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Deep dive into my portfolio: Fun with numbers & graphs.

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been trying to focus a little more on Asset allocation, geographical diversification and taking as much control of my portfolio as I can by selling some funds and starting to funnel everything into my direct investing portfolio.

I decided it would be fun to do a “deep dive” into my own portfolio.  I had a rough idea of what I held in each fund, what % of my funds are in equity vs real estate – etc – but I thought it would be interesting to dig into each one, and take a look.  I was also curious at what rate my overall portfolio was growing, my monthly dividends were growing, and how my asset allocation changed if I included my house & cabin vs just looking at my investment portfolio.  I also thought it would help if I made it as visual as possible – so I created some charts & graphs to help along the way.

Investment Portfolio Growth:

Let’s start with the basics: Total Investment Portfolio.  When I first started tracking my investments (January 2015), I had a portfolio valued at $160,314.49.  It has been 37 months since I started tracking my journey….let’s see where are now:

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At the time of writing this my investment portfolio sits at: $303,131.11.  In a short 3 year period – I have almost doubled my portfolio value.  Not too shabby – but before I start getting to excited it is important to understand why this happened…

This was due to a few factors:

  • Cash injections (regular bi-weekly automated contributions, and some one off stock purchases)
  • Continued bull market run
  • Got lucky on a few marijuana stocks which I sold/flipped for 300+% gains into some safer stocks.  You can read more about that HERE
  • Dripping/Compounding effect.

I obviously don’t expect to double my portfolio every 3 years, in fact I am somewhat expecting the portfolio to take some big dips over the next few months – or whenever the market decides to correct itself.

The market has been red hot the last few years – and nobody knows when it will come crashing down (but it will – and that’s okay).  If I was closer to retirement, I’d probably be reducing my equity % in my portfolio, and increasing my fixed income % – but I have time on my side.  That said – I did start to wonder how my current portfolio looks in terms of Equities Vs Fixed Income Vs Real Estate.  So let’s take a look.

Asset Allocation/Geographical Allocation:

I decided to look at this in 2 ways – first just looking at my investments, and then including my house & cabin.  I will only include the equity I have in my house (deduct the mortgage) and I will include the full cabin, since it has no mortgage.

Let’s see how it breaks down.

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I am sure 99% of financial advisor’s would cringe at the low fixed income %, however to be honest what worries me most is how over exposed I am to the Canadian market.  In fact, prior to switching one of my Mutual funds to direct investing and swapping it to XAW (All world, EX Canada) my Canadian exposure was closer to 60%.  All my accounts are registered so there are no tax implications right now – or need to have a higher and more preferential Canadian % of equities.  My plan is to slowly try and get to:

  • 30% Canadian Equitiy
  • 50% Foreign Equity
  • 10% Real estate
  • 10% Fixed Income (increasing as I get older)

I was curious to see how much this would change, if I included my real estate (just what I actually own).  Results are:

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When I include my physical real estate (minus mortgage) the real estate % jumps up to 35% of my assets – which I *THINK* is normal – but I could be way off.  Let me know if these numbers seem about where they should be.

Passive Income:

The number one thing most people online who blog about finances/investing (at least the people I follow) seem to cover/focus on is there monthly dividend/passive income streams.  If I am being honest, I never paid too much attention to my monthly “passive income” and probably still don’t as much as most bloggers I follow.  I’ve always been more interested in overall total portfolio growth/gains.  I always figured – as long as my overall gains are beating the markets, eventually I can switch my portfolio to more income producing assets – and the larger the portfolio – the more income i’ll get.  That said – I’d be lying If I said I didn’t get a thrill from seeing monthly income going up – or seeing a stock I own getting a dividend raise.  Also now that I am getting older I think it is important to start thinking about how much income i’ll need each month and looking for ways to grow my monthly income.

I only have 3 years of data to look at – but I figured I should look at how my monthly dividend income is coming along. Here are two ways to look at it:

Monthly Gains Year over year:

Dividend Income Fire personal finance investing blog

Total Monthly Dividends:

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*One important thing to note, 40% of my total portfolio is currently in a fund that pays ZERO dividends.  Once I inevitably switch this fund to my direct investing, my monthly dividends should increase substantially (an extra $275-$400 per month depending what I invest it in).

The good news is – that even though monthly passive income hasn’t been a priority for me over the last 3 years – it is still going up each month(for the most part) .  When you look at the year over year growth it looks even better.

