Are You Sure You Want To Buy Pot Stocks?

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It’s not as bad as it looks. In this account I used to own Canopy Growth and Aurora Cannabis at very low prices, and sold them at much higher prices. The saddest part of this account is that I had a 100% gain on Ianthus and CannTrust. The lesson? Don’t treat pot stocks like blue chip stocks.

What’s the sole holding that is green? Good old Royal Bank. Maybe the lesson here is to not buy pot stocks but I wouldn’t have quadrupled this account in 3 years if it wasn’t for pot stocks.

I have been phasing out of cannabis stocks. Hence my newly smallish positions in American MSOs. This may be my last run at buying the pot stock dip. The very easy money has probably been made. I still hold a somewhat significant amount of Canopy Growth in my RRSP account which I’m not feeling so hot about at the moment. I should have sold at $70 a few months ago. Although, I say such things every time it dips and then when it shoots up those feelings erase. I’m not too sure who is right.

Actually, the saddest part of this account is that it shows I bought LG.V stock.

Can’t Trust CannTrust

Most people hate Mondays because it’s the start of the work week. Monday for me this week was waking up to see my CannTrust shares down 23% because they decided to grow product in rooms which were unlicensed. They did eventually receive the license for those 5 rooms but they just couldn’t wait.

When a story like this rocks your stock it’s like getting punched in the face. I was already down 7% before this scandal broke out. I don’t know why but I didn’t sell my shares even though I believed it would just keep going down and maybe even down next to zero. My mistake was not taking the time to think about it. When you’re down so much on a stock sometimes the automatic reaction is to do nothing because you feel as if the most of the damage must be done.

My book cost is $5000 so not the end of the world. Some people out there have well-in to the 5 digits and 6 digits. CannTrust was supposed to be one of the safer marijuana stocks and more well-liked by institutional investors but so was Aphria. I was lucky enough to pick up shares of Aphria the week before their scandal hit.

The sad part about this is that I was up 100% on my CannTrust shares late last year. It crashed 50% from the top but rebounded a few months later to about 80% in the green. So I was up $5000 and now I can potentially be down $5000 if it goes to zero.

I’m not expecting it to go to zero since the pesticide scandal with Mettrum and Organigram never materialized any great consequences. There’s some lessons here as usual when it comes to the stock market.

In the past year I have traded CannTrust here and there for a $2000 profit. I could break even after all is said and done. Earlier this year I held a bigger position in CannTrust but luckily I sold most of it. I had lost confidence in them already from a lack of disclosure on their part regarding the president departing and building permit issues.

  1. Don’t get too greedy. When I first bought CannTrust shares my plan was to sell at $13. When it hit $14 I didn’t do anything.
  2. When very bad news comes out the best idea is to sell your shares even if they’ve bled a fair amount.

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New Stock Addition: Suncor Energy

Ask me what Suncor does to make money and I wouldn’t be able to explain it to you in detail. To be honest I don’t think I could do so with the Canadian banks either. What I do know is that Suncor is one of the biggest Canadian companies, considered a safe investment and Berkshire Hathaway recently acquired some shares. I’m sure Warren Buffett or his team did the required due diligence so I wouldn’t have to.

After selling the rest of my Canopy Growth shares in my pension portfolio it freed up a lot of cash. My aim for this portfolio is to have it appear respectable — meaning no penny stocks or any of their relatives. Currently, there’s more money in cash than there is in stocks. Suncor is about 2.5% of the portfolio.

Suncor offers a dividend of just over 3% which is decent but I’m not too excited about the stock appreciation potential. Compared to many other stocks or even the S&P 500 index it has lagged significantly over this 10 year bull run.

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My purchase price was $43.93. Back in December I could have picked it up at $36 but I pussied out. At the market bottom on Christmas Eve I only bought $6000 worth of other stocks. Better than nothing but you need to capitalize on the dips for a better tomorrow. This was all before I sold out of Canopy Growth though. That’s the excuse I tell myself to make myself feel better.

Easy Money

How you treat your parents might be related to how well you think your life has turned out. Once you’re near the pinnacle of your life you’ll probably ponder how you arrived there. You’ll realize your dad was grooming you for success and deserves much of the credit or sometimes parents tried their best but it wasn’t quite good enough. Sometimes their best was pathetic and should have been illegal. If your parents were unsuccessful in life then you’re at a disadvantage.

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If I had a dad or mom who had an interest in the stock market it would have at least given me an edge. The most common Canadian investments in the stock market are Canadian banks due to the oligopolistic banking system and conservative regulations. Even as a considerably safe stock they generate good returns.

In 1995 an 18-year-old could have about $1000 worth of Royal Bank stock or they could have bought a sound system for their car that went boom…boom…boom. Look at me…boom…boom…boom. If one could have delayed gratification that $1000 could be in the area of $15,000 today…BOOM! One could and probably would entertain the idea that a stock can go to zero. The odds of someone stealing your boom box within 1 year at 3 AM is about 1000 times greater though.

