In a previous investing post, I had mentioned what particular stocks I currently have in my portfolio:
- Canadian National Railway (CNR)
- Royal Bank (RY)
- Starbucks (SBUX)
- Dollarama (DOL)
- Ali Baba (BABA)
- Telus (T)
- Blackberry (!) –being my most recent purchase (BB)
I personally don’t think it’s too bad for a novice and it’s slightly “diversified” (I use the word diversified rather loosely in this case). However, I am aware that there is definitely room for improvement.
With a vast assortment of stocks to choose from, stock picking can be overwhelming. It still is for me. I’ll be honest, in the beginning I didn’t do much research, so my reasons for buying these stocks may seem a bit unorthodox or just plain silly. So please don’t judge.
My first two stocks I purchased were Canadian National Railway and Royal Bank. I don’t remember even looking at any of the metrics, their past performance, their financials or how they compared to their competitors. I didn’t read what the experts said about it.
You know why I bought them?
Because my mom told me to. No joke. I bought my first two stocks based on a hot tip from MY MOM. I vaguely remember her saying they were doing well and that they gave out dividends.
They are STILL doing well. Guess mom knows best.
Although I would have liked to have kept all of my holdings in CNR till I retired, I ended up selling a small chunk to help for the down payment of our house.
I should also mention that for a brief period of time I owned shares of Lululemon and Shopper’s Drug Mart.
During my job hopping/soul-searching/WTF am I doing with my life stage, I had worked at Lululemon to keep myself afloat (barely). Imagine being surrounded by new Lululemon product almost every day and getting a massive employee discount. My mom suggested I partake in their stock option program. Again, I knew very little about stocks and the magnitude of my interest back then is nothing compared to what it is now.
When I quit Lululemon, I held on to the stock for a bit, but then sold it. I sold based on a gut feeling, I also felt that although it had dominated the yoga clothing niche market for a while, a lot of major clothing retailers were providing some serious competition with their quite similar, yet more affordable athletic wear. I thought they would look more into global expansion; Europe, or countries such as China and India (makes sense, the birthplace of yoga). Now that I think of it, Lululemon’s steep prices may still prove to be too much of a deterrent for the emerging middle class at this point.
You may not look the most stylish or be able to keep cool, but you could technically work out in anything. Back in my workout days at the YMCA, I used to wear cotton based clothing for my workouts.
So yoga clothing, expensive yoga clothing for that matter is a luxury.
(But it’s so damn pretty……sighs…..)
I don’t really remember why I purchased Shopper’s Drug Mart. Maybe because I shopped there? Maybe because it was a major drug retailer, but now also sold food to compete with the grocery guys? Or maybe it had something to do with dividends. I don’t even remember why I sold it. Again, I think it may have been another gut thing. I sold it some number of months ago before Loblaws took over. I wasn’t following the news so I had no idea that was coming.
I LOVE coffee. Maybe that’s why I bought Starbucks. Or it could be the dividends. Lol. Despite the fact McDonald’s has great coffee and Canadians love their Timmies (except me) Starbucks is still going strong. With coffee shops all around the globe- (I even saw one in the tiny town of Cusco, Peru!) Starbucks is a huge player in the coffee department. They entered the tea retail market with Teavana. With the exception of David’s Tea and Teaopia, I can’t think of any other major tea retailers.
Aside from American retailers and food companies, I don’t really know a whole lot other about American companies. All I know is that the selection of U.S. stocks is more diversified than Canadian stocks and I should look into buying more. I’ve been eyeing General Electric and Wells Fargo.
There always seems to be a lot of hype whenever there is an IPO. While I did use Facebook back in the day, I didn’t jump on that bandwagon.
The only Ali Baba I knew was the one in the fairy tale with the forty-thieves. I had never even heard of the Chinese e-commerce giant until my Investing for Beginners Course Instructor mentioned the IPO. All I heard was “bigger than eBay and Amazon combined”. So I thought that’s pretty big!! A few classes later, she mentioned that at 25 billion, the AliBaba IPO is the biggest IPO ever.
I know tech stocks are risky, but how many of you are kicking yourself for not buying Apple during the IPO? My wishful thinking is that Google will do some crazy stock split. I know I’m crazy for even thinking that.
So AliBaba and Blackberry are my risky tech stocks. They’re both in my retirement savings account, so I’m ready to go on the potentially wild ride for these two companies ( I think).
Zee @ Work To Not Work says
Woah, blackberry is a name I haven’t heard in a long time. I’m curious as to what made you pick that one. After a little research I found that they are trying to head more towards software and security now but the one thing I remember from them was that they had a long series of upper management missteps for a while. But that was a few years ago. So perhaps they have better focus now, I just haven’t kept up with them at all.
I mainly picked Blackberry for the reasons you mentioned. 🙂 I’ll be going into more detail about in my part II stock picking post.
Zee @ Work To Not Work says
Well, it looks like that Blackberry pick is doing quite well now. Good job!
Anne @ Money Propeller says
Interesting read. Good call on your Mom’s part, convincing you to participate in the Lululemon stock program. I suspect there was a low rate of participation. I work for a very large company and it blows my mind how few people participate, despite the company’s kicking in of a portion!
I don’t remember ever discussing the stock program with my co-workers. I was one of the older employees. Many of the coworkers were in their late teens and early 20s. Not to say that they wouldn’t be interested in stocks, because there are some younger people who are interested. I just got the impression that the ones I worked with were more interested in paying off student debt or which bar to go to on a Saturday night.