The Transparent RRSP: My Own Stocks and Father’s Day

No actions taken the week of June 12

It’s been a very busy week for me, but it’s a good time to be busy as the markets are still looking like they’re headed lower. I don’t feel the need to take action quite yet. The US markets need to go down through May’s lows – at the very least – before going up again. This could affect the Canadian market; we have already been weakening the last couple of months and going through our own correction. If the US market goes down more and we don’t, then that’s a good sign for us that our correction could be over.

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Price charts of QQQ, AAPL, XIC, and SPY on freestockcharts.com

Apple (AAPL) is a big part of the NASDAQ (ETF: QQQ) and it’s been weakest of the big tech stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google). Until it stops going down and levels out, it will continue to lead the NASDAQ down.

It’ll be interesting to see if the rest of the US market follows suit. I’ll keep my eye on the S&P 500 (the SPY ETF). Its financial sector (XLF) has been quite strong, but this sector is due for a correction. A slower summer market could cause it to stall and look less inspiring to investors. A correction in the financial sector could take the SPY down. There was a lot of selling last week in some of the big US banks (BAC, JPM and WFC) as well as Visa (V). Other big financial stocks (C, MA, and AXP) were trading strong. A divergence between a sector’s biggest stocks creates uncertainty.

Summer Trading Means Fewer Selections

Often, when the leading market heads lower, other markets eventually do the same. However, it can be different in the summer because of less trading volume. Performance is more stock and sector specific and less market dominant.

Investors and traders pile onto the fewer, more promising opportunities that stand out. Sectors kind of do their own thing and are less prone to overall market moves because there’s less of a dominant trend. It becomes more obvious which sectors are stronger and which ones are weaker. It’s actually a very good time to look for sectors and stocks that are about to embark on a new move or trend before it gets busier again in the fall.

For me, the summer is usually the time when I focus on the quiet under-performing sectors and I try to see if there will be a new longer-term opportunity in it. I’m going to watch the Canadian financial sector as it’s been weak since late February. I feel that it should correct just a titch more, and if it does, I will watch very closely for when it sets up again. If this happens, Canadian banks, here I come!

I didn’t have time to do a stock search this week – I only had time to look at my own portfolio. Here are a few of my stocks that I’m considering buying more shares of:

  • Aphria Inc. | APH.TO
  • Aritzia | ATZ
  • Bombardier | BBD.B
  • BMO SP TSX Laddered Index ETF | ZPR
  • ECN Capital Corp. | ECN
  • Extendicare REIT | EXE

I’ve been complaining a lot about having too many stocks. It’s better for me to focus on what I have and get more shares of the ones that I like. I just have to wait for a new entry point.


Thanks Dad!

My dad passed away in 2009. He was 59 and battling a long-term ailment. At least I can say that shortly before his death, he was living life to the fullest. What happened to me after his passing was something worth thinking about. Without his guidance, his half-believable stories, and hilarious anecdotes, I had to use whatever resources he’d passed onto me to keep going. I’m sure this recognition was all subconscious, but I finally had the courage to see things for what they were and let them go in order to do the things I most wanted to do. I took a promotion at my job, saw my career trajectory and said, “On second thought, I’m going to learn how to trade stocks. However that turns out.” The rest is my history.

I’m halfway through reading Jack D. Schwager’s, Market Wizards: Interviews with Top Traders. It’s been an incredible read so far. I’ve heard of some of these guys before. It’s so cool to hear about how they all had to overcome so many barriers to get to where they were. One thing none of them had to overcome was their gender. I can honestly say that neither have I, even though I am a woman.

Since I was young, my dad convinced me that being a girl was an advantage. His dad, my grandfather, was in the US Army, and he was away a lot. He served in WW2 and in Korea. So my grandmother ran the show when my grandpa was away. My dad was the youngest of seven siblings, four of whom were older, amazing sisters. My dad ended up being a very macho guy – who saw women as being greater than anything macho.

Because of my dad, I never felt disadvantaged for being a woman. I actually thought that I could do whatever I wanted to because I was female – he’d long convinced me it gave me an edge. Maybe it is true – our society has yet to accept this concept. Or maybe he just told me a tall tale knowing what I’d be up against. As I got older, I became more painfully aware of the disadvantages women frequently encounter. I love trading because the market doesn’t care about your personal details. You’re either in at the right time and right price, or you’re not. It doesn’t get more gender neutral than that.

