People often ask me, “What do you do?” I used to flippantly tell them I enjoy travel, family, friends, wine, reading, theater, the beach, etc. but I always knew that they mean, what do you do for a living? When I tell them I’m retired, they inevitably say, “You’re very young for that.” The truth is I’m about the only non-governmental worker you’ll ever meet who retired at 50, but the reality is that I’m not really retired at all.
Like my Facebook page says, I’m a “high frequency trader”, which is kind of like a stock market day trader, except I’m not “cash out” at the end of every trading day. It’s just that I trade in and out of positions all the time. If I own a stock for 3 weeks it’s an eternity. When I tell people that’s how I earn a portion of my income, they either look at me with the same suspicion and high regard that they normally reserve for drug dealers and pimps, or they ask me if I will handle their money for them. The answer is “no”, and for three very good reasons: I do not want to be responsible for their money, I am not registered as a financial advisor, and I’m not all that great at it. It’s just something I enjoy doing, and it does make me some money….but only a little more than you’d have probably made if you simply bet the S & P 500 and let your money ride.
So why do I bother? Why not just put my money in a nice, safe fund and enjoy my life? Well, reason one is I don’t trust brokers not to steal from me. Reason two is I think that my investments also provide a hedge against economic calamity: insurance, if you will, that I cannot get elsewhere, and number three is that I enjoy the thrill of being right by betting against the herd. It’s an ego trip.
So with all that in mind, I am, for the first time, going to publish the positions I will take as soon as the market opens for 2016. I am doing this because I enjoy writing about the subject, and I hope my friends will enjoy reading about it and perhaps learn a thing or two along the way (from my mistakes LOL). I also know that the market has a tendency to smack you down when you think you’re smart, and I guess I’m thinking that humility lesson might do me some good right now.
My intention is to list my positions in this article as an opener for 2016. At the end of December, I will recap the return on the investments I’ve made. But I’m going to do something unusual: I’m going to aim for zero changes in the portfolio throughout the year. I know in advance that this is impossible, but that is the goal, and the reason is quite simple: it would drive me crazy (and you, too) if I kept you abreast of my usual trading frenzy (about 5 buy/sells a day), and the truth is that some of the best investments I ever made were the ones I held onto for years. I have a feeling that stability may lead to better results.
I intend to write a few articles on investment tips and so on as we go through the year, and of course I’ll discuss the rationale behind any changes that I make. I predict that 2016 is going to be a very tough environment for making money in stocks-it always is, but we are very late in a very old bull market-we’re overdue for a correction. But you don’t make any money if you don’t risk any, so with that said, here is my portfolio starting on 1/4/2016:
10% FNV Precious Metals
10% TSLA (short) Automobiles
20% TLH Treasury Notes (10-20)
10% TEO Argentine Telecom
10% ENB Energy
10% BNS Canadian banking
10% ADM Agriculture
10% YORW Utility
I will be giving you the reasoning behind these picks in an upcoming article. Also, be aware that I might change one or two before market opening on 1/4, 2016, so stay tuned, and good investing! Here’s to a fantastic 2016!