April Update: Wow – what a month!

Monthly Update

Holy smokes, what a crazy month!  My son turned 2, I won a trip to St.Louis, I finally tried a glass of Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon and my website traffic blew up…more on all that later!

Personal Highlights for April:

  • I won a trip to St.Louis from the Winnipeg Jets.  The trip included airfare for 2, playoff tickets, hotel stay and $250 USD spending cash.  I wrote a detailed post about my trip, the highlights, and more – which you can read HERE
  • The post I wrote about St.Louis and my trip went semi viral in St.Louis.  It was shared over 1600 times on Facebook, trending on Reddit, and there were even radio stations in St. Louis talking about the post.  This resulted in my highest ever web traffic (BY FAR).  With 1 day left in the month: Views = 49,264!!!
    Money Maaster Dividend Web Traffic
  • I checked an item off my bucket list.  While in St.Louis I was finally able to to try a pour of Pappy Van Winkle’s Bourbon.  This stuff is so ridiculously rare, that it resells for THOUSANDS of dollars per bottle.  The 1 ounce cost $75 USD…luckily my good friend who I took on the trip with me paid for it. It was real good, but I wouldn’t pay that much again.  That said, if I can ever find it at MSRP (Around $150/bottle) I’d definitely buy it.
  • Went to 4 of the 6 Jet’s playoff games, before they got eliminated.  I decided to NOT renew my seats for next year.  I’ve had a pair of season tickets for the last 8 years.  I still plan on going to some games, I just won’t be committed to finding people to buy games I can’t make it to.
  • We decided to Buzz Isaac’s hair, it grows so fast, and he hates going to get it cut professionally so we got his Aunt to do it (and he loved it).  Here is a pic of the 2 rugrats at Easter showing off Isaac’s new hairdo:
    Easter Haircut
  • I was featured in a Winnipeg Free Press article (our biggest newspaper) about Millenials/Investing.  You can read that HERE
  • Bought my 3 year old daughter her first pair of Soccer Cleats, shinpads and socks.  Her first soccer practice/game is this Thursday – and I will be helping coach!
  • My Son turned 2, and we threw him a little Birthday party.  As usual, my sister in law made the cake, and it was awesome:
    isaac 2 year cake

Financial Highlights for April:

  • Continued bi weekly payments into spousal RRSP  (30 units of US Equity Index Fund)
  • Got our tax refunds back. Should be getting my $1500 Winnipeg Jets seat deposit back soon too.
  • Paid dividends from 7 companies, and 1 fund.  Dripped a total of 30 new shares.
  • Revived first dividend/drip from an individual stock in RRSP (Transcontinental)
  • Portfolio hit an all time high

Passive Income Update For April 2019.

TFSA’S:

Diversified Royalty: $9.79 (dripped 3 shares)

Algonquin Power: $154.99 (dripped 10 shares)

Artis Reit: $27.00 (dripped 2 shares)

Interrent Reit: $2.49

Plaza Reit: $27.74 (dripped 6 shares)

Chorus Aviation: $11.44 (dripped 1 share)

TFSA’s Total: $ 233.45

RRSP:

Canadian Equity Income Distribution: $229.74 (dripped 7.5 new units)

Transcontinental: $27.50 (dripped 1 share)

Total Passive Income April 2019:  $490.69

Portfolio Update:

Another decent month overall.  My portfolio hit an all time high as it went up 3.15% from last month’s previous high.

Total passive income in April was $490.69.  This is down slightly from last April (due to Artis dividend cut).

My portfolio currently sits at: $338,993.39.  This represents an increase of 11.45% YoY.

Thanks for reading, Cheers!

 

I couldn’t do this again if I tried…

About 3 weeks ago(before the playoffs started), I posted my NHL Playoff predictions.  You can see the full predictions here:

https://moneymaaster.wordpress.com/2019/04/08/nhl-playoff-predictions-go-jets-go/

Guess what happened…..

I managed to get EVERY SINGLE SERIES……….WRONG.

That’s right – I’m not sure why,  but i’m somehow impressed with myself.

Since my Jets are out – I’ll be rooting for a St.Louis/BlueJackets or St.Louis/Canes final.

