BeSmartRich- 2016’s Last Net Worth Update: $231,723 (+$90,553, +64.1%) 4

Happy New Year my precious readers! 🙂

Thanks for coming to this pathetic-enough Random Korean immigrant’s million dollar journey blog. It means a lot to me.

Hope everyone had a great time during the holiday season and is fully ready for 2017.

Happy New Year from Toronto


I cannot wait to have some fun. 2017 will be full of excitement. Impact on Brexit, price change of Oil and Gas, Trump’s political movements, Canadian real estate correction or even crash and so on. Lots of actions to be expected and I will be in the back seat to enjoy every single bit of it.

You should know this by now, I love correction and crash. Brexit was a wonderful opportunity to buy solid stocks and all non-nonsensical movements by Trump could be another opportunity to buy up great stocks. We will see and I will let you know what I do with it.

Since this will be our 2016’s last net worth update, I am adding a section below to compare my performance to the one by TSX composite since the date I started investing (i.e. September 12 2014). This poor pathetic Korean immigrant made some returns over time and I am excited to show off.  If I ever open an investment managing firm, your money will be safer with me than with other 95% investment firms that will suck your blood out over time.


Changed my investing style-

From Value Investing to Growth Oriented Value Investing

As I said previously, I have changed my investing style from deep value investing (asset investing or turnaround investing) to growth focused investing. I did pretty well with deep value investing style but I was not a big fan of severe volatility and negative sentiment built towards so called turnaround potential stocks. It emotionally hurt me time to time but I held pretty well and returned about 20% while TSX was down 3% during last 2 years.

I still have some cash to deploy. I have been cautiously deploying my cash to my forever companies.


As I said in the article, I will look for

  1. simple business that I understand
  2. with consistent operating history with strong growth perspective (strong and consistent revenue, EPS, book value, free cash flows growth)
  3. favorable long-term prospects (monopoly or possessing high % of recurring revenue)
  4. Exceptional and honest management with long term goals in mind (hopefully with significant insider holding. E.g. Founders or its family members would be great as they wouldn’t sacrifice long term business objectives over short term ones.)  I think this point is probably one of the most important stock picking tips. It is all about finding exceptional leaders. Once you have identified them, then 80% of your work of finding great stocks is done. I cannot emphasize enough on this. Think about Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Frank Hasenfratz’s (currently his daughter Linda Hasenfratz) Linamar, Larry Rossy’s (currently his son Neil Rossy) Dollarama, Selim Bassoul’s Middleby etc… When you find this kind of exceptional leaders, what you pay for the stock is not an important issue anymore. Once you find exceptional leaders, stick with them for a long time until either one of you die. Don’t worry about corrections, bear markets, wars etc…
  5. Importantly, solid historical ROE with 15 or more with low leverage and solid balance sheets
  6. reasonable or fair P/E
  7. forever stocks (or international ETFs only I feel no bargains are around.)
  8. insiders are buying or hold significant amount of shares.
  9. company is buying back its shares


With newly redefined investing style, I am slightly more confident but you are always welcome here to laugh at my failure. I will try to laugh with you. Let’s see how I do next 2- 5 years in this new chapter.  I still have some oil&gas related deep valued asset play stocks but they will eventually be sold once they reach my target selling price. The proceeds will be transformed to great &permanent stocks that I would probably hold forever.

I held them for less than 2 years and sold all of them from recent restructuring of my portfolio. Good bye and probably see you again at some point. You all made me some money here. Deep value investing style kinda worked.


I also shared mid-term outcome check from the restructuring



Here is what happened in the markets during December 2016.

Dow gained 3.34% Wow!

Nasdaq gained 1.12%. Pretty good!


TSX gained 1.36% as well.


The markets were clearly excited.

3.33% is what I gained last month. Pretty good huh?


