Winter in Panama
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
|Int’l Business Mach.||IBM|
|Baxter Int’l Inc.||BAX|
|Johnson & Johnson||JNJ|
|Exxon Mobil Corp.||XOM|
|Royal Dutch Shell ‘B’||RDSB|
|Novo Nordisk ADR||NVO|
|Public Serv. Enterprise||PEG|
|Deere & Co.||DE|
|Procter & Gamble||PG|
|Unilever PLC ADR||UL|
|Merck & Co.||MRK|
|Novartis AG ADR||NVS|
|Automatic Data Proc.||ADP|