The Last Stock Purchase of the Year!

I’m happy to announce that the last stock purchase of the year is completed. I decided to add to my TD Bank position. The TD shares slightly decreased this week so I decided to take advantage of a lower price. I bought 13 shares at $73.76 per share and added $39.88 to my forward dividend income. TD is a quarterly dividend payer. The next ex-dividend date for TD is Jan 9, 2020 and the payout date on January 30, 2020.

One of my investment objectives for 2019 was to invest in Canadian Banks. I think that worked out as planned. Over the course of a year, I bought shares in Royal Bank, TD, BMO, and CIBC. I also own shares in a regional bank, Laurentian Bank.

My total portfolio exposure to Canadian banks is about 11%. Next year I plan to double my positions in Banks and start a position in BNS. Canadian Banks are very well run businesses and they can weather the storm in case of a recession.

And speaking of a recession, I hear more and more topics regarding the recession in 2020. Analysts like to hype the drama to sour investors' sentiment. Don't fall for that trap. Even if the correction happens, it will be short-lived. Take advantage of any corrections and invest in blue-chip stocks and you will be fine.

What are your investment plans for 2020???

Portfolio Value Update - November 2019

Hey everyone! Welcome back. It’s time to report my monthly progress. November is now behind us and we only have one month left in this fiscal year. In my monthly reporting, I like to monitor my stock portfolio value, dividend income, and overall growth. These reports help me stay motivated on reaching my financial goals.

Portfolio Value
In November, my portfolio value increased by $3,016 and closed at $83,673. That’s a big increase considering that I only invested $575 of fresh capital and reinvested about $350 from dividends. The rest of the increase came from stocks appreciation. The TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) recorded good gains in November, but I expect the market to turn around in December for a tax-loss selling season.

Recent Stock Purchase

Hey guys! My monthly stock purchase is complete. This month, I was looking into different stocks to buy and decided to add some shares to my Restaurant Brands (QSR.TO) position. On November 20, 2019, I bought 11 shares of QSR.TO, therefore, I doubled my position. My purchase price was $87.24 per share.

I bought the first batch of QSR shares in December 2018, about a year ago. Back then I paid $71.70 per share. During the year, the share price increased as high as $104 and recently pulled back to $85 level. So I figured it was a good opportunity for me to add to my position. At this price the stock is yielding about 3% which is decent for this kind of business.

If you’re not familiar with Restaurant Brands, think of Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. Restaurant Brands is a holding company of these three fast-food chain businesses.

If the share price continues to stay low, I will be adding to my position. I believe this company will do very well with their 10-year global expansion plans.

Portfolio Value Update - October 2019

Hello everybody. Welcome back to my blog. I hope you are doing well. The month of October flew by and it’s time to report my progress. Now that your sugar level is down from all the trick-or-treating sweets, let’s dive into the numbers.

Portfolio Value
In October, my portfolio value increased by $238 to $80,656.76. My stocks in general lost some value, but new money contribution and dividends helped my portfolio stay above $80K mark.

New Stock Purchase: Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO)

Hey guys! I purchased a new stock today. About a year ago, I mentioned  about my plans to invest more money in Canadian banks. Since then I bought Laurentian Bank, TD, RBC, and CIBC. So now it’s the turn to buy the Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO). Since I live in Montreal, I got to have some shares of BMO.

Just kidding. Just because I live in Montreal, doesn’t mean I need to own BMO. My decision was based on compelling valuation. At the moment, I believe that BMO is the best buy among its peers. BMO trades at 10.25 price-to-earnings ratio, pays 4.25% dividend yield and the payout ratio is in low 40’s. The Bank of Montreal has paid the dividend for 190 consecutive years! They usually raise the dividend twice a year and I believe they will continue to raise that dividend going forward.

I had enough money to buy 11 shares of BMO at $96.79 per share. Not too low, but not to high either. The one-year price range for BMO is between $86 and $106. So at $96, I’m right in the middle of the range. Eleven shares is a small lot, therefore I may continue to add BMO shares on weakness until I hit a full position. I would like to own around 50 shares.

At the moment, BMO pays a quarterly dividend of $1.03 per share. This purchase will add $11.33 per quarter or $45.32 per year.

Let me know what you think about this purchase and about BMO in general. Do you own BMO?

TSX Market News - ALA, CAR.UN, CU

The first week of October is over. The first three days were brutal. We went through some big sell-offs. The last two days markets stabilized and recovered a bit. I think banks sold off the most. This could be a good buying opportunity. My exposure to Canadian banks is still very low. So I might buy some banks of the dip. Here's the weekly roundup of the stocks I own.

