In my family home growing up, it was forbidden to talk about age, sex… or MONEY…. the never-to-be-discussed Green family Holy Trinity. Keep your elbows off the table Larry and only bring up money if it involves the Tooth Fairy!

Case in point with only a little exaggeration: I probably didn’t know how old my parents were until I read their obituaries.

And I wouldn’t DARE start on the subject of carnal sex if I wanted to have supper at the dinner table ever again. There was no hot sauce or hot talk at our WASP table.

How much money you earned? how much money you had? how much something cost?… yup, all verboten territory.

To be fair, as I get further along the chronological age spectrum, I understand why many of these items were off the socially acceptable chat-list.

Good manners and sensitivity to others tell us that hurt and anger are the oft-unintended result.

However… over the last almost 10 years and with some discretion, this Man On The Fringe has often discussed money matters in posts here, typically at the end of each year.

I have a keen interest in stock market investing and growing assets in (y)our personal Net Worth column.

You do have a Net Worth sheet, yes?

Failure to measure your wealth and resources is tantamount to driving on an icy BC mountain pass in the dark with no snow tires. How do you know where you are and where you’re going? Fail to measure at your own peril.

Money management, saving and investing are critically important to your present daily life and future. It shouldn’t be about greed or conspicuous consumption (hmmmm, that sounds like me at mealtime!)… no… it’s all about financial freedom and flexibility.

Each year-end I tally up my own investment returns and assess where I made my best decisions, and also where my dreaded blunders occurred.

I fling open the curtains and give my victories and gaffes equal opportunity of expression.

So, first up… my investment mea culpa BLUNDERS x 3 (or, using the term I utilized 3 years back – my FUCKedUPEDNESSes):

1. PINTEREST- I purchased shares of Pinterest foolishly believing that this technology sharing company was on the cusp of greatness with the “in” crowds of kids and influencers. It also has strong underlying financial strength. As the year went on I learned that PINTEREST is more and more associated with old time tech a là AOL, BLOCKBUSTER, ALTAVISTA, or BLACKBERRY. Today, Instagram and TikTok rule the roost in this area with Pinterest catching crumbs at the rear.

2. H&R Real Estate Investment Trust – there was just one bad management decision after another for this Canadian mall and office tower owner. Owning malls is looking more and more like investing in buggy whip makers… Luddites beware!

3. ARK Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) – this ETF that buys into “Disruptive Innovation” was itself disrupted by downwards valuation of high tech companies within their portfolios such as TESLA, and TELEDOC. This company should do well in years to come but for 2021 it stank the joint out.

And now, some winners:

The good decisions I made in 2021 came through names such as APPLE, CVS Pharmacies, Canadian Banks, Whirlpool, and A&W. Great companies with great results. A good mantra for 2000’s investing? Never bet against APPLE.

My overarching investment goal has always been an average return of 15% annually, when combining my RRSP (Canadian Retirement funds), TFSA (tax free savings), and my company pension plan.

Over the past 5 years I’ve managed only mediocre results against my target returns… 2017… +8.0%, 2018… -1.8%, 2019… +24.6%, 2020… +5.0%. And finally, this past year 2021… +16.8%.

That’s only a 10.5% average annual return (I have slightly better results over 10 and 20 years, but not by much)… not exactly my target.

I believe my biggest investing mistakes have come from a compulsion to sell too early. If I see a 20% jump in share price I go all starry-eyed and sell off to “capture” profit NOW. When I review these moves later I so often see continued upward movement in a quality stock…

My big hairy resolution for investing in 2022 will need to mean sitting on my hands when I want to hit the SELL button prematurely… no more Selling Interruptus.

OK, I’ve done lots of research heading into 2022.

Just where does my crystal ball take me for quality investments at reasonable prices that can make me and maybe YOU some decent returns?

Here’s my short-list, recognizing that quality companies don’t always have a speedy payoff. Good investing is a big test of our patience.

  • Canadian companies: A&W, Algonquin Power, Manulife Financial, Leons Furniture, Shopify (this is higher risk, but great prospects longer term)
  • US-based companies: AT&T, Bristol Myers Squibb, Lennar Homes, Abbvie, Amazon, Walgreens

So friends… Happy New Year to you as we tread well past the 20% mark of another century (wasn’t Y2K only a year or two back?)

I wish you a year of great wealth… in your health portfolio, your spiritual portfolio, and… in your money portfolio.

And so long as you keep your elbows off the table, I give you permission to talk about sex all you want at your dinner table. Betty White will smile down at you!