Many events are happening

-Trump’s victory

-potential interest rate hike,

-real estate correction

-Brexit etc…

Countless exciting events are happening. As I always say, volatility is your best friend. I said previously if Trump becomes the president and shocks the markets by 10-15%, that’s when I would be happy to deploy all of my cash (which did not happen unfortunately) If Hilary becomes the president and destroys healthcare stocks, then again, I would be accumulating healthcare stocks (health care stocks did well due to Trump’s victory). Threats from politics existed all the time throughout our history but most of them were short lived. Research the fundamentals of the companies before buying and hold onto great companies through good and bad times. Focus on accumulating companies when they are cheap and keep doing it until you realize your net worth has increased significantly over time.


My history of net worth proves that.

March 2016 and April 2016 did amazingly well that boosted my market value of portfolio by more than 5% and May was alright. Then here came June 2016 boosting my net worth by 15.7% and July 2016 was very satisfying at 3.4% of growth in my net worth. August 2016September 2016 and October 2016 were not too bad then here comes November 2016 that boosted my net worth by 6% and another 3.3% in December 2016. Who cares whether the markets do great or not? I am an optimist so I would rather say “the glass is half full” than “the glass is half empty”


I somewhat hoped that the market crashes soon so that I can buy quality assets at discount especially when I have some cash to deploy. Or I probably want to see 2008-2009 short and quick super major correction to happen which may be actually scary but that’s the time you can make the most money. As I said, BREXIT was a great opportunity for me.

As you know, luckily, I have constant cash flow from my day job with help of our family’s frugal habits to pour more money in the market every month. It is really hard to find a bargain lately compared to this February 2016 or end of June 2016 (post Brexit) but I will keep trying to find hidden gems that people do not notice.



Investor Sentiment Wheel


I am fascinated to observe how human psychology work especially in stock market. Most of businesses that I invest are exactly the same businesses as usual making constantly solid cash flow. They may be facing a temporary business setback however a lot of times, the stocks of them may be punished a lot harder than the actual problems. Take advantage of it!


Remember this… As long as business is solid, the stock price will eventually follow.

It is only a matter of time until you see more greens in all of the stocks in your portfolio if you are a long term investor. Just keep being invested in your quality stocks. If you are a lucky one who gets regular paycheque and have some money to invest after your monthly spending, then keep buying at lower prices every month.


Keep it simple. Don’t think too hard. Just find good quality undervalued dividend stocks, buy them at low and weather the rainstorm until the sun rises again. When the sun rises which it always does, it will be swift.


Ironically, people get more excited when market climbs up when they have to pay premium for the same stocks whereas when the market is headed downward, they tend to avoid buying the same stocks at discounted prices. I would worry more and look to restructure my portfolio when the market keeps climbing up. Time for me to say my favorite investor of all time, our legendary old man, Warren’s most famous quote.


“You want to be greedy when others are fearful. You want to be fearful when others are greedy. It’s that simple.”


I recently put Warren Buffett’s top 50 quotes together. Check it out.’



Don’t forget about his stock picking tips!



Have you heard about Peter Lynch, a Wall street legend? Check out Peter Lynch’s top 13 best stock picking tips as well. You won’t regret it.


I also shared why cash flow is so important when you buying any stocks

Why is Cash the King when investing?


Also importance of not waiting too long when you find great companies

My one of the most stupid investing mistakes- BUY IT WHEN YOU CAN!


Many people like this post as well.

Can you save $10 a day? If so you will be a millionaire in about 30 years.



Remember 2008-2009 market crisis?


2008-2009 market turmoil made so many people richer and poorer. People who became poorer are the ones that sold their stocks at loss and never looked back. People who became richer are the ones that bought stocks at 30-80% off the original prices then they triple and quadruple their original investment within 2-3 years.


There are still some undervalued stocks. That simple concept will make us richer sooner or later. I have no way of knowing and an ability of forecasting the market but all my efforts will be dedicated to find great stocks that are currently undervalued.


My net worth increased by $10,843 (4.9%) from $220,880 to $231,723 during December 2016.


I just broke my record in December once again. My net worth is $231,723. The highest level ever since I started my blog. I reversed several months of down streak and finally changed the direction big time. Hopefully this continues.

When I achieved $200,000 milestone, I wrote 5 key tips to accumulate wealth and achieve financial independence so check it out below.

