When Dad Invests!

Do What Dad Says … Not! 😜

There are a lot of good investing bloggers in Canada. Some have chargeable services, but many share their knowledge for free. If you’re new to investing & trying to learn the ropes, they are well worth following. I, on the other hand, am all about my investing disasters. Disasters are way more fun, eh!

These days, I’m a dividend growth investor. But that wasn’t always the case.

Back in the tech boom of the late 90s, I specialised in chasing hot stocks. I got slaughtered. I owned some boring stocks that my broker talked me into buying. He had me in shares of companies like Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE), Microsoft (MSFT) & Proctor & Gamble (PG). Advisors are really boring, eh? My personal choices were the hot stocks du jour. Like Nortel (NT). When the dot-com bubble burst, I hung on for a bit. But then sold just about everything I owned at a loss. I kept my Nortel shares though. It was coming back, right?

As it happened, every stock I sold survived & thrived. Only Nortel went to zero. Nothing like losing a few dollars to confirm how big an idiot you are. It’s feels way worse when you throw away a bag of winners though. If you had 10k in PG back then, it would be worth about 92k today, with dividends reinvested along the way. PG spun out The JM Smucker Company (SJM) back in 2000. I remember selling off my few shares of that company right away. Who’d want to own a jam company, for cryin’ out loud? If you had invested 10k in SJM back in 2000, it would have grown to almost 149k today. I owned BCE from early in ’99, that would have gone to about 132k for the same amount invested. While Microsoft, despite the poor returns of the “lost decade”, would today be worth about 123k. I managed to sell all the long term winners. And I held onto the only stock that went to zero.

Listen up, my kids, I’m learning from my mistakes. I promise!

Fast forward to 2020. Now I’m a dividend-growth investor. But I have some contrarian impulses too. I bought shares in AT&T (T) when others were wary. Despite blogging advice to the contrary, that big dividend was calling out to me & I bought. I watched the share price drop. But I held fast, AT&T were about to spin out their media division. It was going to merge with Discovery & I was going to get “free” shares of this new media company. Shares of Warner Brothers Discovery Inc. (WBD) appeared in my portfolio last month. The painful memory of prematurely selling off my JM Smucker Company (SJM) shares was sticky. That lost opportunity left a bad taste in my mouth! 🤪
Now an older & wiser investor, I was keeping any new spinoff.

Currently, both AT&T (T) & Warner Brothers Discovery Inc. (WBD) are two of the losers in my portfolio. But that’s just on share price return, I haven’t counted up all those juicy dividends yet! That’ll make up for it, right? Besides, I’m a buy & hold (albeit with white knuckles sometimes) investor now too.
I think I should just hold on & wait for the rebound!?!

Of course I’m the Dad who told my kid to stay away from investing in Bitcoin. Do I even need to say that nothing here is investing advice? It’s not!!!

PS … As I prepare to post this, it’s a down day across all the American & Canadian markets. But by some strange & lucky coincidence, these two are my among my best performers on the day. And yes, I really am keeping them. Cross your fingers for me, please! 🤞🏻

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