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.

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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%

The 4-Hour Workweek: Fact, Fiction or Fantasy?

Hey, hey, hey! It’s Week 11 here at Library Life Hack and we’re going to talk about some extreme productivity hacking, courtesy of one of the first books to seriously tackle this topic: “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss.

Timothy Ferriss is a 35-year-old American business and lifestyle writer. “4-Hour Workweek” came out in 2007 and was an enormous success, especially considering the fact that he was a completely unknown author. The book became a New York Times #1 bestseller and remained on the Times’ bestseller list for four years. Since then, he’s published two additional books: “The 4-Hour Body” and “The 4-Hour Chef” (which we took a look at in Week 9.)

“4-Hour Workweek” met with wildly contrasting reviews. Some people thought he was brilliant, some thought he was crazy, and many were convinced he was lying (you can find an especially scathing post on the blog of career writer Penelope Trunk). But … most everyone sat up and took notice of him. I’ve wanted to read this book for quite a while, and I challenged myself to try bombing through it in a workweek.

And?
Well, for starters, I can easily see why it was so successful. Even though it’s 297 pages, it’s a remarkably easy and engaging read. Timothy Ferriss is a very compelling story teller. And I don’t mean that in a negative way. The ability to tell a good story is a rare – and extremely powerful – skill. The storytelling is coupled with the ability to lay out big ideas in a simple way and make the reader believe that he or she is perfectly capable of replicating the business success described by Ferriss.

It’s also highly action-oriented. Each chapter has questions to ask yourself, action steps and challenges. In this way, it’s more of a workbook than a book.

Forty to Four
If you want a four-hour workweek, Timothy Ferriss believes that there are two paths to follow:

  • Become an entrepreneur. Find an easy-to-manufacture product that can be sold for a significant markup, develop solid marketing and once your sales are established, completely automate the business so that you don’t have to be onsite.
  • If you don’t want to become an entrepreneur, hone your productivity in the office to razor-sharpness and then negotiate a remote working arrangement. Once that’s established, take yourself and your arrangement out of the country and start living large.

Simple Enough. And Yet…
I do believe that the four-hour workweek is perfectly achievable for a disciplined entrepreneur, although I think that it’s realistically preceded by a lot of workweeks that are about 20 times that long.

But I’m not 100% convinced that those of us who are employees can whittle our workweeks down that low without raising some serious eyebrows in our offices (or just inviting additional work to appear, in order to fill in that unsightly gap.)

But He’s Not Completely Crazy
Can you effectively work from another country? And would it be fun? I have a tiny bit of experience here. Three years ago, I went on a two-week holiday to England. The day before we were leaving, a volcano in Iceland blew its top and grounded all air travel in Europe. My fourteen-day vacation started to stretch. And stretch. And stretch.

When it began to look like I’d be there past the three-week mark, I started emailing my office back in Canada to see if there was anything urgent that needed my attention. There were a few things, and I began spending about two hours a day in the local internet café. In many ways, it was quite pleasant. Since I was paying for internet time by the hour, I got right down to business and got my work done quickly. And the rest of the day could be spent guilt-free in the pub, or shopping, or doing whatever I wanted.

So Why Not Give It a Try?
We’ve tried out all kinds of other things here at Library Life Hack. So why not some of Timothy Ferriss’ productivity techniques? And some of the other challenges? (Although I’m balking – just a little — at the one that involves telephoning celebrities.)

I started yesterday with his hack for handling email. This involves answering email twice a day, in a batch, at noon and 4 pm. It’s … interesting. We’ll do a check-back next week so I can tell you how it went.

The Numbers
In the meantime, let’s look at the numbers for this week. I haven’t figured out exactly how you put a value on the time savings involved in the Timothy Ferriss productivity hacks. Maybe that will come to me as I work through them. The book sells for $17.78 on chapters.indigo.ca and $16.89 on amazon.ca. That averages out to $17.34 saved by using your library card.

Here are the details on the book:

The 4-Hour Workweek
Written by Timothy Ferriss
Published by Harmony
Released December 15, 2009
ISBN 0307465357

And that’s it for this week. Have you read “The 4-Hour Workweek”? Have you tried out any of Timothy Ferriss’ ideas? If you have, drop me a line at LibraryLifehack [at] gmail.com. I’m especially curious to see if these ideas are appealing to anyone over the age of 30. Next week, we’re going to … you know, I don’t actually know what we’re going to do. So it’ll be a surprise for both of us! In the meantime, have a great week!

P.S. Update on Week 8’s sweater: I’m still knitting. : )

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Let’s Get This Party Started

Hey! Happy New Year! And welcome to Library Life Hack. This blog is a year-long experiment into determining the actual dollars-and-cents value of a library card.