Canadian Dividend Stocks With October EX-Dividend Date

If you want to buy Canadian dividend stocks with the October Ex-dividend date, then check out the list of dividend stocks below. These are not my recommendations and you should always do your research before investing any of your money. Having said that, I believe the stocks mentioned below are reputable names with sustainable dividends. The stocks are arranged in ascending order of the ex-dividend date.

Portfolio Value Update - September 2019

Hello everybody. Welcome back to my blog. We’re now in October and it’s time to report my September results. The markets have been pretty crazy lately. Lots of upside. The bank stocks did very well, increasing 7-10% on average in one month. This resulted my portfolio to reach new highs, in fact, New Milestone!! But, I don’t want to get too excited about that. We might experience the opposite move in October. The stock market is a roller coaster, the stocks go up and down, but the long-term trend is up. As long as we pick up solid companies that can sustain economic downturns, we should do fine. Without further ado, let’s look at my portfolio value, dividend income and YouTube earnings.

TSX Market News - BCE, BPY, CM, BIP, EMA, PLZ

Hey guys! The business week is over and I would like to summarize important news about the stocks I own, or the stocks on my watchlist. Here’s the list of business news from September 23 to September 27, 2019.

Bell Mobility announced that wireless broadband service is now available to all 25 communities in Nunavut. This is positive news for Canada’s largest communications company as they will be able to reach more customers in remote locations.

Brookfield Infrastructure to become a Canadian Corporation and Split 9 to 1

Brookfield Infrastructure will convert to a Canadian corporation and will have a reverse stock split of 9 to 1. If you own Units in BIP.UN, they will be converted into BIPC Class A shares once the transaction is complete. For every 9 shares of BIP, you will receive 1 share of BIPC. The dividend will remain the same.

There are some benefits of the creation of BIPC. This will increase demand from U.S. investors due to more favorable tax attributes, and an increase demand from investors that normally do not invest in partnership units. Which means that there will be more money chasing the shares, potentially increasing the share price.

Sold Dream Global REIT (DRG.UN.TO). Invested in Northland Power (NPI.TO) and Genworth MI Canada (MIC.TO)

The Buyout of Dream Global REIT

If you're a shareholder of Dream Global REIT (DRG.UN.TO), you're probably know by now that the company will be acquired in December 2019. Last week, the company received a buyout offer, consequently I decided to sell my shares today and reinvest in other solid companies.

I've been a shareholder of DRG since early 2016. DRG is a pure European play. This was my only exposure to European real estate. I really liked their properties. I had 225 shares at an average cost of $9.05 per share. I sold all shares today for $16.57 and locked in $1,692 of capital gain. I also received over $500 in dividends for holding the stock for three years. Overall, my total return was around 100% thanks to the acquisition. Although, it's a great return, it's still sucks to see it go. It's the second REIT from my portfolio being bought this year. If you recall, a few months ago, Pure Multi-Family REIT was in a buyout deal as well.

What do you do for a living? Manage a 350K Portfolio

Today I'm going to share a story about my work colleague from my previous job. Going back to 2010, I knew a guy at my work who quit his job with a 350K stock portfolio. For the purpose of this article, I will call him John (not his real name). For dividend growth investors, a 350K portfolio is very small and it would be almost impossible to achieve financial independence unless your living expense is under a $1,000 per month. In my case, a 350K portfolio would generate approximately $1,450 per month which is not enough to cover my cost of living. My cost of living in Montreal city with two kids is around $4,000 per month. So how did John succeeded to make a living from his portfolio?

Portfolio Value Update - August 2019

Hello everybody. Welcome back to my blog. I’ve been very busy lately and I apologize for delaying my August update. In terms of portfolio progress, August was a great month, no complaints here. On a personal note, my wife and I celebrated our birthdays together. We’re August birthday people with one week apart so we celebrate our birthdays together. And to spoil the wife, we got her a brand new Samsung s10+. It’s a nice phone! Anyway, let’s dive into the numbers and see how my portfolio did in August.

Had an Accident this Morning!

Not my fault. I was rear ended! I'm Fine!!

My car!!

This is the car I built last year. Some of you may remember it.  I put so much effort restoring it.

On top of that, it's my birthday today. If you happy and you know clap your hands "clap, clap".

Anyway, I will have insurance company estimate repair cost. I don't think it's totaled. But it will cost a few grand replacing the trunk and the bumper.

Luckily, the rear quarters are intact, so replacing the parts should do the trick. It's an unexpected hustle added to my daily hustles.

Because of that, I may be late posting my August update! Take care, guys! Be safe! Catch you later!

