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Mortgage Interest Rates

6 Sep

My pre-construction condo is finishing up by December 2013.  So it is time to shop around for the best Mortgage rate!  But I am having a hard time deciding between fixed or variable rates.

I’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage from CIBC and RBC.  Apparently, both banks do not offer any variable rates for less than 5 yrs.   For comparison purposes, I’ve also added in ING rates that I got from their website.   I’ll be paying a minimum 20% of the purchase price.

Fixed 3 yr 3.19% 3.09%
Fixed 4 yr 3.39% 3.29%
Fixed 5 yr 3.29% 3.59% 3.79%
Variable 5 yr 2.60% 2.60% 2.75%

(I still have to find out the rates from CIBC for fixed 3 yr and 4 yr rates.)

Rates are at its all time lows.  I’m kind of leaning towards the variable rate, but I might get screwed over if rates start to rise over the next few years.  A lot of people are saying to lock in your rates before it increases…

I need to find out if certain mortgages are breakable without much penalty.  Decision, decisions!

Virtual Broker – Margin Review on my Portfolio

5 Sep

Margin gives you the ability to buy stocks on borrowed money from the brokerage.  The more money you invest in a stock, your risk becomes greater as well.  It can be for the better or worse, but you really need to access how much you are willing to put down or stomach.  *Always be careful when borrowing money.*  

Presently, I have a margin account with Virtual Brokers.   The current rates at Virtual Brokers is 4.5% for CAD and 4.75% for USD.  Margin rates are usually competitive, since they have collateral to the amount of cash you have in the account with them.

Last month, I sold my Goldcorp stock.  So at the moment, I have $4,470.37 cash sitting in my CAD account.  I still don’t know what to buy on the Canadian side.

I also added a few American stocks to my portfolio on margin, but they haven’t been performing as well as I had hoped for.  At the moment, Currently, I have $8,384.51 margin in my USD account.  I am hoping Coke will make a turnaround soon, so I can lessen my margin load.

Current Value for USD Stocks on Margin:

Coke (KO)

2,075.99 1,912.00 -163.99 -7.90%

Visa (V)

$4,152.49 $4,052.83 -$99.66 -2.40%

Costco (COST)

2,240.99 2,292.40 +51.41 +2.29%

Anyways, I have been lazy and not really keep track of my overall stock portfolio.  Time for me to sit down one night and make a good tracking system for all my purchases and sales of stocks for 2013.

Buy Costco (COST) – 20 @ $112.00/share

26 Aug

Costco is popular.  I’ve been meaning to add COST to my portfolio for the longest time.  For some reason, I just held off.  When I first looked at it, COST was trading around their all time highs at $80/share.  Too bad, I didn’t take the first leap.

I am a little bit late to the rally party.  Recently, their share price has retracted a bit which calls for an opportunity for me to jump in.

I believe Costco is a major retailer that attracts a lot of customers though it’s only an exclusive club.  How many people do you know has a Costco membership?

Boston Pizza Fund

29 Jul

Over the years, I’ve traded a lot of stocks.  Even though, I took some pretty bad losses, I always seem to offset them with my gainers. There is one unit trust that I have kept for the longest time.  BPF.UN has given me a steady monthly distribution and share price appreciation.

Early 2009 was a pretty bad year for stocks.  At that time, I was pretty cash strapped.  I didn’t have a whole lot of money laying around to invest in.  But I wanted to put some money into a stock that will pay itself off.

On May 2009, I decided to put down 200 @ $9.10 on BPF.UN.  At that time, they were paying out 11.5 cents per share monthly!  So for a while, I was receiving $23/month… the distribution was lowered due to some rule changes to unit trusts in Canada.

Commission fee:  $29 (BMO Investorline)
Total dividends collected to date: $1026 (+55.48%)
Unrealized capital gain: $2601 as of July 29, 2013 (+140.67%)

Not bad for a relatively small market sized eatery on the West Coast of Canada.  I have more than doubled my money here.  If I only invested more, I would have been much better off now.

PS.  Scotia Itrade is charging me a quarterly inactivity fee of $25.  The only two stocks I hold there are BPF.UN and 300 shares of CHE.UN.  The combined total is less than the $10,000 minimum requirement .  So I might have to sell my beloved BPF.UN and move the money  to Virtual Brokers.  Itrade commission fee per trade is $24.99, really high if I wanted to stay put with them!! 


Welcome LIQ.TO and RCI.B.TO!

26 Jul

Liquor Stores N.A. Ltd is a longer term keeper as I don’t expect to see much volatility in this stock. This used to be a unit trust but converted into a stock recently.  I am a sucker for unit trusts that pays out on a monthly basis.  Almost at its 52 week low, their yield is looking pretty good at 6.15%.

