Sunday, 28 October 2012

November Budget 2012

Hey guys, no time to chat but here's the same budget that I had last month which seemed to be manageable.

I'm swarmed with school/work and going to be stuck hitting the books for at least the next 2 weeks so posts may be sparse. Education first right?

-the Paperboy

Friday, 19 October 2012

CRTC Strikes Down BCE-Astral Deal


In a move that nobody saw coming, the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission rejected BCE's bid for Astral media, stating that BCE would be too large and control to much of the market. What does this mean for shareholders of either company (I happen to have shares in both companies)?

Bell is obligated to pay a $150 million break fee if the deal falls through; which will happen unless BCE tries to appeal the decision. This comes out to about $3 per share is Astral.

Astral media will probably take a hit in market price since BCE may not be buying all the shares for $50 a pop anymore. However, it is believed that Astral will continue to look for a suitor because it's speculated that Ian Greenberg, the CEO plans to retire and he has no known successor. Since everybody still thinks that Astral intends to sell, that may keep the market price afloat. The only issue here is that the list of potential buyers is significantly shorter; larger companies like Rogers would run into the same competition issues as BCE did. Cogeco has been the name that I've seen thrown around as a potential suitor. If worse comes to worse and there's no buyers, then it is believed that Astral will just sell off its assets piece by piece.

So what does this mean or me personally? Back when the deal was announced, my profits jumped. I decided to hold on to the shares until the deal was sealed so that I could get the premium. When the deal was showing signs of faltering I decided to keep holding Astral stock because I honestly thought that the worst thing that could have happened was that the CRTC approved the deal but with changes; not outright kill it.

As of writing, Astral just took a 15% nosedive. This triggered my stop limit and I sold out for a mere 3% gain (not including dividends accumulated for holding the stock for well over a year). Astral still has solid fundamentals but with a takeover looking slim, I think the price will sink for the time being. When it gets even more depressed, I would not hesitate to jump back in at a lower price point.

- the Paperboy

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Recent Market Plays October 2012

Hey guys, remember back in April when I said that I would be using some money to "play the market" as opposed to sticking to the tried and true dividend approach? Well Kinross soared for a couple days in early October so I took the chance to finally get out of that. It took me 6 months but I netted a 6.67% (including two dividend distributions) return so it didn't turn out too badly for me. I'm going to continue on with the experiment and maybe try and jump back into Kinross later because it seems to be dropping again. Or I could go into something else such as Silver Wheaton; we'll see how cheap the precious metals can get. Due to me closing my position with Kinross, expect my overall dividend yield to increase since Kinross paid a pittance in terms of dividends, however, the expected dividends received will be lowered as well.

To offset that, I grabbed some more shares of Reitmans. The clothing company is having a bit of trouble right now but the majority of retailers are having problems getting stuff off the shelves. The company is sitting on a lot of cash so it'll be able to pay off upcoming debt and hopefully be able survive to see better days in the economy. Awhile back, it teamed up with Toys 'R Us to have the toy store carry its clothes for expecting mothers. This shows that the company is trying to get an edge wherever it can. While the price is a little depressed, I'm able to get a higher yield and get more shares via my DRIP. This also gets me closer to that goal of $2200 in expected dividends.

October far from over and I recently stumbled onto some funds. Hopefully I'll be able to grab some more stocks and continue to build my portfolio. If not, I'll throw everything into my bond ETF and wait until the prices are acceptable. All part of the plan right?

-the Paperboy

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Dividend Progress Report: September 2012 Edition

Total yield of portfolio - 4.49% (- 0.03%)
Actual dividends received - $1025.61 (+ $79.26)
Expected dividends return if the current positions are held for 1 year -  $1716.87 (+ $34.40)
Average dividends received per month: $113.96 (- $4.33)

After the recent purchase in my portfolio, the expected dividends return if the current positions are held for 1 year advanced into the $1700 territory. In terms of dividends received, September was the second worse month after the horrible June I had. This brings down the average dividends I get per month to almost $114 which still isn't bad for just sitting around and not doing anything; when you're a poor university student every little bit counts and $114 is more than what I would earn for a full day's work. So if I look at it that way, my portfolio essentially worked 1 day for me every month which is nothing to complain about... let's just try to make it work overtime for the rest of the year!

-the Paperboy

Sunday, 30 September 2012

October Budget 2012

I finally bit the bullet. There's no way that $100 is enough for food because to be honest, that's where I spend the most money. I rarely buy anything else. Hopefully I can keep within the new limit.

-the Paperboy

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Recent Market Plays September 2012

Today I finally made a move and purchased more shares of LIF.UN.TO. This allowed me to average down and bring my overall yield up. I still have my eye on RET.TO and some other stocks because I still have a little bit of cash left so maybe I'll be able to get that done before the end of the month.

