Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Update on Investment Goals at December 31, 2014 (YE14)

My investment portfolio had a strong finish to 2014, bolstered by the weakening Canadian dollar and Enbridge's announcement to make themselves more dividend-friendly. I accomplished many of my goals in 2014, and feel great heading into 2015.


Increase my portfolio value by 17% :
My portfolio increased in value by about 38% compared to its value at the start of 2013.  As indicated above, the depreciation of the CAD relative to the USD over the course of 2014 helped grow my portfolio given US stocks now account for about 30% of my portfolio holdings. The spike in both Enbridge and Enbridge Income Fund Holdings' shares after their Q4 announcement to re-structure the company in a more dividend-friendly matter benefited my portfolio value as well. Another primary contributor to the increase in value was a series of short-term trades I made in 2014 that added about 1.5% of return to my portfolio value. 

Despite accomplishing this goal, I still long for an extended bear market that would allow me to buy more quality dividend paying stocks at lower prices.

Total Dividends Received Up 25% (Revised from 18% at June 30th):
My forward dividends were up 32% in 2014, a truly remarkable figure which I doubt I'll ever accomplish again.  During Q414, a number of my holdings in my portfolio announced dividend increases, including Inter Pipeline Limited, National Bank, Bank of Montreal, Enbridge, Enbridge Income Fund, Laurentian Bank, Telus, Kinder Morgan, Pfizer, and Realty Income. 

Maintain US Holdings at About 30%:
My US holdings accounted for exactly 29.99% at YE14!  As the CAD continues to depreciate against the US dollar, and with plans to continue to shift my RRSP holdings to US and international stocks, this number should climb slowly over time.  That said, I must admit that with the CAD at a year-low against the USD (about 85 cents today), I'm finding it harder to force myself to buy US stocks and pay the 20% premium my brokerage thinks is fair. However, my rising stream of USD dividends helps to remind me to follow through with my plan. 

Doubling Down on Comfortable Holdings:
I made decent progress on this throughout 2014, but couldn't find attractive entry points to increase my positions of Coca-Cola, Microsoft, or Realty Income. It's definitely a goal I keep in the back and look for opportunities when stocks I hold decrease in price. 

Get rid of all companies who haven’t raised their dividend in the past 18 months:
Only two companies in my portfolio didn't raise their dividend/distributions in 2014 (H&R REIT and Riocan REIT). I simply cannot sell Riocan due to tax implications, but I'm still considering selling H&R REIT since they no longer seem committed to increasing distributions, despite strong business results and growth in AFFO. 

Figure out what to do with cash in excess of $500 (especially in TFSA and RRSP):
Given the current cash-producing nature of my portfolio, I've decided against pursuing this goal. I tend to invest when I have above $1000 in cash in any of my accounts. I figure transaction costs of less then 1% are fair. Plus, I like having some cash in my accounts just in case interesting opportunities arise.

My portfolio continues to perform well-above my expectations. Although the value of my holdings is down slightly during the first week of 2015, I remain comfortable with all my holdings. Hopefully your investments had a strong showing in 2014, and will continue to increase in value this year!

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