Wow, can you believe it’s already September 2021 and it’s time for another school year? Where did the time go? Since the Vancouver rainy season will soon be upon us, we have been trying to spend as much time as possible outside and enjoy the great outdoor.
So we camped at Gold Ears Provincial Park a couple of times in August. For one of the camping trips both my parents, my brother, sister-in-law, and their kid joined us. We haven’t done a big family trip together since the COVID-19 pandemic started so it was great to spend time with them.
When I was in my late 20’s, I used to do a lot of adventurous trips where I would hike or ski for hours and camp in the middle of nowhere. I guess those days are behind me or at least until both kids are a bit older. It would be fantastic to show them the BC backcountry in the near future when can carry some gear on their backs.
Just like the previous months, we have been busy with our backyard garden. We enjoyed harvesting produce from the garden and be somewhat self-sufficient. We’d often make meals with produce entirely from our garden and no store-bought items.
All the work that we put in the spring to expand our kitchen garden was definitely worth it! There are simply so many benefits of having your own kitchen garden.
Dividend Income – August 2021
Enough pictures, let’s talk about dividend income, shall we? In August 2021 we received dividends from the following companies:
- Apple (APPL)
- AbbVie (ABBV)
- Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO)
- Costco (COST)
- Dream Office REIT (D.UN)
- Dream Indsturial REIT (DIR.UN)
- Emera (EMA.TO)
- European Residential REIT (ERE.UN)
- Granite REIT (GRT.UN)
- H&R REIT (HR.UN)
- National Bank (NA.TO)
- Omega Healthcare (OHI)
- Procter & Gamble (PG)
- RioCan REIT (REI.UN)
- Royal Bank (RY.TO)
- Starbucks (SBUX)
- SmartCentres REIT (SRU.UN)
- Verizon (VZ)
In total, we received 18 dividend paycheques that added up to $1,776.26. Per the Canadian dividend calendar, February, May, August, and November are months with weaker dividend payments. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that our dividend income for August was lower than $2,000. Given an excellent month in July, it is OK to have a weak dividend income month.
Out of the $1,776.26 received, $417.64 was in USD and the rest was in CAD, or about a 25-75 split. Please note, we do not convert USD to CAD when reporting our monthly dividend income. I have been using this approach to avoid fluctuations in our monthly dividend income because of changes in the exchange rate
The top five dividend payers for August were Royal Bank, National Bank, Omega Healthcare, Bank of Montreal, and Emera (not in order). These five payers accounted for 71.1% of our August dividend income or a total of $1,263.58. In other words, August’s dividend income was highly concentrated to the top five dividend payers.
A lower dividend income month meant we had a -1.45% year-over-year growth (YoY) compared to August 2020. Since we have made a bunch of changes to our dividend portfolio since last March, our monthly dividend incomes are still normalizing, especially for the weaker months.
Overall we are looking at an average 15.06% YoY growth after eight months. We need to continue to work on getting this average YoY growth closer to 20%.
Dividend Reinvestment Plans
As mentioned before, we try to keep dividend investing as simple as possible. Basically, we want to be owners of well-run and profitable businesses. The more people rely on the products these businesses produce, the better. To keep things simple and allow our portfolio to compound itself, we enroll in dividend reinvestment plans (DRIP) whenever we are eligible. This approach allows us to dollar cost average over time and purchases additional shares without paying any fees.
Furthermore, some companies provide DRIP discounts so you can get shares at a slightly discounted price (note: TD honours the DRIP discounts but Questrade doesn’t).
Despite a smaller dividend income month in August, we still managed to drip the following shares in our RRSPs, TFSAs, and taxable accounts:
- Bank of Montreal (BMO.TO) – 1 share
- Emera (EMA.TO) – 1 share
- European Residential REIT (ERE.UN) – 1 share
- National Bank (NA.TO) – 2 shares
- Omega Healthcare (OHI) – 3 shares
- RioCan REIT (REI.UN) – 1 share
- Royal Bank (RY.TO) – 2 shares
- SmartCentres REIT (SRU.UN) – 2 shares
We dripped 13 more shares in August and reinvested $834.53. In other words, we had a drip ratio of 46.98%. It’s not quite the above 50% drip ratio target that we have but it’s still pretty solid nonetheless.
As I hinted in last month’s dividend income update, I have been considering closing out several positions. After reviewing my original investing thesis and examine the future market outlook, we have decided to close out the following positions:
- H&R REIT (HR.UN)
- Saputo (SAP.TO)
- Dream Office REIT (D.UN)
We closed out both H&R REIT and Dream Office REIT because both have a high percentage of their REIT portfolios in office properties. As the COVID-19 delta variant becomes more and more prominent and countries resume restrictions, I don’t believe workers will be heading back to offices any time soon. In fact, many high tech companies like Google and Apple have delayed their return to office target. Rather than continue to invest in office REITs, we decided to invest the money elsewhere.
We invested in Saputo many years ago, thinking that Saputo has significant advantages in the North American dairy market. However, this hasn’t been the case. Saputo’s stock price has been relatively flat for the last five years. Yes, Saputo has increased dividend payout for 23 straight years and a 20 year dividend growth rate of 15.7%, but the dividend growth in recent years has slowed. In fact, Saputo’s one year and three year dividend growth rates are below 5%. Considering a 2% dividend yield, both stock price growth and dividend growth simply don’t excite me anymore. Therefore, like HR.UN and D.UN, we decided to invest the money elsewhere.
With the money from the sale of the three positions and some new cash, we added the following stocks:
- 57 shares of TC Energy (TRP.TO)
- 51 shares of Enbrige (ENB.TO)
- 250 shares of Power Corp of Canada (POW.TO)
- 219 shares of SmartCentre REIT (SRU.UN)
TC Energy, Enbridge, and SmartCentre REIT are existing holdings. We decided to add more SmartCentre REIT because we think that the retail REIT sector will remain strong despite the pandemic. Even though online shopping has become more popular in recent years, people often prefer to shop in physical stores and get the merchandise right away rather than wait for shipping.
Power Corp is a management and holding company that focuses on financial services in North America, Europe, and Asia. Its core holdings are insurance, retirement, and wealth management and investment management. The company owns over 60% of Canada Life, IG Wealth Management, and Mackenzie Investments. It also owns 55.9% of Wealthsimple through Power Financial, Lifeco, and IGM. Since I’m bullish on Wealthsimple, I want to be an owner of its parent company. This is the exact same reason why we purchased BlackRock back in March.
For September, we will continue to monitor the market and add more shares of dividend paying stocks. Some of these stocks that I have been monitoring include Appel, Telus, Bank of Montreal, VICI Properties, and Realty Income Corp.
With eight months in the books for 2021, we have received a total of $20,109.65 in dividend income. This is absolutely amazing considering this is income that our money has generated without us having to lift a single finger.
To put things in perspective:
- After eight months or 243 days, we have earned $3.45 per hour so far in 2021.
- An hourly wage equivalent of $13.97 per hour (36 working weeks, eight hours per day, five days a week).
Both of these numbers have dropped slightly compared to last month but we are still ecstatic about how much work our dividend portfolio has been doing for us so we don’t have to.
Dear reader, how was your August dividend income?