-the Paperboy

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Investing 101: Bonds

Let's talk about what to do with all that money that you've worked so hard on saving up. In this section titled Investing 101, I'll go over different terms and ideas that every investor should know. Hopefully the information provided will help give you a general idea of how things work and build a foundation for you to go and further educate yourself. Welcome to class. Today's topic? Bonds.

Monday, 17 September 2012

August Budget 2012 Review

August turned out to be a pretty expensive month for me.  I really have no excuses for the food category. What can I say? I like to eat. I already went over for September as well, even though we just passed the half-way mark. I'm thinking I may have to raise the limit because I feel that I'm already very restricted when it comes to going out to eat and always going over budget is frustrating since I'm trying hard to not eat out. When I originally put the budget in place, the numbers I set were arbitrary and I was going to adjust them until they were more realistic. Since I feel that I'm honestly trying to stay under budget and it's making me unhappy, I think I should raise the limit. Then again, maybe I'm simply spending too much...

I went over budget in August due to having to pitch in for my little sister's early birthday gift and I had to buy some clothes because I realized that I didn't have t-shirts. With the gift taken out I' d still be on target so I don't feel too bad about last month but I have to do something about the food.

On another note, I was able to put away $1536.44 in August which is great since I wasn't able to work full time this summer. I'm not going to compare one month to another because my income fluctuates so I won't be able to draw many conclusions from that.

-the Paperboy

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Common Cents

Find a penny pick it up. All day long you'll have good luck... unless of course it's tails. Then you ask your buddy to go flip it over for you so that you can pick it up.

In all seriousness, do you pick coins up off the floor or do you walk right by them? Maybe you have a threshold; passing by nickles and dimes but jumping on anything worth more than a quarter. So is it worth the effort to be picking up all this loose change or is your time better used doing something more productive? Regardless of which side of the coin is facing up, let's see if we can come out ahead (and the bad puns keep rolling out).

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Dividend Progress Report: August 2012 Edition

Total yield of portfolio - 4.52% (+ 0.04%)
Actual dividends received - $946.35 (+ $101.81)
Expected dividends return if the current positions are held for 1 year -  $1682.47 (+ $77.54)
Average dividends received per month: $118.29 (- $2.36)

My total yield inched higher last month even though I purchased units of CLF which lowered my average yield. This was due to increases in dividends by four of my holdings! This is great news especially after the hit from CFX I took last month. Again I was caught off my game as I missed the announcement of Royal Bank increasing dividends, but before I could rectify the issue in this update, the company hiked its dividends again! Now everything should be accounted for.

Dividends received this month were a little below average bringing the average dividends/month down to $118.29. Due to all the dividends increases and the purchase of CLF, the expected dividends return if current positions are held for 1 year climbed back up after the hit from CFX. I'm really hoping to reach $2200 by the end of December but I'm doubtful it will happen. I'll just keep putting away as much as I can and see how close I can get to my goal.

Overall, August wasn't a bad month. Here's hoping September will be good to me as well.

-the Paperboy

Friday, 31 August 2012

September 2012 Budget

First month of school but since I start a week in, it's not worth it to get a monthly bus pass yet. So hopefully I'll be able to spend less than $104 on transportation next month. I'll start buying a bus pass in October and I look forward to it to be honest, since it's so much more convenient. 

-the Paperboy

Thursday, 30 August 2012

CIBC and Royal Bank Raise Divdiends

My other two bank holdings came through and raised their dividends! This came on the back of BMO hiking dividends earlier this week. CIBC raised dividends 4% to 94 cents a share while Royal Bank increased dividends 5% to 60 cents a share. There was good news for all the Big Five banks as all of them increased dividends this quarter - the first time in recent memory where they all raised dividends at the same time. These hikes definitely help me with my goal of reaching $2200 in dividends payout but that goal may be out of reach seeing as September is coming around soon. I may have to re-evaluate my goals to make them more realistic. Anyways, this was good news and hopefully I'll be able to add my positions in the banks and eventually I plan to own shares in all five because they have consistently shown that they are solid blue-chips that will continue to increase dividends when they are able to.

-the Paperboy

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

BMO Increases Dividends

The Bank of Montreal announced that it will be raising its dividend distribution - the first time in 5 years. The company will now distribute 72 cents quarterly, a 2.9% increase. The dividend hike came with third quarter results that beat analysts' expectations. All the other banks are reporting this week as well so hopefully there's more good news on the horizon with my other holdings (i.e CIBC and Royal Bank, although both have already increased their dividends recently).

-the Paperboy

Friday, 24 August 2012

Recent Market Plays August 2012

Not much has happened in terms of building my portfolio. I've managed to squirrel away some funds but none of the stocks that I have my eyes on are at an attractive price in my opinion. I've been sitting on this cash for a couple weeks now and I feel that I'm losing out because I'm waiting. Because of this, I dumped it all into CLF which is an ETF for Canadian government bonds. The money will earn me more interest there than it would sitting in a savings account.

