Monday, December 15, 2014

Financial Goals for 2015

It's almost the off-season and since things are quieter I have decided to take some time to draft my 2015 Financial Goals. It's a draft. What do you think?

In 2015, I intend to set myself these Financial Goals:

To respect, 75 % of the time, a monthly budget of less than 5 250 $. Last year we aimed for 4 500$ but failed badly. (partly because we hiked our spending towards investing, so not that bad).  Let's try 5 250$ and hope for the best.

To max out my TSFA and hit the 42 K$ mark. Right now, I have 30 K$ in it. It's not a great TFSA year. I have room for 8 459 $ this year. I assume a yield of around 5-6 %. One of my main stock is (STILL) slumping (ABX). Hopefully, my other stocks will compensate. Let’s aim for 42 K$. 

To grow my net worth to 200 K$. I expect more revenue this year. Right now, I have a Net Worth of 184 K$. With a yield of 3 %, that should take me to  close to 190 K$ solely on compounding. I should be able to add a few bucks in the mix. Not to mention the 8 K$ I put down on the capital of my mortgage every year. I will be very disappointed if I don’t hit the 200 K$ barrier (and more). Go get it boy !

To hit the 155 K $ mark in my portfolio. Right now I have around 140 K $ (you can check it out here). I still have much cash flow. I need to invest some of it in new quality stocks. But, considering the perpetual bull market (will it end?), I will be extremely patient in that regard. I should be able to hit this mark with compounding and new money.

To hike my Dividend income to 4 800 $ a year. It's a new goal! Right now, I have close to 3 K$ (2 977$). You can check it out here. I want to increase that number to 4 800$, which will represent 400$ per month. It's an increase of 37%. 

To stay out of debt. I don’t have any bad debt as we speak (apart from the mortgage, which is a good debt). That's the way we like it. 

To find another form of investment. A land, a cottage, a new condo, a house, a wood forrest. Anything that diversify our assets.

What do you think ? Should I be bolder ?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Made small new acquisitions

Hey FF,

Thought I would give you some infos, since you are all begging for it. I know you are!

Well, for instance, this week I bought a small amount of shares of Verizon (VZ), the U$ giant-telecom  company. The share had a 15% drop since it's 53$ high this year. I thought it was a good small entry-point. At 4,75% the yield is pretty decent.

I bought 25 shares of VZ.

« Verizon is one of the largest communication technology companies in the world. It operates America’s largest 4G LTE wireless network and the nation’s premiere all-fiber broadband network

Apart from the fact that Verizon is a strong and reliable company, the main reason why I bought it it's because I don't own much telecom in my portfolio. I have a small position in BCE, a Canadian telecom. 

I want to hike my overall % to 6%. It is now at 2,45%, which is pretty low for a sector in such demand. 

I also added some shares of Cominar (CUF.UN). Real Estate is a sector I wanted to increase my exposure a long time ago.

« Cominar Real Estate Investment Trust is one of the largest diversified real estate investment trusts in Canada and the largest commercial property owner and manager in the province of Quebec. »

Their real estate portfolio includes 563 office, retail, and industrial properties in Quebec and Ontario. It represents more than $8.2 billion in assets.

The share yields at almost 8%. It's kind of high but it's an Investment Trust, so it can allow to give out more cash to its shareholders.

I have now 180 shares of CUF.UN.

In september, I also bought 150 shares of a small-cap pharma name Knight Therapeutics that operates in Montréal. It's quite a long shot, so I placed it in my portfolio under the «Penny Stock» section. 

They recently sold a Voucher that was worth 125 millions. They are sitting on a lot of cash, but don't have a lot of things to sell at the moment. Will see. The CEO has shown in the past that he can make some really nice moves...

Check it out for yourselves : here

How about you Financial Freaks? Made any new acquisitions?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Financial Goals : am I on track? (updated)

With only a few weeks before January, am I on course to meet my 2014 Financial Goals? Let's see.

