Stock Market Check-Back for September

So, we’re now into the final quarter of the year. The imaginary stock portfolio we set up on Jan 1, using Jason Kelly’s “The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing” is still making some very positive gains. Sparton Corp unseated the reigning champ Magna International with an amazing spike up to an 84% gain over its Dec 31 price. Sparton makes electronics, and they’ve been awarded a number of big military contracts this year. Their stock price has been growing steadily for the last few months, and it looks like they’ll have a outstanding 2013.

On the negative end of things, AEterna Zentaris and BlackBerry have both lost more than 30% of their share prices since the beginning of the year. BlackBerry is now being actively considered by a number of buyers — the most interesting of which is John Sculley, former CEO of Apple.

Overall, however, our little portfolio is going into its fourth quarter very strong. The US stocks have gained 17% over their Dec 31 value, and the Canadian stocks are up by 47%. If this was real life, I’d be a pretty happy investor right about now. We’ll check in again in November!

Company Name Closing Price
Dec 31
Closing Price
Sept 30
% Change
AEterna Zentaris Inc. 2.38 CDN 1.55 CDN -35%
Bombardier Inc. 3.76 CDN 4.79 CDN +27%
Callaway Golf Co. 6.50 US 7.12 US +10%
Cameron International Corp. 56.46 US 58.37 US +3%
Canadian Tire Corp. 81.00 CDN 128.00 CDN +58%
Cott Corp. 8.03 US 7.69 US -4%
Indigo Books & Music 10.68 CDN 10.50 CDN -2%
Koninlijke Philips Electronics 26.54 US 32.25 US +22%
Magna International Inc. 49.68 CDN 84.95 CDN +71%
BlackBerry 11.80 CDN 8.10 CDN -31%
Ryder Systems Inc. 49.93 US 59.70 US +20%
Sherwin-Williams Co. 153.82 US 182.18 US +18%
Sparton Corp. 13.87 US 25.50 US +84%
USG Corp. 28.07 US 28.58 US +2%
Westjet Airlines Ltd. 19.81 CDN 24.77 CDN +25%
Total Value $CDN $179.11 $262.66 +47%
Total Value $US $343.22 $401.39 +17%

Stock Market Check-Back for August

Hello!

Today, I’m reporting in on how our imaginary stock market portfolio did in the month of August. But first … a shameless promotion:

Shameless Promotion!
Give a boost to a creative project Library Life Hack is working on with Canadian writers Natasha Deen and Trent Wilkie, and illustrator Daniel Schneider: it’s a comic book set in Strathcona County, Alberta — the origin story of a wild west female superhero named Boy.

You can help this project soar by visiting our indiegogo page and leaving behind a teeny tiny investment (you’ll get something back in return), by leaving a comment, or by sending this along to your networks (all of which will earn you my undying gratitude and a whole lot of good karma.)

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

P.S. Let me also say that if you’ve ever wanted to be a comic book character yourself, this is your big chance …

And now, back to business. Our portfolio performed in August much the same as it did in July. Four stocks are in negative territory, and the star of the show continues to be Magna International, with a stellar 63% gain over its Jan 1 price. Canadian Tire and Sparton Corp. are in second and third place, at 36% and 35% gains.

Overall, the Canadian stocks have performed very well, cruising from a 3% gain on Feb 1 to a 34% gain as of Sept 1. (This despite a 35% loss from AEterna Zentaris.) The US stocks have held their own, wavering a few percentage points in each direction. It would be nice to see them start to gain a little bit of ground — but we’ll see what the final quarter of the year brings.

Company Name Closing Price
Dec 31
Closing Price
Aug 31
% Change
AEterna Zentaris Inc. 2.38 CDN 1.55 CDN -35%
Bombardier Inc. 3.76 CDN 4.79 CDN +27%
Callaway Golf Co. 6.50 US 6.92 US +6%
Cameron International Corp. 56.46 US 56.79 US +1%
Canadian Tire Corp. 81.00 CDN 109.85 CDN +36%
Cott Corp. 8.03 US 7.99 US 0%
Indigo Books & Music 10.68 CDN 10.60 CDN -1%
Koninlijke Philips Electronics 26.54 US 30.82 US +16%
Magna International Inc. 49.68 CDN 80.96 CDN +63%
BlackBerry 11.80 CDN 10.64 CDN -10%
Ryder Systems Inc. 49.93 US 55.61 US +11%
Sherwin-Williams Co. 153.82 US 172.40 US +12%
Sparton Corp. 13.87 US 18.77 US +35%
USG Corp. 28.07 US 23.34 US -17%
Westjet Airlines Ltd. 19.81 CDN 21.96 CDN +11%
Total Value $CDN $179.11 $240.35 +34%
Total Value $US $343.22 $372.64 +9%

Stock Market Check-Back for July

Hello! Here’s the update on the imaginary stock portfolio we put together back on Jan 1. You’ll also be able to find this in the Check-Back section.

