Here’s My Portfolio. How Does It Look?

diversifying_your_portfolio

Hi everyone how are you? Today I thought I would share my portfolio with you. Below I will share with you what sectors I am invested in. I will share with you the current value of my portfolio and the size of my two accounts within my portfolio. I decided to review my portfolio because I wanted to see where I am invested in the most and least, this allows to focus on certain sectors of the market where I am weak.

So let’s get started shall we. All the numbers that are in this post are as of October 16, 2017.

Account Values

My portfolio now has a value of $107,895.54. As you can see there is a big difference between my two accounts. I have been investing in my RRSP for years and through compounding I have seen impressive growth. Before 2016 my TFSA account had been used for gambles with stock picking, money was removed to pay for a trip to Sweden, and also school and that is why the value is much lower.

In these two accounts I now hold 27 stocks and 1 ETF. I add cash each month to both accounts but over the last two years I have been contributing much more to my TFSA and this will continue for the foreseeable future. Why does it matter which account my money goes in? Well the RRSP when I take the money out in retirement I will have to pay taxes. The TFSA is after tax money so I won’t be charged anything when I take the money out.

Geographic Diversification

I must say when I see this I’m not all that surprised as all of my stocks are Canadian and my ETF is U.S. focused. What this shows is that I need to diversify more and that means focusing more on the U.S. market and adding U.S. stocks to my portfolio. Also I will start looking for an ETF with international stocks to help get me invested globally. Even though I sit at 85% Canadian 17 of my stocks have operations worldwide.

My cash is currently at 3% of my portfolio and I would like to increase that to around 7% or higher. I currently add between $200-$500 per month. I want to be in a position to take advantage of any down turns in the market which I feel might be coming, but who really knows I can’t predict those things. That being said I am not planning on making any further buys this year unless something is just screaming buy.

Sector Diversification

As you can see my portfolio is currently focused on five sectors. I have not set any targets as to what I want each sector to weight. I feel that you should just purchase good quality stocks that you can hold for years. When I look at this chart I notice that there are two sectors missing healthcare and tech. In Canada we don’t really have many healthcare and tech companies so I will looking in 2018 at the U.S. market to make some purchases in these two sectors to help diversify my portfolio further.

One area of slight concern I guess would be energy being my second highest at 18.8%, as we know oil is hovering around $50. I currently own three energy stocks which are all pipelines. Pipelines aren’t affect as much as producers since they have signed contracts with the producers. That being said I would like to see my energy weighing go down a bit, I plan on doing that my increasing my investment in other sectors.

Top 5 Stocks

Stock Sector Percentage of Portfolio
Royal Bank of Canada Financial 7.1%
Enbridge Energy 6.9%
Fortis Utilities 6.8%
Bank of Montreal Financial 6.4%
BCE Telecom 6.0%

No real surprise here, I have tried to focus my investing on blue chip stocks that continually rise their dividend. These companies meet that requirement. Since 2014 I have received 21 increases from these stocks. I actually thought their percentages would be higher when I was going the the numbers but I find these very acceptable.

So there you have it guys what do you think? Do you recommend any stocks I should look to purchase in healthcare and tech? Please let me know in the comments below. I didn’t want to go crazy with charts and feel that the ones above do a good job of showcasing my portfolio. Do you feel I missed something! If so ask away in the comments.

Thanks for reading.

Matthew

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2017 Goal Review #3

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Wow we are already in the final third of 2017 where has the time gone? Since October is the start of the final quarter of the year that means it’s time for me to provide you with an update on my goals. This year I set goals for my personal finance, investing, for the blog and finally Twitter. If you would like to check out my first two reviews please click Review #1 and Review #2.

Let’s get to the numbers shall we 🙂 All numbers are as October 1st.

Personal Finance

  • Eliminate my loan of $3,818√
  • Increase savings to $6000 $10,000

For personal finance I set two goals. Why these? Well at the beginning of the year I decided that I needed to improve my finances. If anything unexpected were to happen I wasn’t prepared for it.

