Sunday, October 28, 2018

A Haunting Week Ahead

With Halloween next week, it will probably be a scary start to the week for the Markets I imagine until they trend up once again. A wicked 7 trillion dollars in dumped stocks so far world wide.

For me, it's a learning curve where I began my self induced 101 course in 'do it yourself'' (DIY) investing last year after years of a high fee 'managed' service. Back in 2008, I wasn't aware of the crazy downturn until I seen the news and checked my 'managed' balances. Holy cow! What a plummet.

Back then  I was thinking ... what's the best move here after debating for a few hours? Wait it out (or what they call HODL in the crypto world today) was my decision and turned out to be a good move. 10 years later and here we are again.

Everyday, I read a few articles with different opinions on the state of the Markets today and suggestions to stay 'safe' for now. It will also become a 'buyer's market soon where many a company has lower stock prices these days.

Being with the Bank of Nova Scotia's online bank, Tangerine ... I decided to start building more cash in a high interest savings account and remain doing that today with a bonus hike in my normal interest rate. Higher than any brick and mortar bank out there. So, that's my 'float' where I will draw from for investing into shares of Companies and Trusts I prefer. So far, so good.

Meanwhile, I continue to watch Bitcoin and developments there with the high profile companies involved. As well as, online ventures I've been interested in for the past ten years while I continue to make a decent dollar with them.

Risky for sure. One can lose all their gains and go in the hole like some did with the recent rout in the Markets. Crypto is highly unpredictable and any venture that includes investing your money should be with what cash you can do without. Side accounts just for investments with gains as the ongoing goal.

It can't be any riskier than being alongside Tim the Toolman Taylor though ...



Closing for today is the question. Why do it at all? Why not just keep building funds in a high interest savings account? Investing interests me while I enjoy the gains and satisfaction as a novice DIY'er. Of course, no one out there can credit to 100% wins with every pick and move or all investors would be millionaires in quick time.




Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Pegged Coin

When the planets align for me after waiting to making a swap from Bitcoin to the Canadian Dollar it can be rewarding. 

Bitcoin fluctuates all day long in value with a lot of factors involved like speculation, bad or good news in the crypto world from all over the globe or even the daily events in the stock markets. 

So, when I want cash for my digital coin and Bitcoin is lower than it's usual level, I wait for it to climb to do an exchange first to US dollars; that I mainly deal in. Exchanging to Canadian dollars from USD when our dollar is less than the 'norm' these days ... ends up to be an increase in CDN funds ending up in my bank account from the original Bitcoin I started with.  

For example, 1 bitcoin equaling $6200 USD back on the 15th of October and then zooming up to near 6700 USD that same day leading into the 16th of October. I'd get more bang for my coin exchanging to USD at the high end that day.

Feels good as well in the end with that feeling it's a win, win after being patient.

It's the game and gamble at the same time, that Bitcoin remains around that $6500 level these days after the normal ups and downs. 'Bears' could take over and it free fall for awhile is the negative part to keep in mind and be prepared for.

In contrast to that I'm seeing the rise of the 'Stable Coin'. Relatively new where Coinbase is now adding it's first ... being the Circle's offspring called USD Coin. It will equal the value of the US dollar or what they call 'pegged' to the US dollar.



The idea is the coin won't fluctuate much at all (+ or - 5 cents perhaps) and be more 'stable' in say; investments for the future. What you put in, you get back plus gains like ETF's for example.

When transferring from one person to another ... equal to the US Dollar. Send USDC equal to a $100 USD and the person receiving gets $100 USD worth of USDC (fees not factored in) unlike Bitcoin where in an hour, it's possible it could fall $200 or more in value when received. Less than the value in US dollars originally sent the hour before.

A 'reliable' stable coin is what I would like to see and deal in.

But, the investor side of me likes the 'up' swings with Bitcoin. In the future, I'm figuring there will be a place and time for Bitcoin and a 'Stable' coin to be used side by side in different sectors.



Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Tweaking That Budget

After years of low interest rates, they are slowly beginning to creep up with another hike planned for this fall possibly and four more next year. The US is on a similar pattern.

Those on fixed loans and mortgages will not feel the pain until renewal time but those on 'variable' terms are dealing with the increases.  That means more budgeting ahead or for many, considering credit cards to make up the difference, which is not a good thing unless the plastic can be paid off each month. For many it's tough just to set aside a $100 per month these days for savings.



