Friday, 30 March 2012

April Budget 2012

Okay for April I decided to move money from item purchases to food and entertainment. I also increased my budget by $25, again adding to food and entertainment. That comes to a $50 increase in that expense So hopefully I can get it to work now. Losing the $25 from item purchases isn't too bad because I rarely buy anything anymore. If I do it's usually discount books at Indigo.

I recently stopped taking a shift at one of my jobs so my income will be less. It's more important than ever to try and keep spending under control. It should be easier in April because it's exam time and my exams go on until the end of the month. That means more studying and less fun. Of course less fun means less spending which in turn means more savings.

-the Paperboy

Monday, 26 March 2012

February Budget 2012 Review

March is wrapping up, so it's the perfect time to talk about February's budget right?  I can't even remember last month that well to be honest. I know that I took my parents' car out a lot that month so I felt bad and pumped in $20 of gas. That went into the transportation section. February was also Valentine's Day and my mom's birthday so I went out on both occasions.

Food and entertainment is really killing me. I've really tried to be good though, since I started blogging, I pack my lunch to school and resist the urge to buy food. It's still what I spend most of my money on. Last year was worse; I went out to eat every weekday. If my spending is too much right now, imagine if I started to count how much I spent last year... I don't even want to know, the number would probably be too much for me to handle.

-the Paperboy

Friday, 23 March 2012

Dividend Progress Report: February 2012 Edition

Not much has happened since January in terms of positions... by not much I mean nothing happened at all. However, some companies took it upon themselves to help me reach my goals of getting $2000 in dividend by the end of the year (I just went back and read the past dividend progress reports and I realize that I didn't put a goal - and that's no fun right? So I'm hoping to reach $2000, I may not receive $2000 by the end of the year, but I want to get to the point where if I just held my positions for a full year without doing anything, I would receive $2000).

Saturday, 17 March 2012

BCE Buys Astral Media

Yesterday, it was announced that BCE Inc. was going to acquire Astral Media for $3.38 billion. This is a play from Bell to expand its french-media content so that it has a stronger presence in Quebec. If the deal goes through, Bell will own all of Astral Media's assets including all the pay and specialty television services, radio stations and out-of-home advertising activities (such as the advertisements seen in the majority of bus shelters in my hometown of Toronto).

Friday, 9 March 2012

Royal Bank Dividend Increase

At the beginning of the month, Royal Bank decided to increase it's dividends. Canada's largest bank hiked it's quarterly distributions to 57 cents a share which is a 6% increase. This is great because I plan to hold my position in the company for the foreseeable future. Hopefully Royal Bank (along with all my other positions) continue to increase dividend for years to come. Too bad CIBC didn't follow suit this quarter...

-the Paperboy

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Canfor Cuts Dividends

I was recently reminded of one of the key points to investing; keep a tab on what you're investing in! Turns out in early February, Canfor cut dividends 38%. The company didn't say why they were cutting dividends specifically, but repeatedly stated weakness in global pulp markets as a reason for its performance. 

Even with the cut I have a high 8% yield. However, my long-term plan is to hold stock of companies that will consistently increase their dividends. This is counterproductive so when an opportunity arises, I may have to let this one go. Luckily for me, I doubled down awhile back and because of that, I can sell my position and even get a nice capital gain from it. If I knew about this sooner (which I should have - no excuses there) then I could have kept an eye out to see where a nice exit point would be.

For now, I'll hold the position. The payout ratio isn't too high and it seems like the debt is covered so I still like the company; it may just be going through a rough patch because of an extended outage at one of the mills and lower pulp prices. I also admire the fact that they aren't afraid to cut dividends when they feel that they need to - rather than attempt to keep up a dividend that isn't affordable and in the end would become detrimental to the company. However, I won't hesitate to pull the trigger because Canfor doesn't seem to fit with my overall plan and I think sticking to that is important so it may be time to part ways.

-the Paperboy