When the right prices come along all I have to do is sell some units of CLF in order to fund the purchase of the new position. There are disadvantages to this, the obvious one being the commission fees involved with the plan. However, if the ETF is held long enough, the extra interest earned will negate the commission fees and I'll come out on top. The issue with this is that I don't know exactly how long I'll be holding the money in CLF. Quite the dilemma but I may have found the solution to it.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


Multitaking is an invaluable skill that helps people save countless hours throughout their lives. Many people feel that they can't multitask but they're doing it without even knowing. When someone pops bread into the toaster and pour herself a cup of coffee while she waits for the toast, she's multitasking. When someone is folding his laundry while watching his favourite television show, he's multitasking.

By multitasking you're able to get more done with the same amount of time. Since we're all given the same amount of time (we each get to decide what we do with our 24 hours) if you can be more productive then you'll come out ahead.

Monday, 13 August 2012

July Budget 2012 Review

July wasn't that bad in terms of spending. I was actually under budget. This is the last month that will have Food & Entertainment grouped into one category. Hopefully I can keep the spending in check for the future.

The app I use to keep track of my spending rounds everything to the nearest dollar including my income for the month. After taking all the spending into consideration, I was able to put away around $795 for the month of July. That's a lot less than what I use to get when I worked full time in the summer but its better than nothing right? At least I'll have a little bit to spend on the stock market for August.

-the Paperboy

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

BCE Raises Dividends and More on the Astral Deal

Bell beat analysts' estimates for the quarter and decided to increase dividends distributions from $2.17 annually to $2.27 annually. This is great news for me especially because it's been awhile since any of my companies hiked their dividends. This also helps me rebuild my yield what with the fact that Canfor slashed its dividends.

Another reason that this is great is that I'll find myself with even more shares of Bell when the Astral deal closes. A recent issue with the deal has been a group of competitors, have complained that the deal would result in BCE having too much control on the market which would ultimately mean an increase in consumer costs due to less competition. However it seems like the complaint is more about keeping Bell out of their playground as opposed to the genuine concern for the consumer especially because the Astral deal would give Bell a much larger presence in Quebec where Quebecor Inc. (one of the groups with the complaint) is a dominant player.

There is always the possibility that the deal falls through due to government intervention which in that case my position in Astral would falls dramatically. However, I feel that this is a minor bump in the road and unless a more serious obstacle appears the deal carry on as planned and close in the fourth quarter. When it does, I'll be getting more Bell shares and some cash in exchange for my Astral shares which would further my overall yield and increase my position in one of the big telecoms of the country.

-the Paperboy

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Dividend Progress Report: July 2012 Edition

Here's the recap of my dividend progress for the month of July.

Total yield of portfolio - 4.48% (- 0.22%)
Actual dividends received - $844.54 (+ $212.00)
Expected dividends return if the current positions are held for 1 year - $1604.93 (- $27.08)
Average dividends received per month: $120.65

There was a minor setback in the yield and expected dividend return department last month due to Canfor cutting its distributions (again). This was offset by an increase in my position with Canadian Oil Sands (now large enough for my DRIP to be active) as well as an additional share of Reitmans due to my DRIP kicking in after the share price dropped. The extra share of Reitmans is a good example of the Dividend Re-Investment Plan helping me buy low since it wouldn't have happened if the share price was higher. This helps lower my average cost and increase my yield.

I have to remember that the flip-side is a possibility as well; as my positions get larger I'll be able to DRIP shares at higher prices too. This will increase my average cost (which isn't exactly what I'm looking for). So when it gets to that point in my investing career (hopefully sooner rather than later) I'll turn off the DRIPs and re-invest manually. Sure I'll have to pay commission fees but being able to allocate the money where and when I want to should means that I save money in the long run.

I'd like to note that July was the most productive in terms of receiving distributions. $212.00 last month makes up for the horrible showing the month before. You may have also noticed that I put in a new measure of my progress - I decided to track the average dividends received per month which should more accurately reflect how much I'm getting because all the companies have different distributions dates so good months like July and bad months like June don't really mean anything when the whole year is considered together. Hopefully I can bounce back from the Canfor cut and keep heading towards my goal of $2200.

-the Paperboy

Friday, 3 August 2012


How much is your time worth? Last time we touched on this concept in order to be able to put a dollar amount on your time. Now let's talk about how we can be more efficient with our time (and by extension, our money).

Outsourcing is the idea of hiring somebody to do stuff for you that would have cost you more money  to do. Many companies outsource all the time; why would Apple make its own parts when they can get a company in China to manufacture the parts for a fraction of the cost?

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Recent Market Plays July 2012

In the month of July, I managed to increase my position in the Canadian Oil Sands. As you may know, the company has recently increased it's dividends distribution so getting more on the cheap is nice. The purchase resulted in a position large enough for my synthetic DRIP to kick in so I'll start seeing some commission-free shares headed my way soon. Somehow I managed to scrounge up enough cash to be able to buy some more shares but I haven't found the right price on anything yet. I'm looking to increase another one of my positions so that I can get another DRIP going but I'm probably going to be doing it in August seeing as there's only 2 trading days left.

