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?