New Stock Purchase: BPY.UN

Hey guys! New funds were available for investment so I decided to buy some shares today. In my previous post, I gave some ideas in what to invest in August. Well, I made a good use of it and decided to add more shares to my BPY position.

Brookfield Property Partners is one of the world's largest investors in real estate. The company has commercial properties in US, Canada, UK, Germany, Brazil, India, and South Korea. BPY currently owns 282 office properties, 168 retail destinations, residential apartment properties totaling 58,000 apartments, 123 hotels and resorts totaling 25,185 rooms; 49 student housing properties, and 68 logistic properties. The size of the company is insanely huge! $194 Billion of real estate assets under management!

Canadian Stocks with August EX Dividend Date

If you’re a Canadian investor and looking to buy dividend paying stocks, then here’s a list of Canadian companies with August EX dividend date. You will need to buy stocks one day before the Ex-div date to be eligible for dividend payment in September. I’ve compiled a list of solid businesses that are investment worthy. All companies listed below are not my investment recommendations and I encourage you to do your own research. For disclosure, I own stocks in FTS, BEP, BIP, and BPY.

Ex-Div Date
Payable Date
Enbridge Inc.
Fortis Inc.
Manulife Financial Corporation
Magna International Inc.
Sun Life Financial Inc.
Brookfield Renewable Partners
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners
Brookfield Property Partners
Great-West Lifeco Inc.

As you can see from the list above, there are many great companies to choose from. The dividend yields are decent as well. Let me know what you think of this list and what are you buying in August.

Portfolio Value Update - July 2019

Welcome back to my blog. It’s time to review the month of July. July was a great month. We went on a road trip. My portfolio value reached an all-time high and my monthly dividends reached a new milestone. If you’re interested in my road trip, I can write a separate blog post, but for now, let’s get straight to the numbers.

Portfolio Value
In July, my portfolio value increased by $2,001 to $75,993. 25% of the increase came from fresh capital; the rest came from dividends and stocks appreciation. I must admit that the stock market is pricey right now and there are fewer deals on the table. We should see a pullback in the fall and towards the end of the year. We always do :)

Recent Sale and New Buy!

Hey guys! There was some movement in my investment portfolio. I did some selling and buying today. Let’s start with a sale.

Unfortunately, I sold all my shares in this company. They are in the process of being acquired by Cortland Partners. Pure Multi-Family was a great publicly-traded company with lots of potential and good dividend. I knew that they were going to be acquired this year. They did receive an offer last year, but it didn’t go through. REITs like that don’t stay on the market for too long. I really like their properties. They mainly focus on resort-style apartment communities, like in the picture below.

When can I be Financially Independent?

Today is one of those days I wish I was financially independent. I don’t want fancy things. All I want is to have enough income from other sources to cover my living expenses. Once I achieve that goal, I can live on my terms. The longer I live, the more I realize how important freedom is. Today’s society is financially corrupt. We live in a material world where the money is required for everything. People are obligated to work every day to pay for the mortgage, rent, cars, food, utilities, insurances, daycare, education, transportation, entertainment – basically for everything. Constant cash flow is necessary to survive in our world. Unfortunately, you can’t mine money, you can’t print money, you can’t magically duplicate paper money. The only way to make money is to work. Either you work for a company, or work from home, or run a business, you constantly have to exchange your time for the money. For me, freedom means having free time. The more free time you have the more “free” you are.

Portfolio Value Update - June 2019

Welcome back to my blog. First off, Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian followers. We went downtown to see the parade and I made a video of it. I actually uploaded the video to my YouTube channel this morning. 

Portfolio Value
In June, my portfolio value increased by $1,667 to $73,992. Finally, it broke the iceberg. For the past 3 months, my portfolio value wouldn't budge. It was stuck at 72K despite stock purchases and dividend reinvesting. I'm happy they way my stocks were performing in June. The balance closed 8 bucks short of hitting the 74K. I think I will surpass that next month.

New Stock Purchase: CIBC

Hello everyone. I bought another bank stock. I mentioned, at the end of last year, about my plans for investing new money in Canadian Banks. Since then, I’m already invested in TD, RBC, LB, and now CIBC. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is the fifth largest bank in Canada. I bought CIBC for its cheap valuation and my portfolio diversification.

CIBC valuation & performance
At this time, CIBC trades at very cheap multiples. The P/E ratio is at 9.3 – the lowest multiple among its peers and its own historical average. The P/B ratio is at 1.4 vs the industrial average of 1.7. CIBC also has the highest dividend yield compared to other banks. The current dividend yield is at 5.3% supported by a safe payout ratio of 48%. CIBC also has a great track record of increasing the dividend. In the last 3 years, the bank has raised the dividend six times.

