market as a whole depending on which part you want to invest in.

WTF is up with Gold?

23 Apr

Barrick Gold Corp is trading at $18 per share.  Really?  That’s a $12 per share drop in ONE month.  Wow, I am getting worried about my recent purchase of Goldcorp Inc.  I am still shaking my head as I didn’t pull the sale trigger when I had a $200 gain in the beginning stages.  This was suppose to be a swing trade for me.  Now, I am holding in the hopes that Gold will recover and climb out of its dark depths that has shadowed upon them recently.

Personally, I have never gotten the gold fever.  What hooked me into Goldcorp was their monthly 5 cent per share dividend pay out.  Plus it was trading at its 52 week low.  This may have seem like a good deal at that time, but I did not anticipate the steep down fall in the past week.  Currently, I am at a paper loss of $932.95, -14.09%.  OUCH!

Today, the markets is in the green.  Yet, Gold has faltered.  Could this be the end of the gold rush?  This is yet to be determined.  This goes to show you how a stock can turn its back on you in an instant.

Is it wise to buy at a 52 week low?  It really depends on your patience and time horizon.

 

 

Chicken Karaage!

20 Apr

Time for me to shake things up in the kitchen.  For my chicken thighs, I usually marinate them and stick them into the oven.  It’s the quick and easy route for a meal after work.  On Friday night, I decided to de-bone my three chicken thighs into bite size pieces to deep fry in oil.  I know it’s not the most healthiest recipe, but sometimes, you need that extra crunch in your bite!  Chicken Karaage originated from Japan and it is a popular appetizer dish at most Japanese restaurants!

This takes a little more time to prepare and cook.  There will be more dishes to wash indeed.  But I like to try new recipes and see how it goes!  The result was it was a little too salty (I kinda went off with the salt), not as crispy as I hope it be, but it was a yummy change for a night in for dinner.

What goes into the bit sized chicken? 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, sprinkle of salt, chopped up finely garlic & ginger.  Please marinate first and let it stand before adding in 1 egg and sprinkling the rest of the chicken with 1 tablespoon of flour & corn starch.  Mix well.  Transfer chicken over to pan with oil that will cover the chicken bites to fry.  Fry till golden brown usually takes 7-10 minutes.

How much did this dish cost?
Chicken Thigh- $1.56 (My last pack from American Costco)
Est Oil and other ingredients- $1.00
Total for Chicken Karaage- $2.56!

Restaurants usually charge around $5-8 for an appetizer... It takes time and skills to make it crispy and delicious!

Restaurants usually charge around $5-8 for an appetizer… It takes time and skills to make it crispy and delicious!

I am margin free!

19 Apr

Sorry, I haven’t been in the mood lately to blog about stocks.  The stock markets have been giving me a queasy feeling in my tummy.

On Monday, April 15th, every stock I had was in the red!  I decided to sell my Potash that was on margin at a loss.  I also transferred $2200 into my USD margin to wipe out my margin balance there.  So I am margin free!!  I don’ t have to pay stupid little interest at the rate of 6% to Questrade.

This is in preparation for my move from Questrade to Virtual Brokers.  A couple of days ago, I finally mailed my application to Virtual Broker’s head quarters.  (I was over by 6 grams, but I took the risk of just putting on a 63 cent stamp instead of $1.10.)  I know sometimes, I’m a cheapo, but it was in those standardized envelopes.

One of my reason for switching brokerage is that Questrade was charging 6% for CAD and 6.25% USD for any money that is borrowed in their accounts.  Their interest rate is at least 2% higher than other online brokerages.  And I don’t want to pay more than I have to.

At Virtual Brokers, their interest rate is 4.5% for CAD and USD for funds that are on margin.  This beats Questrade.  Their 99 cent commission is the biggest lure for me.

If I like their platform, I will consider moving my RRSP and TFSA over.  But I want to test it first before I make the entire switch over.

Side Note:  I went over to my local Community Savings credit union to help a coworker sort and count his nickles, dimes, and quarters at thi’s coin machine.  The branch had no customers.  The customer representative saw me and showed me how to use the coin machine.  After it finished counting all those coins, I had $20.70!  She was friendly and tried to get me to sign up for their chequing account.  It’s unlimited transactions with a monthly fee of $2.00 which will end by April 2013.

I’d be interested in opening an account with them since they do have branches locally.  But I enjoy my free banking at ING Direct where I can use their ABMs.

I got a free key chain out of it with a couple of  “coins” I can dispense from to use in shopping carts.  Neat eh?

Added Pitney Bowes Inc. to my TFSA

11 Apr

With the leftover cash in my TFSA, I added Pitney Bowes Inc. (PBI) 107 @ $15.17/share.  The yield on this stock is at 9.88%!!  38 cents per quarter for each share you own.  Shares of this stock have certainly taken a tumble in the past few years, but they have steadily paid out increasing dividends over the number of years.  

