Stocks for Fun and Profit

Stocks for Fun and Profit

Adventures of an Amateur Investor

Recent Posts

Secrets to Sanity and Success

Secrets to Sanity and Success

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash) After my August break, thought it was time to return with periodic blogs. This article marked my 24th for Grainews. My first article, which appeared in March of 2018, had a quote, “I have a secret for you. Don’t tell anybody […]

Part 2: U.S. Long Term Successes…and blemishes

Part 2: U.S. Long Term Successes…and blemishes

(Photo courtesy of Pexels) In my first column on Long Term Successes, I shared examples from my Canadian portfolio. The Canadian market is just three percent of the world market and isn’t very well diversified, with financial and resource companies dominating. This makes international diversification […]

Happy Readers, Happy Investors

Happy Readers, Happy Investors

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I am always delighted to get emails from readers and reviews on Amazon or Chapters. I thought I would share a few recent comments as they mirror my objectives with the book and newsletter. The first is on Amazon.com. Most reviews are on Amazon.ca. It was really cool to get such a glowing review on the American website. 

Jan Anderegg, USA

5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Gem – A Must Read For Amateur Investors

April 17, 2019

This book sparked my curiosity due to my husband’s interest in the stock market and investing. We’ve discussed it over the years but never ‘took the plunge’. The reasons were varied but the underlying reason was … what if we lose our money, and we don’t know what we’re doing!

After reading this book, I feel confident not only in investing in the stock market but in the knowledge we are no longer going in blind.

The author has a gift – he is able to take the complex topic of investing and explain it in simple terms that make sense. He doesn’t pull any punches. Using anecdotes and his personal experience in different markets over the past few years, he also explains what does and doesn’t work. The book is brilliant. It is so user-friendly and enjoyable to read, it doesn’t feel like you’re being educated and learning. You are.

The next email came courtesy of a book reader and new newsletter subscriber. If the person from Calgary who recommended my book to Steven is reading this blog, thanks very much for your recommendation.  The email was in response to a couple questions I asked after receiving his subscription form.

Hi Herman,

I read your book about 8 months ago and started investing shortly after I finished reading it. I purchased most of the stocks in my portfolios right before the market dropped… Despite the drop in the market, I held on believing that they would eventually recover. Most of the stocks have now recovered. As of today in my TFSA I have done just over 8% with dividends. In my corporate account I have done 13%.

As you know I am a custom home builder, I have the privilege of building dream homes for people from all over Canada who choose to retire in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. One of my clients from 2018, who is from Calgary was sharing how he had been investing for roughly 20 years and done very well. He continued to share how he has read multiple books on investing and had learned a lot over the years. I then asked him what books he would recommend to someone who had never invested before.  He told me that he just finished reading your book and was in agreement with how you evaluate stocks and your overall outlook on investing. So, I ordered your book, read it and started investing.

You asked for my thoughts on your book… I think it’s excellent and I appreciate that you properly track your accounts and show real results. There is so much to learn in your book and I am going to re-read your book and try and understand your evaluation process more clearly. I did find the learning curve steep as it’s all brand new to me. 

Investing is very intimidating to me. Mostly because I have worked SO HARD to get to where I am and the thought of losing money, money I have worked so hard to earn scares me. I have had no parental help or money to get where we are and I have a wife and three daughters to provide for.  Yet I think it’s foolish to not have money working for me. After reading your book I felt less intimidated and see the value in investing in properly evaluated companies. I also recognize that you, through trial and error, have gained a lot of wisdom. I am wanting to avoid mistakes and learn from someone who has a track record of success and shows true valuations of their past performance. I am eager to get your newsletter and see how your portfolios have done since you completed the book. I am also wanting to maximize my TFSA’s and want to see what you have increased and purchased since your book was written.

Thanks & Regards,

Steven Fitzpatrick, Owner

MadetoLast.ca

Duncan B.C

This last email came from a longer term subscriber after I started my “Kids and Money” series in the newsletter:

Hi Herman,

I just wanted to let you know that I’m really enjoying your thoughts on how you taught your children about the value of money. We have two little boys (6 & 5) and we’ve been putting into practice some of the ideas you discussed in your Dec newsletter. They now have their own bank-cards with no-fee chequing and savings accounts. We’ve been talking to them about how they intend to manage their money. Our oldest believes he has ‘lots’ of money and can’t wait to spend it all on beyblades (although he’s yet to actually pull the trigger and purchase one – apparently he likes the thought of buying toys, more than actually doing it). Our youngest is excited to transfer all of his weekly allowance into his savings account and watch it grow. He wants to save-up his money and one day buy a house he can share with his older brother.

Anyway, I’m amazed at how implementing some of those ideas you suggested has opened up a whole world of new conversations with our kids re: money and life goals.

I’m not sure those without young children would find value in this portion of your newsletters, but we sure do…so I just wanted to say Thank-you!!

Kevin Lowenberger

Sarnia, Ontario

Thanks very much to all those who have sent emails, questions, comments and reviews. For those interested in subscribing the form is on the website, and I provide new subscribers all past issues from the end of the book until today.