 

 

Review: City of St Louis

A few days ago, I got a phone call telling me I won a trip to St Louis to go see the Winnipeg Jets play the Blues in game 4 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  The trip included a little spending cash, 2 nights hotel, 2 tickets to the game and airfare for 2!  This was a contest the Jets put on for their season ticket holders.

Although it was short notice – it was obviously not hard to find a friend to join me.  Prior to taking off, I started a thread on the ST. LOUIS REDDIT page.  Since I was only going to be there for 2 nights, I wanted to have a decent idea of where we should go, what we should see, and where I could find some good bourbon!  The fine people of reddit did not disappoint, within a few hours I had a full list of suggestions, and although I wasn’t able to get to EVERY place I wanted to (we were in St Louis for a total of like 36 hours) we did get to a surprising amount of places.

We stayed right downtown for the whole trip, and luckily for us, everything we needed to get to was only a few miles away.  The weather was beautiful (25 degrees and sunny) and the city was amazing.  My only complaint from the entire trip, is that (at least downtown) most bars and restaurants don’t open until 4, and stop serving food by 11).

Our first flight down was delayed, so we didn’t get in until late Monday night, almost everything was closed (for food) but we were able to find one sports bar by our hotel (the Over/Under).  We had about 15 minutes to order until the kitchen closed.  The food was decent, and the beer selection was pretty good as well.  Nothing to write home about, but we were starving and they were still open!  My first beer of the night was from a recommended local brewery: Absence of Light Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk Stout by 4 hands brewing. It was really delicious.  I’d get that one again for sure.  I also had a “Dale’s Pale Ale” which was just okay.  I had been up since 6 AM with the kids, and could barely keep my eyes open, so I went to bed pretty early.  My friend stayed out for a couple hours, and ended up checking out the Arch at night, and then headed down to the Casino where he won a bit of cash.

Tuesday we woke up fairly early (for us), and headed out for breakfast/brunch.  We found a place close to our hotel, and checked the reviews online.  It was called Rooster.  We both got the “slinger” which was basically eggs, sausage and potatoes on a piece of toast and smothered in gravy.  The potatoes had a nice kick to them, and it was delicious (and very filling).  It tasted a lot better than it looks…

Slinger Roosters St Louis

After breakfast, we headed to City Museum.  This place cannot really be described – you have to see it to believe it.  It is a huge old building, (used to be a shoe factory/warehouse I believe).  It’s been converted into a:

  • Museum
  • Arcade
  • Circus
  • Aquarium
  • Amusement park
  • Multiple Bars
  • Caves/Tunnels & so much more

We didn’t have enough time to see everything, and not I feel like I NEED to go back to St Louis with the kids just to take them here!  Here is the wiki page for a better idea of this place:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_Museum

After the Museum, we wanted to go down and check out the Gateway Arch.  I saw it as we drove in from the airport at night, and I thought…meh..that’s kind of cool I guess….but once you get up close to it, you realise just how magnificent it is.  As usual my pictures won’t do it justice, (another reason to come back with the family, so my wife can take some professional pics).

St Louis Gateway ArchThe Arch2

 

After checking out the Gateway Arch, and a quick stop to the Casino (so I could lose my obligatory $100 playing roulette) we headed to the Broadway Oyster bar.  This is another place, i’d definitely like to come back to during the evening, and catch a band.  We sat in the outside bar which reminded me a lot of the New Orleans bars I saw on the show Treme.  We knew we couldn’t stay too long, so we just ordered an appetizer (Crab dip) and a couple of drinks.  Since the place reminded me of a New Orleans bar – I had to start with a Sazerac (pic below) and I finished with a delicious Pimm’s cup!

Broadway Oyster Bar

 

Another thing I have to mention, which is probably not even worth mentioning to most people – but I found amazing (being from Winnipeg) was the ride sharing scooters.  There are basically hundreds(thousands maybe) of scooters that you can jump on and unlock with your phone/app to get around.  They charge you by the minute, but its super cheap.  My longest ride was about 8 minutes, which cost about 3 dollars.  We walked, or scooted everywhere during our trip, and I spent a grand total of like 13 dollars.  It was also my first time whipping around on an electric scooter which was super fun.

