Weekly Linkfest #20

Weekly Linkfest #20

I gotta come up with a new title for these soon. I can’t count past 24.

Oh really? That’s the joke that makes you unsubscribe?

Speaking of subscribing, let me tell you kids about the new and improved Financial Uproar newsletter. It’s chock full of exclusive content at least once a week. None of that crap where I just recycle the stuff I put on the blog last Tuesday. It’s 100% new and it’s 1,000% good.

No, YOU’RE bad at percentages.

Last week’s email talked about an investing supertrend that you’re probably not aware exists, yet it’s gonna be huge. And the one the week before came with a special eight-page free report on one of my favorite stocks for the next year… or five years. I think it’s a terrific long-term hold, anyway.

It’s too late to get in on the supertrend article unless you successfully convince a current subscriber to forward you the goods. But you can still get the free top stock of 2017 report. All you gotta do is sign up for the newsletter and it’s my gift to you.

You’re not going to want to wait, either. It’s going away. Soon, too.

Newsletter subscribers will be getting all sorts of exclusive stuff in 2017 that won’t be accessible on the blog. So what are you waiting for? Sign up!

 

Links I liked

1. Let’s start things off with a little Bernie Madoff action because that’s amusing to me. It turns out he cornered the market on hot chocolate in prison, forcing anyone who wanted some to go through him. Once again Bernie is PLAYING WITH PEOPLE’S LIVES.

2. I’m not sure we can top the Bernie Madoff hot chocolate story, but let’s try. How about a multi-millionaire blogger that is paralyzed from the neck down? That’s pretty bananas, right?

3. Ever wondered why you can never get tickets for that hot concert or sporting event? It’s because you’re in competition with thousands and thousands of robots. And your unemployed brother-in-law. DAMMIT LARRY STOP HITTING REFRESH AND GET A JOB. Unless it’s at Financial Uproar. Then it’s cool.

4. Here’s Oddball Stocks on why he doesn’t use watch lists. I struggle with this but have tended to come to the same conclusion over the years. It takes too much mental energy to keep track of dozens of stocks in a watch list. So I don’t bother.

5. Paul over at Asset Based Life has some thoughts on the 4% withdrawal rule, which are, like always, worth your time. It turns out he doesn’t use the 4% rule when it comes to his own retirement assumptions. Prepare to get beaten up by a bunch of 38-year-old retirees, Paul.

6. Don’t Quit Your Day Job joins my stock picking contest each year. PK even won it a couple years back. Here’s an explanation on why he picked two airlines and two retail stocks for this year’s competition.

7. Sears is such a joke. The money quote:

Lampert, a former Wall Street prodigy, took control of Sears more than a decade ago and became its CEO in 2013. But he’s rarely seen in the office, typically visiting about once a year for the shareholder meeting and projecting into videoconference rooms at Sears’ Hoffman Estates, Illinois, headquarters the rest of the time, according to interviews with employees.

Outstanding. That is Sears in a nutshell. The CEO can’t even will himself to show up anymore.

8. Freedom 35 Blog has a great guide comparing Canada’s major bond ETFs. Y’know, if you’re one of those people who actually owns bonds in their portfolio.

9. My own Advisor tackled one of the questions us in the blogging business get fairly often: If you’re so smart then why aren’t you retired yet? I don’t plan to retire until the golf course drops its membership price to under $1,000 per year. Or when I start to understand inflation.

10. Nomad Capitalist thinks y’all should stop reading financial blogs that focus on frugality and spend more time thinking about big picture stuff.

11. Alpha Vulture highlights another attractive merger arbitrage idea in the land of micro-caps. This one could make you a cool 19% in just a few months.

12. And finally, here’s a good article at Morningstar about when it’s smart to incorporate and when you should keep going as a sole proprietor.

Stuff Nelson wrote

As a reminder, you can hire me to write for your blog, newspaper, or poorly-Xeroxed newsletter. Hit the ol’ contact me page to get the ball rolling. 

1. Here’s five reasons why your house is likely a terrible investment. But it’s okay. You can buy one anyway.

2. I also wrote about five top stock picks from Quebec’s Desjardins Capital Markets.

Tweet of the week 

That carrot is going to haunt my dreams.

