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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Updating my debt situation

Life was great when I was making more than 3 000$ per month after deductions in salary. But now, things begin to be rough, for the first time ever since I am in Montreal. I didn’t have too much problems to find work in Montreal I have to say. My situation had been good and 2008 had been a wonderful year as I almost reach 45 000$ in income. But now, with massive job lost of mine – one lay-off and one job were my hours had been cut, I felt almost desperate about the whole situation. Great thing I have this blog it help me to focus and keep my mind clean.

The whole situation is not that bad as I plan to be able to make just a bit more than 2 000$ per month. I will be able to meet ends and my bills, but as my goal was to. Earning an average of 3 000$ per month was the perfect situation for me – I have enough to pay my expenses and I have enough to invest in stocks every 2 months or so and so on. I guess I will have to slow down until I find another day job. As for now, I am getting lazy – I stay up very late at night and wake up… late… just like I love to do.

I still be able to invest in 200 units of Energy Savings Income Fund (SIF.UN) next month, as soon as I received my next pay check. So far, I am happy with my overall portfolio and dividend earnings are super good. I just cannot wait to see my dividend earnings rise over time.

Another interesting that I find about myself is that I really like to work in call center. Lately, we had been receiving calls like crazy. Time pass very quickly and one thing I pray for is for having my overtime back at my evening job. I am so in need of money right now! The problem with me is I want too much. I plan to take a couple of weeks off of morning jobs and just enjoying the rest for now.

About my debts situation:

Student loans debt: 10 627.99$
Credit cards debt: 3 000$ at 4.99% for 6 months
Credit line debt: 2 992.74$
Total: 16 620.73$

Having to manage 16 620.73$ is not that bad. But can online money be of any help? That’s what I want to check over. I plan to take the month of May to invest my time on my blog and other way to make money online. Will see if I can make money online.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Investing like a pro of Bay Street with no or little knowledge: possible or not?

This is basically my own personal challenge at this time. I had the time of my life since I begin this blog back in 2007. Even before that, I had done my first investment with Desjardins Fidelity True North Fund. It was a 1 000$ investment back than. I will never forget – first, all the misery made by Desjardins over me just for one little investment. It’s just they are trying to cover themselves through too much paper works and investor profile. And after what, I am supposed to be satisfied with the quality of their services?

I do not recommend Desjardins financial services to anyone. As for myself, I remain as far as possible of whatever is call a “Desjardins advisor”. Annoying, inconvenient, bad services and the list could be longer. I actually live another bad experience with Desjardins not too long ago for my 2008 RRSP. I just didn’t get the change to write about it yet. But it shouldn’t be too long.

Anyhow, for me, the real fun begins when I purchase my first stocks earlier in 2008. Back than, it’s 500 stocks of Sprott Asset Management (SII) that I had purchased at almost 10$ per stock. In date of today, this investment could be seen as a mistake as SII stock only worth less than 5$ each but – there’s a but – SII provide dividend and they also provide a one time special dividend of 10 cents per stock. Overall, the investment was not too bad made from my part, I could have done worst. But I did worst with Timminco (TIM).

My biggest mistake was when I purchased Timminco – now worth less than 2$ per share – just to follow the natural investment flow. There was a time in 2008 when Timminco was very popular – it had been called the “TSX darling” and so on. I was stupid and I invest in Timminco just to do like the big guys. And talking of big guys, I am thinking of Sprott Asset Management who own 16.9% of common shares of Timminco, AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V. (50.7%!!!), and Fidelity Management & Research Company (14%!!). Again today, I had received another “voting package” coming from Timminco. All of those Management Information Circulars I had received lately are just too much reading for one person.

Let’s say that for now on, I stay away from “popular” stocks. In order to get a good portfolio I copied Derek Foster portfolio. From my portfolio, Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), Pengrowth Energy Trust (PGF.UN), Livingston International Income Fund (LIV.UN) and Pembina Income Fund (PIF.UN) are directly coming from Derek Foster portfolio or from what use to be Derek Foster portfolio. As for the rest, like Fortis (FTS), Hanwei Energy Services (HE), Methanex Corporation (MX), and also Sprott Asset Management (SII), they come from my reading and other.

I don’t know for sure if it’s possible to invest like a real pro without having any good knowledge of the whole investment deal. But for sure, what I know, is that no major mistake can be made if instincts are being followed and if not too much money is being involved in each investment. By “not too much money” I mean an investment of less than 5 000$. As a small investor, 5 000$ represent a lot of money.