Our next stop was for dinner, and we headed to The Midwestern; a place that had been highly recommended on reddit for both it’s BBQ and Bourbon.  It did not disappoint.  I was also able to cross off a bucket list item at this bar (having a sip of some Pappy Van Winkle).  My buddy & travelling companion Benji was nice enough to drop $75 USD on a pour of Pappy for me.  It was absolutely delightful, and although I’m sure a lot of it was just in my head because of all the hype, it really was delicious.  That said, It’s definitely not worth $100 Canadian for a single pour.  I’d gladly take 6 pours of Blanton’s for the same price!

This was not just the first time I’ve ever tried Pappy, it’s the first time I’ve even seen a bottle in person (Yes, they are that friggin’ rare).  Anyways, here is my pour, and me enjoying my first sip.

Pappy van Winkle Bourbon

MoneyMaaster Drinking Pappy

The food was really good as well.  We ordered a platter so that we could try a bit of everything.  The platter included:

  • Ribs
  • Turkey
  • Pork
  • Brisket
  • Pastrami
  • Wings
  • Cornbread
  • Mac n Cheese
  • Potato Salad

It was all real good, but the ribs and brisket were my favourite!  We were both burping up BBQ all night, and it just kept reminding us how good the food was…hah

St Louis BBQ

While we were at the Midwestern, we started noticing a lot of people coming in wearing their Blues Jersey’s.  Every time one would walk by our table, I’d lightly whisper to them
“Go Jets Go!”.  They would always smile and say something like “right on” or “go blues!”  I thought this was odd- why weren’t they booing me…Or worse? I assumed maybe they thought I was saying “Go Blues Go”.  More on this later….

After dinner we headed to the Hilton rooftop/360 bar (another reddit suggestion).  The views of the city and downtown were amazing.  I wish I had taken more pictures up there.  You could see the Arch, the Baseball stadium, the river, and the rest of downtown.  We also met Patrik Laine’s family up there as well!  Here is (one of) the views from the 360 bar:

View from 360

While we were there, we both ordered a Black Cherry Old Fashioned (which was really good), wandered around to do a full 360 view of the city, and then finally realised we had to go back to the hotel to grab our Jersey’s and head to the game!

We picked up our tickets at the box office, and quickly went to check out our seats.  Section 109, 10th row, between the blue line and the goal line…Very nice 🙂

We ran into a few other (not many) Jet’s fans and did the obligatory high five’s and handshakes.  We did a lap around the arena to check it out, and then went down to watch the Jets warm up right by the glass/bench.

The arena was really nice, it reminded us both a lot of Bell MTS Place – just slightly bigger, and a MUCH better beer selection.

The game itself was pretty much everything we could have asked for.  The Blues scored first, so we got to hear the home crowd erupt, and cheer….then in the 3rd period we tied it up (goal was scored right in front of us).  The Laine family was sitting right in front of us for the game as well, so it was fun being able to cheer with them.  The game went to Overtime and we got to erupt in Cheers with the few Jets fans around us as we won the game to tie up the series!

Throughout the entire game, the Blues fans were coming up and asking us how we liked the city, and being unbelievable friendly….like almost scary friendly.  During the intermission, right before overtime we were chatting with some Blues fans.  We also happened to be in line in front of Patrik Laine’s dad, and they kept telling us how much they hated Laine (probably because he scored 5 goals in one game against them).   I told them the guy right behind us was Laine’s dad…they didn’t care.  They told him they didn’t like his son, and then bought us a round of beers (but didn’t buy one for Laine’s dad)…haha

I cannot stress enough, how nice the Blues fans were to us, even after the game, a bunch came over, shook our hands, congratulated us, and said things like “anyone but Nashville” and “great game tonight”.  Seriously, the worst thing that happened to us, was a girl whispered “booo” as she past by us in the concourse.  

Here is a view from our seats prior to the National Anthem.

P.S – The anthem singer in St Louis is awesome too!

NHL PLAYOFFS

Final Thoughts:

St Louis is a beautiful city, with awesome people.  My only regret is that we didn’t have more time.  I definitely want to come back in a few years when the kids are a bit older so they can experience City Museum.  The downtown area was extremely clean and well kept.  Every single person we met was an absolute gem, and the Jets won!  What a great 2 nights.  Stay classy St Louis.  Until we meet again!