A good CBC article here about all that with a mortgage calculator designed to show how much interest rate hikes increase payments.

A number of issues continue to cause downturns in the Markets as the sell off continues with again, rising interest rates a concern. Interesting to see how long this will last before another 'cycle' begins with a reversal keeping in mind it's been the historical and average 10 years between corrections since the bigger 2018 slump.

Many a seasoned investor is writing about adjusting your holdings accordingly unless in an area that's staying relatively unchanged through this 'bearish' time.

But, in a retirement plan that's in a file to be untouched except for some minor changes for 20 or 30 years, there's growth even with these fluctuations over that time. Only thing new as we move ahead is management and invest fees are going lower with some at zero already, so a good idea to transfer so the gain is much higher in 30 years.



Saturday, October 20, 2018

Ships Stay Here

With the aging Canadian Navy and mounting maintenance issues, the Federal Government finally caved a few years back and decided it was finally time to build new ships for the Navy.

60 Billion dollars worth of Frigates plus 6 new Arctic Patrol Vessels and the remodel for 2 supply/tanker ships. One for each coast.

With the Navy based here in Halifax and the Irving's out of St. John, New Brunswick having built a new dockyard facility where they have been doing shipbuilding and maintenance for decades in Halifax Harbour; they were in the competition to win the contract and did. Before the contract was awarded, street side signs were everywhere ... Ships Start Here.

30+ years of work and recently the design of the new frigates was awarded to Lockheed Martin and BAE. Due to begin in 2022. Meanwhile, one new Arctic Patrol Vessel is christened and in the water with 2 others well under way to completion. When these APV's are finished there will be about a 2 year gap and then Frigate steel cutting is 'scheduled' to begin.

An artist's rendering of the British Type 26 frigate, which has been submitted for consideration as the replacement for Canada's patrol frigates. (BAE Systems Inc./Lockheed Martin Canada)


Recently driving around the city, those signs are everywhere once again but with 'Stay' taped over the 'Start' in that sign. Ships Stay Here.



I had to find out what that was about and the Feds are hinting at moving some of the existing maintenance work on the existing Navy ships to a Quebec yard, That could mean a loss of some jobs here. Irving and of course the Shipyard Union doesn't want to see that happen, so they started the campaign to keep the work here. Plus, it could mean having less or cut some contractor work from the various shops supplying Irving with manpower and material.

A decision will soon be made about that from the Federal Government. Being a former Navy man based here in Halifax and an enthusiast about ships and the sea, I hope they squash that idea and the work remains here.

Keeping mind that maintenance work is separate from the actual building of the new ships. Currently the shipyard employs over 1900 people and growing.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Come Into My Shop

It's a historic day in Canada as recreational marijuana is now legal starting with the first sales in St. John's, Newfoundland just after midnight at 12:01. Canada joins other countries like Germany as well as several States in the US. 

Canopy Growth CEO Bruce Linton, left, poses with the receipt for the first legal cannabis for recreation use sold to Nikki Rose, centre, and Ian Power at the Tweed shop in downtown St. John's at 12:01 am NT on Wednesday. (Paul Daly/Canadian Press)

Unlike Newfoundland, here in Nova Scotia weed is only available in Liquor Stores (NSLC) across the province.

Share values for the licensed Grow-Ops across the country today should climb but weed shares have been up and down for months, kind of unpredictable like Bitcoin. However, for folks who bought shares at the beginning have certainly seen some awesome growth depending on the company invested in.

Since yesterday, being Tuesday, October 16th, the Markets have been improving from the broad sell off to close last week. Bitcoin as I expected also climbed back up to it's normal range of around $6500 USD.

Being interested in dividends from various sources, I added another Canadian monthly dividend REIT called PROREIT, Pro Real Estate Investment Trust (PRV.UN) that's heavy into retail and renting in Eastern Canada, spreading out west as well. PROREIT is under my TFSA umbrella.

Besides regular installments into my TFSA, I add a portion of funds coming from Bitcoin related opportunities (currently 4, watching for others that are updated on my Blog Notes). I watch both the Stock Market and Crypto Currency Market on a daily basis, although the Stock Market is closed on the weekends and holidays ... there's always buzz flying about leading up to the Monday openings.

Here in Nova Scotia and halfway through October, the woods are now a kaleidoscope of beautiful colors before the leaves begin to fall. Temperatures have neared freezing but we are not there yet with some mild days mixed in.



