Sunday, May 10, 2015

One Buy, Raise, Big Change, and a Challenge

     Last week was a busy one financially, professionally, and personally. On Tuesday, I continued to take steps to make my portfolio more tax efficient by purchasing shares of H&R REIT in my TFSA. The idea being that I'll wait at least a month, and then sell the same amount of shares I currently hold in my non-registered (i.e. fully taxable) account. Although there will be a short-term tax hit due to a capital gain, it's worth not being taxed at my marginal rate on the income the H&R distributes each year (current yield is about 6%). 
     On Thursday, Telus, my largest holding, announced their semi-annual dividend increase. The 5% raise was even more impressive given it represented a 10.5% increase year-over-year. Telus also announced strong subscriber and profit growth in their first quarter. If you're a Canadian dividend growth investor and Telus isn't on your radar screen, I'd highly recommend considering this well managed telecomm which has increased their dividend nine times since announcing their multi-year dividend growth program in May 2011.
     Professionally and personally, I made a decision to change roles at work. This might not sound ground breaking, but after being a Credit Analyst for the past six and a half years, shifting gears to a project team definitely pushes me outside of my comfort zone. The role isn't as well defined, and I don't know exactly what to expect when I join the team on May 18th, but that's part of the fun! My new role will mean basically no travel for the next couple of years, which contrasts the several weeks of travel in my current role. My last week in my role as a Credit Analyst is being spent travelling in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and finally to Austin Texas. 
     Since I'm on the road this week, I decided to challenge myself to live frugally. The Government of Canada (GoC) provides per diem rates for employees travelling in the US of about $92 per day. Although my employer provides slightly lower rates, I decided I'd attempt to spend less than half of the GoC per diem amount each day I was on the road. I'll report on how I did next week.

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