The loan that I had at the beginning of the year was from a $10,000 loan I took out in February 2016. I placed this money in my Tax Free Savings Account to invest. I am happy to report to you that I paid the loan off in full in April.

Happy dance

As for my second goal, when we began the year I had an emergency fund of $2,500 and I thought I should boost this higher just increase anything unexpected were to happen.So I made a decision and set a goal to increase this to $6,000. To help with this goal I took on a part-time job. As we moved into April my savings had crossed $4,000, and I thought heck we are not even at the mid point of the year I made my goal too low so I decided to up my goal to $10,000. As of October 1st I am happy to report that my savings are now at $6,731.97. As you see I have surpassed my original goal, I’m not sure I can reach $10,000 by year end but I will try.

Portfolio/Investing

  • Invest $4,000
  • Receive $4,000 in Dividends

As of October 1st I have invested a total of $3,491.96. I’m just $508.04 shy of my goal I am going to try really hard to achieve my goal because every dollar invested will help future me.

As for my second goal I am happy to share with you that through the first 9 months of the year I have collected $3,221.13. I am on track to surpass my goal in December.

Blog

  • Have 15,000 page views
  • Have 30 followers

This year I wanted to try and grow my blog and thought that these might be the best numbers to go by. For page views I have received a total of 9,768 through September it’s looking like a challenge to reach that 15k mark. However I am hopeful as August and September were the best months ever for my blog and October is off to a very good start.

As for my second goal I have surpassed my goal I now have 35 followers. I would just like to thank you as it means a lot to me that you have chosen to follow my blog.

Thank you

Twitter

  • Reach 1,500 followers

This goal I kind of threw in there for fun I wanted to see if I could reach this lofty number. At the beginning of October I had 1,264. If you would like to follow me please click here.

That wraps up my third update of the year. I hope you guys are all achieving your goals.

Thank you for reading I appreciate it.

Please feel free to let me know how your doing on your goals in the comment section below.

Thanks

Matthew

September 2017 Dividend Income

moneytree1-780x400

Hello everyone and welcome to my post where I will share with you how I did last month collecting dividends. I hope you all had a great month. Personally I had a very good month, I had a big increase this September compared to last September. Last month I cracked the $400 mark for the fourth time this year. 🙂

My portfolio consists of two accounts, first is the Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) and the second is the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). I received dividends from 16 stocks and 1 ETF. So in September I received a total of $403.27 (2016: $285.41) an increase of  $117.86. In my TFSA account I received 107.03. In my RRSP I received $296.24.

TFSA

Inter Pipeline $17.87
Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust $17.63
Chorus Aviation $17.28
The Keg Royalties Income Fund $15.24
Artis Real Estate Investment Trust $13.95
Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund $12.31
Corus Entertainment $6.56
Canadian National Railway $6.19

In 2016 I had received $89.14 so my income has increased by $17.89. The reason for the increase this year is due to a dividend increase from Inter Pipeline. Also I increased my investment in Chorus Aviation and Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust. Finally I purchased my newest stock Canadian National Railway in the nick of time and received my first dividend from them.

Fun fact with the dividends this month my TFSA account has crossed the $1,000 mark in dividends received. Last year I only received $873.40 and that was for the whole year. I am very happy with the progress of this account 🙂

RRSP

Enbridge $88.45
Fortis $64.40
Canadian Utilities $55.41
BMO US Dividend ETF $31.29
Power Corp $21.15
Pizza Pizza Royalty Corp. $16.76
Exco Technologies $8.00
Westjet $7.00
Alimentation Couche-Tard $3.78

In 2016 I had received $196.27 so my income has increased by $99.97. Some of the reasons for this big jump is due to dividend increases from Enbridge (2), Fortis, Canadian Utilities, Power Corp and Alimentation Couche-Tard. I also made additional investments in Enbridge, Westjet and Alimentation Couche-Tard. Also purchased a new stock Exco Technologies  

This is my first dividend from Enbridge since I purchased an additional 51 shares back in May and June and that boosted my income by $31.13.