In 2014, I have set myself some more precise goals: 

To respect, 75 % of the time, a monthly budget of less than 4 500 $. Last year I tried 3 500$ but failed badly. Let's not be too greedy and try 4 500$.

That is a big no. Big I said : NO.

To max out my TSFA and hit the 35 K$ mark. Right now, I have 27 200 $ in it. 5 500$ is available this year. I expect a yield of around 3 %, so I should be pretty close to 34 K$. One of my main stock is slumping at the moment (ABX). Let's set the goal for 35 K$.

No. As of now, my TFSA is at 30 924$. So, no, it doesn't look like I will reach 35 K$, unless Barrick Gold finds a golden solution. Catch it? 

To grow my net worth to 175 K$. I don't expect much revenue this year. Again, my net worth should be growing solely with compounding. If I am conservative, and set a 5 % yield goal, I should have close to 170 K $ by the end of the year. Let's set the goal for 175 K$

YES. As of now, my Net Worth is roughly 187 K$ (check it out here), thanks mainly to the Bull Market. So yes, I should attain this goal.

To hit the 135 K $ mark in my portfolio. Right now I have roughly 129 K $ (you can check it out here). I have a lot of cash flow. I need to invest some of it in new quality stocks. But, considering the actual bull market, I will be extremely patient in that regard. So if I hit the 135 K$ mark, it might solely be because of dividend income, interests and a favourable market that will grow my actual investments; and not because of new acquisitions. Again, I don't expect a lot of new income in 2014.

YES. If you check out my Portfolio, you will notice that it clocks the 144 K$. So yes, I am on the right track.

To stay out of debt. Right now we have almost 10 K $ on the margin. We shouldn't have any debt by the end of the year (apart the mortgage). That's the way we like it.

YES. The margin is at 0 $. So yeah, this goal will be attained. (Yeah!)

To find another form of investment. A land, a cottage, a house, a wood forrest. Anything that diversify our assets.

Nothing new on this front. Still searching. Sort of.

What do you think, is it a good year ?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Me, Mantra and the Mantraziliers

I recently posted an answer to a post over at superstar blogger Dividend Mantra. That guy is so hot right now (must be the hairdo). 

He posts something and there there's like a zillion people answering. Mantraziliers? And he answers each and everybody. (ubiquity? or does he have a ghost writer? some sort of a Dividend Mango?)

He's like the Céline Dion of the personal finances... Well, you know what I mean. He's a nice chap anyway.

That guy is unique and original in some many ways. Take for instance his recent move : Instead of retiring to sunny Florida where he lived, he moved upstate to cold Michigan in order to eventually retire before 40. How about applying the saying « being greedy when people are wary...» in a whole different circumstance! Didn't I say superstar?

Jokes aside, I reacted to a post where he was saying he had recently bought it's shares in its 49th company!

Call it the Michigan forty niners! 49!

The number shocked me (still on heavy dose of Xanax). I had to react even it meant hurting the feelings of hundreds of Mantraziliers. I run fast.

You'll fin my answer below. But, for copyright purposes (and since I know jack as to how these things work), I suggest you go visit his blog to read his answer. As always, he answered like the gentleman he his (arghh!). Yes, he's hot.

Here's my answer below.

In my next post I will discuss the very exciting topic as how many companies should one have in its portfolio. 5, 10, 20, 30, 49 or more?

Meanwhile, I want to hear you Financial Freaks. How many do you own?


Hello Financial Freak Mantra!

Well, gotta say, you got yourself a very loyal fan base. I’m jealous. Whenever someone leaves a comment on my blog, I wear my unmoved look in front of family and friends and hurry to my computer (when the visit is gone!).

It’s like a little party! Pop the wine, let’s celebrate. (5 minutes top)

Anyway, about John Deere. Love those green mowers. How about Richard Farnsworth in the Straight Story? He finally made it to see his brother, didn’t he?

