Investing

58 year old immigrant with ok English

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 2nd, 2019 2:21 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 9, 2009
796 posts
144 upvotes
Hamilton

58 year old immigrant with ok English

This is for my dad.

He wants to get into investing and would like to learn about investing. He has a broker now, but since he'll be retiring soon, would like to do his own investments.

He would like to take courses, maybe in college (we're from Hamilton). His English isn't great. Not too bad, but thick accent and faster speakers might confuse him.

Any suggestions on how to start?

Thanks guys
15 replies
Deal Fanatic
Mar 24, 2008
6053 posts
2305 upvotes
Toronto
Index investing, period.
Illegitimi non carborundum
Deal Addict
Sep 2, 2009
1641 posts
1387 upvotes
Ottawa
Does he want to get into "investing" or actually "day trading"? I mean this in all seriousness (and not having any more context) having come into the situation with others previously: why does he want to start investing on his own now? I have had the answer before of: "because I don't have enough funds for retirement".

Investing and learning to "index" would be fine ... branch out slowly also fine... trying to make up for a shortfall at 58 because of low funds = recipe for a disaster. The emotional side of investing is so important in order not to over-react to both good and bad news (which leads to over-buying at highs, and over-selling on lows).

Again, without more context, you need to have a frank heart-to-heart with your dad since "since he'll be retiring soon, would like to do his own investments." comes off as he will be bored in retirement and wants to make money investing. People do all kinds of funky things when they retire and no longer have 40+ hours a week filled with working+commuting (Indexing takes minutes a month at most - leaving a good 159.98 hours to kill...).
Deal Addict
Jun 27, 2006
1725 posts
2027 upvotes
Try to get a copy of the Canadian Securities Course material. Will provide the basics. Probably wouldn't be as meaningful to him to actual enroll in the course as he might want the interaction that comes with attending a class.

Maybe the board of ed offers classes like the do here in Toronto that might interest him.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 9, 2009
796 posts
144 upvotes
Hamilton
ksgill wrote: Index investing, period.
Will take a look into this. Why do you prefer it for him?Any particular reasons?
SomeGuyGG wrote: Maybe try online courses/webinars? He can pause and go over it again if he can't understand it.

Some articles:
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-i ... le4377957/

https://www.thebalance.com/online-inves ... es-2388835
Will take a read. Tahnks!
cloak wrote: Does he want to get into "investing" or actually "day trading"? I mean this in all seriousness (and not having any more context) having come into the situation with others previously: why does he want to start investing on his own now? I have had the answer before of: "because I don't have enough funds for retirement".



Investing and learning to "index" would be fine ... branch out slowly also fine... trying to make up for a shortfall at 58 because of low funds = recipe for a disaster. The emotional side of investing is so important in order not to over-react to both good and bad news (which leads to over-buying at highs, and over-selling on lows).

Again, without more context, you need to have a frank heart-to-heart with your dad since "since he'll be retiring soon, would like to do his own investments." comes off as he will be bored in retirement and wants to make money investing. People do all kinds of funky things when they retire and no longer have 40+ hours a week filled with working+commuting (Indexing takes minutes a month at most - leaving a good 159.98 hours to kill...).
Sorry, let me be more specific.

I read the Larry Bates book and did as he said, and had my dad ask his broker for a breakdown. The numbers were poor. His broker made soooo much money off my dad, whose returns for the last 20 years have been quite more, in relation.

So I told my dad to pull the funds and invest in real estate since he's ok with sitting on the money anyways. Also, I don't have a crazy amount of money but move every 5 years (when mortgage is up), and have never made less than 200K, after all fees. Have bought a vacation home in Europe, a car, and various vacations with that money.

My dad, though, would rather learn to play with stocks. I think he's intrigued with the learning, as much as the earning. He's self employed so he's been saving up for retirement separately. He's not too worried about making stock money for retirement.

Sorry. I don't do stocks myself so my lingo/explanation sucks.
maple1 wrote: Try to get a copy of the Canadian Securities Course material. Will provide the basics. Probably wouldn't be as meaningful to him to actual enroll in the course as he might want the interaction that comes with attending a class.

Maybe the board of ed offers classes like the do here in Toronto that might interest him.
Do you know what these courses are called and what board offers it? I could use that info to call around here to see if Hamilton offers anything
Deal Addict
Jun 27, 2006
1725 posts
2027 upvotes
peji911 wrote: Will take a look into this. Why do you prefer it for him?Any particular reasons?