Like nothing is easy. And especially now, as my revenues had been cut because of different factors – job looses and other. And also add to this the fact that I had to pay almost 3 000$ in income taxes. This year, the Canada Revenue Agency had received a big paycheck from my little person. And knowing how much I had work so hard, well, it’s not fair! I am not giving away my precious money so our Governor General Michaëlle Jean can travel the world on myself! I would just like to travel alone without her husband – it will make it cheaper for poor Canadian tax payers.

Anyhow, I guess it is possible to invest like a pro if diversification rules are being followed – the same one that had been ignored by Henri-Paul Rousseau former CEO of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. And just to thank you more, we are offering you 378 750 $ so you can live with your peace of mind. I do not have any investment made at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and I do not plan to invest any of my money with Caisse de dépôt – even with their new CEO Michael Sabia who had gave up on almost everything he had for Quebec. Quebec Province does not deserve someone like Michael Sabia to be in charge of a major part of its finance. Quebec just deserves what happen in 2008 - a $40-billion drop. I won’t ever invest in the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec because it’s too much of Quebec stuff in a one investment and their new CEO Michael Sabia – who’s a look-a-like Woody Allan if you ever notice – won’t remain CEO of the Caisse forever. After Mr. Sabia, a new CEO will come one day and will do what Henri-Paul Rousseau did – screwing up everything!

That’s why since I start investment – I pick my own fund and do what I want with my money because when it’s come to my money, I do not trust no one, especially Quebeckers. I am just not open to any suggestions at all and if it happens that I find another fantastic mutual fund like Crestsreet Alternative Energy Fund, I will, again, invest in mutual funds. I am not closing the door to mutual funds. Because I find Derek Foster too much into the market and in his books he literally closes the door to any mutual funds.

My Crestsreet Alternative Energy Fund is one of those funds! The minimum investment to be made is of 1 000$, which is pretty affordable. The only inconvenient is at the time of the selling – if it had to happen. It cost 50$ to sale the investment, no matter how much you have at the time of the selling. Crestsreet Alternative Energy Fund is the type of investment you made for the long run.

Amateur can bet the pro without any trouble if simple rules are being followed. And for this, the reading of Derek Foster books had been more than helpful. In my life, I never read anything else related to finance other than Derek’s Foster books. I recommend them to anyone even if he had decided to sale out EVERYTHING and almost kill me along the way lol. An interview of Derek Foster with the very good looking George Stroumboulopoulos host of The Hour can be view at:

And what if amateur investor like me would have more gut and be more powerful than the Henri-Paul Rousseau and Derek Foster of this world? I guess I have the answer to my question lol. But on this, of course, I am only joking. And only time will tell if I can beat, if not the TSX, the pros.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Being out of morning job is not that bad after all

I was first quite frustrating about loosing my morning shift, but now, things are getting pretty easy as I begin to really have enough of the job. But for now, I keep the weekend shift. Their surveys were long, a lot of answering machine along the way – and than they cut my morning shift because of my low productivity. But it’s not my fault if I was always reaching answering machine.

Anyway, it’s been 2 days now that I haven’t been working during the morning and I quite enjoy the rest. I would very much things to stay the same for a while. Working at my evening job and there at the weekend give me something close to 550$ after deductions. I will have enough to reach ends. But knowing myself, things won’t probable remain the same for too long. I am in need of money and my first 50 000$ is waiting for me. I also more than 10 000$ to invest in my RRSP of 2009. This year, I am going to invest in my RRSP as much as I can – I do not want to pay around 3 000$ extra in taxes again this year. NEVER AGAIN.

This makes it a good opportunity to take a break and after begin a job search. I will try to look for a better job – something else than surveys. My evaluation of last week at my job was quite better and do not fear anymore. The month of April has been quite something and I hope May will be better. I also plan to purchase 200 units of Energy Savings Income Fund (SIF.UN) on the first week of May. I couldn’t do anything with my money in April because of all those taxes I have to pay. Very annoying. And now I am going to work again for my evening shift.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My first vote as a shareholder of Methanex Corporation, Fortis, Sprott Asset Management and Livingston International Income Fund

I received the voting package one after the other through the mail not too long ago. The last one I received was the one coming from Livingston International Income Fund. And of course, none of the annual general meeting of shareholders is taking place in Montreal. I suppose I will vote through the Internet.

Strangely, for me who is French, I had received all of the above documentation in English. Last time, for Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), I had received the voting package in French, which I quite enjoy because I find the reading interesting. It was of a good reading and easy to understand – even for beginner like myself. I find it disgusting for those companies to send me their reports in English as my broker account is set-up in French. In consequence, I might vote against all directors.

