I Quit My Job (And New Adventures to Come)

Exciting news! Approximately two weeks ago I met with my supervisor and gave him notice that I am quitting my job. I should be officially off the books next week.

The best part... I've got absolutely no new job lined up to hop into and have no desire to work another job. But my wife and I have a new adventure planned for our future.

For the several thousand readers who don't know me personally, I have worked in law enforcement for the past nine years. I've had a broad range of experience in the field, working positions ranging from a patrol officer to traffic enforcement to bylaw enforcement to animal control. This means I've headed up investigations into everything from unsightly properties to serious dog attacks to armed robberies.

The experience of law enforcement was life-changing for me. Some countries have military conscription; I believe prosperous countries should seriously consider encouraging their graduates to serve in law enforcement for a few years. Law enforcement will teach you more about human behaviour than any other career I can think of.

However, after nine years my heart wasn't in law enforcement anymore. I think I am probably too independent for the hierarchical structure of the law enforcement world. While the work can be interesting and I worked with many great people on the front lines, the bureaucracy gets tiresome and the policies and procedures are increasingly inhibiting.

By watching our spending, working hard, and successful investing, my wife and I have built a pretty substantial financial cushion and this is a great opportunity for us to do something completely different with our lives. As I always say, this journey is about freedom.

The Future

While I haven't made any serious efforts to find new things to occupy my time for monetary gain going forward, my wife and I have made plans for a huge shift in our lives.

In August 2019 we will be moving overseas to Hanoi, Vietnam. We hope to live there for several years and use it as a base to discover eastern Asia. We've never been there before; in fact, I've never been west of coastal British Columbia. But we've heard a tonne of great things about Vietnam and Hanoi, particularly from friends who have visited there.

The people are supposed to be wonderful, cost of living is low, and Hanoi has much more comfortable weather than other cities in the region like Saigon, Bangkok, Jakarta, or Kuala Lampur.

On the financial side, taxes on stock investments in Vietnam can be as low as 0.1 percent per sell-side transaction. This means I will change a few things in my portfolio, but my investing should become simpler and much more tax friendly in the long run. However, I will take a bit of a tax hit as I will likely be taking money out of RRSP accounts at some point down the road.

My wife, an elementary school teacher, has taken a position with a prominent American school in Hanoi. She's very excited to work with a new curriculum and enter the world of expat international schools.

Her new school is making the transition to Hanoi extremely easy. With their help we've already secured a furnished apartment, got our visas in order, and are getting a full tour of Hanoi and everything we need to know when we arrive. We are also coming into a community of individuals with similar interests.

Once things get settled (likely in the middle of August), you may see some changes around the blog. I might take up more writing, dive deeper into some of the portfolios I work with, do some consulting, and start a regular newsletter.

I'm always open to new ideas from readers, so please contact me if you have some thoughts on where I should spend my time and further develop the blog.

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Markets I Trade: June 11, 2019

In my non-registered account I am developing my trend following strategy continuously. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I am sharing this ongoing learning journey with you in this series.

I am always exploring new methods of trading, new markets to access, and better control of risk and opportunities. My main goal is to avoid large losses while achieving reasonable returns over time. I try to focus on trades which I believe have good reward-to-risk ratios.

You will see me trade index products, currencies, and commodities primarily with leveraged ETFS, futures contracts, and LEAPS options for maximum capital efficiency. I try to risk small amounts of capital with each trade targeting high return multiples on that risk.

One thing that is easy to notice is most weeks have no action and trading is quite boring. The equity based positions move in relative tandem. Volatility positions are the only place where exciting things seem to happen more frequently.

Currently my exposure to stocks in the trading account is around 20 percent. Most of my cash is in BSV and I have added to this position with some position sales. I have chosen leveraged ETFs for my new entries since volatility costs were too high at the time of my entries. Also, I may need to trade with leveraged ETFs for tax reasons going forward with some big news coming in my Friday post this week.

*Information on this post is dated at market close, Monday, June 10, 2019.

IWM: LEAPS Options

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Momentum Factor: 0

I purchased IWM $160 call options on January 15, 2019 when IWM was trading at approximately $143 per unit. After trimming this position in the middle of May, I closed this trade on May 31 for a moderate loss on time decay.

EFA: LEAPS Options

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Momentum Factor: +8

I purchased EFA $60 call options on April 9 when EFA was trading at approximately $66 per unit. EFA remained effectively unchanged finishing the past week, but momentum is continuing to drop. I closed this position on May 31 for a half of max loss when my momentum factor dropped to +1. Momentum turned up again strongly (common at inflection points), so I'm back into a portion of this trade as seen below.

VXX: Options

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Momentum Factor: -7

On May 7, I purchased a call ratio backspread for a small account credit when VXX was trading at approximately $29 per unit. This is a hedged position. VXX is still hovering on that line of upside/downside shorter-term momentum with swings happening daily. This trade is moving into profit based on the account credit on setting up the trade with downside protection.

QQQ: LEAPS Options

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Momentum Factor: +8

I opened a position in QQQ on May 17 with a purchase of $160 call options when QQQ was at $184 per unit. My trade is virtually flat right now with momentum turning back up this past week.

Gold: UGLD ETF

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Momentum Factor: +10

I opened a half position in gold on May 29 with a purchase of the 3x leveraged ETF UGLD at a price of $91.15 per unit. With continued upside momentum I moved to a full position on June 3 when UGLD was at around $99.40 with an average position price of $93.20. My entry was based off a signal in GLD. We'll see if gold can finally break through the $1,350 price ceiling we've seen over the past few years.

Brazil: BRZU ETF

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Momentum Factor: +9

I opened a full position in Brazilian stocks on June 7 with a purchase of the 3x leveraged ETF BRZU at a price of $30.25 per unit. My entry was based off a signal in EWZ.

Europe: EURL ETF

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Momentum Factor: +8

I opened a nearly full position in European stocks on June 7 with a purchase of the 3x leveraged ETF EURL at price around $27.30 per unit. My entry was based off a signal in VGK. Europe is looking stronger than Japan on my model, so I chose this trade instead of getting back into EFA.

Comments & Questions

All comments are moderated before being posted for public viewing. Please don't send in multiple comments if yours doesn't appear right away. It can take up to 24 hours before comments are posted.

Comments containing links or "trolling" will not be posted. Comments with profane language or those which reveal personal information will be edited by moderator.