UA-300188601-1 The Dividend Girl: March 2008

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Job job job

It's now the end of March and I did a few things that need to be done for a while, like paying my credit card debt, by just hoping I will ever again have credit card debt.

Everything is going fine at my full-time job for now. It will be my 5th month there and so far so good, I plan to stay there for a while, since I make an average of 1 000$ paycheck every 2 weeks. And that income is after deductions.

But things are not going that smoothly at my part-time job, as they cut me again from work. When I call to give my hours for next week, they told me they didn’t have work for me anymore. I work there for about 7 months last year. They had a major slow down on January, but in March, they email me, saying I could work for them during evening and weekend if I wanted. I couldn’t work during evenings because of my full-time work, but I told them I could work on Saturday and Sunday...

And now, we are the end of March, and they are telling me I won't be able to work for them anymore... I am very upset about this, as I believed I could work on weekend for the next couple of weeks for them. Anyway, let say that, once again, my search for a part-time job continue. I just need to get over this and stop working for them and go on with something else. I am willing to do anything.

I began my search last week, I applied at 2 jobs. The 2 places were interest, but one is on evenings only, witch I can’t because I already work on evening at my steady job. The second one seems to be ok for now, but the thing is I got a hard time to get in touch with the recruiter, since I only have a pager. I return the calls, try to reach him a couple of times, but I wasn’t able to reach, which is very frustrated. I just hope I will be able to reach him tomorrow morning and hope that part-time job will work out.

Getting ready.... to do my taxes

I contact Caisse Desjardins a couple of days go regarding a problem I had. I didn't receive a tax paper, for Fidelity Frontiere Nord, for the simple and good reason that, according to them, they were not in the obligation to provide one for a reason that I still don't fully understand. But the good news is that now that I have all the papers in hand to proceed with the taxes.

I wanted to do my taxes by myself, but knowing how bad I am at calculating some time, I might just give this job to a professional. I have dozens of papers: from jobs, non RRSP investments, RRSP investments, bank savings account. I also have to declare something like 3 000$ as a freelancer, etc... The only thing I had left to do is to find myself someone who will proceed for me. And I just hope it won't cost me too much.

I have this, and I still have that search for a part-time job that continues. I would like to be able to do those taxes first, and after the taxes, and after open the eServices thing at TD Waterhouse. I could actually do the application online since I already have investments with TD, but as usual, I feel completely lost and I want to make sure I enroll to the right thing, as suggest in the Lazy Investor. So I might want to try to see if I can do this in person instead. I don't have that much to do, but when you work 50 hours weekly, time go past really quickly and I find it difficult to do everything, in reasonable time.

I like the all concept of "lazy" thing because, as it shows in the cover, it's a "no-thinking strategy" and no need to think or to work hard at it, because I already work hard enough. I am just way too curious about the "share certificate". I can't wait to have my first share certificate in hands.

Getting ready to purchase my first stocks

I just complete my second reading of Stop Working and The Lazy Investor.

I now feel more confident about the whole process regarding the purchase of my first stocks. I plan to follow the method explain in the chapter 9 of the Lazy Investor. I just hope it will work out for me. This is the perfect time for me, as I begin to have enough of mutual funds.

Once I recover from my lost, it could be a good idea to sale my mutual funds part to purchase only stocks. Someone who will have understood something from those 2 books will probably do so. For the money I had invest in mutual funds so far, I might want to keep the money were it is for now. Because once enroll in the whole process, it could be difficult to sale stocks if I am in need of money.

I first need to open a brokerage account. For the rest, I follow point per point the investing method explains in the chapter 9. What a chapter!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Another week at work

I have receive my pay today, another 1 000$ in my pockets. Today, the weather was so beautiful, I would have spend all day walking around and stuff but I have too much to do this morning.

I had applied on today for 2 part-time jobs and I received a response for one of them. I wasn't able to call back since I notice I had received a call around 4h30 this afternoon and I was at work at that time. So I will call tomorrow morning. I just hope there will be something for me for Saturdays and Sundays and maybe even a few mornings per week. I would like that. Because the part-time job I have right now is not very good, I am only working there this Saturday.