Account Allocation:

Lastly, I wanted to look at what types of accounts my investments are held in to get a better understanding of if I am on the right track – specifically from a taxable income in retirement view.  Here is what the numbers say:

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My RRSP accounts for over 80% of my total investments, while my spousal RRSP is currently under 2%. If this keeps up – it clearly won’t be the most efficient use of savings in retirement as my taxable income will be pretty high.  Our TFSA’s currently account for 16% of our investments which will be nice in retirement. The kids education fund doesn’t have anything in it yet – as I just opened it – but this will be a focus over the next few years as well.

A couple takeaways:

  • My personal yield is pretty low.  If I look  at my total average dividends paid out last year vs the average value of my portfolio – my personal yield is only 1.7%.  The good news is – I can easily increase this when I need more income by switching my funds with no yield to something that pays a monthly/quarterly dividend.
  • My fixed income allocation is extremely low(2%).  Personally I am okay with this right now, as I consider myself an aggressive investor and I am still fairly young (contrary to what my body says)….but I should start to slowly increase this over the next few years.
  • I would like to reduce my exposure to Canadian Equities – this can be replaced with some fixed income/foreign equity.
  • To ensure maximum tax efficiencies in retirement I need to get my spousal RRSP closer to mine – as well as ensure our TFSA’s are maxed.  I’ve already started the process by reducing my RRSP contributions and increasing what I put into the spousal RRSP.

Some questions for other bloggers/investors:

  • What % of real estate do you hold?  How much if you include your personal residence(s)?
  • What is your personal yield?  Do you focus more on total growth or monthly income growth?
  • Would you be concerned with my high exposure to Canada or low exposure to fixed income?

    I am having dinner with a good friend of mine tomorrow who is a financial advisor. I am very curious to hear his thoughts 🙂

    As always – Any other questions or concerns/comments? Let me know in the comments!

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*Off Topic* The Pink Lady

My sister was recently in town, and said she wanted me to make her a drink.

“Something sweet” she said.

I knew she liked Gin, and I had recently been experimenting with egg whites in my drinks, so I thought the “Pink Lady” would be the perfect drink to try.


2 oz Gin (I used Tanqueray)

0.75oz Grenadine

1 Egg White



  1. Add all ingredients into cocktail shaker and dry shake.
  2. Add Ice, shake again
  3. Fine Strain into coupe


It was VERY sweet – tasted like candy(and gin).  It was definitely tasty – but a little too sweet for my liking.  My wife, sister, and one of my sister’s friends all really liked it – so perhaps it’s the perfect drink for the ladies.


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February Update: Breaking Records, New Purchases & More

Another month has come and gone – which means time for the monthly update post!

Personal Highlights for February:

  • Finished reading “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely.  Was a pretty interesting read – and reminded me of one of my favourite books “Thinking fast & slow”.  Currently looking for book recommendations on what to start next.  In the mean time I am flipping through “Warren Buffet & the Interpretation of Financial Statements” which I had read a long time ago.
  • I was able to write 5 new blog posts in February.
  • I reserved my Winnipeg Jet Playoff tickets.  These tickets will end up costing me between $300-$3500 depending how far they go which makes me both happy and frustrated at the same time..hah
  • Started watching “Peaky Blinders” on Netflix.  So far so I like it.
  • Found a home day care for BOTH kids – which will be able to take them by May 1st so Amber can go back to work once her maternity leave ends….and the best part – it’s 5 minutes from my house!
  • Last month I had over 1000 visitors to the blog (which was a new record).  This month I smashed that record:

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  • I had over 1300 visitors this month!  Thanks for stopping by and reading/leaving comments.

Financial Highlights for February:

  • February was the first full month since I transferred all my RBC Mutual funds into my Direct Investing account.
  • I updated my portfolio page to make my holdings a little easier to read.
  • Started preparing my taxes.
  • Continued bi weekly payments into RRSPs & Spousal RSP.
  • Made $1250 from selling some memorabilia that was just sitting in my closet.  You can read more about that here
  • Made 2 new stock purchases in my TFSA.  Added to my position in Algonquin Power & opened a position in Interrent REIT.  You can read about my most recent purchase HERE
  • My overall portfolio value went down for the first time in 6 months due to the volatility in the market, however as things leveled out it finished the month down just -1.07%.


