Even just two years ago, I would NEVER have expected to be DIY investing. I doubt I knew DIY investing was an actual thing. I mean yeah, I knew a guy who traded stocks online by himself in his basement when he wasn’t working his day job, and probably spent hours researching companies and markets in an attempt to make a profit. But really that was SO FAR out of my wheelhouse that it just seemed like something as distant as magical rainbow unicorns.
Today, that magical rainbow unicorn was revealed to mine own eyes, via a few transactions in my Questrade TFSA! My DIY Investing journey has begun. I had more than enough to fund my account thanks to my semi-successful $500 Challenge, plus allowance money that I scrimped and saved to make up the rest.
Still much to learn, young Padawan
Getting into Questrade was one thing. Understanding all of the bits and bobs is totally something else. What is maint excess? Buying power? What should I choose as my order type? What do I put as my limit price? Do I bid or ask? What’s a long and short MR? The mysteries abound. Fortunately I found some fab tutorials over at the Canadian Portfolio Manager Blog which totally helped me out. I was able to easily learn just enough useful things to make my first trade. And you know what? It was actually pretty easy! Apparently Questrade also has some excellent tutorials which I plan to peruse in short order.
Of course, I’m left to wonder why I didn’t do this a long time ago, but as some wise Chinese proverb once proclaimed, the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but the next best time is now.
Tree planted, bitches.
Day One Summary
I basically went a pretty safe-ish route and purchased some Vanguard ETFs based on advice from the Canadian Portfolio Manager blog, Vanguard’s “Risk Tolerance” questionnaire, the Canadian Couch Potato site, and conversations with generally informed people whom I trust. Low MERs, decent returns, diversification – what’s not to love?
So far, I’ve lost $1.71.
I mean, disappointing that I couldn’t report a gain on day one, but I’m in this for the VERY LONG haul to FI, so I just won’t be looking at it again until I deposit more $ to invest (auto-transfers from bank account already established!)
I would like to thank everyone who has provided me with advice and support over the past year to give me the confidence to make this happen. I’m excited about what the future will bring. Please let me know your experiences with DIY investing in the comments, and how I can get rich quick! I know, it’s not really about that, but I’d welcome those comments anyway. Toodles!
5 Replies to “Day One of DIY Investing”
Tree planted!! Awesome. Which ETF’s did you end up buying?
I presume you will re-balance as you add more money. I think a lot of people get overwhelmed with all the options on Questrade. But it really is as simple as choose ETF, click buy, put in # of units (some basic math here) Choose market order, choose day, and click buy again. So simple, who cares about all the other choices/info.
Thank you for your comments and visit Money Mechanic! Based on my Vanguard risk questionnaire, it suggested I go heavy on stocks and lighter on bonds. Looking at the model portfolios of the CPM blog, I went with a mix of VGRO and VBAL only. I needed something easy hahah. Anyway, I need to do more research to better understand how to diversify better…I listened to your episode on investing in ETFs which was helpful. Ex. Also interested in dividend investing so I’ll be listening to that episode soon!
Well equal parts VGRO and VBAL will give you a 70% equity and 30% bond allocation. They both hold the same things, but are very well diversified. You probably don’t need to make it more complicated, just put equal amounts into both of those. Dividend investing is good, just a bit more work and you need larger lump sums to get going. Otherwise trading fees will crush you.
Thank you! Yes I have 50% of each right now. Will get more creative later when I don’t feel like a total newb anymore!