Personal and Blog Recap
For me, April 2020 was a very special month with my 20’s ending last week. It’s fair to say I never imagined that my 30th birthday was going to be as quiet as it was, but I was more than happy to have received wishes from family and friends all around the world.
Ending my 20’s, I’m looking back on a very exciting decade that started off with my Bachelor of Science graduation and earning my first salary after university. Opposing to the general sentiment in the financial world that past performance doesn’t lead to future results, I can look back on a decade of experience now.
I was able to travel the world exploring exciting countries like Hong Kong, China, Sweden, Netherlands, and the US and finding my home of choice by applying and being granted permanent residency in Canada.
Furthermore, I was able to start on my path of financial education by investing in the stock market and peer to peer lending over 5 years ago now. The experiences had and knowledge gained through this journey is one of the reasons why I built this blog. Apart from personal financial success, it also gave me a sense of belonging and passion for this world and I now aim to steer my career toward the financial industry one day.
I am very much looking forward to my 30’s as this decade will feature milestones in terms of settling down and starting a family of my own. I’m also confident that during this next decade I will return to the small and wonderful Prince Edward Island where I began my permanent residency journey.
Dividends and distributions in April reached a new all-time high heavily fueled by the semi-annual dividend from Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO) which I bought in February and March. Year over year the income generated by my portfolio was growing an astounding 61.6%. After achieving a YOY growth rate of below 10% for two months now, I’m very happy that new additions to my portfolio seem to have offset recent sales due to dividend cuts and suspensions.
April also proved to be the month to file my tax return after patiently waiting for my T3 which is usually due around April 1st. I was surprised that contributions to my RRSP, as well as some losses due to closed positions in 2019, offset the dividend and distribution income of the whole year as much as it did. As a result, I received a 4 figure tax return which I reinvested to max out my tax-sheltered accounts. More about this choice in the Buy Order section.
I started April by increasing my stake in Canadian Apartment Properties REIT (TSE: CAR-UN). I see this stock as one of my core REITs which I hold in my TFSA. With a growing population in Canada and a tough housing market in metropolitan areas, I believe that there is a lot of growth potential for a REIT focussed on residential properties. Atypical for a REIT, the starting yield is fairly low but it has offered a considerably solid distribution growth as well as a low payout ratio.
With my second purchase, fueled by my tax return and regular income, I initiated a position in Brookfield Asset Management (TSE: BAM). BAM is a global asset manager. Its assets are diversified in business units in real estate, infrastructure (energy), renewable power, private equity, and credit. The company has been on my watchlist for a while now, and I believe it’s business model and management provide a great foundation for long term growth. Keep an eye out for my first “Recent Buy” blog post where I will go more into detail about the company and my decision-making process. It’s currently in review and set to come out later this week!
In April I closed my position in Inter Pipeline Ltd (TSE: IPL). On March 30, the company announced it was going to cut the dividend by 72% as a direct result of falling oil prices that have been affecting the whole energy sector.
Although I’m not happy to sell at the loss, the sale fits my overall strategy. I am aiming to reduce my exposure to the oil and gas sector to focus on companies in the utility sector leveraging technologies for renewable energies. Furthermore, I can use that sale to potentially practice some tax-loss harvesting when April 2021 rolls around.
I hope you enjoyed reading through some of these insights into my personal life and portfolio. These times are challenging for all of us and I hope you and your loved ones stay safe.
How did your April go? I hope you adjusted well to the changes in your work and personal environment. I would love to hear about your opinions or experiences with dividend growth investing and the recent downturn in the comments below!