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Investing (Equities)

My updated investing article. I wrote this with an emphasis on safety rather than making money. I’ll start off with the tips and then go over what you need to know to follow these tips/rules.

Table of Contents

Tips

  1. You’re either investing for the compound effect, in which case you need to invest often, or to live off the yield, in which case you can invest once and sell shares monthly for income
  2. If you want the benefits of compounding, invest on a weeky basis (pick a random day of th week to do it on)
  3. During bull markets, invest in $VOO; the Beta coefficient plays a huge role during the inevitable bear markets and you should try to avoid that
  4. Whenever the NASDAQ-100 is down -15% or more from its peak, invest in the $QQQ rather than the $VOO. The $QQQ will give a heuristically inflation adjusted CAGR of 10% (dividends excluded). The extra 2% is a big deal when we talk about decades. I’m actually not too sure about this recommendation, so stick to the $VOO for now.
  5. Do not try to time the market. The weekly schedule solves the issues of impatience.
  6. Do not pick stocks unless you are less than 25 years old. When you are less than 25, you can afford to lose all yur money.

Getting Started

About what I said earlier 😅. I’m simply not in the mood to improve on my first investing article I created in 2020. I can tell you what to learn though.

Broker

You need a broker. If you are in Canada and are planning on investing weekly, go with RBC Direct Investing. If you are in America, pick Robinhood. I don’t recommend Questrade or Wealthsimple because the experience for investing in US stocks is abysmal and I’d rather pay $10 to avoid waiting in a customer support chat and paying Wealthsimple’s FX fee.

Accounts

  • TFSA: Tax Free Savings Account. Maximize this before your RRSP
  • (R)RSP: Registered Retirement Savings Plan
  • RESP: Registered Education Savings Plan (CAD only, so invest wisely!)
  • Cash: Use this after maxxing your registered accounts. Tax implications exist when you make capital gains, so avoid selling unless you know what you are doing
  • Margin: do not get it. It’s best to not open one since using the Margin is tempting if you know more than the basics.

Norbert’s Gambit

If you are in Canada and want to invest in American stocks (or vice versa), you need to learn Norbert’s Gambit to avoid the percentage foreign exchange fees. This is incredbly simple for RBC. Buy DLR and short DLR.U. RBC will take care of the settling automatically so you don’t have to spend more time or money unlike Questrade and Wealthsimple. Questrade and Wealthsimple’s experience and FX fees is bakwas (outrageous). A new broker needs to be started in Canada or someone new needs to lead RBC Direct Investing. Hopefully it’ll be me, but I have things to do too.

Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

There are many ETFs and they consist of a basket of securities. Financial securities are picked and maintained by the creator of the ETF. For example, the $VOO S&P 500 Index ETF is run by Vanguard. Each ETF usually has an expense ratio. That means you get charged for owning the ETF. I recommend $VOO instead of $SPY because the expense ratio for $VOO is 0.03% compared to $SPY’s 0.09%.

Orders

  • Limit order: a bid to buy a stock at a max price OR an ask to sell your stock at min price
  • Market order: buying whatever the sellers are offering. Use with discrestion and for high volume stocks

To buy a stock, place a buy limit order below market price and if it isn’t filled by 3-4 PM EST, keep increasing the bid to the asking price.

To sell a stock, place a sell limit order above market price and if it isn’t filed by 3-4 PM EST, keep lowering the ask to the bid price.

Options and Futures

Unless you are less than 25 years old or a gambler, do not even bother with options or futures. It’s best to stay away. This is for people who can afford to lose money or know what they are doing (i.e. you work in Equities).

Crypto-Currency

Sike! There’s no such thing as “investing” in crypto-currency. You are either gambling or want to experience P2P money.