This is my twelveth 2016 net worth update. Net worth update is posted monthly to keep track of the progress of my journey to become a millionaire. I believe anyone can be a millionaire with good saving habits and smart investing plans. If you would like to join the journey, please follow me through my Facebook and twitter pages and subscribe your email for free updates.

Compared to December last year, it grew by $90,553. That’s 64% growth. It grew by $7,544 every month. Not bad huh? I am quite pleased with the result but it could have been better. I will keep searching for great stocks and see where this takes me. If you are afraid of losing 20-30% of your portfolio value then investing in stock market isn’t for you. Risk and rewards always follows. Always perform your due diligence researching the fundamental of the stocks before you buy or just buy amazingly reasonable Vanguard ETFs. That’s called indexing.

$300K is very reachable by the end of 2017!



The cash balance has increased from $6,849 to $10,488. I will be deploying it fairly quickly to TFSA soon. $5,500 room is pretty sweet.

Even after reduced annual TFSA contribution limit from $10,000 to $5,500 from a stupid political move by the new regime in Ottawa, (Yes I am talking to you Justin!) TFSA is still an amazing instrument to invest so for someone who do not take advantage of TFSA and RRSP (for US citizens, 401K, IRA, ROTH IRA…) please use them for your future. They are wonderful instruments that will make your future brighter.

Our majority of cash is sitting in President choice Debit account. I use it for the most of the money transfer, bill payments, cheques etc… as there is no transaction fee in this amazing card and cheques are free. Major banks typically charge $50-100 for 50 cheques but I pay nothing for that. Due to its partnership with CIBC bank, I can use their extensive CIBC ATMs network which is awesome. Their customer service is great as well.





December 2016 was a good month for me as I said. Our portfolio increased by 3.33%.


Our portfolio is at $222,942 and we have deployed all of our cash in December.

Ups and Downs. We don’t really care. We are not selling the quality stocks until they become extremely overvalued. I would much prefer for better opportunities to pick up more shares at favorable prices. I love corrections and crashes. As long as fundamentals are there, I am not too concerned about the noises. Although it would hurt to see our portfolio decreasing its value during corrections and crashes I have a coping mechanism built in me. Not the end of the world for me. Tides will eventually turn. Buy low and sell high right?

Only problem I have right now is how to come up with even more cash for a better time to jump in. I think values will show up here and there again so I will patiently wait for temporary setbacks.

When you invest, you should always look at long term investing horizon, not tomorrow, next month, next year etc…. If you foresee that you would need cash in a near future then investing in stocks isn’t for you. However when you start to focus on longer term view, then you will do quite well as long as you buy good stocks with great fundamentals at attractive price.


Recent Buys and Sells

Due to restructuring, I sold many good valued solid stocks that I bought mostly less than 1 year ago. We made pretty good money so I will happily let them go.


And I am very happy to announce that my core holdings got strengthened. I added some more companies during December and I am willing to hold them as long as fundamentals are strong.

Total 14 core holdings that I consider as permanent (hopefully) stocks. They represent about 70% of our net worth.

Our Portfolio Performance

I opened direct investing account on Sep 12 2014. During last 27 months, our portfolio gained about 25.08% whereas S&P and TSX composite dropped by 0.7%. Not bad huh?

Annualized gain is 10.21% so which is a little lower than historical index average but much much better than S&P and TSX composite. I guess I will keep doing whatever I have been doing for the last 27 months.




Here is our yearly’ portfolio performance. If you invested $100,000 with me when I started investing in September 2014, then you would have $125,067 by now. If you invested in TSX through ETF then you would have lost $1,600 and more through fees etc…

BSR VS TSX= 3:0. Let’s call that as first year rookie’s luck


Check out my portfolio page to see what stocks I own and the following article for more investment tips-How to Simply Invest and Get Richer for Dummies in 8 Easy Steps.

Did I mention you can be a millionaire in about 30 years if you can save $10 a day?

