The Frog in the Pot

Interesting times, these – You’d think that with all the contradictions served up by the media on a daily basis, a feeling of panic would ensue. Not the kind of panic of a certainty, but the kind arising from the unknown. Instead I feel a vague disquiet. The kind that comes from being able to envision a logical outcome, and that feeling, that hope that we haven’t come to far to turn it around. Continue reading


2014 Portfolio Update – May 13, 2015

There is no better time to second-guess yourself than the present  — Metaphor Manglers, probably

I don’t usually pay much attention to short-term effects, because usually they are transitory and contribute little to the trend; even the five year CAGR numbers are meaningless against the backdrop of the 2008 debacle as the subsequent tide lifted all boats, even General Electric appeared to perform. In yesterday’s post I commented at length on my struggles to complete my annual ritual of rebalancing in the face of uncertainty, so today I Continue reading

Why bother with Rules?

It doesn’t matter if you’re reading this below or above the 49th, or on the other side of the pond; lately investing has been fraught with uncertainty, if not outright danger. Saudi influences on oil prices, US frackers’ ‘damn the torpedoes’ attitudes or, up here, Albertans’ ‘damn the torpedoes’ attitudes have wreaked havoc on energy stocks. EU obstinacy, or Greek obstinacy, take your pick, is messing up my bank stocks, and I have no idea why my telecoms have been slapped down. So, yeah, times are interesting. Continue reading

TFSAs, or: Your Hair’s on Fire, Why?

I would have loved to start with “dontcha love it when a good plan comes together?”, but instead I face a mind-numbing barrage of social-media faux outrage as a result of Joe Oliver’s ‘bozo outburst’. Nothing quite like it to distract from the message and feed the chattering classes, but the fact is: he is correct. Politically incorrect for sure, but spot on. Continue reading

Your Sell Strategy, or: How to Suck the Joy out of Investing

The part I enjoy most about this Vector for Invective (blog) is the fact that the Financial Industrial Complex and the media that breathlessly feeds at its trough provides such a target rich environment for my vitriol; sadly I lack both the time and depth of vocabulary to truly do their vapid pronouncements justice.

“Markets declined today in a wave of profit taking”

Really? And what inspired the buyers? Continue reading

2014 Portfolio Update

The deed is done, the numbers are in. My portfolio is re-balanced and I’ve managed to follow my rules to a great extent. Reviewing previous posts on the subject, I have to admit to a bit of a chortle, especially here:

Since first implementing my DOGS strategy in 2002, I can honestly say that this has been the toughest time that I’ve had in the markets.

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Investing from within the Echo Chamber

I love my DOGS. Everyone gets that knowing when to sell a stock is much tougher than picking the one to buy (or it is identified as one of the great shortcomings of the individual investor). Yeah, yeah, we make it easy for ourselves: simply buy high, sell low, right? And that is the exact reason why I love my DOGS: buy/sell decisions are based on my simplistic calendar and spreadsheet methodology. Is it November? Check. Is this stock Continue reading

2014, the Home Stretch

Having built these portfolios around November last year, I’m getting to that point where it’s time to dig deeper into my holdings and review possible candidates. My rules stipulate that I track holdings for sudden changes, but yearly reviews include candidate comparisons and dividend distributions.

Before I get to the reviews including a a look at performance, I have to share this gem from Motley Fools –

Imagine you pick 1 million random people from around the world every day,” said Toby McDade, chief investment officer of Momentum Fee Capital Management. “Some days, 51% would be in a good mood, 49% in a bad mood. The next day maybe it’s the opposite. Other days, random chance could mean 8% of people are really pissed off for no real reason. This is basically what the market is on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

Asked what his clients thought of this view, Mr. McDade laughed. “Oh my God, you think I could tell my clients that? How could I justify my salary?” Clients were told Monday’s gain was caused by a mix of reversing geopolitical instability, shifting uncertainty patterns, a risk-on atmosphere, and a perfect storm of beta meeting sigma. Noone knew what those words meant.


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Avoiding Mediocrity

A fool and his money are soon parted, or so the proverb goes. I can’t think of anyone that has not heard some version of it and yet it surprises me still when I stumble across someone proposing to take you by the hand, leading you from the frying pan into the fire. And so it was that this past week I ran across two post within a day of each other, one advising you that you ain’t got what it takes to pick a stock so buy ETFs, and the other presenting a keeping-it-simple how-to.

When Canadians say “I’m sorry”, it’s followed by the word “asshole” in a pitch only other Canadians can hear — @lloydrang

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