I notice price of units of my mutual funds want up again. I just hope it will continue like that for a while. I would like to recover from my lost. I didn't calculate my overall value for a long time and I am waiting for the good time.

In the overall, things are not going so bad, only thing is that I haven't did my taxes yet. I have one problem to resolve regarding a mutual fund, non RRSP investment I have with Desjardins. The problem is the following: I didn't receive any tax paper for the Desjardins Fidelity True North ® Fund. I have initially invest 1000$ in 2005. For 2007, I didn't receive a tax paper. So I call ACCES-D. I talk to a representative that told me that if the fund had produced an income less than 150$, than, they (Desjardins) don't produce the appropriate tax paper.

And how come?

I am a small investor, I am paying high fees for that Desjardins Fidelity True North Fund and I should receive the help I need in order to be able to fill the forms for my taxes properly. Or at least be able to make it done by someone else with the appropriate information. The problem is that the representative couldn't (or wouldn't, I don't know) provide me the information. The representative told me to call my Caisse Desjardins.

Which I did. But at the Caisse Desjardins, they told me who was kind of in-charge of my field at their Caisse. I call yesterday, left a message to the one I was supposed to talk too and in date of today, still no answer. How come an institution like Desjardins doesn't provide help to their small investors. How come they don't provide a proper tax paper?

At some point, I dislike RBC service (for a reason I didn't write about yet, but I will soon), TD (see previous post... outch) and now, it's Desjardins.

Now than ever, it's time to buy stock, following whatever strategy, and be no more under the authority of some whatever so call financial institution and declare my financial institution free freedom for the rest of my life. No more credit card debt, no more bank stupid mutual funds. JUST NO MORE.

It's going to be quite something for the tax, but I am going to do like Brian Mulroney, I won't declare my income. So it's not going to be really that of a problem next year. My hard time is over.

Of course I am not thinking a word of what I am saying.

Tomorrow, I will call ACCES-D, and ask to speak to a supervisor and drive everyone crazy with what might be an unusual request for them.

When I keep thinking about it, there might be plenty of small investors who, like me, had invest in non RRSP mutual funds. For those, when no paper is given, what are we supposed to do? Am I suppose to do like what I did for my ING Direct acount in 2005 and 2006, not to declare the income because no one ever send me a tax paper, as previously explain...

It is so complicate and I am so complicate myself.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Reading Derek Foster Books

I have been quite busy this weekend with work and it didn’t give me too much time to do what I really wanted to do: read Derek Foster two books I have bought from the Chapters located downtown on St-Catherine. It’s a good thing that it’s Eastern tomorrow, because I really need a brake and I really need to continue my reading.

It’s getting hard on me, since I finish work at midnight at my full-time job. And I had quite a few things to do as I didn’t receive the tax paper for ING Direct and for my Fidelity fund I have with Desjardins. As for ING, I find out that since I only made a few bucks with their interest, I won’t receive a tax paper. But the thing is I have that account with them since 2005 and since 2005, I didn’t declare any of the interest income I had received from them because they never send me a tax paper. But for this year, for a reason or another, I worried; I call, and give me the amount of the interest over the phone. So I don’t know what I going to do for 2005 and 2006, since I didn’t declare the interest gain. But does it really matter for less than 20$ per year of interest gain? I am all confused, as usual, and I don’t really need to do about it. Anyway, I am going to talk about it when processing with my taxes. So a lot is going on for me.

Unfortunately, my part-time job do not allow me to work both weekend days next week, which I don’t understand why, as they call be to come back to work. I was going to complain about this to them, but I decide to keep my mouth shut and keep them as backup. It’s really mean to them since I really was hoping to pay my complete rent with that money, but now, my hope is gone. I plan to take the day of tomorrow to apply to some part-time job. But at the same time, it’s not that a bad thing that I only work one day next week too, it gives me a little break. But at the same, I want a part-time on weekend really badly.

I was quite impress with my 2007 income, since I have earn more than 40 000$ in total. It’s quite nice, knowing than about 2 years ago, I barely hit the 25 000$. I really had a difficult time for work, as I once was in Ottawa, and before New Brunswick. I was quite happy to leave Ottawa, as I dislike their temporary contract with government agencies and their low pay. I wouldn’t like to work for the government for anything in the world. I get through a few contracts in Ottawa and I find them all extremely boring and poor work experience, as there was nothing much to do.

