Friday, November 28, 2008
Nov 27th marks my first foray into the land of investing in the stock market. With stocks at incredible lows that haven't been seen in some cases since the 1930's it seems like the best time to get involved. I will be posting some of my findings, investments, strategies, lessons learned (I hope there aren't any hard ones) and I would love to hear people's comments and opinions as well. Since these investments are not short term the goal initially is to look at dividend paying companies that should stand the test of time. This means that financial outlets should be in there prominently ( regardless of the current condition of the financial sector and Citigroup )Also, whether we like it or not the world is addicted to oil and gas, so in my life time this seems like a safe bet.
The companies that I'm looking at right now are the following: Bank of Nova Scotia (although I was told yesterday that TD should be a better performer), Talisman Energy, H&R real Estate Investment Trust, Nexen, Boyd Gaming (this is a favourite of a friend of mine as it's related to construction in the gaming industry in Vegas), Citigroup, Aecon Group, and Encana. ( there are others) Of course investing in all of them at the same time would require a lot more capital than I have, so I have to keep my picks limited and maximize the investment (what I mean is, it makes no sense to put >1K in 8+ investments - it will take too long to see any results - as an example, If I invested 500$ in Nexen on Nov 2th at 16.50, today at 24.50 I saw a 50% increase and my investment is 750$, but had I invested 10,000$ I'd now have 15,000$. Also, since I'm after dividends, the more shares I own means more dividends I receive...as a side note - I met an investment broker through my partner that doesn't even speak to new clients unless they have 250K to invest...)
So....wish me good luck and who knows, maybe I'll write a book about how Joe Everyman can do the same thing and become wealthy (let's hope the book I write is not entitled "How I ruined our lives and became a bum by stupid investing")
Thursday, November 27, 2008
At the same time, French settlers, having crossed the ocean and arrived in Canada with explorer Samuel De Champlain also held huge feasts of thanks. They even formed 'The Order of Good Cheer' and gladly shared their food with their First Nations neighbours.
After the Seven Year's War ended in 1763 handing over New France to the British, the citizens of Halifax held a special day of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving days were observed beginning in 1799 but did not occur every year. After the American Revolution, American refugees who remained loyal to Great Britain moved from the United States and came to Canada. They brought the customs and practices of the American Thanksgiving to Canada. The first Thanksgiving Day after Canadian Confederation was observed as a civic holiday on April 5, 1872 to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) from a serious illness.
Starting in 1879 Thanksgiving Day was observed every year but the date was proclaimed annually and changed year to year. The theme of the Thanksgiving holiday also changed year to year to reflect an important event to be thankful for. In the early years it was for an abundant harvest and occasionally for a special anniversary.
After World War I, both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving were celebrated on the Monday of the week in which November 11 occurred. Ten years later, in 1931, the two days became separate holidays, and Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day.
On January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed:
A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed … to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.
Wikipedia is so informative...........
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
If you haven't seen the news, there is some crazy terrorist s**t going down in Mumbai right now. According to CNN there is 87 dead, 185 wounded, the five star Taj Mahal Hotel is on fire, there are hostages being held and terrorists have struck at popular tourist locations. See the story here http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/11/26/india.attacks/index.html
Everyone has one of those days where all around you seem to be born without their brains intact; and my day was yesterday. From beginning to end...all culminating in a massive headache that kept me from getting to sleep until after midnight. It started like this. I drove to work at my usual time - got behind a guy doing 50K in an 80K zone (not due to safety reasons mind you...just driving slow). Arrived at the office to 5 voice messages from the same guy asking the same question that he already had the answer to (funny, he was aware we start after 8am, but his calls started at 6am and he commented "why hasn't someone called me back?"). Then calls from customers asking ridiculous questions "I'd like this to be white - but black...small - but large...heavy - but light". Another asking me to stop everything I was doing to complete something for them that was critical - so I did. Then once completed and emailed, they immediately asked if I was also finished the original request and that what I had just done wasn't really all that critical as it was due in a couple weeks - and then got bitchy when I told them it would take another day to finish. nice - business would be easy if it weren't for the customers. While driving at lunch I was cut off by a guy texting while driving with his knees and took a couple nice rocks to the front of my car (thank god only rocks and not his car...this is when my headache started behind my ears...mild at first, but I knew it was going to be a doozy). The rest of the afternoon was spent arguing with multiple vendors about the wrong products they had sent, and more conversations with the aforementioned customers with more comments/questions that at this point were going in one ear and out the other (I'd tell you what they were, but remembering them is making the headache come back). The icing on the cake was the notice that an important transport truck wouldn't arrive until 8pm. So I volunteered to stay (since I had to finish the work for the customer who interrupted me all day). At 8pm the truck was no where to be seen and the dispatch guy, who for convenience sake, nicely gave us his cell phone number...decided to turn it off. My freight forwarder and I spent the next hour and bit trying to track the driver down. Finally he called at about 9:15 (i guess that's close to 8pm, right?). We loaded the truck...faxed the documents and I got to go home. Arrived at home with a pounding headache at 10pm. For the next 3 hours I sat there in silent pain as my head throbbed...I contemplated eating a couple Tylenol 3's we had in the medicine cabinet, but settled for an Advil and a glass of water instead. Finally somewhere around 1am I managed to fall asleep. Needless to say right now I'm a bit sleepy and cranky (and hungry...thank god it's lunch)
You can begin the 'awwww, you poor thing...' comments now. ;-)
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
All over the news was the reports of a large fireball jetting across the skies of Saskatchewan and Alberta. It supposedly is confirmed that it's NOT man made (not a plane or space junk). Was it a meteor ? UFO ? Superman falling to earth ? Starman ? E.T ? We'll see if they find the impact point. Have a look....