Stock Purchase
On June 21, 2019, I purchased 8 shares of CIBC for $105.28 per share. The bank pays $1.40 in dividends every three months. Therefore, by adding 8 shares to my portfolio, I will increase my dividend income by $11.20 per quarter or by $44.80 annually.

Portfolio Value Update - May 2019

Portfolio Value
WOW! Time flies. It’s already June 3rd and I’m due for May update. In May, my portfolio value increased by $79 to $72,325. It’s not much but it’s still an increase. At some point in May, the portfolio value was getting close to $74K, however last week the stock market was volatile and my portfolio paid the price. Stocks got cheaper, but that’s perfect for me because I’ll pick up more stocks at a better price.

New Stock Purchase: Brookfield Infrastructure

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners owns and operates a global network of infrastructure companies in utilities, transportation, energy and communications infrastructure. It invests in transmission and telecommunication lines, toll roads, ports and pipelines.

I’m a big fan of Brookfield company and its subsidiaries such as Real Estate, Renewable Power, Infrastructure, and Private Equity. I already have a big position in their Real Estate portfolio and now it’s time to build a big position in their Infrastructure assets. Eventually, I want to be invested in all four subsidiaries.

Stock Sale: Morneau Shepell (MSI.TO)

Hey guys, just a quick update on the recent stock sale. This is my first sale of 2019. Those who follow me, know that I usually don’t sell stocks. I’m a buy-and-hold kind of guy. Anyway, today I sold my shares of Morneau Shepell, ticker MSI.TO. Morneau Shepell is an HR services company. They mainly provide consulting and employee well-being services. I sold the stock for the numerous of reasons that I will list below. 

Reasons for sale:
  • The stock trades at historically high P/E Ratio and P/B Ratio
  • They did not raise a dividend in a very long time
  • The dividend yield became too low to hold the stock
  • Profit margins are dropping from year to year
  • I have better investment opportunities in mind

Portfolio Value Update - April 2019

Portfolio Value 
In April my portfolio value decreased by $25 to $72,246. It’s still pretty high considering that my portfolio value was about $60,000 in the end of 2018. Since the beginning of this year, I added $2,300 of new money through contributions and $1,300 through dividends. The rest of the value increase came from stocks appreciation.

Dividends received in April 2019: $333.64
Dividends received in March 2018: $255.89
Year-Over-Year Dividend Growth: $77.75 or 30%
Year-To-Date Dividend Income: $1,305.16

Dividends received in 2019 was $333.64. Still a solid year-over-year growth of 30%, so no complaints here. New monthly stock purchases and dividend increases helped me achieve the 30% growth. Year-to-date dividend income surpassed $1,300 which is enough to cover one month of my condo expenses.

New Stock Purchase: Morguard REIT (MRT.UN.TO)

Bonjour! Welcome back to the blog! This post will be short. Just a follow up on my monthly stock purchase. Today I bought Morguard REIT; the most discounted REIT in Canada. If you recall, last month I wrote a post about the cheapest REIT in Canada. Since I have a small position in that stock, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to add more shares while the price is still depressed.

Stock Purchase
Today I bought 70 shares of MRT.UN.TO for $12.40 per share. Now I have 210 shares of Morguard at an average cost of $13.50. The company pays 8 cents per share so the new purchase will boost my monthly dividend income by $5.60. Let me know what you think about Morguard. 

Two Canadian Companies Chasing the “$100 per Share”

In today’s post I would like to write about two Canadian companies chasing the $100 per share. Both companies trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange and both companies have exciting growth opportunities for decades to come. Most Canadian investors are familiar with those companies and probably use their services on regular basis. The companies in focus are Couche-Tard and Restaurant Brands International. There are both trending towards a $100 per share, is just of matter of time. 

Alimentation Couche-Tard (TSX : ATD.A.TO / ATD.B.TO)
Couche-Tard is a Canadian multinational operator of convenience stores and fuel stations. The company has 15,000 stores across Canada, US, Europe, Mexico, Japan, China and Indonesia. The company operates its corporate stores under mainly Couche-Tard, Mac's, Circle K, On the Run and also under the affiliated brands 7-jours, Dairy Mart, Daisy Mart and Winks.

