WSJ.com: Economy

Friday, December 23, 2011

Season's Greetings

Wishing everyone a happy holidays and an exciting new year from Ellen's Investment Club!

What lies ahead? RBC analyst predicts the economic outlook in 2012:

http://www.rbc.com/economics/market/pdf/fcst.pdf

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Survey Summary.Dec 2011

Hi everyone,
Thank you so much to those who completed the survey - a summary of the results is outlined below.   This survey  reinforces the needs of the group and it clearly highlights that members are most interested in analyzing stocks as well as reviewing bond investing strategies as a second priority.  The remaining  three categories in question #1 are listed in priority sequence. As part of company reviews we can discuss components of the analysis such as P/E ratio, debt/equity ratios, etc. 

 In regards to guest speakers there were a number of suggestions and I recommend we pursue some of the suggestions and create a separate meeting date for guest speakers...possibly on the months we are not scheduled to meet and also invite other clubs to these meetings. 

 It appears that we will not be participating in the Investopedia challenge ...some of us have taken part in this and it was a lot of fun but it does require commitment from members.

We will take some time at our next meeting  to discuss our treasury and other comments.

Part of the agenda will include book and article reviews so please let me know if you would like to present any information on things you have read which will be part of the education portion of our meeting.

To prepare for our January meeting,  please let us know if you would like to present information on a specific company by using our standard Stock Review  Form  (you can find this form on our blog under home page).  If you prefer you can email me directly at mdray@sympatico.ca  with any information you would like to share at our next meeting.

ELLENS DEGENERATES SURVEY SUMMARY
DECEMBER, 2011

What investment topics are you most interested in discussing at the Share Club meetings over the next year ?
  1.         Analyzing stocks (more by fundamental analysis but perhaps using some basic  technical analysis techniques as well)
  2.          Bond investing  (pros and cons of bond ETF vs individual bonds, how to invest in bonds – choosing, laddering, pitfalls to avoid)
  3.          Stock investing strategies (value investing vs growth investing, the strategies of successful investors)
  4.      Portfolio management  (asset allocation, measuring performance of portfolios)
  5.          How to trade options


Do you have any recommendations for guest speakers?
  •         Rob Carrick (Globe and Mail)
  •        Alison Griffiths (Toronto Star)
  •         Gail Bebee (author of   “No Hype Investing”)              
  •         Speakers like Tom Bradley who manage portfolios
  •          Larry Birman
  •           Dennis Mitchell


Are there any areas of investment training/education you would like to include in our regular meetings?
  •          Training in different types of investing
  •          DRIPs
  •          Practice applying ratios for analyzing and comparing stocks, ie. P/E, debt/equity ratio, ROE
  •          Book reviews on investing techniques – discuss these and practice applying them
  •           Investing in U.S. stocks – what are the tax implications, currency issues


Are you interested in participating in the Investopedia Challenge?
  •           84% of respondents indicated NO – it was either too complicated or did not have time


We have approx $400 in the treasury.
  •         Lower fees
  •        Refreshments once or twice a year
  •       Leave about $300 in the float – remaining $ can  be for coffee, dessert or pizza
  •       Continue as is


Other Comments
  •         Hold meetings at member’s homes, therefore, eliminating costs
  •          Meetings at member’s homes provides a casual atmosphere (person holding the meeting provides refreshments and also allows for flexibility of time – meetings usually go for 3 hours)
  •          Finds the present location easy to get to, lots of parking and affordable
  •         Prefers to have the meetings at current location –  perfect for public  transit.  Member homes may be more difficult to get to using public transit – also there is a cost to supplying refreshments when you are hosting

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Testing Post

Testing Post

Monday, November 21, 2011

Robin Speziale's Value Stock Picks 2012

Hi guys, Robin emailed me his value stocks picks for 2012. Feel free to visit his website or contact him directly if you have any questions.

A small disclaimer: please do your OWN research before decide on buying any stocks from the list below.

10 Value Stocks for 2012
1. RIM
2. Canadian Tire
3. Northwest Company Fund
4. RBC
5. Sun Life Financial
6. Rio Can
7. Abbot Labratories
8. Chubb
9. Goldman Sachs
10. Walt Disney

By: Robin R. Speziale
Author of Lessons From The Successful Investor
Download on iBooks - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords.com - Kobo

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Follow our blog via email

Stayed connected to our Blog by following via email. You may enter your email and subscribe to our Blog directly at the right side of the Gadget Bar: Follow By Email.