I have my eye on a couple of them but if nothing becomes attractive then I'll follow my plan and let the money sit in a bond ETF until I find a deal. The higher yield should offset the commission fees if held in the ETF for long enough. Of course I could always enroll in a Pre-Authorized Cash Contribution so that I automatically add cash to the ETF without having to pay commission. I plan to look into that when I have the time because I think that it will help me execute my plan more efficiently.

-the Paperboy

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Canfor Slashes Dividends...Again

I really should follow my own advice. Yesterday Canfor announced that it will distribute $0.05 in dividends for the quarter. This is an enormous drop from the $0.22 that it was previously distributing This was 2 cuts in consecutive quarters and last time I said that I would be willing to let go of my position is need be. After the announcement, the stock price took a nosedive and now I'm pretty deep in the red for this one. On top of that, this pulls me further away from my goal of $2200 in dividends (which seems very unlikely now that more than half the year is over) and I'm now DRIPing a company that I don't actually want due to my own laziness. Things look grim but I'm not super worried; I know stuff like this happens and will continue to happen throughout my investing career so for now I'm going to sleep on it so I can decide my next move.

Don't get me wrong, I do plan to sell it like I said before, but maybe I'll be able to recuperate some of my losses if I wait for the initial sell-off to finish... or I may be delusional and clearly I should be cutting my losses. However I feel that I should be a little more patient and see what happens in a couple days because selling now is a knee-jerk reaction and from what I read, those are the worse reactions to have.

So Canfor has not only taught me to keep on top of my investments in terms of news of the company, but also to follow-through quickly when I have made a decision; if I sold my position after my post on the first cut, then I would have avoided this mess but instead I held on and now I'm paying the price. This was a very expensive lesson... almost as bad as paying for tuition. Almost.

-the Paperboy

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The Clock's Ticking

As the old adage goes, time is money. So it goes without saying that money is time. Did I confuse anybody with that? I'm kind of hoping it did because it will make me feel clever (I know, I'm a bit strange). Anyways, since they are interchangeable, try this little thought experiment next time you go shopping. When considering whether or not to buy something, rather than thinking in terms of how much money it would cost you, think in terms of how much time it would cost you.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

August Budget 2012

As mentioned in the June Budget review, I slightly altered the categories for the budget. Miscellaneous is now General and what was once Food & Entertainment is now two separate categories of Food and Entertainment. At first I was going to split the $150 down the middle and allot $75 to each category but then I realized that most of the $150 was going towards Food so it got $100 while Entertainment only got $50 since I really only spend money on Entertainment when I go to the movies (usually on Tuesdays since Cineplex has those cheap tickets on Tuesdays - throw in half price wings at many wing joints and you got yourself a frugal date).

Since getting the budgeting app for my phone also allows me to track my monthly income, I'll also be documenting that from here on out. This way, I'll not only be able to track my expenses, but I'll be able to see how much money I'm actually putting away so that I can invest it.

-the Paperboy

Monday, 16 July 2012

June Budget 2012 Review

June may have been a bad month in terms of dividends but it was good in terms of the monthly budget. If you recall I treated my family out for Father's Day so that put me over for the Food & Entertainment section. I also got dinged again for getting pictures via text. Last month, I couldn't remember when somebody sent me pictures and while I was trying to figure it out, my girlfriend sends me another one... well, you can be sure that July's phone bill will be on target because I quickly told her that it was costing me money.

I really should try to negotiate my phone bill though because everyone I know if paying less and getting more. I just never seem to find the time and for some reason those guys are intimidating to me. I guess I'll just have to buckle down and do it. Hopefully I get around to it soon. Overall I saved $100 which is really good considering I'm usually going over budget. I recently got an app for my phone that tracks my budget so I'm going to be changing the categories for the month of August and while I'm at it, I'll review the budget to determine if the numbers are still appropriate.

-the Paperboy

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Online Classifieds: Part III

In the last two articles, I compared Craigslist and Kijiji (two very popular online classifieds) and I also talked about how to set up an ad to help you get rid of some of your old unwanted junk. Now let's go over how to arrange a meeting to seal the deal.

Once a buyer has contacted you (or you contacted a seller) and the final price has been settled upon, agree on a place to meet up. This should be a public location to be safe. The only reason I would go to someone's home or let them know where I live is if the item is too large to move to the local Tim Horton's (ex. furniture).

Monday, 9 July 2012

Online Classifieds: Part II

In part I of the series, we discussed the different online classifieds and a bit about what makes them unique. Today we'll talk about how to set up an advertisement to help you unload unwanted things and make some of that money back.

