Jordan Maas Winnipeg Canada Financial Blogger Dividends

Tracking My Spending For 30 Days

Hi,  My name is Jordan and I have a drinking  spending problem.

I have never been one for tracking expenses but I decided it would be a fun idea for a blog post and the results were downright depressing.  I decided to use the last 30 days (May 25-June 25) for my research.

There were a few “one off” expenses for this month (Hot Water tank needed to be fixed at cabin, we opened up the cabin so had to do our annual big shop, and a good friend had a bachelor party & wedding).

Here is everything that came out of my account in the last 30 days:
30 Day Spending Tracker

 

 

The Good:

  • Got my tax return back and used that to pay down Line of Credit & Pay off Visa
  • Was still able to invest $950.00 (not including the amount I invest through my work plan)
  • Lots of room to trim non essential expenses
  • My “essential” expenses are under control
  • Cell Phone & Internet will be reimbursed by my work
  • Will get money from Massages back from my insurance provider.

 

The Bad:

  • Paid $178 in interest on Line of Credit
  • Cable bill still seems high even after cutting out Sportsnet World ($137.44)

The Ugly:

  • $23.00 in Bank/Interac Fees
  • $277.50 in lunches/beers (not including wedding or bachelor party)
  • I’m an idiot and turned the break on at cabin before filling hot water tank which resulted in 2 elements needing to be replaced : $587.60

Summary:

Total money out of my account(s) in last 30 days: $7926.44
One off expenses(Bachelor Party, Cabin & Wedding): $1353.69
Essential spending: $1881.87

Since one of my goals is to have my Line of Credit completely paid off by the end of the year I expect each month the expenses out of my account will be fairly high until the debt is eliminated.  I was able to pay off my credit card in full as well as reduce my Line of Credit balance by 5%.  In the next 30 days I plan to pay down another 10% of the total L.O.C balance (potentially more if I start selling some of my Jets tickets this month).

Aside from my regular contributions (Mutual Funds & Work Funds) I don’t see myself being able to invest in anything for the next few months until I have paid off my line of credit.  This upsets me – so I am going to try and supersize my savings and ATTEMPT to be as frugal as I can without going crazy for the next 30 days.  I will post my results next month to see if I was successful.  Wish me luck.

 

 

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3 Stocks: My Biggest Mistake, My Highest Return(so far) & My Top Pick!

Summer is upon us, and since I’ve been trying to focus on paying down my line of credit & getting my house ready to sell unfortunately my portfolio hasn’t seen too much action.  I thought now would be a good time to do a quick fun post in relation to:

  1. My Worst Ever Stock Pick
  2. My Best Performing Stock Pick (to date)
  3. What I’d buy right now if I had some extra cash aka my “Top Pick”

 

My Worst Ever Stock Pick: TallGrass Energy

My worst stock pick – also happened to be my FIRST stock pick.  I was young and impressionable (also known as an idiot).  I took the advice of an older friend who had a “hot tip”.  At the time I think deep down I knew it was a bad idea but pulled the trigger anyway after doing about 2 minutes of “research” on the company.  I made my first trade that day and spent $1000 on 2600 shares.  Looking back this had all the warning signs:

  • A “hot tip” from a guy with no track record
  • A penny Stock
  • A company I had never heard of
  • Purchase made with zero due diligence done

The company is now bankrupt and my shares are worth nothing.  It was an expensive lesson – but a lesson learned nonetheless.  I keep the 2600 shares in my brokerage account as a reminder to always do my own research and to never listen to any “hot tips”.

My Best Performing Stock(so far): Organigram Holdings

Organigram(OGI) is an East Coast based supplier of medical marijuana.  This company has had some ups and downs this year: losing their organic certification due to pesticides found,(currently in process of getting certification back),  potential class action lawsuit, partnering with the Trailer Park Boys, etc.  This has caused the stock to be extremely volatile (which I expect  to continue until full legalization).

I took my first position in OGI at $0.44.  Today it is trading at $2.22.  (It has traded as high as $4.49) I fully expect it to continue to dip and rally over the next few months.  I bought this stock for the long haul – and I intend to keep it – but it is not for the faint of heart. The stock consistently gains or loses 10-15% of its value in a single trading day.

