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).