Does the 'Day-Trading Margin Requirment' apply to commodities?
I want to practice and learn day trading buy I don't have a spare 25,000$ to start it. I thought about trying to investment in instruments other than stocks but don't know if the rule apply to commodities Any help?
I paid $1000 for an Adam Khoo investing course so you don't have to! (Summarized in post)
Lesson one is "stock basics" summarized: (2 videos) for every buyer there's a seller, for every seller there's a buyer, fear and greed drives prices, what fundamental analysis means, what technical analysis means. lesson 2 is ETFs summarized: (video 1) Bull markets are opportunities, bear markets are bigger opportunity's, Bear markets never last, always followed by bull market. (video 2) The market is volatile in the short term in the long term it always goes up, what an ETF is, different types of ETF indexes. (video 3) Expands on the different types of ETFs (bonds, commodities etc). (video 3) A 35min video on dollar cost averaging lol. (Video 5) summarizing the last 4 videos. Lesson 3 is Steps to investing summarized: (video 1) A good business increases value over time, a valuable business has higher sales, earnings and cashflow. (video 2) invest in businesses that are undervalued or fairly valued, stocks trade below its value because investors have negative perception of the company lesson 4 Financials summarized (all 4 videos) where to find financials, how to use a website (Morning Star) to screen stocks, how good is the company at making money, Look for companies that have growing revenue, check growth profit margin and net profit margin of company compared to industry. Lesson 5 Stock Valuation summarized (2 videos) go here: https://tradebrains.in/dcf-calculato and look at what the calculator is asking for, go to Morning Star find the needed numbers that are required, bam you got the intrinsic vale. Lesson 6 Technical Analysis summarized: (all 4 videos) What are candles sticks, what do they mean, support and ceilings, consolidation levels. Lesson 7 The 7 step formula summarized: (3 videos) See what I wrote in lesson 3 and lesson 5. lesson 8 Winning portfolio summarized summarized: (video 1) Diversify, keep portfolio balanced, different sectors (video 2) More sectors, Dividends (video 3) More on sectors, more on dividends, what are different stock caps (large cap, small cap etc) Lesson 9 finding opportunities summarized: (video 1) see lesson 3, (video 2) creating a watch list,monitor news, company announcements, stock price, financials Lesson 10 psychology of success summarized: (2 videos) basically: common sense. Lesson 11 Finding a broker summarized: (1 video) look at fees and commissions, see minimum deposit, check margin rates, make sure it has a good trading platform. I just saved you 18 hours and $1000.
The Great Unwinding: Why WSB Will Keep Losing Their Tendies
I. The Death of Modern Portfolio Theory, The Loss of Risk Parity, & The Liquidity Crunch SPY 1 Y1 Day Modern portfolio theory has been based on the foundational idea for the past 3 decades that both equities and bonds are inversely correlated. However, as some people have realized, both stocks and bonds are both increasing in value and decreasing in value at the same time. This approach to investing is used pretty much in everyone's 401K, target date retirement plans, or other forms of passive investing. If both bonds and equities are losing value, what will happen to firms implementing these strategies on a more generalized basis known as risk-parity? Firms such as Bridgewater, Bluecrest, and H2O assets have been blowing up. [2,3] Liquidity has been drying up in the markets for the past two weeks. The liquidity crisis has been in the making since the 2008 financial crisis, after the passage of Dodd-Frank and Basel III. Regulations intended to regulate the financial industry have instead created the one of the largest backstops to Fed intervention as the Fed tried to pump liquidity into the market through repo operations. What is a repo?
A repo is a secured loan contract that is collateralized by a security. A repo transaction facilitates the sale and future repurchase of the security that serves as collateral between the two parties: (1) the borrower who owns a security and seeks cash and (2) the lender who receives the security as collateral when lending the cash. The cash borrower sells securities to the cash lender with the agreement to repurchase them at the maturity date. Over the course of the transaction, the cash borrower retains the ownership of the security. On the maturity date, the borrower returns the cash with interest to the lender and the collateral is returned from the lender to the borrower.
Banks like Bank of New York Mellon and JP Morgan Chase act as a clearing bank to provide this liquidity to other lenders through a triparty agreement. In short, existing regulations make it unfavorable to take on additional repos due to capital reserve requirement ratios, creating a liquidity crunch.[7,8,9] What has the Fed done to address this in light of these facts?
In light of the shift to an ample reserves regime, the Board has reduced reserve requirement ratios to zero percent effective on March 26, the beginning of the next reserve maintenance period.
II. Signs of Exhaustion & The Upcoming Bounce is a Trap, We Have Far More to Go A simple indicator to use is the relative strength index (RSI) that a lot of WSB is familiar with. RSI is not the be all and end all. There's tons of indicators that also are indicating we are at a very oversold point. SPY 1 Y1 Day RSI Given selling waves, there are areas of key support and resistance. For reference, I have not changed key lines since my original charts except for the colors. You can check in my previous posts. 247.94 has been critically an area that has been contested many times, as seen in the figure below. For those that bought calls during the witching day, RIP my fellow autists. The rejection of 247.94 and the continued selling below 233.86 signals to me more downside, albeit, it's getting exhausted. Thus, I expect the next area in which we start rallying is 213. SPY 10 Day/30 min Another contrarian indicator for buying calls is that notable people in finance have also closed their shorts. These include Jeffery Gundlach, Kevin Muir, and Raoul Pal.[11,12,13] III. The Dollar, Gold, and Oil As previously stated, cash is being hoarded by not only primary banks, but central banks around the world. This in turn has created a boom in the dollar's strength, despite limitless injections of cash (if you think 1 trillion of Repo is the ceiling, think again) by the Fed. DXY Despite being in a deflationary environment, the DXY has not achieved such levels since 2003. Given the dollar shortage around the world, it is not inconceivable that we reach levels of around 105-107. For disclosure, I have taken a long position in UUP. However, with all parabolic moves, they end in a large drop. To summarize, the Fed needs to take action on its own currency due to the havoc it's causing globally, and will need to crush the value of the dollar, which will likely coincide with the time that we near 180. If we are indeed headed towards 180, then gold will keep selling off. WSB literally screams bloody guhhhhhh when gold sells off. However, gold has been having an amazing run and has broken out of its long term channel. In times of distress and with margin calls, heavy selling of equities selling off of gold in order to raise cash. As previously noted, in this deflationary environment, everything is selling off from stocks, to bonds, to gold. /GC Futures Contracts 5 Y1 Wk What about oil? Given the fall out of the risk parity structure, I'm no longer using TLT inflows/outflows as an indicator. I've realized that energy is the economy. Closely following commodities such as light crude which follow supply and demand more closely have provided a much better leading indicator as to what will happen in equities. Given that, oil will also most likely hit a relief rally. But ultimately, we have seen it reach as low $19/barrel during intraday trading. /CL Futures Contracts 1 Y1 D IV. The Next 5 Years In short, the recovery from this deflationary environment will take years to recover from. The trend down will not be without large bumps. We cannot compare this on the scale of the 2008 financial crisis. This is on the order of 1929. Once we hit near 180, the Fed crushes the dollar, we are in a high likelihood of hitting increased inflation, or stagflation. At this point the Fed will be backed into a corner and forced to raise rates. My targets for gold are around 1250-1300. It may possibly go near to 1000. Oil could conceivably go as low as $15-17/barrel, so don't go all in on the recovery bounce. No matter what, the current rise in gold will be a trap. The continued selling in the S&P is a trap, will bounce, forming another trap, before continuing our painful downtrend. I haven't even mentioned coronavirus and unemployment until now. I've stated previously we are on track to hit around at least 10,000 coronavirus cases by the end of this month. It's looking closer to now 20-30,000. Next month we are looking to at least 100,000 by the end of the April. We might hit 1,000,000 by May or June. Comparison of the 2020 Decline to 1929 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Chart courtesy of Moon_buzz tl;dr We're going to have a major reflexive rally starting around 213, all the way back to at least to 250, and possibly 270. WSB is going to lose their minds holding their puts, and then load up on calls, declaring we've reached a bottom in the stock market. The next move will be put in place for the next leg down to 182, where certain actors will steal all your tendies on the way down. Also Monday might be another circuit breaker. tl;dr of tl;dr Big bounce incoming. Bear trap starting 213. Then bull trap up around 250-270. We're going down to around 182. tl;dr of tl;dr of tl;dr WSB will be screwed both left and right before they can say guh. Hint: If you want to get a Bloomberg article for free, hit esc repeatedly before the popup appears. If it doesn't work, refresh the article, and keep hitting esc. Remember, do not dance. We are on the cusp of a generational change. Use the money you earn to protect yourselves and others. Financial literacy and knowledge is the key to empowerment and self-change. Some good DD posts: u/bigd0g111 -https://www.reddit.com/wallstreetbets/comments/fmshcv/when_market_bounce_inevitably_comesdont_scream/ u/scarvesandsuspenders - https://www.reddit.com/wallstreetbets/comments/fmzu51/incoming_bounce_vix_puts/ Update 1 3/22/2020 - Limit down 3 minutes of futures. Likely hit -7% circuit breaker on the cash open on Monday at 213 as stated previously. Do not think we will hit the 2nd circuit breaker at 199.06. Thinking we bounce, not too much, but stabilize at least around 202.97. Update 2 3/23/20 9:08 - Watching the vote before making any moves. 9:40 - sold 25% of my SPY puts and 50% of my VXX calls 9:45 - sold another 50% of SPY puts 9:50 - just holding 25% SPY puts now and waiting for the vote/other developments 11:50 - Selling all puts. Starting my long position. 11:55 - Sold USO puts. 12:00 - Purchased VXX puts to vega hedge. 2:45 - Might sell calls EOD. Looks like a lot of positioning for another leg down before going back up. It's pretty common to shake things out in order to make people to sell positions. Just FYI, I do intraday trading. If you can't, just wait for EOD for the next positioning. 3:05 - Seeing a massive short on gold. Large amounts of calls on treasuries. And extremely large positioning for more shorts on SPY/SPX. Will flip into puts. Lot of people keep DM'ing me. I'm only going to do this once. https://preview.redd.it/uvs5tkje1ho41.png?width=2470&format=png&auto=webp&s=c6b632556ca04a26e4e08fb2c9223bfcb84e0901 That said, I'm going back into puts. Just goes to show how tricky the game is. 3:45 - As more shorts cover, going to sell the calls and then flip into puts around the last few min of close. Hope you guys made some money on the cover and got some puts. I'll write a short update later explaining how they set up tomorrow, especially with the VIX dropping so much. 3/24/20 - So the rally begins. Unfortunately misread the options volume. The clearest signal was the VIX dropping the past few days even though we kept swinging lower, which suggested that large gap downs were mostly over and the rally is getting started. Going to hold my puts since they are longer dated. Going to get a few short term calls to ride this wave. 10:20 - VIX still falling, possibility of a major short squeeze coming in if SPY breaks out over 238-239. 10:45 - Opened a small GLD short, late April expiration. 10:50 - Sold calls, just waiting, not sure if we break 238. If we go above 240, going back into calls. See room going to 247 or 269. Otherwise, going to start adding to my puts. https://preview.redd.it/ag5s0hccxmo41.png?width=2032&format=png&auto=webp&s=aad730db4164720483a8b60056243d6e4a8a0cab 11:10 - Averaging a little on my puts here. Again, difficult to time the entries. Do not recommend going all in at a single time. Still watching around 240 closely. 11:50 - Looks like it's closing. Still going to wait a little bit. 12:10 - Averaged down more puts. Have a little powder left, we'll see what happens for the rest of today and tomorrow. 2:40 - Closed positions, sitting on cash. Waiting to see what EOD holds. Really hard trading days. 3:00 - Last update. What I'm trying to do here posting some thoughts is for you guys to take a look at things and make some hypotheses before trading. Getting a lot of comments and replies complaining. If you're tailing, yes there is risk involved. I've mentioned sizing appropriately, and locking in profits. Those will help you get consistent gains. https://preview.redd.it/yktrcoazjpo41.png?width=1210&format=png&auto=webp&s=2d6f0272712a2d17d45e033273a369bc164e2477 Bounced off 10 year trendline at around 246, pretty close to 247. Unless we break through that the rally is over. Given that, could still see us going to 270. 3/25/20 - I wouldn't read too much into the early moves. Be careful of the shakeouts. Still long. Price target, 269. When does the month end? Why is that important? 12:45 - out calls. 12:50 - adding a tranche of SPY puts. Adding GLD puts. 1:00 est - saving rest of my dry powder to average if we still continue to 270. Think we drop off a cliff after the end of the quarter. Just a little humor... hedge funds and other market makers right now. 2:00pm - Keep an eye on TLT and VXX... 3:50pm - Retrace to the 10 yr trend line. Question is if we continue going down or bounce. So I'm going to explain again, haven't changed these lines. Check the charts from earlier. https://preview.redd.it/9qiqyndtivo41.png?width=1210&format=png&auto=webp&s=55cf84f2b9f5a8099adf8368d9f3034b0e3c4ae4 3/26/20 - Another retest of the 10 yr trendline. If it can go over and hold, can see us moving higher. 9:30 - Probably going to buy calls close to the open. Not too sure, seems like another trap setting up. Might instead load up on more puts later today. In terms of unemployment, was expecting close to double. Data doesn't seem to line up. That's why we're bouncing. California reported 1 million yesterday alone, and unemployment estimates were 1.6 million? Sure. Waiting a little to see the price action first. Treasuries increasing and oil going down? 9:47 - Added more to GLD puts. 10:11 - Adding more SPY puts and IWM puts. 10:21 - Adding more puts. 11:37 - Relax guys, this move has been expected. Take care of yourselves. Eat something, take a walk. Play some video games. Don't stare at a chart all day. If you have some family or close friends, advise them not to buy into this rally. I've had my immediate family cash out or switch today into Treasury bonds/TIPS. 2:55pm - https://youtu.be/S74rvpc6W60?t=9 3:12pm - Hedge funds and their algos right now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF_nUm982vI 4:00pm - Don't doubt your vibe. For those that keep asking about my vibe... yes, we could hit 270. I literally said we could hit 270 when we were at 218. There was a lot of doubt. Just sort by best and look at the comments. Can we go to 180 from 270? Yes. I mentioned that EOM is important. Here's another prediction. VIX will hit ATH again. 2:55pm EST - For DM's chat is not working now. Will try to get back later tonight. Stream today for those who missed it, 2:20-4:25 - https://www.twitch.tv/videos/576598992 Thanks again to WallStreetBooyah and all the others for making this possible. 9:10pm EST Twitter handles (updated) https://www.reddit.com/wallstreetbets/comments/fmhz1p/the_great_unwinding_why_wsb_will_keep_losing/floyrbf/?context=3, thanks blind_guy Not an exhaustive list. Just to get started. Follow the people they follow. Dark pool and gamma exposure - https://squeezemetrics.com/monitodix Wyckoff - https://school.stockcharts.com/doku.php?id=market_analysis:the_wyckoff_method MacroVoices Investopedia for a lot. Also links above in my post. lol... love you guys. Please be super respectful on FinTwit. These guys are incredibly helpful and intelligent, and could easily just stop posting content.