Will take a read. Tahnks!



Sorry, let me be more specific.

I read the Larry Bates book and did as he said, and had my dad ask his broker for a breakdown. The numbers were poor. His broker made soooo much money off my dad, whose returns for the last 20 years have been quite more, in relation.

So I told my dad to pull the funds and invest in real estate since he's ok with sitting on the money anyways. Also, I don't have a crazy amount of money but move every 5 years (when mortgage is up), and have never made less than 200K, after all fees. Have bought a vacation home in Europe, a car, and various vacations with that money.

My dad, though, would rather learn to play with stocks. I think he's intrigued with the learning, as much as the earning. He's self employed so he's been saving up for retirement separately. He's not too worried about making stock money for retirement.

Sorry. I don't do stocks myself so my lingo/explanation sucks.



Do you know what these courses are called and what board offers it? I could use that info to call around here to see if Hamilton offers anything
https://tdsb.on.ca/Portals/0/adultlearn ... ochure.pdf

Pages 8-9 list a few courses.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 1, 2012
1567 posts
2290 upvotes
Thunder Bay, ON
How well does he already understand investing? Maybe he should spend some time reading more books and online resources. That would get him up to speed so he can select courses that better match his interests and needs. Also the more he knows before taking a course, the less the language barrier might be.

I took an investing course years ago at a community college. It was OK but in those days there were no discount brokers so self directed investing was a lot harder. Also the instructor covered a lot of stuff like options, that most people that try end up losing. It's important to know the difference between investing and speculating.

Some good resources:
https://www.finiki.org/wiki/Investment_style
https://www.finiki.org/wiki/Portfolio_d ... nstruction
https://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/

Also books like Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam, the Smartest Money Book You'll Ever Read by Dan Solin and The Four Pillars of Investing by William Bernstein.
I solemnly swear, to never assume I have an inkling at which direction the market will head, and to never make any investments based on a timing strategy.
Deal Addict
Jul 23, 2007
4374 posts
2813 upvotes
I suppose a course wouldn't hurt, but for me over the last few decades it's been more like on the job training with actually being invested in the market and learning that never ends. As I've made a few terrible investing mistakes along the way, I feel that sometimes it's probably better to start off with not much money and slowly build up from there. When I read through a book back in the early 1980's by an anonymous author, with the title "Wiped Out. How I Lost A Fortune In The Stock Market While The Averages Were Making New Highs" I never wanted to end up like him. Somehow with determination, not brilliance, and a lot of luck, investing in bull and bear markets over the years, I made it through and am still at it, and none the poorer for it.

I'm older than your father, but at his age of 58 I hope he's a fast learner because he doesn't have a lot of leeway to recover from major investment mistakes.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Apr 21, 2004
54651 posts
19445 upvotes
Why don't you attend the same classes and seminar with him? I'm sure there will be some conducted after office hours or during weekends.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 9, 2009
796 posts
144 upvotes
Hamilton
Deepwater wrote: How well does he already understand investing? Maybe he should spend some time reading more books and online resources. That would get him up to speed so he can select courses that better match his interests and needs. Also the more he knows before taking a course, the less the language barrier might be.

I took an investing course years ago at a community college. It was OK but in those days there were no discount brokers so self directed investing was a lot harder. Also the instructor covered a lot of stuff like options, that most people that try end up losing. It's important to know the difference between investing and speculating.

Some good resources:
https://www.finiki.org/wiki/Investment_style
https://www.finiki.org/wiki/Portfolio_d ... nstruction
https://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/

Also books like Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam, the Smartest Money Book You'll Ever Read by Dan Solin and The Four Pillars of Investing by William Bernstein.
I have read a few books, including Millionaire Teacher. I liked them, they're good reads, but felt I didn't learn how to invest, just what I should look for, etc.

Reading English for my dad might be tough. He knows how, but a bit slow and a lot of phrases will go over his head. He might benefit more from a classroom environment.

If Mohawk College or something offered courses, I would take it with him for sure.

