Friday, May 21, 2010

Canadian Pacific dividend raise

Canadian Railway, Canadian Pacific (CP) has raised their dividend for the first time since early 2008. The increase was from $0.2475 to $0.27 per share, representing a hike of 9%. The stock yields about 1.9% on todays closing price.

Another increase for our portfolio; that's two in one week! I really like CP as an investment long term as China reaches for Canadian resources.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Clorox ups dividend

Consumer products firm Clorox (CLX) has hiked it's quarterly dividend 10% to $0.55 per share. This is another dividend hike for our non-registered portfolio. Our income from investments continues it's climb into new records.

Lately we have recieved raises from:

Johnson & Johnson
Procter & Gamble
Canadian Oil Sands Trust
and hints from...
Scotts Miracle Gro

Saturday, May 15, 2010

net worth, may '10

It's time to report my bimonthly net worth. This particular report (May) is what I call my 'fiscal year', as I began tracking net worth in May of 2006.

Net worth results for the 2 Months Ended May 15, 2010:
  • Debt/Asset ratio dropped to 0.46 from 0.44 (a record low)
  • Net Worth rose 3.3% (to a record high)
  • Total Assets rose 0.6% (to a record high)
  • Total Liabilities shrunk by 2.6%
  • House Value/Total Assets fell to 58.9% (a record low)
  • Non-Registered Portfolio grew 4.5% (to a record high)

*note results may not make sense with my last report as I revalued our home to a recently appraised value.

2010 Calendar Year to Date Gain/Loss: +8.8%

2009 Fiscal Year Gain/Loss: +29.1%

So now it has been 4 full years since I started tracking our net worth and we have come a long way. Here are our net worth increases through the years:

2006 = 96.8%

2007 = 39.9%

2008 = 4.8% (the markets crashed but we still managed to eek out a gain)

2009 = 29.1%

This brings us to today where our all of our metrics are sitting at record levels with the exception of our liabilities which are only $3,000 from a record level. The single metric that I probably pay the most attention to is our debt/asset ratio which started out at a whopping 0.77 in 2006 and now sits at 0.44. Our debt is now at a very manageable level when compared to our assets and incomes, which is a good feeling. Going forward we will be putting even greater emphasis on growing assets and less emphasis on reducing debt as we reduce our mortgage payments and continue to invest a good deal of our savings.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Scotts to grow dividend

Scotts Miracle Gro (SMG) is a company which dominates their industry probably more than any other firm that I can think of. I don't post much about the stock which makes up a very small percentage of my portfolio, but their recent earnings report is worth noting and it came with a special bonus.

Scotts reported EPS of $1.80 compared with a the street's expectation of $1.46 and last year's $1.25. They also raised their full year guidance to $3.25+ from previous guidance of $3.00-$3.10. The special bonus was that the company stated on a call with analysts that they have a bias toward a share repurchase program and a dividend increase later in the year. This is great news for shareholders as Scotts' dividend has been at the same level since they introduced it in 2005. The stock only yields 1% currently.

The company seems to be on a roll recently as a major competitor left the market and North Americans have prioritized their lawns & gardens in the last year as money has become tight. I see gardening as a long term trend that will only become more popular as demographics change. Scotts Miracle Gro's strength lies in their savvy marketing, category domination, and decisive management.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Whatever happened at around 2:45pm on Thursday, May 6 was definitely interesting for anyone who follows the stock markets closely. I got back in my office after a birthday gathering for a coworker, and the first thing I noticed was that the Canadian utility Fortis (FTS), which is part of my portfolio, was down about 35%!

My first thought was that Google Finance was acting up as I have seen before. Next I noticed that Inter Pipeline Fund (IPL.UN) which I also hold was down by a catastrophic amount as well. After I saw this I quickly browsed over the the Financial Webring Forum where my fellow investors were already chatting about the Fortis situation. I then signed into my account at BMO Investorline to see if I could buy Fortis at $17/share, but the stock was up to $26. The day's low did read around $16 so this made me think that this drop was actually legit which boggled my mind. I then started seeing the reports on Google Finance and the Financial Webring about how this event was erroneous and trades will probably be cancelled. Kinda makes me glad that I don't believe in stop losses.

An interesting video clip to watch is CNBC personality Jim Cramer live seeing Procter & Gamble fall to $45 per share and calling it as a market error.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

telus upgrades dividend

Canadian telecommunications company Telus (T.A) has increased their dividend by 5.3% to 0.50 per share. This came as a bit of a surprise as the company missed increasing their dividend at the usual time and has been investing heavily in business infrastructure recently. I do DRIP shares of the firm so I welcome the bump. They also beat earnings epectations.

I don't expect much out of my investment in Telus; just consistent but small earnings and dividend increases as more Canadian citizens, employees, and businesses need smart phones, connectivity and other IT systems.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

added to SunLife position

I added to my existing position in Canadian financial services firm SunLife Financial (SLF) today at $29.00/share. My rationale for the acquisition was simply that the stock looked like pretty good value in a recent market where several stocks look rich. Let's look at the numbers:

SunLife just reported first quarter earnings today after the closing bell of $0.72/share. This eclipsed the street's expectations by 11%. Earnings expectations for the company for 2010 were $2.89 per share before the release today. Assuming SunLife earns $2.89 this year the stock was trading at 10x 2010 estimated earnings when I made the purchase. I feel that this is a very reasonable valuation given their potential for earnings growth.

Another reason why this valuation was attractive was that at $29 per share SunLife was yielding 5% in dividends. Assuming that the company does not cut their dividend, which I don't believe that they will, this is a guaranteed 5% return. Combining this with a valuation of 10x earnings this seemed like a good point to add to my SunLife holding.

SunLife makes up about 7% of my non-registered portfolio.

Monday, May 3, 2010

asset diversification update

When accumulating wealth as we grow older I am a believer in diversification. I want to be able to grow our asset base at good average rates year after year. In order to accomplish this and at the same time build flexibility into our finances we set out to push down the percentage of our assets that our home value makes up. I believe that it only makes good wealth building sense to diversify and not be over concentrated in real estate assets like many North Americans are.

I check up every other month on our net worth and at the same time I look at a percentage which I call: HOUSE VALUE AS A PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL ASSETS. This is simply the appraised value of our residence as a percentage of our total assets. Total assets include our home, registered and non-registered investments, cash, vehicles, etc.
Below is our progress on this since May of 2006. Over the past four years we've driven down this percentage from 83% to about 59% today.