With the Federal Reserve signalling that they intend to lower interest rates in the very near future, I thought I would do a quick mind map and scratch what the impact would be on the types of investment decisions I would make going forward.
For the second month this year, the only investment decision I made was…to make no decisions. I decided to stand pat. In this post I share my thought process that led me to decide to stand pat.
Like anything there are some things that we don’t like to do but have to do in order to get to the bigger goals we want to achieve. Sports offers some interesting strategies for success that port over quite nicely into the investing game. In this episode I share some insights on how what strategies we can adopt to allow us to stay in the investing game and improve our probabilities for success.
This episode is about how the game of basketball and specifically the strategies behind it can teach us a lot about investing as well. I was originally going to do this around March Madness time, but never got around to it, so the timing is great! The game of basketball is so much different than when I grew up. It’s all about 3 points shots and perimeter offensive strategies. In many ways, the investing world has evolved quite similarly with the shift more index, low cost strategies.
April saw the markets continue to melt-up and regain their losses from 2018. In a couple of cases I was able to lock in some nice gains and pick up some shares in areas that have actually been lagging the market surge. What’s even more pleasant is that the stocks and ETF’s involved below are one’s that I’ve held in the past and I think there are some takeaways we can get from it.
New Position: Bought shares in Cal Maine Foods (Ticker: CALM)
Bought more shares in iShares Pharma (Ticker: XPH)
Sold shares in Disney (Ticker: DIS) for 39 percent gain (net Forex)
Sold shares in Southern Copper Company (Ticker: SCCO) for 18.2 percent gain (net Forex)
In the last of my 5 part series where I dive into answering a fundamental question that factors into every investment decision we make, I look at the nebulous concept of valuation from a perspective that goes beyond simply buying stocks with some low valuation multiple or ratio. I also try to bring the various concepts discussed together to provide some kind of framework that we can takeaway and carry with us as we go forward and make investment decisions.
I continue on my deep dive into figuring out what drives stock prices by looking at the one metric the rules them all and factors into every investment decisions we make. There are numerous mechanical and technical methodologies and strategies that are available to us when evaluating investment opportunities. At the end of the day all that due diligence may go for naught when we bring in this important metric that drives stock prices.
For most people investing revolves around the application of rules. Buy stocks with P/E ratios below X and have Debt/Equity ratios below 0.5. Index investing is better than active strategies, which is better than value investing. The reality mechanical strategies work until they don’t. In the third of our five part series, I dig deep further to look beyond mechanical investing strategies and examine the importance of how tendencies, principles, and to a certain extent fate, play critical roles in the setting of stock prices and how we frame our investment decisions. I also look at how we react to what market does, can also be a critical factor to setting stock prices and what investing competencies we need to develop to manage these tendencies to make more successful investment decisions.
In Part 2, I start to drill down a bit further on trying to answer a fundamental questions that every investor is asking. In this episode I apply one of the core principles of market based economics. Supply and Demand. Makes sense as a stocks trade in a…market…that contains buyers and sellers. The way buyers and sellers behave plays a critical factor into how stock prices are set.
In this first of a five part series, I take a deep dive into trying to answer a fundamental question that works directly and indirectly into every investment decisions. What makes stock prices go up and down? What makes a stock valuable? In this episode, I start at a high level by exploring a core foundational element that we often overlook but plays a critical role in driving stock prices.
March came in like a lion for my portfolio. An angry lion. My portfolios took some body blows that I really didn’t see coming and it forced me to make some hard decisions. There were also some good outcomes as well as some stocks continue to benefit from the market reinvigoration thanks to the 180 pivot by the Federal Reserve to pause on future interest rate increases for the rest of the year.
Investment Decisions Taken:
After coming off the previous month where I made no decisions to buy or sell stocks and ETF’s in my portfolio, February couldn’t be more opposite. The trigger that got me to move was the louder chatter that the Federal Reserve was going to put the breaks on any future interest rate increases. To me this sudden 180 degree shift by the Federal Reserve was a game changer for the markets. In this episode, I walk through the investment decisions I made in February.