Meeting Minutes November 15, 2011

Thanks for attending our meeting on November 15, 2011.

Our guest speaker Robin R. Speziale showcased his new book: Lessons From the Successful Investor. His investment philosophy consists of a 10-step analysis:


1. Profit from market folly
2. Evaluate a business for advantage
3. Evaluate a stock for value
4. Invest in only the ideal investment
5. Manage effectively your portfolio
6. Think like the successful investor
7. Beat the market like investor giants
8. Ignore industry and investor sentiment
9. Compound your wealth forever
10. Employ a utility belt of equations

You may find more information about his book at: www.successfulinvestorlessons.com

Please note we will not have a session in December. Please stay tuned for our date/agenda in January 2012.

Luke Zhang
General Secretary Ellen's Investment Club
Blog: http://ellens-degenerates.blogspot.com
Twitter group: http://twitter.com/EllensShareClub 
Google group: http://groups.google.ca/group/ellensdegenerates 
Google mailing list: ellensdegenerates@googlegroups.com

Monday, November 7, 2011

Ellen's Investment Club Meeting on November 15, 2011 @ 7:30pm

Ellen's Investment Club Meeting
November 15, 2011 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre
750 Spadina Ave, Toronto ON M5S 2J2
Room#: Please ask the front desk where the meeting is held

7:30 PM: Sign in and payment ($10)
7:45 PM: Financial Check In
8:15 PM: Lessons From The Successful Investor: Value Investing Seminar by Robin Speziale
9:00 PM: Stock Review: NYSE:SJM
9:15 PM: Open Forum

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Screening Takingstock on November 17, 2011 @ Varsity Cinema

Patrick Doyle's film: Taking Stock Movie: Ancient Fear and Modern Greed is being screened at the Varsity Cinema on November 17, 2011.

Details at www.takingstock.ca

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Added Twitter Button

I added a Twitter button to the Blog posts so followers of our Twitter group will receive updates to club's activities as they are posted on the Blog

No meeting on October 18, 2011

I've been receiving emails inquiring whether there is a meeting tonight. Please note our meeting will be held next on November 15, 2011 @ 7:30pm at the MNJCC.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Consolidating our mailing list

Hi everyone:

To eliminate inefficiencies in mail forwarding, we will phase out forwarding to members' emails who are not part of mailing list.

What this means:

  1. If you receive Ellen's Investment Club emails addressed to ellensdegenerates@googlegroups.com, then you don't need to do anything.
  2. If you receive Ellen's Investment Club emails addressed to your specific email address, then you need to apply to be added to our mailing list:


Luke Zhang
General Secretary
Ellen's Investment Club
Blog: http://ellens-degenerates.blogspot.com
Twitter group: http://twitter.com/EllensShareClub
Google group: http://groups.google.ca/group/ellensdegenerates
Google mailing list: ellensdegenerates@googlegroups.com

Ellen's Investment Club Meeting Minutes For September 20, 2011‏

Hi everyone:

Thank you for attending Ellen's Investment Club meeting on September 20, 2011.

Guest Speaker:

Our guest speaker Gerry Hogenhout gave us an insightful presentation on holding mortgages in RRSP. Specifically this involves an arms-length transaction between you as the borrower and a third-party lender. The benefits are evident: high-interest rate, monthly payment, and tax-free. But risks are also weighed proportionally: lenders often cannot meet the requirement from banks, this industry is not regulated, complicated dealings with multiple agents. So we should do our due diligence to ensure our hard earned money isn't going to evaporate over defaults (especially in a housing market which some may consider in bubble territory).

Ellen's Investment Club Survey 2011:

Due to a lack of attendance lately we polled members during the summer to determine whether Ellen's Investment Club should continue. And if so what can we do to improve attendance? We received some great feedback.


  • 85% of you indicated you wish Ellen's Investment Club to continue.
  • 60% of you indicated Ellen's Investment Club is very-to-extremely educational to your investment experience.
  • 41.2% of you indicated you would attend least half of the sessions being held at the MNJCC in the coming year.
  • 58.8% of you indicated you would attend least 1 of the sessions being held at the MNJCC in the coming year.


