Category: Investing (page 1 of 2)

Why I shut down my Questrade account, and spent the money

Maybe they'll make me rich some day.

Maybe they’ll make me rich some day.

Last year I blogged about opening a questrade account, and then I blogged about buying stocks earlier this year. 

This week I decided to shut down my Questrade account for good for several reasons. The primary reason being that I just don’t have the money in the coming year(s) to sink into it. I was running into an inactivity fee of 19.95 every quarter which can be avoided by having more money in the account and trading once every quarter. I just couldn’t swing it, so whatever gains I was seeing were being eroded by these fees.

The second reason for shutting down the account is that I just didn’t have the time or interest to put into it. Whenever I find spare time, the last thing I want to do is research stocks. I do think it’s beneficial to

money money money

money money money

understand more about how the stockmarket works, and how to trade but having cash to  blow is crucial to that learning curve. Which is the third and final reason I had to shut ‘er down: I needed the money to sink into my house (It paid for part of this) which for me, for now, is a better investment.

Ever hear that saying that a house is a money pit? Yeah, they can be. So, in summary, roughly 14 months ago I put $1000.00 into a TFSA with Questrade. I purchased PWT and ENB and this week I cashed out at $982.23. My gain on the stocks was $22.21 but due to 2 inactivity fees my bottom line after 14 months is a loss of -$17.77. I got a good deal, $20 isn’t very much for what I learned through the entire thing. 🙂 (and this is not to say anything about Questrade in any way, in fact, I’ll use them again in the future… when I do have money to put into it regularly. I had the right idea, but the wrong timing)

 

Adventures in investing

After I posted in August that I bought my first stock – ever – by myself, using Questrade’s online trading platform Questrader IQ Web. (PWT.TO @ $15.05, trading at $9.75 as of writing of this post, ouch) I thought it was time to get my feet wet some more.

If you have more questions about Questrade please read this incredible in-depth review on Canadian Profiteer. This was the article that convinced me to give Questrade a try! It is a long read, especially if you also decide to go through the comments (I did, to make sure I really wanted to do this) but if you want to get into investing yourself you should get used to a little digging and research.

The conclusion made by Canadian Profiteer;

Should you join? Yes. Especially for those who are thinking of starting to invest. For someone like me who is a casual trader Questrade fits my needs perfectly. And after getting a better feel of most of what they have to offer I am more than confident they can accommodate me or any other person’s growing needs as an investor

Just about sums it all up. Questrade is pretty awesome. For $4.95 per trade (up to $9.95) you’re getting a pretty good deal compared to other brokers. There is no crazy fine print, it’s not a cheap deal just for big volume traders. It’s the $4.95. That’s it. And for those that have no idea what they’re doing, Questrade has so many resources on their website, videos, articles etc, it’s fantastic, if you spend some time going through it you will learn a lot just like I have.

Moving on from Questrade-praising. About 6 weeks after that buy I felt a little more… ballsy? While I had mentioned that a) I should make bigger buys and b) I was looking at BMO stock and then also c) was considering ETF’s I went against all that and just pulled the trigger on ENB, 15 shares at $38.xx totalling just about $580.00 (as of the writing of this post ENB is trading at $46.82)

I did a little bit more research on this one than I did with Penn West (PWT.TO) but did end up picking another oil-industry company that pays out dividends. I’m sensing a trend. I’m setting a $1,000 minimum limit for my next buy which I had hoped to complete by Christmas, I’ve postponed that to sometime this summer.While I’m still not wholly comfortable with everything, wait… who am I kidding – I just barely know what I’m doing with regards to understanding price/earning ratio’s, risk levels and margins BUT it’s not as scary as it was the first time. I just keep reminding myself that this is what I really want to do. I don’t want to invest through a firm where I pick something from a catalogue. I want to hold stocks, etf’s, mutual funds but I want to pick and research them myself. Help is okay and definitely needed but I want to make the buy or sell myself. I fully expect to lose a little and also gain a little. I won’t invest anything I can’t lose 100%. (which is also why you’re not seeing me invest a lot) This won’t be a win-win situation, but it means I will learn from it and ultimately I will have a little bit of a clue what I’m doing.

What have you bought lately?

 

And then she got back into the investing game.

Between my escapades with credit-card debt, house debt, car debt, school debt and savings I’ve never really been in the investing game. (That brief affair with mutual funds excluded) There was always other important things to focus on but I now know, I’m not going to be a millionaire unless I make my money work harder.

I’ve never owned individual stocks and I never knew what/when/where, how does one obtain those things? Eventually I got curious enough to start digging. I like doing things myself, even if I make mistakes. It took many hours of research online until I finally decided to open an account with Questrade, user-friendly, hands-on, great rates… it doesn’t get any better right?

I deposited a $1,000 and sat on it for a while because I was still scared and second guessing myself. That $1,000 has just been sitting there doing nothing. On Tuesday I finally, finally confronted my fears of the unknown. I opened Questrade’s online trading platform,  Questrade IQ Web, and spent some of the $1000 in my TFSA account:

Maybe they’ll make me rich some day.

I pulled the trigger on 15 shares of PWT @ $15.05. My main attraction to them was that 1) they’re dividend paying and 2) in a sector I would like to invest in and 3) I could buy a few shares relatively cheaply. An uneducated buy if anything. PWT has since dropped to $14.78 which is really a miniscule swing considering the grand picture but it’s hard to get over the auto-response of not liking red numbers… I just keep telling myself, it’s only $225.00 and I won’t be selling anytime soon (I think) (and yes in the future I will make bigger buys because it works out better cost-wise but this was my first purchase, so.)

I’ve had one other stock in particular in mind that I am really interested in, BMO, but decided to hold off for this week. I should do more research before my next buy, this one was rather on a whim. On a related note, I’ve been keeping an eye on the Money Pros Index fund challenge in which I participated. The goal was to pick three stocks before January 1, 2012 to follow through 2012 with a winner to be crowned at the end of the year. I picked EDU, HD and ENB for the challenge… HD and ENB are hanging in there (actually HD is killing it) but EDU is err, not doing so good. It’s killing my mock-money-pros portfolio dangit, or maybe now’s the time to buy EDU? I’ve got a lot to learn.

What’s the best resource you’ve found for learning how to buy, sell and hold stock?

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