I have to say, props to you for turning your personal finances upside-down (mostly Up).

Just one worry and I will share it with you for what its worth. (after all who am I but a pathetic bloger who flees its family to read a post…)

My concern : the amount of companies you own. 49 ! Oochie Mama!
I’m thinking, up to this point, why not buy a low fee ETF; you’ll get as many (and more)? Indexing might me your path. You would save on commission. And only buy when the market is down. No?

It seems to me that the diversification you are trying to get is more or less becoming « diworsification », as Peter Lynch would put it. Studies have shown that versatility and stability is obtained with 20 blue chips companies (some argue it’s 12 to 15). Above that, it’s useless and kills the leverage you could get out of a portfolio.

There is no way (unless you are a Freak, which you may be since I suppose I should not like you!) (I do!) one can follow closely all those 49 companies. Even though they are great, you are bound to miss out on some important information.

Anyway, just a thought. Props to you for getting there

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My rotten tomato

Hey Financial Freaks,

We all have come across a rotten tomato in our investing life (in all aspects of our life I'd say -- yes I'm thinking about you crazy woman from work!).

My rotten tomato right now is a company that not long ago was making those big Canadian Banks blush.

The money was coming in like Gold Diggers on rich men about to go six feet under.

Needless to say, it was making loads of cash.

And I am talking here about the biggest gold producing enterprise of the entire Mundo. Yes, it's Barrick Gold ( Don't mention that name! Ok, you can...

Somewhere in 2011, I figured it would be a good idea to own some gold. But buying gold is quite complicated. And once you have it in some form or another, you have to put it somewhere. I won't be digging a hole in my backyard if that's what you are implying (geez!). Besides, my family and friends are so nosy they would end up finding it. Can't barely keep a Playboy magazine secret for pete's sake. (What's a man gotta do to get some privacy!)

Anyway, I decided it would be wise to buy shares of a company that actually produce gold. I waited a little time to see a dip in Barrick's share price. Finally at 40 something, I thought it was a good entry point. Since the share price is now clocking 20 $... it wasn't such a good idea. You do the math, Einstein.

The more the share was falling the more I was buying it to diminish my average price. But the share went as low as 15 $ So I had to stop buying it somewhere. Duh!

I now own 300 shares of ABX. It's way too much for my confort. It's the company I have put the more money in. Roughly 12 K$ Ouch,  « that's got to hurt I don't care where you from » (this one is from Seinfeld)

To make matters worst, they cut their dividend. It use to have a dividend of 0. 20 $ Now it's a poor 0.05$ a share.

Yes, Barrick Gold is going through a tough time (so is me without my Playboy magazine!). But so is the price of gold. In that respect, I will hold on to my shares and wait for a decent price to let go some of my position. I need to be patient.

If it wasn't for Barrick, my portfolio would be worth 5 K$ more. Ok, time to cry now.

The whole point is : you can't have it all as an investor. There will be ups and downs. And no matter how cautious you are, and especially if you hold more than 10 or 15 companies, you are bound to end up with one rotten tomato -- or more.

Mine is Barrick. What's yours? And how are you copping with it?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dividend increases and stuff like that

Hey FF,

 I will start with a question : How do you guys keep track of all the dividend increases of the companies you own? Not easy at time, no?

Well, sometimes I browse through the web and I find out. Heck, sometimes I even find out on your lousy blogs. Okay, they're not that bad. (Geez you're sensitive)

Fact is, unless you follow each semester financial results you might miss one dividend increase from time to time. And that's a pity because, like we all know, this is the kind of news that brighten your day and week! This or catching a nice trout while out fly fishing.

I see guys owning up to 50 companies and I'm like : how to they do it? (they don't!) I have a 15 and it's hard to keep track of all the changes within the company : mergers, acquisitions, etc. Once I followed a financial letter and the writer was adamant about limiting the stocks you own to 12 or 15; actually he was more leaning on the 8 number!

