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Discussion Starter #1
May 29th, 2009.

My first entry. Hopefully I can update at least once per week. Since I have no liability, I will have two sections: net worth and spending.

Net Worth: +6.21%. YTD: +14.33%

After two great months, May was a bit disappointing. The first week was great, but things stalled after that. S&P 500 failed to break the 200 days moving average or it's Jan highs. However, the biggest pain came from Canadian dollar. It soared from 83 cents to 91 cents and knocked about 1.5% from my net worth growth. On the other hand, May had three pay days, so that helped. Overall, a volatile month with very little to show for it.

I was extremely worried about the gold price, so I started to track my net worth in term of gold and silver. Surprisingly, gold didn't change much in Canadian dollar despite the spike of the US price. Silver, on the other hand, went up significantly this year. In term of silver, my net worth dropped 8.84% this year. Grrrr....

I stopped my dollar averaging plan in the middle of this month since I need to rebalance my portfolio and move to ETFs. To avoid the superficial loss rule, I have to stop buying for 60 days. I am going to use TD managed aggressive growth as a intermediate vessel for 30 days since I am not sure whether the efunds and ETFs are considered identical investments. It's a very expensive transaction, but I have little choice due to the stupid tax law.

Looking forward, S&P 500 is running out of waggling room. The 50 days moving average is less than 70 points below the 200 days moving average and the gap is closing fast. Overall, I am still very bearish since the economy is showing no signs of recovery. Therefore, I think it's more likely S&P 500 will tank than breaking upwards. I do not consider the March low as a bottom until the 50 DMA passes 200 DMA decisively. Not that it has any bearing on my investments. My net worth will possibly drop next month.

Spending: +22% above budget.
This is the first month of my new budget and there are some one time items, so I will give it the benefit of doubt for now. Food is clearly over budget though and I will have to cut back dining out. Mass transit turned out to be both expensive and time consuming. I will move back to car next month and see how that would work out.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
June 6th, 2009

Net Worth: MTD +2.06%. YTD: +16.69%

Well, a very interesting week. First of all, the currency situation reversed. All the gains came from the falling Canadian Dollar. The week was flat in $US. Gold and Silver also lost some ground.

In the market, both Dow and S&P passed their 200 days moving average. More precisely, the dropping 200DMA passed them. Dow is struggling with the YTD break even line whereas S&P failed to break Jan's high. The end result is the waggle room is even smaller for both of them. We will see whether they break the resistance or back down from 200 DMA. I would remain bearish until the 50 DMA passes the 200 DMA.

The TSE is another story. The 50 DMA passed the 200 DMA and the uptrend continues. It's both smaller and less diversified than the S&P though.

I used morningstar for the first time. It's cumbersome and inflexible, but I can't seem to find a better tool. I was actually surprised to learn that bonds only makes up about 20% of my portfolio. However, since it did not count my emergency fund, I am still comfortable with the asset allocation. I certainly need to boost emerging market and REIT though.

Spending
Food: 19% of budget.
Housing: 100%
Transportation: 26.28%
Phone: 0%
Misc: 12%

I did cut back eating out a bit, not much though. I am also driving again. I don't know how that would impact my transportation cost yet, but it's certainly a lot less time consuming. I know earth is important, but until they build a viable and cheap mass transit system, I don't think I have much of a choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
June 13th, 2009

Net Worth: MTD +3.79%. YTD: +18.66%

Fairly uneventful week, the resistances for Dow and S&P both proved to be made of iron. Not even Thursday's surprise job numbers could lift the indexes pass them. The S&P went up 0.4% for the week. The good thing is there was no massive drop either, so we are kind of stuck in neutral. At least the 200DMAs are still holding. The 20DMA limb passed the 200DMA for S&P with the 50DMA approaching slowly. I am still doubtful of any further gains, but we will see.

