Saturday, September 29, 2018

Canadian Diversified GRUMPY Investor


 As mentioned in previous posts, this blog is more a personal financial diary than a stock advisory or a blog for a readership. I love having a readership or hearing your comments (not spam though) but the reader is more looking over my shoulder into my brains (how do you do that physically?) than that it is an investment news letter with buy and sell recommendations.
I have read over the years, books or newsletters from guys such as Jim Rogers, Doug Casie and the great Bill Bonner. I also read a lot of stuff from Porter Stansberry and his team of excellent analysts. I don’t do in depth fundamental analysis of corporate reports, but I follow Stansberry’s analyses and cherry pick from this team’s ideas while learning a great deal. I enjoy reading Gordon Pape, Margaret Wente and Rob Carrick and even Scot Barlow all from the Globe. I also read the Wall Street Journal and the National Post (Conrad Black and Rex Murphy). You often hear me quote Jeremy Siegel’s stock performance numbers.  I take those ideas and apply them from a Canadian investors point of view.  I don’t do the detailed analysis myself, although I run spreadsheets on matters such as how corporate debt affects a company’s ability to grow and its financial health. 

I do the same when watching BNN’s Market Call shows or Andrew McCreath’s Weekly.  I don’t like the recent Bloomberg changes that have Americanized BNN.  The more global focus is good, but the broadcasts are shrill, and I have trouble understanding the wide range of accents that are spoken. I like the humor and demeanor of the earlier BNN better – Kevin O’Leary, Amanda Lang and Howard Green were long time favorites.  Andrew Bell is too potty and green; more than I like, but that’s his opinion and he still remains informative and quirky. Guests like Eric Nuttall and Barry Schwartz are good enough to withstand the endless and repetitive stream of commercials – typically I just mute the commercials and walk away to do something useful.

As is, this is typically enough information to help me decide, along with my full-service stock broker, how/what to invest in stocks and, along with my realtor, to decide what properties to invest in. The analysis numbers are important but more so is market psychology and my general knowledge of the stuff that goes on around me to figure out what I want to invest in and what to divest (sell). I am not a good seller, I try to use stop losses but often, in particular with commodities, I buy when everybody hates stuff and then sell when everybody likes to buy.  The numbers may help you to find decent to good stock purchases, especially in bad markets, and then when there are euphoria and high prices it is time to sell (some).
That is also why I am politically opiniated because it is often the political climate and thinking that prevails here in Canada and in the rest of North America that helps me to invest.  When you read my comments about Trump, Stephen Harper, Notley, Horgan or Trudeau it is part of my investor make up.  You may have noticed that I am becoming increasingly grumpy towards Canada and North America. I sometimes think that I like to rename my blog 'Canadian Diversified GRUMPY Investor'.  That is because I don’t feel at home any longer.

Like others, such as Jim Rogers, Doug Casie and Bill Bonner in the U.S., I become increasingly disenchanted and feel that becoming more a Global investor may be the way to go.  I have spent time doing business in Asia, in particular Indonesia but also a bit in Vietnam, Philippines, and Egypt. I don’t like the hussle and bustle of Asia for me to call it home. I like the changing attitudes in Europe towards climate change (you know it is one of my pet-peeves), the changes in politics in general – a desire for less entitlement and possibly a decline in bureaucracy. I no longer see North America as the only place to live well. I may become someone who sees both Europa and North America as home.  I don’t know how this changing mentality is going to affect my investing, but I have taken steps to significantly reduce my Canadian holdings.  Not all at once, I will probably move incrementally.
My life has always been about doing things I feel are worthwhile doing and in 3 to 5 months my new Calgary residence will be completed. So, maybe this is a time to ask myself: What next? And since I like what I see in Europe, I think about directing attention more and more to that continent. Who knows where I will end up. Probably there will still be a lot of Canada in me, but just like the Jim Rogers in this world, I consider Canada currently less secure. Canada may do very well over the coming decades – it is not that I wish to abandon this great country; it is just like any other investment strategy; the need to diversify.  With Canada and the United States, who were for many years the focus of my investment strategies becoming more questionable, I will explore more my European, in particular, my Dutch roots. I should be grateful to Justin Trudeau for making clear that no country will stay the same, it will change for better or in this case for worse.

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