Due Diligence: Toromont Industries Ltd. - Building Together For An Exciting Future
Hi, This is my first attempt at writing a DD report. I hope it makes sense. Just a few cautionary words:
Grammar (and English in general) is not a skill of mine. There will be a few parts that you might have to decipher, good luck.
I tried not to provide too much commentary and stick to the facts. I know you are spending your valuable time reading this and you probably don't want to listen to some random guy on the internet pontificate.
For those of you who are easily offended/triggered, can't take a joke, or sarcasm isn't your taste, DO NOT click the spoilers.
Lastly, the following is just my findings, by no means is it a representation of all the information out there. It is just the baseline for me to have confidence in becoming an owner of the Company. Do your own due diligence or talk to a financial advisor to find what is best for you and your financial situation. Happy reading!
Over the last 5 years the stock price has more than doubled.
Toromont dominates market share over everything east of Manitoba in Canada.
Customer base is heavily diversified, giving the Company many opportunities to expand into multiple industries.
Dividend has increased for 31 consecutive years. It has been paid for 52 consecutive years
The management team is extremely knowledgeable and have a good track record
Toromont Industries Ltd. (TSE:TIH) provides specialized equipment in Canada and the United States. The Company operates two business segments: The Equipment Group and CIMCO. The Equipment Group supplies specialized mobile equipment and industrial engines for Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT). Customers for this business segment vary from infrastructure contractors, residential and commercial contractors, mining companies, forestry companies, pulp and paper producers, general contractors, utilities, municipalities, marine companies, waste handling companies, and agricultural enterprises. CIMCO offers design, engineering, fabrication, and installation of industrial and recreational refrigeration systems. The Company was founded in 1961 and operates out of Concord, Ontario. As at December 31, 2019, Toromont employed over 6,500 people in more than 150 locations across central/eastern Canada and the upper eastern United States. The primary objective of the Company is to build shareholder value through sustainable and profitable growth, supported by a strong financial foundation.
Description of the 2 Main Business Segments
The Equipment Group includes the following 6 business units:
Toromont CAT:one of the world’s largest Caterpillar dealerships which supplies, rents, and provides product support services for specialized mobile equipment and industrial engines
Battlefield Equipment Rentals:supplies and rents specialized mobile equipment as well as specialty supplies and tools.
Toromont Material Handling:supplies, rents, and provides product support services for material handling lift trucks
AgWest:an agricultural equipment and solutions dealer representing AGCO, CLAAS and other manufacturers’ products
SITECH:provides Trimble Inc (NASDAQ:TRMB technology products and services. Trimble is a SaaS company that provides positioning, modeling, connectivity, and data analytics software which enable customers to improve productivity, quality, safety, and sustainability. Target industries: land survey, construction, agriculture, transportation, telecommunications, asset tracking, mapping, railways, utilities, mobile resource management, and government.)
Toromont Energy:supplies, constructs, and operates high efficiency power plants up to 50 MW, using Caterpillar's leading power generation technologies. Toromont Energy operates plants that supply energy to hospitals, district energy systems, and industrial processes.
Performance in this segment mainly depends on the activity in several industries: road building and other infrastructure-related activities, mining, residential and commercial construction, power generation, aggregates, waste management, steel, forestry, and agriculture.
Revenues are driven by the sale, rental, and servicing of mobile equipment for Caterpillar and other manufacturers to the industries listed above.
In addition, Toromont is the MaK engine dealer for the Eastern seaboard of the United States, from Maine to Virginia.
MaK engine is a marine diesel engine manufactured by Caterpillar
CIMCO is a market leader in the design, engineering, fabrication, installation and after-sale support of refrigeration systems
Performance in this segment is dependent on the activity in several industries: beverage and food processing, cold storage, food distribution, mining, and recreational ice rinks.
CIMCO has manufacturing facilities in Canada and the United States and sells its solutions globally.
CIMCO services the ice rinks of 23 out of 31 NHL teams. So if you are watching a game and the ice is shitty, you know who to blame… the Ice Girls, obviously.
For those of you who live in the GTA and have skated on The Barbara Ann Scott Ice Trail at College Park, the trail was created using CIMCO proprietary CO2 refrigeration technology.
CEO, Scott J. Medhurst has been with the company since 1988. He was appointed President of Toromont CAT in 2004 and he came into his current position as President and CEO in 2012. He is a graduate of Toromont’s Management Trainee Program. CFO, Mike McMillan joined the executive team in March of 2020. His predecessor, Paul Jewer is retiring this year and has been working with McMillan during the transition period. VP and COO, Michael Chuddy has been with Toromont since 1995. On average, leaders have 29 years of business experience and have served at Toromont for 19 years. Seeing long tenures, good stock performance, excellent business planning and execution is usually a sign of strong leadership. In addition, insiders hold more than 3% (~$175 million) of the company’s outstanding shares. Medhurst owns more than 170 thousand shares, Chuddy owns just under 100 thousand shares and the former CEO and current Independent Chairman of Board of Directors, Robert Ogilvie owns more than 2 million shares, making him the 4th largest stockholder. High insider ownership typically signals confidence in a company's prospects. Compare this to Toromont’s main Canadian competitor, Finning, where insiders own less than 0.4% ($12 million) of the company (this number varies depending on where you look, I just took the highest one I found). Recently insiders have been selling stock (Figure 1). I cannot speak to the reasons why insiders are selling but the remaining position owned by the insider is sizable and demonstrates that the executive still has confidence in the company. Some of the reasons insiders sell are: they don't believe in the company’s future, they need money for personal use, they are rebalancing their portfolio, among others. Figure 1: Buy and selling activity of insiders (the data is from MarketBeat, so take that for what it's worth). On a somewhat unrelated but still related note, 50% of Toromont employees are also shareholders.
Toromont has five growth strategies (expand markets, strengthen product support, broaden product offerings, invest in resources, and maintain a strong financial position). I chose to focus on the following two strategies, as they seemed most prevalent.
Toromont serves a wide variety of end markets: mining, road building, power generation, infrastructure, agriculture, and refrigeration. This allows for many opportunities for growth while staying true to their core competency. Further expansion into new markets doesn't require Toromont to build a whole new business model or learn the intricacies of the new industry because their products stays the same. Thus, the main concern is the application/selection of the products for the customer.
Expansion is generally incremental. Each business unit focuses on market share growth and when the right opportunity presents itself, geographic expansion is archived through acquisitions.
Strengthening Product Support
In an industry where price competition is high, product support activities represent opportunities to develop closer relationships with customers and differentiate Toromont’s product and service offering from competitors. After-market support is an integral part of the customer's decision-making process when purchasing equipment.
Product support revenues are more consistent and profitable.
Growth Through Acquisition
Rapid growth in this industry is generally driven through acquisitions. Toromont has gone through multiple acquisitions since the 90’s:
Acquisition of the Battlefield Equipment Rentals in 1996
Toromont grew Battlefield from one location to 82 locations
Acquisition of two privately held agricultural dealerships in Manitoba to form AgWest Equipment Ltd
Acquisition of Hewitt Group of companies in Q3 2017 for a total consideration of $1.0177 billion
$917.7 million cash ($750 million of which was finances through unsecured debt) plus the issuance of 2.25 million Toromont shares (equating to $100 million based on the 10 day average share price)
Acquisition of Hewitt Group of companies This acquisition allowed Toromont to make headway into the Quebec, Western Labrador, and Maritime markets, as Hewitt was the authorized Caterpillar dealer of these regions. Hewitt was also the Caterpillar lift truck dealer of Quebec and most of Ontario and the MaK marine engine dealer for Québec, the Maritimes, and the Eastern seaboard of the United States (from Maine to Virginia). Toromont had total assets of $1.51 billion before the acquisition, the acquisition added $1.024 billion in assets, nearly doubling the balance sheet (look at Figure 2 for more details about the acquisition). Figure 2: (all numbers are in thousands) The final allocation of the purchase price was as of Dec 31, 2018, Note 25 of 2018 Annual Report. $1.024 billion was added to the Toromont’s B/S Large acquisitions like this one can be the downfall of a company. Here are some of the risks highlighted by management at the time of the acquisition:
Potential for liabilities assumed in the acquisition to exceed our estimates or for material undiscovered liabilities in the Hewitt Business
Changes in consumer and business confidence as a result of the change in ownership
Potential for third parties to terminate or alter their agreements or relationships with Toromont as a result of the acquisition
Whether the operations, systems, management, and cultures of Hewitt and Toromont can be integrated in an efficient and effective manner
In 2018, the Company started and successfully completed the integration of the Maritime dealerships acquired through Hewitt under Toromont’s decentralized branch model (bottom up approach). Under a decentralized model, regional leadership make business decisions based on local conditions, rather than taking top down mandates. A bottom up approach is an advantage in businesses like Toromont where the customer mix can vary vastly from region to region. It allows for decision-making that is better aligned with customemarket needs and more attuned to the key performance indicators used to manage the business. In 2019, the integration of the decentralized branch model was implemented in Quebec after its success in Atlantic Canada in 2018. Successful integration of Hewitt into the Toromont family shows the depth of industry and business knowledge possessed by the management team. Being able to maintain inherited customer relationships and ensure low turnover is no easy feat. Many companies have completely botched these kinds of acquisitions. One that comes to mind is Sobeys (the second largest food retailer in Canada) acquiring Safeway for $5.8 billion. Three years later, they wrote off $2.9 billion as a loss because they did not anticipate the differences in consumer habits in Western Canada vs Eastern Canada, among other oversights. The result of the acquisition and Hewitt’s integration with Toromont’s existing business produced a 39% increase in EPS in 2018 and 14% increase in 2019.
Toromont pays a quarterly dividend and has historically targeted a dividend rate that approximates 30 - 40% of trailing earnings from continuing operations. In February 2020 the Board of Directors increased the quarterly dividend by 14.8% to $0.31 per share. This marked the 31st consecutive year of increasing dividends and 52nd consecutive year of making a dividend payment. The five-year dividend-growth rate is 12.09%. Table 1: Information about the last eight dividends
Risks/Threats and Mitigation
Dependency on Caterpillar Inc. It goes without saying that Toromont’s future is heavily dependent on Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT). For those who don't know, Caterpillar is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives. It has a market cap in excess of $68 billion. All purchases made by Toromont must be made from Caterpillar. This agreement has been standing since 1993 and can be terminated by either side with 90 days notice. Given that the vast majority of Toromont’s inventory is Caterpillar products, Caterpillar’s brand strength and market acceptance are essential factors for Toromont’s continued success. I would say that the probability of either of these being damaged to an unrecoverable point are low, but at the beginning of this year, I would have said the probability of the world coming to a complete stop was very low too and look at what happened. Anything is possible. The reason this is a major consideration is because it's a going concern issue. Going conference is an accounting term for a company that has the resources needed to continue operating indefinitely until it provides evidence to the contrary. This term also refers to a company's ability to make enough money to stay afloat or to avoid bankruptcy. If there was irrevocable damage to Caterpillar’s brand, Toromont is no longer a going concern, meaning the company would most likely be going bankrupt or liquidating assets. The whole Company might not go under because the CIMCO, SITECH, and AgWest business units would survive but, essentially ~80% of the business would be liquidated. In addition to the morbid scenario I laid out above, Toromont is also dependent on Caterpillar for timely supply of equipment and parts. There is no assurance that Caterpillar will continue to supply its products in the quantities and time frames required by Toromont’s customers. So if there is supply chain shock, like the one we just saw, there is the chance that Toromont will not have access to sufficient inventory to meet demand. Which in turn would lead to the loss of revenue or even to the permanent loss of customers. Again, both of these threats have low a probability of occurring but either could single handedly cripple Toromont’s business. As of now, Caterpillar continues to dominate a large market share (~38% as per Gurufocus) in the industry against large competitors like John Deere, CNH Industrial, Cummins, and others. Caterpillar's stock has been on a slow decline for a couple years but that is due to reasons beyond the ones that directly concern Toromont’s day-to-day operations. I would say if you don't believe in Caterpillar’s continued market share dominance, investing in Toromont is probably not for you. Shortage of Skilled Workers Shortage of skilled tradesmen represents a pinch point for industry growth. Demographic trends are reducing the number of individuals entering the trades, thus making access to skilled individuals more difficult. Additionally, the company has several remote locations which makes attracting and retaining skilled individuals more difficult. The lack of such workers in Canada has caused Toromont to become more assertive and thoughtful in their recruitment efforts. To combat this threat, Toromont has/is:
Recruited 303 technicians to achieve growth targets
Created 208 student apprenticeship programs
Working with 19 vocational institutions in Toronto to teach about best practices and introduce the Company as a future employer to students
As a result of these initiatives and others, Toromont saw their workforce grow by ~8% 2019. Growing the workforce is one of the primary building blocks for future growth. Cyclical Business Cycle Toromont’s business is cyclical due to its customers' businesses being cyclical. This affects factors such as exchange rates, commodity/precious metal pricing, interest rates, and most importantly, inventory management. To mitigate this issue, management has put more focus on increasing revenues from product support activities as they are more profitable than the equipment supply business and less volatile. Environmental Regulations Affecting Customers Toromont’s customers are subject to significant and ever-increasing environmental legislation and regulation. This leads to 2 impacts:
Technical difficulty in meeting environmental requirements in product design -> increased costs
Reduction in business activity of Toromont’s customers in environmentally sensitive areas -> reduced revenues
Threats such as these come with a business of this type. As an investor in Toromont, you can't do much to mitigate these kinds of threats because it's out of your hands. Oil and gas, mining, forestry, and infrastructure projects are major drivers of the Canadian economy, so I think there will always be opportunity for Toromont to make money, regardless of government action. Impact of COVID19 While the company had been declared as an essential service in all jurisdictions that it operates in, Q1 2019 results were lower as a function of COVID19 reducing activity in many sectors that Toromont services. Decline in mining and construction projects lead to a decrease in demand for Toromont products in the latter part of the quarter. Revenues were trending for 5-7% growth for the quarter before the effects of COVID19 were felt. Management cannot provide any guidance on how to evaluate the impact of COVID19 on future financial results. They are focusing on ensuring the continued safety of employees and working with customers and the jurisdiction they operate in to evaluate appropriate activity levels on a daily/weekly basis. Lastly, management is keeping a close eye on how this crisis has led to an increase in A/R delinquencies and financial hardship for customers. The Executive Team and the Board of Directors have taken a voluntary compensation reduction. Wage increase freezes and temporary layoffs have been implanted on a selective basis. Management believes that expanding product offerings and services, strong financial position, and disciplined operating culture positions the Company well for continued growth in the long term. Competition Toromont competes with a large number of international, national, regional, and local suppliers. Although price competition can be strong, there are a number of factors that have enhanced Toromont’s ability to compete:
Range and quality of products and services
Ability to meet sophisticated customer requirements
Distribution capabilities including number and proximity of locations
Financing through CAT Finance
Main Competitor in Canada: Finning International Inc.