As I said before, the two main classifieds that I personally use are Cragislist and Kijiji. If you plan to sell more than one item I recommend creating an account so that the process of putting up an advertisement is quicker.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Dividend Progress Report: June 2012 Edition

Here are the numbers for last month:

Total yield of portfolio - 4.70% (+ 0.03%)
Actual dividends received - $632.54 (+ $46.43)
Expected dividends return if the current positions are held for 1 year - $1632.73 (+ $10.42)

As you can tell from miniscule changes, there wasn't much happening in June. The only move I made was close my position in a bond ETF to fund a purchase of CIBC shares in my TFSA. Not making a play wasn't due to not finding what I thought were deals; on the contrary, I found many stocks at attractive prices because there were a couple days where the market decided to take a dip. It always decides to do that when I have no money to capitalize on the opportunity. Eventually I'll have money at the right time though.

Last month was also dismal in terms of dividend. At first I thought I may forgot to record some distributions but I seriously only got $46 in dividends last month. I was use to getting a little over $100 so $46 is a pretty big drop. This was due to some companies shifting their payment dates. On a single day (July 3rd) I received more dividends than the whole month of June combined. Hopefully July will be a good month to me.

-the Paperboy

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

DRIP finally on!


After what seems like an eternity, I finally got my first share from a Dividend Re-Investment Program! I received $27.26 in dividends from Sun Life which covered enough for one share. I automatically purchased a share at market value ($22.80) while the difference was added to my TFSA at Questrade. It was a long journey with some bumps in the road but I finally have the compounding machine in motion. Hopefully before long, I'll have DRIPs running for all my positions so that I can accumulate shares quicker.

The plan is once the dividends being distributed becomes a large enough amount, I'll turn off the DRIP and use the money to add to positions at my discretion. This way I'll be able to control what price I'm buying at as opposed to being forced to buy at market value which could be higher than I would like at the time of purchase.

-the Paperboy

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Recent Market Plays: June 2012

Not much happened in June because if you recall, I'm out of gas. I did however sell some units of a bond ETF to finance an increase in my CIBC position in my TFSA account. That worked out according to plan and I intend to keep putting all the money I have into bond ETFs until stock prices become attractive. That way I can collect a higher interest rate than if the money was parked in a high interest saving account while still being flexible enough to be able to jump into stocks when I feel the price is right. Sure, I have to pay a commission fee for the transaction but if I have to sit on cash for a long time because everything is too expensive, then I could be missing out on the extra income that a bond could provide. Also I'm thinking about using Claymore's service of allowing unitholders to buy shares via their PACC (Pre-Authorized Cash Contribution) which would allow me to get shares without paying the commission fee.

I plan to use it to transfer money into a bond ETF and when it's a sizable amount or when prices are attractive, I can sell some units to buy shares. This also puts me in a position where I have to dedicate an amount of my income to investing and will hopefully prevent me from blowing all my money away (if you've been following my journey into budgeting, you'll know that I need all the help I can get). I'm still looking to unload some ETFs and I seem to have amassed enough to make another purchase so look for those two things in July.

-the Paperboy

Sunday, 24 June 2012

July Budget 2012

I should be able to make the usual numbers work for July. I don't foresee any crazy expenses coming up so I should be fine. I haven't been able to stay on budget for the majority of the months that I've been doing this so hopefully this one will have me in the black.

-the Paperboy

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Splurging on those "Time to Time" Moments

Today I read an article in the Globe and Mail that talks about those little splurges. You know the ones. The extra money you're willing to pay when you buy something that you don't often buy (ex. a new television or car or even a birthday gift). Midway through the article, I realized that I was one of these consumers. I justified paying more on certain things by reassuring myself that it was "something that doesn't happen often so it's okay to spend more money". Going out with my family to restaurants, and buying gifts for people are the main culprits of my splurging. The truth is, I don't go out with my family often. We all have our own busy schedules and barely see each other at home, let alone go out and have a meal together. It's in light of this fact that I'm willing to spend money to go out with my family; it only happens every couple months.

However, after reading this article, I realize that extra spending does in fact add up. Now I'm going to think long and hard to determine if it is in fact worth it for me to be splurging on something. Father's Day was last Sunday and my siblings all got my dad something. I didn't come up with a gift so I offered to take everyone out for dinner. To me, I think that the time we spend as a family is worth it but I'll take what I read to heart. We're going out today because we can get half price wings at one of my favourite wing joints. I believe that I should spend money and enjoy life from time to time (although it seems like those "time to time" moments are coming up more often nowadays), but it doesn't have to cost me an arm and a leg to do it.

-the Paperboy

Friday, 15 June 2012

May Budget 2012 Review

May was the biggest bust I've ever had in terms of staying on budget. Along with the usual overspending on food, I spent a lot of money on gifts last month. This was because I bought my girlfriend her anniversary gift and birthday gift (although her birthday is in August, so I'm saving the second present). I also got charged extra on my phone bill because I received some pictures via text so they dinged me for that. All in all I spent over $1000 last month, which is heartbreaking because I could have used that to buy shares. I should really buckle down and try to be more consistent with my saving especially since I was making progress in April. We'll see how this month goes. I'm sure it'll be a lot better than last month.