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
What do you think ?
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Even though the game was over the little guys night of flirting certainly was not. He gave all around us smiles and while we waited for an elevator ride to the main floor (no, not lazy, just worried about the spilled beer on the 'ladder like' concrete staircase and the 'stumbly' drunks around us....the stairs seemed steeper going down than going up) he entertained a blue haired lady who was quite taken by the boys blond locks and big blue eyes.
I think all in all the Saddledome NHL experience was a good one for Mom, Dad and Son and I'm sure we'll do it again.
Now...we'll see if we can get the man to sleep.....
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Just got back from the new Bond flick, Quantum of Solace. Over all I'd say it was a pretty good show and Criag again does a great job of playing the "cool as ice" man in the tux with a license to kill...and kill he does. From the opening sequence car chase to each and every "bad guy" he comes face to face with.
Quantum begins immediately after Casino Royale so you'll need to have seen Royale to understand what is driving Bond throughout this movie. For the most part, this seems like the last chapter of Royale and almost like it was a chunk of the original movie cut due to time...so they released it later a-la Kill Bill. Quantum does zero character development and doesn't explain his past relationships with people like Mathis and Felix, so again, make sure you see Royale before seeing this movie.
I think it's a solid movie, albeit short (105 minutes) and will do well at the box office. The fan boys will like the action and the Bond girls. I did like the nod to Goldfinger in this movie (the bad guys dispatched one of the girls in a similar maner).
Speaking of action, I'm not sure why directors have this facination with filming action sequences with all these blurry/jumpy quick shots. The director of Quantum, Marc Forster, most recently filmed 'The Kite Runner', 'Stay', 'Stranger Than Fiction', & 'Monster's Ball' which by no stretch were action films. This might explain why that techique is used as he's not an old hand with this type of genre so he might have fell pray to using cliches.
All I hope is that they keep Bond in a world that's believable and not give him invisable cars and have him go into space again and I'll keep coming back for more. I would assume that if this movie does well this weekend, production will begin on the next one.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I flew out to Vancouver for the day for a business trip. I decided to fly cheap and went with WestJet. I forgot how much they are like a "cattle car in the air". I'm not a super tall guy, but my knees ride close to the seat in front of me and thank god there was a small girl next to me so I could sit back and not have to sit sideways to fit. The flight is short and was uneventful. When I checked in at 'Budget' at YVR I thought I would go with a GPS (I used one before and it was really handy)...well, not this time...for some reason it wouldn't load where the car was and wouldn't update so I drove around for a while (got myself lost) then screwed withe the little garmin until it finally did what it was supposed to. Although, the route it created for me was a tour of all the back streets...and constantly had me turning left from a side street onto a major artery (painful). Then when I arrived at the address I realized that I just typed in Vancouver and not North Vancouver (in other words...I went to wrong address...duh). So, I figured that out and got back on route. All was good until I ended up in a cemetery and the GPS was telling me to go straight...unfortunately the dead peoples families would have been pissed with me if I did...so after spending 15 minutes finding a path around all the tombstones I made it.
I had a very productive meeting and got back in the Ford Escape and reprogrammed the garmin to take me back to the airport (god knows how I got where I was going with the path I took). Funny thing...the damn thing [GPS] must have remembered and figured that route was pretty neat, so it pretty much returned me to the airport the same way...and I can tell you...it was not the best way (I checked against directions from the google maps..had I done that route it would have taken 25 minutes...the garmin route was over an hour). Finally made it back the airport and after a very bumpy ride I'm home...put the little man to bed and now I'm typing while watching hockey highlights...exciting day huh ?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
November 11th is Remembrance day. Take this time to remember the sacrifice of the people who have fought and are fighting so that we have the freedom that most of us take for granted. For those of you who don;t know the history or the info have a look at this site http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=history/other/remember
Monday, November 10, 2008
Frank Miller, the man who brought us 300 and Sin City is now bringing us The Spirit. It looks, from the trailer, that this should be an interesting flick. My only concern is the visual similarity to Sin City. It's a cool effect, however, it could become stale if it's used too much. We'll see when it's released on Christmas Day.
The pictures won't be named so you'll need to look for the picture that is attached here.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Well....I think I'm going to try my best to participate in NaBloPoMo (which is just blogging every day for a month). I did miss Nov 2nd, but I'll count it since I've posted twice today. We;ll see if I can find something interesting (or not so interesting) to yak about daily. You would think, for a guy who likes to hear the sound of his own voice this shouldn't be too hard....only time will tell.