And the round-up for July: only three stocks in negative territory (good), but two of those in double digits (not so good). One the up side, Magna International continues to lead the pack, with a 58% gain since January. The second place finisher is Bombardier Inc., which is up 32% and the bronze medal goes to Sparton Corp., which is up 28%. Overall, nine of our fifteen stocks are showing double-digit gains over the last seven months, which is great.

AEterna Zentaris has taken a pounding, it’s true. However, last week they announced that they’ve recruited and dosed the first patient for the Phase 3 clinical trial of a drug that treats endometrial cancer. I’ve come to realize that pharmaceuticals are a tricky stock market bet. When a drug starts clinical trials, there seems to be a lot of speculation that drives up prices — even though nothing’s really been proven at that point.

Company Name Closing Price
Dec 31
Closing Price
Jul 31
% Change
AEterna Zentaris Inc. 2.38 CDN 1.44 CDN -40%
Bombardier Inc. 3.76 CDN 4.96 CDN +32%
Callaway Golf Co. 6.50 US 7.18 US +10%
Cameron International Corp. 56.46 US 59.50 US +5%
Canadian Tire Corp. 81.00 CDN 98.25 CDN +21%
Cott Corp. 8.03 US 8.37 US +4%
Indigo Books & Music 10.68 CDN 10.98 CDN +3%
Koninlijke Philips Electronics 26.54 US 31.79 US +20%
Magna International Inc. 49.68 CDN 78.55 CDN +58%
BlackBerry Ltd. 11.80 CDN 9.02 CDN -24%
Ryder Systems Inc. 49.93 US 58.07 US +16%
Sherwin-Williams Co. 153.82 US 174.17 US +13%
Sparton Corp. 13.87 US 17.77 US +28%
USG Corp. 28.07 US 25.13 US -11%
Westjet Airlines Ltd. 19.81 CDN 21.96 CDN +11%
Total Value $CDN $179.11 $225.16 +26%
Total Value $US $343.22 $381.98 +11%

Stock Market Check-Back for June

Hello! Here’s the update on the imaginary stock portfolio we put together back on Jan 1. You’ll also be able to find this in the Check-Back section.

June wasn’t the greatest month for many of our stocks — four of them are in negative territory right now and only three gained on their May prices. But overall, with a 22% gain on our Canadian stocks and 11% on the US ones, the portfolio is still performing admirably.

The big winner in June is Magna International, which has gained a whopping 51% since Jan. Behind it are Bombardier Inc. and Sparton Corp., both with 24% gains. I’m a little concerned about Research in Motion, which has bounced between a 40% gain and a 6% loss in the first half of the year — but we’ll see what happens in July.

Company Name Closing Price
Dec 31
Closing Price
Jun 30
% Change
AEterna Zentaris Inc. 2.38 CDN 1.93 CDN -19%
Bombardier Inc. 3.76 CDN 4.68 CDN +24%
Callaway Golf Co. 6.50 US 6.58 US +1%
Cameron International Corp. 56.46 US 61.87 US +8%
Canadian Tire Corp. 81.00 CDN 92.54 CDN +14%
Cott Corp. 8.03 US 7.81 US -3%
Indigo Books & Music 10.68 CDN 11.04 CDN +3%
Koninlijke Philips Electronics 26.54 US 27.19 US +2%
Magna International Inc. 49.68 CDN 74.86 CDN +51%
Research in Motion Ltd. 11.80 CDN 11.08 CDN -6%
Ryder Systems Inc. 49.93 US 60.79 US +22%
Sherwin-Williams Co. 153.82 US 176.60 US +15%
Sparton Corp. 13.87 US 17.24 US +24%
USG Corp. 28.07 US 23.05 US -18%
Westjet Airlines Ltd. 19.81 CDN 23.00 CDN +16%
Total Value $CDN $179.11 $219.13 +22%
Total Value $US $343.22 $381.13 +11%

The $100 Startup

As you can see, some serious research going on here.