2016 vs 2017 Dividends

2017 Dividend Goal

Back in January I set a goal of wanting to receive $4,000 in dividends this year. Well after September as you can see I have collected $3,221.13 with three months to go in 2017. I feel very confident that I will reach my goal.

Buy/Sell

I made one stock purchase in Sept.

  • On Sept 7th purchased 15 shares of Canadian National Railway

I did not sell any stock in Sept.

Increases/Decreases

I did not receive any dividend increases or decreases this month.

 

Well folks there you have it my September income report. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, I enjoy sharing my progress with you. I also hope that you had a great month as well.

Thanks for reading

Take care

Matthew

 

How I Dealt With A Recent Rejection

rejection

Hey folks today’s post is something different, I decided not to do an investing post. Today’s post is going to be about something that happened to me recently and I thought I would share it with you. I’m sure it’s happened to everyone, and I’m sure we all handle it differently. I applied for a job. If you follow me on Twitter you already know the result of my application.

My Job And The Job I Applied To

I currently work as a security guard and I am assigned to a local manufacturing company (won’t mention the name) that makes plastic that goes into pretty much everything planes, buses, phones, cars etc… Now the job I applied for was with the company that we provide security for. So they are familiar with me and I with them. The position was for an operating technician.

Hiring Process

Applying to work for this company is a little crazy and over the top in my opinion, but who am I to argue with it. So let me show you the process.

  1.  July 15th sent in my cover letter and resume.
  2.  July 19th I am am invited to do the aptitude test on July 29th.
  3.  July 29th write the aptitude test.
  4.  August 4th was sent an email saying I passed the test and I am invited to a phone interview on Aug 15th.
  5.  August 15th I have a phone interview.
  6.  Aug 29th I am sent an email saying I was successful and I am invited for an in person interview for Sept 6th.
  7.  Sept 6th I have an in person interview with three interviewers.
  8.  Sept 8th I am sent an email saying I was successful again and have been invited for a final interview on Sept 12th.
  9.  Sept 12th I have my 2nd in person interview with three interviewers (with big boss).
  10.  Sept 15th I am sent an email saying I would not be moving forward in the hiring process.  😦

As you can see it was a very long process in my opinion. It took two months exact for me. If I was successful it would have been three months.

My Reaction

I should mention that this was the fifth time I have applied to work for this company. This is also the furthest I have ever made it in the process, I made it to the final 16.

So upon seeing the email that stated “Thank you for your interest in the Operating Technician position, unfortunately you will not be moving forward in the hiring process. Good luck to you in your future endeavors.” It hurt quite a bit as I have wanted to work for the company for quite awhile now. Mostly because of the great pay and benefits they offer.

Also knowing I would have to go to work that night at the factory and knowing they didn’t select me was very tough. Thankfully the workers there and my wonderful followers on Twitter were very supportive.

How I Dealt With The Rejection

For a couple of days I was sad and moped around the house. Upon reflection on what happened I then chose to look at it in a positive light. As mentioned above this was the fifth time I have applied and the furthest I got in the process. The first two times I applied I didn’t hear back from the company. Then the next two times I was invited to do the aptitude test but didn’t make it past that. So I can look back and say that I am headed in the right direction.

Also I took the step of phoning the company and asked them why I wasn’t selected. After calling them I now have a better understanding of what they were looking for and why I didn’t get selected.

So to sum up how I have dealt and am dealing with the rejection I decided to take a positive outlook on their decision, although I am sad, I took the step of calling them and now I have a better understanding of why I wasn’t selected. I can now look to the future and try to see what else is out there for me.

How do you deal with rejection? Please feel free to let me know in the comment section.

Thank you for reading this post I appreciate your support.

Thanks

Matthew

Canadian National Railway *New Buy*

Hey folks after taking a week off I am back with a new post. I added a new stock to my portfolio and thought I would share it with you. The stock was purchased in my Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA).

CN_med_red

On September 7th I started a position in Canadian National Railway. CN has been on my radar for awhile now, as a dividend investor one thing that attracted me to the company is their streak of 21 years of raising their dividend and that doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon. CN is also one of the top railroads in North America if not the best.

