At the start of the year I actually published a Stock Picking post about what to buy this year. It was mostly me being snarky about stock picking done by other bloggers, but I started to think I should continue to eat my own dog food, and figure out what my stock picks did, in terms of return.

Stock Picking
Here is where my stock picking stands now:

Jan-01 Apr-01
VDY $1,000.00 $950.00
TDB911 $1,000.00 $1,013.30
TDB909 $1,000.00 $998.00
TDB902 $1,000.00 $1,015.50
TDB900 $1,000.00 $954.50
Value $5,000.00 $4,931.30
Loss or Gain  0.00% -1.37%

Losing about 1.4% is nothing to brag about, but, given the volatility of the market it isn’t too bad either. My guess is this could be a volatile year. We shall see what the summer does my stock picking prowess.

It is Friday the 13th today, it must be true that someone has done something odd financially today, because of this date. If you have, shame on you!

I was intrigued by a statement I saw on Reddit, that the RBC will no longer allow you to buy Crypto Currency with their credit cards. The statement doesn’t give a reason, and simply does the Canadian thing, and apologizes for the inconvenience. I am a big fan of brevity, but that is astoundingly terse for that kind of decision. My guess is they just don’t trust the Crypto-currency marketplaces enough to allow their credit vehicles to be used there. If I can’t use credit cards to buy cryptocurrency how do I pay for it? Gold (Au)? Cash? Other cryptocurrencies? Intriguing.

In other financial news  I threw up in my mouth when I read Mackenzie fined for excessive promotional spending. The money spent is your Management Fees, and that is where that extra money goes? I still feel nauseous .  Your retirement money is giving folks iPads? Wow.


My Recent Writings

What is a Serial Refinancer ? You know someone like this, they keep building up credit card debt, then either getting consolidation loans or adding it to their HELOC or worse their mortgage. This is serial murder for your finances.

I don’t think folks understand that with investing, when you sell is more important than what you buy. I attempt to elaborate on that with 2 Key Investment Strategies. Being a Millionaire “on paper” means nothing, until you have the money in your hands, you are not a millionaire.

Micro Blogging on Finance

More women are filing for bankruptcy, is this a win for women? Truth of the matter is, I don’t think so, but there is a podcast to talk about that one this weekend.

💻 If you want more great financial stories click here 💻

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2 Key Investment Strategies

There are two key investment strategies that all folks need to have, that are obvious, but rarely ever spoken about. The second strategy is the one that most folks seem to forget about.

A Buy Strategy

Why are you buying? What is the reason you are investing? Is this for a retirement fund, emergency fund, or just savings in your TFSA ? You need to answer that question and that is the cornerstone of your buy strategy.

When are you going to buy can be important, but market timing isn’t going to work out. When are you going to start investing is more important in your buy strategy.

What are you going to buy? Stocks, mutual funds, index funds, ETFs, and GICs are just some of the investment vehicles you can use to invest your money. Depending on what you buy, you will then need to think about how often and when you buy.

How much are you going to buy? How much money do you have to invest? Another important aspect of your buy strategy.

The other aspect of your key investment strategies is one that far too many folks don’t have.

Is there another investment strategy I need other than Buy?!?

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Serial Refinancers

Serial refinancers is a term I heard Scott Terrio use on the Debt Free in 30 podcast, and it really resonated with me.

Much like serial murderers, serial refinancers just keep going back to the well and refinancing their debts with consolidation loans or similar debt vehicles. Much like serial murder (or murder in general) this is very bad! Consolidation or refinancing of a debt is supposed to be something you do once (if ever), not every 2 years.

Serial Refinancer Death Spiral

A good point that Mr. Terrio makes is that with the new credit rules in place, you are more likely to get turned down for a consolidation loan. Yes, credit is still loose, but the rules are tightening things up. Mr. Hoyes and Mr. Terrio are not seeing more folks coming into their offices with these problems, but it is still early. The new financing rules only came into play at the start of the year.

What will happen when this tighter credit takes hold? More folks going to Payday loan and alternate finance firms, most likely, which will simply accelerate the process of insolvency, or the personal finance death-spiral of serial refinancing.

Refinancing is Bad?

Yes, refinancing debt is bad in business and it is bad in your financial life as well. If you are carrying a huge credit card debt, refinancing looks like a life-line. It may be a life-line but if you are not going to delete those credit cards from your financial life, you are setting yourself up to fail.

I know serial refinancers, I have tried to point out the folly of their ways. I have not succeeded in most cases, but I can see the path (i.e. financial death spiral) they will follow, so I am keeping my favorite bankruptcy trustee’s number around in case.