Here’s why the stock will continue to climb higher:
  • Global expansion of convenience stores
  • Pot Shop partnership with world’s biggest pot company Canopy Growth
  • Implementation of electric cars charging stations

Portfolio Value Update - March 2019

Hey everyone! I’m happy to announce that we finally did it. My wife and I retired today. Here’s how we did it. We got rid of all money-sucking liabilities such as condo, car, and Costco membership. We bought a 1999 live-in van for traveling across Canada and US. Our life style is now supported by three stock investment portfolios and two YouTube channels. Most of the summer months we will spend in Canada and in winter we will travel down south, closer to Mexico border. I feel safer going down there knowing that a big wall will be built to protect us from gringos. We don’t need their drugs, we have a perfectly legal, high-quality leaves in Canada. Oh by the way, today is April 1st and it’s time to update you on how we did in March. Happy April Fool's Day!

Portfolio Value
In March my investment portfolio value increased by $3,651 to $72,271. The majority of the increase came from stocks appreciation. Once again, my REIT and Utility holdings did very well. I invested heavily in those sectors last year because they were under pressure due to fear of interest rate hikes. There were a few hikes, but nothing major that could impact companies’ profitability. REITs and Utilities have fully recovered, providing a good boost to my portfolio value.

Dollarama Stock is down 38%! Is it time to invest in Dollarama?

In today’s post I want to write about Dollarama Inc and how investors can get caught up in high growth stocks. High growth stocks are great till they last. At some point, high growth companies hit a plateau and multiples start to collapse. This is exactly what happened to Dollarama Inc.

About Dollarama
Dollarama Inc. is a Canadian dollar store retail chain headquartered in Montreal. Since 2009, it has been Canada's largest retailer of items for four dollars or less. Dollarama has over 1200 stores and has a presence in every province of Canada; Ontario has the most stores.

Past Performance
For the past decade, Dollarama has been one of the best performing stocks on the TSX. Since 2009, they doubled the number of stores and gradually increased prices from $1 to $4 on some of the items, and their stock price increased tenfold. Investors were so excited about the growth that they were willing to pay a high multiple for the stock. How high? Up to 40 x P/E ratio. But sometimes, a high P/E ratio is not the problem. The problem is when the stock price outperforms earnings growth. That’s why it’s important to pay attention at P/E-to-growth ratio (PEG). In Dollarama’s case, the PEG ratio was too high.

New Milestone and New Stock Purchase

New Milestone 
Hey guys! I finally reached a new milestone. My investment portfolio is now worth over $70,000. This is just an insane number. I never had so much money in my life. When I first started investing in 2010, I had only a $1,000 as my start-up capital. Back then I did not contribute to my portfolio on regular basis. I would put some money here and there and there was a few years when I did not put any money at all.

In 2015 I decided to get serious about investing and contribute on monthly basis. This is when my portfolio started to grow. I was adding money and reinvesting dividends every month. In four years my portfolio grew from $20,000 to $70,000. I will continue to contribute every month for as long as my financial situation allows me.

Stock Purchase - TD Bank (TSE:TD)
On March 21, 2019 I purchased 15 shares of TD Bank for $74.94 per share. TD is the second biggest bank in Canada, serving over 10 million customers through more than 1,100 branches. This purchase adds $44.40 to my yearly dividends and I’m locking in 3.9% yield. Not the highest dividend yield, but TD Bank has the highest dividend growth rate compared to other banks like RY and BNS.

Top reasons why I picked TD over other Banks:
  • Highest Dividend Growth Rate – 11.48% for the last 5 years
  • Highest Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) – 7.4%
  • US exposure
  • I personally do business with TD

My Favorite Banks
TD is not the only bank that I like. I also like Royal Bank because it’s biggest bank in Canada. But since I already have Royal Bank in my portfolio, I decided to start a new position in TD. Also, the TD’s ex-dividend date is sooner than RY, so it makes more sense to buy TD this month and RY next month.

How About BNS?
Bank of Nova Scotia or Scotiabank is the third biggest bank in Canada and the most international Canadian bank. BNS is very favored by investors because it has a higher dividend yield. That’s all good. I’m just not excited about Mexico and Latin America exposure. I prefer US exposure of TD Bank instead. BNS has the lowest dividend growth rate among TD and RY. That doesn’t mean that I will never own BNS. Things always change. For the time being, I want to grow my RY and TD positions before investing in BNS.

Next Purchase
I’m thinking to add Royal Bank next month as it will perfectly align with ex-dividend date.

Your Thoughts
That's it for today's update! Let me know what you think of TD and would you buy it for the long-run. Also, let me know what is your favorite bank and why? Take care!

The Cheapest REIT in Canada

At the moment, Morguard REIT (MRT.UN.TO) is the cheapest REIT in Canada. The stock is currently trading at 52% discount to its book value. The current stock price sits at $12.45, but according to their book value calculation, the company is worth $26 per share. Now, it doesn’t mean that you should buy the stock at 12.45 and expect the stock to jump to 26. There must be a reason why this REIT is discounted so much and today I decided to dig in and see what’s going on.