Although OGI is my best gaining stock (so far) it’s not my favorite stock I own.  Don’t get me wrong – I will continue to hold, and expect more growth – but there are a few others I like a bit better. Over the past 6 months I’ve continued to buy on some of the dips but don’t plan to increase my position as I am happy with the % allocated in my portfolio.

 

My Top Pick: Caledonia Mining

Caledonia is a Mining, Exploration and Development company focused on Southern Africa.  They are one of the lowest cost producers in the world and as long as you can stomach the fact that they operate in Zimbabwe, and that volume is fairly thinly traded* all their operating metrics look great:

*Currently in plans to trade on the NYSE which should increase volume*

  • The company pays a healthy dividend which it increased in July 2016
  • EPS: 0.26
  • P/E Ratio: 6.6
  • 18% increase in gold production year over year
  • -9% decrease in cost per ounce to produce
  • +98% increased Net Profit year over year

Caledonia has paid consistent dividends since 2014 and is covered 2.9 times by earnings & 7.7 times by operating cash flow.  They are on track to produce 80,000 ounces by 2021(to put that growth into perspective they produced 50,351 in 2016).

I plan to update my “top pick” at least once a year – as well as look back on them and see how they performed.

Do you have any Worst, Best Or Top Picks? If so – I’d love to hear about them.

 

Saving money feels great: but lets be honest so does spending it.

The biggest financial struggle I have in my life is trying to find the “right” balance between saving up for retirement & making sure I enjoy life now.

I know life is short – and I want to spend as little time as possible “working” however I also don’t want to sacrifice the things that make me happy now.   I know there are a lot of areas I could scale back my spending & I would be much further ahead financially – but I refuse to do it – and I am okay with that.

Unlike most posts on financial blogs – I am not going to talk about ways to scrimp & save. Today- instead I’m going to encourage you to reward yourself too!  To do this – I am going to share a story of one of the many times I decided to set a goal and reward myself!

I’ve played soccer (football) since I was 3 years old – my dad played since he was kid – he coached me growing up, and we’ve both been die hard supporters of the Dutch National Team.  I can remember as early as 1994 (I was 11) thinking one day I will go to the World Cup with my dad.  In 2014 I was finally able to live out this dream.  We entered the ticket lottery to try and get to see at least 1 Dutch game.  We got lucky – and were offered the option to purchase a 5 pack – meaning as long as Holland made it to the quarter final – we would get to see every game.  To give you an idea of how big of a Dutch football fan I am – here was my jersey collection PRIOR to leaving for Brazil(it has since grown).My Jersey Collection

Our trip consisted of seeing 5 games, in 4 different cities.  All 4 cities were along the coast which was nice.  We started in Salvador to see Holland take on the defending champions Spain.  The game didn’t start off great- as Diego Costa scored on a penalty shot.  We didn’t have high hopes going into this game – but when Holland tied it up with a Van Persie header right before the half (arguably the nicest goal of the tournament*) we started thinking we may get a point out of this game.  The second half still feels like a dream.  It was the first (of a few) times I had happy tears streaming down my face…

53rd minute – Robben Scores to take the lead
64th minute de Vrij scores
72nd minute Van Persie makes it 4-1
80th minute Robben dribbles through the whole team and makes it 5-1
* If you haven’t seen the Van Persie goal I highly recommend checking this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOXiWODZNqk

Our next stop was Porto Alegre which is in the southeast corner of Brazil.  Our hotel was located on a strip of bars and restaurants and people were partying all day and night. Game 2 was against Australia.  After just pounding the defending champions, we felt pretty confident going into this game however the Aussies kept us nervous all game.  We squeaked out a 3-2 win thanks to some heroics from a young star Memphis Depay.  This game also saw Gary Cahill score an absolute BEAUTY of a goal.  At this point we had been to 2 games, and saw what would end up being the 2 nicest goals of the entire tournament (source: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2014/07/the-10-best-goals-of-the-2014-fifa-world-cup.html)
The Australian fans were amazing.  We partied with many of them before, during and after the match.

The last match of the group stage would be against Chile in Sao Paulo.  Although I’ve traveled to a few decent size cities – it was pretty amazing to go to a city where the population is almost HALF that of your entire country.  Sao Paulo is home to one of the largest Football Museum’s in the world.  The museum is extremely interactive, and we had a great time.  Here are a few pictures from the museum including one of my dad with a screamer into the top corner with his left foot!