If I was someone’s dad I would say to my kid, “hey butthead, you want to spend all of your money looking cool to your friends for 5 minutes or do you want an opportunity to laugh at them forever?” Even better, I’d get them started when they’re pre-teen and buy them shares of a company to get their interest. 10 years will go by and they’ll be like, holy shit!You can’t tell kids anything, you have to inspire them.

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Above is a Toronto Dominion bank investment calculator. Just $1000 invested in 1973 with dividends reinvested would be $517,758 today. This beats investing in real estate on many fronts. You don’t have to mow your stock’s lawn or worry about your loser tenants plugging up the toilet.

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If this stock chart could go back to the beginning the line would be touching your feet. Sure, past performance is not a guarantee of future returns but if I had to invest my money this option looks promising.

No one in my family embraced the stock market which is why it was never included in the family curriculum. They probably heard you could make money in the stock market but more importantly to them you could also lose money. Humans are very uncomfortable with anything that involves risk especially if there is any possibility in their mind of their money going to zero.

I’ve learned that sometimes it’s too risky to feel safe.

Buy, Sell or Hold Canopy Growth?

Marijuana stocks are all the rage lately although second to Bitcoin if I had to guess. Everyone I talk to has heard of Bitcoin but not Canopy Growth.

I’ve been a shareholder of Canopy Growth since the $2.75 range, and have sold almost half my shares on the way up. Some people say this was the smart thing to do but the numbers say otherwise. Every time it doubles I think to myself, there’s no way it can go much higher, and then it does. Now I just don’t know what to think anymore.

Most of the professional investors including Warren Buffett would tell me to get out completely but then again if I listened to them I wouldn’t have bought this stock in the first place.

What you will always hear is that Canopy Growth and all the other marijuana stocks are overvalued. They definitely are in conventional terms. Amazon though has been overvalued since 1997 and Netflix is always overvalued as well. $1000 of Amazon stock at its IPO is now worth over $1,000,000.

It’s easy to make a judgement on existing numbers and the short-term future but it’s much more difficult for most people to see what the longer-term future holds. Once the future becomes the present though it all makes sense.

The following is an excerpt from an article written by the CEO of Netflix 8 years ago regarding short interest in the company.


You can replace “Netflix” with “Canopy Growth” and it would seem appropriate. As of right now Canopy Growth seems to be doing all the right things and would be the horse to bet on. I believe in the company and my only doubt is that shit happens. I realize Canopy Growth is not comparable to Amazon or Netflix in terms of size and market but the situation is similar — market leader in a huge new industry.

“Diversification is for idiots.”

Mark Cuban said this in a video interview. He also added that diversifying will diversify your profits away. Warren Buffett said, “diversification is protection against ignorance.”

If your priority is to see a modest return on your investment in the long term then you should diversify. If your goal is to make a large return in a relatively short amount of time then diversifying will likely not get you there.

Conventional investing advice has a way of altering your perception. People who would gasp at your 1 stock portfolio would at the same time congratulate you on investing your life savings in a new business venture — go for your dreams! Putting it all into your one business is the same as putting it all on one stock. Most people would have been better off putting their money with Jeff Bezos than whatever costly venture they got themselves into.

Diversifying is recommended for every stock portfolio while the status-quo for everything else is to put all of your eggs in one basket. Who diversifies their education? How often do you get the advice to diversify your girlfriends?

I’m not recommending that everyone have a 5 stock portfolio. Warren Buffett also said 99% of people should just invest in an index fund. Most people aren’t skilled or lucky enough though to come out victorious in the stock market without diversification.

Investing Snobbery


Many financial bloggers and professional investors have a bias against speculative investing. Speculating is not investing it’s gambling, they say.

Gambling is going to the roulette table and hoping you hit the 1 in 36 odds of winning without any reason other than hope or I have a good feeling. Speculating is making an educated decision based on the information available, your knowledge and life experience.

If you had put $1000 into Amazon stock at the IPO you would have over $1,000,000 today. Even $1000 ten years ago would now be over $20,000. You won’t get those kinds of returns in 30 years from buying the index or through blue chip dividend stocks. That’s just the reality.

Since the beginning of time the one who was able to see further into the future with better accuracy has always been valuable. Picking successful speculative stocks or even blue-chip stocks is a play on being able to predict the future better than others. Some people believed online shopping was going to be a thing and others didn’t. People will never put their credit card information online! It’s not likely you’ll have a good understanding of multiple industries but once in awhile something comes along that might be in your field of competency.

The majority of people are really good at following conventional rules and only being able to see what’s in front of their face. To them, if a stock doesn’t meet the criteria of being under 25x P/E and having several years of profit then it’s not worth looking at — if the company’s vision is not producing the numbers yet then it’s garbage. Home Depot was a speculative stock until it wasn’t.

It’s not fair to give the advice to never buy speculative stocks. Saying speculating is not investing is just semantics. It comes down to a matter of risk vs reward. You have to be careful though and know your limitations.