Do you have an investing strategy? I think pretty much everyone’s strategy when it comes to investing is not to lose their money! There are some low risk choices you can make with your money, like high interest savings accounts and GICs, but low risk generally means low return on your money.
If you have a higher risk tolerance, you have a chance to make more money in the stock market.
Stock Broker or DIY?
Do you need to find a stock broker to buy stocks? No, you don’t! You can do this on your own. Remember ladies, if we’re single and not big income earners, we’re pretty much ignored by the financial experts. You can do this all by yourself. You can open an account with an online trading company and buy and sell stocks on their platform.
Before you jump in, do your research. Look for personal finance bloggers and money forums who can give advice, both on how to set up an online account, and give their opinions on different stocks they’ve bought or sold.
You’ll find that many will stop short of giving you advice on which stocks to buy because no one wants to be responsible if you lose a lot of money. Many will give suggestions, for example if you’re looking for ETFs with mainly US holdings, they’ll mention 3 or 4 and what they like or don’t like. Or they might say something like “if it was me, this is what I’d do.”.
How will you invest?
It’s up to you to do more research on the stocks that interest you, and figure out if they’re a good fit for your portfolio.
Essentially, I became a piggyback trader. I read what others were doing and copied them. I kept a Word document and listed stocks that came up often in chats and did further research on them until I was ready to buy.
My investment goals are income and growth. To get income, I look at stocks that pay dividends, and I hope these stocks will grown in value over time.
I also hold a few random stocks, including a medical marijuana stock called Aphria that I talked about in my post about going to Hawaii when the price hits $35/share. I read an article that Aprhia was headed to the big 35. Sad to say I still don’t have Hawaii plans! This is a roller coaster ride stock. I bought 100 shares when they were $5.45 in the summer of 2017 because I kept reading how everyone should have some weed stock in their portfolio. Not really my thing but I bought 100 shares because I decided I could take a risk with less than $600.
It’s also important to mention that when you buy a stock, you don’t make money or lose money until you actually sell the stock. The value might change, but your profit and loss is only real when you sell.
Aphria hit $23 back in January 2018 and then its been all over the place, I think as low as $7 a couple of months ago after some bad publicity. Yeah, I’m really wishing I’d sold it at the beginning of 2018! There’s even been a hostile takeover in the works. Its just one of these stocks that I don’t have that much of and I really don’t need it in my portfolio. It also doesn’t follow my plan of buying dividend stock. So far there’s been jack squat in dividend pay outs!
I’m going to talk about stocks I bought that I’d really like to get rid of because they’re low performers, but I’m holding on to them in hopes that they’ll increase in value one day and I can sell where I bought in at.
Buy low, sell high.
DHX Media is a stock I bought in the summer of 2017 around the same time I bought Aphria. I think I bought at $5.70/share and I bought 100 shares. These piddly little stock amounts aren’t doing anything for me except sliding downhill which is why I’d like to lose them. The reason I bought? DHX had just purchased the rights to the Peanuts cartoons. Nostalgia. Charlie Brown Christmas. The company had also bought the Strawberry Shortcake cartoons. These shares actually went up a bit by $2 or $3 over the first few months and they paid quarterly dividends. I was getting a whopping $2 every 3 months. Until the stock price dropped drastically and kept dropping. Last closed at $2.58. The last time I got a dividend payout was June 22, 2018. Obviously they’ve cancelled dividends due to the financial situation.
If it goes belly up I can afford a loss on my less than $600 investment, but seriously what’s going on? Is Charlie Brown a thing of the past?
I have to tell you about this weird stock I bought into. I was watching some experts on an online webinar discussing how they believe senior housing and senior health care are going to be good investments. Almost as soon as the show started, our power went out! The only thing I caught was Park Lawn and the stock ticker code. I looked it up the next day and yikes it was around $19. I didn’t want to buy 100 shares of something I didn’t know anything about, so I bought 30 shares. See my pattern on taking a loss of under $600 seems to be working for me. Or not working. A couple of days later I looked them up online to see what they are.
Yeah! Way to do your research beforehand! I figured if those experts liked Park Lawn, that was good enough for me.
Have I bought shares in senior housing?
That would be a big fat no.
Park Lawn is a chain of businesses in the midwestern states and I think also in Ontario and Quebec.
It’s a mortuary and crematorium business.
How morbid is that?!
After I got over my initial shock, the one thing I remembered is there are only two things that are guaranteed in life: death and taxes.
Actually this Park Lawn has been doing pretty good. The price went up as high as $27 one time I think. Every month I get $1.14 in dividends deposited into my account.
When the time comes that I sell Apria, I’m going to sell Park Lawn at the same time. That piddly little investment isn’t doing much for me. But it’s a bit of a confidence booster.
Corus Entertainment has been a bust for me. They’re a large media and broadcasting company in Canada. I bought in because it pays high dividends. I bought 150 shares at $12.85. That’s right just under $2000 invested. I did my research and financial writers were saying this is a good stock for dividend buyers.
The shares went up after I bought them, I think they may have been around $14 at their highest point. Every month I got $14.25 in dividends.
And then it all went bad.
Down, down, down, down.
How could it go down? This company holds some of Canada’s biggest TV stations in its stable. Last closed at $5.64. They stopped paying nice monthly dividends due to the finances. The last $14.25 I got was August 15, 2018. The next dividend I got was December 28, 2018, a whopping $9. It might be quarterly dividends now in this lower amount. Maybe. All I’m hoping for is it will eventually bounce back to where I bought in at and then I’ll sell.
American Hotel Income Properties REIT
Generally, I like to invest in REITs – Real Estate Income Trust. For some oddball reason I decided to do an experiment with the American Hotel Income Properties REIT and bought 100 shares when they were trading at $10. Today theyr’e at $7.45. I do nothing with them and every month they send a little money my way. Anywhere between $6.63 and $7.12 because they’re paying out dividends in US dollars and it gets converted into Canadian dollars and deposited into my Questrade cash account. The way I look at it? That’s way more money than I’d make in interest on $1000 sitting in a bank account. Generally I like what the REIT is about. They own over 100 hotels in secondary US cities. The cities that don’t have the largest airport or maybe Amtrak runs through town. They’re good hotels – Embassy Suites, Residence Inn, Marriott Courtyard, Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn to name a few.
It’s not so much that I wish I didn’t buy this REIT, but that I only went for 100 shares. And sure, you could say just buy more now that it’s on a good sale price, but I’m nervous. I just think I’ve been wasting my time with some piddly little purchases.
Trans Alta Renewables
I hold 200 shares in Trans Alta Renewables. I like the idea of investing in alternate and renewable energy sources. Generally speaking I’ve come to discover it’s not always a good idea to invest in things that you think are a good idea. Don’t invest in trends and fads, restaurants or clothing lines that are popular today and old news by year end. I bought my shares at $15.37 and today they’re $11.87. I should consider myself lucky. They’ve been even lower than that in this past year, but they seem to be climbing up again. I’ll be selling these as soon as the prices goes past where I pay for it.
I’ve spent about $7500 on stocks that I intend to sell. Aphria and Park Lawn are quite a bit higher than when I bought in, but those are two of the smaller purchases I made. I’m in no hurry to sell them. I’ll probably end up keeping the American Hotel REIT as well. DHX and Corus have taught me not to invest in media. Trans Alta Renewables I’ll end up selling once I can make back my money.
What will I do with all this money? A trip to Hawaii? Possibly, at least with some of it. These days my investing dollars are going the ETF, Exchange Traded Funds, route.
More on those stocks another day.
Happy investing to you. May you be prosperous in your choices!