Investment Decisions Taken:
NEW POSITION: BOUGHT SHARES IN ISHARES GOLD BULLION ETF (TICKER: CGL.C)
NEW POSITION: BOUGHT SHARES IN VANGUARD EMERGING MARKETS ETF (TICKER: VEE)
NEW POSITION: BOUGHT SHARES IN SOUTHERN COPPER COMPANY (TICKER: SCCO)
NEW POSITION: BOUGHT SHARES IN CANADIAN NATURAL RESOURCES (TICKER: CNQ)
NEW POSITION: BOUGHT SHARES IN ISHARES PHARMACEUTICAL ETF (TICKER: XPH)
With commodity prices including copper falling, I thought it might be a good time to take a look at some copper stocks. Southern Copper was one I've owned in the past so I thought I'd check in and see if there may be an opportunity to buy in.
April 2019 - Sold shares for 18 percent gain
With commodity prices falling off and the Federal Reserve signalling they will pause on future interest rate hikes, the dynamics of a falling US$ and rising commodity prices including oil could be in play. I decided to do a quick analysis of CNQ which is considered among the big players in the Canadian Energy scene to see if there may be an opportunity to jump in.
Yes it been a full 4 years since I opened up my Robo Advisor account. For those new to investing, a Robo Advisor is a new wave of wealth management companies that invest on behalf of others using an online platform and a combination of algorithms and computer coding to buy and sell specific investments and manage portfolios. Four years ago these firms were just stepping into the investing conciousness, but since then they have mushroomed and even traditional investment companies are now offering some flavor of online investment management services. It all seemed quite appealing however there was one thing that many marketing materials, blogs, and mainstream media was avoiding (and still are I might add)…do these types of services make money for investors?
Since no robo advisor company back then was interested in disclosing their performance (they still avoid it) other than citing research that their strategy is superior, I decided four years ago to try an experiment and find out for myself. I setup an account with one of the big Robo Adviser firms. My goal was to go through the process and blog about my experience and more importantly, the results. I’ve always said that we need a good five years to really get a handle on how effective these services are compared to traditional wealth management services. Well, we’re at the 80% mark of my ROBO journey, so let’s check back in and take a look at how it’s doing now and see if we can squeeze any conclusions about the service.
The way 2018 ended in the markets with culminating in the Christmas Eve massacre followed by the post-Christmas bounce, it looked like 2019 would be more of the same. Turned out the market continued to bounce high and at one point erased most of the damage of last year. In this episode, I share the Investment “Decisions” that I made in January.
I always get questions from people about investing. In this episode I share a few questions and offer my takes:
Is stock picking more art than science?
How do you come up with different investment ideas?
What is the first metric you look at when you research a stock?
What are the tricks in investing in the stock market?
One of my motivations as an Investment Coach is to make people more street smart when dealing with the investing industry (banks, mutual funds, wealth management companies, brokers, robe-advisers etc). Even though more people today are investing on their own, the reality is you cannot invest in a bubble, and whether you go the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) path or work with someone, you will still have to work with the industry. You have to co-exist with them.
So loyally and faithfully we will march into our local branch (or lounges), or a financial adviser’s office, or a Starbucks and begin the dance. The thing is before you even make contact they have you sized up.
They think you’re an idiot and they are going to go out of their way to make you feel like one.
The industry has developed a rather air-tight formula for getting us to shell out our hard earned savings and the core component of their value proposition is to make us feel inadequate or give us a bad money image. In this episode I will share with you this formula and give an example of this ritual and more importantly how we can overcome these negative connotations they are projecting to us.
December brought more pain and angst in the markets. It forced me to make some tough decisions and take some losses, but it didn’t dissuade me from staying true to my investment ideology and my search for buying quality investments at a discounted price. In one case I had to do a 180 and retract my decision.
New Position: Bought shares in Vanguard FTSE Canada All Cap ETF (Ticker: VCN)
New Position: Bought shares in Exon Mobil (Ticker: XOM)
New Position: Bought shares in Tiffany (Ticker: TIF)
Sold Shares in Johnson and Johnson (Ticker: JNJ) for 7.5 percent gain (Net Forex)
Bought more shares in Big Lots (Ticker: BIG)….and then sold it all
Sold shares in MGM Resorts for 21.1 percent loss (net forex)
Luxury retail stocks were taking a pounding along with the broader market. Stocks like Tiffany had been falling from the $140’s to the mid $80’s. Tiffany is a stock I’ve held in the past and had on my watch list to look at if it were ever to fall back. So with the tumble I did a quick analysis to see if there is an opportunity to jump in which I share in this episode.
March 2019 - Sold shares for 18.9 percent gain