What Does CN Do?

Canadian National Railway Company is engaged in the rail and related transportation business. The Company’s network of approximately 20,000 route miles of track spans Canada and mid-America, connecting approximately three coasts, including the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico and serving the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert (British Columbia), Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile (Alabama), and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth (Minnesota)/Superior (Wisconsin), and Jackson (Mississippi), with connections to all points in North America. Its network and connections to all Class I railroads provide its customers access to the three North American Free Trade Agreement nations. It carries over 300 million tons of cargo, serving exporters, importers, retailers, farmers and manufacturers. Its freight includes seven commodity representing a portfolio of goods.

(Source: Google Finance)

I created a few charts for this purchase hope you like them. I chose in my opinion important stats which the company itself views as important metrics.

Let’s get to the charts shall we 🙂

 

Operating Ratio

The operating ratio is a company’s operating expenses as a percentage of revenue. So the lower the better and CN’s ratio has been getting lower and lower.

 

Revenue

 

Revenue By Commodity Group

 

Operating Income

CN’s operating income continues to raise impressively.

 

Free Cash Flow

CN’s free cash flow continues to be very impressive. Back in 2013 the company redefined its free cash flow measure as the difference net cash provided by operating activities and net cash used in investing activities; adjusted for changes in restricted cash and cash equivalents and the impact of major acquisitions, if any.

(Above info was found in the 2013 company annual report)

 

Geographic Exposure

 

Dividend

Above I mentioned that CN has raised it’s dividend for the last 21 years, but if you look at the chart it shows that in 2012 it was $1.50 per share and the next it dropped to $0.86 so what gives you say. Well in 2013 CN split it’s stock 2 to 1 so that is why the chart looks a little weird they did raise the dividend in 2013. CN currently pays a quarterly dividend of $0.4125, and has a yield of 1.64%.

Transaction Details

On September 7th I purchased 15 shares at a price of $99.72 with a $9.99 trading fee my purchase cost me $1,505.79.

So with my 15 shares CN will pay me $24.76 annually.

 

So guys what do you think of my purchase? Do you own CN? Sorry for all the charts thought I would provide you with a visual of some of the company’s metrics. Please feel free to comment below I enjoy reading them.

Thanks for reading

Matthew

August 2017 Income

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Hey folks welcome to my August income post. Wow can’t believe we are into September already where has the time gone? The kids are back in school and summer pretty much has come to an end. Well let’s get to the fun shall we.

My investment portfolio consists of two accounts I have a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) and a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). In August I received a total of $289.40 in dividends, $100.84 in my TFSA and $188.56 in my RRSP.

Let’s now take a look at which companies paid me in August.

TFSA

Inter Pipeline $17.87
Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust $17.63
Chorus Aviation $17.28
The Keg Royalties Income Fund $15.24
Artis Real Estate Investment Trust $13.95
Boston Pizza Royalties Fund $12.31
Corus Entertainment $6.56

RRSP

Royal Bank of Canada $66.99
Bank of Montreal $63.99
BMO US Dividend ETF $31.29
Pizza Pizza Royalty Corp. $16.76
Potash Corp. $5.84
Alimenation Couche-Tard $3.78

2017 vs 2016 Dividends

I am down slightly from last August due to the fact that Proctor & Gamble is no longer in my portfolio. However the dividend increases from my other stocks have narrowed the gap.

2017 Dividends

So through the first eight months of the year I have received $2,817.86 in dividends. I am just 1,185.14 away from reaching my goal of $4,000 by year end.

Buy/Sell

It was a quiet month for me in this area I did not make any transactions I sat back and collected my dividends.

counting money

Increases/Decreases

In August I received one dividend increase from Royal Bank of Canada and that occurred on August 23rd. The dividend was raised to $0.91 per quarter from $0.87.

 

Extra Post

Hi guys just wanted to let you know that I was interviewed for a post by My Own Advisor it is called Big Problems and Big Opportunities For Millennial Investors please go check it out if you haven’t already.