As for the rest, I find the reading of the other report I had received pretty reading and I actually gave up on the reading. The one coming from Livingston International Income Fund is the worst one as its do not content any picture of its directors, among other things. As for the Methanex documentation, I quickly gave up on the reading. How annoying! The documentation coming from Bank of Nova Scotia was much more enjoyable. At least, there not too much things shareholders have to vote for. One question I find pretty annoying to vote for is the verification the company hired. Please, just be smarter and hired the cheapest one and no one will actually have to vote on such stupidity. The question appears on all documentation, including the one from Bank of Nova Scotia.

I just hope to be done with the reading and the voting very soon.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Another bad news or when enough is not enough

When is it going to stop?

I won’t be able to do any more hours during the morning at what use to be my weekend job. Look like my weekend job will remain… my weekend job. Everything went well for about 3 weeks. It just this week that I learn I won’t be able to do any morning shifts because of my productivity. But the worst is that I am not alone in this situation. I was told I could go the night shift. Since I am already working at night, I stick with the weekends. Which mean that my weekend job will remain… my weekend job.

It’s just not enough having to pay an extra 3 000$ in taxes, not enough to be working around the clock, not enough to be laid-off from my old day job, now, something else had to happen… and I am just wondering what’s going to happen next. Like the word is falling under my feet and I am following the gravity – I am falling too. I can handle a lot, but now, the situation is pretty chaotic and out of control. And I just cannot control my work situation. And this is exactly part of the reason why I am so into what used to be the Derek Foster strategy because I find it exciting and full of possibilities. I do not want to suffer all my life from poor work situations.

If it happens that one day, I can make enough money from my investments to stay off the workplace for a couple of years in my life, well, I will be the first one to be running into the possibility and sticking to the plan. But now, whit almost 3 000$ gone in taxes money (it’s hurt!), I begin to feel a bit desperate here. It’s not tomorrow that I am going to be able to quietly leave the workplace.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I finally receive my Pengrowth Energy Trust dividends

I had received 51.20$ in dividend from Pengrowth Energy Trust (PGF.UN). The dividend had been roll over to purchase more stocks. And this is how I acquire 7 brand new units of PGF.UN at no charge.

As for the rest, I had my taxes done by a professional and I had an appointment this Monday. I made an overall income of more than 44 000$ in 2008. Life had been good for me here in Montreal so far. But more $$$ = more taxes to pay… And it’s actually the reason why it’s more than 2 900$ that I had to pay extra in provincial and federal taxes. It’s kind of what I was expecting when I did my taxes by myself on Easter day. But I really wanted my taxes to be done correctly and along the run, it was a lot of stress for me. I do not regret paying 75$ to have my taxes done properly. I am quite happy to be done with all this now. I already pay my taxes through my online banking account.

For 2009, I definitively have to invest more in my RRSP. And TD Waterhouse is very annoying for this part because there’s an annual fee to be paid to invest in stocks through them for a RRSP account. Isn’t expensive enough that having to pay 29$ per basic transaction? But this is how TD Waterhouse likes to do business. Unfair or not, at the end, the money will just be invested someplace else. And it’s something else I want to take care of as soon as possible. Time is running out so quickly. I sometime have a hard time to stay organize.

I only have 2 047$ available on my credit line right now to purchase more stocks. I will wait probably until next month to make another purchase. Right now, my marvelous Pembina Income Fund (PIF.UN) is at 14.03$ and SIF.UN is at 12.25$. I just hope prices will false down lol just in time for me to purchase new units next month. I probably purchase other units of PIF.UN. Right now, PIF.UN is at exactly 14.03$! Love PIF.UN!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

I am only missing 9 153.28$ to reach My first 50 000$!

Today was quite a fun day as I was off all day and I really enjoy my free time. It was still cold in Montreal, but the sun was out. I wake up late and went… shopping! I might had spend 250$ or so lol. Among other stuff, I purchase a nice pair of Nike running shoes. They are black with a bit of pink, very comfortable. I was really in need of a band new pair as my feet were hurting on my old shoes lol. This day off had been so much fun that I was thinking about taking Sunday off on each week – for the whole summer. Which mean I will work 5 mornings and the whole Saturday for that job. As for the evening job, there’s ups and downs, but I decide to stop worrying for now and just take whatever come by to me – a lay-off (again?! lol) or not. I am just that tired.

I am now confident – I might be able to reach my first 50 000$ in investments by the end of 2009. Of course, I have a bit more than 16 000$ in debts, student loans for the major part, as 1 000$ had been borrow to pay my taxes (that will be done and completed by tomorrow) and also a 5 000$ on my credit line that I use for leverage (another good idea of mine). After my first 50 000$, I will focus on paying my debts.