Have a good week, everybody.

Weekly Linkfest #19

Weekly Linkfest #19

Winter sucks. It sucks balls.

Canada would be the perfect place to live if it wasn’t for the four months of the year the whole damn country turns into an icicle. We have it all: a beautiful country filled with natural wonders as far as the eye can see; enough extra space to make 1938 Hitler happy; democratically elected governments (mostly) free of corruption; enough wealth that poor neighborhoods are the exception, not the norm; and finally, we don’t have some weird fascination with guns that causes an untold amount of violence.

I just can’t get over the weather. The easy solution is to schedule a couple of winter holidays to break up the drudgery of minus 20, but such vacations are expensive. It turns out EVERYONE wants to leave Canada when it gets cold. Imagine that.

Our shit-ass dollar isn’t helping, either. Back when the canuck buck at far versus the U.S. Dollar, America and Mexico were cheap. I remember staying in a four-star hotel in Las Vegas for $29 per night, plus the $329 resort fee (I’m exaggerating, but only slightly). That’s the kind of holiday I can get behind.

Although this makes my cheap, cheap heart sad, I’m beginning to think that I’m going to just start paying the extra money to go on vacation when other people do. If it’s expensive to go away between Christmas and New Year’s, oh well. If that’s the time we both have off work then I guess that’s when the vacation is happening.

Links I liked

1. Let’s start things off with Roadmap to Retire, who asked 30+ different bloggers for their top investing idea of 2017. If you’re looking for investing ideas, that’s a good place to start.

2. Oddball Stocks wrote about an interesting bank trading at just 44% of book value.

3. Bronte Capital’s blog has some thoughts about averaging down on a losing position, and how it’s (mostly) a sucker’s game. Not sure I agree with his thoughts fully, but that’s the beauty of investing. It’s hard to figure the correct averaging down strategy. Really hard.

4. Here’s a mortgage broker whose whole portfolio consists of real estate (both as a landlord and private lender) as well as cannabis stocks. Yikes.

5. Andrew Hallam asks an interesting question. 1994-2016 was the greatest bull market in the history of Vancouver real estate. Yet how did the average house do against a basket of Canadian stocks?

6. Congrats to Krystal Yee over at Give Me Back My Five Bucks, who managed to save 50% of her income in 2016.

7. Boomer and Echo is giving away a personal finance book to one lucky reader who isn’t me. It turns out I can’t enter any of his contests because I made fun of his terrible stock picks. I have no regrets.

8. Alpha Vulture wrote about a stock called Retail Holdings, which is a liquidation play that is in the process of selling off the company in parts. Here’s the most interesting part of his article:

Chris DeMuth Jr., one of the most popular Seeking Alpha authors, published his thesis on the company last week and called it his top pick for 2017. The market didn’t ignore him, and shares rose 25.8% from $14.70 to $18.50.

It amazes me that a guy on Seeking Alpha can move the price of a publicly-traded company by 25%. Aside: DeMuth and his team are absolute pros at using Seeking Alpha as a marketing tool. Every wannabe hedge fund manager should be paying attention.

9. Janine over at My Pennies My Thoughts weighed in on a thorny issue for many Albertans — the CARBON TAX (DUNN DUNN DUNN). While Janine is right that the tax will only affect the average person in a relatively small way, I’m still not going to cheer anything that takes money from my wallet, especially in the midst of Alberta’s worst recession in 30 years.

10. And finally, Ian Bezek, one of my favorites from Seeking Alpha, weighs in on recent weakness affecting traditional shopping mall retailers. I find this whole issue fascinating. On the one hand, it’s obvious a lot of traditional retailers are hurting. But on the other, I went to malls a couple times during December and they were bananas.

Stuff Nelson wrote

As a reminder, you can hire me to write for your blog, newspaper, or poorly-Xeroxed newsletter. Hit the ol’ contact me page to get the ball rolling. 

I’m currently in negotiations with a new writing client for some articles on dividend investing. I’ll make sure to keep you kids in the loop. In the meantime, here are a couple of the best articles I wrote for Motley Fool this week.