Saturday, October 13, 2018

Rogue Waves

Last week, millions of people got a taste of the crash with the Markets back 10 years ago in 2008. 

With a RRSP from work, I watched it lose 80% of it's value and wondering what kind of haywire outfit is my company using to invest my money. But, it's all driven by the 'benchmarks' of the Markets and if I did ask for a sell, that would of been foolish looking at the history of the ups and downs over the years and decades. Eventually they rebounded back to the original value and I was a happy, but relieved camper.

Keen investors watch until they figure the Markets are as about as low they figure they will go and then begin buying at a cheaper price than before the 2008 fiasco. As shares rise in value, others join in on a general 'Bull' run for awhile and the past drastic drop goes into the history books

In contrast and after the bubble popped with Bitcoin heading into 2018, it's quite clear to see how the above works as BTC climbed and fell, hundreds of USD dollars in value at a time. Bull and Bear runs. Buying low and selling high but the big difference, Bitcoin is a lot more unpredictable than the stock markets. In stocks there are normally signs of a storm to come as they did before last week's rout.



However, Bitcoin did fall with the Markets from it's average position hovering around $6500 USD... falling to around the $6,200 range for now. I expect it to rise to normal but again, highly unpredictable. Those who HODL, will be glad once it does climb again.

As for me, I tend to go for long term investing and that's what I seek, bracing for those rogue waves like last week although I enjoy a 'quick fix' for some excitement from time to time. Something with a quick gain.

Concluding for today, the flying public will be or should be glad to see that employees of the major airlines in Canada ... Air Canada and Westjet have mandated that even when off duty, those employees involved in the 'safe flight' aspect, can not use marijuana when it is legalized. Aircraft Maintenance Engineers and mechanics, for example ... that certify an aircraft safe and mechanically sound for flight.



Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Data Farming

Social Media and the farming out of data. That's a reoccurring topic in the news for 2018, starting with Facebook, front and center. Personal info being bought and sold on the advertising market place although our privacy is supposed to be protected?

Recently, Google removed Google+, it's version of social media like Facebook due to data breaches. It's different circumstances where hacker's don't stop until they find a way in and sell data on the black market. Election meddling comes to mind.

I use comparisons to make sense of things. Over 10 years ago when I started searching for my for first $1 USD, I figured I'd better read up on how. Browsing through and dismissing 'get rich quick' and 'millionaire overnight' stuff on Google search. (that continues today) I stopped and researched selling actual products for example and building a personal business; advertising to folks to see if they are interested in buying products. You really need a 'list' of people, contact information, etc. I read multiple times from various sources and articles on how to 'buy' a list of people on a regular basis. Well, that looks easy!

Being a green horn and novice I did just that with zero results and soon cancelled all that when I realized I was being taken for a ride and fell head long into my first online scam. List selling continues today. I eventually moved on to the passive side of earning a dollar online.

Some folks have a natural talent and drive for selling and making a good to luxury type living doing that without list buying. Real Estate agents come to mind. With experience and integrity, folks soon come to them as the word spreads.

Rewinding to Social Media and the farming out of data. Sort of the same thing with that list building outfit I subscribed to. They package people's information and sell it. Eventually flyers arrive in the mail and/or phone calls from solicitors,'call centers', etc. The spam folder filling up in your email provider with the odd one landing in your 'inbox' so you see it first where the sender hopes you open it. Christmas themed boxers 'half off' that light up and play a jingle.

I probably would of had a look at that one.

Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) scams are rampant for example: crooks phoning folks to deposit money in bogus accounts to pay their tax arrears. Where did they get the phone numbers? No doubt ... social media being one source.

All this selling of personal data and breaches shouldn't be happening of course but it's about making money and it's big business.

So, how do I protect myself from all this? Only solution I see is to either stay out of Social Media sites or use an alias/fake name with no contact or address details ... stay anonymous with just a nickname you select for example.



Sunday, October 7, 2018

Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in Canada and I'll top it off with a Turkey dinner.

The weather remains mild here in Nova Scotia with just a light coat required early morning until it warms up.

My Boys, the Montreal Canadiens surprised me again in their 2nd game of the season, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins, 5 - 1. Their star goalie, Carey Price is in great form and hopefully, hell stay injury free this season but it's a long grind with the 82 game
schedule.