Passive Income Update For February 2018.


Diversified Royalty: $9.10 (Dripped 2 new shares)

Artis Reit: $50.13! First time breaking $50 (Dripped 3 shares)

Plaza Reit: $25.75 (Dripped 6 shares)

Chorus Aviation: $10.84 (Dripped 1 share)

TFSA’s Total: $95.82  


Canadian Equity Income Distribution: $242.88

Total Passive Income January 2018:  $338.70 


Portfolio Update:

My portfolio decreased by 1.07% month over month.  This is first time my portfolio has decreased in 6 months. The early retirement portfolio now sits at $303,31.11.

Dividends grew by $48.67 vs last February(year over year growth of 16%).

Although February wasn’t a great month for dividend income, I expect to see huge improvements vs last year( mostly due to my funds being switched to direct investing).

Current Watch List:

Andrew Peller: ADW

Cascades: CAS

InterRent Reit: IIP

Northview Apartment Reit: NVU

Caledonia Mining: CAL

My Watchlist hasn’t changed from last month, but I did initiate a position in InterRent Reit.


That’s it!  Hope everyone else had a great February – and if you have any book recommendations let me know!!

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New Purchase..and the one that got away(for now)

About 3-4 years ago, I had my eye on a stock – a Residential Reit that kept showing up on all my stock screens.  Unfortunately I never pulled the trigger.  That stock was Northview Apartment Reit – and at the time it was trading around $14.00/share.  Today it is trading at $24 (and would have been paying me a juicy 7%+ dividend on cost for the last 3 years as well.

Truth be told – Northview is still a great stock, and trading at a great price, and one day I may initiate a position – but today is not that day.  For now Northview is still the one that got away….

I did learn my lesson though – and I won’t let another great stock get away!

For the last 6+ months, every time I ran a custom stock screen – another company kept coming up.  It trades at a very low multiple, has a reasonable payout ratio, pays a solid & more importantly SAFE dividend and a growing revenue/NOI.  In a lot of ways it reminds me of Northview REIT.

The company: Interrent Reit

About Interrent (From their website):
InterRent REIT is a growth-oriented real estate investment trust engaged in increasing Unitholder value and creating a growing and sustainable distribution through the acquisition and ownership of multi-residential properties.  

A few highlights from their most recent news release:

  • Gross rental revenue for the year increased by 9.0%, or $9.0 million, to $108.5 million.
  • Gross rental revenue from stabilized operations for the year increased by 4.4%, or $3.5 million, to $83.0 million.
  • Occupancy up in 2017 to 98.4%
  • NOI margin for the year was 60.7%.
  • AFFO per fully diluted unit for the year was $0.374, an increase of 11.0% over 2016.
  • AFFO Payout ratio decreased 3% over the year to 65.8%

Aside from all the fundamentals looking strong – it also fits into a category I was looking to get some exposure to (Residential REIT’s).  I already own Plaza & Artis, so it was a natural fit.

Unfortunately I didn’t have much capital to deploy so I was only able to pick up 103 shares.  This purchase will add $2.31 to my monthly income.

I plan to add to my position over the next few months – until I am able to fully drip a share each month.  At the current stock price & dividend , this means I need to acquire another 340 shares or so.

What do you think of this purchase/stock? Do you own it?  Let me know!







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F*#K You RBC! You are the WORST – And why you should buy their stock. *Warning Vulgar Language*

I have had an RBC bank account since I was about 8 years old.  My parents signed me up with the Leo Lion Savings account.  I will be turning 35 this year – and have added the following RBC products over the years:

  • RBC Visa
  • RBC Mutual Funds
  • RBC Line of Credit
  • TFSA Via RBA
  • Direct Investing
  • RESP
  • Spousal RSP
  • Joint Account with Wife

In the last 12 months, RBC has fucked me over more times than I can count.  Here are a few examples:

Example 1:
I had a $40,000 line of credit with a very good interest rate.  I usually didn’t carry a balance on this – however every now and then I would use it to invest if there was a stock I really wanted to buy – but didn’t have the cash on hand.  When we recently purchased our new house – the lender giving us the mortgage wanted us to pay off the line of credit before approving us- so my lawyer sent a letter & Cheque to RBC saying part of the proceeds of my house sale should pay down the L.O.C to zero.  RBC not only paid off the Line of Credit – they also closed it altogether (without telling me).  To make matters worse, at my next appointment RBC told me they had a special offer for me.  Can you guess what it was?  A $10,000 line of credit with a higher interest rate.