Of the reasons of lack of attendance, 50% indicated the deposit fee is too expensive and 33.3% indicated the club's hour is conflicting with personal and/or work commitment, 33.3% also feels the club's structure may not be tailored to their needs.

Here is my personal take:

I joined Ellen's Investment Club two and half years ago. Few months later, along with Gord Kozak I decided to take on a more active role in managing the club's activities.

Our mission statement was and will always be:
"committed to share information among all members, with the goal of working towards preserving capital, increasing the after tax returns of our individual portfolios. We strive to strengthen our understanding of investing and gain hands-on experience in analyzing stocks and interpreting financial statements".

With that in mind, Gord and I created a club with Ellen so everyone may benefit. The various activities and speaker presentations are meant to cater to the diverse nature of our members base and their investment exposure. But because of this, some members feel the club isn't progressing along with their needs. On top of that, after Gord's quit the chair due to his health problems, I took on the duties of a secretary, treasurer and an event planner. While I try to carry those roles to the best of my abilities, my singular vision has not carried the club forward. And if that resulted in a lack of attendance, I apologize.

What we need is some fresh thinking from a new leader who is willing steer the club towards its mission statement.
I will stay in the club to ensure this transition happen and after that I will take a more passive role in the club's activities.

Investopedia Challenge 2011:

Fern and myself won the USD and CAD Investopedia challenge respectively. Due to a lack of participation, we choose to discontinue the simulation game. Having a great club means figuring out what member needs and wants and we would never deviate from that.

Next Investment Club Meeting:

There is no immediate date planned for our next meeting. I will keep everyone posted however. Please stay tuned to our mailing list and blog site.

Luke Zhang
General Secretary
Ellen's Investment Club
Blog: http://ellens-degenerates.blogspot.com
Twitter group: http://twitter.com/EllensShareClub
Google group: http://groups.google.ca/group/ellensdegenerates
Google mailing list: ellensdegenerates@googlegroups.com

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ellen's Investment Club Meeting September 20, 2011 @ 7:30pm MNJCC

Ellen's Investment Club Meeting
Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre
750 Spadina Ave, Toronto ON M5S 2J2
Room#: Please ask the front desk where the meeting is held

7:30 PM: Sign in and payment ($10)
7:45 PM: Financial Check In
8:15 PM: Presentation: Holding mortgages in RRSP by Gerry Hogenhout
8:50 PM: Discussion: Investopedia Winner
9:15 PM: Discussion: Ellen's Investment Club Survey 2011 Results
9:30 PM: End

Meeting agenda items are subject to change.

Luke Zhang
General Secretary
Ellen's Investment Club
Blog: http://ellens-degenerates.blogspot.com
Twitter group: http://twitter.com/EllensShareClub
Google group: http://groups.google.ca/group/ellensdegenerates
Google mailing list: ellensdegenerates@googlegroups.com

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ellen's Investment Club 2011 Survey

I am happy to announce Ellen's Investment Club 2011 Survey is now online at:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/95VZKXM

The survey will run between June 30 to July 14, 2011 and is meant to address the recent lack of attendance from our members. I encourage all members to provide feedback to help improve our wonderful club.

Luke Zhang
General Secretary of Ellen's Investment Club

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ellen's Investment Club Guest Presentation (June 14, 2011 @ 7:30pm - 9:30pm MNJCC)

Ellen's Investment Club welcomes you to a special presentation by David Toyne and Tom Bradley from Steadyhand Investment Funds Inc. who will discuss the investment philosophy and business principles at Steadyhand.

ITEM # TIME TOPIC DETAILS

7:30 PM: Sign in and payment ($10)
7:45 PM: Guest Presentation (Steadyhand Investment Funds Inc.)
9:15 PM: Open discussion

See you all there.

BMO Covered Call Canadian Banks ETF (ZWB)

This is the information Ellen talked previously

BMO Covered Call Canadian Banks ETF (ZWB)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Meeting Minutes Ellen's Investment Club on May 17, 2011

Thank for attending Ellen's Investment Club on May 17, 2011. 

We briefly discussed the recent proposal for acquisition of the TMX Group Inc. by a number of Canadian financial institutions in the light of the London Stock Exchange Plc bid. 

Ellen talked about the CPP changes that will impact our decision of receiving the pension earlier than 65.

