Friday, November 27, 2015

November Update – Dividend Raises, Goals and Money Experiment

November flew by in a blur. After two weeks of making multiple purchases this month, my portfolio is in good shape heading into December. Here’s a recap of my dividend raises received in November, how I progressed with my non-financial goals this month, and the results of my latest money experiment.

I’m happy to announce that three of my holdings decided to reward me for being a loyal shareholder with a dividend raise this month.
-          Telus increased their quarterly dividend from $0.42 to $0.44, their second dividend increase this year, and tenth under their multi-year dividend growth program. Although their third quarter results weren’t spectacular, they continue to generate revenue, earnings and free cash flow growth.
-          Inter Pipeline Fund announced record Q3 results, and then boosted their monthly dividend from $0.1225 to $13 per share. I’m glad to have increased my stake in this great company within my TFSA during November.
-          After McDonalds posted Q3 results that showed growth in comparable location sales, they upped their quarterly dividend from $0.85 to $0.89. It’s promising to see some positive signs that the company’s turnaround efforts are taking hold.

Progress was strong against my non-financial goals in November. This post raises my total to eight this month, doubling my minimum target of one post per week. Although one fewer than my nine posts in October, the quality of entries improved this month as I put more effort into planning, researching, and writing. The result was a rewarding boost in my page views and a better level of engagement from readers via comments. Being inexperienced in directing a blog toward external users, I still have a lot to learn in this area, and definitely need to up my social media game in 2016.  I’m also proud to say I stayed under my maximum weight of 160 pounds. The start of the month was tough, as many co-workers brought in Halloween treats to work, but I’ve been more consistent visiting the gym, and my regular Thursday night ultimate frisbee game has also helped my weight maintenance efforts. Lastly, I made donations to Movember and to the Children’s Aid Foundation of Ottawa during the month. I’m a regular contributor to Movember as funds go toward research into prostate and testicular cancer, and mental health. All issues that are close to my heart. The Children’s Aid Foundation donation was to sponsor a colleague who participated in a trivia night fundraiser.

After limiting my out of pocket cash expenses to under $100 in October, I not only replicated that feat in November (I have about $3 left as of today), I challenged myself to earn some active income. Although this month’s experiment was initially envisioned with plans to sell some items on Ebay (something I’ve never done), I ended up making three short-term stock trades that netted me about $420. To be clear, I won’t be replicating this challenge in December. Short-term trading added extra stress to my life, and three trades in a month was much too high. During December, I plan to “invest in myself”. I have some fun ideas and have budgeted $100 to pursue these initiatives. I’ll report back next month to let you know if my investments in myself pay dividends ;-)

Did you meet your personal and financial goals in November? 

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