-the Paperboy

Sunday, 10 June 2012

DRIPing with Questrade...Again

I've planned to DRIP my positions in Questrade for quite some time now. After a couple of setbacks, I finally have it set up. The form that Questrade provides only allows the registration of 3 positions at a time so instead, I checked off the box that enrolls every eligible position in a DRIP. Now that that is out of the way, I can focus on increasing my positions so that the dividends distributed will be large enough to cover the price of one share. Then the compounding will start picking up and I'll start amassing wealth quicker. Let's just hope that everything is processed without a hiccup this time.

-the Paperboy

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Dividened Progress Report: May 2012 Edition

May looked like it was going to be one of the lower months in terms of dividend distributions, but the last day of the month was very generous and put the whole month over the top. This resulted in the best month yet.

Total yield of portfolio - 4.67% (+ 0.13%)
Actual dividends received - $586.11 (+ $137.06)
Expected dividends return if the current positions are held for 1 year - $1622.31 (+ $108.42)

Positive numbers all around for last month! Grabbing Rogers and BMO really helped with the yield while increasing my position in Weston raised my average yield as well. June marks the halfway mark for the year. The goal of $2500 expected dividends return looks to be very difficult to achieve especially with my coffers empty. I'll have to turn to liquidating my ETFs to fund my purchases. Of course saving money and working as much as I can would also help me pick up some more shares. even with discipline it'll be tough to reach $2500 and I honestly think that I'll fall short... but I'll go down swinging.

-the Paperboy

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Dividend Progress Report: April 2012 Edition

I'm slowly getting to my goal of $2500 in dividends. In the month of April, I took positions in BCE Inc. and George Weston Ltd. so I have even more money flowing to me in the future. I also put some funds into a corporate bond ETF for short-term safe keeping until I need it (most likely to buy cheap stock).

Total yield of portfolio - 4.54% (- 0.09%)
Actual dividends received - $449.05 (+ $121.36) *
Expected dividends return if the current positions are held for 1 year - $1513.89 (+$245.58)

The lower yield on George Weston and the ETF brought the average down ever so slightly, even with BCE giving my 5.49%. Right now I'm getting around $100 a month in dividends which is nice but I'm looking for a lot more in the long run. I still have a little bit of money sitting on the sidelines so hopefully I can get it to work for me soon. The $2500 mark is still pretty far away. I know it will take time to get the compounding started but that snowball will really start rolling down the hill eventually. I just need to be patient and keep working at it.

-the Paperboy

*edited from the previous post because I missed the last dividend distribution that CIBC gave me before I transferred my position into my TFSA account.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

BCE/Astral Deal Getting Closer to Closing

Awhile back, shareholders of Astral Media had a vote on whether or not to accept the offer that BCE made to acquire Astral. The result was 99.8% of shareholders accepted the offer. This is good news because that was one more hurdle that was cleared in the acquisition.

The next step was to get approval by the Quebec Superior Court. This went smoothly as well and the deal is expected to be closed in the second half of the year. When a more specific date is determined, shareholders will receive information explaining how to deposit and obtain payment for their shares of Astral.

I previously mentioned that Bell intends to pay in the form of cash & BCE shares; which is fine by me. In fact, I'd rather get all BCE shares if I could, that would increase my position in Bell and increase my overall dividend yield. I'd also avoid the fees associated with using cash to purchase shares (which I would do with the cash received as payment).

Saturday, 26 May 2012

June Budget 2012

I'm going to be keeping the same numbers as last month. However, last month I went over by a considerable amount; for a legitimate reason though (you'll see it in the budget review). I'll probably be able to stay on budget for June... but don't get your hopes up. I still have to get around to giving Rogers a call to lower my phone bill. I guess it's people like me (the ones who are too lazy to call in to get better deals) that pay people like me (the ones who are shareholders of the companies that provide service to the aforementioned lazy people).

-the Paperboy

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

SCENE Loyalty Program: Part II

My last post about the SCENE program talked the kind of awards that could be redeemed and attempted to put a dollar value on each prize to see which one was worth the most for the least amount for points. I also talked about the how we could earn points. Today let's go over the other options to accumulate points so that we can collect points quicker. You'll be able to see free movies in no time.

Along with earning points with the SCENE card on purchases such as movie tickets and concession snacks, Cineplex teamed up with Scotia Bank to offer both a SCENE debit and credit card. When I was younger, I learned the idea that credit cards were pure evil. Everything from television shows and adults gave me lessons on how the little piece of plastic would ultimately leave people drowning in debt. However, now I see that credit cards are a great tool (if properly used of course) and getting one with perks is a nice bonus to having the liquidity that a credit card offers.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Recent Market Plays: May 2012

The last week was horrible for the stock market and people point to the fear of Greece exiting the Eurozone. This resulted in stocks getting slaughtered... which was great news! I jumped on an opportunity to get in on Rogers earlier in the month and last week I made a couple more moves.

