Personal and Blog Recap
February 2020 absolutely flew by - despite it even being a leap year, it seemed much shorter than any other month for me. Although I hoped to share more content that I actually did in February, including my full portfolio and allocation, more time than expected went into enhancing the blog through under-the-hood improvements. These new features include updated styling, RSS feed, sitemaps, and SEO improvements. Although they may have been subtle, I actually contributed code to the blog on 25 out of 29 days in February.
In addition to coding and my regular work weeks, personal-wise I kept busy and ultimately feel like I had a great month. I was able to sell a lot of old PC parts and other things that have been lying around that I have no use for anymore. I re-invested the capital from my sales not in stock but in education. Beginning in April, I will start a 10-week course with BrainStation. I completed another course through this company last year and want to keep building on the technical training I have acquired.
Though it is definitely a financial commitment to enroll in continuing education courses in Canada, experiences have shown me that investing in yourself is just as important as building your investment portfolio. I like to hope the acquired knowledge will pay off through potential employment advances and salary increases that then will enable me to save even more and grow my portfolio.
February was not as great of a leap forward as I had expected. My year over year dividends and distributions received increased by only 9.5%. I would attribute this to the liquidation of my position in Vodafone (Ticker: VOD), who pay out semi-annually in February and August, and Altagas (Ticker: ALA.TO) last year which contributed around 15% of last year's February cashflow. After both companies cut their dividends last year, I pulled the trigger and exited my long positions as they did not fit my strategy of dividend growth investing. Overall an increase of 9.5% is still an increase I should be proud of as my other holdings developed well, but still not as great of a month and I was anticipating.
You might ask why I am not talking about the market crash that February ended with. Quite frankly, I do not see it as a crash just yet. It for sure is a correction and has hurt my portfolio value especially over the last week, but I am still positive thanks to the dividend growth investing strategy. Not a single one of my holdings has announced a dividend cut, and some even increased it (e.g. Toronto-Dominion Bank, Ticker: TD). Therefore, I didn’t lose any of my passive cash flow streams which is the main focus of my investment strategy.
In February, I added a few new positions to my portfolio:
To start off the month, I added a position of Rio Tinto Group (RIO). I felt I was lacking exposure to the basic materials sector and spotted an opportunity to further build on it. RIO mines different minerals all over the globe and has a great track record in terms of dividends and dividend growth although they had to cut their dividend during the last recession.
The company’s recent announcements of investing up to 1 billion dollars to meet climate change targets together with recent market corrections have created an even more interesting case to increase my stake in the months to come.
My second addition this month was Brookfield Renewable Partners (BEP-UN.TO). Building up a sizable position focussed on renewable energies is one of my goals this year. I’m not going to abandon my exposure to the oil and gas industry but the future lies with renewables for me.
The company has a presence around the globe and its diversified portfolio consists of hydro, wind, and solar assets. Unfortunately, I purchased shares at recent heights just before the correction but the ~4% yield and the target distribution growth of 5% to 9% annually make it a perfect stock for the dividend growth strategy.
I did not place a sell order in February.
If you enjoyed reading through some of these insights into my portfolio, stay tuned! I’m currently working on sharing my portfolio and sector allocation numbers in the portfolio section of the blog as well as sharing my watchlist. Especially in a time of a market correction having a watchlist ready is crucial.
How did your February go? I would love to hear about your opinions or experiences with dividend growth investing, the recent downturn, or anything else investment-related!