March 20, 2014 Comments

North American markets were positive today with the S&P 500 up 0.6% and Toronto up 0.2%.

U.S. bank stocks did well in anticipation of stress tests results. Which all the large banks passed. (All except for one whichh I had never heard of). I am not sure if the stress test results came out after the close or before.

We had Wells Fargo up 2.5% and Bank of America up 2.7%.

Liquor Stores N.A. was up 2.9%. Apparently this was on news that it hired four new vice presidents. I don’t really know if that that was such a wise move. Possibly it signals their confidence in growth ahead. But meanwhile it probably adds about a million dollars per year to their costs at a time when they could do with some cost cutting. Also, in general, I’d rather see a company promote from within. What does it say to current staff when people are parachuted in above them?

Once again it starts to feel like the gains have been too easy to come by. We should always be prepared for markets to go the other way. I am not suggesting that we can predict that markets will fall, or certainly when that could happen. We just should always be aware that markets and particularly individual stocks often go down as well. The trick is to react rationally when that happens. I remain in favor of a bias to trimming on rallies and buying on dips. Especially for those with larger portfolios. For those closer to the start of their investing career a strategy of buying regularly works well. When just starting out, a market “correction” is a great blessing (the bigger the better) even though it feels awful. At the other end of the time scale, for those retired people who need to spend their dividends and who have no extra money to invest, broad market corrections have no redeeming features except possibly if some rebalancing can be done such as from cash or fixed income to stocks. We all have different financial capacities for risks and different emotional tolerances for risk and need to make our investment decisions in accordance with that.

I expect to update some of the reports in the next few days. I want to take a look at Boston Pizza and also will likely update Melcor.

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