I increased my position in Weston and added another member of the Big Five to my portfolio; The Bank of Montreal. As I mentioned before, I ran out of cash with the Rogers move, so to fund the plays I had to sell an ETF (which I was planning to eventually do). The ETF didn't pay any dividends so as a result my yield should be higher for the next dividend progress report. The downside was that I had to sell it at a loss, but I considered the opportunity cost of sitting on an ETF that generated nothing when I could have BMO giving me 5% annually so I took the hit. I can also use the loss to offset future gains so it's not all bad.

Now I'm really strapped in terms of cash. I'll have to find more money somehow because I feel that some bargains may be headed our way if the economic outlook becomes bleak again. Worse comes to worse I can keep selling my ETFs at a loss to get better positions.

-the Paperboy

Thursday, 17 May 2012

SCENE Loyalty Program: Part I

A few posts ago, I talked a little bit about Cineplex (disclaimer: I hold a long position in the company). I also mentioned their loyalty program, SCENE. Today I would like to talk about the program from a consumer's perspective. 

The SCENE program allows moviegoers to collect points to redeem for not only movie tickets, but anything ranging from gift cards to music downloads. There are multiple ways to get points. 100 points are awarded when a movie is seen, up to 150 points are earned when a concession combo is purchased, and also obtained via DVD, Blu-ray and digital movie downloads.

Now that you amassed a large amount of points, what can you spend them on? Along with the free movies (at the cost of 1000 points), there are popcorn and movie snacks (starting at 1000 points),  DVD, Blu-ray and digital downloads (starting at 1500 points), free music (starting at 2000 points) and Bon Appétit e-Gift Cards (which come in 3 denominations; $25, $50, and $100 and costs 3125 points, 6250 points and 12500 points respectively). The Bon Appétit e-Gift Cards can be used at Swiss Chalet, Montana’s, Kelsey’s, Harvey’s and Milestones Grill + Bar, which is a nice variety.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Online Classifieds: Part I

I'm fairly new to the investing world, but when it comes to selling things through websites such as Craigslist or Kijiji, I know a thing or two. Selling things you don't use anymore is a great way to get some of that money back; just ask the university students that have to buy hundreds of dollars worth of textbooks every semester. It may seem a bit intimidating to meet up with a stranger but by setting up an advertisement online, you can go on with your day and wait for an e-mail from people who are interested. I started doing it 3 years ago but it wasn't to sell old items that I didn't use anymore, but to buy and sell retro video games which was is still a hobby of mine.

What can you sell? I've seen people put up anything from old skates to used kitchen appliances. These websites are essentially digital garage sales. There are two websites that I personally use - Craigslist and Kijiji (which is owned by eBay). Each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Cineplex Raises Dividends

Cineplex recently reported its best first quarter adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) result in company history. This was partly due to hit films such as The Hunger Games (which I enjoyed quite a bit) and Dr. Seuss' The Lorax.The Hunger Games had highest grossing first quarter weekend of all time and the third largest opening weekends of all time.

The company declared that it will raise the annual dividends from $1.29 to $1.35. This will be the 2nd increase since converting from an income trust to a corporation in 2011. Cineplex has the majority of the Canadian market and operates theatres under the names Cineplex Odeon, Galaxy, Famous Players, Colossus, Coliseum, SilverCity, Cinema City and Scotiabank Theatres.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

April Budget 2012 Review

Since school was out, I didn't spend as much money on transportation as usual. My house needed a new router so I pitched in my part. I didn't buy myself anything this month, except for deodorant, which I think is kind of necessary. Those two offset the overspending of Food & Entertainment (are you even surprised anymore?) which would have been a little less if I read my coupon for the fine print. My girlfriend finished her hospital placement so we went out to celebrate. It was a nice dinner with a great view which means it was pricey. That's okay though, how often do you finish school?

I forgot to take into consideration that my 6th year anniversary is coming up in May so most likely I'll be going over budget. For now I'll enjoy the $31.32 that I saved.

-the Paperboy

Monday, 7 May 2012

Rogers Communication Position

Today I picked up some shares of Rogers Communications. During the first quarter, the company announced the acquisition of Saskatchewan Communications Network (subject to CRTC approval) and an increase of 11% in dividends. However, Rogers has been effected by a highly competitive environment where it not only competes with the other "Big Three" telecoms, Telus and BCE, but new entrants like Wind are offering consumers lower prices. The industry is also "maturing" meaning that growth will be hard to find and will slow down dramatically.  

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Canadian Oil Sands Raises Dividends

At the end of April, Canadian Oil Sands Ltd announced that it will hike its dividends 17% from 30 cents to 35 cents. Sale volumes were low compared to the first quarter of 2011 mainly due to maintenance issues. The company also reported lower and lower net income compared to last year's first quarter.