Finning International Inc. (TSE:FTT) is the world's largest Caterpillar dealer that sells, rents and provides parts and service for equipment and engines to customers across diverse industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry and a wide range of power systems applications. Finning was founded in 1933 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.
Toromont Industries Ltd
Finning International Inc.
Number of Employees
Trailing P/E Ratio
Places of Operations
Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador, most of Nunavut, and the Northeastern United States
British Columbia, Yukon, Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories, a portion of Nunavut, UK, Ireland, Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile
Table 2: A quick comparison between Toromont and Finning. I am sure there are some people looking at this table and thinking Finning looks rather promising based on the metrics shown, especially in comparison to Toromont. Finning’s dividend yield, P/E, and price/book look more attractive. Their top line is 2x. Not to mention it operates worldwide and is the only distributor in the UK, while Toromont only operates in half of Canada.>! Before you go off thinking “I need to use my HELOC to buy some Finning,” as some people on this subreddit are prone to do, ask yourself: do you see any cause for concern in the metrics listed above? !< One glaring question I have is: why is Finning trading at half of Toromont’s market cap given that it operates internationally and has twice the number of employees and revenues of Toromont?
Q1 2020 Financial Results
Figure 3: Q1 2020 Income Statement Overall operating income, net earnings, and EPS all decreased even though Toromont saw an increase in revenue for the quarter compared to Q1 of 2019.
All of these decreases were contributed to COVID19, as the pandemic lead to increases in costs
Historically, Q1 has always been Toromont’s weakest quarter. Q1 accounts for ~20% of yearly earnings and is consistently the least profitable quarter. Toromont’s profit margin generally ranges from 5%-9% progressively increasing into the later half of the year. This is good news for investors with the thesis that the economy will return to "somewhat normal" in the latter half of this year. The majority of the earnings for 2020 are still on the table for Toromont to earn. If current conditions persist, or there is a second wave and lockdown later in the year, we will most likely see a regression in Toromont’s growth to last year’s levels or even lower. Assuming the world does return to “normal,” many of Toromont’s customers (especially in mining and construction) may try to catch up for lost time with increases to their operational activity, leading to an increase in Toromont’s sales for the remainder of the year. Of course this is a major assumption but it’s a possibility. Below is a comparison of the last eight quarters. You can see the clear cyclical nature of their business. Figure 4: Last eight quarters of earnings
Sources of Liquidity
Toromont has access to a $500 million revolving credit facility, maturing in October 2022
On April 17 2020 they secured an additional $250 million as a one year syndicate facility
Cash increased by 22.6 million for the quarter
Cash from operations increased 13% Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019
The company also drew $100 million from their revolving credit facility
$4 million dollars of stocks were repurchased during Q1 2020
Given their access to $750.0 million dollars of credit and cash on hand equaling $388.2 million, the Company should have sufficient liquidity to operate if COVID19 and its aftermath persist for an extended period of time.
Analysis of Debt Historically, Toromont has had very low debt levels. The spike in late 2017 was due to the acquisition of Hewitt. Management paid off the debt aggressively in 2018. At the end of December 2019 Toromont had $650 million of debt maturing between 2025 and 2027. As a result of COVID19 the company has taken on more debt. This additional access to debt accounts of the slight uptick in historical debt in 2020 (Figure 5). Figure 5: Toromont’s historical debt, equity, and cash The long-term debt to capitalization ratio is a variation of the traditional debt-to-equity ratio. The long-total debt to capitalization ratio is a solvency measure that shows the proportion of debt a company uses to finance its assets, relative to the amount of equity used for the same purpose. A higher ratio means that a company is highly leveraged, which generally carries a higher risk of insolvency with it. The debt-to-equity ratio is at 47% and debt-to-capitalization ratio is 32%, Toromont has $388 million in cash that could be used to pay down debt by nearly 50% and bring the net debt-to-equity to 23% and net debt-to-capitalization to 18%. As mentioned before, management is holding on to cash to insure sufficient liquidity during these times. The implication of these ratios is that Toromont does not take on large amounts of debt to finance growth. Instead the Company leverages shareholders equity to drive growth. For comparison, Finning has a debt-to-equity ratio of ~100% (it differs between WSJ, 99%, and Yahoo Finance, 101%). The nominal amount of their total debt is ~$2.2 billion, which gives them a long-term debt to capitalization ratio 62%. Finning carries $260 million in cash. Figure 6: Toromont’s debt-to-capitalization and debt-to-equity ratios Profitability Ratios Return on equity (also known as return on net assets) measures how effectively management is using a company’s assets to create profits. Toromont’s return on equity is generally around 20%. Go to Figure 6 to look at the ROE for the last 4 years. In comparison, Finning has had a ROE of ~11% for the last three years, about 3% in 2016 and a negative ROE in 2015 (as per Morningstar). Return on capital employed (ROCE) tries to find the return relative to the total capital employed in the business (both debt & equity less short-term liabilities). Toromont’s ROCE (ttm) for March 31 2020 was 22%. This means for every dollar employed in the business 22 cents were earned in EBIT (earnings before interest and tax). Finning had a ROCE of 11% as of December 2019. Liquidity Ratios Working capital is the amount of cash and other current assets a business has available after all its current liabilities are accounted for. In the last ten years, Toromont’s working capital has fluctuated between 1.6 at its lowest (2018) to 2.8 at its highest (2016). At the end of 2019 it was at 1.8. Meaning current liabilities equate to 60% of current assets. Interest coverage ratio is used to determine how easily a company can pay their interest expenses on outstanding debt. Toromont has an interest coverage ratio 15x (as per WSJ). Finning on the other hand is at 4x. At this point I feel like I'm just beating up on Finning. For those of you who made it this far, I have to admit something to you. This whole post is just a facade to ask you a question that has never been asked on this subreddit before: Should I buy BPY.UN? It keeps going down and I'm worried if I buy it, it will keep going down and I'll lose money. I don't want to lose money. Although if you go through my post history, you'll see I've been looking at/buying penny stocks.
Key Performance Measures
Below is a chart with key financial measures for the last four years. A few things I want to highlight:
Toromont had large capital expenditure last year (most of it went to increasing inventory) so they have the choice to keep capital expenditure down this year and preserve cash
From the start of 2018 (aka end of 2017) to the end of 2018 Toromont stock was down about 3% while the TSX Composite was down more 12% and S&P was down 7%. This stock has a history of out performance not only on the upside but also on the downside. I'll go into a bit more detail in the next section.
I don't do technical analysis. To those who do, good luck to you because let's be real, you'll need it. This section is just to get an idea of past performance and evaluate the opportunity cost of investing in Toromont compared to a competitor or a board based index fund. I thought it would be easier to look at pictures as opposed to reading a bunch of numbers off a table. For the sake of not creating a picture album of screenshots, I just looked at charts for the last 5 years. If you're interested in looking at different time intervals you can do so on google finance.
Toromont Industries Ltd v. Finning International Inc.
Figure 8: Five year price chart of TIH v. FTT These are the only two Caterpillar distributors on the TSX, making them direct comparisons. If I was looking for exposure to this industry, I would be choosing between these two companies (on the TSX anyways). There isn't really much to evaluate here. It's like they saying: “A picture is a thousand words,” or in this case, it's 128%. If you have time, go look at the graph from August 1996 to now. I can safely say it hasn't been much of a competition. Toromont has outperformed by ~2500% in stock price appreciation alone. If you're a glass half full kind of person, I guess you could look at this disparity as Finning having enormous upside. LOL
Toromont Industries Ltd v. S&P 500 Index
Figure 9: Five year price chart of TIH v. VFV If I'm not buying individual stocks, I’m buying the S&P 500 and to a lesser extent a Nasdaq index fund. This gives me a second look at the opportunity cost of my money. The story is not as bad as the Finning comparison. If you had bought $100 dollars of Toromont stock 5 years ago, it would have turned into $207 today, whereas the same $100 dollars in VFV would have became $157. Just a quick aside, you can see the volatility in Toromont’s stock is much higher compared to the VFV. VFV has a relatively smooth trend upwards while Toromont trends upwards in a jagged path. This is the risk of single stocks, they move up and down more erratically, leading inventors who don't have a grasp of the business or conviction in their pick to panic sell or post countless times on Reddit asking why their stocks keep going down. “I bought the stock last week and it's done 3% already, do you guys think it’s going bankrupt? I thought stonks only go up???”
Toromont Industries Ltd v. S&P/TSX Capped Industrials Index
Figure 10: Five year price chart of TIH v. ^TTIN The S&P/TSX Capped Industrials Index isn't my favourite comparison for Toromont because its constituents cover many industries ranging from waste management (WCN), to railways (CNCP), to Airlines (AC, lol, had to mention it. I miss the days when there were double digits posts about AC. I wonder where those people have gone, because I can tell you where AC stock has gone... absolutely nowhere). Regardless, I used TTIN because I deemed it a better comparison to Toromont than the entire TSX. The story is on par with the other two comparisons. Toromont’s out performance is significant. I just threw this bonus chart in here because when I saw it, I was like BRUHHH (insert John Wall meme)… It's completely unsustainable but that's impressive given the vast differences between the two.
Toromont Industries Ltd v. NASDAQ-100
Figure 11: Five year price chart of TIH v. ZQQ Now, of course, past performance does not dictate future results and all that good stuff, but it really gets you thinking about how the rewards disproportionately favours winners compared to the overall market. People are generally happy getting market returns (i.e. the just buy VGRO people) but being able to pick even a few winners really pays. This reminds me of the Warren Buffet quote: “diversification is protection against ignorance.” The context of the quote is that if you are able to study a few industries in great depth and acquire a wealth of knowledge, you can see returns astronomically higher than those who diversify across the board market. The problem then becomes you put yourself at risk of having all your eggs in one basket. Look at what's happening with Wirecard in Europe right now. This is why the real skill in investing is managing risk.
Analyst Price Targets and Estimates
The prince targets set for by analysts range from $63-$81. The average price target is ~$72, with the majority of targets within the 70-$71 range. Given the current price of $65.66, there is a ~10% upside. These price targets haven't changed much due to COVID19 even though revenues and EPS forecasts have been downgraded for 2020. The consensus estimate on 2020 revenues is $3.36 billion, down from the actual revenues of $3.69 billion in 2019 and the consensus EPS for 2020 is $3.01 down from actual EPS of $3.52 for 2019 and $3.10 for 2018. The fact that revenues and EPS forecasts have been downgraded, yet price targets remain untouched, for the most part, indicates that the effects of COVID19 are expected to be short-lived. Figure 12: Earnings and estimate ranges for Toromont. Note: EPS numbers in this graphic are diluted EPS numbers.
Multiples Assuming P/E ratio stays the same as it has been for the last 12 months (~19x) and EPS goes down to ~$3.00 (as per analyst consensus), the implied price would be $57. Using the last 12 months of revenues, the EV-to-Revenues ratio is at 1.56x. Assuming that ratio stays the same and with revenues estimated to be ~$3.36 billion, enterprise value (EV) comes out to $5.2416 billion. Using Q1 2020 figures for shares outstanding (82.015 million), cash ($388.182 million), and debt ($745.703 million), the implied price for a share is $58.94*. \Note: Enterprise Value is equal to market cap plus total debt minus cash.) Dividend Discount Model The dividend discount model (DDM) is a method of valuing a company's stock price based on the theory that its stock is worth the sum of all of its future dividend payments, discounted back to their present value. The average dividend growth rate is 12% for the last 5 years is 12%. There is no way Toromont can increase the dividend at this pace in the long term, thus, I chose a long term dividend growth rate of 5%. This is the assumed rate in perpetuity. The required rate of return will equal WACC, 6.85% (averaged from 2019 Annual Report). The dividend over the last year is $1.16 (two payments of $0.27 in 2019 and two payments of $0.31 for 2020). The fair value equals $65.84. Figure 13: DDM calculation.
There is no doubt that Toromont trades at a large premium. The current P/E is 19x and the CAPE ratio (Shiller P/E) is 26x. The fair value of the Company as per Morningstar research is in the mid $60 range. Based on all valuations I did and analyst price targets, I would start buying in the high $50 range or maybe the very low $60 range, but my belief in the company has to do with long term thematic trends and how the Company operates, rather than today's price. Although I have to admit, the price does look more attractive now than it did in the beginning of June when the stock hit new all time highs. It seems like the only companies hitting new all time highs these days are tech companies, so it's refreshing to find a non-tech company achieving the same feat. Toromont is not going to double next year or the year after that. It is a relatively low margin business, with slow growth and a cyclical business cycle. I like that the Company has strong financials, low debt, and good management. They don't take shortcuts or unwarranted risk. Future growth will mostly be driven through acquisition, but management is cautious with acquisitions and don't overextend themselves. One of the biggest problems Finning has been facing for the last couple years is political and social turmoil in South American countries which is affecting their mining clients and thus affecting revenues/margins. The Q2 earnings are reported on July 22 202. We should have a clearer picture on the prospects of the Company from management. Hopefully we have a better idea of the COVID19 situation by then too. Regardless, I think the company is in a position where its services will always be in demand so short term fluctuations are not something that shake my confidence in this pick.
