Category Archives: Scottrade

Recent Buy – Heska Corp. (HSKA)

D When I first look at purchasing a stock, I make sure I at least understand what the company is doing, making or selling. I thank Buffett for that little tip.

This is a little company background from Scottrade.

Heska Corporation, incorporated in 1988, develops, manufactures, markets, sells and supports veterinary products. The Company is focused on the canine and feline companion animal health markets. It operates in two segments: Core Companion Animal Health and Other Vaccines, Pharmaceuticals and Products. The Core Companion Animal Health segment (CCA) includes diagnostic instruments and supplies, as well as single use diagnostic and other tests, vaccines and pharmaceuticals, primarily for canine and feline use. These products are sold directly to veterinarians by the Company, as well as through distribution relationships. The Other Vaccines, Pharmaceuticals and Products segment (OVP) includes private label vaccine and pharmaceutical production, primarily for cattle but also for other animals, including small mammals and fish. All OVP products are sold by third parties under third-party labels.
I’m a pet lover, and I know in a down economy people stay in more, focus more on family and pets. People love their pets.  My picture for this post is my dog, isn’t he the cutest! 
This company just started giving a modest dividend 3.35% and from an article on SeekingAlpha could make some significant gains this year. I am excited to watch and am pleased to have purchased 430 shares at $11.90. Of course I would have loved to have purchased in the single digits, but well, I was a little slow on the trigger.
I really want to analyze companies and not just chase dividends. I know that is not a good long-term strategy. But for the short-term, it’s just so enticing! What can I say, I’m young and impetuous! Easily excitable, prone to optimism. Currently my dividend portfolio is about half long-term holds (dividend rate of 5% or less) and about half short-term watching (probably too high but just so darn exciting). Hopefully by watching closely I won’t get burned. I know as I get closer to FI, I will be less risky. But honestly, if I wasn’t saving this money in this after tax investment account, I would probably be buying frivolous things like overpriced trips to Europe or a sports car to drive in the summer.
How you determine stock picks? What are your strategies? I’m always interested in hearing what my readers have to say, even if it’s critical, I appreciate the feedback.

The Monthly Dividend – Recent Buy Just Energy (JE)

I have been enamored with dividend stocks that pay monthly. After my other recent purchase of Student Transportation (STB) another monthly dividend payer/player, I decided to add another montly divi stock. This company just rang the bell today at the NYSE, it began trading on the NYSE onJanuary 30, 2012, JE had previously (and continues) to trade on the TSE. I don’t trade any stocks on the TSE, I don’t even know if Scottrade (my trading platform of choice) allows for trading on the TSE.


(From Scottrade) Just Energy Group Inc. (Just Energy), formerly Just Energy Income Fund, is engaged in the sale of natural gas and/or electricity to residential and commercial customers. Its subsidiaries are engaged in sale of natural gas and/or electricity to residential and small to mid-sized commercial customers, under fixed-price, price-protected and variable-rate Energy Contracts. It also offers green products through its JustGreen and JustClean programs. The electricity JustGreen product offers the customer the option of having all or a portion of electricity purchased from Just Energy sourced from renewable green sources, such as wind, run of the river hydro or biomass. The gas JustGreen product offers carbon offset credits, which allow customer to reduce or eliminate carbon footprint of their home or business associated with gas purchased from Just Energy. OnMay 7, 2010, it acquired Hudson Energy. In October 2011, the Company acquired Fulcrum Retail Holdings LLC.


Anyhow I felt comfortable (and had about 5K available) adding 440 shares of JE to my portfolio. I will update this add to my portfolio at the end of the month. The yield is 9.78% and as mentioned earlier it pays monthly, woo hoo!


I also had a recent buy/sell of QMM (Quaterra Mining) it has no dividend and is probably considered a penny stock. I made a couple hundred dollars. I was hoping to have the stomach to buy and hold a few thousand shares, but I realized that just isn’t how I’m feeling at this time. Once the stock went up 10% I decided I wanted out, and I made the move. I would like to get into some sort of Mining or Pipeline stock, but I’m not feeling confident in the volatility of these industries at this time.

TJMaxx and McDonalds, Thank you friends!

I sold two stocks this week, TJX-(100-after split originally purchased 50 shares) and MCD (30 shares). I had purchased them both in May of 2010. They both did wonderful for me, TJX stock just split, and gave me a gain of about 50%, and MCD was always going up until it danced around $100/share, then I decided I just didn’t need to be greedy and sold it for $99.75, and a total gain of around 40%.

I have to admit, I feel that I had a good run with these stocks, but I feel like I am losing two good friends. I no longer obsessively check their prices, when I purchase items from their stores, I no longer feel like I am contributing the well being of my portfolio. I just thought it was time to part ways.

A few years ago, I had a distasteful experience with a bank stock, oh sure she gave me a good increase on paper, but I didn’t know when to say good-bye and just take the gain and walk away. I have learned my lesson. Now I know what gain I’m happy with, usually around 30% is great for me, unless it has a huge dividend then I might keep hanging on. It’s a case by case scenario, but I’m not going to be greedy.

What are your indicators that it’s time to sell?

Investing Style

Since I began investing with my Scottrade account (about two years), I decided to focus my efforts on Dividend Stocks. However, since my capital is limited, and after my success with both McDonalds (MCD) and T.J.Maxx (TJX) both are currently up over 40% and TJX just announced a 2-1 split. I have decided to divide my portfolio for both growth and dividend earning. Then as we get closer to our retirement (or semi-retirement) I will move to hold more heavily in dividends.

I am excited to find some undervalued stocks to add to our growth side, and thinking about the oil and gas sector. There are some stocks trading under $1.00. These could be either an opportunity for huge growth or just a dumb risk? I know I need to do some research before I pull the trigger.  Currently we are looking at Quantum Fuel Systems (QTMM) and Quaterra Resources (QMM).  I hope to make a trade this week. I will post when I make the transaction.

*Interesting Point* When I was looking on the Scottrade site to purchase a stock under $1.00, I found there is an extra fee. There is the normal $7.00 trade fee, but for stocks trading under $1.00, there is also a fee of 1/2% of the principal value. For example, if I want to buy 8500 shares of a stock trading at $0.50 /share, there will be the $7.00 normal trade amount PLUS, $21.25 (8500 shares X $0.50 = $4,250.00 (principal value) X 1/2 % = $21.25) Total trading fee $28.25, just something to consider. Kinda discourages lots of day trading on the Scottrade account.

Scottrade Free Seminar – Basic Options

Once again my free seminar at Scottrade was well worth the price of admission, just my time (which I view as valuable). It was a nice review of options, as I haven’t really thought about them since one of my college finance classes back in the mid-90s.

I don’t know if I could briefly explain them in this post, but I will say they can be complicated and risky, so do yourself a favor and take a free seminar from Scottrade you don’t even have to have an existing account. 

Next month, I am looking forward to attending the seminar on Intermediate Options.