The Investopedia topic of the month was Futures trading.

I just want to clarify a bit for the achievement system to reward actively contributing members. The system is broken down to 4 aspects. Each instance awards 1 star. The member who accumulates the most stars at the end of year will receive a $30.00 Chapters Gift Card (like the Investopedia challenge).

* Online contribution.
Member who offers online articles and participates in discussions on our Google Group.

* Book Review
Member who offers a book review during our club session.

* Stock Analysis
Member who offers a detailed stock analysis (using our format) during our club session.

* Attendance
Members who participates in all available club sessions in a year.

The Investopedia Challenge needs more members! If you need instructions on how to join please visit:

Our next session will be held on June 21, 2011 at 7:30pm in the Miles Nadal Community Centre.



Luke Zhang
General Secretary
Ellen's Investment Club
Blog: http://ellens-degenerates.blogspot.com
Twitter group: http://twitter.com/EllensShareClub
Google group: http://groups.google.ca/group/ellensdegenerates
Google mailing list: ellensdegenerates@googlegroups.com

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ellen's Investment Club meeting on May 17, 2011

Ellen's Investment Club Meeting
Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre
750 Spadina Ave
Room#: Please ask the front desk where the meeting is held

ITEM # TIME TOPIC DETAILS

7:30 PM: Sign in and payment ($10)
7:45 PM: Financial Check In
8:20 PM: Discussion: TSX / LSE merger
8:50 PM: Investopedia Topic of the Month
9:15 PM: Open discussion (achievement system awards)

Meeting agenda items are subject to change.

Luke Zhang
General Secretary
Ellen's Investment Club
Blog: http://ellens-degenerates.blogspot.com
Twitter group: http://twitter.com/EllensShareClub
Google group: http://groups.google.ca/group/ellensdegenerates
Google mailing list: ellensdegenerates@googlegroups.com

Monday, April 4, 2011

CANCELLED: Ellen's Investment Club Session on April 19, 2011

Ellen's Investment Club session on April 19, 2011 will be cancelled due to Passover. We will assume our regular meeting schedule on May 17, 2011 at 7:30pm in the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Larry Bermans Free Seminar Toronto on April 7th, 2011

Spring 2011 Educational Speaking Series by Larry Berman and ETF Capital Management:


“Profiting From the Global Financial Crisis”

Follow the below link for registration.


http://www.etfcm.com/speaking_engagements.php

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ellen's Investment Club meeting on March 15, 2011

Hi everyone:

Thank you for attending Ellen's Investment Club meeting on March 15, 2011.
 
* We reviewed the Book: Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwarz. Missed opportunities or hypothetical trade-offs add anxiety when we are facing a myriad of choices. We have to learn to reduce or simplify our investment decisions.
 
* We demonstrated Investopedia Simulation. I have created a word document of step-by-step instruction to create an account on this website.


* We discussed the upcoming Achievement System to encourage our members to actively participate in club's in-class and online activities.
 
The upcoming session will be helding on April 19, 2011 at 7:30pm in the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (750 Spadina Ave).

 We are also looking for volunteers to help run our club. Please email me (xglzhang@yahoo.com<mailto:xglzhang@yahoo.com> ) if you are interested.
 
Luke Zhang
Ellen's Investment Club

Blog: http://ellens-degenerates.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ellen's Investment Club Meeting March 15, 2011 @7:30-9:30pm Eastern

Ellen's Investment Club Meeting
Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre
750 Spadina Ave
Room#: Please ask the front desk where the meeting is held

ITEM # TIME TOPIC DETAILS

7:30 PM: Sign in and payment ($10)
7:45 PM: Financial Check In
8:20 PM: Book: Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwarz (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paradox_of_Choice:_Why_More_Is_Less)
8:50 PM: Investopedia Simulation Tutorial
9:15 PM: Open discussion (the new achievement system)

The agenda of the meeting is subject to change.

This invitation is generated on Google Calendar. If you did not wish to receive further notifications or you have received redundant notifications please email Luke Zhang (xglzhang@yahoo.com).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ellen's Investment Club Meeting Minutes [February 15, 2011]

I would like to formally welcome Sylvia Sarkus as our new director who will be helping me in planning and organizing our club's monthly activities.