Limitations and Further Areas of Research
By no means is this an exhaustive due diligence report. This is enough for me to feel confident in the business and its trajectory. Limitations/further areas of the research include:
Looking into the growth of each sector Toromont services and extrapolating that growth to calculate Toromont’s future growth opportunity.
As per IBIS Research the heavy equipment rental market in Canada is ~$8.3 billion. It grew 1.1% yearly for the last 5 years.
The US market is estimated to be $47 billion, with an average growth of 2% for the last 5 years
Sorry but I couldn't get my hands on future projections as each report is $750
More research into competitors
I chose to include Finning only for simplicity’s sake. But there are many other competitors like:
United Rentals (NYSE:URI) provides similar services to Toromont/Finning in 49 U.S. states, 10 Canadian provinces, Puerto Rico and four European countries. The only thing being they aren't distributors for Caterpillar.
Rocky Mountain Dealerships Inc (TSE:RME) sells, leases, and provides product and warranty support for agriculture and industrial equipment in Western Canada
Holt Cat, N C Machinery, Ziegler CAT (none of these companies are publicly traded)
Further analysis can be done on the B/S and accounting treatments.
The effects of automation in the industry
Distributors in the US have started working with industrial automation companies to provide autonomous construction equipment on rent to contractors
Sunstate Equipment Co.'s partnership with Built Robotics
I was not able to do a discounted cash flow, which would be critical to finding the intrinsic value for Toromont and having true confidence in the company and its trajectory.
Further analysis of CIMCO and prospects of future growth
Based of the financials, CIMCO seemed like a small part of the business, which is why I mainly focused on the Caterpillar dealership side
These are not all the limitations or areas of further research, they are just the glaring one that came to mind. >! I know I took a few shots at people in this post. It's all in good jest. If you're offended well.... maybe you should be. I don't know, you have to figure that out on your own or you could make a post on Reddit asking random people on the internet whether you should be offended or not. !< Remember I'm not an expert, I'm just a random guy on the internet.
I am long Toromont. This information is not financial advice. Please do your own research and/or talk to a financial advisor. All data provided is current prior to the market opening on June 29, 2020. Inconsistencies in data can be due to many reasons, the foremost being that data was spruced from multiple different websites.
Occasionally people ask how these loans work. With that in mind: from the Canadian prairie on a beautiful day in July, to you: First, if you're from the U.S.: I'm doing this from a Canadian perspective which means I'm ignoring the Regulation T, special memorandum account, overnight maintenance requirement, and initial margin, because all of those are concepts that have no equivalent or application in Canada. But the basics are the same. You can ignore all of those concepts because they have no bearing on how margin actually works. Those concepts are simply restrictions in how you can use margin and as a practical matter they're not onorous restrictions. I'm also ignoring U.S. risk-based "portfolio margin" because that's a specialized, alternative margin system some brokers offer in the U.S., that we don't have in Canada. We have traditional, rules-based margin that hasn't changed in Canada in 100+ years. Note: If you are a Canadian resident buying U.S. stock in Canada you still fall under the Canadian rules for margin. Margin in Canada hasn't really changed since the 1900's, except you have to put up at least 30% nowadays instead of 10% as it was back before the crash of 1929. Basically that's the only thing that's changed. In Canada you can borrow up to 70% of a position at once for most stocks. This means that if you want to buy $10,000 worth of RBC or Apple, you only have to put up $3,000 and your broker lends you the rest. Margin was first developed in the Netherlands which basically invented the modern financial system we have today in the West, back in the 1600s. The Dutch East India corporation (ticker VOC) was at one point 20% of the world's total commerce. That would be like a company in 2020 grossing about 16 trillion US a year. By comparison Apple brings in about one half of one percent of that. The Amsterdam stock market developed just to trade VOC and other shares and related securities. Seein the success of their Continental rivals, the British copied the Dutch and for a long time, until after the Battle of Waterloo, the western world had two rival financial capitals, London, and Amsterdam. For various historical reasons, Amsterdam got pushed out of the picture and for about 100 years the City of London (which is what the financial district in London is called) was the financial capital of the west. They of course now share that crown with New York City. But it's really the Dutch who started it all, around the time of Vermeer. *** The concept is that the bank (or broker) will lend against some of your stock, but not all of it. They want a "haircut." The haircut is the amount they won't lend against. In Canada the haircut is usually 30% but can be 50% and there are some stocks the banks won't lend against at all, like most of the stuff on the TSX-V or on the U.S. pink sheets. Every bank is different, so BMO InvestorLine might want 50% on one company and Interactive Brokers Canada might want 30% or vice versa for another. But most things are 30%, some are 50% and some are 100% (meaning no loan). The maximum available leverage is 1/haircut. If the haircut is 30% as is typical in Canada, the bank will let you buy up to 1/0.3 = 3 1/3 as much as your cash, meaning, you can borrow up to 2 1/3 dollars for every dollar you put up. That's the limit. But: So say you have $3,000 and you want to buy on margin. As the bank haircut (margin rate) is 30%, you can buy $3,000/0.3 = $10,000 worth of stock. Obviously you then have a loan of $7,000. You now have $10,000 worth of stock, but remember, the bank won't let you borrow against 30%*$10,000 = $3,000. So your collateral is only $7,000. So you now have a $7,000 loan collateralized by $7,000 worth of stock. In the above example, you put up 30% margin, the same as the haircut. It's easy to see that if your total position slides so much as a dollar, you will have less collateral than $7,000 and therefore get what's called a "margin call" where they will tell you that you have to put up more money in a few hours or sell stock (which automatically pays down the loan to the extent of the sale) so that you have enough collateral to cover your loan, otherwise they will automatically sell a stock of their choosing at an amount of their choosing. They are also allowed to sell whichever stock they choose automatically without calling you first, in the event of a margin call. That is explicitly set out in your margin agreement. There have been at least two challenges to that in the Ontario courts in the last 20 years or so, where the former client argued that the bank sold their shares out without first advising them, or, in one of the court cases, after promising to hold off so that the client could put up money, and then reneging on that and selling the client's stock anyway. The court in both cases sided with the bank. The margin is for real, not negotiable, it is there to protect the bank and the other client's capital, and the words "the bank can sell at any time and without prior notice" mean what they say they mean. If you get sold out at a loss, don't expect the courts to give you redress. So obviously you need some "buffer" because of volatility, but how much do you borrow? Now you have to understand some more math. target margin = 1-(1-x)*(1-haircut) x is the price drawdown target margin is how much margin you have to put up. Say Apple is marginable at 30% (the haircut) by your bank. You decide you want to borrow on margin. But you decide, "I will allow Apple to slide 40% from what I buy it at before I get a margin call." So how much margin should you put up? target margin = 1-(1-0.4)*(1-0.3) = 1-0.6*0.7 = 1-0.42 = 0.58. So you have to put up 58% margin. That means if you have $3,000 to invest, you would buy $3,000/0.58 = $5,172 worth of Apple. If Apple is trading at $350 that means it can slide to $210 before you get a margin call. At which point you will have lost 0.4/0.58 = 68.9% of your money. (Remember, leverage is simply 1/margin.) You can convince yourself by working through it as a check. In the example, as you had $3,000 and you margined that at 58%, you bought $3,000/0.58 = $,5172 worth of stock. Obviously your equity at the time of purchase was be $3,000 because you owned $5,172 worth of stock and owed the bank $2,172. Because of the haircut, 0.3*$5,172 = $1,551 could not be used as collateral. Then the stock slid 40%, from $350 to $210, so your total stock position was then (1-0.4)*$5,172 = $3,103. Of course, you still owed the bank $2,172. But remember, not all of the $3,103 was available be used as collateral, only 70% (meaning, 1-haircut) of that. So at $210 your collateral was (1-0.3)*$3,103 = $2,172, exactly the same as the loan amount. $210 was, therefore, the lowest price at which you still have sufficient collateral. Anything less and you would have received a margin call or the bank would simply have automatically sold stock, depending on how they saw the risk. Key takeaway here is that the haircut is 30%, meaning that 30% of your stock cannot be used as collateral, which mathematically also means that your account equity/total amount of stock = (total amount of stock-loan)/(total amount of stock) has to stay at or above 30%. You're putting up 58%, meaning you're borrowing 1/0.58 - 1 = 72 cents from the bank for every dollar of your own money that you put up. The formula above is simply a rearrangement using basic algebra, of the basic margin equation which is: price at margin call = initial price of stock*(1-target margin)/(1-haircut) Whatever you do, make sure you are maxing out your TFSA or possibly RRSP or possibly both before you use margin, or only contribute a small amount of capital to a margin account and make sure your TFSA or RRSP is your main stock investment vehicle. Do not put up your TFSA as collateral on a margin account. You could end up getting a margin call, then the broker transfers the TFSA over to the margin account, but then the stock market slides again and now your TFSA is wiped out along with your margin account. Questrade offers this and I think it's an absolutely terrible idea. Frankly I think the CRA should disallow it. Notice how none of the banks offer this. Also have a plan for a margin call. You will get a margin call at some point. One good plan is simply to sell enough stock to pay off the margin loan and then re-enter margin when conditions warrant. It makes absolutely no sense to have cash lying around to meet a margin call. Why not just invest the cash and not use margin. The old adage is, "Never meet a margin call" and I think that's good advice. If the bank gives you to choice of either putting in more money in or selling, then sell. To me there are only 3 reasons you would use a margin account:
You have a large account in a diversified stock portfolio and you want to borrow against say 5% of that to go and buy a car, renovate your house, pursue an investment other than securities;
You are consistently good at beating the stock market by a significant amount, and you have maxed out or at least significantly contributed to a TFSA or RRSP or have other wealth-generating property, you have a well-thought out plan that you commit to, that governs your trading decisions, how much you will borrow, and what you will do in the event of a margin call;
You are executing certain trades that require a margin account; for example, options spreads, short selling stocks or commodity futures trades.
To me the following are bad reasons to trade on margin:
It looks like a way to make even more money in stocks, even though you don't know how to make money in stocks;
You are a diversified "Canadian Couch Potato" -style investor getting more or less average returns and you realize that you can buy stock get a 5% dividend yield and pay 4% pre-tax on margin money, so you decide to be a margined "couch potato."
Margined investing = active investing = checking your positions at least daily and following a trading plan. Finally, the average investor working with average capital should always, always, make the TFSA their #1 priority. The TFSA is truly a gem. When I was in my 20's back in the 90's, the only tax shelters for the average Canadian were the sale of their primary residence and the RRSP, the latter which is a deferral and a deduction but not an outright break the way the TFSA is. The TFSA offers leverage effectively equal to the capital gains inclusion rate * your average taxation rate, and yet without a margin call and at zero percent and it doesn't even magnify your losses. No margin account can match that. Some investors don't believe in margin at all. Like Warren Buffett, who said in a 2018 CNBC interview, "It's crazy to borrow against securities." (Note he said borrowing against stocks, not borrowing to buy stocks.) But he is right in saying that the bad thing about margin is that it gives you limited additional potential upside but at the cost of great potential downside. Understand the risks. Read your margin agreement. Consider even meeting with a securities lawyer who can explain the agreement to you. Consider this statement from an article posted on a popular stock investing website (Fair dealing exception), posted March 15th, 2020: " https://www.fool.com/investing/2020/03/15/5-ugly-lessons-from-a-nasty-margin-call.aspx From its close on Feb. 19 to its close on March 12, theS&P 500fell more than 26%, a huge decline in less than a month. Like many investors who had been using options in a margin account, I faced a margin call during that precipitous decline and was forced to liquidate positions to satisfy that call. Note that despite facing that margin call, I never actually borrowed money from my broker. I just had margin available and usable from a purchasing power perspective in the event some of my options got exercised against me. It didn't matter to my broker, though, who only saw the margin math, rather than the cash and investment-grade bonds that were also in that account and hadn't seen their values evaporate. Unfortunately, my experience during that margin call revealed some very ugly realities about how Wall Street really works, particularly when it comes to retail investors. " He goes on set out "lessons learned." None of those lessons learned is "read your margin agreement before you trade." So he didn't really learn his lesson. Anyway, it's up to each person to do what is right for them, bearing in mind the risks. But know the risks. Trading with margin doesn't mean you'll be wiped out, but if you trade anything you need to know what you're doing and that is even more important if you've agreed to borrow money. The post here was to explain how to do the calculations for this popular and important financial tool as there is a lot of misinformation out there on the subject, make some suggestions on how you can use it as a part of your overall portfolio, and give my opinions on how one might do that. Whichever road or roads you take, good investing. For more details on the TFSA and its contribution rules, see https://www.reddit.com/CanadianInvestocomments/hcy9r9/how_the_tfsa_works/
You may have heard about off-shore tax havens of questionable legality where wealthy people invest their money in legal "grey zones" and don't pay any tax, as featured for example, in Netflix's drama, The Laundromat. The reality is that the Government of Canada offers 100% tax-free investing throughout your life, with unlimited withdrawals of your contributions and profits, and no limits on how much you can make tax-free. There is also nothing to report to the Canada Revenue Agency. Although Britain has a comparable program, Canada is the only country in the world that offers tax-free investing with this level of power and flexibility. Thank you fellow Redditors for the wonderful Gold Award and Today I Learned Award! (Unrelated but Important Note: I put a link at the bottom for my margin account explainer. Many people are interested in margin trading but don't understand the math behind margin accounts and cannot find an explanation. If you want to do margin, but don't know how, click on the link.) As a Gen-Xer, I wrote this post with Millennials in mind, many of whom are getting interested in investing in ETFs, individual stocks, and also my personal favourite, options. Your generation is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this extremely powerful program at a relatively young age. But whether you're in your 20's or your 90's, read on! Are TFSAs important? In 2020 Canadians have almost 1 trillion dollars saved up in their TFSAs, so if that doesn't prove that pennies add up to dollars, I don't know what does. The TFSA truly is the Great Canadian Tax Shelter. I will periodically be checking this and adding issues as they arise, to this post. I really appreciate that people are finding this useful. As this post is now fairly complete from a basic mechanics point of view, and some questions are already answered in this post, please be advised that at this stage I cannot respond to questions that are already covered here. If I do not respond to your post, check this post as I may have added the answer to the FAQs at the bottom.