Example 2:

I had previously set up opened a Direct Investing Account for my wife as well as a TFSA & Spousal RRSP.  I made sure to ensure I had trading authority on her accounts (as she has no interest in any of this).  I recently redeemed some of my RBC rewards for $650 that I could deposit into a RRSP.   I set up an appointment at the branch to make the deposit into my spousal RRSP.  The guy at the branch said no problem – but that he wasn’t licensed to sell that fund so we would have to call the head office and do it over the phone. (Annoying – but no big deal).  After waiting on hold for a few minutes, the guy from head office said I couldn’t deposit this into the spousal RRSP without speaking to my wife (who wasn’t with me).  I explained I had trading authority and even gave him the password they had set me up with for instances just like this.  Again – he said I couldn’t deposit this into her spousal RRSP without her first reviewing the fund facts as it is a 100% equity fund.  I explained we JUST opened this spousal RRSP a few months prior, she had signed off on the fund facts, it fit her risk profile AND I HAD TRADING AUTHORITY anyway….  Still – it wasn’t good enough for this guy – and finally I had enough/gave up and decided to just deposit it into my RRSP.

***This is where it gets really interesting***

Example 3:

After finally giving up – I told the guy at the bank to just put the funds into my RRSP in one of the funds I already own (Canadian Equity Income Fund).  I watched him type “Canadian Equity Fund”.  I see this and say – “just to confirm this is the equity INCOME fund- not the Equity Fund right?  He assures me – that yes- it will go into the fund I already own.  A few days pass and I log into my online banking only to find I now own $650 of a new fund (Canadian Equity Fund).

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So now I am on the phone with head office – trying to fix the situation – I just need to  transfer all the funds out of the Canadian Equity fund and into the Canadian Equity Income fund.  To his credit – the guy on the phone was very understanding and did this right away.  So I assumed (BAD IDEA) this guy was competent and could help me with something else.  I decided I wanted to reduce my bi weekly contributions into my RRSP and put the difference into the spousal RRSP instead since my account was quite a bit larger than my wife’s.  I have done this on the phone before – so figured it would be no big deal (BIG MISTAKE).  The guy tells me I can’t increase my contributions into Amber’s account because by doing so it means too high a % of her account will be in equities.  Here is the kicker.  She only has 1 fund which is already 100% equities.  All I was trying to do was to increase the bi weekly contribution to this account.  I tried explaining to this guy that whether you put 1 dollar or 100 dollars into the fund- it is still the EXACT same % …but he somehow couldn’t grasp this.  At this point I am seeing red.  I was ready to lose it.  I tell him forget it – and I am just going to close down all my RBC accounts.

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After a day or two of deciding how I was going to stick it to RBC for Fuckin’ with me – I started thinking about all the things i would need to do to actually make this happen:

  • Get a new bank account
  • Set up Direct deposit with my employer
  • Close out mutual funds, transfer RRSPs, get a new brokerage
  • Cancel all the accounts I just set up for my wife
  • Contact my cell phone, internet, mortgage, insurance companies, and more and get them to switch everything over.

In the end, I decided I really didn’t want to go through all that – hell that would take even more time – and surely I’d become even more frustrated with some of those companies along the way – Plus who is to say a new bank would be any better?

And this is why I believe RBC (or any major Canadian bank) is a great stock to buy.  What other company/industry would I be willing to put up with so much shit – only to end up saying “Awww, fuck it – it’s not THAT bad”.

If that anecdotal evidence isn’t enough to convince you RBC would be a good buy – these results just came in today:

  • RBC reported net income of C$3 billion this quarter ($2.4 billion), up 7 percent.
  • RBC reported net income of C$3 billion this quarter ($2.4 billion), up 7 percent.
  • RBC increased its dividend 3 cents to .94 per quarter
  • After adjustments, Canada’s biggest lender by market capitalization earned $2.05 per diluted share, beating the $1.99 expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Sorry for the long rant – but I figure if RBC is going to bend us over so much – we may as well at least get them to pay us back in dividends & strong capital gains.

*To my credit – I DID close down all my mutual funds, and move everything to Direct Investing – which will result in me saving about $2000 in fees I would have paid to RBC.

That’ll show em 😛