About Morguard
Morguard Real Estate Investment Trust is a closed-end trust listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol MRT.UN. The Trust had total real estate assets of $3.0 billion as at December 31, 2018.

The mandate of the Trust is to accumulate a Canadian portfolio of high-quality real estate assets – then actively manage the portfolio to generate steady, dependable returns for Unitholders, through a stable and increasing cash flow. This offers the potential for long-term capital appreciation.

As you can see on the graph above, the company is invested in three asset types: Retail, Office, and Industrial. Their properties are spread out across six Canadian provinces. It’s a good strategy to be diversified across the coasts, unfortunately the Alberta exposure did not play in their favor.

Alberta Exposure
We all remember what happened to Alberta economy when oil prices collapsed in 2014/2015. Companies went bankrupt, people lost jobs, home prices collapsed. Morguard REIT was affected as well by losing tenants in office and retail sectors.

But we’re now in 2019, the Alberta economy is slowly stabilizing, oil prices are slowly recovering, and unemployment rate is starting to decline again. Going forward, Morguard should not be affected from economic slowdown.

Retail Exposure
Alberta is not the only reason why the stock is traded at such a huge discount. The other major concern is their exposure to Retail sector. I believe they should evenly diversify their asset class. They should get rid half of their retail portfolio and invest more in Industrial sector. Industrial sector is a lot safer than Retail, in my opinion.

Discount to Book Value
I’m speculating that the market discounts 20% of share price due to their Alberta exposure and 20% due to their Retail exposure. Once Alberta is fully recovered, Morguard should be trading back at 20% discount to book value, meaning that the stock price could be above $20 within the next three to five years. Keep in mind that prior to oil price collapse, the shares of Morguard REIT were trading at par with book value.

Having said all that, should you invest in Morguard REIT today?

Yes IF:

You like to buy stocks at huge discounts, aka “Value Investor”

You like to get paid while you wait

You believe Alberta economy will recover

You like Morguard’s assets

No IF:

You focus on growth stocks

You don’t believe in Alberta economy

You don’t like Morguard’s assets

If you don’t have three to five years of patience

Am I invested in Morguard?
Yes. I bought my first tranche of 70 shares in 2017 for $14.80 per share. I bought my second tranche of 70 shares in 2018 for $13.33 per share. I hold a total of 140 shares or MRT at an average cost of $14.06 per share. 

Am I losing money on this investment?
Yes and No. My position is underwater, but since I didn’t sell my shares, I did not lose money. My current unrealized capital loss on this investment is $225.40. However, the company paid me $190 in dividends in two years for owing the stock. So basically I break even.

Will I buy more shares of Morguard?
Yes, especially if the share price dips below $12. I will take advantage of a huge discount and it will be a great opportunity for me to lower my average cost.

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions, please comment below. Also, let me know if you follow this company and if you are invested in it? What do you think of Alberta economy and the huge discount this stock has?

Is it better to invest in real estate or in REIT?

I decided to write this post because it’s an interesting topic as more and more people looking for different ways to build wealth. Some people build wealth by investing in real estate, others build wealth by investing in stocks.

Just to be clear when I talk about real estate I’m talking about rental properties, and when I mention REIT I’m talking about Residential Real Estate Investment Trust.

Rental property
Rental property is not considered as your primary residence. Rental property is when you buy a property and rent it out. You become a landlord and you collect rental income from your tenants.

When you invest in REITs, you don’t own any properties, you only own units in that trust. REITs raise money by issuing units. Usually they raise millions of dollars to fund property acquisitions. They manage rental properties, collect rent and distribute profits to unit holders. Most REITs in Canada pay distribution / dividend every month.

So now you know the difference between real estate and REIT.

Let’s move forward.

Be grateful and appreciate the things you have!

Be grateful for the things you have and enjoy the present moment of your life. I know you want to be financially independent. I know you want to have passive income supporting your lifestyle. I know you want to build a successful business and become wealthy. But remember to be happy while you’re achieving your goals. Don’t feel miserable just because you don’t have something in your life yet. Take little steps towards your goals and enjoy the progress.

Portfolio Value Update - February 2019

Portfolio Value
On February 28, 2019 my investment portfolio was valued at $68,620. The value increased by $3,024 from previous month. I only added $575 of my own capital. The rest came from dividend payments and stock appreciation. And speaking of stock appreciation, I can highlight three companies that added significant value to my portfolio. These are Altagas, Canadian Apartment REIT and Killam Properties. You would think that REITs and Utilities perform badly when interest rates are going up, but in reality it doesn’t always boil down to interest rates. People need a place to live and they have to pay the utility bills. These expenses are unavoidable unless you live in your parents’ basement.