I hope everyone had a great August. Thank you for reading I appreciate it.

Thanks

Matthew

Second Increase From RBC This Year

Hey folks I just received a dividend increase and thought I would share it with you. On August 23, 2017 Royal Bank of Canada released it’s 3rd quarter earnings and announced a 4.6% increase in their dividend. This is the first increase my portfolio has received since May.

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Dividend

Last Wednesday’s announcement marked the second increase of the year for RBC. The first increase was in February. For the past few years RBC has been increasing their dividend every other quarter so this new announcement was no big surprise.

Before this announcement RBC paid a quarterly dividend of $0.87 per share, now the new dividend is $0.91 per share a 4.6%.

Income

This is the 7th increase I have received from the bank since I purchased shares in 2014. I currently own 77 shares so with this raise my income will grow $3.08 per quarter and $12.32 annually.

When I add both increases together my income increases $24.64 not to bad if I may say so.

Special Post

Hey guys just wanted to let you know that Mark from My Own Advisor and I wrote a post together please go and check it out here.

Congratulations to all my fellow shareholders.

Thanks for reading everyone I appreciate it.

Matthew

I Just Saved Hundreds With One Call

Hey folks how are you? Today’s post is going to be different from what I normally write about. Today I am not going to talk about investing, it’s going to be personal finance related.

LG-G3

Back in September 2015 when my cell phone died I did what many people do I jumped into my car and drove to the store to get another one. I knew I wanted a new one but didn’t know what brand to get. I did know that I didn’t want to pay up front for a phone so I chose the phone pictured above LG G3, it had a retail value of $600. To get the phone all I had to do was sign a two year contract at a certain price point. Looking back it probably would have been wise to pay for the phone in full and avoid the contract.

Here in Canada the longest contract a telecom company can offer people is two years, it use to be three years but, The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) made this decision and it took affect with contracts signed after Dec 2, 2013.

Regrets

Have you ever purchased something then regret it a short time later? Well this was me with me cell phone. You see I only really need my phone for driving in case of emergencies and for texting. When I went to the store I guess I wanted to be like everyone else I wanted to own a smartphone that could do anything. A few months into the contract I realized my mistake and regretted signing my contract for the phone. Don’t get me wrong it’s a nice phone and works really well, however the price I was paying per month was way to much.

Speaking of money in order to get the phone without paying anything up front I had to sign up for a certain plan. So I signed up for the gold plan which cost $60 per month, I also added a $7 month insurance in case anything happened to the phone they would replace it. I also added 250mb of data for an extra $2 per month. So my monthly bill was $69 x 13% (tax) = $77.97 pretty outrageous for someone who only uses the phone for emergencies and texting.

Decision and the Call

After a few months I realized my mistake and wanted to correct it. So I started checking out plans for what I needed pretty much unlimited texting and a little bit of free mins to make some phone calls. With so many places offering free wifi I knew I could eliminate that option from my phone and that was probably the most expensive part of my current contract.

Last week I phoned my cell phone provider Virgin Mobile to see when my contract would be over and I was informed that my contract was going to end on Sept 24th. When I was doing my research the lowest plan that I needed was priced at $35 per month with Virgin and a competitor was priced at $30. I’m not sure about the United States but here in Canada all of the telecom companies charge people to unlock their phones usually around $50. In December the CRTC has ruled that the telecom companies will no longer be able to charge people.

So my original plan was to stick with Virgin and pay $35 per month until December then switch to avoid paying an unlocking charge. However when I was speaking with the lady from Virgin she asked me what I was looking for after my contract expired. After telling her what I was looking for she said she could offer me a $25 a month plan I decided to accept this. Here is the difference from my old plan to my new one.