1. I talked about a little-followed demographic trend that could end up being good news for Canada’s cable TV sector.

2. I also weighed in on Kevin O’Leary’s opinion about Canada’s grocery stocks, which included this gem of a quote:

If you lived badly on earth and you go to hell in perpetuity, your job is running a grocery store.

Tweet of the week

Have a good week, everyone.

Weekly Linkfest #18

Weekly Linkfest #18

Finally, the weekly linkfest is old enough to drink — at least in Alberta. But it won’t because there are already enough typos around here.

Let’s talk a little about a movie the missus and I watched on the Netflix the other night called The Minimalists. As you might expect, it was filled with all sorts of self-righteous people who figured out that not only is the key to happiness getting rid of most of your stuff, but you also have to talk about it. Over and over again.

Every story was the same. We were struggling. I wasn’t happy. Life sucked. And then, suddenly, I discovered minimalism and everything ended up okay. Yay, minimalism! My life is so simple now!

I don’t want to totally crap on minimalism, because a really easy way to end up with more cash is to not buy so much stuff. Most people have a spending problem and should really embrace buying less junk. But for most of us, it’s really hard to go from “buy everything” to “reduce your life to 52 possessions.” No. Screw that. Buy things that make your life better. Just don’t go nuts about it.

There was one point in the movie where someone was talking about how he needed some object and didn’t have it, but it was okay because someone let him borrow it and gosh, what a nice thing. Look at how loving communities can be!

Barf. Screw the community. There’s something to be said about being self-sufficient. We all have that friend who asks for everything because they don’t even try to do stuff on their own. Don’t be that friend. “Hey, friend with stuff! Can I borrow some of your stuff?”

By far my favorite part about minimalism is when they start to travel. Because they always do. “I have no more things. Now I can do what I’ve always dreamed of. Traveling the world!” If that’s what someone wants to do, then go ahead. See if I care. But isn’t minimalism supposed to be about simplifying life? Tell me how trying to traverse a new city every few days is simple. Spoiler alert: it’s not.

Links I liked

Two weeks worth of links, huh? Oh, this should be easy.

1. Let’s start with Boomer and Echo, where Robb posted that his net worth surpassed $500k this year despite only having a lowly government job and a stay-at-home wife. Impressive results, except we can’t really rule out that he’s selling meth.

2. Divestor, one of my favorite investing blogs, is doing his own AMA. Feel free to go and ask him such questions as “who are you” and “what do you want.” And while you’re at it, feel free to ask me a question or two on my own AMA.

3. Ever heard of Napoleon Hill, who wrote the classic self-help book Think and Grow Rich? You probably have. It’s been a consistent best seller for decades now. Anyhoo, turns out Napoleon was quite the scam artist.

4. I enjoyed the year in review by Million Dollar Journey, who has been blogging for 10 years now. That’s impressive, but I’ve actually been blogging for 59 years. Yeah, I started in 1957.

5. Want to save $100,000 in a year? Steveonomics tells you how it can be done.

6. Congrats to Freedom 35 Blog who has officially moved from a middle-class income to upper middle class. Somebody better alert the authorities.

7. Next up is My Pennies My Thoughts, who points out that it’s really not that hard to become a rich renter. In fact, it might even be the ideal path to take in 2017 considering the insane price of real estate in most Canadian cities.

Jeez, this is tougher than I thought. There are a lot of bloggers who completely take the holidays off. Time for some big media I guess.

8. This has nothing to do with finance, but I still laughed my ass off. It’s an article called I don’t let my kids watch Winnie The Pooh because I don’t want them growing up idolizing a fat virgin.

9. Here are two hedge fund managers talking about how to identify crappy businesses.

10. And finally, here’s a convincing argument for investing in net net working capital stocks. These are the cheapest of the cheap stocks, and it turns out they’ve performed pretty well.

Stuff Nelson wrote

As a reminder, you can hire me to write for your blog, newspaper, or poorly-Xeroxed newsletter. Hit the ol’ contact me page to get the ball rolling. 