New Buy: Cominar

In my recent blog post, I outlined three potential stock picks for February 2019. These were Freehold Royalties, Artis, and Cominar. I did a quick review of the three companies again and decided to add to my Cominar position.

About the Company
Cominar is the largest REIT in the province of Quebec. I love this company for high-quality shopping malls that are located in the greater Montreal area. In fact, when I go shopping, I always end up going to shopping malls owned my Cominar. They are very appealing, modern and easy-to-get-to. Apart from retail properties, Cominar also owns industrial and office buildings. Unfortunately, they don’t own any residential properties. Hopefully, they will start working on that.

I Saved $100 on Electricity Bill

I got my electricity bill in the mail and was really surprised to see how much I saved. I saved a $100 on my hydro bill by doing a few tricks and today I would like to share with you what I did.

Before I get down to more details, let me tell you what it takes to save on electricity. You need to isolate your place so the cold air doesn’t come in and the hot air doesn’t come out. That’s the basic rule.

Here’s what I did.

I isolated my windows and my patio door and reduced hot water consumption.

Trick #1

Portfolio Value Update - January 2019

Portfolio Value
Everybody is aware that January was a pretty good month so I won’t be wasting your time sugar-coating it how good it was. On January 31, 2019 my investment portfolio was valued at $65,596. The value increased by $5,470 from previous month. This was the best monthly increase of all times. Main reason for the increase – stocks went up. To be honest, I did not expect the market to rebound so fast.

Dividends received in January 2019: $320.40
Dividends received in January 2018: $240.83
Year-Over-Year Dividend Growth: $79.57 or 33%
Year-To-Date Dividend Income: $320.40

One of the activities that I enjoy is to sit down with my cup of coffee and calculate all the dividends that I received during the month. This is the third month in a row that I received over $300. All dividends are reinvested into dividend paying stocks.

My Investment City

Hey guys! I used this picture from the game called SimCity and I tried to apply all of my investments on the map. My investment philosophy is very simple. I invest in businesses that people use everyday. As years go by, my investments will grow and so is the city.

Here is My Investment City. And for the fun of it, I'm challenging you to do the same. Pick a downtown picture that you like, plug in your investment companies, and post it on your blog. This will take some time, but it's fun to see all your investments laid out on the map.

3 Dividend Raises (QSR, CT, FN)

Restaurant Brands International (TSE:QSR) announced a dividend increase of 5 cents per share and the stock went up by $6. I’m not sure why the market is so excited about this increase. This increase was expected and it should have been already reflected in the share price. The dividend increase represents 11.11 percent. I have 11 shares of QSR, meaning my yearly dividend income will be increased by $2.75 if calculated in Canadian currency.

The company just paid a quarterly dividend in January, consequently the increase will be reflected in April’s payout.

Apart from QSR dividend increase, CT REIT (TSE:CRT.UN.TO) and First National (TSE:FN.TO) also raised their dividends by 3.97% and 2.75% respectively. With 220 shares of CT and 85 shares of FN in my portfolio, my yearly dividend income will be increased by $6.36 and $4.32.

Combined dividend increases will add $13.43 per year of free cash flow. That equals to $275 of fresh capital that I did not have to invest to increase my income. That's the power of compound growth!

These increases are small, but as long as I get them, they will help me reach my 2019 dividend goals.

Let me know if you own any of the stocks that I mentioned above. It’s time to celebrate!

February 2019 Stocks Consideration

So far the month of January of 2019 was the exact opposite of December 2018. This is a perfect “V” shape rebound. Anybody who does swing trading are laughing all the way to the bank. It’s certainly will be harder to pick good quality stocks after a recent bull run. Some stocks are up 10% or more within a month. Great deals go fast! 

Anyway, prior to market rebound, bank and energy stocks were trading at historically low valuations. I made a buy list of what I wanted to buy in 2019. The list is not big, but these are the companies that I still don’t have in my portfolio – TD, BNS, BMO, ENB, BIP.UN, and BEP.UN

All of those stocks are lot higher now.

Toronto Dominion Bank (TD) is up by 9% from $66 to $72 per share.

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) is up by 10.6% from $66 to $73 per share.

Bank of Montreal (BMO) is up by 11.6% from $86 to $96 per share.

Enbridge (ENB) is up by 17.5% from $40 to $47 per share.

