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Thursday, June 6, 2024

Investment Gains vs. Summer Splurges: My Current Financial Landscape

It's a rainy evening in Montreal, so I thought it was a good time to post a little something on my blog—it's been a while. I've been doing quite well, taking long walks or going to the pool most days. So, let's begin!

The TSX closed today's session at 22,229.10 points. My margin debt is currently at $5,364.24. My non-registered portfolio closed today's session at $139,391.06, my US portfolio at $5,718.34 US, my RRSP stocks-only portfolio at $68,139.03, and my TFSA portfolio at $142,974.26. I don't think I will be able to pay down my margin debt much over the next couple of months, as summer is kicking in and I've been spending quite a bit lately. I spent a night at the Hilton Bonaventure Hotel earlier in May, recently got an AC for my studio apartment, and so on. This year, for my summer vacation, I reserved a 10-day accommodation by the sea. It cost me quite a bit, and ever since, I haven't been able to significantly pay down my margin debt due to all these expenses, big and small, that just keep accumulating.

It seems like I always have something going on that requires spending money. Currently, I really want to buy a decent pair of sandals, and I'm in need of a new bathing suit. I also want to buy a cordless vacuum, which I currently don't have. An example of recent spending: just today, I updated my credit card information for my renter's insurance. It cost me $355 for the year. My renewal date is tomorrow, and the money is being deducted in one single payment. It's not a huge amount, but still, it's a couple of hundred dollars. On top of that, I'm slowly running out of groceries and have no milk left. Life without milk is simply not possible for me, so guess who'll be grocery shopping tomorrow? :-)

So far, I've managed to pay my credit card in full every month, but for this month, I've calculated that I'll be short about $1,500. These days, I don't do much overtime and spend more than usual. It's a perfect combination for debt. I plan to borrow the money from my margin, which will momentarily bring my margin debt to around $7,000. I don't really mind because I know I will be able to pay it down starting in August. In the meantime, whenever I receive a dividend payment in my TFSA that is not set on a DRIP, I transfer the money to my margin to pay it down. Overall, my situation is good—I'm just spending more than usual. I'm aware of this and have been watching my expenses more closely for the past few days.

A very easy way to save a small fortune is to eat all your meals at home. Eating out can get quite expensive. You can easily spend $30 on a simple meal that just a few years ago might have cost half that amount. Luckily, in Montreal, you can always find places to get something cheap to eat, but it quickly adds up. Eating out is a bit problematic for me. I try to eat at home before going out and bring snacks with me. I have a huge appetite, so if I don't eat before going out and don't bring snacks, I know I'll be starving and probably stop by a restaurant if I don't eat at home.

Other than these little life problems, my portfolios have been performing quite well. Currently, in my non-registered portfolio, the only stock I have in the red is Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD). TD is facing some serious problems in the US. I will hold onto my TD stocks, but I wouldn't recommend buying any TD stocks at this time. I know I wouldn't.

I probably don't have to say this, and you may know this by now, but I hold many stocks in my portfolio. I am mostly emotionally attached to almost all of them. Recently, one of my precious stocks, Park Lawn Corporation (PLC), announced that the company is looking to leave the TSX. If stockholders approve, we'll get a good amount per share. Currently, I have a gain of +65% with my investment in Park Lawn Corporation (PLC). PLC is a stock that I found on Stockopedia. I haven't used that platform in a while because it was getting a bit expensive for me, but I plan to get back on Stockopedia in a couple of months. I really miss it. I had a fun time using Stockopedia because it gave me tools to find cool stocks that you don't hear about or that are not well-known. When I first invested in Park Lawn Corporation (PLC), I had never heard of it before. It's quite fun to invest in a stock that you feel is a good fit for you but is not well-known. It feels like you have a secret gem.

And speaking of gems, I might have found one while listening to BNN Bloomberg yesterday. Have you ever heard of Propel Holdings Inc. (PRL)? I might invest a small amount in this one.

For more fun, follow me on Twitter, SunnyJNB.

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