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My wife found a great article about RDSPs, “What happens to our sons and daughters with disabilities when we die?” from Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network. The title is quite literally what most parents of kids with disabilities wake up worrying about at 2 AM (or at least the ones I have spoken to). It points out that the RDSP program has only a 29% participation rate (for folks who have DTCs), which is depressing. What is the cause of this? Maybe it is hard to set up, or maybe folks aren’t aware of it? I asked my Member or Parliament that question, haven’t heard anything back.

Easter is here, and for most of us it is a time of reflection and then a feast. If you are not so inclined remember it can be a time of reflection and starting new things like:

  • Seeing which credit cards you don’t use, and then cancel’ing them. I don’t want to hear from anyone about how this “hurts your credit score”, that is nonsense. If it does, you have 1 less way to get further in debt, so it is a fair swap.
  • Look at your health situation, and then plan an exercise or diet regimen (that you can live with for the rest of your life) and implement it. You can plan your retirement all you want, but if you are dead before it happens, you have wasted your time.
  • An easy one is look at all the worrying you did in the past little while, did it change anything, aside from ruining a good night sleep? Maybe it is time to find a way to stop that? Talk to a professional if you really have problems in this area (I speak from experience).
Rusty Staub

Farewell Rusty, hope you hit them all over the Right Field Scoreboard at Parc Jarry

Baseball begins again, on a sad note with the passing of my original baseball hero Rusty Staub. Mr. Staub was a class act, I met him once many years later in Pittsburgh, and he kindly listened to me blather about my childhood memories and thanked me for telling him. We shall miss Le Grand Orange.

In an odd financial twist, my first bank account was a Young Expos bank account, with the Bank of Montreal. Mr. Staub was the spokesperson for that account.

While my beloved Montreal Expos still are not on the field, I am starting to become a Blue Jays fan (don’t worry I will never be a Blue Team Hockey fan, my Montreal DNA will not allow it). Hope the games speed up a bit this year, I am tired of watching 4 hour games.

The repercussions of the Facebook data debacle continue on, but luckily their founder is showing a great deal of humbleness in Vanity Fair. He isn’t wrong, but does that mean he should crow about how stupid people are? Doesn’t mention how their Android app used the Operating System “flaws” to track calls and data transfers either, so maybe it isn’t completely  your fault?


My Recent Writings

Didn’t write much this week. I have started a whole bunch of things, but nothing worth reading yet. I keep meaning to finish my writing, but life does get busy.

Micro Blogging on Finance

A heart wrenching story about what folks have to do day-to-day just to keep their kids safe.

Never got an answer from my MP from this tweet either.

💻 If you want more great financial stories click here 💻

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Facebook, Spring is here and #MoneyTalk

Spring is here ? That is a question most of us are asking in Ottawa. Previous years we have had warmer temps and things starting to grow, but not yet this year. For those thinking financially, good time to start thinking about doing your taxes, and what to do with your refund, if you are getting one.  Possibly the RRSP to TFSA pas de deux?

Spring is here

Saw this in My Backyard, I think I agree

Will you be removing your Facebook account? Remember that we are on Facebook as well, but yeh lots of folks are talking about Facebook betraying them? Really? What did you think they were going to do with all the data they had? You were all Facebook had to sell, and that is their business. Yes, I have a Facebook account, yes I share photos and make personal quips on it, but do they have all my data? I hope not.

A more colon tightening expression could not have been thought up, yet I received an email with the title, “3 Reasons Your Retirement Is One Big Math Problem”. If you are trying to convince people they can’t do their own retirement planning, that is the headline you want. People are paranoid about anything to do with Math, and will run from it like a frightened deer, if it is mentioned. The headline while truthful is almost a false flag to convince them they need to get a retirement financial advisor. No, you don’t need that, it’s arithmetic really, which wasn’t that hard, was it?

What do I have planned for the coming personal finance year? Not sure, still working on that.


My Recent Writings

I am still astounded it has been 13 years since I started writing here, but Still Financially Crazy after 13 Years does outline some of my favorite topics. There are more than 3000 articles here, need to make it easier for you folks to be able to find them, I think.

K. Trevor Wilson is a very good comedian, and not a bad financial advisor, as I point out in More Financial Advice from a Comedian. It really is cheaper to go see a comedian than it is to go to a financial advisor, think about it.

Micro Blogging on Finance

I am trying a small experiment with the tag #FinancialDeepThoughts where I precurse something from my archives with a quote from a smart person. See what you think.

A more colon tightening comment is this one.

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