Saturday, July 4, 2015

Financial Goal Update at June 30, 2015

My primary motivation of maintaining this blog is to hold myself accountable to reaching my financial and non-financial goals. At the end of each quarter, I like to check in to see if I'm trending in the right direction, or need to take corrective action. To simplify things, I decided to only track three financial goals and two non-financial targets in 2015.  Here's how I did against my five goals in the second quarter of 2015.

Increase Expected Forward Dividend Income by $1,800/yr 
From the outset, I knew that this was an incredibly aggressive goal. In Q1, with twelve dividend raises, one distribution cut, and by regularly investing a relatively high percentage of my pay, I was able to add $453 putting me on track to achieve this goal. I'm happy to report that another nine dividend raises in Q2 and adding new funds to my accounts resulted in the addition of another $687 to my expected forward dividend income, putting me ahead of schedule on this objective. However, I know that some of my portfolio transformation trades will result in lowering my average yield in Q3; mainly due to buying US stock when the exchange rate adds 23-30% per share of US stock (Note: I continue to track my forward dividend income using a CAD/USD exchange of 1:1).  I'm happy with my progress toward this goal, and will continue to pursue it aggressively during the second half of the year. 

Complete the Transformation of my RRSP by Year End
My RRSP transformation is all about making my portfolio more tax efficient, while moving shares in companies into the same account (TFSA, RRSP, and non-registered). I made great progress during Q2, selling my H&R REIT shares in my non-registered account at a small capital gain, and re-buying them in my TFSA. I was also able to pick up shares of Royal Bank in my unregistered account, which will eventually result in me being able to sell my holding in my RRSP, and invest the proceeds in a US/global company. Lastly, I sold my Telus and Rogers shares in my RRSP, so that I know hold these companies exclusively in my unregistered and TFSA accounts respectively. All that's left to do in the second half of the year is to purchase shares in Bell Canada in my unregistered account, so that I can sell them in my RRSP (after waiting at least a month in order to avoid creating a taxable event).

Give Twice as Much to Worthy Causes as in 2014
I continue to be on pace to double the amount of money I gave in 2014. After donating to the Red Cross, the Canadian Cancer Society, and my local food bank in Q1, I'm proud to have given money in Q2 to Oxfam Canada's efforts in Nepal (a donation that was subsequently matched by both my employer and the Government of Canada!), St Paul’s church (where my son was baptized), the  Renfrew Hospital, and the United Way of Ottawa. Soon I'll be posting about my giving plans for the second half of 2015. Without letting the cat out of the bag, I'm happy to have found a great strategy to make my portfolio more tax efficient, while contributing to a very worthy cause. 

My non-financial goals to maintain my weight under 165 pounds at the end of each month and average a blog post each week are both being met. In fact, I haven't weighed over 160 pounds since March, and have decided to revise my target downward to that amount. Also happy to report I had 21 blog posts during Q2, well ahead of the pace of one per week. Consequently, my number of page views continues to climb as I post more often, and possibly do to creating a Twitter account for this blog. To that end, thanks to all the new readers :)

Looking back, I had a pretty stellar second quarter. The fact that North American markets remained stagnant allowed me to pick up shares of great companies at lower prices than during past quarters.  I'll keep you posted at the end of next quarter of how I'm tracking against my goals.

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