Over the next 52 weeks, I’ll be talking about new skills that I’ve picked up through the use of library resources. What will I be learning? Skills that are useful to me, and skills that I hope might be useful to some of you. Ideally, in the true spirit of a life hack, these should be skills that save us time, money, or both. Expect posts on roasting your own coffee beans, learning how to speak another language, packing a decent lunch, building a sofa bed from scratch and knitting a sweater in a weekend.

How will it work? Each time I post, I’ll add up the consumer purchase price of the materials I’m using, plus any other money saved along the way. This will go onto the Math page. At the end of 2013, you and I will get to see what my library card is worth.

When you think about it, public libraries are one of the great original life hacks. Abraham Lincoln is said to have educated himself almost solely with borrowed books. Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie believed so strongly in public libraries that he funded and built 2500 of them, over the course of 46 years. If they time-travelled forward, I have no doubt that the wealth of knowledge housed in a modern library would astonish and delight these two great men. But enough background. Let the hacking begin!

Week One
It took a while to decide where I should start, but I eventually settled on opening with a topic that would potentially generate some money, even if it’s only in the theoretical sense right now. This week, we’re going to talk about learning how to play the stock market.

My crash course in stock market investment came by way of a book by Jason Kelly called “The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing”. It was first published in 1998, and he releases an updated version about every three years. (The very newest one came out about a week ago.)

This book lives up to its name. It’s a quick 320 pages and it explains, in simple and tidy language, exactly how the stock market works and exactly how to invest in it. It’s comprehensive but there’s no fluff — just easy-to-understand, common sense instructions. By the end, I was pretty confident that I could use the book to build a real-life stock portfolio.

For the purposes of this blog, however, we’re going to build an imaginary portfolio and track its progress for the next year.

Here’s how it works: First, I followed Jason Kelly’s advice to locate a group of stocks that I thought had good potential. Next, I used his worksheet to whittle down to 15 winners. This worksheet compares stocks across 30 criteria. I know that sounds like a lot of work, but these are standard numbers and ratios and they aren’t that hard to locate.

For US stocks, the bulk of the information that goes into the worksheet can be found in three publications: Value Line Investment Survey, Standard & Poor’s Outlook and Investor’s Business Daily. And this is where library access REALLY pays off.

These are three outstanding investment periodicals. And a year’s subscription to them will set you back just over $1000. Unless, of course, you have access to a library. You’ll find them in the business reference section of most larger libraries, where you can research them for free. Cha-ching!

With Canadian stocks, you can find most of the worksheet information by digging a little between Google Finance, Yahoo Finance and the annual reports of the companies you’re looking at. (What you’ll have to live without are the ratings that are specific to Value Line and Standard & Poor’s.)

Meet the Library Life Hack Dream Team
This imaginary portfolio contains one share of each of the 15 winning stocks. We’ll be checking in on them once a month.

Company Name Ticker Symbol Closing Price Dec 31
AEtna Zentaris Inc. AEZS 2.38 CDN
Bombardier Inc. BBD-B.TO 3.76 CDN
Callaway Golf Co. ELY 6.50 US
Cameron International Corp. CAM 56.46 US
Canadian Tire Corp. CTC.TO 81.00 CDN
Cott Corp. COT 8.03 US
Indigo Books & Music IDG 10.68 CDN
Koninlijke Philips Electronics PHG 26.54 US
Magna International Inc. MG.TO 49.68 CDN
Research in Motion Ltd. RIM.TO 11.80 CDN
Ryder Systems Inc. R 49.93 US
Sherwin-Williams Co. SHW 153.82 US
Sparton Corp. SPA 13.87 US
USG Corp. USG 28.07 US
Westjet Airlines Ltd. WJA.TO 19.81 CDN
Total Value $CDN $179.11
Total Value $US $343.22

And ta dah! That’s our first library life hack. If you want to try it for yourself, here’s the complete information on this week’s library materials:

The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing
Written by Jason Kelly
Published by Plume
Released Dec 25, 2012
ISBN 0452298628

Value Line Investment Survey
Found at valueline.com

Standard & Poor’s Outlook
Found at spoutlook.com

Investor’s Business Daily
Found at investors.com

And now, the numbers. The current cost of the book on amazon.ca is $12.27 and on chapters.indigo.ca, it’s $12.92. That averages out to $12.60. Value Line Investment Survey is $598 US for an annual online subscription. A year of Standard & Poor’s Outlook online is $200 US, and a year of Investor’s Business Daily is $269 US. Once you do the conversion to Canadian dollars, that’s a whopping $1067.86 saved by using a library.

I’m pretty jazzed about this year-long experiment. But you know what? I’m even more jazzed that you took the time to read this post. If you like, leave a comment and if you have a life hack you want to see me try out, drop me a line at LibraryLifeHack [at] gmail.com.

Next week, we’re going to tackle some simple ways to home-roast your own coffee beans — which leads to a great cup of coffee at a better price. In the meantime, have a great week, and Happy 2013 to you!

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