 

                                                                   Cell Phone Plans
Old Plan New Plan
Had to sign two year contract Pay month to month no contract
750 Anytime Minutes 100 Anytime Minutes
Canada-Wide Calling Canada-Wide Calling
Unlimited Worldwide Texts from Can Unlimited Canada to Intl texts
Data 750MB 100MB
Voicemail Voicemail
Call Display Call Display
Unlimited evenings & weekends from 5pm Unlimited evenings & weekends from 5pm
Call Waiting & 3-Way Calling
Add Ons
Premium Smartphone Insurance $7 Remove Premium Smartphone Insurance
Data 200MB $2 Remove Data 200MB

As you can see above with my new plan I am no longer stuck in a contract I can leave anytime. Also I am losing 650 anytime mins and 850MB of data what I will miss out of these two is the data but I am willing to lose this in order to save money. I also removed the add on’s which I feel are not needed anymore.

Savings

My current plan I am in I’m paying $77.97 if I times that by 12 I am paying $935.64 a year.

Starting on Sept 8th my new month to month plan starts and I will pay just $28.25 per month and $339 per year.

So with this switch I will be saving $596.64 per year

Well folks there you have it by making one phone I was able to save close to $600 per year and correct my mistake I originally made two years ago. From now I am going to try and avoid contracts, I don’t like being stuck in a 24 month contract.

Thanks for reading I appreciate the support.

Matthew

Red Friday

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Last Friday August 11th is a day that Boardwalk Real Estate Investment Trust shareholders would sure like to forget. Second Quarter earnings were released and it was not pretty to put it mildly.

Who Is Boardwalk REIT?

Boardwalk REIT currently owns and operates more than 200 communities with over 33,000 residential units totaling approximately 28 million net rent-able square feet. Boardwalk is Canada’s leading owner/operator of multi-family communities with properties in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec.

Boardwalk’s second quarter results came in lower than internal expectations as a result of unanticipated delays relating to the Trust’s suite renovation and re-branding program. They also announced that they did not anticipate meeting their original forecast revenue growth in the last half of the year. Investors responded to this news by selling their shares and the stock tumbled 11.3%. For the last year and a half Boardwalk as struggled with higher vacancy levels, they have had to be aggressive in offering incentives to get tenants to renew their leases. Boardwalk has claimed that some of their problems are due to the challenging economy in Alberta and also new purpose built rental supply has caused a competitive environment in 2016.

Unit Location

As you can see Boardwalk is highly concentrated in Alberta where they have 60% of their residential units. It is no real surprise to see Boardwalk struggle as Alberta has had an economic downturn due to the low oil prices. As an investor I would like to see Boardwalk become more diversified instead of relying mostly on one province.

Second Quarter Financial Numbers

Funds From Operations ($ millions)
Three Months Jun 30, 2017 Three Months Jun 30, 2016 % Change Six Months Jun 30, 2017 Six Months Jun 30, 2016 % Change
$27.5 $38.5 -28.5% $53.2 $77.7 -31.5%
Cash Flow From Operations ($millions)
Three Months Jun 30, 2017 Three Months Jun 30, 2016 % Change Six Months Jun 30, 2017 Six Months Jun 30, 2016 % Change
$25.2 $36.7 -31.40% $50.6 $65.1 -22%
Revenue ($ millions)
Three Months Jun 30, 2017 Three Months Jun 30, 2016 % Change Six Months Jun 30, 2017 Six Months Jun 30, 2016 % Change
$105.6 $110.4 -4.4% $211 $223.8 -5.7%
Net Operating Income ($ millions)
Three Months Jun 30, 2017 Three Months Jun 30, 2016 % Change Six Months Jun 30, 2017 Six Months Jun 30, 2016 % Change
$54.4 $66.5 -18.2% $107 $133.5 -19.8%

As you can see these numbers are decreasing not what you want to see as an investor.