This might a little bit risky to jump in, but I see an upswing in the months ahead.  That’s just me and my hunches!!  So do not take my word for it.  

Guess what I found in my QT RRSP account?

8 Apr

A few weeks ago, I sold out my Just Energy in my QT RRSP account for  a loss of $167.41.

Recently, I just started dripping all of my RRSP stocks.  Apparently, I received a dividend from Just Energy for $27.38 for the time I had held onto this stock.

Due to my DRIPs, I own 4 shares of Just Energy now  (@_@)  Selling this in my Questrade wouldn’t be worth it!  Now I’m stuck with this in my RRSP.  At least, I’m in the green!

Dripping gives you the ability buy buy shares from dividends.

Dripping gives you the ability buy shares from dividends.

Who would you admire more?

8 Apr

Recently, I borrowed “Millionaire Teacher” by Andrew Hallam from the library.  I literally read the first few pages.  I have a very short expansion span, but I will try to finish this book by the due date!

Andrew Hallam made a very good point on perception about owning a car which is a depreciating asset.  In his findings, most people who buy luxury cars are not actually millionaires.  Most millionaires buy a Toyata!

Who would you admire more?

Hypothetical Scenario:

Mr. Hotshot and Mr. Frugal both makes the same amount each year.  Both of them needs to buy a car to travel to work.

1.  Mr. Hotshot buys a brand new Lexus IS 350 for $45,000.

2.  Mr. Frugal buys a brand new Toyota Matrix for $20,000.

Both of them show up to work with their new cars.  Their coworkers goes out to the parking lot to check the two cars out.  Everyone is admiring the Lexus IS 350 over the Matrix and Mr. Hotshot gets excited from all the attention and questions from his coworkers.  Mr. Frugal steps back and smiles to himself.

But who do you think will have more money down the road?

Of course, Mr. Frugal.  Right off the bat, he saved $25,000 of his own money by not buying a more expensive car.  He has bigger plans for his money down the road that will eventually multiply over time.

Personally, I do admire nice cars myself.  Who doesn’t?  Does that mean I can afford one?  Right now, I can if I wanted to squander all my savings!  But I choose not to go out on a limb to lease or finance an expensive luxurious car.  I will spend my money wisely elsewhere.

Some of my BF’s friends have brand new BMWs and Mercedes.  Do I admire them…?

Dash Cam Crashes (Accidents can happen in an instant, so why bother with a nice car!)

99c Commissions?

5 Apr

Virtual Brokers is a Canadian owned and operated online based brokerage that offers a wide variety of trading services.  You can trade as low as 99c if you’re buying under 99 shares of a stock!

“The 99” Commission Structure:  The Minimum commission is $0.99 with a cap of $9.99. No ECN/Exchange Fees apply.

Equities
$ 0.01 per share if share price ≥ $1.00
$ 0.005 per share if $0.25 ≤ share price < $1.00
$ 0.0025 per share if share price< $0.25

At Questrade, I am getting tired of paying $4.95-$9.95 + the occasional ECN/Exchange fee per trade.  My trades are usually 100 shares per trade.  Virtual Brokers = $1 vs Questrade = $4.95+ECN Fee.  Virtual Brokers win!  

I know I know, it’s hard to make the switch after setting up all your stocks in your cozy accounts.  Virtual Brokers will pay the transfer out fee from your broker (up to $150 taxes included) for each account with assets >$25,000.  Plus, they offer live streaming quotes in which I am missing from Questrade.  I’m sold, I will transfer out my margin play account to test this new platform.  

I am on my way to setting up an account with them!  99c commissions here I come! 

 

To owe or not to owe

3 Apr

Spring is in the air.  Tax dead line is just around the corner!  Everyone dreads tax time.  Some are more complicated than others.  It’s just another chore for us all to do.  Did you gather all your miscellaneous/tax slips from 2012 to determine where you stand with the government?  To owe or not to owe!

Over the weekend, I entered all my information into Studio Tax.  Studio Tax is a free downloadable tax software for personal returns regardless of income that has been approved by CRA.  Since I am always looking for a way to save money, I started using Studio Tax since 2010 and it works like a charm.  Why pay for something when you can do it for free?  Sure, it might not be the most user friendly.  But in the end, it gets the job done right if you enter everything correctly that is.

Studio Tax churned out that I owed $13.38 (-_-)  This is a first for me!  I will be carrying back my net capital loss of $919.85 to my previous year.  Hopefully, I can get some money back from that later on.

For 2012, I did not contribute enough to my RRSPs to lower my income to avoid paying taxes!  I only put in $1064.  Pathetic, eh? Bottom line, if you don’t want to owe taxes, please contribute to your RRSPs to defer your tax payments.

After, I filed my taxes through Netfile.  I realized that Questrade did not send me the T3 for REI.UN!!  Hopefully, this will slip through the cracks.

Anyways, happy filings.  I’m done, out of mind, till next year!