We The North – Raptors

The Toronto Raptors made the playoffs this year for the first time in a very long time. To celebrate and pump fans up a campaign has been created called We The North.

Now I am not a big basketball fan, but this video is pretty cool and worth a watch.

New RBC SmartMarket GICS

RBC has a new GIC investment product on the market that they are advertising heavily. You may have already seen the ad below.

RBC SmartMarket GIC

The product is called a SmartMarket GIC, which promises the growth potential of a stock with the guaranteed principal protection of a GIC. An interesting concept, but let’s take a look at the details. 

RBC SmartMarket GICS

There are three new GICs which offer a minimum return and are capped a maximum potential return. Each of these GICs is linked to the performance of a separate stock index. 

  • RBC U.S. MarketSmart GIC
  • RBC Canadian Banking MarketSmart GIC
  • RBC Canadian Utilities MarketSmart GIC

Each of these three GICs have the following characteristics

  • Your initial investment is protected and guaranteed 100%, meaning no downside risk
  • Earn a minimum return even if the market performs poorly (read zero to negative returns)
  • You have the choice between 2, 3 or 5 year terms on the GIC. Each term has a different minimum return and a maximum potential return. 
  • Hold these GICs in your Non-Registered, RRSPs, TFSAs, RDSPs, RESPs or RRIF accounts

RBC GIC Rates

What’s The Catch?

  • Remember that the minimum and maximum rates of return presented in the chart above are the rates of return over the term of the GIC and not per year. If you divide these rates of return by the term of the GIC you will get the average return per year. Expressing the min and max rates of return over the term of the GIC is part of RBC’s marketing gimmick so please take that into account.
  • If the market index gains more than the maximum potential return then you could miss out on the opportunity for higher returns
  • Your funds are locked down for the term of the GIC
  • Theses GICs do not distribute any income

What type of investor should consider this product?

  • If you have a low risk tolerance
  • If you believe the general market is due for a correction or gains in the future these GICs might be a good option to hedge against the downside, while still offering opportunity on the upside.

What do you think of RBC’s new GICs? Are they something you may be interested in as an investment?

How To Monitor Insider Stock Trades

Insider Stock Trades

Last week I posted about how you can track the short selling on a stock. Today I am going to show you how you can track insider trades on a stock.

Why are insider trades something important to track if you are considering buying or selling a stock? It’s fairly obvious, but it provides key insight into how internal stakeholders perceive the future prospects of a company. If key insiders are buying shares and in large quantities it can be interpreted as a vote of confidence for the company’s future performance and may indicate that the stock is undervalued. If key insiders are selling shares it may indicate that rough times are ahead for the company and may signal for you to sell before things turn ugly. Remember insiders have more information about a company’s results and performance than the average investor, so their trading activity can be a key leading indicator of a company’s future results.

Every investor should incorporate an analysis of recent insider trades as part of their research process before buying or selling any stock.

Here are the steps to figure out what key insiders of a company are buying or selling their own company’s stock. 

1. Go to CanadianInsider.com

CanadianInsider.com

2. Enter the company name or ticker symbol in the search box in the upper right. Click “Go” to search. 

3. View insider trade history for the company. 

A table will display on the next page which outlines the recent insider trades that have taken place. I choose Rogers Communications as my stock of choice. In the table you can see which insider bought or sold stock on different dates as well as how much they sold and at what prices.

Unfortunately the table only displays 10 of the latest insider trades or so if you are not logged in to an account. If you sign up to an account you can see up to 6 months of insider trading activity.

Insider Trade History

There you have it. Now you know how to track insider trading activity.

How Are You Likely To Die? Leading Causes of Death

How are you most likely to die? The chart below summarizes the probability of death by various causes for the average Canadian.

leading causes of death

 

Not surprisingly you have about a 50% chance of dying from Cancer or Hearth Disease. The least of your worries is homicide (murder) with only a 0.2% probability of being the cause of your death.

I was surprised to see that the average Canadian has a 4.5% chance of dying by accident (unintentional injury). I wonder if this include auto mobile accidents as this it would make more sense.

Other causes is quite a big category at 23.4%, but I was unable to find a breakout of what these Other Causes are.

Source: Stats Canada

Toronto Home Prices & Sales – March 2014

Let’s take a look at the trending on home prices and sales for the 416 area of Toronto. March is usually the kick off to the spring buying/selling season where homes sales start to take off,

I am particularly interested in the rate of growth year over year in sales and prices as it is a key indication of whether the market is heating up or cooling down.

If you take a look at the numbers in the chart below you’ll see that sales growth year over year in March was basically flat.

Prices increased year over year for all types of homes by 5% – 8% with semi-detached homes posting the largest increase. Notable is the slow down in the rate of price growth year over year from the highs back in December 2013. I am interested to see if this trend continues into April as it may signal that the housing market is finally starting to slow down.

Toronto Real Estate Prices

Source:  Toronto Real Estate Board

How To Find The Short Interest in a Stock

I just discovered this today so I thought I’d share it. I had no idea where I could view and track the short interest in a particular stock. I stumbled across this website called Stockwatch.com that readily has this information available for common stocks.

As an investor looking to make a decision to buy or sell a stock it is always important to check the short interest trends.

Here is how you do it.

1. Go to www.stockwatch.com

2. Enter the ticker symbol of the stock your interested in, in the text box in the top left

Stock Short Interest

3. Make sure you select the correct country (Canada or US) based on what exchange the stock is traded on

4.  Once you click “go” and the page loads click the “shorts” link.

Short Interest on a stock

5. The next page that loads will display the short interest data trends for the stock you have selected. I choose BCE (Bell). On this page you can easily see how many shares are short, what that represents as a % of the total float out there and what the short interest trends have been from month to month. This is good information to analyze to determine investor sentiment towards the stock. If the short interest is increasing it may signal that other investors believe that the stock’s shares are becoming fully or overvalued.

View Stock Shorts

Another piece of information for you to consider in your overall investment analysis process.

Unlocked Phones For Sale On Amazon.ca

Ever since Amazon expanded into Canada they have rapidly expanded the amount of products that they offer for sale through their website. Just yesterday they announced that they have added over 1 million new products to their website including a new category of unlocked smartphones and smartphone accessories.

Why is this a good thing?

1. For one it will likely drive more competition on device pricing, providing customers with access to better deals

2. It also creates a central online destination to buy unlocked phones and tablets. With an unlocked device you can sign up to a wireless plan with almost any carrier in Canada.

I did a quick check and it seems like Amazon’s phone offering is fairly robust. They have all the core phone brands include Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy and Note, HTC, Blackberry, Nokia, Sony and more.

In addition to unlocked phones, Amazon now offers a wide variety of phone accessories including cases, chargers, headphones and screen protectors.

I hope that Amazon keeps up the pace on the expansion of products available.

Cheap Unlocked Smartphones