Why do you prefer investing to Real Estate, for example?
Thanks for the suggestions!
Stryker wrote: I suppose a course wouldn't hurt, but for me over the last few decades it's been more like on the job training with actually being invested in the market and learning that never ends. As I've made a few terrible investing mistakes along the way, I feel that sometimes it's probably better to start off with not much money and slowly build up from there. When I read through a book back in the early 1980's by an anonymous author, with the title "Wiped Out. How I Lost A Fortune In The Stock Market While The Averages Were Making New Highs" I never wanted to end up like him. Somehow with determination, not brilliance, and a lot of luck, investing in bull and bear markets over the years, I made it through and am still at it, and none the poorer for it.

I'm older than your father, but at his age of 58 I hope he's a fast learner because he doesn't have a lot of leeway to recover from major investment mistakes.
Thanks for the personal story, always like hearing those.

My dad isn't a huge risk taker and he would do a lot of research. The thing is: how to research (what to look for), how to invest, fees, best route to investing yourself, etc. Those are the things we don't know, unfortunately. So we're right at the beginning of the journey.
alanbrenton wrote: Why don't you attend the same classes and seminar with him? I'm sure there will be some conducted after office hours or during weekends.
This would be ideal for us but still haven't found courses around here, unless I'm missing something.
Awesome, thanks!
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 11, 2014
4628 posts
5511 upvotes
Iqaluit, NU
Everyone here has stated some good learning resources and suggestions, but if your father doesn't mind his situation disclosed, we can also try to suggest a portfolio as well. With his funds, does he want to get income from that? What is his retirement looking like at the moment? Will he be stopping work soon? Does he also have other assets as well?

This forum has many different posters with different experiences and approaches, but it has a vast amount of knowledge in different areas! Feel free to post and ask questions!
Support your local Credit Union!

Sask Pension Plan Upto $6600/yr in Credit Card spending on RRSP contributions
http://forums.redflagdeals.com/sask-pen ... ns-2167222
Sr. Member
Oct 31, 2009
582 posts
117 upvotes
You mentioned that your Dad's English is okay. I would assume that he would be able to make meaningful conversation and also read. Why would you not encourage your dad to join in this forum so that he can really let us know his objective?

Like what many others suggested, such as watching video on investing, webinars, or attend classes this might be the best platform for him because he will have all the time to absorb and understand any responses he will get from the community.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 23, 2009
1733 posts
707 upvotes
Stryker wrote: I suppose a course wouldn't hurt, but for me over the last few decades it's been more like on the job training with actually being invested in the market and learning that never ends. As I've made a few terrible investing mistakes along the way, I feel that sometimes it's probably better to start off with not much money and slowly build up from there. When I read through a book back in the early 1980's by an anonymous author, with the title "Wiped Out. How I Lost A Fortune In The Stock Market While The Averages Were Making New Highs" I never wanted to end up like him. Somehow with determination, not brilliance, and a lot of luck, investing in bull and bear markets over the years, I made it through and am still at it, and none the poorer for it.

I'm older than your father, but at his age of 58 I hope he's a fast learner because he doesn't have a lot of leeway to recover from major investment mistakes.
Thanks for your post. I am always eager to learn from the experienced folks like you about the mistakes they have made. Would you care to elaborate? I know exactly what you meant by 'terrible mistakes'.

I have had my share of stupidity along the way (e.g. mining stocks, penny stocks etc.). In my experience, one is generally overconfident in their methods in spite of obvious and visible risks. We ignore the risks because we think it will not happen to us. How many people that die in a road accident actually knew they will die 'today'? I am sure every successful investor have made foolish mistakes that they knew they should have avoided but didn't believe it could happen to them.
Deal Addict
Jul 23, 2007
4374 posts
2813 upvotes
ruchir wrote: Thanks for your post. I am always eager to learn from the experienced folks like you about the mistakes they have made. Would you care to elaborate? I know exactly what you meant by 'terrible mistakes'.

I have had my share of stupidity along the way (e.g. mining stocks, penny stocks etc.). In my experience, one is generally overconfident in their methods in spite of obvious and visible risks. We ignore the risks because we think it will not happen to us. How many people that die in a road accident actually knew they will die 'today'? I am sure every successful investor have made foolish mistakes that they knew they should have avoided but didn't believe it could happen to them.
Where to begin.....

Thinking I was doing well in the early 80’s by ignoring the siren calls to buy precious metals. Investing in a one year GIC at 18% when I could of invested in a 30 year Canada or provincial bond for near the same rate.