Occupancy

% Occupancy
2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
January 93.8% 97.5% 97.6% 98.2% 98.3%
February 94.3% 97.4% 97.9% 98.6% 98.5%
March 94.7% 97% 97.8% 98.6% 98.5%
April 95.1% 96.8% 97.7% 98.7% 98.7%
May 95.4% 96.3% 97.3% 98.5% 98.5%
June 95.6% 96.8% 97.2% 98.4% 98.6%
July 94.7% 96.5% 98% 98.2%
August 94.2% 96.6% 98.1% 98.4%
September 94.9% 96.8% 97.8% 98.5%
October 94.6% 97.2% 98.2% 98.4%
November 94.3% 97.4% 98% 98.4%
December 93.8% 97.5% 97.7% 98.4%
Total 94.8% 95.7% 97.3% 98.2% 98.5%

Last year Boardwalk reached a high vacancy rate of 93.8% in December the highest in years. For the first six months of 2017 the vacancy rate has been improving every month and reached 95.6% in June. As you see this year’s numbers are worse than 2016 so the financial numbers don’t really surprise me.

Distribution

Boardwalk pays a monthly dividend of $0.1875 to its unitholders. The dividend maybe in trouble if the downturn persists. The Trust is currently paying out an estimated 103.6% of reported Funds From Operations (FFO) and 133.7% of Adjusted Cash Flow From Operations (ACFO) compared to 74% and 83.4%, respectively for the same period last year.

According to the Trust distributions as a percentage of FFO on a rolling four quarter basis were 95.1%

Reasons To Be Optimistic?

Investing In The Business

I always like to hear when a company invests into their business, I believe it will help their business down the road. At the beginning of 2017 Boardwalk started a renovation and re-branding program. Boardwalk believes this will have long-term value moving forward and that they can charge significantly more for the suites once the renovation is completed.

Some of the work that is being done includes new flooring, baseboards, kitchen cabinets, countertops, appliances, tiling, lighting and fixtures. Through the first six months of 2017, the Trust has placed 2,300 suites under the renovation program. To date, 1,100 suites have been completed. So far the Trust has seen the new suites achieve a return on cost of approximately 8%, while also increasing Net Asset Value 12%.

Through the first six months of this year $92.3 million has been spent on capital improvements ($85.1 million on its investment properties, and $7.2 million on property, plant and equipment). Last year at this time Boardwalk only spent $38.4 million ($35.6 million on investment properties and $2.8 million on property, plant and equipment).

Financial Position

As of June 30, 2017 Boardwalk had $224 million in cash and another $200 Line of Credit available.

Even though they are struggling Boardwalk still has a large amount of cash available to whether this rough patch.

How Was I Affected

I currently own 94 shares of Boardwalk REIT. At the start of last Friday my shares had a $ value of $4,550.54 at the end of Friday this dropped to $4,036.36. It was definitely a tough day as I lost $514.18.

The stock started the day trading at $48.41 and ended the day at $42.94.

Conclusion

While I am concerned with the financial performance of Boardwalk this year, I am going to take a wait and see approach I am not going to rush to the exit and sell my shares. I believe Boardwalk is still in a healthy position financially with what they have in reserve. It seems that they have been able to lease the renovated suites at a higher lease price, hopefully they can figure out the delays and get the renovations done quicker.

So do you own Boardwalk REIT? What would you do if you were me? Please feel free to leave a comment below they are always appreciated.

Thanks for reading

Matthew

My Struggles As An Investor

struggle1

 

Hello everyone are you an investor in individual stocks and ETFs? Do you have concerns or struggle with how to select a stock or ETF, how many shares should you buy etc…. Then I think this post is for you.

In today’s post I am going to share with you some areas that I struggle with. Back in July 2014 I decided to try investing in stocks that offered a dividend. At that point I had been a index investor for the past six months. You could kind of say I was in no man’s land as an investor bouncing around trying different investment strategies.

When I chose to invest in individual stocks I had zero experience, I didn’t know about what stocks I should be buying, ones I should stay away from etc… I can remember when my brokerage account was opened typing in companies names, and I would look at the share price, then I would grab my calculator and divide that number by 5,000. Why 5,000? Well at that time I had around $55,000 to invest and so I randomly decided that I would invest $5,000 in a stock. Once I got my number of shares that I could buy I would then multiple that by company’s dividend to see how much money I would earn. That is pretty much how I come to own BCE, Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada, TransCanada, Fortis and Canadian Utilities.