As I’m reading Market Wizards, I feel that I can relate to these traders on so many levels, but it feels a bit too much like a boys club. I know there are a lot of extremely successful female traders out there. We’ll just have to cover our own stories. Whether or not I become a market wizard worth writing about one day, I’m sure my dad would be proud of me.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

 

The Transparent RRSP: Markets Closed

No actions were taken the week of April 10

This week has been a busy one for me. All week, I was getting my tax stuff in order. No, I haven’t filed yet! If you saw what I had to do to get ‘er done, you’d understand why I was procrastinating. If that’s not enough, I’m in the middle of moving.

The dreadful task of packing always necessitates decluttering. Moving forces me to ruthlessly get rid of what I no longer want or need. For the last month, I’d been going through my things and filling up boxes and bags of stuff I knew had no place in our lives anymore.

This drive to purge shifted to my TFSA. Mid-week, JP recommended that I sell two of my stocks he noticed were underperforming for a long time. They were in the money but had barely budged for a year. I sold them, then I sold four more stocks. I had way too many stocks – we’re talking 33 in this one account! I won’t even get into what’s in my US trading account. 33 is more than I could manage, but I guess I just kept buying them the way my brothers buy shoes and ball caps. This is what can happen if you pay very little in commissions per trade.

After we had a decent market last week, it was easy to see who the laggers were in my portfolio. I don’t mind active stocks that go up and even down, but I do mind the stocks that just don’t move at all. A healthy stock needs steady volume and a decent amount of movement. Without enough investor interest, they’re just duds.

Today, the Canadian and US markets were closed for Good Friday. The volume in the markets was low which is typical before a holiday weekend. People either don’t take on new positions or they sell or reduce their positions because they don’t want to hold them over a long weekend.

I feel lighter with fewer stocks to manage (yet I still own quite a few!) and more cash in my account. I might buy more shares of stocks I already own and am happy with. I’ll see what the market does next week and what my stocks do in relation to the market. Now, back to packing!

The Transparent RRSP: More Thoughts on the Market

I posted on Monday that I had bought another 16 shares of LFE.TO at $6.12. This cost me $97.92 + 0.16 of commission. I now have $60.90 of cash remaining in my account. This was at the same price I got the previous 24 shares of LFE.TO at, giving me 40 shares of this stock.

Currently, I’m not crazy about entering any new positions given the market. I would prefer it to have a more substantial correction before it resumes going up. My preference would be for the market to just slightly sell off below February’s lows. The market could just move sideways for the rest of March, which I’ll be satisfied with. If the market isn’t going to have a correction, then it at least needs to take a break from going straight up.

When the market is operating near a peak like this, I tend to find that stocks with great setups are merely shortlived opportunities in that they might only be in the profit zone for a few days – then people get scared at the slightest hint of a reversal and sell their positions to take their profits.

Another thing I find when the market is iffy: investors tend to gravitate towards stocks doing their own thing regardless of what the market is doing. That is the only reason why I bought more shares of LFE. I said earlier this month that I didn’t want to take any new positions for the RRSP until the market had a decent correction. This stock was resilient during some market weakness and looked like it was taking off.

When I am doing something that goes against my intentions, I have to ask myself, “If this stock takes off without me, will I be upset?” Some setups are dodgy enough that I wouldn’t have regret even if it works because I’ve learned that if I took such setups every time, I’d have consistently worse returns. The setup LFE was demonstrating is the kind you just can’t ignore.

Below is a comparison of the daily and weekly charts of LFE to one of my favourite market index ETFs to watch, the XIC. I also watch the actual TSX Composite Index, however, I prefer looking at the XIC because I get a better view of the trading volume in the market.

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I haven’t lost sight of the increased amount of risk when taking trades in a market like this. I feel that LFE will trade on its own page for a while. Eventually, it’ll likely be more affected by the market. Hopefully, that happens when it’s at a much higher price!

 

The Transparent RRSP: A Quick Update

Action Taken the Week of March 13

It’s really hard to schedule my blog posts because it’s just as hard to schedule opportunities! I much prefer to write about the Transparent RRSP towards the end of the week after watching the markets for the week. I will do another post either this Thursday or Friday. I just really wanted to share this recent trade in case others might want to consider this opportunity.


 

 

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LFE charts on freestockcharts.com

 

After I first bought shares of LFE.TO, the stock went up only to come down again and consolidate longer. I loved how the range got tighter and held up beautifully – while the market during the same time came down. It always gets my attention when a stock holds stronger than the market. It’s now trading above all the previous prices in this consolidation. Could this be taking off?

The Transparent RRSP: The Investor’s Mindset

No Action Taken for the Week of March 6

Let’s have a gander at the charts for the stocks in the Transparent RRSP.