 

NHL Playoff Predictions. Go Jets Go!

NHL Playoff Hockey Is Back!

The NHL regular season is behind us. Everything that was accomplished since October means nothing.  There are 16 teams left, and each one of them is just 16 wins away from hoisting the Cup!

I decided to take a stab at predicting each round (I may be slightly biased).

NHL Playoff Bracket

I have all 3 Canadian teams making it out of round 1.

Western Conference Round 1 Predictions

As long as their goal-tending is even AVERAGE – Calgary should be able to overpower Colorado.  Calgary has too good of a defence and too much firepower up front to bow out in round 1.  Colorado has an amazing first line – but after that – their team is average at best.

Calgary in 5

San Jose vs Vegas should be a fun series to watch.  Burns & Karlsson will give Vegas a good fight – but I expect Fleury will come through and backstop his team to another playoff series win.

Vegas in 7

I have both Nashville & Winnipeg winning, however it wouldn’t surprise me if both get knocked out in the first round.  Since just before Christmas, both these teams have really started sucking major ass.  At the start of the season, these 2 were both expected to be Stanley Cup Favourites – but oh how the mighty have fallen.  That said, I think both of them scrape by their first round matchups and make it through so we can see an epic rematch from last year.

Nashville in 6

Jets in 5 (more on the Jets Below)

Eastern Conference Predictions

Tampa should dominate Columbus – which will be hilarious considering Columbus sacrificed their future for a deep playoff run this year.  Plus who doesn’t like seeing Tortorella losing his mind.

Tampa in 5

Even though I think Barry Trotz should win Coach of the year- I think Crosby, Malkin & Kessel are just too damn good.  I expect an early exit for the Islanders.

Penguins in 6

The champs from last year have a decent match up. It will be the experienced Caps against the “bunch of Jerks”.  Although I would LOVE to see the Hurricane’s upset the Capitals..I just don’t see it happening.

Caps in 5

Toronto Vs Boston.  This is the round 1 Matchup on the East I am most looking forward to.  This one can go either way – I’ve always hated the leafs, but I’m actually rooting for them.  They’ve come along way, and have some players that are so much fun to watch (Tavares & Marner in particular).

Leafs in 6 (probably 7)

 

Why the The Jets Will Win The Stanley Cup

Winnipeg Jets

Okay…Obviously I chose with my heart probably a bit more than my brain…but as my father always says…YOU GOTTA BELIEVE!

Lately, I haven’t been too excited about the Jet’s chances – they have been playing like shit since Christmas.  That said, there are a few reasons for optimism:

  1. The big man is back.  Dustin Byfuglien is a game changer.  He has played a few games since returning from his injury – and should be 100% for game 1.  We all know what he can do when he get’s pumped up – and playing at home, in front of the WHITE OUT, should get him pumped up pretty damn quick!

  2. Josh Morrissey should also be ready for game 1.  In my opinion he is the best defenceman on the team.  He is extremely underrated, and great at both ends of the ice.  Being able to play him and Trouba together 20-25 mins a game is just what this team needs. When the Jet’s lost Byfluglien to injury it hurt – but when they lost Morrissey – the team straight up fell apart.
  3. The White Out.  There really is quite nothing like it.  Home ice advantage in one of the loudest arenas in the league.  I cannot wait until Wednesday!
    Jets White out
    Side Note- The guy in the custom Jets White out Vader mask is a friend of mine!
  4. Mark Scheifele is a playoff beast.  Last year he had 20 points in 17 playoff games – including a whopping FOURTEEN goals!  He has slowed down near the end of the season, but I fully expect him to rip it up in the post season.
  5. Helly getting hot at JUST the right time.  Everyone knows goalies win playoff series.  Although he hasn’t had nearly as good as a season as last year – he is rounding into form just at the right time!  He finished March with a .926 Save %.  (His best month all year).
  6. Let’s face it -this has been a brutal season for Laine (and he still scored 30 goals).  The good news – he can only go up from here!  If Laine can score a goal or two in the first game, he could very well lead the entire playoffs in goals.  Just need the kid to get hot at the right time – and what better time then Wednesday!

    Go Jets Go!