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May 2020 Update

Personal and Blog Recap

May just flew by, and I can’t believe we’re already in the middle of June. It’s really hard to share a lot of personal progress and adventures in these times given how close to home we have had to stay over the last few months but I am still trying to find ways to stay positive - suggestions of what you’re doing to make it through this time are very much welcomed. If you need a quick laugh and have an Android Phone with location services enabled, I’d recommend checking your monthly recap. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this as the map of places I’ve visited was so zoomed in that I couldn’t even see Lake Ontario while living in Downtown Toronto.

Regarding the progress of this blog, I focused heavily on some backend coding during May. Exploring different frameworks and tools for enhancements was just as much fun as it was time-consuming. After taking a course in Data Science last year and having a 10-week course for Machine Learning coming later this year, it’s really become a fun hobby for me.

Despite my drive for coding, I plan to shift focus from the technical aspects of this blog and aim to share at least one post a week moving forward. I’m planning to introduce a whole new section to the blog by sharing insights and statistics on my investments in a second asset class ~ P2P Loans.

Financial Recap

portfolio

Dividends and distributions in May were on the cent just as high as February this year - how often do you see that? Year over year the income generated by my portfolio grew by a solid 13.3%, which is slightly below my target of 15% YOY growth but still a solid improvement.

The decline of the price of crude oil still weighs heavily on the energy sector and I suspect announcements of further dividend cuts and suspensions from my holdings on the horizon. Nevertheless, I’m very happy with the growth despite getting rid of some formerly high yielding stocks over the last couple of months due to cuts.

The bar-chart above doesn’t include my P2P Loan portfolio just yet, but will definitely be featured in next month’s edition. I’ve managed to find a platform that fits my needs of global diversification while providing enough safety to take on the additional risk during uncertain times. Stay tuned for a “Not Just Dividends” blog post scheduled for later in the month outlining my personal strategy of navigating the P2P markets as another asset class introduced to my portfolio.

Stock Transactions

Buy Orders

I started May by adding to my current position in Brookfield Renewable Partners (TSE: BEP-UN). My goal with this purchase was to average down after I initiated my position at an almost all-time high. Furthermore, comparing it to TransAlta Renewables (TSE: RNW), TSE:BEP-UN offers a portfolio already solely composed of renewable sources as the latter mentioned is transitioning to clean power by 2025 but currently features an exposure of ~40% in natural gas.

With my second purchase, I added to my position in Brookfield Asset Management (TSE: BAM), that I started building in April. The purchase itself was funded as the final contribution to my TFSA for this year. I’m very happy to say that I used all of my available TFSA room for the first time since immigrating to Canada.

With both stocks having an expected payout in June, I can’t wait to shoot for the stars and aim for a new all-time high in dividends and distributions received.

Sell Orders

In May I closed my position in Suncor Energy (TSE: SU). On May 5, the company announced it was going to cut the dividend by just under 55% as a direct result of falling crude oil prices which are still weighing heavily on the energy sector.

This is one of the rare occasions, even in this crisis, where a Canadian Dividend Aristocrat has cut or suspended its dividend. Canadian Dividend Aristocrats only have to raise their dividends in 5 consecutive years to earn this title/status but cutting means they lose it.

To reiterate the opinion from the IPL sell order in April, I’m not happy to sell at the loss, but if the sale supports my overall strategy, it only makes sense. Paired with the dividend cut, reducing my exposure to the oil and gas sector to focus on companies in the utility sector who leverage technologies for renewable energies is a goal for me in 2020 so this supported the sale further. Although I could’ve achieved lowering the exposure by just adding to stocks in other sectors, I’m not mad about cutting a company that doesn’t support the bigger picture.

Closing Words

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 May go? Are your governments slowly lifting bans and restrictions or are your work and personal life still heavily impacted?

I would love to hear about your opinions or experiences with dividend growth investing and the recent downturn in the comments below!

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