I want to post that final check to American Express to pay what I have left to pay, about 65$. So by the end of March 2008, I will be finally free of credit card debt. I continue to pay my regular expenses, with a Visa (I love Visa, it’s not like American Express, which seems to barely be accept where I go shopping). Only places I where able to pay with my American Express is at Wal-Mart and Reitmans. Otherwise, groceries store do not accept AE. But I like AE because of its Air Miles. And I don’t give a damn regarding that report that they didn’t want to translate in French. I just dislike living in Quebec sometime. I don’t like the mentality they have here and their law is too complicated. I just hope I will be able to do like Derek, retired early and move in another province, someplace near the sea. In a cool hot place in the Maritimes.

I really want to follow the strategy of Derek Foster to buy my first stocks and this time seems to be a good time to buy bank stocks. I begin to read The Lazy Investor, which I really like, as it’s describe step by step what you need to do to follow his strategy, which I won’t explain in much details here, as it’s his strategy. I wasn’t able to finish the book yet. And I have trouble to fully understand each steps. But anyway, I am going to study more deeply his books tomorrow. I also buy last week Stop Working, but I wasn’t able to begin the reading. Those two books are the first one I have buy since I graduated. It’s too bad I didn’t pay more attention to his work before because I could have done much better on reaching my first 50 000$. Tomorrow is Easter and it’s a good time to read, but as always, I have other thing to do. And it’s too bad stores are not open because I would had like to shop over for bargains; I need a new pair of jeans lol.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Not easy to work 7 days a week

I was so used to have my weekend off, I find it hard now to adjust and work 7 days per week. And with those taxes thing that need to be done and everything else, I can barely catch my breath. But one good news is that it's look like my mutual funds are not doing so bad, I got my pay yesterday and I am working this weekend, and also next weekend at the part-time job.

And another good news is that I only had left 62$ to pay on my credit card. If only I had known, I would have pay that 62$, I just send a 1 000$ check a couple of days ago. But it doesn't really matter, I will pay that 62$ on this month too and I will be finally over with my credit card debt. It's so easy for me to save money that it make it very easy to pay off that credit card debt I had for too long.

It's been a too busy week as I try to do one thing per day, before hitting back to work. It's not always easy. I had plan a bunch of things that were need to be done today, and I wasn't able to do all of them, but at least I am able to go through.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

How to purchase stocks

I don’t know. I am ignorant on a lot of subject and especially finance, even if I have been doing kind of ok for now. I really don’t know how to proceed to buy stocks and what’s the safest and cheapest way to proceed. I really want to buy some of those Visa stocks and I just don’t know how to make it happen.

And here am I, browsing the Web, since I cannot sleep, just thinking on how I can purchases those Visa stocks. I might post a topic in Canadian Business and as usual, I going to eat a …… of ………… and I will be rude. Once again. Sometimes, I just like the way things are for me.

To change of topic, Caisse Desjardins were kind enough to reply to the email I send them about if my money was protected with them…. Of course the money is protected. I don’t know exactly what’s going on that day. Some women get bad temper, for me, around that time, I getting scare about loosing my money. I don’t know………

The fear is a little bit less now. But I can’t realize sometimes on how much I have money and I am currently making 650$ weekly after taxes and the only thing I do with that money is saving it and investing. It’s just not making any sense.

On my first 7 days of work for quite a time

I am used working 7 days a week, but this week that had just passed was once 7 days of work since last January. Let say I was used to sleep on weekend. I remember sleeping in on both Saturday and Sunday while working 50 hours weekly at my main job. But no more good sleeping in, I now get back that part-time job I used to have. And when I really think bout it, I don’t know if it really worth it because sometimes, it’s seem like I am going no where. But those taught never last for long, as I might the busiest smallest investor of all. :)

Anyway, I can sleep on Sunday until 10h30, 11h latest, without shower, as the work place is near where I live and because I only begin at 12. Time past really quickly at that job and I enjoy it. Whatever I do, I seem to enjoy, and I am so not difficult.