 

Long Term Successes…and a few blemishes

Long Term Successes…and a few blemishes

(Photo courtesy of Pexels) Success through simplicity entails buying the right companies and holding them a long time. This significantly reduces stress and workload managing investments, and leads to better outcomes. But do I follow my own advice? My first decade of stock investing had […]

Evaluating Investment Performance

Evaluating Investment Performance

(Photo courtesy of Pexels) There has recently been a lot of negativity directed towards the mutual fund and financial advisory industries around performance and fees, partly because of the emergence of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) with lower fees. Advisors however rely on mutual fund fees. […]

Three More Articles to Enjoy with Your Coffee

Three More Articles to Enjoy with Your Coffee

(photo courtesy of Pexels)

I have been a Grainews columnist for a year with my first article having appeared on March 13th, 2018. The articles are generally coordinated with my blogs but not always. This series of articles will catch up blog readers with my Grainews articles, and are well worth reading.

Down Markets aren’t Bad Markets appeared February 15th and updates the “Titanium Strength model TFSA Portfolio” built for the column. Despite the down market in 2018 this portfolio was breakeven at year end.

A Dynamic Investment Trio: TFSA, Stocks and the ‘Rule of 72’ appeared February 25th. It demonstrates how to make your TFSA a self-funding retirement program.

Investment Success Factors was published March 6th and outlines both personal attributes and investment factors that lead to long-term success.

When reading these articles please keep in mind that I write a month or more before publication. The prices or markets may have changed, but the messaging in the article will remain pertinent.

Many bloggers and websites send out information very frequently, sometimes daily. I hope my two blogs a month meets your needs for quality information without stuffing your inbox. Comments and questions are always welcome via email. Please let me know what you think.

During a 35+ year career in agriculture, Herman VanGenderen became an active investor in stocks and real estate. He writes a monthly subscription newsletter and his book “Stocks for Fun and Profit: Adventures of an Amateur Investor” is available at internet book sites. Visit his website at www.you1stenterprises.com, or email comments and questions to you1st.stocks@gmail.com.  

The Folly of Market Predictions

The Folly of Market Predictions

In the column, “Re-Think What You Thought,” I mentioned less than half of predictions are accurate. This phenomenon has been well documented, yet market predictions continue to abound. I began making market predictions in my newsletter in January of 2016, mostly to poke fun at […]

In Defense of the Much Maligned RRSP

In Defense of the Much Maligned RRSP

(Photo courtesy of Pexels) We are approaching the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) deadline but deadline or not, I suspect most readers will have contribution room available, which can be found on your annual income tax “Notice of Assessment.” Many Canadians have tossed the RRSP […]

The Real Estate Chapter

The Real Estate Chapter

I hope everyone had a very Happy New Year. My apologies for not sending anything yet this year, and hope everyone took advantage of the market downdraft late in 2018 to add to your TFSA with the new $6,000 contribution room for 2019. I added to both our TFSAs and made stock selections on January 3rd being anxious to get good values available at that time. A key success factor for stock investing is taking advantage of downturns, when others are selling.

With this blog I would, however, like to take the opportunity to discuss real estate as it’s another important investment medium. Chapter 12 of my book describes my journey as a real estate investor. Like stocks, I have over 35 years of experience investing in all types of real estate including houses for rental, multi-family, commercial, farmland, recreational and hotel-condos. The latter is my favorite real estate sector for reasons described in the book. Chapter 12 covers many aspects of real estate ownership, including how I turned my house mortgage into a tax deductible expense. I saw a whole book on this topic but think I covered it nicely on a single page. For any aspiring real estate investor, this chapter will be a valuable resource.

Hotel-condos are a lesser known real estate sector. It is how many resort villages are organized. The hotel rooms are generally privately owned, with a hotel management company running the operations, splitting the revenue between the hotel company and the room owner. When you wish to use your own room it is simply taken out of the rental program for those evenings. I recently stayed at our new suite in a brand new resort on Vancouver Island, and am so excited I wanted to share with you.

I have stayed at many fantastic hotels and resorts, for both business and personal reasons. The views at this resort rank at the pinnacle. It is very secluded and tranquil, yet still close to Victoria. The condos, or rather cottages, are perched on a cliff at the water’s edge, giving the impression of being on a luxury yacht, while still firmly on the ground. Sunrises and sunsets were spectacular. There are endless hiking trails at the edge of the resort, a workout room overlooking the sea, with great restaurants and spas in the vicinity. We saw numerous sea lions swimming by and whales are a regular sighting. This four-season resort is stunning even over the winter season, because you can’t really call it winter on this southernmost tip of the island.

If you are looking for a unique place to rest and rejuvenate, or for a small corporate retreat, this is a fantastic place to unwind. We didn’t want to leave.

Anyone interested in a get-away can look up www.SookePointResort.ca. The rooms have full kitchens and ours is a 2-bed, 2-bath, so please consider asking for suite 47B when booking.

    

2019 SMART Investing Goals

2019 SMART Investing Goals

(Photo courtesy of Pexels) 2018 has been a challenging year for stock and bond investors around the world. Virtually every asset class, in every country is down year-to-date. Perhaps things will change in the last two weeks of the year, but at time of writing […]