My Investing

I’ve been asked a couple of times now to write a bit more on my investing experience from emails and comments on this blog. Yet at the same time I’ve vaguely avoiding doing it. Why? It’s the one area of personal finance I feel I’m under qualified to discuss.

I’m very much still learning about all the different ways I could be investing and what methods seem to fit my personality and risk tolerance. I’m not a die hard index investor nor am I a pure dividend growth investor. As I read and learn I’m adjusting my ideas and plans in my head to evolve to an overall plan of attack for my investments to follow.

I do know I’m seeking fairly important factors around my plan. First it has to be simple to follow because in the end I’m sort of a lazy kind of person. Also I’m not one of those people that check the value of my stocks daily or even where the market closed for the day. Some times it’s a week or more before I look. So I need a plan that doesn’t require a close eye on the market.  Other than that I need something with low fees and an element of capital protection (just enough to give me a sleep at night factor) and part of the plan has to include some income element.

Overall I’m getting closer to having a plan.  I’m not there just yet.  I’m aware with our second baby due in just two weeks I’m going to have a fair amount of chaos in my life.  I don’t have any plans to make major changes right away.  Yet during my parental leave I’m likely to look some material and try to get some rough ideas of where I want to take things.

So in the mean time I do intend to dig up some of my previous numbers of past performance to help me build a base line of how we did last year.  I’ll be sharing that information and some of my thoughts on where I want to take my plan as I go forward.  Hopefully with the help of the 1000 or so people who read this blog daily we can come up something that seems to cover all the bases and perhaps provide a little input to your plan as well.

So in advance.  Thank you all.

3 thoughts on “My Investing”

  1. I’m in the middle of restructuring our investments as well. I’ve been relying on my financial adviser for the past 3 years while I got into the swing of being a father. Looking back over it now is pretty disappointing with only a 4.8% annualized return.

    Her investment philosophy is contrarian value investing, but she explained the reason for the low returns was being overly conservative and because I was not involved enough.

    The more I’ve been researching online the less confident I am in mutual funds, stock picking/timing, and financial advisers being able to consistently beat the market.

    I’m much more inclined to go the “couch potatoe” or “lazy portfolio” style asset allocation / indexed investing. I’m also lazy enough to invest and not look at it or worry about it, so indexing certainly has it’s appeal there.

    Right now my concern is even with an indexed approach, is right now a good time to dump cash into the market right on the verge of a lot of recession talk?

  2. When I started investing some 10-12 years ago, I started with the recommended palette of mutual funds from the bank’s RRSP advisor. Over the years, the funds went up, they went down, made me some money but not a lot.

    As my investment knowledge increased, I opened a trading account and started to very carefully experiment. I made some mistakes along the way (this is the best way to learn, unfortunately) but luckily it did not cost me a lot of money.

    I am in the process of completely removing myself from mutual funds now. For the equity portion of my portfolio, I am assembling a diversity of stocks that I am holding long term (10+ years each). Some are dividend-bearing, some are growth, some resource, some tech, some retail, etc. That extra percent or two that I would have gained by having a “smart” investment analyst picking my stocks for me via a mutual fund would just go toward paying the fund’s fees, so I don’t really come out ahead.

    Write out a list of rules that you must obey with your investment strategies so that moments of fear or weakness do not make you do things you may regret (such as selling in panic or holding on to a sinking stock when your rules say “sell”). This will help you keep your portfolio on track with your long term goals.

    When it comes to amateur investors trying to “time” the market, it really amounts to gambling… and I’d rather not gamble with my retirement money. Pick well and go long, ride out the bumps.

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