As we were working mailing stuff, a co-worker start telling on how much it was difficult for her to save money, as she like to shop too much. Than I told her it was easy to save money, as she just stop hanging up in shopping mall, that way she will begin saves more her money. I like to shop myself; I can shop for hours and hours in Montreal malls. My way of shopping is basically looking around, and not buying. I don’t like to spend my money around for nothing; it’s just the way I am.

We just caught on of those storms yesterday on Saturday. When I get outside after work, I went for groceries, and it was crazy, that mix of snow and wind. I also went to a book store for quite a time, I was looking for the books of Derek Foster, but I didn’t find them.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Budgeting

I try to figure out if I can reach my first 50 000$ this year without too much trouble. My new part-time is paying 10$ per hour. It’s not that much, but I couldn’t find better. Anyway, I will work on Saturday and Sunday, 7.5 hours. After taxes, I believe I will made 130$ weekly. At my full-time job, I made around 1015$ bi-weekly after taxes.

I calculate for one year to be positive, it make an annual income of 33 150$. From those, let say I take an average of 1 000$ for my living. 33 150$ - 12 000$ = 21 150$. I love to calculate, even if sometimes I made mistake. So yes, I will be able to make it for this year! I only wish I can continue working at both places for one full year. Not that I am difficult as an employee, but it happen I get fired because lack of work at some place I previously work. Last time it happen was at that part-time job I have, but they recently call m back. I now back there working on Saturday and Sunday.

I become very passionate about reaching my first 50 000$. Absolutely no one I have as close friends, or relatives know I am trying that hard to reach my goal. No one have any idea of what my goal is. I prefer to blog anonymously about it as a hobby and keep it private. And as I don’t have TV, I like to blog when I have nothing else to do.

Something else I would like to do is buy stocks. I would like to buy those Visa stocks when they will be available in Canada. I believe it’s a good investment since almost everyone has a Visa credit card. I have a Visa credit card myself that I try to pay off. I just excited about the idea of buying stocks in a near future.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I now have a part-time job

I had received the confirmation by email that I had a part-time job at a place I use to work. I was quite happy about it. I am going to work on Saturday and Sunday, but no longer than about 8 hours each day. I wonder if a lot of my late co-workers will still be there. For myself, when it happen they had a lack of work, I immediately began my search for something else and I receive my vacation pay, which help a little.

Because of this part-time job, I plan to give an extra 500$ tomorrow on my credit card and than, in 2 weeks, I will pay the rest that need to be pay and I will be finally be out of credit card debt for now. I hope to remain debt free for a long time. At least I will try.

Time pass way too fast and I just hope I will keep working at the 2 jobs for the upcoming weeks. I really need it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Are Caisses Desjardins covered by the CDIC?

According to the CDIC Web site: “Some financial institutions that take deposits are NOT members of CDIC—for example, credit unions and caisses populaires, Canadian branches of foreign banks and some Canadian chartered banks. Your deposits with credit unions and caisses populaires may be covered by provincial deposit insurance programs. Canadian branches of foreign banks, and those Canadian chartered banks that are not CDIC members are required by law to inform you that they are not CDIC members and that your savings at such banks are not insured.”

So, are “Caisses populaires” are covered or not by the CDIC? My savings are with Desjardins, and I wonder if the money I have in my bank account is insured or not. I ask the question via email to Desjardins. I just hope to receive a response. If they response “NO”, I just don’t know what I am going to do.

In the list of institutions covered by the CDIC, I notice “Desjardins Trust Inc.”, but not “Caisses populaires Desjardins”.

Why does it have to be so complicate? :))))))))))))))))

Diversify, diversify, diversify……..

I had post a thread in Canadian Business Forum, which title was Mutual funds and bank bankruptcy: is there a risk?

I invest quite a lot in mutual funds offer by major Canadian bank. But always a fear remains: loosing my money. And not loosing it because of a recession or because of natural ups and down of stocks, loosing it because of another reason. And than came the idea of “bank BANK-ruptcy” lol or something else. But my first taught was bank bankruptcy because I had read in the forum that CIBC could face bankruptcy or something similar to that. Anyway, my only fear is to loose money in something similar that some small investors, who could have been myself, had live with Vincent Lacroix and other lost personalities of Quebec finance. I read quite a bit on those. Never from my life I want to loose my money in such a way.