Just a couple of Motley Fool articles this week.

1. Here are some timeless lessons from one of my favorite value investors, Walter Schloss.

2. And here’s a list of 10 of the cheapest companies in Canada on a price-to-book basis.

Tweet of the week

Have a good 2017, everybody.

Weekly Linkfest #17

Weekly Linkfest #17

By the time y’all are reading this, I’ll be in a tiny sky tube on my way to a much-deserved (lol just kidding) winter holiday. Where are we going? You’ll have to follow me on the Twitter to find out. Or not. See if I care.

ACTUALLY I CARE VERY MUCH PLEASE LOVE ME BUT ALSO KEEP YOUR DISTANCE NOBODY LIKES A CLINGER.

We come back to Canada on Christmas morning, which might be the best idea I’ve had in the history of ever. Here’s how Christmas goes for a full 98% of the population:

8:00-10:00: Open presents
10:01-4:00: Make terrible conversation
4:01: Oh thank Christ it’s time for dinner
4:30: It’s now acceptable to get drunk

It’s fun being a kid on Christmas morning. You’ve got all this new crap to play with and likely some cousins over to play it with. For adults? It’s the most awkward time of the year. There’s only so much conversation you can make with your brother-in-law before you want to punt him in the gonads. God, why did your sister have to marry such a tool?

This is the whole reason why the NBA decided to put games on Christmas. There’s football on this year too. That’s enough sports to keep the whole family happy. Let the women cook dinner while you watch sports. At least both you and your stupid sister’s husband can agree that nobody likes Eli Manning. He might even give a crap about your fantasy team!

Just kidding. Nobody gives a crap about your fantasy team. Not even the guys in your league.

Links I liked

1. Let’s start things off with Young and Thrifty, who every now and again will hit a real home run. Their latest post on how to get free magazines is one of the better things written lately.

2. Base Hit Investor asks what your edge is as an investor. And no, the answer isn’t always you know more than the other guy. In fact, that’s rarely the answer.

3. Like charts? Of course you do, nerd. Here are 75 different charts from Maclean’s Magazine covering everything from the economy to venture capital investment on a per capita basis. Go geek out, fellow chart nerds. Nobody will judge you.

4. B.C. announced it would lend home buyers up to $37,000 for a down payment on overpriced Vancouver real estate. For real. No, I’m not lying. I swear it’s true. Tawcan weighs in to tell everyone just how dumb the program is.

5. Parks Canada is giving away free national park passes for 2017. Every 100th pass comes with the right to litter as much as you want. It’s okay, the grizzly bears will just clean it up. Those morons will eat anything.

6. Canadian Mortgage Trends talks about how the mortgage industry is about to be changed via technology. It’s not just mortgages either; these kinds of changes will rock many different industries.

7. Many bloggers post monthly account updates. Money Geek is one of the few that makes sure readers get educated at the same time. Here’s his latest TFSA update which is dripping with wisdom about the oil market.

8. I like Paul from Asset Based Life’s grandma, who insisted on no Christmas presents you couldn’t eat, drink, or rub on your body. GASP GRANDMA YOU DIRTY HORNDOG YOU.

9. The I Will Teach You To Be Rich blog has a great post on how to decline an invitation somewhere without pissing off the person who invited you. Great advice.

10. And finally, here’s Andrew Hallam telling y’all how dumb it is to sell your stocks just because the market has hit a new all-time high. I’ll have some more thoughts on that with tomorrow’s post.

Stuff Nelson wrote

As a reminder, you can hire me to write for your blog, newspaper, or poorly-Xeroxed newsletter. Hit the ol’ contact me page to get the ball rolling. 

It appears as though one of Nelson’s regular writing customers doesn’t need his services anymore. I’ve finally been ghosted. I feel your pain, overly clingy girls who come on way too strong.

Here’s some other stuff I wrote, anyway.

1. I wrote about the Toronto real estate bubble for Motley Fool. Will 2017 be the year it bursts? Maybe!

2. I also wrote about a smallish REIT that might be Canada’s cheapest company.

3. And over at Sustainable Personal Finance, I talked about how it’s okay to borrow money from family. Hell, I’m even okay with you lending it out, provided it’s a business transaction. As in, charge them interest yo.

