Saturday, March 30, 2013

Updated on Investment Goals for 2013

In one of my first posts in January, I outlined my three investment goals for 2013. Since it's officially the end of the first fiscal quarter, it seems like a good time to provide an update of how I'm progressing toward my goals.

1. Get Rid of Non-Dividend Growers
Even though this was a relatively easy goal, I have only accomplished 50% of it so far, getting rid of Power Financial Corp (hadn't increased dividends in almost five years), but holding on to Transalta. I've even recently thought about adding to my Transalta position, as the stock is trading near a 52-week low, and by my calculations, the 7.8% dividend yield seems sustainable (an assertion backed up my the company's management in recent earnings calls). I'm not sure exactly what I'll end up doing with this position. On a happy other note, one of the companies I didn't name in my January post, Dundee REIT announced a small distribution increase, so although technically I wouldn't have to sell them, I'm still considering getting rid of them as it was a very small distribution increase.

2.  Increase my Dividend Income and Total Portfolio Value by 25%
Due to some contributions to my TFSA and my unregistered portfolio, along with some strong returns from my US dividend growers, my portfolio value is up by 19.5% from its value at December 31, 2012. There's also some US dollar currency gains that have inflated my return number. With respect to dividend income, I didn't do the calculation today, as I'm currently sitting on a substantial amount of cash in my RRSP from selling some shares in Bank of Montreal. I plan to target a couple US dividend growing companies with this money, but am waiting on a retreat in the US market, which has been red hot recently.

3. Increase my Non-Canadian Investment Holdings from 20% to 25%
As per my explanations above, it's difficult to accurately measure my progress toward this goal today. However, due to a purchase of Microsoft in my RRSP, and the run-up of a couple other holdings (McDonalds, Walgreens, and Western Union), I've already increased the percentage of my portfolio invested in US stocks from 20% to 21.6%.

The last goal I set forth in my January post was to blog at least once a week. With the exception of my week of vacation in Cuba, I've met this goal...but barely. I'll make a greater effort in the coming weeks to post more frequently, even if I don't anticipate making a large number of portfolio transactions in the second quarter of the year. Although I'm happy to see the great majority of my stocks have gained ground in the first quarter, I'm having an increasingly difficult time find good companies to buy at reasonable valuations.

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