How to Invest in Stocks
A lot of people get really excited - for good reason - when they discover that the TFSA allows you to invest in stocks, tax free. I get questions about which stocks to buy. I have made some comments about that throughout this post, however; I can't comprehensively answer that question. Having said that, though, if you're interested in picking your own stocks and want to learn how, I recommmend starting with the following videos: The first is by Peter Lynch, a famous American investor in the 80's who wrote some well-respected books for the general public, like "One Up on Wall Street." The advice he gives is always valid, always works, and that never changes, even with 2020's technology, companies and AI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRMpgaBv-U4&t=2256s The second is a recording of a university lecture given by investment legend Warren Buffett, who expounds on the same principles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MHIcabnjrA Please note that I have no connection to whomever posted the videos.
TFSAs were introduced in 2009 by Stephen Harper's government, to encourage Canadians to save. The effect of the TFSA is that ordinary Canadians don't pay any income or capital gains tax on their securities investments. Initial uptake was slow as the contribution rules take some getting used to, but over time the program became a smash hit with Canadians. There are about 20 million Canadians with TFSAs, so the uptake is about 70%- 80% (as you have to be the age of majority in your province/territory to open a TFSA).
Eligibility to Open a TFSA
You must be a Canadian resident with a valid Social Insurance Number to open a TFSA. You must be at the voting age in the province in which you reside in order to open a TFSA, however contribution room begins to accumulate from the year in which you turned 18. You do not have to file a tax return to open a TFSA. You do not need to be a Canadian citizen to open and contribute to a TFSA. No minimum balance is required to open a TFSA.
Where you Can Open a TFSA
There are hundreds of financial institutions in Canada that offer the TFSA. There is only one kind of TFSA; however, different institutions offer a different range of financial products. Here are some examples:
The Canadian big 5 bank branches and most other financial institutions offer a TFSA that allows you to buy mutual funds, hold cash, GICs, term deposits, and possibly ETFs. This is a good choice if you want guaranteed returns or diversified investing.
There are a number of on-line banks such as Tangerine, Simplii Financial, Oaken Financial, and many more that offer the TFSA.
The discount DIY brokerage arms of the big 5 banks give you more choices, including stocks, warrants, bonds and options. There are also standalone brokers like IBKR Canada, Questrade, Qtrade, and Virtual Brokers, among others, that offer this.
Some brokerages and financial advisors also offer TFSAs that give you these investment choices, in different formats such as:
Traditional brokerage, where a stockbroker invests your money (BMO Nesbitt Burns, RBC Dominion Securities and others)
Financial advisor who will invest your money according to a plan you put together with the advisor (TSI Network and many others)
"Robo" advisors such as Wealthsimple, RBC InvestEase, BMO SmartFolio, or Wealthbar
BMO's AdviceDirect, which is a semi-directed hybrid between standalone DIY investing and fully-advised investing, where you operate on a DIY basis but have access to a registered investment advisor (a live person) who can give you suggetions and advice.
Your TFSA may be covered by either CIFP or CDIC insuranceor both. Ask your bank or broker for details.
What You Can Trade and Invest In
You can trade the following:
GICS, mutual funds, term deposits
individual common and preferred stocks listed on an "approved exchange" which is the TSX, TSX-V, NASDAQ, NYSE, and about 20 other exchanges worldwide, but not the US OTC pink sheets. Many examples, such as Suncor, Linamar, Apple, any of the big banks, and many thousands of others, when you want to buy into an individual company
stock-like securities like REITS, ETFs and ETNs, including 2x and 3x leveraged
gold and silver certificates
cash of many countries (CAD/USD/EUGBP/AUD/NZD/JPY/CHF and many others)
government bills and bonds of most countries, subsovereigns like Canadian provincial bills and bonds, and most corporations
options that trade on the Montreal Exchange or various options exchanges in the USA and the rest of the word (see FAQ for details)
gold, silver bullion certificates
shares in certain private companies -- but consult your tax advisor on this
What You Cannot Trade
You cannot trade:
commodity futures contracts
option spread positions (see FAQ for details)
anything that requires a margin account, meaning, a special kind of account that allows you to borrow money directly from the broker against the assets you have in your account and the assets you intend to buy.
crypto (although there exist crypto ETNs that you can buy)
Again, if it requires a margin account, it's out. You cannot buy on margin in a TFSA. Nothing stopping you from borrowing money from other sources as long as you stay within your contribution limits, but you can't trade on margin in a TFSA. You can of course trade long puts and calls which give you leverage.
Rules for Contribution Room
Starting at 18 you get a certain amount of contribution room. According to the CRA: You will accumulate TFSA contribution room for each year even if you do not file an Income Tax and Benefit Return or open a TFSA. The annual TFSA dollar limit for the years 2009 to2012 was $5,000. The annual TFSA dollar limit for the years 2013 and 2014 was $5,500. The annual TFSA dollar limit for the year 2015 was $10,000. The annual TFSA dollar limit for the years 2016 to 2018 was $5,500. The annual TFSA dollar limit for the year 2019 is $6,000. The TFSA annual room limit will be indexed to inflation and rounded to the nearest $500. Investment income earned by, and changes in the value of TFSA investments will not affect your TFSA contribution room for the current or future years. https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/tax-free-savings-account/contributions.html If you don't use the room, it accumulates indefinitely. Trades you make in a TFSA are truly tax free. But you cannot claim the dividend tax credit and you cannot claim losses in a TFSA against capital gains whether inside or outside of the TFSA. So do make money and don't lose money in a TFSA. You are stuck with the 15% withholding tax on U.S. dividend distributions unlike the RRSP, due to U.S. tax rules, but you do not pay any capital gains on sale of U.S. shares. You can withdraw *both* contributions *and* capital gains, no matter how much, at any time, without penalty. The amount of the withdrawal (contributions+gains) converts into contribution room in the *next* calendar year. So if you put the withdrawn funds back in the same calendar year you take them out, that burns up your total accumulated contribution room to the extent of the amount that you re-contribute in the same calendar year.
E.g. Say you turned 18 in 2016 in Alberta where the age of majority is 18. It is now sometime in 2020. You have never contributed to a TFSA. You now have $5,500+$5,500+$5,500+$6,000+$6,000 = $28,500 of room in 2020. In 2020 you manage to put $20,000 in to your TFSA and you buy Canadian Megacorp common shares. You now have $8,500 of room remaining in 2020. Sometime in 2021 - it doesn't matter when in 2021 - your shares go to $100K due to the success of the Canadian Megacorp. You also have $6,000 worth of room for 2021 as set by the government. You therefore have $8,500 carried over from 2020+$6,000 = $14,500 of room in 2021. In 2021 you sell the shares and pull out the $100K. This amount is tax-free and does not even have to be reported. You can do whatever you want with it. But: if you put it back in 2021 you will over-contribute by $100,000 - $14,500 = $85,500 and incur a penalty. But if you wait until 2022 you will have $14,500 unused contribution room carried forward from 2021, another $6,000 for 2022, and $100,000 carried forward from the withdrawal 2021, so in 2022 you will have $14,500+$6,000+$100,000 = $120,500 of contribution room. This means that if you choose, you can put the $100,000 back in in 2022 tax-free and still have $20,500 left over. If you do not put the money back in 2021, then in 2022 you will have $120,500+$6,000 = $126,500 of contribution room. There is no age limit on how old you can be to contribute, no limit on how much money you can make in the TFSA, and if you do not use the room it keeps carrying forward forever. Just remember the following formula: This year's contribution room = (A) unused contribution room carried forward from last year + (B) contribution room provided by the government for this year + (C) total withdrawals from last year. EXAMPLE 1: Say in 2020 you never contributed to a TFSA but you were 18 in 2009. You have $69,500 of unused room (see above) in 2020 which accumulated from 2009-2020. In 2020 you contribute $50,000, leaving $19,500 contribution room unused for 2020. You buy $50,000 worth of stock. The next day, also in 2020, the stock doubles and it's worth $100,000. Also in 2020 you sell the stock and withdraw $100,000, tax-free. You continue to trade stocks within your TFSA, and hopefully grow your TFSA in 2020, but you make no further contributions or withdrawals in 2020. The question is, How much room will you have in 2021? Answer: In the year 2021, the following applies: (A) Unused contribution room carried forward from last year, 2020: $19,500 (B) Contribution room provided by government for this year, 2021: $6,000 (C) Total withdrawals from last year, 2020: $100,000 Total contribution room for 2021 = $19,500+6,000+100,000 = $125,500. EXAMPLE 2: Say between 2020 and 2021 you decided to buy a tax-free car (well you're still stuck with the GST/PST/HST/QST but you get the picture) so you went to the dealer and spent $25,000 of the $100,000 you withdrew in 2020. You now have a car and $75,000 still burning a hole in your pocket. Say in early 2021 you re-contribute the $75,000 you still have left over, to your TFSA. However, in mid-2021 you suddenly need $75,000 because of an emergency so you pull the $75,000 back out. But then a few weeks later, it turns out that for whatever reason you don't need it after all so you decide to put the $75,000 back into the TFSA, also in 2021. You continue to trade inside your TFSA but make no further withdrawals or contributions. How much room will you have in 2022? Answer: In the year 2022, the following applies: (A) Unused contribution room carried forward from last year, 2021: $125,500 - $75,000 - $75,000 = -$24,500. Already you have a problem. You have over-contributed in 2021. You will be assessed a penalty on the over-contribution! (penalty = 1% a month). But if you waited until 2022 to re-contribute the $75,000 you pulled out for the emergency..... In the year 2022, the following would apply: (A) Unused contribution room carried forward from last year, 2021: $125,500 -$75,000 =$50,500. (B) Contribution room provided by government for this year, 2022: $6,000 (C) Total withdrawals from last year, 2020: $75,000 Total contribution room for 2022 = $50,500 + $6,000 + $75,000 = $131,500. ...And...re-contributing that $75,000 that was left over from your 2021 emergency that didn't materialize, you still have $131,500-$75,000 = $56,500 of contribution room left in 2022. For a more comprehensive discussion, please see the CRA info link below.
FAQs That Have Arisen in the Discussion and Other Potential Questions:
Equity and ETF/ETN Options in a TFSA: can I get leverage? Yes. You can buy puts and calls in your TFSA and you only need to have the cash to pay the premium and broker commissions. Example: if XYZ is trading at $70, and you want to buy the $90 call with 6 months to expiration, and the call is trading at $2.50, you only need to have $250 in your account, per option contract, and if you are dealing with BMO IL for example you need $9.95 + $1.25/contract which is what they charge in commission. Of course, any profits on closing your position are tax-free. You only need the full value of the strike in your account if you want to exercise your option instead of selling it. Please note: this is not meant to be an options tutorial; see the Montreal Exchange's Equity Options Reference Manual if you have questions on how options work.
Equity and ETF/ETN Options in a TFSA: what is ok and not ok? Long puts and calls are allowed. Covered calls are allowed, but cash-secured puts are not allowed. All other option trades are also not allowed. Basically the rule is, if the trade is not a covered call and it either requires being short an option or short the stock, you can't do it in a TFSA.
Live in a province where the voting age is 19 so I can't open a TFSA until I'm 19, when does my contribution room begin? Your contribution room begins to accumulate at 18, so if you live in province where the age of majority is 19, you'll get the room carried forward from the year you turned 18.
If I turn 18 on December 31, do I get the contribution room just for that day or for the whole year? The whole year.
Do commissions paid on share transactions count as withdrawals? Unfortunately, no. If you contribute $2,000 cash and you buy $1,975 worth of stock and pay $25 in commission, the $25 does not count as a withdrawal. It is the same as if you lost money in the TFSA.
How much room do I have? If your broker records are complete, you can do a spreadsheet. The other thing you can do is call the CRA and they will tell you.
TFSATFSA direct transfer from one institution to another: this has no impact on your contributions or withdrawals as it counts as neither.
More than 1 TFSA: you can have as many as you want but your total contribution room does not increase or decrease depending on how many accounts you have.
Withdrawals that convert into contribution room in the next year. Do they carry forward indefinitely if not used in the next year? Answer :yes.
Do I have to declare my profits, withdrawals and contributions? No. Your bank or broker interfaces directly with the CRA on this. There are no declarations to make.
Risky investments - smart? In a TFSA you want always to make money, because you pay no tax, and you want never to lose money, because you cannot claim the loss against your income from your job. If in year X you have $5,000 of contribution room and put it into a TFSA and buy Canadian Speculative Corp. and due to the failure of the Canadian Speculative Corp. it goes to zero, two things happen. One, you burn up that contribution room and you have to wait until next year for the government to give you more room. Two, you can't claim the $5,000 loss against your employment income or investment income or capital gains like you could in a non-registered account. So remember Buffett's rule #1: Do not lose money. Rule #2 being don't forget the first rule. TFSA's are absolutely tailor-made for Graham-Buffett value investing or for diversified ETF or mutual fund investing, but you don't want to buy a lot of small specs because you don't get the tax loss.
Moving to/from Canada/residency. You must be a resident of Canada and 18 years old with a valid SIN to open a TFSA. Consult your tax advisor on whether your circumstances make you a resident for tax purposes. Since 2009, your TFSA contribution room accumulates every year, if at any time in the calendar year you are 18 years of age or older and a resident of Canada. Note: If you move to another country, you can STILL trade your TFSA online from your other country and keep making money within the account tax-free. You can withdraw money and Canada will not tax you. But you have to get tax advice in your country as to what they do. There restrictions on contributions for non-residents. See "non residents of Canada:" https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/cra-arc/formspubs/pub/rc4466/rc4466-19e.pdf
The U.S. withholding tax. Dividends paid by U.S.-domiciled companies are subject to a 15% U.S. withholding tax. Your broker does this automatically at the time of the dividend payment. So if your stock pays a $100 USD dividend, you only get $85 USD in your broker account and in your statement the broker will have a note saying 15% U.S. withholding tax. I do not know under what circumstances if any it is possible to get the withheld amount. Normally it is not, but consult a tax professional.
The U.S. withholding tax does not apply to capital gains. So if you buy $5,000 USD worth of Apple and sell it for $7,000 USD, you get the full $2,000 USD gain automatically.