Meeting Highlights:

* We reviewed the book: How to do something about procrastination by Piers Steel. He explained procrastination stems from the lack of confidence and the need for instant gratification. So try to motivate yourself by seeing what others do and set specific and foreseeable investment goals.

* We briefly talked about the TFSA and the tax effects on capital gains.

Exciting Changes Ahead:

I am pleased to announce few additional changes to Ellen's Investment Club, namely the structure of our new agenda:

* The Member Stock Purchase Ice Breaker will now be replaced with "Financial Check In". This will allow a member who may not have purchased an equity in the past month to share his or her financial vision or concern and actively participate in club discussion.

* The Open Discussion near the end of the club will now include member feedback on next month's activities.

* We will implement an achievement system to award the most active participants in our club. How this works is we will assign tasks (various difficulties) surrounding the topics discussed in our club. The members who complete these tasks on time will earn points. The top ranked members will be awarded a gift at the end of the year (similar to Investopedia). Stay tuned for updates next month.

In summary:

7:30 PM: Sign in and payment ($10) 
7:45 PM: Financial Check In
8:20 PM: Book/Industry/Sector/Stock Review
8:50 PM: Investopedia Topic of the Month
9:00 PM: Open discussion (including member feedback)
9:30 PM: End

Investopedia:

 * The new Investopedia simulation is now up and running:

Game Name: Ellen Invest Feb 16
Game Password: ellen
Upcoming Session:

The upcoming session will be helding on March 15, 2011 at 7:30pm in the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (750 Spadina Ave)We will discuss the consequence of the TSX/LSE merger, review the Book: Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwarz and provide a demo on the Investopedia game. See you all there!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ellen's Investment Club Meeting (February 15, 2011 @ 7:30 to 9:30pm)

Ellen's Investment Club Meeting (February 15, 2011 @ 7:30 to 9:30pm)

Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre
750 Spadina Ave
Room#: Please ask the front desk where the meeting is held

ITEM # TIME TOPIC DETAILS

7:30 PM: Sign in and payment ($10)
7:45 PM: Member stock purchase discussion
8:20 PM: Book: Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel
(http://www.thestar.com/living/article/912670--how-to-do-something-about-procrastination)
8:50 PM: Investopedia Topic of the Month: TBD
9:00 PM: Open discussion

The agenda of the meeting is subject to change.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Investor’s Quarterly’s Seminars Saturday - February 5, 2011

You guys might be interested in checking out the February 5th Investor’s Quarterly’s Seminars.


Details here: http://www.theinvestmentshow.ca/

Ellen's Investment Club meeting minutes on January 18, 2011

Thank you for attending Ellen's Investment Club meeting on January 18, 2011.

* Patrick Doyle and Bruno Malta, executive producers of Taking Stock (http://www.takingstockmovie.com/thefilm.html) spoke to us about various behavioural fallacies associated with investing and how to overcome as a retail investor.

* The October 18th, 2010 Investopedia Challenge has come to an end. Of the 3 players that signed up (lukezskywalk, wheelon, and beanie1954), I edged to the top in both USD and CAD ranking (1.1336M USD and 1.066M CAD respectively). The next Challenge will begin on February 16, 2011. Please stay tuned.

The upcoming session will be helding on February 15, 2011 at 7:30pm in the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (750 Spadina Ave). We will review the Book: Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel. (http://www.thestar.com/living/article/912670--how-to-do-something-about-procrastination)

We are also looking for volunteers to help run our club. Please email me (xglzhang@yahoo.com ) if you are interested.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ellen's Investment Club Meeting (January 18, 2010 @ 7:30 to 9:30pm)

Happy New Year everyone. This is just a reminder our regular club meeting will be held:


Ellen's Investment Club Meeting (January 18, 2010 @ 7:30 to 9:30pm)
Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre
750 Spadina Ave
Room#: Please ask the front desk

Patrick Doyle will be here with us to discuss in a follow up Q&A session to Taking Stock the movie. Also we will be reviewing the book Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel. You can find out information about this book here:

http://www.thestar.com/living/article/912670--how-to-do-something-about-procrastination

ITEM # TIME TOPIC DETAILS
7:30 PM: Sign in and payment ($10)
7:45 PM: Taking Stock Q&A with Patrick Doyle
8:20 PM: Book Review: Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel
8:50 PM: Investopedia Challenge Winner
9:00 PM: Open discussion

The agenda of the meeting is subject to change.