A lot of time wasting investments:

Was interested in finding out what made penny stocks so dangerous by actually buying a few companies over about three years. My stocks were getting delisted by the exchange far too often. Not including inflation I more or less broke even.

A friendly elderly broker at the time, advised me to give up the penny stock game, and purchase a blue chip stock like a Canadian bank. A bank? What would I want with a boring bank equity?

Some information I gleaned from a book on momentum investing made me want to try this. Applied the rules on two equities, Canadian Marconi and Spar Aerospace. One moved down a certain percentage and was sold while the made it’s move upward, until it too started a decline and was also sold at a certain point. The broker got all excited because he thought I made a profit. After paying $29 for the trades on these two stocks, I only broke even. That was the last of my momentum days.

I got conned into investing $3000 by a broker who had some sort of strategy using options. He assured me it was 100% successful and threw in the name of a wealthy investor who was well know at the time on Bay St. The money (which was a lot for me at the time) was all gone within a couple of days. The broker was apologetic and promised to reimburse me. He didn’t keep that promise either.

I had read a book by Ken Fisher called Super Stocks where he was using a new (at the time) idea to purchase value stocks using the PSR (price to sales ratio). Reading the Globe & Mail one day, I noticed a broker was using the PSR to invest in equities. I contacted him, and he took me on (reluctantly) because I didn’t have a lot of money in 1987. I wasn’t allowed to pick my own stocks, but could only choose from a list he gave his clients. I got a double out of Hudson’s Bay shortly after the crash but the rest a lot of crappy mining stocks like Sherritt Gordon turned out to be lousy investments. The relationship with this broker lasted about a year, before I went out on my own. Reading in the media that some investors on margin lost everything in the 1987 crash. Somehow, I survived.

Around the late 1980’s Tom Connolly had been interviewed regarding his concept of dividend growth investing. Although it was all interesting and I certainly did notice the U.S. and a few Canadian companies possessing signs of dividend growth through researching value line at the library, I thought investing can’t be this easy. Although I did putter around with it a bit, I should of gone into it full tilt as a total learning experience.

Tried deep value investing, but with my weak accounting skills I got into one too many value traps.

Bought a few ADR’s (American depository receipts) and a couple of them worked out really well turning into multi-baggers.

This was the late 90’s and my head got swollen after purchasing a few tech stocks like Nortel, JDS Uniphase and Research in Motion. After the crash started sold what I thought was the smaller weaker company (RIM) and kept the other two. Watched Nortel and JDS wind down to zero or near worthless. Had completely forgotten the lessons of Benjamin Graham.

Luckily the tech stocks were only about 10% of the portfolio, but it was painful. It could have been worse. Some investors had everything invested in the tech sector borrowed on margin.

First time ever bought a precious metals fund in the late 1990's. Later I noticed many of the large banks around the world were dumping their gold reserves. A few months later I got bored with the precious metals fund and sold. My next and last foray into gold was in the early 2000's when the price was going up. Bought Barrick Gold, but it was hedged and as an investment didn't work out too well. Right thinking, wrong stock.

In 1999 I knew about index funds and could of bought them through TD e-Series at the time. Another big mistake. Still wanting to play the market. Finally bought my first index funds/ETF’s around 2010 for the RRSP’s and TFSA’s.

In 2003 I started my second taxable portfolio. The previous one got sold off to purchase our house. This second portfolio only contained Canadian dividend growth stocks. I managed to get through the financial crisis with this portfolio, and it held up very well, but during that time I couldn’t help but notice the number of failed and government supported financial institutions not just in America, but also in Britain and continental Europe. The Canadian portfolio had too high an allocation at 50% to the financial sector. Had to do quite a number of adjustments in the portfolio to get my risk down in 2010. Canadian financial sector now down to about 18% of that portfolio.

The last stock I watched go down to near worthless was Yellow Media in 2011. I knew it had an obsolete product, but the company had tons of free cash flow. All of a sudden the free cash flow all disappeared, the stock took a steep nosedive. Game over.

I don’t play analyst anymore. I just keep a few simple rules that seem to work for me, and just leave it at that.

Even with all the mistakes above, I've found that as long as you don't do anything completely drastic, diversified portfolios can be quite forgiving. Financially we're a heck of a lot better off than when we first started all those many years ago.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1379 posts
1012 upvotes
Thanks Stryker for sharing.
An interesting read.

Top