Monday, 30 January 2012

February Budget 2012

From now until the end of the school year, I won't be purchasing a monthly bus pass. This is due to the fact that I have every other Friday off from school. Hopefully using tokens will save me some money albeit with less convenience. I should save where I can in terms of transportation, especially when the TTC rang in the new year with a fare hike. Nothing like celebrating 2012 by paying $6 for a round trip on the Rocket right?

Everything else will stay the same because I think I may have finally got my spending under control. Either that or I've just been so swamped with school and work that I haven't really had time to spend money. Judging by the lack of posts, the latter is more likely to be the reason I'm saving money as opposed to the former. Which is good... at least for my wallet, my social life is taking a beating though. That may all change because reading week is in February so I'll see if I can keep up the discipline.

-the Paperboy

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Financial Goals for 2012

Time has been flying by for me these past couple of days. We are already past the half way mark for January. My portfolio has been recovering nicely since we rang in the new year. While this is good news, I've been having difficulty deploying funds because I can't find attractive entry points. The issue is that a mere couple months ago, all the stocks that I keep an eye on were much cheaper. It can be argued that some of them are still at a nice valuation but I'm going to take a page out of my girlfriend's book on shopping, I just saw them on sale - there's no way I'm going to buy them for more than I know I can get them for.

Now that 2012 is in full swing, I'm sitting on some cash that I transferred from my TFSA savings account to my TFSA margin account and waiting for the right time to pounce. I guess that's how it goes sometimes, when you want to invest, there's not enough money and when you have some cash, there's nowhere to put it. Along with investing in my TFSA margin account, I have some other goals for the year that I'll hopefully be able to accomplish.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Corus Dividend Hike

Earlier this week, Corus Entertainment announced that the company will be increasing dividends by 10% this year after announcing a $9.1 million in profit in the first quarter (higher than the $90.7 million from the previous year).  Revenue from the radio division has dropped and advertising revenue is weaker than last year but the specialty channel business more than made up for the decrease. Things should start to pick up once other companies feel comfortable enough to start using a more liberal marketing budget. The hike is not a surprise to me since Corus has been increasing dividends on an annual basis for at least the last 5 years earning it a spot on the Canadian Dividend Aristocrat list (a great starting point for investment ideas by the way). Corus has been distributing dividends since 2003 and hasn't looked back since. I recently increased my position in Corus and I couldn't have done it at a better time. I'll be holding my position for the forseeable future so keep the hikes coming!

-the Paperboy

Monday, 9 January 2012

DRIPing with Questrade

I recently received dividends from my position Sun Life Financial and the amount was high...too high. In fact, the distribution was high enough to cover one share of SLF which means the DRIP that I set up wasn't actually set up. I contacted them through their online chat to see what was going on. Turns out that I wasn't enrolled in the DRIP (this was probably because I filled out two DRIP forms when I went in to their offices; they may have misplaced one). No problem though because the agent enrolled me in the DRIP and even bought a share for me and reimbursed me the commission charge. Great service although it did take awhile before I was connected to an agent.

One thing to note for people who plan to use DRIPs with Questrade is that they buy all the additional shares on the open market and not directly with the company. This means that all the discounts that the companies offer on their DRIPs will not be applied. The discount was a large incentive for me to start DRIPing so I'll have to reevaluate whether or not it's worth it for me. For now I'll just let my SLF DRIP run.

-the Paperboy

Friday, 6 January 2012

Dividends Progress Report: Beginning of the Year

2012 marks the first full calender year that I've become obsessed with personal finance. I started in late May last year and it has quickly become one of my pastimes. Since it's the beginning of the year, I thought it would be nice to see where I'm at in terms of dividends distribution right now and how far along I'll be when next December rolls around. I'll have monthly updates like the budgets to help keep track and hopefully I end up like Scrooge McDuck... the wealthy part... not the duck part.

On track for an annual dividends return of - $1375.35
Total yield of portfolio - 5.36%
Actual dividends received - $0
Expected dividends return if the current positions are held for 1 year - $1375.35

The difference between the first number and the fourth number is that as the year progresses and I add positions to my portfolio, I'll naturally be missing some distributions. The first number will show how much I expect to get at the end of the calender year while the fourth number shows how much I would have got if I had my positions since the beginning of the year. Having the two numbers will show how much of an impact time has on investing. As I collect more data, I'll start plotting a graph to help visualize my progress.

-the Paperboy

Monday, 2 January 2012

December Budget 2011 Review

Well it turns out that December wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The big reason is that I didn't really have to go and buy gifts this year. My girlfriend took care of all of it because she's amazing (by the way if you're into fashion you should go and check out her stuff). I knew I was going to be spending a lot for food & entertainment for the last month of the year and I'm actually surprised that I'm only over by $4. Anyway, it's January now so it's time to bring my spending back down and keep it in check.

-the Paperboy