Here, in the latter part of 2018, things got a tad more expensive for Canadians. The Bank of Canada is slowly hiking interest rates and the price of oil per barrel is up, fluctuating around $75 US. That makes gas and heating oil more expensive.

Here in Halifax, the building of high rise apartment buildings never stop, 12 months a year ... one after another and several at a time. That brings me to REIT's, Real Estate Investment Trusts, that own the majority of these buildings along with retail shopping complexes, malls and office buildings.

Buying into these REIT's in the stock market has been one of the steadier investments over time. The plus being, getting paid monthly dividends based on each 'share' owned. However, rising interest rates will have some affect on the price of the shares.
It costs more to mortgage these new buildings and when renewals come due for existing buildings not paid off ... plus loans for other expenses. There are few types of REIT's, ... residential, office focused, industrial, healthcare, etc.



However, long term is the plan and building monthly dividends for the future can be a great additional source of income. REIT'S aren't going anywhere but some mergers do happen where investors are informed in advance with the shuffling of their shares and dividends.

That's just one area of investing I find interesting and I'll get into more sectors in future posts.



Thursday, October 4, 2018

Speculatin'

The long awaited NHL season started last night as my team, the Montreal Canadiens were in Toronto to play the Maple Leafs. The Habs (Montreal) have a lot of new faces, playing with good speed and confidence. They gained 1 point with the loss to Toronto in overtime.

I was surprised to see a big crowd outside the stadium for the game. Usually only see that during the playoffs.

Next game will be another tough one against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Their captain is Sydney Crosby, Halifax (Cole Harbour) born and he has brought the Stanley Cup back to Halifax a few times in summers past.

Along with a portion of my pay, I bring some funds over from crypto-currency related ventures to invest in dividend paying stocks. I'm a novice DIY investor (Do It Yourself) and learning as I go; doing a lot of reading when time allows. So far. my first two additions are doing well.

These days, fees for Bitcoin transactions are very low on the blockchain, so small impact when I want to convert Bitcoin to cash for my Bank account. Bitcoin is hovering around the $6500 USD range for awhile now. When I convert Bitcoin to cash that is taxable in Canada.

Positive speculation or what I call, hype ... drives interest in both the bitcoin ventures and in the stock market. Specially, in the stock market. Reading up on some companies recently, investors could and have easily doubled and tripled their money in their stocks in a short time. These type are usually buy and sell at the peak when possible. Risky business for sure but many investors thrive on that and find it a thrill ride 'if' they manage to get a gain.

Using Elon Musk and his Tesla car business as an example. His recent shenanigans caused a negative ripple or speculation with investors that possible perception that the owner is a tad "off" so shares dropped as investors sold.

He has recently stepped down but will remain behind the scenes for three years as part of a settlement with the SEC.

One of my recent moves in a bitcoin related venture is Crypto 300 Club. Payments have been going out steady and in a timely manner to my external crypto wallet. As I mentioned above, I have an eventual home for those funds ... for even further gains is the long term plan. More on that in my next article.



Tuesday, October 2, 2018

About Me

Welcome to my new Nova Scotian Wired blog and comments are welcome.

I've moved around a lot in my life from the US to British Colombia, Ontario and to the east coast of Canada ... Newfoundland. I came to Nova Scotia when I was 17 years old and left for a few years only to return to this beautiful Atlantic ocean bound province ... guess it would be close to 30 years here all together by now. I lost track of how many trades and jobs I have done over the years. I guess I'm one of those guys who's always searching, need change and find it a challenge to get up to that next level in what I'm doing until that's the ceiling.

It's October and the temperatures are staying below 20 C, Normal for this time of year but we'll get the occasional warm day right up to the end of December before the snow usually falls here to stay.
Last winter was very mild and hoping for the same in 2019.

I like to Blog, express myself in the 'typed' word and write about various topics along with my passion, investing. Expense like fees and taxes are always in the back of my mind and how to chop them to a bare minimum. I've added a 'disclaimer' to my sidebar on the right. Basically it's the way I do things. Don't invest unless it's money you can afford to lose and any current rates, earnings and fees are subject to change at any time. Accept the risk when involved in the stock and/or crypto currency markets ... associated sites.

As I add content to this Blog and here for the long haul, my associated site I'll be linking to is Gord's Updates with pages ... Blog Notes, Tickers and Trending and The Fintrek.

My next post will be about speculation, fees and the crypto scene.