So let’s now get to some of the issues that I have been struggling with.

What To Look For When Buying A Stock

As mentioned above when I started investing I began buying stocks based on how much money I would earn back in dividends. Not the greatest strategy I know! Last month marked my third anniversary as a dividend investor I no longer just look at how much money I will earn, I look at the following:

  • P/E (Price to Earnings)
  • Net Earnings
  • Revenue
  • Dividend
  • Payout Ratio

I always tend to feel like I am missing other key metrics to look at. Should I be looking at other metrics??? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Diversification

Here in Canada our stock market is dominated by the resource, financial, telecoms and pipeline sectors. We always hear that we need to be invested in Canadian, US and International equities. At the moment I am invested in 25 stocks and 1 ETF. All of the stocks are Canadian and the ETF is focused on the US market with 100 dividend paying stocks.

I have struggled so far in geographical diversification with my portfolio and it is an area that I need to address. I currently have no investments beyond Canada and the US. Some of my companies have operations around the world Canadian Utilities (Australia, Chile), TransCanada (Mexico), and Power Corp of Canada (Europe, China). However this isn’t enough.

Sector diversification is another area of concern for me, my portfolio currently has the following areas covered.

  • financial, telecoms, pipelines, utilities, industrial, consumer and reits.

Areas that I am currently missing:

  • healthcare, technology, resources such as gold & silver, renewable energy, infrastructure.

The Canadian Government is currently planning to spend billions of dollars on infrastructure across the country. They are also in the stages of setting up a $35 billion infrastructure bank. So it might be advantageous  to look at industrial companies.

How Much Or Little To Buy

This is one that I seem to have the most difficulty with. I never know the quantity to buy. One reason for this is that my brokerage charges me $9.99 per trade so I try to usually set a minimum of $1,000 per purchase.

At the moment I currently have $2,510 in my Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) so I have a decision to make, if I were to make a purchase today should I buy one stock with the full amount or do I split the money and invest $1,255 in two stocks. This is what usually bounces around in my head before buying.

My last three purchases have been for 33, 26 and 25 shares. I usually set a minimum number of shares to buy at 25 as that seems like a good number to acquire. Do you do the same? Or does the number matter to you?

One stock I like is Canadian National Railway the stock currently trades for $100.37. Let’s say I have $1,000 to spend I would only be able to buy 9 shares which in my opinion is to few. Is my thinking flawed??? Should I look past the number of shares and just focus on making an investment in the company??

Exchange Rate

One problem being a Canadian investor is having to pay US dollars if we want to purchase US stocks. Why is this a problem? Well for the past few years the Canadian dollar has been weaker which raises the price of the stock.

For example if I wanted to buy 1 Apple share at the time of this post an Apple share costs $158.59US that would cost me $200.96 Canadian.

I see other Canadian bloggers and investors continuing to buy US stocks should I?? Why I struggle with this area is because I don’t have a lot of money to invest and always default to Canadian stocks where I can purchase more. Let’s go back to Apple if I were to buy 10 shares that would cost me $1,585.90USD, Canadian it would be $2008.46 so it would cost an extra $422.56. For that price I could get an extra 10 to 15 shares of a Canadian stock.

The exchange rate is a big reason why last November I decided to sell my shares in JP Morgan and Proctor & Gamble as I felt that I wouldn’t be able to buy more. In my mind a way to get around the exchange rate was to invest in an ETF that invests in US stocks, and that is what I did. I own an ETF that invests in 100 dividend paying stocks.

If your a Canadian investor do you worry about the price of the Canadian dollar?? Has it stopped you from buying US stocks?? Or should I not worry about the exchange rate and get back into the US market??

Well folks I hope you like this post. I wanted to share with you some the areas that I have struggled with since I started investing in individual stocks. I’m sure that everyone struggles with investing and I hope you feel comfortable sharing, as I feel that is how we learn and grow and improve ourselves. If you any concerns please feel free to let me know in the comments below.

Thank you for reading I appreciate it.

Matthew