 

The game against Chile was close right til the end when Holland scored 2 goals in the last 15 minutes to win 2-0.  This secured top spot in the Group and set up a match against Mexico in Fortaleza.

The two things I remember most about Fortaleza were the beautiful beaches and the Mexican fans who were decked out in everything from your typical jersey to a full on Luchador masks and full body suits.  Mexico’s goalie played great all tournament and this game was no exception.  Mexico scored early in the 2nd half and it remained 1-0 until the 88th minute.  We were surrounded by Mexican fans who for the past 30 minutes had been heckling us (all in good fun) and basically celebrating their win. With 2 minutes left in the game Wesley Sneijder popped one home to tie it up.  We figured we would see our first extra time game of the tournament, and before we could even get nervous about extra time Arjen Robben drew a penalty which the Hunter (Klaas-Jan Huntelaar) scored in extra time to seal the win!  My legs were shaking – I was crying happy tears (again).  I looked over to see the expression on the Mexican fan’s face next to me – but he must have ducked out while I was celebrating – he was nowhere to be seen.  2 goals in the last 5 minutes of the game to win & stay alive- nothing could ever beat this(or so i thought).

Here is a picture of one of the many beautiful beaches in Fortaleza:

Fortaleza

Our 5th and final game we had tickets to was the quarter final against Costa Rica.  This game was played in Salvador – the same city we started in and saw our first game.  The Dutch were playing great – had almost 65% possession – and by the end of regulation time was over had 15 shots on target compared to Costa Rica’s 3.  The only problem – they hadn’t scored yet.  Extra time was played – and still no goals scored.  What happened next was like something out of a dream.  As penalty kicks were approaching Dutch coach Louis Van Gaal used his last sub to bring in  Tim Krul (the backup goalie) who hadn’t played a single minute the entire tournament and he came in and saved not one but TWO penalty kicks to send Holland through to the semi finals.  I am sure by now you can picture what happened next (tears flowing, speechless, etc).  What I remember most from the entire game was as we were leaving I had to use the hand rails because my legs were shaking so much I could barely walk.

My dream was to see a Dutch World Cup game with my dad.  I was able to see 5.  I saw the team I have watched since I was a kid win all 5 games we were able to attend and even though I know I am biased – I believe we saw the top 2 goals of the entire tournament and maybe the biggest story line of the tournament (Tim Krul’s penalty kick heroics).

http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/28180956

So even though this is a personal finance blog – and normally I’ll write about saving money – I wanted to share my story of a time I SPENT a lot of money and know I will never regret it!

Life is short.  Keep saving – but reward yourself too!

Jordan & Dad.jpg

Hup Holland Hup!

 

 

 

 

 

May 2017 Update

I am happy with what I was able to get done in May both from a financial & personal point of view.

Personal Highlights for May:

  • Made it through the first month of having 2 kids at home (somehow)
  • Finally got the website up and running
  • Opened up the Cabin

Financial Highlights:

  • Set up Amber with a TFSA, Direct Investing Account and added her to my bank account
  • Opened and started contributing to a spousal RSP
  • Filed our Taxes – Expecting to get our refunds within the next 2 weeks which will be used to pay down the line of credit and contribute to Amber’s TFSA.

Now on to the fun stuff.

Passive Income Update For May 2017.

TFSA:

Caledonia Mining: $20.24 (Unfortunately RBC does not allow Caledonia to DRIP)

Diversified Royalty: $8.66 (Dripped 3 new shares)

Artis Reit: $47.70 (Dripped 3 new shares)

OneReit: $18.03 (Dripped 4 new shares)

Plaza Reit: $23.83 (Dripped 5 new shares)

TFSA Total: $118.46  This is an increase of $20.87 from last May!

 

RRSP:

Canadian Equity Income Distribution: 198.45

Total Passive Income May 2017:  $316.91  This is an increase of $42.49 from last May! 

 

Portfolio Update:

Total Investment Portfolio actually saw a decrease in value over the month.  Total value dropped to $272,484.61.  This represents a month over month decrease of 0.57%.

How was YOUR May?