Friday, November 14, 2014

Time to Think of a Reshuffle in My Portfolio

We are almost at the end of the year now. 2014 has been a pretty good year. I have gained back almost all of the losses of the fall during the August to October period.

Drat those little whipper snappers on Wall Street, they don't beat me into a panic to sell just so they can bring back the market in November to pad out those nice little Christmas Bonuses.

I hope you s stayed in the market during that little big boy play?

Anyway my stock balance is now way out of balance as the year draws to an end. I have some 100% plus risers and some  -30% losers in my portfolio.

Who were the 100% plus risers you may ask?

Well one is QQQQ  NASDAQ ETF that was an early purchase for me, way way back in 2007 when it was just over $100 now after the crash in 2009 it wasn't worth alot but I added some positions on the way down and with the stock now above $200 it is still a keeper for now. Of course now I have enough there to take out some in order to return my investment and will have some stock left over to have almost no real capital investment in that stock.

My whooping great loser is another ETF this time XME the Metals and Mining SPDR.  Though it has consistently lagged behind all my other stocks,  I still like the stock, it is a add too stock on my rebalance list. I am not looking for a big jump in the stock to reap massive profits I am just aiming to lower my  overall cost per share average. Then when it does pop as it will. A little pop will allow me to consider backing out with little loss. I don't see this ETF disappearing as it has a wide base of mining companies in many different industries so for me it is a buy into recovery with the risk of short-term loses.

< ============================================================= REMEMBER: I am not a stock advisor or professional. I am a private investor and these are my personal views as to the management of my own stock portfolio. If you are in doubt or wish to purchase any stocks which I may mention, please take advice from a qualified accountant, broker or financial advisor as stock prices may fall as well as rise.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Recent weeks have been a bit of a downer haven't they?

We investors have seen a steady fall in the values of many investments.

I personally have seen my investments drop by about $2,000 since July. It does seem a bit scary when you think in dollar terms, though I tell myself that I only had that $2,000 on paper it is still a psychological loss.

But on the other hand I am still well up on the year sofar, by about $2,300.

As investors it just goes with the territory. You should be in for the good times and accept the bad for what they are. Imposters.

At work the other day, a colleague was saying how glad they are they were that they hadn't invested in stocks back after the upturn in March 2009. That the stock market is about to crash aagin and this summer's fall is a sign of things to come.

Well from someone who was invested throughout the crash, this is nowhere near a crash. Nervous investors like my colleague are right to stay away from the markets, for a nervous investor a crash does make. For themselves alone if not for everyone else. Putting money in and pulling it out at the first sign of a stock price drop. No not another panic.

Ooops as an investor I should rejoice and encourage a mini panic.  How else do bottom feeders like me get to sweep up the bargains?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lending to Invest

Over recent weeks I have been working on a new investment.

Micro-lending and crowd funding have been around for a while but often the high risk and high minimum entry level of investment has put people including me off.

Recently I heard of a company named Lending Club,  based in San Francisco . Lending Club has been in business for several years and specializes in small loans, mostly to individuals at low interest rates 6% upwards and an investor can lend from just $25 to any single loan. You can even open your account with just $25, though this is very risky indeed if your one loan fails to pay back. Lending Club therefore ask that you increase your minimum investment to $2,500 by the first anniversary of opening the account.

How it Works.

A borrower asks for a loan from Lending Club. who procede to do credit checks and also advertise the purpose and assessed interest rate to lenders.

If you are a lender you can choose to buy a share of this borrowing note  for $25 or even buy all the outstanding value of the note which could be several thousand dollars.

Lending Club then after all checks are made, funding has been received and notes prepared send the borrower the money less a fee for finding the lenders.

At monthly intervals the borrower repays the loan over 36 or 60 months to Lending Club who pay back the lenders in proportion to their ownership of the particular note. This includes a portion of interest plus the original principal.

How Are Notes Assessed?

Notes are given an assessment by Lending Club assigned by factors such as previous payment records, debt to income ratios etc.  Note nates  go from G5 returning about 30% interest (but at very high risk of default) tio  A1 with an interest rate of 6.03%.


In order to increase your chances of having a good return on your money it is neccessary to diversify across several hundred notes and varying the grades of note. Bearing in mind that there is no guarantee that any note will not go into default.

What Can You Do to Reduce Your Risk?

When you are choosing your notes you can add in a variety of filters, you can ask for loans to home owners, renters, set length of employment times, have only notes offered where a borrower is in little debt to income percentages or deselect borrowers who have had recent records for collection against them.

So if you set filters for borrowers with only A grade notes, with high credit scores above 700, home owners with zero defaults in the past five years that is all Lending Club will show you.

You can read the borrowers details, occupation, State of residence, default history, length of time since last default , their debt to income ratio and also their current revolving debt as well as if they have a mortgage, rent or own their own home.

What does it Cost?

Lending Club take 1% of your return as a fee, plus for accounts valued under $10,000 on each anniversary there is a current $100 fee to you.

Lending Club suggest a minimum of $2,500 to open the account but at the moment you can open the account with just $25. At the end of the first year however you must have a minimum of $2,500 in the account to keep it open.

Funding Your Account

Funding your account is simple all you need is to send a check to Lending Club or set up an electronic transfer from your bank.

Funding your account takes four business days, then you can invest in your choice of notes.

Funds received from borrowers are paid back into your lending club account throughout the month depending on the borrowers repayment schedule and you may choose to reinvest the receipts or withdraw them allowing a four business day window for funds to pay to your bank.

Find out more

 The Lending Club Homepage


This post is not suggesting that Lending Club is an investment for everyone. 

You should make enquiries of your financial advisor or Public Accountant before investing.

The author does have an account with Lending Club but is not paid by Lending Club or any of its officers or affiliates to introduce new clients.

This post is merely to inform you of a possible source of investment and you should remember investing in any credit notes to the public is very risky and that you can lose some or all of your invested capital.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Union Pacific (UNP) NYSE

On May 16, 2014 tthe Union Pacific (UNP) board announced a stock split of 2 for1, the split to take place on June 6, 2014.

This will double the stock of the company available and also double the holdings of current stock holders.

I am a long term holder of UNP, it is the largest railroad owner in the US West of the Mississippi, controlling a wide range of transport route into and out of the U.S.A. and being a major player in international trade routes.

Union Pacific 2014 Stock Split.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

This Year's Plan is Going Well

At the end of a successful year, I had achieved good growth in my portfolio and have stocks that I more want to Hold rather than Sell.

So for the next year my plan is to round off my best stocks.

What is rounding off?

Rounding off is making stocks up to hundreds rather than holding 95 shares one buys the remainder to put over the one hundred mark.

Rounding off is another form of re-balancing and will let me t see where to adjust more easily in the future.

One of my best investments of last year was to bBuy EIS (the Israel ETF) I bought it at $42 and it grew steadily over the Fall and Winter and has added quite a bit over the Spring too. That stock is a definite hold and round for me. The one downside is that this ETF does only pay semi-annual dividdends, but the dividends were strong when paid in July and December. Just one sees little growth from that sector for a long time when compared to my quarterly and monthly dividend stocks.

Happ investing and may you always run with the bulls.

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