 

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Four weekly charts on freestockcharts.com

 

The charts for LFE and GRL still look good. LFE is particularly nice in that it held up strong yesterday, despite a big down day for the market.

ZPR could use a correction. I’d like it to either go sideways or have a tiny selloff (hopefully, no lower than the $11.00 area) before going up again.

LIQ got ‘wasted’ on their earnings report yesterday morning, but the fast drop was followed up by some serious buying. Seeing volatility like that can be a little thrilling (for me, at least). A shakeout like this is called capitulation. This is when sellers get out in large numbers due to panic. The stock dropped off the open and went up for the rest of the day.

Whenever a stock trades like this at an abnormal price range and trade volume, it attracts the attention of many: the media, scared investors, and traders who are watching for a potential buying opportunity. I’ve lived through enough earnings/news shakeouts – my biggest regret for most them was abandoning my positions. This is because usually after enough time passes, there was almost always a recovery. I’m going to hold on.

As I mentioned in last week’s RRSP post, the market is in need of a correction before investors can feel confident in taking new positions or adding to their current ones. Remember, I only just entered these positions in the last two months; when you buy a stock at a time when the market is nearing the end of its shorter-term trend, you can face a bit of turbulence while the market either levels out or has a bit of a selloff. I’ve said it before: selloffs are temporary and often short-lived. When the market resumes its uptrend, all you can do is hope that your stock either follows the market or will have started going up before the market gets going again.


The Investor’s Mindset

Investors feel confident when they’re right. If you buy a stock and it’s positive, then you feel like a top contender for Wall Street’s Got Talent. You look for more stocks to buy or you buy more shares of the same one. A rising stock within a rising market is positive feedback and confirms that you made the right call.

If you buy a stock and it’s negative and lower than the position you took, you start frantically looking for reasons that explain where you went wrong. There will always be reasons to support why you’re making money as well as why you’re losing money. The problem with human psychology is that we tend to focus on losses and failures more than our successes and long-term progress.

Losing something is often a traumatic experience for us. We withdraw and try to rationalize why it happened and what could’ve been done to prevent it in the first place. Just watch an athlete on a streak make one mistake. The athlete who recovers quickly and keeps at it like nothing happened conquered that hit on the ego by staying focussed on the goal of the game, not the hitch. (If you’re interested in this high-performance mindset stuff, read The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey.)

This doesn’t mean I stick my head in the sand and ignore all the signs saying to cut my losses when I should. I just need more information that’s relevant to me and my plan. I didn’t become a good trader/investor until I truly accepted the ups and downs that come with trading. It has taken me years to get comfortable with that. I’ve read countless books on trading and psychology to see if I was missing something in my mental processes. What I realized was that I was denying myself the joys and rewards that come from being patient.

I discovered the importance of having plans for your trades. Writing it down helps to remind you of your original intentions. (I’m getting better at this. No more loose post-it notes!) If you start getting antsy, then review your plans to see if you’re still on track with your short and long-term expectations.

Have a plan, stick to it, learn from it, and get confident!


“Should I get Snapchat?”

I hate taking selfies, but I love doing them on Snapchat. A few months ago, my work wife Hunter got me into Snapchat. It has since become a major form of communication between the two of us when we’re not working together.

Snapchat offers a lot of ridiculous photo/video filters (some of which aren’t appropriate), but I find most of them are just fun and silly. It’s like putting on a mask or a costume when do you a selfie on the Snapchat app. I get to become a different persona with each filter. My faves are the filters with a voice changer (you usually get a high-pitched voice or a deep monster voice). I enjoy doing impressions of people and Snapchat allows me to really get into character. If you don’t have the Snapchat app on your phone, you’re missing out! I realize it’s a pretty childish way to use up your time, but for me, Snapchat is a good outlet when I need to take a short break and just get outside my head (and into another).

 

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I never buy IPOs early on – that is, until today. After a stock goes public, I usually wait until the dust settles and I see more signs that the price movement is less volatile and has leveled out. Lately, I’ve been doing stock searches, but with little luck in finding anything compelling. I’m not crazy about any of the sectors or even the market right now. The only good thing about Snapchat (ticker symbol: SNAP) is that it’s trading on its own page because it’s brand new.

So, I did what a fan with a trading account would do: I bought some shares.

 

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Snapchat’s price history charts on freestockcharts.com

I don’t know if Snapchat has ‘found a bottom’ yet or not as it’s too soon to tell. I took a small risk with just a few shares in case this stock were to go lower. I know the proper thing to do is to trade with more information. It’s better to wait for a pattern setup on the daily chart, but there are only five daily candles to work with so far, so I’m forced to look at the hourly and 15-minute charts. I used the 5-minute chart to time my entry, which is such a day trader thing to do.