Here's a quote from Marcel Coutu, President and Chief Executive Officer:

The increase in the dividend to $0.35 per share reflects confidence in our business fundamentals and the commitment to delivering excess cash to our investors," said Marcel Coutu, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Continued strength in oil prices and Syncrude's solid operating base generated strong revenues, resulting in a growing cash balance over the first quarter. Combined with our recent US$700 million debt issuance, we have the liquidity to fund our major capital projects over the next few years while maintaining a strong balance sheet and dividend.
From the highlights of the report, it seemed to me like the company wasn't having a good  quarter relative to last year. While increasing dividends is usually a boon for shareholders and I enjoy getting a raise when I sat around and did nothing, I'm bothered by the quote.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

May Budget 2012

Let's try this again. Last month, I added an extra $25 to my budget and moved an additional $25 from Item Purchases to Food & Entertainment, giving the expense 50% more breathing room. I'll stick to this for a month or two to see how it goes. Transportation should be a lot less though because it's summer break so I won't be taking public transit as often. I plan to negotiate my phone bill as well because many people I know get more than what my plan gets me, while paying less money. Hopefully I'll get around to that soon.

-the Paperboy

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Canfor's Complicated Structure & Dividend Woe

Oh Canfor, why do you do this to me? Yesterday, the company announced they will be distributing a dividends of 22 cents (compared to 25 cents in the previous quarter). A little background on Canfor will help grasp a better understanding of the situation.

Canfor Pulp Limited Partnership (CPLP) is what owns two pulp mills and one paper & pulp mill. Canfor Pulp Products Inc. (CPPI) use to own 49.8% of CPLP (CPPI is what currently have a position in). Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (CFP) controlled the remaining 50.2%. Under the terms of the Exchange Agreement made back in January 2011 from all parties involved, CFP exercised its right to essentially exchange its 50.2% interest in CPLP for a 50.2% direct interest in CPPI in early March of this year. This resulted in CFP having a controlling interest in CPPI (with the remaining 49.8% of shares being owned by the old shareholders - like me) while CPPI took 100% control of CPLP. Confused yet? I sure was. Basically this is what happened:

Monday, 23 April 2012

Fully Contributed

Today I finally did something I was meaning to do since January 1st 2012. I recently transferred my position in CIBC over to my TFSA account and now it's collecting me dividends tax-free. With that transfer and all the other transfers I already made, I had leftover contribution room of $459.96 - not quite enough to buy another holding.

I didn't want that room to go to waste (although it would be carried over to the next year) so I just topped off the rest in a TFSA savings account. It took me 4 months but I've finally fully contributed to my TFSA. Now all I have to do it set up my DRIPs because the amount of money that would accumulate in the account would not be enough for me to buy shares manually and I'd rather have my money reinvested as soon as possible than to have it sit there for a year until I can pump in another $5000.

Next goal for my TFSA? Eventually I would like to get all of my positions in the TFSA DRIPing so that I can set them on autopilot and while they collect more shares for me, I can focus on the non-registered account. When it gets to the point where what I'm getting back in dividends is substantial, I'll turn the DRIP off and consciously decide when and where to put the funds (I like to call it "manual DRIPing"). No strict deadline for this one because of the annual $5000 contribution limit, but I can speed things up by increasing my positions in companies I already own rather than transferring stock over from my non-registered account. The only issue with that is I need to find some cash so I guess we'll see how much of that I have when December rolls around.

Slowly but surely, I'm putting the pieces of the money-generating puzzle together, and I'm positive that in the long run this dividend approach will reward me.

-the Paperboy

Friday, 20 April 2012

Dividend Progress Report: March 2012 Edition

March was the first month of 2012 where I actually made a move in the market. I took up a position in Kinross Gold, with the intention to make a quick trade. That was a month ago and I still have the position. No worries though because it actually gave me some cash to wait for better days. On to the numbers:

Total yield of portfolio - 4.63% (- 0.25%)
Actual dividends received - $327.69 (+ $92.91)
Expected dividends return if the current positions are held for 1 year - $1268.31 (+$32.64)

The yield took a bit of a hit because of the lower yield of Kinross weighing down the average. Initially, I didn't want to include Kinross in the calculation because it's a trading experiment. It doesn't contribute to my goal of reaching a dividends return of $2500 (I know i said that $2500 was ambitious before but now it seems like a monster of a task) if all my positions were held for a year because I don't plan to hold this long-term. However, it does distribute a dividend and that should be considered in every calculation that involves dividends.

Over the summer I'm hoping to get the time to fix my spreadsheet so that I can extrapolate the amount of cash I going to get by the end of this year rather than just have a number of what I would have "if I held the current positions for 1 year". This is because many things can happen in 365 days so having my portfolio have the same positions for a whole year is unrealistic so a better metric should be used.

-the Paperboy