Hello and welcome to Week 19! I really do have to apologize for the long absence. I’ve been in Bermuda, investigating travel hacking and rum. Seriously. I wasn’t just slacking off in my hometown of Edmonton. Here’s photographic proof. (Actually, I think I might need to go back to Bermuda, just to make sure that I didn’t miss any vital details.)

This week’s post will cover some territory that holds a very special place in my heart. Most of the time, we talk about saving money, but here in Week 19, we’re actually going to talk about making money. The book we’re covering is “The $100 Startup”, written by Chris Guillebeau. Chris is also the founder of the World Domination Summit event in Portland, which is where I was exactly a year ago tomorrow.

Start Me Up
“$100 Startup” isn’t your typical business book. It talks about the new model of microbusiness, a class of business that can be started quickly and cheaply, often from the intersection of your passions and skills. As the prologue says, the microbusiness revolution is “a way of earning a good living while crafting a life of independence and purpose.” This book is a blueprint for doing just that, built from a multi-year study of people who’ve already done it.

I love this book because it’s about the doing, not just the theory behind the doing — complete with checklists and downloadable worksheets to give you something tangible to work with. And there’s a little bit of a back story here.

Word Domination Summit 2012
To say that Chris Guillebeau is a remarkable man is like saying that Bill Gates is kind of well-off. At the age of 35, Chris has authored two books (“$100 Start-Up” was a NY Times best seller), visited every country in the world and launched the annual conference called the World Domination Summit. Last year, I was lucky enough to score a ticket to the 2012 Summit.

It’s difficult to find the words to describe how creative, inspiring and just flat-out brilliant this experience was. The theme of WDS 2012 was “How Do You Live a Remarkable Life in a Conventional World?”, intertwining the ideas of adventure, community and service. This weekend event was two full days of mainstage presentations, interspersed with a selection of smaller workshops. The speakers were some of the brightest and best minds (and hearts) that America’s been blessed with. Among them:

  • Brene Brown, psychologist and presenter of one of the most-viewed TED talks of all time.
  • Scott Harrison, founder of charity: water, a revolutionary non-profit that I predict will forever change the way non-profits work.
  • Scott Belsky, co-creator of Behance, an online portfolio platform for creative professionals across multiple industries.

In the break-out workshops, I also got to meet and listen to Pace and Kyeli Smith, Sarah Peck, and the hilarious Colleen Wainwright.

There are web links connected to each of those names, and when you’re finished reading this post, check them out. You’ll be impressed. I guarantee it. Not just by their success, but by the quirky, authentic ways they’ve gone about being successful.

Here’s the Best Part
When I picked up my registration package for WDS 2012, there was a copy of “The $100 Startup” in it. I was pleased, but didn’t think much more about it. Until the final hour of this already-stellar weekend, when Chris Guillebeau did something heart-stopping.
He gave away $100,000.

Acting on the gift of an anonymous donor, he closed the loop and gave me (and 999 other people) $100 cash to “go out and start something great with”. If you have a free thirteen minutes, the video is worth watching.

Wonder what I did with my $100?

You’re looking at it.

I invested my $100 in the purchase of a domain and a custom blog package from WordPress. Then I started reading and writing, and began to clippity-clop my way down the yellow brick road towards the Wizard of Blog.

I Had No Idea It Would Be This Fun
Half a year into this experiment, I realize that I am not the greatest blogger Planet Earth has ever seen. My life has an annoying tendency to get in the way. I miss deadlines. I forget to shoot photos. I’m probably making social media mistakes that I’m too dumb to even be aware of.

But … I’m having a huge amount of fun. I get to indulge the outer limits of my curiosity, checking out books and videos on a ridiculously random rainbow of subjects. (Spun sugar sculpture, anyone?)

And … I’m excited and honoured every time I see a page hit. I’m grateful for the inspiration that WDS 2012 left me with, which turned out to be the genesis of Library Life Hack. And if you’re reading this sentence right now, know that I feel privileged that you’ve taken the time to read something I’ve written.

I truly mean that. Thank you.

signature

P.S. Starting this Friday, July 5, some 3000 people will be descending on Portland for WDS 2013. My little heart sings when I think about the amazing, life-changing weekend that’s waiting for them. Whee!

