Personal and Blog Recap
I can’t believe it’s been 3 months since I transitioned in my day job to work fully from home. Time is flying as the first half of 2020 is past us. Countless plans have been thrown overboard and I couldn’t name a single person who hasn’t felt the major impact of this pandemic. Regardless of what the remainder has in store, this will undoubtedly be a year to remember.
On a more positive note, I am excited about incorporating morning runs into my routine again. It’s been quite some time since my last 5k and while working from home, activity has been declining. Even with the encouragement to limit outings, it’s always hard to avoid the busy crowds in Toronto, but running first thing in the morning has been a great remedy. It’s a motivating activity to kick-start your day before breakfast while having the streets and trails all for yourself.
Turning our attention to the blog: there have been a lot of visible and under-the-hood updates over the last month. I introduced my loan portfolio along with a post on how P2P as an asset class complements my strategy of dividend investing.
Moreover, I created a new tool to prepare and summarize my stock analysis posts. Basically, I can generate an infographic by just adding a ticker to the tool which populates various stats, capped off by manual entry of personal notes for Moat and Risk.
I’ve received a lot of positive feedback regarding it and would love to try to providing access to it for those interested, but as of now a lot of data is parsed from third parties like Yahoo Finance and Excel Spreadsheets for the US Dividend Champions and the Canadian Dividend All-Star List. I will have to find a way to either cache the data or keep connections to a minimum to comply with their terms of service. Once I can find a workaround for this, there will be no reason to keep it in a local sandbox anymore.
In regards to next month's roadmap, I have a couple of items on my To-Do list. I’m planning to rework the portfolio page as the inclusion of a treemap was a nice gimmick but made the site really slow with not enough functionality or insight for the visitor to make it worthwhile.
Furthermore, I plan to overhaul the comments section, starting with a ‘Latest Comment’ widget in the sidebar and enabling users to link their blog in the comments. It’s a popular feature on major blog frameworks like WordPress and I’d like to use it as a way to give back and add a link to someone’s blog if they take the time to provide valuable engagement.
Lastly, I’d like to add an ‘About Me’ page in the long run. A lot of my friends and colleagues already know about this side hustle and there should be no reason for me to hide behind a brand logo and stay fully anonymous.
I wrapped up last month by saying I hope to aim for a new all-time high in dividends and distributions in June and surely enough my holdings delivered. Truth be told, it was not totally unexpected since a fair share of the payouts were already announced in May but satisfying nonetheless once I actually saw them come through. All in all, the dividends and distributions paid by my holdings grew by a stunning 21.4% year over year, which is well above my target of 15% YOY growth.
Furthermore, I am very happy with the performance of my loan portfolio, which I introduced in last month’s post. The added principal and re-invested interest were the main reasons for a 49.91% month over month growth in that asset category. If you’re interested in P2P lending you can check out my post ‘Not Just Dividends - An Intro into Peer To Peer Lending’.
A small improvement on the blog roadmap yet to be traveled is adding a breakdown of interest generated by scheduled loan payments and the interest generated by loans that were bought back by the loan originator since this interest is significantly lower (but still higher than the amount of interest I could accumulate using a savings account).
In June I added one brand new position to my portfolio and took advantage of the volatile market we observed to average down on an existing holding. I foresee averaging down or simply adding to existing positions will be a trend for me moving forward as I already have a variety of positions in my portfolio but the position size is rather small. Furthermore, automating through using my broker’s DRIP (Dividend Reinvestment Plan) will allow me to add to specific positions without having to pay commissions on the reinvestments of my dividends.
My first transaction in June added a net new position of Diageo Plc (NYSE: DEO). The addition of this beverage giant from the United Kingdom provides some further global market exposure to my portfolio. Below is a graphic from their Investor relationship outlining the global percentage of net sales by region:
At the point of purchase, it was trading well below its 52-week-high which offered me a great starting yield. Furthermore, shareholders of the company can look back on a history of over 20 years of consecutive dividend increases on top of 25 years of consecutive payouts.
With my second purchase, I added more shares of the industrial conglomerate 3M (NYSE: MMM). It was about time to take advantage of stock prices around $150 a share since my average cost was well above $200. This addition should boost my yield of cost without having to bend my investment case. I still see it as a great position in the industrial sector which tends to be more cyclical.
I did not place a sell order in June. With the economy starting to recover slowly, I hope to see less and less dividend suspensions and cuts and thus less and less of a need to adjust my portfolio in response. There was a dividend adjustment for Canadian banks listed on the NYSE, but this was more due to the currency fluctuations as the USD had been stronger than the CAD between April and May. As this trend slightly reversed itself - and I expect the dividend to be raised back up again in the upcoming quarters - and none of my other holdings announced any cuts last month, I’m holding strong.
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 June go? I really hope that you’re able to enjoy your summer despite the current limitations.
I would love to see you share your opinions of, thoughts on, and/or experiences with dividend growth investing and the recent downturn in the comments below as well as any topics you might like to see me explore!