Tax-Free Leverage. Leverage in the TFSA is effectively equal to your tax rate * the capital gains inclusion rate because you're not paying tax. So if you're paying 25% on average in income tax, and the capital gains contribution rate is 50%, the TFSA is like having 12.5%, no margin call leverage costing you 0% and that also doesn't magnify your losses.
Margin accounts. These accounts allow you to borrow money from your broker to buy stocks. TFSAs are not margin accounts. Nothing stopping you from borrowing from other sources (such as borrowing cash against your stocks in an actual margin account, or borrowing cash against your house in a HELOC or borrowing cash against your promise to pay it back as in a personal LOC) to fund a TFSA if that is your decision, bearing in mind the risks, but a TFSA is not a margin account. Consider options if you want leverage that you can use in a TFSA, without borrowing money.
Dividend Tax Credit on Canadian Companies. Remember, dividends paid into the TFSA are not eligible to be claimed for the credit, on the rationale that you already got a tax break.
FX risk. The CRA allows you to contribute and withdraw foreign currency from the TFSA but the contribution/withdrawal accounting is done in CAD. So if you contribute $10,000 USD into your TFSA and withdraw $15,000 USD, and the CAD is trading at 70 cents USD when you contribute and $80 cents USD when you withdraw, the CRA will treat it as if you contributed $14,285.71 CAD and withdrew $18,75.00 CAD.
OTC (over-the-counter stocks). You can only buy stocks if they are listed on an approved exchange ("approved exchange" = TSX, TSX-V, NYSE, NASDAQ and about 25 or so others). The U.S. pink sheets "over-the-counter" market is an example of a place where you can buy stocks, that is not an approved exchange, therefore you can't buy these penny stocks. I have however read that the CRA make an exception for a stock traded over the counter if it has a dual listing on an approved exchange. You should check that with a tax lawyer or accountant though.
The RRSP. This is another great tax shelter. Tax shelters in Canada are either deferrals or in a few cases - such as the TFSA - outright tax breaks, The RRSP is an example of a deferral. The RRSP allows you to deduct your contributions from your income, which the TFSA does not allow. This deduction is a huge advantage if you earn a lot of money. The RRSP has tax consequences for withdrawing money whereas the TFSA does not. Withdrawals from the RRSP are taxable whereas they are obviously not in a TFSA. You probably want to start out with a TFSA and maintain and grow that all your life. It is a good idea to start contributing to an RRSP when you start working because you get the tax deduction, and then you can use the amount of the deduction to contribute to your TFSA. There are certain rules that claw back your annual contribution room into an RRSP if you contribute to a pension. See your tax advisor.
Pensions. If I contribute to a pension does that claw back my TFSA contribution room or otherwise affect my TFSA in any way? Answer: No.
The $10K contribution limit for 2015. This was PM Harper's pledge. In 2015 the Conservative government changed the rules to make the annual government allowance $10,000 per year forever. Note: withdrawals still converted into contribution room in the following year - that did not change. When the Liberals came into power they switched the program back for 2016 to the original Harper rules and have kept the original Harper rules since then. That is why there is the $10,000 anomaly of 2015. The original Harper rules (which, again, are in effect now) called for $500 increments to the annual government allowance as and when required to keep up with inflation, based on the BofC's Consumer Price Index (CPI). Under the new Harper rules, it would have been $10,000 flat forever. Which you prefer depends on your politics but the TFSA program is massively popular with Canadians. Assuming 1.6% annual CPI inflation then the annual contribution room will hit $10,000 in 2052 under the present rules. Note: the Bank of Canada does an excellent and informative job of explaining inflation and the CPI at their website.
Losses in a TFSA - you cannot claim a loss in a TFSA against income. So in a TFSA you always want to make money and never want to lose money. A few ppl here have asked if you are losing money on your position in a TFSA can you transfer it in-kind to a cash account and claim the loss. I would expect no as I cannot see how in view of the fact that TFSA losses can't be claimed, that the adjusted cost base would somehow be the cost paid in the TFSA. But I'm not a tax lawyeaccountant. You should consult a tax professional.
Transfers in-kind to the TFSA and the the superficial loss rule. You can transfer securities (shares etc.) "in-kind," meaning, directly, from an unregistered account to the TFSA. If you do that, the CRA considers that you "disposed" of, meaning, equivalent to having sold, the shares in the unregistered account and then re-purchased them at the same price in the TFSA. The CRA considers that you did this even though the broker transfers the shares directly in the the TFSA. The superficial loss rule, which means that you cannot claim a loss for a security re-purchased within 30 days of sale, applies. So if you buy something for $20 in your unregistered account, and it's trading for $25 when you transfer it in-kind into the TFSA, then you have a deemed disposition with a capital gain of $5. But it doesn't work the other way around due to the superficial loss rule. If you buy it for $20 in the unregistered account, and it's trading at $15 when you transfer it in-kind into the TFSA, the superficial loss rule prevents you from claiming the loss because it is treated as having been sold in the unregistered account and immediately bought back in the TFSA.
Day trading/swing trading. It is possible for the CRA to try to tax your TFSA on the basis of "advantage." The one reported decision I'm aware of (emphasis on I'm aware of) is from B.C. where a woman was doing "swap transactions" in her TFSA which were not explicitly disallowed but the court rules that they were an "advantage" in certain years and liable to taxation. Swaps were subsequently banned. I'm not sure what a swap is exactly but it's not that someone who is simply making contributions according to the above rules would run afoul of. The CRA from what I understand doesn't care how much money you make in the TFSA, they care how you made it. So if you're logged on to your broker 40 hours a week and trading all day every day they might take the position that you found a way to work a job 40 hours a week and not pay any tax on the money you make, which they would argue is an "advantage," although there are arguments against that. This is not legal advice, just information.
The U.S. Roth IRA. This is a U.S. retirement savings tax shelter that is superficially similar to the TFSA but it has a number of limitations, including lack of cumulative contribution room, no ability for withdrawals to convert into contribution room in the following year, complex rules on who is eligible to contribute, limits on how much you can invest based on your income, income cutoffs on whether you can even use the Roth IRA at all, age limits that govern when and to what extent you can use it, and strict restrictions on reasons to withdraw funds prior to retirement (withdrawals prior to retirement can only be used to pay for private medical insurance, unpaid medical bills, adoption/childbirth expenses, certain educational expenses). The TFSA is totally unlike the Roth IRA in that it has none of these restrictions, therefore, the Roth IRA is not in any reasonable sense a valid comparison. The TFSA was modeled after the U.K. Investment Savings Account, which is the only comparable program to the TFSA.
The UK Investment Savings Account. This is what the TFSA was based off of. Main difference is that the UK uses a 20,000 pound annual contribution allowance, use-it-or-lose-it. There are several different flavours of ISA, and some do have a limited recontribution feature but not to the extent of the TFSA.
Is it smart to overcontribute to buy a really hot stock and just pay the 1% a month overcontribution penalty? If the CRA believes you made the overcontribution deliberately the penalty is 100% of the gains on the overcontribution, meaning, you can keep the overcontribution, or the loss, but the CRA takes the profit.
Speculative stocks-- are they ok? There is no such thing as a "speculative stock." That term is not used by the CRA. Either the stock trades on an approved exchange or it doesn't. So if a really blue chip stock, the most stable company in the world, trades on an exchange that is not approved, you can't buy it in a TFSA. If a really speculative gold mining stock in Busang, Indonesia that has gone through the roof due to reports of enormous amounts of gold, but their geologist somehow just mysteriously fell out of a helicopter into the jungle and maybe there's no gold there at all, but it trades on an approved exchange, it is fine to buy it in a TFSA. Of course the risk of whether it turns out to be a good investment or not, is on you.
Remember, you're working for your money anyway, so if you can get free money from the government -- you should take it! Follow the rules because Canadians have ended up with a tax bill for not understanding the TFSA rules. Appreciate the feedback everyone. Glad this basic post has been useful for many. The CRA does a good job of explaining TFSAs in detail at https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/cra-arc/formspubs/pub/rc4466/rc4466-19e.pdf
Unrelated but of Interest: The Margin Account
Note: if you are interested in how margin accounts work, I refer you to my post on margin accounts, where I use a straightforward explanation of the math behind margin accounts to try and give readers the confidence that they understand this powerful leveraging tool.
Why should you vote YES on the additional 60 million share proxy request?
In January of 2010, I sent an e-mail to MicroVision CEO Alex Tokman and shared with him the following blog post that I had written about MicroVision (MVIS). As a retail investor, I asked Alex a simple question: “What is Your Business Growth Strategy?” http://mirro7.blogspot.com/2010/01/microvision-whats-your-business-growth.html This opened a channel of communications with AT and I was recognized as a serious investor of MicroVision… and a strong supporter of LBS as the future growth technology that could spawn hundreds of billion dollar consumer and industrial applications. However, I never got a straight answer from Alex… In my frustration as the serious MicroVision Investor, I wrote… "Perhaps, just perhaps, there are many other options. Models are made to be broken. The choices may be beyond anything that has been done before. That choice, if indeed one is open to it, certainly does not appear to be with-in the reach of current management. I believe the technology at MicroVision will succeed. Management may just be along for the ride." "If this sounds harsh… it is not meant to be. How many companies have management? How many have leadership? My hope is management can simply steer the ship. Anything beyond that will be a bonus." Over the next few months in 2010, I was able to piece together MicroVision Business Development Strategy, or the lack of it, and wrote another blog post in October 2010. Once again, I shared this blog post with Alex [and his Board of Directors], and asked the question: “What is Your Business Growth Strategy?” Here's the blog post from October 2010... http://mirro7.blogspot.com/2010/10/microvision-what-business-growth.html Excerpt from the article… MicroVision: What Business Growth Strategy? Every business has to plan for growth and executives should make sure their growth plans are consistent with their dynamic business plan. A dynamic business plan is an updated version that is kept current to reflect the ever-changing business-operating environment. Especially in the technology and DOT.com businesses, where the product cycles are so short and consumer preferences are mostly dependent on the next hot product or service. When it comes to growth plans, the two ends of the spectrum are, for example, should a company grow quickly and unprofitably, like Amazon and Hotmail─ before it got acquired by Microsoft for $480 million, or slowly with a careful eye on the bottom line, like Ben & Jerry's ice cream parlors? It all depends on how much venture capital you have access to and what the competition is doing! The worst thing you can do is fail to decide whether you're going to be a Ben & Jerry's company, or a Hotmail company, or an Amazon company. There are three possible scenarios when focusing on the challenges of growing a business and picking the right growth model that is consistent with your business plan and positions you for whatever your ultimate goal is… Number one: you want to be the gorilla of your industry in a hurry like Amazon.Number two: you want to ramp-up your business fast and position for an acquisition like Hotmail.Number three: you want to be a brick and mortar company producing steady profits like Ben & Jerry’s. Regardless of what your business model is, the CEO and the CFO of the company need to formalize their business growth strategy and evangelize to the man in-charge of running the day-to-day operation of the business. Building a company is no small task? You've got one very important decision to make, because it affects everything else you do. No matter what else you do, you absolutely must figure out which camp you're in, and gear everything you do accordingly, or you're going to have a disaster on your hands. THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS: Whether to grow slowly, organically, and profitably, or whether to have a big bang with very fast growth with lots of capital spent in a hurry, that is the question? The first model, popularly called "Get Big Fast" (a.k.a. "Land Grab"), requires you to raise a lot of capital, and work as quickly as possible to get big fast without concern for profitability. I'm going to call this the “Amazon”, because Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has practically become the celebrity spokes-model for Get Big Fast. The second model is called "Hotmail for Sale or Fail". As for the name of our model “Hotmail for Sale or Fail”, I just made it up to make the point. This model requires you to raise only a small amount of capital, position for acquisition, and work as quickly as possible to build momentum to show there is promise of getting big fast… without concern for profitability. I'm going to call this “Hotmail” model, because Hotmail fits this model very well. The third model, organic growth model, is to start small, with limited goals, and slowly build a business over a long period of time. I'm going to call this “Ben & Jerry’s” model, because Ben & Jerry’s fit this model pretty well. Now the question is: “where on earth does the MicroVision business model fit-in?" The short answer is... "Nowhere" MicroVision’s current business growth strategy (in 2010) was either non-existent or was severely flawed after the green laser debacle of late… that still continued to haunt MicroVision even after 4 years (in 2014). Here’s one clue to the non-existent, or flawed, business growth strategy up until recently (in 2014)… In early 2007, Alex Tokman, CEO of MicroVision, was quite aware of the following facts… \ Embedded pico projector was to be the holy grail for MicroVision.* Without diode RGB lasers; the power, size, and cost of the laser light source based on SHG green lasers would be prohibitive for embedded applications.* In 2007, diode green lasers were 4 to 5 years away… as like in 2011/2012 time frame.