Brookfield Infrastructure (BIP/UN) is up by 13.3% from $45 to $51 per share.

Brookfield Renewables (BEP/UB) is up by 8.8% from $34 to $37 per share.

Some stocks are still good deals but not great deals. Hopefully there will be a little correction in February to buy these stocks cheaper.

Meanwhile, looking at my portfolio, I identified a few lagging positions that did not appreciate as much. I have small positions in Freehold Royalties, Artis, and Cominar.

Freehold Royalties leases land to operators and collect royalties in return. It’s an interesting business because they earn money regardless of how the oil price is doing. There are less risk involved compared to drillers. I own 25 shares of FRU and my average cost is $14.21. Right now the shares are trading below $9 and it would be a great opportunity for me to average down on my cost basis. I can potentially reduce my average to $10. 

Artis REIT is another small position that I have. I have 70 shares and my cost average cost is $13.76 per share. These days, Artis is trading at around $10. I have a chance to double my position and lower my cost average to $12. 

Cominar is one of my favorite undervalued REIT. I only have 70 shares of Cominar and my average cost is $18.08 per share. I particularly favor the company for its industrial and retail properties. At the moment, Cominar is trading at $12 per share. I can double my investment in Cominar and reduce my cost average to $15 per share.

So these are the three potential companies that I can average down in February if bank and energy stocks don’t pull back.

A Little Favor For My Wife

Hey guys! I have a little favor to ask. My wife, Elena, runs an Etsy shop. She makes handmade banners as a hobby and sells on Etsy. She recently started a YouTube channel to showcase her work. The channel is new and requires at least 100 subscribers to unlock some of the features to help grow the channel.

So if you have a Gmail account, it would help a lot if you could subscribe to her YouTube channel. You don’t have to watch the videos. And you can unsubscribe when she reaches 100 subscribers threshold.

Right now. she only has six subscribers so every new subscriber would be a great help. 

I did not tell her that I asked you the favor. So it’s a total surprise for her!

Here's Her YouTube Channel

So how is the stock market these days? Is your portfolio up this month?

New Buy: Royal Bank of Canada

Today I made my first stock purchase of 2019. I mentioned in my previous post that in 2019 I will focus more on Bank stocks. Hence, I started my shopping spree with the Royal Bank of Canada.

The Royal Bank of Canada (TSE:RY) is the largest Canadian bank with market capitalization of $139 billion. RBC serves over 16 million clients and has 80,000 employees worldwide.

Today I purchased 10 shares of RBC and paid $96.85 per share. It’s a new position for me and I plan to add to it when opportunities arise. It would be nice to own at least 50 shares, but that may take a while to accumulate.

The current dividend yield is 4%. This purchase will add $39.20 to my yearly income. Its current payout ratio is 45%, making the dividend payments very safe. The bank has a great track record of dividend raises. For example, in 2018, RBC raised the dividend twice - from $0.91 to $0.94 and then to $0.98. I expect them to do the same in 2019 since their revenues are growing at an average rate of 6.9%.

The ex-dividend date for RBC is January 23, 2019. Since I bought the stock before ex-date, I will get my first dividend payment on February 22, 2019.

What do you think about RBC? Do you own it? Let me know what you plan to buy in January.

A simple trick to get Great Deals!!!

You probably tried a lot of good tricks to save money on groceries, clothing, electronics, and so on. I’m not going to waste your time saying to buy things on sale. That’s obvious and everybody knows that. 

Here’s a trick I use all the time to squeeze out more savings from my purchases. Before I shop at any specific store, I look online for gift cards. There are plenty of people who want to get rid of their gift cards that they received as a birthday gift or whatever. I use the most popular classified ads website called Kijiji to look up for "gift cards" or “carte cadeau” in French since I live in a French province.

If you live in Canada, you will find plenty of gift cards on Kijiji. If you live in US then you can try Craigslist or any other local classified website. You can find really great deals and that’s the reason I wanted to share with you guys, because the more you can save, the more you can invest into… you guessed it… dividend paying stocks!!!

Here are some great deals I was able to find last week:

Portfolio Value Update - December 2018

Welcome back to my blog! How does it feel to be in 2019? Time flies. 2018 is officially behind us and here’s the last monthly update of last year.

Portfolio Value 
As of December 31, 2018 my investment portfolio balance stood at $60,126. That’s a decrease of $2,058 from last month. December was the worst performing month of all times. Take a look at the graph below. The TSX was 15,200 points on December 1st and ended up with 14,300 points by December 31st. So the whole market took a hit, again. The last three trading days, stocks rallied which helped my portfolio to close above $60K mark.