After enough time passes and I see how SNAP performs against the market and the tech sector, I’ll buy more shares once I see my typical consolidation pattern setup on the daily chart.

 

Some More Stock Picks

A FEW MORE TSX STOCKS WITH CHARTS WORTH CHECKING OUT

Some nice-looking charts
  • TNX
  • TOT (Very nice daily and weekly. Monthly looks so-so to me.)
  • ZAR (We own shares of this for a swing trade.)
Watchlist material
  • ACQ – This is a little off-script, but I like the YEARLY chart the most. The daily, weekly, and monthly charts need to shape up a bit to get me interested.
  • GEI – Interesting weekly and monthly charts. The daily chart needs to tighten up, but watch this in case the consolidation pattern tightens up.
  • TRIL – The third week up in a row on the weekly chart makes me want to wait for a better consolidation. I would like to see this shape up on all time frames. I’m drawn to this because it’s got a lot of room to zoom up.

Most of these are energy stocks, so please keep this in mind. For me, most of these are more suitable for swing trades. As always, I recommend you do your necessary research to satisfy your own strategies and your trading plan.

If you have any stock charts you’d like me to check out, feel free to contact me through the contact form on this website.

Happy long weekend!

Stock Video!

Watch the Loonie to Toonie Stock Video!

Finally! My stock video is ready for the world – specifically the world of people interested in reading stock charts, which I believe is a small, yet growing world. My hope is that one day, reading charts of investments is no longer a practice unique to investment pros, but a basic skill that we all have.

You can hit it big in stocks without ever having to read a chart, but for me, it’s key to my decision process. I created this video to provide a more visual supplement to all the information that I’ve been sharing on how I find and select stocks. 

I’m often asked where to find stocks. I feel it’s important to not only tell you where I find stocks but how I decide on which ones to pay attention to. I hope this helps you in your investment endeavours! 

Canadian Stocks $10 to $20

This is a continuation of last week’s picks taken from the XIC ETF, only this post focuses on stocks between $10 and $20.

Some of these pay dividends. I’m only making special note of the ones that pay monthly because personally, I’m very drawn to the concept of investment income coming in more frequently. Some of the others listed pay quarterly, and some none at all.

Remember to please always double check the facts for yourself and invest in accordance with your plan. Factor in the stock’s industry/sector, and consider whether you’re investing for income, capital gains, or both.


Top Picks Based on Chart Patterns 

  • ATA – ATS Automation Tooling Systems
  • GEI – Gibson Energy Inc.

Stocks with so-so looking charts but very attractive monthly dividends

  • SPB – Superior Plus (I own this stock. This one could take a LONG time to get beyond the $15 zone but it’ll be well worth it if you’re already in and it does.)
  • VSN – Veresen Inc.
  • RNW – Transalta Renewables Inc.
  • CHE.UN – Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund (This is an income fund.)

Stocks that I’d prefer to consolidate longer

I think these should consolidate for a bit longer, like another one to two months. I mention them now because I think it’s good practice to keep an eye on stocks should they set up later on. 

  • HSE Husky Energy Inc.
  • SES – Secure Energy Services
  • INE – Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.
  • CUF.UN – Cominar Real Estate Investment Trust (This is a REIT.)

 

Things to Ponder

I have missed out on stocks that made incredible moves despite the lack of a good setup and I still do. I also missed out because I just overestimated how much time a stock would take to come around. I’m okay with this now because part of my confidence as a stock investor with a 70% return on my portfolio comes from the following:

  • Looking for and waiting for good setups
  • Taking lesser risk on stocks with less-than-perfect setups by using fewer shares
  • Watching the sectors and the market
  • Having a plan for each stock (dividend income? swing trade for profits? retirement? portfolio diversification? hedge?)
  • Being okay with missing out and not getting into everything that looks good or works
  • Years of experience in the markets

I generally have a relaxed attitude towards my portfolio and how I select for it. If I start making compromised choices, I get stressed out and I either talk myself out of staying in a winner, or I get into something much too late because I spent too much time overanalyzing its potential.

You shouldn’t invest feeling fear, whether it’s the fear of starting out or the fear of missing out (FOMO). If you’re new to investing in stocks, just use less money. If you feeling a bit of FOMO, then you must realize that the stock market isn’t going anywhere and that there will always be another opportunity when you’re more ready.