* If you were to assume correctly, and AT was aware of these facts as early as in 2007, then why in hell his management team carried-on with an army of personnel in SG&A [and R&D] to continually spend over $12 million dollars every Qtr for the last four years [from 2007 to 2012]. If AT had used this readily available information and some gumption to control costs to say $6 million per Qtr… today there would be lot less pressure to raise money to continue with operations─ while still waiting for diode/SHG green lasers, because MicroVision would have saved over $96 million dollars in costs without sacrificing much. MicroVision management should have either changed their business growth strategy to “hunker down” and coast on a low cost/low profile basis until the green laser technology was mature enough with more plausible cost and performance metrics… or let someone else run the company, instead of pushing the company hard on the downward spiral of financial gloom and doom while waiting for diode/SHG green lasers. MicroVision’s current business growth strategy [in late 2010] assures that they will continue to lose money-- as they are now… and continue to do so all of the next year and five years from now. The cost and availability of green lasers today [in 2010], or a year or two from now, plays a role but its financial impact on the bottom-line profitability is very small when you consider the vicious [large volume/lower cost/lower absolute dollar margin] cycle associated with commodity products such as PDEs and IPMs that are sold to consumer product OEMs. As long as MicroVision corporate management is fixated on just selling their laser light based PDEs and IPMs in an OEM market that has all the makings of a commodity market… they will be at the mercy of the OEMs; for consumer product introduction time-lines, consumer product pricing, product marketing, and commodity component pricing with no pricing power. Just look around and tell me if you see any embedded mobile phone camera makers or the touch screen makers [for things like iPad or iPhone] making any money worth crowing about. On the other hand, consumer product OEMs like Apple, with vision and gumption, come to market with one consumer product at a time─ on their terms, and rake-in billions in revenue and profits. The current MicroVision business model [as of 2010] calls for hundreds of millions in sales of PDEs and IPMs to make a few million dollars in net profit in a commodity type pricing environment … and that too, if and when the OEM customers let that happen. MicroVision still has time [in 2010] to re-configure its business growth model and seriously consider launching its own branded consumer products ─ possibly in partnership with large OEMs; and be the shaker, baker, and maker of its own destiny. Just take the current situation [in 2010] of MicroVision patiently waiting on its hands and feet─ and spending $12 million dollars per Qtr; while the OEM for the High End Media Player (HEMP) procrastinates on product configuration, product introduction time-lines, and product marketing and pricing issues. In the best case scenario, the current MicroVision business model can, in a year or two, only produce modest earnings growth of perhaps 12% per years for many years to come… and may never come even close to the hyper growth in revenue and earnings that we once believed was possible. End of excerpt from the 2010 article. Now fast forward to 2020… After ten years [in the middle of 2020] and over seven hundred million dollars in sunken cost later, I would ask the current CEO Sumit Sharma: “What is Your Business Exit Strategy?” Or should I change my question and ask: “What is Your Exit Strategy with a Staff of 30 Managing the Viewing at MicroVision?” Here’s my opinion… Anyone on this board will tell you, I am no fan of this Management team and this Board of Directors. I believe many of them are out of their depth. Historically, the various Corporate Executives at MicroVision have been, shall we say, less than comfortable in their positions and less than qualified to make the decisions they have made over the 14 years. Historically, no one can really argue with that; given the fact, as a team, they have spent well in excess of 700 million dollars of shareholder value and created a company which, just a few months ago, had a market cap of around $30 million [trading at around $0.20]. I have also stated that the deal CEO Sharma and the Board might make with a potential partner is not necessarily the deal THEY will end up with. Having said that, I do realize even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Again, depending on what additional information is given by CEO Sharma and the Board, I am willing to vote YES on the additional 60 million share requested. I also believe that MicroVision Technology, in the hands of the right partner company, is certainly worth Multiples of a Billion Dollars. We shall see if CEO Sharma and CFO Holt can live up to their titles. So far they are making all the right noises; and comparing them with the C Suite Executives at some of the mega corporations is not fair… because, both can be successful on their own scale and modus operandi. The recent notice from the class action lawyers trying to drum up a lawsuit against MicroVision… is a sure sign that there are some VERY nervous short sellers out there. Why should you also vote YES on the additional 60 million share request? Sumit Sharma has been the new CEO for only four months; and the multi-year mess [from 2007 to early 2020] he inherited was enormous and sticky. He is doing, and has done a lot, more for the investor community than any of us will ever know. He is the right person for this job, other CEOs wouldn't have had the gall to cut the cord and set the company free to realize its full potential by going the M&A route. He has options and he is exploring all of them and not taking the easy and quick route. The end game is, in my opinion, the long investors will be handsomely rewarded and can happen when nobody expects it. To give credit where credit is due… · Sumit Sharma made a pact with retail longs to not precipitously do a reverse split… and he has kept that promise by clearly announcing that there will be no S. · SS never promised he wouldn't come back for more shares later. He quite clearly said he understood he COULD come back in August or September. Now it's August. See the Fireside Chat thread. · SS brought Dr. Mark B. Spitzer to MicroVision BoD. If you don't actually grasp the importance of that… read-up on Dr. Spitzer’s CV and his patent portfolio in AR technology space. · When SS took over as CEO, the company was under not one but TWO deficiency notices from NASDAQ that could result in losing their exchange listing. Today, there is none. · SS had the guts to tell us about this 60 million new shares proxy before the CC and then stood up and defended it on the conference call. If you knew anything about the previous practice of this company, a Press Release would have been dropped on Friday, two days after the CC, so the management could avoid talking about it in person for as long as possible. Sumit Sharma has done some impressive work in a short period of time; bringing others on Board with expertise and clout, trimming production liability, cutting operating expenses to 1/3rd, acquiring government PPP loan for keeping the employees so their LiDAR kits could be completed, ensuring company has the cash for opex until end of year 2020 (possibly beyond if they can clear the liability from the PPP loan), reverse split approval without using it, and a clear vision to sell [or merge] the company or sell one or more of its 4 core technology verticals to the highest bidder. You know how long and arduous M&A can be, and achieving it in less than 6 months would have been absolutely incredible... especially, considering the 12 year of mess that he inherited some 4 months ago. It is easy to speak strongly on such a topic, but harder to actually do it. Maybe, we all should reach out and try assisting SS and his team, and at the very least give the corporate management the tools they need to execute the best “exit strategy” that, for once, has the retail investor in mind. Anant Goel (a.k.a. Mirro7) [Curated content based on excerpts from posts, blogs, media articles, and sponsored research]
Moving beyond Marxist economics: a highly inflammatory tract.
This came out of a request from someone on Twitter, but I figured I would post it here too. Feel free to ask questions and I can answer. Insults only allowed if they're funny and high-effort (remember, I am a mod!). My basic criticism of Marx is really about his economics; certainly he deserves his place in the pantheon of great thinkers for his contributions to the fields of sociology (alongside Weber and Durkheim) and history (moving beyond Great Man history and the notion that ideas and ideology drive the course of events to placing economic class conflict as the primary motivator). And like all older great thinkers, as much as modern Marxists get mad about it, I don’t think you have to take him as a complete package deal. Some of his contributions were very interesting and have been built on since, others are less useful. Marx’s economics is a variant of the classical economics developed by Adam Smith and David Ricardo, with a focus on the classical questions of rent, interest and “value” and employing a variant of the theorems of that discipline. It’s very much pre-Marginal Revolution and so suffers from the same drawbacks. In particular the focus on “value” seems misplaced – to me as well as other marginalists, “value” of a good or service can be described as a part of human psychology that (while observable in a very limited sense through market decisions) at best is loosely connected to the material inputs that created it, like labor. A well-functioning market will increase the correlation between Marxist conceptions of value and labor time somewhat because if markets clear, producers will over time modify production so that things that require more labor (higher cost) but are less in demand (or “valued” in the marginalist, consumer surplus sense) are produced less. But this isn’t because there is some kind of inherent and a priori connection between Marx’s socially necessary labor time, e.g. the average number of skilled labor hours to produce the standard form of some good or service, and how useful it is (Marx’s use value) or even in what proportions a good or service is denominated as other goods or services (Marx’s exchange value). It’s because producers are maximizing profits and it’s incompatible with that to produce dear and sell cheap. That is, there is active maneuvering in the market system to increase the correlation between labor (or capital) input and price through changes in technology, quantity produced, etc, mechanisms that have nothing to do with any inherent properties of labor. The fact that advertising is proven to be able to psychologically manipulate consumers in the short term and change the “value” they place on items, everything else equal, makes it worse for Marxists. Going beyond that, this also destroys the “specialness” of labor in the Marxist scheme. Labor is still special – I think Karl Polanyi is the one to read on why, as a “fictitious commodity”, it should not be lumped in with apples and toaster ovens – but once you’ve sorted value out, there is no particular reason why labor as an input should be assigned the theoretical priority and driver in terms of financial returns. Marx here made another firm error. In Marx’s economic writing, land and capital goods change hands at a price exactly matching their expected contribution to production. This is perhaps true in limited cases: office buildings in cities will often have their sale prices bid up so that the office rents more or less exactly pay for the loan installments, and a new piece of machinery may cost a firm what it will create in discounted future revenues. But in general, it is not true. Think of a truck used for industrial purposes. The same truck will be sold at the same price to dozens of different firms who will all gain different amounts of revenue by using it. Certainly some will accrue profits and some will accrue losses from the truck, and this will vary over time. However, it is a highly questionable assertion to say that the short- or long-run average contribution to profits from the purchase will be a net zero. Marx used this assumption to claim that the only source of profit in a firm must come from labor, since all other inputs trade hands on a net zero profit basis. This is why Marxists talk about the organic composition of capital, and say that when investment into new technology increases the productivity of labor, profits must shrink (since less labor used in a process means a smaller available source of profits). It’s another big problem I have with the system and is empirically untrue, as the rate of profit has changed quite substantially since the 1800s, typically as wars or crises destroy the capital stock and the marginal return on capital from a lower level is heightened, or as capital stocks grow in periods of stability and the marginal return decreases. Anyway, I think socialists are better off leaving this behind. You don’t need Marxist economics to make a claim that capital and its returns should be socialized, there are many other ways to do it (both in market and non-market systems). That of course is the subject for another essay, which I will write when the mood strikes me.
Zerodha vs Upstox comparison from the perspective of a daytrader.
I already posted this on indiainvestments but I'm going to post it here too because I'm not sure if my post is going to get approved by the mods there. Every once in a while a discussion pops up on this sub about which is better, zerodha or upstox, and many of the replies are usually from investors or swing traders. As a daytrader who's used them both for almost an year, I just want to share my thoughts on this because it might be useful for someone looking this up in the future. In my personal opinion, zerodha is, by far, the better choice. Not because zerodha is amazing, but because upstox is terrible. Here's why:
Non-existent communication with its clients. Need to get some piece of information? Good luck with that. You can try calling the customer care and most of the time your call will go unanswered. Even if they do pick it up, their agents are very incompetent. They know only about the account-opening process and if you ask them anything else, they're clueless. They'll just give some scripted response and will be of no help. You can try asking on their live-chat. They'll literally make you wait for 20-40 minutes (not exaggerating) and then give you some copy-pasted reply which usually does not answer your question anyway even after all that waiting.
Well if you're desperate enough you can try asking on their forum but the last time any developer or employee even bothered to respond was years ago. Now it's turned into a wasteland full of people posting random crap. Seriously, just visit that link once if you want to have a nice chuckle.
Now coming to their web and app platforms. Their app is decent, no major issue there. Their web platform used to feel very sluggish compared to zerodha's which feels way more smooth & snappy and sometimes it would just completely freeze up and force you to close your browser from the task manager. I have a quite powerful gaming PC with 16gb ram and this was happening even when I had no programs open other than just the browser with only one tab.
I mainly trade commodities and the commodity market is open until midnight. One day I noticed at around 5 in the evening that the charts just completely stopped moving, both on the app and web. I mean they just froze and stopped updating tick by tick. I complained to their customer care both on the phone and on twitter and I thought it was going to get fixed soon because surely they're going to take it seriously when something that big & important is broken, right? Well they didn't. I thought it would at least be fixed before the market opened the next day. Well it still wasn't. I think the devs were not even aware of the issue and the customer care just forgot about it as soon as they hung up the phone and didn't even bother to report it to anybody. I finally got fed up and messaged their co-founder about it on LinkedIn and it got fixed within one hour. May be he didn't even see my message and it was just a coincidence or may be it wasn't.
They recently released a new version of their website which seems to be better than the old one. I used it a little and already noticed a major flaw which was making it impossible to update my orders. Honestly, it's an amateurish mistake involving form validation which makes me question the competency of their developers and if then even bothered to properly test the platform before releasing it. I reported the issue but I highly doubt they even saw my report yet.
All of these are just front-end issues. Now coming to their back-end, one day it just stopped working for almost THREE HOURS straight. Nobody was able to login, both on the app and web of course, and those who were already logged in were not able to place orders, see their positions or do anything at all. I thought may be it was just me but I went on twitter and there was a tsunami of users complaining. Well after such a big fuck-up surely they're going to say something about it right? May be apologize or release a statement about what went wrong or something? Nope, they just remained completely silent like it never even happened. Not even a single post or reply on twitter even to this day. Also this is not a one-time issue. Their back-end stops working quite frequently but it's usually for a few minutes only and not for three hours which is still bad if you're a daytrader. Zerodha has such fuck-ups too sometimes but they usually at least address it instead of pretending like it didn't even happen.
Next, they just do whatever the fuck they want without even informing the clients its going to severely affect. I was using their API (which I was paying a monthly subscription fee for btw) for many months and one day it just stopped working. Then I found out that they had just suddenly decided to STOP their api services INDEFINITELY for almost all of their users with ZERO prior notice. Obviously this is a huge problem especially for those who do algo trading but I guess upstox thought it wasn't such a big deal.
I mainly trade crude oil and one day during the whole corona virus fiasco I wasn't able to place any orders as it was saying I didn't have sufficient money in my account to place an order. I was very confused because I was able to trade without any problem on the previous day and now it's saying insufficient funds even though not much has changed since yesterday? I asked their customer care (it took me almost an hour to get a response from them btw) and they were clueless. They were just sending me a copy-pasted response as usual. I kept digging and found out after a lot of searching that they had decided to suddenly double the margin requirements overnight and even their customer care wasn't aware of it.
Are you seeing a pattern here? Lack of communication. They won't inform you about anything and won't respond to you even if you try to reach out to them. This was the most frustrating part of my experience with them.
This post ended up becoming quite longer than I expected but hopefully it will warn new users to stay away upstox unless they get their shit together but I highly doubt it's ever going to happen. Zerodha has it's flaws too but it's quite decent in my opinion and definitely the best discount broker in India. At least their customer care isn't stupid and can answer some technical questions instead of knowing literally nothing except the account-opening process.