My real overall value is only of 24 227.03$ (40 855.02$ - debts of 16 627.99$) but I plan to catch up later on about debts. For now, investments are too much fun and I really want to invest in the Energy Savings Income Fund (SIF.UN).

I had received my Pembina Pipeline Income Fund dividend for April

I had received 13$ in dividend from Pembina Pipeline Income Fund. And this is how I earn a one “free” unit of the ultra-ultra fantastic Pembina Pipeline Income Fund! I still wonder how Derek Foster could let this one go from his portfolio. But for myself, I know one thing; I am certainly going to purchase more units of this marvelous Pembina! Way too hot. I am still waiting for Pengrowth dividend, but I didn’t receive anything yet.

Since I registered to an automatic DRIP, I was told it could take some more times to receive dividend sometimes. It’s something I am always looking into, just in case… Because with TD Waterhouse… well, with TD lol. Just joking.

My nightmare with 2008 taxes is almost over. I have an appointment on Monday and after what, everything will be complete. I have everything prepared in my bank account just in case I need to pay big in taxes. I have a bit more than 3 200$ ready. I just cannot wait to see how much I will need to pay in taxes this year.

I had 1 600$ of my own money ready – I took a 400$ from my credit line at TD and another 1 000$ from my 10 000$ credit card I have with RBC. I withdraw the 1000$ from the bank machine and pay off immediately after with a check I had luckily received a couple of weeks ago from TD Visa – an around 5% deal for 6 months on balance transfer. I have a 5 000$ limit on my TD Visa.

And I actually have another 3 000$ I could take way from my RBC Visa and pay it off with Visa TD check and I was willing to do so and purchase SIF.UN or PIF.UN that way lol. Like at a point, it’s just doing any sense. I just cannot stand it too much longer. I want to make another investment. My last investment with Pembina was on a Friday, on the 13 back in March.

If I decide to move on with this major move, I will probably be working on paying back credit cards for the next 6 months – or even more.

I almost already reach 5 000$ on my credit line. If I add 4 000$ to this amount, it make 9 000$ that is needed to pay it all off within the next 6 months. In order to do so, a payment of 1 500$ per month will be needed. Not impossible, but I will have to cut on my daily expenses.

I am self-confident with the whole investment deal and I thing I am doing well, even by looking at my broker account. I calculate and I actually lost more than 12 000$. But even if I had lost great deal of money, I still want to continue to invest as long as I have enough money to do so.

I am playing and playing, I just hope to win big at the end.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I finally gave up on my taxes declaration

I renew my taxes this last Sunday and at the end of the day, it was not 2000$ or something that I had to pay back in taxes… But it was 3000$. The more time I spend on my taxes declaration, the more I had to pay in taxes!

After what, I told myself it was time to get some help! I get organize and just yesterday, I bring my paper to the proper professionals’ lol. I still consider the fact that it cold happen I might have to pay 3 000$ on taxes, like if I had not paid enough already! Tomorrow with my newest pay, it’s 1 600$ I will have in my banking account, so I plan to use some checks I got form my credit card to raise the rest of the sum of money – in case I need it. This year is very awful for my taxes. But I will survive. Doing personal taxes can really be annoying and exhausting. The worst that can happen is that I actually have to pay 3 000$ in taxes, which I will be surprise. Nightmare. But is worst is paying taxes or having to give my $$$ away to some Quebec government that is now mine? LOL!

I learn a lot by trying to do my taxes and I am looking to share what I had learn really soon. Cool exciting projects coming on.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Go Hanwei go!

Hanwei Energy Services (HE) is up up up! Not that I stop believing in Hanwei, but it was a lovely surprise to see its value rise to 1.71$.

I cannot access my broker account at this time, but from what I remember, I had purchased 300 units of HE at the price of 2$ or so per unit. And of course, this investment – like other that I have – made me lost some money! Now, HE is at 1.70$ - which is extraordinary. I might even be able to make money from this investment one day. And one day, Hanwei Energy Services could even begin to distribute dividends to its shareholders. Maybe in a close future.

I really like Hanwei Energy Services and I believe it have good potential to grow over time. Hanwei is a BUY and HOLD forever lol!

Why? Hanwei has present in emerging markets, more especially in China and the company promote green energy. And this might be one of the reasons why Hanwei price had been rising lately. Among their activity, Hanwei deliver Wind turbines and had growing business opportunities in Asia. Hanwei is also having interests in coal power, among other.

I am looking forward to see the price rising in the upcoming weeks.

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