P.S.P.S. Yikes, I nearly forgot. By taking “The $100 Startup” out of the library, you’ll save an average of $17.34. (Which would buy you slightly more than two Rum Swizzles in Bermuda.)

Stock Market Check-Back for May

Hello! Here’s the update on the imaginary stock portfolio we assembled way back on Jan 1. You’ll also be able to find this in the Check-Back section.

May was a good month for our some of our stocks and a volatile one for others. But overall, our portfolio is looking great. The two stocks that were in negative territory at the end of April are recovering nicely.

The big winner in May was Magna International, with a 39% gain. (Clearly, their stock price didn’t suffer after the press reported an explosion at their plant on May 1.) As a group, our Canadian stocks are doing really well, and they continue to outpace their US counterparts.

If you’ve followed along since the beginning of the year, you’ll know by now that stock prices jump around a lot, month to month. I understand why “The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing” offers a lot of advice on the psychology of investment. You really do have to take the long view and ignore the fluctuations in price, or you’ll drive yourself crazy.

Company Name Closing Price
Dec 31
Closing Price
May 31
% Change
AEterna Zentaris Inc. 2.38 CDN 2.15 CDN -10%
Bombardier Inc. 3.76 CDN 4.70 CDN +25%
Callaway Golf Co. 6.50 US 6.85 US +5%
Cameron International Corp. 56.46 US 60.87 US +8%
Canadian Tire Corp. 81.00 CDN 96.76 CDN +19%
Cott Corp. 8.03 US 8.19 US +2%
Indigo Books & Music 10.68 CDN 10.90 CDN +2%
Koninlijke Philips Electronics 26.54 US 28.27 US +7%
Magna International Inc. 49.68 CDN 69.14 CDN +39%
Research in Motion Ltd. 11.80 CDN 14.45 CDN +22%
Ryder Systems Inc. 49.93 US 63.04 US +26%
Sherwin-Williams Co. 153.82 US 188.53 US +23%
Sparton Corp. 13.87 US 16.62 US +20%
USG Corp. 28.07 US 27.33 US -3%
Westjet Airlines Ltd. 19.81 CDN 23.25 CDN +17%
Total Value $CDN $179.11 $221.35 +24%
Total Value $US $343.22 $399.70 +16%

Stock Market Check-Back for April

Hello! Here’s the update on the imaginary stock portfolio we assembled way back on Jan 1. You’ll also be able to find this in the Check-Back section.

April was a pretty good month for our stocks. Only two of them are in negative territory, and some of them are doing spectacularly well. The juggernaut for April is Research in Motion, up a walloping 40% since the beginning of the year. However, Cott Corp. isn’t far behind at 36%, followed by WestJet at 25% and Magna International at 22%. It’s also worth mentioning that Sherwin Williams has gained almost $30 per share, with Canadian Tire and Magna International gaining more than $10 per share in the last four months.

The Canadian stocks are still outperforming the US ones, and that gap is starting to widen.

On the down side, AEterna Zentaris is still lagging. The company appointed a new CEO two weeks ago — we’ll see if this can produce some positive impact in May and June.

Company Name Closing Price
Dec 31
Closing Price
Apr 30
% Change
AEterna Zentaris Inc. 2.38 CDN 1.85 CDN -22%
Bombardier Inc. 3.76 CDN 4.00 CDN +6%
Callaway Golf Co. 6.50 US 6.70 US +3%
Cameron International Corp. 56.46 US 61.55 US +9%
Canadian Tire Corp. 81.00 CDN 91.50 CDN +13%
Cott Corp. 8.03 US 10.95 US +36%
Indigo Books & Music 10.68 CDN 11.49 CDN +8%
Koninlijke Philips Electronics 26.54 US 27.60 US +4%
Magna International Inc. 49.68 CDN 60.60 CDN +22%
Research in Motion Ltd. 11.80 CDN 16.50 CDN +40%
Ryder Systems Inc. 49.93 US 58.07 US +16%
Sherwin-Williams Co. 153.82 US 183.11 US +19%
Sparton Corp. 13.87 US 13.89 US 0%
USG Corp. 28.07 US 25.99 US -7%
Westjet Airlines Ltd. 19.81 CDN 24.68 CDN +25%
Total Value $CDN $179.11 $210.62 +18%
Total Value $US $343.22 $387.86 +13%