Why we need to think more carefully about what money is and how it works
Most of us have overlooked a fundamental problem that is currently causing an insurmountable obstacle to building a fairer and more sustainable world. We are very familiar with the thing in question, but its problematic nature has been hidden from us by a powerful illusion. We think the problem is capitalism, but capitalism is just the logical outcome of aggregate human decisions about how to manage money. The fundamental problem is money itself, or more specifically general purpose money and the international free market which allows you to sell a chunk of rainforest and use the money to buy a soft drink factory. (You can use the same sort of money to sell anything and buy anything, anywhere in the world, and until recently there was no alternative at all. Bitcoin is now an alternative, but is not quite what we are looking for.) The illusion is that because market prices are free, and nobody is forced into a transaction, those prices must be fair – that the exchange is equitable. The truth is that the way the general money globalised free market system works means that even though the prices are freely determined, there is still an unequal flow of natural resources from poor parts of the world to rich parts. This means the poor parts will always remain poor, and resources will continue to accumulate in the large, unsustainable cities in rich countries. In other words, unless we re-invent money, we cannot overturn capitalism, and that means we can't build a sustainable civilisation. Why does this matter? What use is it realising that general purpose money is at the root of our problems when we know that the rich and powerful people who run this world will do everything in their power to prevent the existing world system being reformed? They aren't just going to agree to get rid of general purpose money and economic globalisation. It's like asking them to stop pursuing growth: they can't even imagine how to do it, and don't want to. So how does this offer us a way forwards? Answer: because the two things in question – our monetary system and globalisation – look like being among the first casualties of collapse. Globalisation is already going into reverse (see brexit, Trump's protectionism) and our fiat money system is heading towards a debt/inflation implosion. It looks highly likely that the scenario going forwards will be of increasing monetary and economic chaos. Fiat money systems have collapsed many times before, but never a global system of fiat currencies floating against each other. But regardless of how may fiat currencies collapse, or how high the price of gold goes in dollars, it is not clear what the system would be replaced with. Can we just go back to the gold standard? It is possible, but people will be desperately looking for other solutions, and the people in power might also be getting desperate. So what could replace it? What is needed is a new sort of complementary money system which both (a) addresses the immediate economic problems of people suffering from symptoms of economic and general collapse and (b) provides a long-term framework around which a new sort of economy can emerge – an economy which is adapted to deglobalisation and degrowth. I have been searching for answers to this question for some time, and have now found what I was looking for. It is explained in this recently published academic book, and this paper by the same professor of economic anthropology (Alf Hornborg). The answer is the creation of a new sort of money, but it is critically important exactly how this is done. Local currencies like the Bristol Pound do not challenge globalisation. What we need is a new sort of national currency. This currency would be issued as a UBI, but only usable to buy products and services originating within an adjustable radius. This would enable a new economy to emerge. It actually resists globalisation and promotes the growth of a new sort of economy where sustainability is built on local resources and local economic activity. It would also reverse the trend of population moving from poor rural areas and towns, to cities. It would revitalise the “left behind” parts of the western world, and put the brakes on the relentless flow of natural resources and “embodied cheap labour” from the poor parts of the world to the rich parts. It would set the whole system moving towards a more sustainable and fairer state. This may sound unrealistic, but please give it a chance. I believe it offers a way forwards that can (a) unite disparate factions trying to provoke systemic change, including eco-marxists, greens, posthumanists and anti-globalist supporters of “populist nationalism”. The only people who really stand to lose are the supporters of global big business and the 1%. (b) offers a realistic alternative to a money system heading towards collapse, and to which currently no other realistic alternative is being proposed. In other words, this offers a realistic way forwards not just right now but through much of the early stages of collapse. It is likely to become both politically and economically viable within the forseeable future. It does, though, require some elements of the left to abandon its globalist ideals. It will have to embrace a new sort of nationalism. And it will require various groups who are doing very well out of the current economic system to realise that it is doomed. Here is an FAQ (from the paper).
What is a complementary currency? It is a form of money that can be used alongside regular money. What is the fundamental goal of this proposal? The two most fundamental goals motivating this proposal are to insulate local human subsistence and livelihood from the vicissitudes of national and international economic cycles and financial speculation, and to provide tangible and attractive incentives for people to live and consume more sustainably. It also seeks to provide authorities with a means to employ social security expenditures to channel consumption in sustainable directions and encourage economic diversity and community resilience at the local level. Why should the state administrate the reform? The nation is currently the most encompassing political entity capable of administrating an economic reform of this nature. Ideally it is also subservient to the democratic decisions of its population. The current proposal is envisaged as an option for European nations, but would seem equally advantageous for countries anywhere. If successfully implemented within a particular nation or set of nations, the system can be expected to be emulated by others. Whereas earlier experiments with alternative currencies have generally been local, bottom-up initiatives, a state-supported program offers advantages for long-term success. Rather than an informal, marginal movement connected to particular identities and transient social networks, persisting only as long as the enthusiasm of its founders, the complementary currency advocated here is formalized, efficacious, and lastingly fundamental to everyone's economy. How is local use defined and monitored? The complementary currency (CC) can only be used to purchase goods and services that are produced within a given geographical radius of the point of purchase. This radius can be defined in terms of kilometers of transport, and it can vary between different nations and regions depending on circumstances. A fairly simple way of distinguishing local from non-local commodities would be to label them according to transport distance, much as is currently done regarding, for instance, organic production methods or "fair trade." Such transport certification would of course imply different labelling in different locales. How is the complementary currency distributed? A practical way of organizing distribution would be to provide each citizen with a plastic card which is electronically charged each month with the sum of CC allotted to him or her. Who are included in the category of citizens? A monthly CC is provided to all inhabitants of a nation who have received official residence permits. What does basic income mean? Basic income is distributed without any requirements or duties to be fulfilled by the recipients. The sum of CC paid to an individual each month can be determined in relation to the currency's purchasing power and to the individual's age. The guiding principle should be that the sum provided to each adult should be sufficient to enable basic existence, and that the sum provided for each child should correspond to the additional household expenses it represents. Why would people want to use their CC rather than regular money? As the sum of CC provided each month would correspond to purchases representing a claim on his or her regular budget, the basic income would liberate a part of each person's regular income and thus amount to substantial purchasing power, albeit restricted only to local purchases. The basic income in CC would reduce a person's dependence on wage labor and the risks currently associated with unemployment. It would encourage social cooperation and a vitalization of community. Why would businesses want to accept payment in CC? Business entrepreneurs can be expected to respond rapidly to the radically expanded demand for local products and services, which would provide opportunities for a diverse range of local niche markets. Whether they receive all or only a part of their income in the form of CC, they can choose to use some of it to purchase tax-free local labor or other inputs, and to request to have some of it converted by the authorities to regular currency (see next point). How is conversion of CC into regular currency organized? Entrepreneurs would be granted the right to convert some of their CC into regular currency at exchange rates set by the authorities.The exchange rate between the two currencies can be calibrated so as to compensate the authorities for loss of tax revenue and to balance the in- and outflows of CC to the state. The rate would thus amount to a tool for determining the extent to which the CC is recirculated in the local economy, or returned to the state. This is important in order to avoid inflation in the CC sector. Would there be interest on sums of CC owned or loaned? There would be no interest accruing on a sum of CC, whether a surplus accumulating in an account or a loan extended. How would saving and loaning of CC be organized? The formal granting of credit in CC would be managed by state authorities and follow the principle of full reserve banking, so that quantities of CC loaned would never exceed the quantities saved by the population as a whole. Would the circulation of CC be subjected to taxation? No. Why would authorities want to encourage tax-free local economies? Given the beneficial social and ecological consequences of this reform, it is assumed that nation states will represent the general interests of their electorates and thus promote it. Particularly in a situation with rising fiscal deficits, unemployment, health care, and social security expenditures, the proposed reform would alleviate financial pressure on governments. It would also reduce the rising costs of transport infrastructure, environmental protection, carbon offsetting, and climate change adaptation. In short, the rising costs and diminishing returns on current strategies for economic growth can be expected to encourage politicians to consider proposals such as this, as a means of avoiding escalating debt or even bankruptcy. How would the state's expenditures in CC be financed? As suggested above, much of these expenditures would be balanced by the reduced costs for social security, health care, transport infrastructure, environmental protection, carbon offsetting, and climate change adaptation. As these savings may take time to materialize, however, states can choose to make a proportion of their social security payments (pensions, unemployment insurance, family allowance, etc.) in the form of CC. As between a third and half of some nations' annual budgets are committed to social security, this represents a significant option for financing the reform, requiring no corresponding tax levies. What are the differences between this CC and the many experiments with local currencies? This proposal should not be confused with the notion, or with the practical operation, of local currencies, as it does not imply different currencies in different locales but one national,complementary currency for local use. Nor is it locally initiated and promoted in opposition to theregular currency, but centrally endorsed and administrated as an accepted complement to it. Most importantly, the alternative currency can only be used to purchase products and services originating from within a given geographical range, a restriction which is not implemented in experiments with Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS). Finally, the CC is provided as a basic income to all residents of a nation, rather than only earned in proportion to the extent to which a person has made him- or herself useful in the local economy. What would the ecological benefits be? The reform would radically reduce the demand for long-distance transport, the production of greenhouse gas emissions, consumption of energy and materials, and losses of foodstuffs through overproduction, storage, and transport. It would increase recycling of nutrients and packaging materials, which means decreasing leakage of nutrients and less garbage. It would reduce agricultural intensification, increase biodiversity, and decrease ecological degradation and vulnerability. What would the societal benefits be? The reform would increase local cooperation, decrease social marginalization and addiction problems, provide more physical exercise, improve psycho-social and physical health, and increase food security and general community resilience. It would decrease the number of traffic accidents, provide fresher and healthier food with less preservatives, and improved contact between producers and consumers. What would the long-term consequences be for the economy? The reform would no doubt generate radical transformations of the economy, as is precisely the intention. There would be a significant shift of dominance from transnational corporations founded on financial speculation and trade in industrially produced foodstuffs, fuels, and other internationally transported goods to locally diverse producers and services geared to sustainable livelihoods. This would be a democratic consequence of consumer power, rather than of legislation. Through a relatively simple transformation of the conditions for market rationality, governments can encourage new and more sustainable patterns of consumer behavior. In contrast to much of the drastic and often traumatic economic change of the past two centuries, these changes would be democratic and sustainable and would improve local and national resilience. Why should society want to encourage people to refrain from formal employment? It is increasingly recognized that full or high employment cannot be a goal in itself, particularly if it implies escalating environmental degradation and energy and material throughput. Well-founded calls are thus currently made for degrowth, i.e. a reduction in the rate of production of goods and services that are conventionally quantified by economists as constitutive of GDP. Whether formal unemployment is the result of financial decline, technological development, or intentional policy for sustainability, no modern nation can be expected to leave its citizens economically unsupported. To subsist on basic income is undoubtedly more edifying than receiving unemployment insurance; the CC system encourages useful community cooperation and creative activities rather than destructive behavior that may damage a person's health. Why should people receive an income without working? As observed above, modern nations will provide for their citizens whether they are formally employed or not. The incentive to find employment should ideally not be propelled only by economic imperatives, but more by the desire to maintain a given identity and to contribute creatively to society. Personal liberty would be enhanced by a reform which makes it possible for people to choose to spend (some of) their time on creative activities that are not remunerated on the formal market, and to accept the tradeoff implied by a somewhat lower economic standard. People can also be expected to devote a greater proportion of their time to community cooperation, earning additional CC, which means that they will contribute more to society – and experience less marginalization – than the currently unemployed. Would savings in CC be inheritable? No. How would transport distances of products and services be controlled? It is reasonable to expect the authorities to establish a special agency for monitoring and controlling transport distances. It seems unlikely that entrepreneurs would attempt to cheat the system by presenting distantly produced goods as locally produced, as we can expect income in regular currency generally to be preferable to income in CC. Such attempts would also entail transport costs which should make the cargo less competitive in relation to genuinely local produce, suggesting that the logic of local market mechanisms would by and large obviate the problem. How would differences in local conditions (such as climate, soils, and urbanism) be dealt with?It is unavoidable that there would be significant variation between different locales in terms of the conditions for producing different kinds of goods. This means that relative local prices in CC for agiven product can be expected to vary from place to place. This may in turn mean that consumption patterns will vary somewhat between locales, which is predictable and not necessarily a problem. Generally speaking, a localization of resource flows can be expected to result in a more diverse pattern of calibration to local resource endowments, as in premodern contexts. The proposed system allows for considerable flexibility in terms of the geographical definition of what is categorized as local, depending on such conditions. In a fertile agricultural region, the radius for local produce may be defined, for instance, as 20 km, whereas in a less fertile or urban area, it may be 50 km. People living in urban centers are faced with a particular challenge. The reform would encourage an increased production of foodstuffs within and in the vicinity of urban areas, which in the long run may also affect urban planning. People might also choose to move to the countryside, where the range of subsistence goods that can be purchased with CC will tend to be greater. In the long run, the reform can be expected to encourage a better fit between the distribution of resources (such as agricultural land) and demography. This is fully in line with the intention of reducing long-distance transports of necessities. What would the consequences be if people converted resources from one currency sphere into products or services sold in another? It seems unfeasible to monitor and regulate the use of distant imports (such as machinery and fuels) in producing produce for local markets, but as production for local markets is remunerated in CC, this should constitute a disincentive to invest regular money in such production processes. Production for local consumption can thus be expected to rely mostly – and increasingly – on local labor and other resource inputs.
COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION . 17 CFR Part 41 RIN 3038-AE88 . SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION 17 CFR Part 242 [Release No. 34-86304; File No. S7-09-19] RIN 3235-AM55 . CUSTOMER MARGIN RULES RELATING TO SECURITY FUTURES . AGENCIES: Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission. ACTION: Joint proposed rules. Trading on margin provides you with a lot of leverage because you need to put up only relatively small amounts of capital as collateral to invest in significant dollar amounts of a commodity. For example, if you want to trade the soybean futures contracts on the CME, the initial margin requirement is $1,100. Futures Trading Margin Requirements Optimus Futures offers low day-trading margins to accommodate futures traders that require flexible leverage to trade their accounts. Day trading margins, also known as Intraday margins, are determined by our clearing firms and are typically provided as a percentage of the initial margin (E.g. 25%) or a ... Trading on margin involves additional risk, so before placing any trades, be sure you understand the requirements and industry regulations that govern margin borrowing. First, it's important to understand that margin is a privilege, not a right. Margin requirements may change at any time. Fidelis will do its best to inform the client about any projected changes by email and via the trading platform's message system at least a week before changes go into effect. Fidelis Trading platforms issue a margin call at 50% level. This means Margin Call will trigger when account value (Equity) is ...
Please join us for this informative presentation in which we provide an in-depth look into the various rules and requirements related to trading in a Margin account. Margin involves the borrowing ... The client wise margin file provided by the clearing corporations to trading or clearing member will contain the end of the day (EOD) margin requirements of the client as well as the peak margin ... In this video I have explained about Commodity Trading Lot size and Margin Required. Lot Size - In the stock market, lot size refers to the number of shares you buy in one transaction. A long futures contract gives leverage: in this example where gold is ~6% initial margin, the leverage is 1/6% or 16.6x. When the maintenance margin is breached, a MARGIN CALL requires the long to ... Hi Friends, I have explained about the new margin requirements changes from SEBI in this video. These changes will be active from June 1st, 2020. If you are ...