So, I ask in my own little words if there was a risk of losing money if it happens that a bank declared bankruptcy. It might be seen like a stupid question to ask, but I just post it anyway. But I was happy that I did, because I learn interesting things. I got good responses. I am not scared of looking stupid, the only thing I am scared is about loosing money, but not loosing money because of ups and downs of the market. By loosing money in another way.

Anyway, from what I understand, GIC and money being in bank are safe if they are secured under CDIC. For savings and GIC, I am probably ok. Regarding mutual funds, the money remain mine since it’s money invest in stocks and not into the bank itself. And it’s make it more appealing now to buy stocks. I might start a thread on the really basic stuff about buying stocks. It’s seemed like the most important things of life haven’t been explained to me.

The reason I only invest in mutual fund offer by major Canadian bank is I believe it’s saver to invest through a bank than from a private institution, not to name them. The only way to be sure that my money is put at safe is to invest my money in different funds offer by different banks, and diversify, diversify, diversify…

I finally find a pat-time job! YE!

I didn't really find it actually, I got call back by the place I was working before. It's seem like they got a new contract or something, and they are now in need of people. I appreciate the fact they call me back to work, because I wasn't able to find a part-time job. I was going to apply to several job offers when I notice their email, at the old place, that they had send in date of today.

So I am going only work there on Saturday and Wednesday, for which I will made after taxes I believe something like 130$ weekly, which will cover my rent. I was getting tired of looking around for a part-time job and it's seem like my search is finally offer. I don't know for how long their contract will last for, but I am willing to take what they have to offer for now.

I wouldn't like to work more there than Saturday and Sunday because I already work 50 hours weekly at the other job. So let say I will have from now on a weekly income of 650$ after taxes, which is cool.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Doing it by my own

I get another 1 000$ paycheck for 2 weeks are work. And for the next pay, I am only missing 6 extra hours to reach 1 000$ for the next pay. So things are not going so bad after all. I also notice an ad in a newspaper for a part-time job that could match my present work schedule. I just need to apply to it. Since January, I have been looking around for a part-time job, but I wasn’t able to find one. So I really hope this one is the good one. I am getting use to the job I currently have, so it will make it easier for me to get another part-time job. Nothing really work out like I wanted in 2007, I just hope 2008 will be just a bit better for me, for jobs, investments, debts.

I was quite surprised to see my Visa bill of the past month: I only spend 170$ on my Visa. Which mean I only spend 170$ in groceries and other. I actually pay all my expenses with my credit card; I pay it all when I receive the bill. Or it’s what I am trying to do and I have been doing so. I scrapped my credit when I was about 24-25 by opening too much credits at the same time. Now I am 27, I don’t know what my credit is, but I keep paying each month my credit card bill, which was quite low for this February.

I am really getting good at the « non expense » thing; I am quite impressed with myself. I didn’t need to cut many things. I buy less coffee at cafe; it’s doing help a lot. I try to save as much as possible and I not having too much trouble to stop spending money around. I never had been a huge shopper, which help. I really cut on everything I could cut, that’s why my current budget for March is less than 1 000$:

Rent: 520$
Metro Pass: 67$
Other (food…): 170$
Student loans: 165$

That’s all…… It’s an inexpensive little living at 922$. I can make it with 922$ or less. Even if for this month, I would like a hair cut… ;)

Conclusion: it’s possible to make it and life with about 1 000$ if not less, even with a hair cut.

There are a bunch of things that I don’t have and I sometimes think of buying, like a microwave, a TV, a sofa, DVD, MP3, a new digital camera... But each times, I just keep looking, and I never buy. I keep thinking on how much I had to work hard for that money: that is what stops me of buying what I don’t really need. But I have to say, it could be nice to sit on a nice couch, instead of that chair that I am currently sitting on right now.

Anyway, I believe life won’t remain like this forever. The biggest challenge for now is to pay off that terrible credit card debt and to remain debt free. Even if I wrote earlier that I wanted to invest in more mutual funds, I prefer for now to just pay off that credit card debt first and after, I’ll see. I just need a part-time job and it’s too bad I cannot get quickly what I want.

 

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