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Where I Invest My Own Money


As our contributor Jesse mentioned, “Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you own.” As our readers and members know, we offer a wide variety of trading and investing strategies, but I'm often asked where I'm investing my own money. In this article I will share how my personal holdings look like.

Short Term Options Trading

My short term trading account is dedicated almost exclusively to SteadyOptions strategies, such as StraddlesIron CondorsCalendar SpreadsButterflies, etc. This is mostly non directional short term options trading. 

We recommend allocating no more than $100,000 for SteadyOptions strategies. We always have been very upfront about the fact that those strategies are not scalable to large accounts, and I follow those guidelines in my personal account. No position is larger than $10,000 (10% of the trading account), and once the account value significantly exceeds the $100k threshold, I withdraw money to get it back below $100k.

I personally trade most of the trades we share with our members. I'm using Interactive Brokers for my trading account, and also for my long term accounts and TFSAs.

On average, this account value is typically around $60-100k, which is less than 10% of my investable funds. I keep at least 20-30% of the account in cash. My target for this trading account is triple digit yearly return.
 

Long Term Investing

My long term funds are invested in the following way:

  1. About 80% are invested in index funds. The index investing strategy is based on Canadian Couch Potato principles, and is divided equally between Canadian, U.S. and international stocks and Canadian bonds.The Couch Potato strategy is a way of building a diversified, low cost and low-maintenance portfolio designed to deliver the returns of the overall stock and bond markets at minimal cost. 

    While most investing strategies are based on picking individual stocks, making economic forecasts, and timing the markets, Couch Potato investors recognize most of these activities are counterproductive. They understand that investors give themselves a greater chance of success by simply accepting the returns of the broad stock and bond markets.
      
  2. To boost the returns and provide protection against market crashes, I implement variations of Steady Momentum and Anchor Trades strategies (put writing and hedging). In addition, I apply a very moderate leverage (around 120-130%) by selling ATM SPX options every month (Steady Momentum investing style), but also maintain a constant hedging by buying far OTM SPX puts, using up to 2% of the account.
     
  3. About 10% of the long term funds are invested in growth companies with strong fundamentals, using various options strategies.

My target for the long term investing is 15-20% per year.
 

Real Estate

I was fortunate enough to purchase few rental units in good areas of Toronto and Ottawa before prices took off. All those units are cash flow positive and provide me with nice stream of income every month. I intend keeping those units for the long term and use them as part of my retirement income.
 

Conclusion

As Jesse mentioned: "Diversification is your best friend. There are many ways I diversify my portfolio including asset classes (stocks, bonds, cash, alternatives), geography (global stocks and bonds), and factors (market, term, size, value, momentum, trend, volatility) just to name a few." Diversifying my investments provides me with different sources of income and also reduces the volatility of my investments.

As you can see, I'm putting my money where my mouth is and trading the same strategies we offer to our members.
 

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