His rationale : if you limit yourself to strong companies that dominate their sector of activities and have a history of increasing their dividend overt time, the money you invested won't be diluted and you will have a better leverage. Like Benjamin Graham, he was also recommending to own half of your portfolio in bonds. It's other key advice : only buy stock that have fell 10% below their highest price during the year.

That pretty much means you won't buy much stock (valuable one that is) this year. I have to say I pretty much followed his advice. The guys writes a column for a french canadian newspaper, Le Devoir. If you read french (you should by the way, especially if you have been raised in Canada!), go browse through his articles. Very informative.

I can't say I have been hit with a ton of dividend increases in my portfolio lately. But some of the company I own have managed to do well on that front. Johnson and Johnson have increased their dividend for more than 50 years.. so yeah, it's on the top of my list. I bought JNJ in 2010, so that makes it 4 years in a row. Last week, Suncor has increased it's dividend for the second time in a short while. SU and JNJ are my strongest positions so I am quite happy. Royal Bank (RY) has also increased it's dividend twice this year. Conoco Philipps (COP) has also increased its dividend.

I read in the Globe and Mail that there is a strong possibility that Power Corporation (POW) and Power Financial (PWF), two holdings from the Desmarais Family, would increase their dividend this year. These two companies are managed very carefully. I have a big position in these two. So it should be interesting to see how it turns out.

The share of Canadian Pacific (CP) has reached a historic high passing through the 200$ ceiling. Will they split their stock? Or will they increase they dividend? Can't wait to see what the outcome will be. And yes, I am still bitting my hands for selling 50% of my shares while it was up at 75$... I know, I know, hold on dearly to your shares.

Do you see any dividend increase on your side?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Coming out of the woods!

Hey Financial Freaks,

 I'm not sure a lot of you guys are still visiting this blog, since I haven't been posting much these past months. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't.

Heck, I wasn't even coming myself!

 So what's new for me? Well, a lot and not much at the same time. I still don't have a steady job and that's fine with me. Actually, I haven't been searching that much. Got lucky enough that one organization approached me to do some consulting for them.

I love this experience. I get to work on my term, at my convenience and at 100$ per hour I CAN'T complain. Keep' em coming. Working for «you» is something new for me. It takes discipline, which I already have. I guess all investors share that quality. We don't need people telling us what to do in the first place. I was managing my money already, why not my payday?

So, as soon as I get pay, i redirect my cash into two different accounts : investing and paying the bills and the Taxman. Since I don't have any pension plan anymore, I focus on my RRSP first and then, if I still have some left, I look for my TFSA and my non registered account.

 Right now I have only one client, but I am actually trying to find a few more. Will see how it goes. But right now it's been pretty cool money wise. It's been quieter since mid-June. But I presume it will pick up after the summer.

 On the Investing front, things have been quite calm for the past year and a half. The bargains are all long gone. Patience is key. I did make a few small buys. But will be looking to add some more as soon as there's a corrections soon.

 I bought some shares of BCE, a telecommunications company, a year ago in July. It'a a small position I would like to grow. It's only 1,37% of my portfolio. This sector is clearly under represented in my profile.

 I also bought some more Cominar, CUF.UN, a Quebec based REIT. I have 150 shares now. The yield is very good. But I am dreading an eventual interest rate hike. It it happens, the share will dip and I will buy some more.

 You'll notice I have 2 000 shares of both Junex (JNX) and Orbite (ORT). These are small-cap stocks. They could either go very well or south. Will see. They represent the volatile portion of my portfolio. 

Today I bought some shares of a superb Canadian company that I was following for quite some time, Couche-Tard that is. The share is pricey. But I figured, in the long run, that the share had some great potential. Downside : the meagre dividend. The yield is 0.55 % pretty much under inflation rate!

By the way, I have updated my Net Worth. Slowly (but surely) going up.

Let me know what you think of my recent buys. How do you like my portfolio?