Tag Archives: NYSE:SHOP

3 Tips To Improve Your Stock Returns

Are you new to stock investing or an experienced investor who wants to improve their stock returns? Here are a few tips that should help.

  • Know yourself well.
  • Know your stocks well.
  • Know the stock market well.

I will include examples to illustrate the points. 

Know Yourself Well as an Investor

Don’t know what stocks to invest in? Seek stocks that suit you in terms of your temperament and risk tolerance. You might need to test the waters to find your group of stocks.

One way to do so is by investing in a virtual account so that you won’t lose any real money if they turn south. If you can’t raise your enthusiasm from that, consider investing tiny amounts to get a feel of stock investing.

If you’re an aggressive investor and want high growth, consider growth stocks like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), and Tencent (TCEHY).

Conservative dividend stocks

If you’re a conservative investor, think about sticking with proven businesses. Personally, I find it’s easier to get started with dividend and value investing, which focuses on getting safe dividends and paying fair or better valuations for stocks. 

One stock I bought earlier this month that falls in this category is TC Energy (TSX:TRP)(NYSE:TRP). It is a top 15 Canadian dividend growth stock with 19 consecutive years of dividend growth. Its 10-year dividend growth rate is 7%. TRP stock is already up close to 7% from when I bought it. However, it still offers a juicy yield of almost 5.4%, which is still attractive levels.

TC Energy operates a gas and liquids pipeline and power and storage portfolio. Buying the stock at discounted valuations (such as now!) has led to double-digit long-term returns. There’s no reason that this time will be any different.

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Are High Return Investments Too Good to be True?

Who doesn’t want high returns on their investments? However, when something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. More specifically, when certain stocks deliver excellent returns, ask yourself what’s the risk behind them.

coins stacking higher and higher with plant behind each stack indicating growth of money

Here are some examples.

High Return Tech Stocks

Shopify (TSX:SHOP)(NYSE:SHOP) has got to be one of the highest return tech stocks out there. Here’s a chart that shows its total returns since inception compared to other big tech names.

Yes, Shopify stock kicked the butts of the FANG stocks, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG).

SHOP Chart

SHOP data by YCharts

However, Shopify’s valuation is super duper expensive. At about US$200 per share, it trades at a blended P/E of about 500 and a PEG ratio of about 20.

Compare that to:

  • Facebook’s P/E of about 23.2 and a PEG ratio of about 1.5 at US$175 per share,
  • Amazon’s P/E of about 83.6 and a PEG ratio of roughly 1.4-2.8 at US$1850 per share,
  • Netflix’s P/E of about 120 and a PEG ratio of 2.4-3.9 at US$361 per share, and
  • Alphabet’s P/E of about 27.3 and a PEG ratio of 1.5-1.9 at US$1208 per share for GOOGL.

Surely, Shopify is growing at a super fast rate. For example, revenue growth was 59% in 2018. However, because of its astronomical valuation, it’s especially subject to an especially huge drawdown when we experience a market meltdown.

By the way, I don’t categorize the little correction we had from October to December 2018 as a market meltdown. In that period, Shopify fell from a high of about US$168 to a low of about US$120 for a drop of 28%. Imagine what a real market meltdown can do to Shopify stock (at least in the short term).

Biotech Stocks

Biotech stocks did very well for a long time. The long-term price chart of iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (NASDAQ:IBB) illustrates the big picture.

Source: Google Finance with author annotatio
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5 Useful Tips for Successful Stock Investing

Some people think stock investing is gambling. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Stock investing won’t be gambling if it’s a sure win. There is a range of concepts you can apply to increase your odds of winning.

Here are some useful tips that can make stock investing a lucrative endeavour for you.

saving, investing, and compounding
Image attributed to ccPixs.com

Don’t Lose Money

This is easier said than done. To avoid losing money when you invest in stocks, first familiarize yourself with the topics around what makes a good business, fundamental analysis, and valuing a company.

I find learning about technical analysis helps. But identifying great businesses and trying not to overpay for them comes first.

Many investors share their investing strategies or why they buy or sell a stock through blogs or forums.

For instance, my friend recently invited me to join a Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) group, which had a focus on dividend investing. Of course, if you have more time on your hands, pick up a bunch of books about specific investing topics from the library or Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).

A good book for new investors is The Single Best Investment by Lowell Miller with a focus on Creating Wealth with Dividend Growth.

You can follow the people or groups that share stock investing ideas or strategies that interest you and learn over time.

Soon, you’ll be itching to apply your knowledge. If you want a sure-fire way to not lose money, experiment with a virtual account. I bank with Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS)(NYSE:BNS).

It offers a virtual trading account in which I can buy or sell stocks on the Canadian and U.S. exchanges like in a real account, but it’s for practice only. It starts you off with $100,000-200,000 of virtual money.

Key Takeaway: Preserve your capital. You need money to invest to make you more money.

Blue sky with cloudy words saying change. Grass field in background.

Business Valuation Changes

In the previous section, I mentioned about valuing a company. If you’ve done some reading on stock investing already, you’ve probably heard that you don’t want to overpay for even the best of companies, including Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), one of only two AAA-rated companies.

The most common valuation metric of a stock is the price-to-earnings ratio (P/E).

As of writing, Facebook trades at $162 per share and in 2018 it reported earnings per share of $7.57. So, its P/E based on trailing-12-month earnings is 21.4. However, its P/E was close to 60 when it first started trading. Facebook’s 2019 earnings are estimated to remain stable compared to 2018’s. That’s why the stock is trading at a lower P/E. Longer term, Facebook is currently estimated to increase its earnings per share by more than 15% per year.

There are other things that can affect a business’ valuation, such as the debt levels of a company. If company A and company B are the same except that A has more debt than B, A will have a lower price tag than B.

Key Takeaway: Business valuations change as the underlying businesses change. Typically, lower anticipated earnings growth (or worse, negative earnings growth or a net loss) will cause stocks’ valuations to drop like a rock.

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