Tweet of the week

Have a good week, everyone.

Weekly Linkfest #16

Weekly Linkfest #16

In honor of Linkfest number 16, let’s talk about the worst television show in the history of the planet. No, not Grey’s Anatomy, even though that show is worse than a heroin needle sundae. Woof. Not even all the hot woman doctors can save that thing.

I’m talking about a program that was on MTV called My Super Sweet 16, a reality show that profiled wealthy parents who would throw huge 16th birthday parties for their entitled brat children.

Each show followed a predictable formula. They’d interview the stupid kid who would always have some sort of problem with the proceedings. Their rich parents only gave them a budget of $25,000 which wouldn’t be NEARLY enough. Or the parents would get mad at something else. Or the nerdy kid from school would show up, thereby RUINING EVERYTHING.

Note: I played the nerdy kid in six different episodes. Where’s my credit, INDB?

One kid got a new Lexus for her birthday. She then screamed her mother “ruined her life” before running off and presumably beheading a poor innocent pool boy.

This show lasted for three seasons and then they made a movie. Of course they did. I found the trailer and I beg you not to watch it.

I would like the last 10 minutes of my life back. Who do I talk to about that?

Links I liked

Are any of you still left reading after that? Probably not.

1. Let’s start things off with Tawcan (aside: what’s a Tawcan?), who made a very detailed RRSP guide for millennials. Anyone over 35 is forbidden from clicking that link.

2. Freedom 35 Blog talks about one of my favorite subjects (which is chronically misunderstood or minimized by people who don’t get it), opportunity costs. No, a dollar earned today isn’t worth the same as a dollar earned two decades from now. Not even close.

3. Nice post by Ian Bezek, who clearly just made up a new last name after realizing Ian Smith wasn’t going to get him found on Google. He points out that millennials actually are starting to buy houses and move to the suburbs.

Two articles featuring millennials? Time to step up your game, Nelson.

4. Over at Boomer and Echo, Marie reviewed Market Masters, a book that interviewed 28 of Canada’s top fund managers and stock investors. I have also read that book, which checks in at 620+ meaty pages. My two sentence summary: if you’re not really into such things, don’t even bother. It drags on and he doesn’t help by summarizing 15 page interviews.

5. Most websites don’t even have one good writer. Don’t Quit Your Day Job has two of the best. While regular writer PK takes time off to get yelled at by his wife not miss a second of his new child’s life, Cameron Daniels has stepped in with some really interesting stuff. His latest is how we’re way too confident in making decisions.

6. Money Geek wonders why stocks didn’t crash after Trump got elected, even though all signs pointed towards such a thing happening. I know why. It’s because TRUMP IS THE GREATEST PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES AND HE HASN’T EVEN DONE ANYTHING YET GOD I LOVE HIM BUT NOT IN A SEXUAL WAY THAT’S GROSE GEEZ.

7. I was buying Hudson’s Bay Company shares this week. My fellow Fool.ca writer Will Ashworth agrees with me, saying he thinks HBC is the best deep-value play on the TSX.

8. The Hater’s Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog is always a fun read. This year’s edition came with extra Tartan, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean.

9. Here’s an article on the Medallion Fund, one of the most successful–and secretive–hedge funds of all time.

10. And finally, from 1994, here’s a New Yorker profile on Bill Gates. The reporter’s skepticism of email alone is worth the click.

Stuff Nelson wrote

As a reminder, you can hire me to write for your blog, newspaper, or poorly-Xeroxed newsletter. Hit the ol’ contact me page to get the ball rolling. 

Not much going on in the Nelson writing for others this week, so allow me to present a couple of Motley Fool articles and let you get back to football.

1, I wrote about Aimia’s preferred shares, which yield 10.4% and have great dividend coverage. I own a bunch of them.

2. I also talked about protests hitting the pipeline business, and how that impacts certain operators over others.

Tweet of the week

Yeah, I know I’m terrible.

Have a good week, everybody.