Personal and Blog Recap
Just last week we were able to observe the first day in what feels like a lifetime where the new COVID-19 case count for Ontario dropped below 3-digits. This makes me very hopeful for the remainder of the summer as restaurants and shops reopen and the economy prepares for a long recovery.
I ventured to the office last week for a few minutes to pick something up and just being back there got me excited about what's on the horizon for my company. Even just seeing one co-worker at the office made for a great quick and personal experience between the sometimes endless hours of zoom calls that fill up my day.
On a personal note, July also marked the start of my Machine Learning class at BrainStation. The transition to online-learning has not been very easy for me. I find the virtual classroom challenging as the way it has been structured so far deters me from speaking up and asking for as much support as I may have in person. I crave an atmosphere where it’s easier to collaborate without disturbing the whole call and this is something I will consider as I look into my continued learning next year. I really miss the personal interaction and working with the instructor one on one to build on the overall experience and exposure to concepts discussed.
Turning our attention to the blog - There really haven’t been a lot of changes in the last month. One addition to the blog I was able to implement though was an enhancement to the comments section. Each article now features a form-field where readers are able to back-link their own blogs. The latest comments are also visible in the sidebar of each post in addition to the landing page.
Though the timeshare between my 9-5 job where I am working towards a transition into a lead role, the part-time class, and just trying to enjoy the summer in creative ways has taken a toll on my capacity, I have a roadmap laid out for August to deliver improvements as well as new content. The major construction I’m hoping to get done in August includes an update to the portfolio page as well as an ‘About Me’ page. I’d like to give the blog a more personal touch; it breaks the ice and allows for a better relationship with readers than just talking to a brand logo.
July surprised me with an incredible 17.8% year over year growth in dividends and distributions, which is slightly above my target of 15%. Every step matters and the consistency of YOY growth numbers really excites me for the months and years to come.
Over on my loan portfolio, the month over month growth hit an astounding 61.69%. I still haven’t published the breakdown between the different types of interest generated from these holdings as well as late fees, but I promise you it’s in the pipeline for August. Overall, I’m really happy with the progress and was lucky enough to avoid a big loss due to loan originators possibly defaulting with the current economic environment.
If you’re interested in P2P lending you can check out my post 'Not Just Dividends - An Intro into Peer To Peer Lending'. It outlines my thought process on choosing the foreign platform Mintos over local options like Lending Loop, as well as outlining previous experiences with P2P-lending.
In July I deviated from my usual strategy of investing 50% of my paycheck into two different positions. Instead, I added a net new position, in Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR), to my retirement account.
Before the addition, my allocation in the healthcare sector was very drug manufacturer focused. Adding Danaher exposes me to additional products and services in the healthcare and life science fields such as medical equipment manufacturing.
Although the company offers a very little starting dividend yield of just below 0.4% Danaher had paid dividends to its shareholders for over 25 years and its track record of successful mergers and acquisitions speaks for itself. Since 2009 they have managed to increase their share price from $20 to just over $200 a share drawing a remarkable picture for a company in the healthcare space.
Furthermore, the company currently offers a rare 9/9 on the Piotroski F-Score which further highlights their strong financial position. Watch out for an article this month going deeper into this metric to determine a company's balance sheet and financial position.
I did not place any sell orders in July. That’s two months in a row now without a dividend suspension or cut within my portfolio. As stores and restaurants slowly re-open the recovery can begin - at least here in Canada. The latest news about rent collections from REITs seem to draw a solid picture.
We’re still ways away from recovering our economy fully and everyone can admit that we definitely lost some great businesses over the last couple of months but, barring any setbacks (second wave anyone?), I’m optimistic for the rest of the year.
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.
I would love to see you share your opinions of, thoughts on, and/or experiences with dividend growth investing in the comments below as well as any topics you might like to see me explore!