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Winter Road
Pavel P. / Foter.com / CC BY

I’m back!

If you’ve been following this blog, you will have noticed that I haven’t posted an entry since September! In September I came back to work after taking a year off to travel with my fiancé. My work has fairly strict conflict of interest rules and I had to have the blog activities reviewed. It took some time to get approval from the higher ups, but I’ve been given the go ahead. You can expect more regular articles again now that I have this approval.

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It was a little frustrating to have the review go on for so long, but I have a great job and it’s not worth losing it over this blog. Don’t get me wrong I love my blog, but I have bills to pay! Only a select few can make a decent living blogging, currently I am not one of those people.

What have I been up to?

When it comes to my portfolio, not much. The market has been performing quite well recently, which has kept me out of it. My target buy prices are quite conservative, so it has kept me from buying anything. The only stock that’s been below my target buy price has been Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, but I already own shares in it. If it drops down to $30 or high 20’s then I’d consider picking up some more. Right now Potash (Click for a FREE trend analysis of TSE:POT) makes up 5% of my portfolio. I like my individual holdings to be around this 5% mark, but I will go up to 10% if I think there is a good buying opportunity. I’m also in the accumulation stage of my investing timeline, so as I purchase more stocks this number will come down. If I was in my retirement stage I’d be more hesitant to go up to a 10% allocation.

If you look at my portfolio you will notice that Altagas has been added to the list. I didn’t actually purchase any of these shares, but I decided to consolidate my portfolio with my fiancé’s. She’s had Altagas shares for a number of years, and I decided that I’ll start showing our consolidated portfolio. We are getting married soon, so my investing decisions will be made with both of us in mind. With that in mind it makes more sense to show the family portfolio, so you can better understand my investing decisions.

Altagas used to be an income trust and converted to a corporation when the income trust tax benefits ended due to legislation changes. When they made this change the distribution/dividend was cut to compensate for the change in tax rules. You’ll see a number of similar situations with other used to be income trusts, now corporations. While there was a dividend cut, I don’t view it as harshly as other companies, because it was shifting taxes paid by the shareholders back to the company. It isn’t as if the dividend cut was due to poor management. Normally I try and avoid companies with dividend cuts within the past 10 years, but with Altagas and other income trusts turned corporations I will make an exception if I think the dividend will grow in the future.

Since the change Altagas has managed to increase its dividend a number of times, and I expect this trend to continue. Its dividend is paid out monthly which can be nice for those who need a regular stream of income. At today’s prices it is too expensive for me, but I’m content to hold onto it and collect a rising stream of dividends.

What’s Next?

Now that I’ve been given the green light, I plan to start posting regular articles again. I’ll be working 6 days a week for the next few months, so I probably won’t be able to post as often as I like, but I’ll do my best. On top of regular articles, I plan on finishing my banking series, updating my dividend income for the past few months, and expanding the Canadian Dividend All-Star List.

Canadian Dividend All-Star List Expansion: I need your help!

Of the 3 things on my to-do list, I’m most excited about expanding the Canadian Dividend All-Star List. Currently the list shows publicly listed Canadian companies that have increased their dividend for 5 or more consecutive years in a row. I like this criterion, but I want to add another tab for companies with less than 5 years, but are generally considered to be dividend growth companies. I don’t have a strict set of criteria, but I do have some guidelines:

  1. The company is publicly listed on a Canadian stock exchange.
  2. Generally the company increases dividends, although it doesn’t have to be consecutive years in a row.
  3. There haven’t been any recent dividend/distribution cuts.

It will probably just start out as companies that I think people want in the list. This is where I will be relying on your help and feedback. The obvious additions in my mind are the Canadian banks, as they are widely accepted as dividend growth companies, but I’m hoping to add more companies. If you can think of companies that should be in the list please let me know by posting a comment or by contacting me.

I’ll also be preparing for the 2014 release which will include some new companies that have reached the 5 year mark and some companies that will be removed as they failed to increase their 2013 dividend above their 2012 dividends. Removing companies from the list is pretty quick work, but finding new additions is very time consuming. I’m hoping you will help me identify companies with new dividend streaks of 5 years that need to be added to the Canadian Dividend All-Star list. Again, post a comment or contact me with the company name.

If this doesn’t interest you I’d always welcome a donation :). Expanding and keeping this list up to date take a lot of time and effort. It’s always been and remains to be my intention to keep this list as a free source of information. I’ve been helped a lot by fellow investors along the way and I keep the list free as a sort of pay it forward. I feel like it is a valuable investing resource and if you agree I always appreciate a donation. (Click to donate)

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Lastly I want to encourage those of you who haven’t already to sign up and receive my articles by email. This is a great way of keeping up to date with the changes that are coming to the Canadian All-Star List and the blog. Thanks!

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    1. Elspeth – your spreadsheet is amazing!!! Thank you so much for sharing it! Do you blog about your portfolio? I’d love to see more from you!

  1. Why would you focus on this when mergent, dividend aristocrats funds track and do exactly what you want to do? What ive never seen anywhere is the list you’ve put together

    1. The other lists don’t have nearly the same level of information and detail about the dividend metrics of each company, so I prefer mine as a starting point because I am able to screen more effectively. I really like David Fish’s US Dividend Champion’s list, and found it very helpful as a starting point for US dividend growth companies. I used this US list as inspiration for the Canadian Dividend All-Star List.

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