A Blog from a Self-Directed Investor

“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. Not for nothing one face, one character, one fact makes much impression on him, and another none. This sculpture in the memory is not without preéstablishcd harmony. The eye was placed where one ray should fall, that it might testify of that particular ray. We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents. It may be safely trusted as proportionate and of good issues, so it be faithfully imparted, but God will not have his work made manifest by cowards. A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise shall give hint no peace. It is a deliverance which does not deliver. In the attempt his genius deserts him; no muse befriends; no invention, no hope.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

Best Advice I Ever Got from Grandpa

 A Good Investing Blog

A good blog from an individual investor who has an attitude and philosophy that YOU should strive for–or at least that is what csinvesting.org HOPES you seek–independence.  Remember don’t mimic but learn.  My investments would be different from this blogger’s investments but our attitudes are similar. I just came across this blog this morning. Thumbs up!

http://reminiscencesofastockblogger.com/about/

http://reminiscencesofastockblogger.com/2012/09/01/the-community-banks-of-arbitar-partners/

Welcome to my blog

My name is Lsigurd and I plan to use this blog to share the research that I do for stocks that I am purchasing in my own accounts.  In the portfolio page I will keep track of my picks with an RBC practice account.

This is not my first attempt at a blog. I used to post regularly on stockhouse but I got tired of the spam on the site. I also have been posting regularly on Investors Village under the moniker of liverless.   I lost interest with the format of posting on a bulletin board, and I think its time for something new.

The RBC  account I will use to track my portfolio has been active since July 1st, 2011.  Performance from my accounts for earlier years can be viewed here.

Who am I?

I don’t think that investing acumen can be taught.  Everyone has to find their own investing personality, and the only way you can do that is by getting into the market and figuring out what works for you.  I made a conscious choice to bypass the route of an MBA or CFA  and to instead learn by experience.  I remain convinced that the best way to learn the market is by being in the market and making mistakes.

My educational background is in oil and gas, and so I started my market education by buying a number of oil and gas stocks based on what I saw as strong fundamentals and cheap valuations (my first being a little producer called Belair Petroleum for those that remember such names).  I quickly learned that in the oil and gas sector, cheap is another word for dead.  Valuation is about more than numbers, and I have learned that a good story and strong prospective growth is a better value proposition than a cheap cash flow multiple.

From the world of oil and gas I expanded my area of investment based on the thesis that China was going to keep growing and that the middle class in China would evolve into consumers of refrigerators, indoor plumbing and automobiles.  This thesis lead me to my first forays into base metal stocks (I owe much of my early success to the likes of Aur Resources and Hudbay Minerals), to gold (I own much of my early frustration to Apollo Gold!), and from there to soft commodities like potash (I was one of the original potash bulls on the VT.to board on Investors Village), and most recently pulp.

Lately I have expanded my investment landscape to regional banks and US REITS.  Why would I make the jump from commodity investing to basically real estate (regional banks are almost all highly leveraged to real estate loans)?  Because these stocks have been crushed and at some point a good value proposition is going to emerge.  It’s the same reason that I keep a close eye on lumber and forestry stocks, and have been in and out of them on occasion over the last couple of years.   The time for these stocks, banks, REITS and forestry, has not come yet (with the exception of a few special situation banks I am invested in) but it will and I want to be ready for that moment.

So what can you expect to read about here?

I don’t run anyone’s money but my own.  I have for 10 years and I’ve done it well.  I have returned to myself somewhere between 400-500% over the last 10 years, while the S&P has done nothing. I run my own portfolios and do a lot of due diligence on my stock purchases.  I buy mostly (but not exclusively) microcap stocks, primarily because the value most often lies in those stocks that are not followed by many others.  This can cause my portfolio to have a lot of volatility and it has led to more than a few sleep deprived nights, but such is life and I have had good success with my strategy.

I’ve had success looking for undervalued stocks in unloved but growing sectors.  A lot of my success has come from commodity stocks.  As this commodity bull market matures and opportunities become more scarce, I have found myself expanding to other areas; to buy some US REITs, some regional banks, and there are a few one-off special situation stocks that I have not yet bought but am looking closely at.

So what you can expect here is that I will write about the stocks I own, much as I did on the stockhouse blog I had, and much as I do on Investors Village.

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