Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Best Free Online Resources for Canadian Dividend Growth Investors

Recently, someone asked me where they could identify potential Canadian dividend growth stocks to invest in.  Before answering, I qualified my response that I wasn’t the best person to ask since I rarely add new positions to my portfolio.  Upon reflection, I realized that most of my new positions were the results of screens from a software tool I use at work, articles from the Globe and Mail, and posts from like-minded bloggers.  Since none of the above information was helpful to the individual asking the question, I decided to compile a list of the best online resources for Canadian Dividend Growth Investors. In order to ensure the list would be helpful to everyone, the resources listed below are all FREE!

1.      The Canadian Dividend All-Star List

In terms of a starting point, checking out the Canadian Dividend All-Star List, updated monthly here, is an excellent first step. The spreadsheet contains all Canadian-listed companies that have increased their dividends for at least five consecutive years. In addition to the number of consecutive years that dividends have been increased, the list has dividend growth, payout, earnings, stock price, and other company information. By filtering the spreadsheet based on variables and ratios important to the individual investor, you can develop a list of companies that warrant further investigation.

2.      Google Finance Canada

With a list of interesting companies to research further, heading over to www.google.ca/finance is the logical next step. My favorite functionality of Google Finance Canada (“GFC”) is setting up“Portfolios” which I use as Watch Lists.  After adding a stock symbol to your portfolio, you can access quotes, graphs, abbreviated financial statements, see the company’s competitors, and examine recent company news. By subscribing to a company’s news feed, Google will inform you of new articles on the company. The news subscription service is an excellent way to monitor your portfolio. GFC also provides a link to the company’s website, where you can find out more about them and access their Investor Relations section.

While researching this post, I also noticed that GFC now has “Stock Screener” functionality. Although stocks can only be screened based on certain well-known metrics, this is still a great tool for novice investors.

3.      Sedar

As per their websiteSedar provides “access to most public securities documents and information filed by public companies and investment funds with the thirteen provincial and territorial securities regulatory authorities”. Although not as easy to navigate through as its counterpart, the SEC website for US companies, Sedar’s site contains many of the same filings. Most important among these filings for investors are quarterly financial statements. Note that in Canada, depending on the location of the head office of the company, such documents might be in English or French. Before buying shares in a company, I’d recommend reading through their recent financial filings, or at least looking through their latest annual report.

4.      More Helpful Information Sources

The three sites outlined above all focus on facts pertaining to public Canadian companies. Given that investing is much an art as a science, considering qualitative factors relating to potential companies to invest in is also worthwhile. My favorite free site that contains both facts and opinions is Seeking Alpha. Although US-based companies receive much more attention than Canadian ones, interesting articles on Canadian companies are still plentiful. Along the same lines of Seeking Alpha, I’d also recommend Motley Fool Canada and Morningstar Canada.  Additionally, there are a number of good Canadian blogs focused on dividend growth and financial independence. Instead of playing favorites, or risk excluding someone, I’d simply advise searching the company you’re interested in along with “blog”.   Lastly, I’d be negligent if I didn’t include the possibility of obtaining Equity Analyst reports as part of your research. I’ve found most analysts who cover companies are more than happy to send you a copy of their latest report if you email them.

Are there other free online resources for Canadian Dividend Growth Investors that you find valuable in your investment process? 

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