TSX continues to do ok. The Canadian dollar continues to fluctuate, causing wild swings of my net worth. Well, at least it's worth more in gold now after the Friday's crash. :)

I did sell my couch potato portfolio (well half of it, the other is being tied up by the 90 days selling limit). I didn't buy TD managed aggressive growth though and would leave the money in cash for 30 days to avoid the superficial loss rule. The reason was that a large portion of the money is in US dollar and I don't want to convert back and forth. Also, the asset allocation of TD Managed does not match Couch potato anyway. This was a risky move as I would be missing market action for 30 days. Given my luck, I am sure the market will soar, so jump in while you can. :)

I also gave up on morningstar. Any update is not reflected in the merged portfolio, which is kind of stupid. Haven't found an alternative though.

Spending
Food: 78% of budget.
Housing: 100%
Transportation: 26%
Phone: 0%
Misc: 82%

Sigh.... Maybe my budget is just not realistic. Will adjust next month.
 

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Net Worth: MTD +3.79%. YTD: +18.66%
The % gain looks great :D
I'm also happy with that the S&P and TSX are both holding up quite well.

Spending
Food: 78% of budget.
Housing: 100%
Transportation: 26%
Phone: 0%
Misc: 82%
Is this week 3 or is this supposed to go until the end of this month? When I started keeping track of all my expenses, I was also surprised that I was spending a lot on certain categories (For me, it was dining $ = grocery $.) And as I continued to keep track of my spending and income, I also learned that there is no such thing as a "typical month" because there seems to be something different every month (both on income and expenses). I personally found it helpful to have some flexibility in the budgeting. But I'd be interested to find out how your budgeting eventually works out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks The_Number. The net worth gain includes my savings, that kind of covers my lame investment performance. :)

The budget number was for end of week 2. As you could see, I was way over budget. The problem with groceries is that I buy things other than for cooking, like fruits, cakes, etc... I should really create a new category for those things.

Anyway, here are this week's number

June 20th, 2009

Net Worth: MTD +2.47%. YTD: +17.24%

A down week. As expect, Dow turned lower after being stonewalled at resistance. It broke both the 20 and 200 DMA. The 200 DMA for S&P held though. And the 20 days moving average for Nasdaq also held, which was encouraging. Overall, the action was fairly tame and it seems that we are back to a narrow trading range. However, it's much narrower than before, so we can expect either an upside or a downside break pretty soon. I am still concentrating on S&P's 50 days moving average and watching whether the bear can stop it from passing the 200DMA.

I am still in the process of waiting out the superficial loss. In the mean time, I resumed my DCA via the ING streetwise fund. What a disappointment! The trading platform sucks. No historical price info and they are still showing June 18th's price. The settling period is 3 days even for mutual funds. And they took my money right away. Their ISA is holding my money for a long time and I can only buy the fund they recommended. Overall, it was a very bad experience.

Spending
Food: 180% of budget.
Housing: 100%
Transportation: 37%
Phone: 117%
Misc: 158%

As you can see, the budget is breached all over the place. Part of the reason was that I didn't budget for groceries. I will increase my food budget by 100% next month and see how that would work out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
June 28th, 2009

Net Worth: MTD +4.44%. YTD: +19.50%

As expected, after being stonewalled at resistance last week, the market finally crashed on Monday. Dow and S&P punch through both the 50 DMA and 200DMA. However, S&P's 50DMA managed to cross the 200DMA on Tuesday and it ended up recoup all of Monday's lost. The dow, however, is being pressured by downward trending 200DMA.

I made a second sell on Monday. Big mistake, but a perfect ending to a high MER fund that cost me dearly over the years. I am struggling with the planed purchase of ETFs though. I don't have enough money outside RRSP to buy the stock portion. I need to decide what to put in RRSP. The US index fund is probably the best candidates, but TD's RRSP account does not take $US.

I continued DCA with ING. They ended up sending me a transaction record every day and they are piling up quickly. They allow daily pre-authorized purchase, but I have to wait 10 days for it to start. I am so fed up with them.

Spending
Food: 252% of budget.
Housing: 100%
Transportation: 102%
Phone: 117%
Misc: 783%

Well, not much I can say. There are some one-time items, but overall, a bad month.
 
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