An Anonymous reader asked today,
“Dude, where have you been, hiding under a rock?”
I haven’t been hiding…I’ve just been pre-occupied with life!
In a lot of my postings I’ve eluded to the fact that there is more to life than investing and I’m an individual who practices that approach.
What have I been doing? Enjoying my marriage, enjoying my career choice as a nurse & business manager and continuing to invest, albeit, under the radar of most of my peers.
The lack of new posts isn’t a reflection of my disinterest in investing; simply the fact that my investing approach is outlined extensively on this blog, I’ve discussed a wide array of topics in over four years (this is my 325th post) and that nothing new has really been discussed in the investment world.
It’s my personal and professional opinion that we’re economically in the very similar situations as we were when we entered into 2008. The economy, globally, is just as vulnerable as it was then and I think the debt issues that were present in 2008/2009 are still present; just in a different form. The fact that governments are dragging their feet and not taking these issues seriously is alarming and very telling in my opinion of the seriousness of the situation. There may be, in fact, no resolution that allows individual economies, and the global economy, to emerge from this unscathed and unaffected.
Go back to November 2006 (5 years) and we’re basically at the exact same point. A buy & hold investor (assuming no new contributions) wouldn’t even have a 2% gain before taxes, dividends & expenses. A lot has happened in those five years but certainly not enough to change the fundamentals of the problems we currently face. In five years consumers haven’t dramatically changed their spending habits, the housing market (in Canada) hasn’t softened significantly, governments haven’t improved their financial positions in any meaningful way and debt levels (everywhere) are still above any reasonably sustainable level.
But…I am a Value Investor who loves his dividends. For me this market presents opportunities for an investor who is in the accumulation phase of his investment timeframe. My Dividend Growth Portfolio is only up 3.5% in 2011 (including dividends) but in comparison to the S&P/TSX 60 Index (down 5% including dividends) I’m content with limiting my downside risk by being paid (well) to invest my capital.
Companies have begun to increase dividends, which are GREAT, but in my opinion this is because first their financial positions have allowed it and second because investors are still demanding yield in order to invest their capital.
I have been active in my portfolio. I sold Research In Motion (RIM) for tax-loss purposes, have added to a number of holdings and finally completed my long desired buy of Enbridge (ENB) common shares to compliment/offset my preferred share position of ENB.PR.A in the portfolio. I continue to hold all my core holdings (ACO.X, ALA, BNS, CNR, CP, CTC.A, CWT.UN, CUF.UN, EMP.A, ENB, FTS, HSE, IGM, IPL.UN, MFC, MRU.A, PWF, RCI.B, RUS, RY, SAP, SC, SJR.B, SLF, TD, TRI & X) as well as my five preferred shares from October 2008.
My yield on the portfolio remains just under 4% (3.93%) and I’ve fortunately experienced a number of dividend increases (including one today from Inter Pipeline) that have increased my yield on cost to 5.1%
Certainly if there’s anything readers want me to write about I’m more than happy to take suggestions, but at this point I’m pretty much sitting with a good amount of cash (roughly 21%) to deploy when necessary or when opportunities present themselves over the next few months.