If you are also a dividend investor like me, then you should check out the following page to see how other dividend investors are doing. You won’t regret a moment of reading their valuable and inspirational articles. Blogroll


Credit card

Our credit card debt increased from $1,475 to $1,707. Our spending may get higher since my wife is back to school. Textbooks and school materials are extremely expensive and I am quite unhappy about schools putting students through this. For example, a polo shirt with school department name printed is sold at $40 and all nursing students must buy them. A stupid clicker that to be used in a course is sold at $120. All of the course textbooks are sold at school bookstores and they are 20% more expensive than what you can order from Amazon (students can’t get a better deal from its own school than Amazon? What the heck is wrong with them?). Access code is mandatory so students are forced to buy brand new books. Total textbooks for this semester costed us $500.

What the hell. Textbook and other school materials companies lobby the hell out of school bureaucrats and they force the poor students into further debts than necessary. When the students graduates, they will have to work their ass off to get off debt. How depressing. If I was the dean of the school, I would do anything to make the studying more affordable to students but everyone is just hungry for their own pockets. Disgusting… That was my rant of the month.

All of them temporarily hurt our net worth (and my moral) but we strongly believe the future return is extremely lucrative of the educations.


I don’t know whether you will remember this but my wife is a mad artist (I will show you some of her artworks later if she allows) and have spent several years to do her soul searching. Well guess what? She wants to be a nurse in Canada then combine her artistic talents with the nursing degree to be an art therapist eventually. She is from South Korea and recently immigrated to Canada. I have emphasized this to you before, if you are a foreign immigrant, getting right education is one of the most important things that you will have to do to be treated equally (not to mention your language skills but you will pick up while you go through your degree programs) and self-sustaining. Let me tell you, it is not going to be easy. I have been through it but very well worth it.

While I love to see my wife showing off her artworks and helping me out with this blog (She designed this BeSmartRich blog. She also helps me with maintenance, research, promotion, advertising etc…), I am extremely pleased with her decision to going for her dream which is a great cause for the community we reside in.

I see it impacting our net worth as one step back and ten steps forward. We may be spending $4-5K per semester which will temporarily and negatively impacting our net worth but that will give back hundred times guaranteed returns during our lifetime. That’s the power of education. Only sky is the limit. Not to mention we can recoup some tuition costs through tax credits, courtesy of Canadian Government. Thank you Canada. I love you so much!

We are still close to debt free and I like it that way. I just love the feeling of keeping our debt balance low as I feel empowered to be debt free.

We tried to minimize spending over last couple of months and it worked out pretty well. We use Capital one Costco credit card as it gives us 3% cash back on restaurants (6% on first 3 months). We also have MBNA cash back card that we use mainly for grocery and gas for 2% cash back and everything else for 1% cash back (5% on first 6 months) without any annual fee. Unlike capital one cash back card and all other cash back cards out there, MBNA card is well beyond expectation. First of all, MBNA pays cold hard cash back (not points toward purchasing goods and services) and secondly, MBNA directly deposits the cash right away to your bank when it hits $50 mark. That’s great as I don’t have to wait until the end of the year to collect cash. Remember. Everything adds up.


Check out the following links if you are interested in getting awesome credit cards like MBNA and Capital one credit cards.

US residents

Canadian residents



We have been tightening up spending. We set up two major rules and following religiously so far.

  1. My wife added some more healthy option after watching some documentary films about how chickens, milk cows etc… are raised so we have been purchasing quality organic ingredients, cook home meals most of time and go out and enjoy restaurant meal once a month together in a mutually agreed restaurant.
  2. We shop at Costco once a month for majority of grocery (They are always fresh and love their AAA beef so much for very attractive prices) then for urgent needs, my wife goes grocery nearby our place for eggs, milks, vegetable and fruits as in need basis. Our monthly grocery budget is $700 per month. I know it is high for just two people but we love healthy and good quality food and I am a meateatarian.
  3. We will keep being frugal on all other expenditures. See the following links for excellent ways to save money.



Hope you enjoyed this month’s net worth update. Remember, if you haven’t, set your saving & investing plans up and try to see how much net worth you have reached as of now and how much it has fluctuated in the past. Knowing where you are and where you will be headed will be a great starting point to be a millionaire and retire comfortably. Hang in there. I will be on the journey with you.

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