February 2015 Update

 Winter in Panama

at the locks

Panama Canal – February 2015

Short report this month as we bask in the sun at the edge of the Panama Canal.  Next month we will be in China, so that might be abbreviated as well, depending on internet access.


February Results

The markets did pretty well in February with the TSX gaining 3.82% while the US markets gained about 5 1/2% each, recapturing January losses.  My stocks rose by about 2 1/4% partly suppressed by a mildly appreciating Canadian dollar, and continued low performance of oil stocks and a seldom experienced pullback of Canadian banks.  My US stocks actually rose by 4 1/2% but some of that was eaten up with the exchange rate.

My net worth hit a new record and I am considerably above my level on the day I retired eight months ago – in spite of lots of travel and associated expenses.  Fortunately our excess spending has been exceeded by the portfolio growth.



Investment Advisors – personal retirement portfolios

I’m not a big fan of using investment advisors, but I still do use them for my RRSP accounts (similar to the US IRA, a tax advantaged savings plan).  One thing I always tell people is when they are using an investment advisor, find out what they do for investing and what are their results.  Usually you won’t get a satisfactory answer.  Here is an interesting article that details the personal RRSP accounts and results of actual investment advisors.  You will notice a strong similarity to our strategy and our results.  But is this what they tell their clients to do?

Click HERE for article.


Planning Your Retirement

Click HERE for some research on retirees in the US.

This article doesn’t paint a pretty picture of retirement for most people.  However if you plan your retirement – financially and otherwise – it doesn’t have to be this way.  The article lists ten common themes of retirement – however in our case only number 7 applies.  None of the rest, in any way, resemble our retirement, which is now into its 9th month with the remainder of 2015 is fully booked (Panama, China, Thailand, Iceland, Costa Rica, and Western Canada).


Another voice:

60 Rules

Click above for an interesting article

I don’t necessarily agree with all of his points, but here are a few worth note:

#12 – Ignore “professional” stock pickers

especially the Jim Cramer’s of the world.  They are poison.

#13 – Ignore “professional” economic forecasts, too

They are almost always wrong – check the history

#15 – Rent unless your total monthly cost of home ownership is lower than renting

I think most of you know my thoughts on a home as an investment

#24 – Invest most of your money in stocks – and hold on no matter what happens

Sage advice – remember 2008-2009 and the subsequent recovery.

#26 – Don’t bother with individual stocks

Disagree – check my 10 year record – but there is nothing wrong with ETFs

#27 – Buy some international investments, too

Agreed – but the best international investments trade on the NYSE – see my previous commentary on international investing.  Most bit US companies get more than half of their revenues off-shore.  Remember, you don’t understand the markets in other countries.



 Suggested Stocks

A++, Dividend’s above 2%, history of dividend growth.

This are in order of timeliness according to my rudimentary scoring.  I’m reluctant to jump into oil right now, but I’m holding on to what I have as I’m getting good dividends.

Company Ticker
Int’l Business Mach. IBM
Occidental Petroleum OXY
Chevron Corp. CVX
McDonald’s Corp. MCD
Emerson Electric EMR
Baxter Int’l Inc. BAX
AT&T Inc. T
Johnson & Johnson JNJ
Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM
Verizon Communic. VZ
Microsoft Corp. MSFT
Royal Dutch Shell ‘B’ RDSB
Intel Corp. INTC
Dover Corp. DOV
Novo Nordisk ADR NVO
Public Serv. Enterprise PEG
Deere & Co. DE
Procter & Gamble PG
Schlumberger Ltd. SLB
Unilever PLC ADR UL
Coca-Cola KO
Lockheed Martin LMT
Merck & Co. MRK
Wal-Mart Stores WMT
Kimberly-Clark KMB
Raytheon Co. RTN
United Technologies UTX
Novartis AG ADR NVS
Colgate-Palmolive CL
Boeing BA
Texas Instruments TXN
PepsiCo, Inc. PEP
Du Pont DD
Smucker (J.M.) SJM
Pfizer, Inc. PFE
Travelers Cos. TRV
Honeywell Int’l HON
3M Company MMM
Bristol-Myers Squibb BMY
Automatic Data Proc. ADP


Happy Investing


About borgford

Feel free to contact me with questions: brianborgford@hotmail.com
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2 Responses to February 2015 Update

  1. Mary TKach says:

    Hi Brian,

    I am Patreshia Tkach’s sister and I’ve been following your information for a while now.  And also following your travels!  Inspirational for sure.


    Do you have any comments on this post?  I notice that you’re heavy into energy stocks.  Personally, I avoid them for a host of reasons, including the issues that the Bank of England is talking about.  Maybe this would be a good topic for your next blog post. 


    Thank you for sharing your experience with those of us who are much less expertienced in these areas. 


    Enjoy, wherever you are,


    Mary Tkach

    Link: http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/03/03/bank-england-issues-warning-over-looming-carbon-bubble-threat

  2. borgford says:

    Hi Mary – thanks so much for reading the blog and submitting your question. I will put in a response in my next update. I don’t spend much time listening to “noise”. There is always some self proclaimed expert making this prediction and that. Most of them are completely wrong and the ones that are right are usually by accident (think broken clock). Intuitively we know that oil will not last forever but there is bound to be some replacement before depletion. I doubt I will see much structural change in my lifetime. Oil stocks are suppressed right now due to low oil prices. That may last months or years, but the big companies are still making a profit and paying dividends. How long have the experts been predicting the demise of the tobacco industry? I will not be adding to my position in oil stocks and I am hesitant to advise anyone to dive in now, even though it looks like a good entry point. But I will not be selling any of my high dividend stocks, even oil. Now if ValueLine downgrades any of my stocks, I will likely sell. I try to maintain a strong discipline on my strategy. Hope that helps.

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