LIQ.TO-  100 @ $17.56/share
Monthly dividend:  $9
Commission cost:  $1

I am going to revisit Rogers Communication Inc again.  I held this last summer at an attractive price and sold it at a loss when I was heavy on margin (Penny stock debacle days).  After I sold my 200 shares, RCI.B went skyward.  I missed out on some good gains.  Lately, RCI.B has taken some big hits from its 52 week highs due to an American competitor possibly entering the Canadian exclusive cellular market?  Ten dollar drop calls for some attention for sure.  Paying out a quarterly dividend yield of 4.2% seems mighty attractive to me.  Will this sink me or lead me to higher share prices down the road?

RCI.B.TO-  100 @ $41.45/share
Quarter dividend:  $44
Commission cost: $1

I like to buy bottom feeders for some reason.   But these are riskier in some ways… you could be buying on a down trend that can keep on going DOWN.  Most stocks I buy are relatively in healthy shape and will come back SOME DAY.

Maybe I should switch my strategy and start buying at the 52 week high and ride the uptrend rise!  Do you buy on 52 week lows or highs?

Added CVE.TO 100 @ $30.40/share

25 Jul

Earlier this morning, I added Cenovus Energy Inc. to my portfolio looking for short term gains.  I didn’t bother looking at the markets till now.  Surprised to see today’s closing price was $30.68 per share for CVE.TO.  Not bad, considering for a one day gain… but it’s not realized gain yet till I sell!





Watching POT.TO Today

24 Jul

I should have taken my $39 profit off the table earlier in the morning when POT.TO was trading up to $37.70.  I was really thinking about it, but I got greedy as always.  I held on only to watch the stock fall further down and below my buy in price.  Ahh, the volatility of the stock market.  Maybe, I should have bought RCI.B instead.  72 cent rise in share price today alone.  I always pick the wrong stocks.  My timing is so off.

Potash- July 24th



Re-entered POT.TO 100 @ $39.31

23 Jul

A lot of stocks these days are trading at its 52 week high, but Potash is down in their usual slump.  I am picking up some shares today in hopes that this minor set back will bounce back above their $40 per share point.

I’m not putting too much money into this as it’s been trending in a down trend.

This will be my first buy for this month!

As for all my previous stocks I sold recently, they are doing better than expected.  I was better off holding them than selling.  I coulda bought myself a ticket to Vegas!

Swoon, market is rallying!

11 Jul

Time for me to get the fuck out of Suncor, before it dips below my buy in price.

For most part, this stock has been in the red.  There were a couple times when I could have sold out at a small profit, but I wanted to wait for a bigger profit only to end up with a paper loss.

This time, I’m taking my little profit and a peace of mind.

Trade Details:

Bought on Feb 8, 2013- 300 @ $32.30/share

Sold on July 11, 2013-  300 @ $32.56/share

# days held:  153 (TOO LONG)

Commission paid:  $4.95 from QT, $3.00 from VB

Profit:  $70.05

Dividend:  $99.00

I can’t wait to get out of Goldcorp!  This is a stock I regret buying.  I had a gain of $200, but I didn’t take it when I had the chance.  Now, I am holding on a paper loss of $1270.95 at the moment.  >_<  I tend to have a bad habit of holding onto stocks for too long…

Sell Target Hit for BTE.TO at $41.00

10 Jul

Baytex Energy Corp was my first trade at Virtual Brokers on Margin.

May 14:  100 @ $40.75
May 16:  100 @ $38.73 (averaged down)

BTE.TO was trading in a down trend when I first laid eyes on them.  I thought the price I paid for was their support, but I was wrong.  Once again, I bought into a stock that keeps going down.

Good thing about this stock is they paid a monthly dividend.  The time I held onto this stock, I have collected $88.00.

Reason why I set my target at $41.00?  Looking at the three month chart, $41 seems to be around their resistant point, before they take a nose dive below the $40s.  I might be wrong, but I do not want to hold this in the red again especially on Margin.

Sold-  July 10:  200 @ $41.00

Days held on Margin- 54 days

Profit after commissions $248.01

Dividend:  $88.00

Interest:  $47.05 (Estimation)

My 1 cent per share trades gave me the ability to keep my trade commissions down.  So I only paid $3.00 for three trades!  Regular commission at other brokerages would have been $4.95-29.00 per trade.  I saved so much money!!

After all said and done, I walk away with $288.96 in my pocket.  Not bad for a Margin swing trade, eh?