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